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Customer care in the Philippines

Hello everyone,

The way customer services are handled can greatly affect your views on certain brands, products, companies or stores. As a consumer, it is important to get familiar with local practices regarding client assistance in the Philippines and try to understand how things work in the country.

How would you describe your customer service experiences in the Philippines?

Do you feel welcome when you enter a store? Do you get useful tips and advice?

Are after-sales services available in the Philippines?

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

For me the Customer Service is great.
I went to a convenience store and everyone welcome me and greets me with a smile on their face. Their warm welcome really proves that Filipinos are hospitable.

Although I didn't get any tips or advise, I am satisfied on the way they welcome their customers.

My experience have been at the opposite end of the scale than the previous comment. Customer service in the Philippines is definitely about the worst I have ever experienced in any country. (This has nothing to do with how Filipinos are extremely hospitable). In most cases I am faced with staff that know very little and care even less. Just about all employees seem to be unable to make any type of decision. Now being in business here in the Philippines I understand that this is usually because either management gives them no freedom to make decisions, or they are simply afraid of the being reprimanded, thus loosing face. What this all boils down to is management/owners. It is their responsibility to train staff properly, which they rarely do. Many business owners do not understand that happy customers are repeat customers. They seem to believe the only way to get customers is to be lower in price.
After I got over my initial frustration with this, I personally saw great opportunity. We operate several businesses and have been more succesful than any thing that I could have dreamed possible. We have not needed any amazingly original ideas, all we have to do is treat our clients like we appreciate and want their business.
I should add also that we have had to hire employees willing to have a different attitude and outlook, and then training them properly.

My experience thus far when I ask a representative, or sales person, or a staff member on the floor a question or where something is 99.9 percent of the time, they ask someone else, and then in turn they ask someone else.  No one knows where anything is in the store.  I've had the pleasure of speaking to the Supervisor of the Robinson Mall supermarket, at least the one that is on duty, and ask her why the workers do not know where anything is in the store?  Of course the usual "sorry" followed, and I suggested that you tell them, they have to know where every product is on their isle.  Then, when you walk by you ask them where a product is.  If they fail to answer let them go.  Then after a week or two move them to another isle and share with them, again, you must learn the name of the products that are in your area.  She like the idea.  Yes, I have since asked workers where a product is and they brought me right to it. 

Here is a good one.  I wrote a letter via PLDT comment section, and shared that their office in Puerto Princesa City, does not have the hours posted outside so that the customers can see it.  Instead it is on the window which is closed by shutters during non working hours.  (Never heard them about this even after 1 month of waiting)  I also shared that I was the first one in the office, and given number 1 but the girl who sat down at station 2 wanted to help number 2 first.  I spoke up and said that I came first and had number one.  She took me.  And to finish the rest of the story.  The boy who sits at computer/station 1 came 15 min. later.  I asked to speak to the Supervisor, and was informed that she is on vacation.  I asked to speak to the second in charge, and there was no one. 

I wrote all this up, and sent it in, and finally after one month, and writing it all over again, they responded again with a computer generated message.  They would look into it and get back with me.

I personally, living in the Province, PR is lacking.  They have no concept at all, that customers are important.  Or if they do, they don't give a damn.  I often wonder, if they are in the HRM business why they don't practice what they are taught in the University.  In short, they need to realize that they represent their university and their business, but they simply don't seem to care. 

Am I bitter, not in the least, I chose to live here, and going back in time has its advantages!  But PR is not one of them!

A very warm welcome? Yes. But if you ask questions, mostly nobody knows answers or how to handle everything. Mostly, I have to ask for the supervisor or "the boss". Sayang ... .

If it comes to "simple things", such as grocery shopping or restaurant visits, the friendly and heartily welcome smile is indeed touching... .

