Jewellery salesman finds friendliness rewarding

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 November, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 November, 2000, 12:00am

Chow Sang Sang Jewellery's Mou Chuk-chun was probably the proudest award winner at the Hong Kong Retail Management Association's 2000 Service and Courtesy Award, after walking away with two prizes.

Mr Mou received the On The Job Performance Award, under the Special Award category, and the Speciality Stores Category Award.

He had to undergo two company tests and beat 100 other Chow Sang Sang staff members to be selected as one of three candidates to represent the company for the award.

A beaming Mr Mou, who is a salesman at the firm's Mongkok branch, said that 'being kind and fair to customers is important in good customer service'.

The jewellery salesman, who worked for four years in other jewellery shops and one year with Chow Sang Sang, said his secret was to treat the customer like a friend, and not just another customer.

Mr Mou said his company gave him five to six types of training a year.

The other Special Award category winner was Pizza Hut cashier Wong Fung-chi, who received the Award for Service Innovation.

Ms Wong said complete dedication to one's work was the key to good customer service. She said customers seldom complained about the company's services, but if they did, the com plaints were welcomed as a way to help the company improve.

Ms Wong, who has been in the service industry for the last four years (including two years at Pizza Hut), said understanding customer needs was the main way to provide better service.

Pizza Hut provides staff a basic training in good customer service, she added.

Ms Wong, who works at the company's Kwai Fong Metro Plaza branch, said her busiest time is 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm, the hectic lunch hour, when more than 100 customer bills have to be settled. In that hour, the cashier also has to answer about 50 calls for delivery orders.

Pizza Hut opened in 1958 when two American college students - Frank and Dan Carney - from Wichita, Kansas were approached by a family friend with the idea of opening a pizza parlour. The concept was relatively new to Americans at the time, but the brothers quickly saw the potential of the novel enterprise.

They borrowed US$600 from their mother, purchased second- hand equipment, and rented a small building on a busy intersection in their home town. The result of their entrepreneurial effort was the first Pizza Hut restaurant, and the foundation for what has become the largest and most successful pizza restaurant in the world.

Pizza Hut, a division of Tricon Global Restaurants, has more than 7,200 branches in the US, and 3,000 branches in more than 86 other countries.