Do you have a story about poor customer service in Qatar? Here are some stories based on our own experiences in Qatar. We are from different countries and what’s normal to you probably isn’t normal to others. We are all human and if you feel bad, it’ll probably make others feel bad too.
One day, I went to a shop in Villaggio to buy clothes. When it was my turn to pay, I said ‘Hello’ to the cashier, he said nothing but it’s alright, he probably did not hear me. He grabbed my clothes put it in a bag very roughly and told me how much. I gave him a credit card and then he gave me the bag but without ‘Thank you’’. There was no hello, no thank you…. no communication with customers. Plus, his grumpy face and attitude were not okay with me at all. So I decided to ask him where he was from because he looked like Filipino to me and if he is, it is my first time that I got disappointed with one. As we all know, many Filipinos work in service industry and they are probably one of the best people to give good customer service experiences to in Qatar.
The cashier was actually Filipino and I had to tell him that I was not happy with his customer service. But what made me happy in the end is that he said ‘Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it’’.
If we worked in a same place everyday and met hundreds of customers, we would get used to it and sometimes forget to do basic greeting stuff. For cashiers, we are just one of the hundreds, but for the customer, the staff they dealt with is the only person who we remember.
I’ll share another unforgettable experience (in a bad way). I went to one of the big brand shops to look for a nice gift for my mother. A sales associate approched me and she started showing me some lovely items. While I’m looking at them, a Qatari family walked into the shop and I became totally invisible to the staff. She approached the Qatari family and she never came back to me after that. I am Asian and she probably thought she could sell much more to the other customer. It was so obvious and it was kind of a new experience for me to be treated differently because of my ethnicity. I remembered what my Qatari friend told me once… ‘I was treated like a King when I was in a thobe (national dress) but when I returned to the same shop with a T-shirt and jeans another day, no one recognized me and the same staff member who treated me nicely prior, just gave me his back’’ and he continued, ‘’Some people wear Thobes and Abayas just to get some respects’’. Maybe he is right but we should not be treated by how we look and how we dress.
Alright, for this experience, I have to mention the name of the store. Because everytime I go to the shop, I don’t get good customer service. I went to Sephora to get a lipstick and I was trying to see which colour suits me…. I decided what I wanted to get and I asked the staff who was standing close by to get me a stock of the lipstick. (all the stocks are in their drawers which customers can not touch) and she ‘sighed’ and retrieved a lipstick with a damaged box (in my country, I never get such products because they take a good care of it....but oh well… I am in Qatar and I don’t let such small things bother me!) She just handed it to me without ‘Here you go madam’ or ‘Thank you’… she behaved as if she was doing me favour. After she handed me the product, she started applying some make-up on herself. Actually, many of the staff at Sephora do that in front of customers, which I feel is very unprofessional. Anyways, I went to a cashier to pay and the cashier offered no smile and he just took the items and put it in a bag. Again, there was no ‘Thank you’.
I am not really sure if people in Qatar feel this is normal but this is absolutely not good customer service.
We sometimes make a call to places and ask them about their promotions, events or basic information like their opening hours.
And believe or not, quite many places do not answer the phone….
It is very hard to get information over the phone in this country. And it’s not only public places, but also ministries or organizations…. I am not sure if they just ignore phone calls or what but it happens quite often (at least to me!) And I remembered again what my Qatari friend told me… ‘In this country, people have to meet in person… we can not finish our work by emails or phone calls… we must go to the place or meet right people’.
No country begins perfectly. Inshallah, Qatar can become better and improve over time, and hopefully we’ll be able to get some great customer service to make everybody happy
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