December 27, 2004 – I miss Japanese Customer Service

I did a lot of shopping in Winnipeg today. After spending hours in the mall, I realized how much I miss Japanese Customer Service. If you only ever shop in Canada, you don’t realize just how good service can be. I found that some clerks just simply had no interest in serving customers at all.

In Japan I have had great service in almost any place where I was a customer. Staff will do their best to help you, even with a language barrier. Restaurant servers are fantastic even though they don’t get tips. Japanese customer service truly raises the bar for everyone else.

The worst offenders on my return home so far have been Sport-Check and Roots, where the staff had no interest in working at all. I am not sure if they were unhappy to be working in busy stores over the holidays, or if they just didn’t like their jobs. Getting any help at all was a major imposition. Those clerks would have been fired in Japan immediately. Koya, Moore’s, Robin’s Donuts and Osborne Cyber Cafe (where I am now) haven’t been very good either.

To be fair, I have gotten some great service at Carlos and Murphys, Olive Garden, Applebees, Lens-Crafters and The Liquor Mart. Well done folks, well done.

I spent several hours at Polo Park mall shopping with my mom. By the end I was tired and grumpy, and just wanted to leave. If you are living away from home and only have limited time to spend with your family, spend that time doing something you both enjoy. Shopping was a poor choice and I wish I had just played a few intense games of Scrabble instead.

(2014 Update) Please remember that these posts happened 10 years ago. I make no assertions about the level of service you will receive in any of these stores now. Even if the service has improved, it’s still probably not as good as service in Japan. Seriously, I miss Japanese customer service.

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