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 when serving our customers. One of the most testing examples was in 2014, when a customer approached me for assistance at the Heartland Mall outlet. He wanted to purchase stationery for an important conference overseas, and the stationery would need to grab the attention of every conference participant. There was another caveat: the customer needed to bring everything with him before October. That did not leave us with much lead time to select the stationeries that would meet his requirements! It was definitely a nerve- racking experience, assisting the customer in gathering the perfect product portfolio. I began by recommending him a folder that would look elegant on the conference table, and he was pleased with it but also asked for a transparent label with punched holes to be included in the file. I did a quick check with the manufacturer but was informed that stock would only arrive in Singapore in the following January.
I knew I needed to think out of the box to have any chance of accomplishing the objective, and so I proposed doing the labels ourselves. The customer agreed and we met up in the store to work out the details. I gathered all the materials at the outlet. When he arrived, I suggested to him to buy a laminating machine and punches. He did so without any hesitation, probably pleased
and relieved at my eagerness in helping him solve his problem. Then he noticed that the edge of the paper in the files was less than perfect, and I recommended getting a trimmer. He was delighted with the finished product! This demanding challenge made me realise that our attitude plays a crucial role in determining the results. As long as we stay flexible and open to new ways of doing things, any problem can be resolved.
The Right Frame of Mind
It is important to gain our customers’ confidence, and an earnest attitude to follow through on our promise to customers is key to developing trust. By leaving our customers with a good impression of POPULAR, we develop a good reputation. Thus, the responsibility of the service staff is to capture our customers’ heart with great service. I see my customers as my friends: approaching them to greet them and offering my assistance, and listening to their queries. To me, work is work. I will not let my personal issues and emotions affect my work, as doing so will not only distract me, but my colleagues as well. Ultimately, the company will suffer too.
I believe that communication is the key to maintaining good working relationships with my colleagues and enhancing our
mutual understanding. Especially when new colleagues come onboard, I will look for opportunities to speak to them and to extend the warmth of the POPULAR family to them. If they share the problems they encounter at work with me, I will be sure to share my experience and knowledge with them. Making sure to convey my advice in the simplest form so that they can pick up the relevant skills easily.
Looking ahead, I hope that POPULAR can organise a large gathering ever year so that all the staff from offices around the world can have the opportunity to gather under one roof. This annual gathering will help connect all the members of the POPULAR family, while enabling everyone to learn more about POPULAR’s heritage and get to know our top management. Going to an overseas location for the gathering will not only allow everyone to share the best practices, it will also let us understand how other offices are run.
I believe that with the right attitude, anyone can make a significant contribution at work, regardless of their position and the location.
(Translated by Shawn Pang)
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