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Robinsons Galleria’s non-customer friendly mall guards

Customer friendly service is one of the reasons why diners keep going back to a restaurant or why customers frequent a mall or any other business establishment. This “customer friendly” mindset should not only be drummed into the consciousness of sales clerks but should extend to other mall personnel including security guards, because boorish and unreasonable behavior is enough to turn away existing and potential customers.

That was the case with one of our readers who private-mailed us about her unpleasant experience with one of the guards named JP Barsen from Genghis Khan security, the agency deployed at the Robinsons Galleria Mall along Edsa. Calling PC Supt Noel Constantino, chief of the Civil Security Group, Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies. Sir Noel Constantino, Sir! Maybe you should remind the agency that part of their responsibility is to see to it that their guards are not only trained on mall security but also to be customer friendly as their behavior can turn off customers.

Below are parts of the PM we received from the reader:

“I usually fetch my sister from Galleria because she works in one of the buildings near the mall, and sometimes I would ask her to buy medicine or food from one of the stores inside,” the reader began. “When my sister is unable to come out just as we arrive in front of the Edsa entrance/exit to the mall, we would wait for her at the covered waiting shed nearby facing Edsa. Besides, we were previously told almost a year ago by one of the security supervisors (I don’t recall if it was from another agency, though) that it was okay to wait for 10 to 15 minutes as long as we do not obstruct the flow of other vehicles going through the mall’s entrances/exits.

“So we proceeded to our usual waiting area, where there was already a taxi, another private vehicle and another taxi that was also waiting. Since there was a gap between the first taxi and the private vehicle, we took that space and we were inching closer to the side so as not to occupy more space than necessary when this security guard with name cloth Barsen JP from Genghis Khan accosted us and told us to leave.

“We told him, ‘Boss sandali lang may hinihintay lang kami, palabas na,’ but he was very insistent, telling us to just go around [pointing towards EDSA and making a circular motion with his finger]. That’s when I got out and asked him why of all the vehicles, ours was the one he chose to accost first? Was it because the vehicle looked old and we were being discriminated against? I told the guard so, and informed him that we have been fetching my sister for close to a year now and we did not have that kind of problem.

“He insisted that we can only wait for one to two minutes because it is ‘mall policy.’ If that were the case, then that is not very customer friendly. Shoppers—wives mostly—are dropped off by their husbands at the mall and fetched later, and this one-to-two-minute only allowance for waiting at an area far from the entrance/exit does not encourage patronage. Asking us to go around Edsa and then Ortigas to ADB or wherever which could take half an hour because of the traffic – was very distressing because it took less than five minutes before my sister arrived.

“Such a policy, if that is indeed Robinsons’ order, is very discouraging. But what really got me angrier was the way the guard answered, ‘ngingisi-ngisi’ as we say it in Filipino, telling us to wait for his supervisor just as we were about to leave. More hassle? We just left because the exchange with him was already a waste of our time,” the reader said.

Such incidents make us compare the kind of customer-friendly service that people experience from other malls, like SM for instance. From the feedback we’ve been getting, people find shopping at SM Malls a pleasant experience because of the nice little touches like old ladies in SM shirts who smilingly greet you, “Good morning/afternoon, welcome to SM ____, Ma’am/Sir,” plus the fact that the mall operator is known for employing people with disabilities.

There’s a lesson here somewhere, and that is – boorish behavior is bad for business.

Canada recession: A case of karma?

Canada has officially entered recession and our buddies – bad timing for Canadian Minister Stephen Harper as this not-so-good news happened just before the elections scheduled this October. Our buddies, however, have a very different take: What’s happening is “karma” for dumping their tons of garbage into the Philippines.

The truckloads (over 100 containers according to reports) of waste have been here for two years but it’s still unclear how this stinky problem is going to be resolved, since many cities are thumbing down their noses at suggestions that the trash be buried in their backyards. Canada has played helpless in the controversy, saying they have no laws to compel the Canadian exporter to take back the garbage. Quezon City moms and dads have refused the refuse while Bulacan already said no way, saying if the other already refused, why should the province welcome the garbage?

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