Tuesday, December 09, 2008

bad service in Lotus Beijing Lotus Supercenter retail store in Beijing

If you are ever in Beijing, never ever go to Lotus Supercenter retail stores. It might be close to your place, but you will sacrifice your good mood for this convenience.

I got a very bad experience in a Lotus Store in Beijing near Chaoyang park. I left my basket in a corner, and went to get something else. The basket just disappeared. I asked one customer rep, and she said she doesn't know. I asked another customer rep, and he said he is charge of the other area. There's a manager-look lady asked a rep to help me, and the rep's answer is she can't help since she just got off the work. I asked totally six employees, and no one ever felt responsible for an annoyed customer.

It turns out Lotus has this rule of return every goods left in five minutes, and someone may mistake my basket as a leftover. I understand this, but that can't be the reason for them to collect the goods basket the customer is still shopping with in two minutes. The rule is a burden to the customer, just because the store wants to keep the goods in order. Shame on them.

More importantly, no one takes an ownership on a single customer. i don't know how Lotus trained their employees, and how they got paid(definitely not for customers but probably for the speed of returning the goods). Every rep looked at me like there's nothing to do with them, instead of trying to take the responsibility to help me. When I asked to see the manager, a rep even said he is not allowed to cross the level to report to the manager.

I used to think the service in Asia is much better, but if you ever in Whole Foods or Safeway in U.S., you can feel like being helped. Reps will approach you and say "do you need help", the countermen or counterwomen will say "did u find everything ok. It's a pity that Lotus is founded by Charoen Pokphand Group, a well-respected Thai conglomerate.

With such a bad service, no wonder Lotus is losing a lot of money in China. It hired two senior WalMart excutive, Jim Haworth and Terry Pharr to save the loss in the beginning of the year and changed the company's Chinese names. My only words to the Jim and Terry: train your people to be customer-centric, instead of rule-centric; or everyone will stop going.

I have to spend 73 rmb in the store today, and will never pay them a cent in the future. Will go to Carrefour though it is a bit far.

If Lotus has a stock, definitely go short.

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