Yes. I am late again. Guilty as charged.
Procrastination as I would usually say, but could it be my own “election”? So many things happening in the last two months that I probably consciously left this late until things are more settled. When you read this, it is already the last day of the first quarter 2008 before we all become fools of the first day of April.
“Election” is a right of choice. Choosing one over another, choosing one over the others, choosing none at all are all acts of election. In fact, none-exercising of the right to choose is also an act of election.
Therefore, procrastination seems to be the downfall of the dark blue in our recent General Election. Problems were rightly identified the last time and promises were aplenty then, but the dark blue “procrastinated” by doing what they think is more important – power struggle at the back of a clearly manifested arrogance that unqualified support would still be granted by the people. “Procrastination” is therefore a curse by disguising what are already too obvious; an ignorant assumption that mere “firefighting” shall do the trick. For that, it’s out of my vocabulary now.
Never before, the dark blue has fared so badly since our independence half a century ago. Whether the light blue, the red or the green are worthy enough, the people have elected in the most mature manner. Yes, Malaysians do practise democracy and there is now a fresh air of optimism around. We have certainly moved up a few notches in the transparency index.
2008 is undoubtedly an election year. The blue has prevailed over the green in Taiwan; while an old man in the Republican Elephant is waiting for a show down with either a young minority leader or the “better half” of the previous dynasty in the Democrat Donkey in the United States of America.
Election is in fact making head wave in the management realm of organizational behaviors now. Reading “The Secrets” and practicing law of attraction are all manifestation of election. You choose and stick by it. You deserve what you are calling for.
However, there are more to it. Having elected is just the beginning. If you do not work by it consistently and diligently, confidence can only run thin and fast. Remember the old saying of “No Promise without Delivery”. Here are a few personal experiences in the last two months to share:
If you notice a unique looking (beauty is in the eyes of the beholder) white SUV roaming the streets of Kuala Lumpur, it is most probably my car. There are not many around and if you spot it, may I suggest that to be your lucky day.
However to get it running on the road, I have waited. I was promised delivery early January, then end January, then before Chinese New Year in February and then during Chinese New Year. I got it only by end February after much effort invested personally in calling, writing and meeting all relevant parties just to get the attention of the management and made a nuisance of myself in exchange of a committed expedition.
This is not a main stream carmaker but with an “appeared” commitment to customer service. Their website has a sophisticated form to get customer’s feedback; yet it is not until I got the attention of the General Manager that this thing started to move. The company policies definitely do not align through out the company. A lot of self interests are put before that of the customer. I clearly remember an instance where I asked to convey my dissatisfaction to the management; I was instead given the contact number of the General Manager. Apparently, it was not a good idea for the subordinate to comment on company’s policies.
It was finally settled. The only saving grace for them is that their products are actually good and value for money. I am unofficially an ambassador with reservation on the services level though.
If you are observance, you should know that I carry my laptop everywhere. It is again not a main stream brand of lap top (yes, I am odd and definitely underground); I figure then to give “Made in Malaysia” a try given their aggressive marketing campaign.
After being a good servant to me for the past years, the power cable exhausted its life span during Chinese New Year. I was helpless until the long holidays ended. I went to the service center thinking of getting an original part and this was what happened:
There was a lady sitting there when I strolled in close to lunch time. She informed me that all the technicians have gone for lunch and asked to come back after lunch;
The same lady was there when I returned after lunch. She said that all the technicians have gone on leave and not return from their festive holidays;
After much talking in the presence of other the customers, she reluctantly attended to me. She took my lap top to locate a power cable for 15 minutes and brought from the room a miserable looking power cable to try it in front of me;
The new power cable was not working and she asked what the model of my lap top is when she was supposed to be the expert. She then strolled back to the room and return to tell me “no stock”;
I then asked if the service center has no stock, where else can I get it. She said I should try their distributor in Low Yat (a place in town to get all the computer stuffs). I got the number from the distributor and called on the spot;
The first answer from the distributor was for me to visit the customer service center that I was in and that they do not keep stock. The distributor then said he will call the center to check the stock and call me back. This was the answer: the technician that normally attend to him is on leave for a few more days and he cannot help me at the moment; and
- “YES” was the answer to my last question that whether the whole of this listed company only has one technician that can attend to me.
So, I immediately went to Low Yat and get a compatible part at half the price instead. So much for genuine original part!
There is a crowded restaurant near Seri Petaling that is famous for its salted eggs crab. Notwithstanding that it is almost fully packed during my last visit, the waiter is still calling for potential customers. The selling point is clear and lauds - “food is ready to serve in 15 minutes”.
As I was deliberating and doubting the accuracy of such point in view of the crowd, the food that I ordered slightly more than 10 minutes ago was served in front of me.
I was so impressed. This is the real service commitment. The confident in the selling was oozing out of the committed quality services.
Lessons from the above are simply:
Once you have taken a position (Election!), make sure you deliver accordingly;
Service commitments shall be communicated to the entire organization; and
The underlining products must always be good!
In many ways, CA has crafted a niche in proclaiming service level just like the car maker, the lap top maker and the restaurant. We might not be perfect and any of the above instances can easily happened to us, but we are hopeful… we shall not stop trying!
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