Customer service here is not good.  I have found some that is good. Why I only use 1 computer store here.  They charge a little more but have always done me right & been right.   If buying at a store make sure it works there. Return is near impossible. At the markets & small shop if you look at something they can be a little pushy to sell it to you. I have found that a lot of store help that does not know were things are is they do not understand what you ask for.  So out of stock sir.  Impossible to find items.  I have found good relations with 4 taxi drivers & a small finders fee can find all in the Philippines. Excluding a aircraft carrier. May take a month to find but they can find things.  It is often best to do business with some of the small shops close to were you live. Parts can be hard to find here. The post office does collect a import fee if shipped in.  So under warenty means little. If the part will be 3 months getting here. Often you need do things the Philippine way.  Had a washer quit. Like he said take 90 days to get the part. Have running in 30 minutes with a toggle switch. So what good is a warenty here if the part is in China?  So some things you do need adapt to here. It is not America or Europe.  Or learn how to deal with it. Like I wanted good fog lights for my van. For night driving as it has dark tent windows.  All the big stores not in stock sir. Ask one of the better taxi drivers. He talked to 2 others.  We got them. I did not know there were 2 blocks of back ally auto parts stores here. I now know were to find auto parts. So getting things done can be a 2 way street here. How you treat them & how they treat you in return for good customer service.

Hi Priscilla,
Your question is a very nice one and I can say that in General, Filipino people a nice, over kind. Regarding the customer satisfaction, I realized that most of them care only about the guest pocket, they don't take decision, a lot are not well trained on the product, Managers don't use their common sense. Am not rude saying this, but this is what I have realized. Have been here for 8 years and that's it. I am a former chef and I love going to restaurant. A lot doesn't have trained waitresses, they don't assist customers but waiting for the tip. I don't know if it's Asian style. But I think in a tourist country, everything should be " perfect ". A happy customer will spend, will give tips and will come back.
Compare to other countries i have been in Asia, Europe, Africa and Canada, The customer care in Philippines need a lot of improvement.

At the level pf sari sari or slightly bigger customer service is good. When you get to large supermarket hmm totally different. It is not the fault of the worker but the management. I go to the gaisano mall in Iligan city they do not have onions !! out of stock, how ridiculous can you get, beef has been absent for months. Do not bother to email any company they well not reply, include philpopst in that never got a reply to the 4 letters and 2 parcels that never arrive,

Well said.  I could go on and on..but on a scale of 10 it is a minus -4.

always i feel very welkome but,instores as city hardware i do not ask questions any more as i realised that due to lack of good technical education the sales ppl do not have the knolidge to answer the questions .all the meat we buy in the market as i have noticed that the meat in the supermarkets has been frozen several times witch makes it dangerous to eat ,in the market it is so fresh that rigor mortis is not yet set in so that's fresh and it is cheaper in the market to haha.
i noticed the differance between here and the western supermarkets as far as customer care but i'm not in the west he ,so no problem to me.

greets Dirk

tn101112 wrote:

My experience thus far when I ask a representative, or sales person, or a staff member on the floor a question or where something is 99.9 percent of the time, they ask someone else, and then in turn they ask someone else.  No one knows where anything is in the store.  I've had the pleasure of speaking to the Supervisor of the Robinson Mall supermarket, at least the one that is on duty, and ask her why the workers do not know where anything is in the store?  Of course the usual "sorry" followed, and I suggested that you tell them, they have to know where every product is on their isle.  Then, when you walk by you ask them where a product is.  If they fail to answer let them go.  Then after a week or two move them to another isle and share with them, again, you must learn the name of the products that are in your area.  She like the idea.  Yes, I have since asked workers where a product is and they brought me right to it.

Department stores here in the Philippines, such as SM, Robinsons, Ace Hardware, are set up differently from those in America. Think of it as an open floor rental space where shelves and floor area are rented out to brand owners. It's similar to a wet market or palengke concept, except that instead of the customer paying directly to the stall owner, he / she hands over the payment to the landlord, who will then hand it over to the stall owner after deducting a commission. So the landlord earns money from both rent and commissions.

