I have lived in Hong Kong for 17 years, Singapore for 26 years. I can tell you with certainty that Singapore cares less about customer experience. In Hong Kong, I feel that customers are kings and queens. Here in Singapore, I feel that those who are taking my money are doing me a favor. I have to bow and beg as I am spending my hard-earned money, for food and what not.
Tonight I craved for steak. But I didn’t feel like spending a fortune for one. Just a good-enough steak. So I headed to Common Grill® by COLLIN’S® @ 26 Jalan Membina. 8 minutes walk from my home. S$20 for a ribeye steak at a hawker center. Outdoor, literally just next to a drain, with old men drinking beer playing loud Chinese music. The ambiance is – for lack of a better word – shit. Yet I endured. Collin’s is a decent brand here in Singapore with outlets dotted throughout the island. Personally, I feel that they charge way too much at such an ambiance.
I was alone. After placing my order, I bought a bottle of beer. Seated right next to Common Grill® by COLLIN’S®. I have got a digital device upon placing my order. One that would ring when my food is ready for collection. I was literally just 2 steps away from the stall. As seen in the photo below.
Super long queue, so I waited patiently. Halfway through my beer, the digital device rang. To be honest, I was so tired of waiting whereby I didn’t even notice the device was ringing. Next table, one old Chinese man was playing some really loud Chinese music through his phone. I waited so long till I was near death from my hunger, mummified.
Such a strange moment. My food was ready at the counter. The two staff were just looking at me, and the digital device that rang. We starred at each other. They knew that it was my order but did nothing. If I were one of them, I would have served the food – despite the fact that I was supposed to collect my food at the counter – to score some positive client experience, in the hope that the same customer may visit again soon.
I mean, I was just a stone’s throw away.
Even shorter than that.
But alas. Here in Singapore whereby positive customer experience is at the bottom of the list. Really. Think about it. It is us to be blamed.
Because we Singaporean and residences accept this sort of lousy customer experience and yet, throw money at them.
Well, Collin’s. Let me tell you this. Your steak sucks. It is dry. Thin. Chewy. Not medium-rare as I have ordered. Cost way too much when I have to eat right next to a drain.
And ya, your service is terrible too.