Today, there were 2 contrasting news articles that I came upon.
1) SMRT defends staff’s actions in Lakeside MRT overcrowding incident
2) KOI Café fires employee for insulting customer
For the SMRT incident, the elevator was clogged up in a sense, and people continuously bumped into the person in front of them. Although it was somewhat a minor incident, but it indeed caused a large quantity of people, much discomfort and inconvenience.
However, both companies approached the matter differently. SMRT released a statement, in an attempt to defend their staff’s actions and tries to convince that the staff actually handled the situation well, instead of what people felt was poorly managed. On the other hand, KOI immediately fired the employee for such rude behaviour, met up with the customer to directly apologise, passed a handwritten letter of apology from the employee herself along with a bouquet of flowers, posted a official sincere apology and statement on Facebook, assuring customers that they strive to provide good service experience for all customers, and even welcoming feedback from the public.
Of course, both are different situations so it may not be a very effective comparison. However, I believe that no matter what happens, the company should always apologise to its customers if they have experienced a poor quality of service. In certain cases, the company may not have been at fault at all, but by not compromising, it shows how stubborn the company is in not wanting to ‘be the one at fault’. From a pragmatic point of view, it will also negatively affect the company’s image. In the case of KOI, the one at fault was not the company itself, but the employee, because in a moment of stress, she could not control her emotions. Even with pre-employment talks on the rules and regulations, KOI has almost no way of preventing an accidental outburst of rage. However, despite them not being at fault, KOI acknowledges that the employee is part of them, and sincerely apologises to the customer. While all SMRT did was cry “I did nothing wrong!”. These two examples clearly display the difference in treatment of customers, and it is because of this difference in values that will determine the future of the companies.
Why has there been so much criticism towards SMRT nowadays? Because SMRT fold their arms, and reject criticism.
Why, after such a long period of time, do KOI still has a consistent amount of customers? Because KOI open their arms, and welcome feedback.