The representatives / salespersons  (sometimes referred to as "merchandisers") are not employees of the store owner / landlord. Except for direct hires of the store owner, such as floor managers, cashiers, store representative, etc., most salespersons are employees of a particular renter, which is why they are not rotated to other departments or products . They each have a different uniform and would often have their brand name on their lapel. These merchandisers may not be knowledgeable with other merchandisers' products, which is why they would direct customers to other merchandisers if what the customer needs is not in their product line.

Here's my strategy when looking for product, like say, a toaster oven at SM Dept Store. I look at the directory and find where the kitchen appliance section is. Or I try to spot a store (not brand) rep, usually they are in a uniform similar to a cashier's (they sometimes also wear a "Customer Representative" sash) and ask her where the kitchen appliances are. When I find one that I like and would like more info, I just ask the salespersons around who is the merchandiser for the particular brand. Often I find that other salesperson will be hovering around, waiting to offer me their merchandise, in case I didn't like toaster oven I first looked at.

Thank you for sharing about how the Department stores are set up.  I never asked one person in a Department store where anything was.  Wait a min. I think I asked about where the darts are, and someone pointed me to the sports section. 

In the grocery store, that is run by the Robinson Mall or SM mall, is another story.  There are employees standing at the end of the isle and I would ask where a product is, and they don't know, they have to ask someone else.  Only to find out that the product was where they were standing.  This started the blood to boil, and I asked for the Supervisor. Then asked why is this?  I also suggested that instead of standing there they should learn what products are on both sides of the isle so that if a customer asks they would know the answer (if it was there of course.)  I also suggested that she rotate them to other isles and learn those products.  I suggested that while she walks around, instead of sitting in her office she asks them were a product was in the isle that they were in charge of.  Although she liked the idea, I do so a vast improvement when asked where something is located.

I remember another time, under Hardware store in Ilio ilio there were many workers representing the product that you were talking about.  Again, I shared with the Manager, if they are working in your store under your name, they should know where different departments are located.  It is common sense for a person to ask where is the electrical section, and a representative for drills, has no idea what the customer is talking about, so she asks another for help.  And in turn, they may or may not ask someone else for help.  It's so sad, that the workers go to work every day, and do not pay any attention to the different departments are at.  So sad the the workers are only in it for the pay, and don't give a "hoot" about anything else.  But that's how it is here I  realize that. 

I know, I know, if I don't like it, I can leave.  Don't want to leave, just sharing how pathetic it is.  It's 2016 and we can't try to learn more.  I love it when one of the Philippine Senators shared with the public about a year ago.  He said it diplomatically.  The problem with the Philippines is our Educational system.  I read into it as we have a lot of people who are not to smart!  He hit it on the head.

I guess one might say, we, in the USA have a lot of people, who are not so smart.  I can only respond that they also do not have a job. 

Not sure if this is a service problem or not.  God, I enjoy relaxing every few weeks and get my manicure and pedicure.  But where I go, at times, is more like a day care center.  The employees bring in their kids, and they are crying, playing, walking around, eating, it is anything but piece and quiet.

Hi there

The customer service is generally very poor, but saying that they do their best . Walking into an elecrical store  means i have about 4 people standing by my side trying to be helpful but in general just been annoying even when you politely tell them if I need help Ill ask is ignored. I know the product I want and probably know more about it than they do.
I then leave and let my filipino wife go in the store to get a proper price .
Even in a simple job like mcdo they tend not to listen or are more interested in chatting their workmates or sneaking a look at their cell phone all which should be banned at work.
But life in the Philippines  on the whole is stress free , the people are friendly and poite and hoorah Duterte is at last ceaning the place of drugs and corruption .its just so damn hard to make a decent income  and some house prices are a little over optimistic.

Don't like murder in any shape or form. killing people via vigilante squads is not cleaning the place up, just replacing with another dangerous element. where does it stop? 3000 plus deaths through resisting arrest? you surely don't believe that!

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