There's a new deli along East Coast Road called Oh Deli which caught my eye because it touts to have imported some European meats and cheese and herbs and spices. I was wondering if they would have brought in Blackforest Ham too, so I've been wanting to visit it one day. But while on the bus I happened to see the phone number being printed big big on the signboard. So for the past two days I've been calling them up hoping to ask them without having to make the trip down, but the phone calls have been unanswered until this afternoon.
The following conversation took place.
Deli: Hello, Oh Deli.
Joan: Hi, I'd like to enquire if you have Blackforest Ham.
Deli: I'm sorry?
Joan: I would like to enquire if you have Blackforest Ham.
Deli: Are you planning on making a sandwich?
Actually, it's not just making a sandwich but explaining would be difficult so,
Deli: Would you like to try blahblah instead? We have blahblah which is good for blahblah...
Joan: No, I'm asking if you have Blackforest Ham.
Deli: Oh, we currently don't have it.
Joan: You don't have it?
Deli: We currently don't have it.
Joan: No, I meant, is it that you don't have it full stop, or you don't have it now, that it is sold out, or you're not carrying it.
Deli: We are not carrying it now.
Joan: Does that mean that you will carry it in the future?
Deli: Yes, we might bring it in in the future.
Joan: So it's all tentative?
Joan: Okay, I'll check again in the future. Thank you very much.
Deli: Thank you. Bye bye.
Just tell me what is wrong with this whole conversation!
Granted, I'm not complaining about the bad service because the service was not bad at all, it's just so service like that it makes me feel quite exasperated with that lady over the phone. For goodness sake, I'm want something, and she's not doing the things right to woo me as a customer, she seems to be just doing it for the sake of doing things right.
I know, in person I'm some ugly lupsup looking student, I was wearing some camp teeshirt and boardshorts and don't really look like a worthy customer, but I was talking to her over the phone! Over the phone I think I sounded proper enough to sound like a customer who was willing to spend a lot just to get what I want. Okay, I AM willing to spend a lot just to get my hands on the Blackforest Ham. If I were that lady in the deli, I'd do all I can to woo me as a customer.
Instead of recommending something else and talking in vague circles, I'd first clarify and take note of the ham that I wanted, then I'd say that we currently are not stocking it but we plan to stock it in the near future. I'd get the number of the customer and say that when we stock up the ham that is wanted, we'd call her and let her know about it. This can forge a very healthy customer relationship and even make me into a regular since I'm willing to pay exorbidently high prices for some little bits of ham.
This is why people say that Singaporeans don't think out of the box. They're all stick in the muds, follow everything to the book.
Now I think I'll have to go back down to the German supermarket, or try to find the Swiss butchery which I don't know where it is. I'm such a big sucker, for the things I like, I'm willing to go out of the way and pay high prices for it. Oh well...