Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

Buying a new phone at Singtel's Hallo Shop

I had my grievances with Singtel before. So heading to Singtel's Hello shop on a Friday evening 20:40 (twenty minutes before they close) didn't seem like a good idea to conclude an relaxed Thai dinner. Anyway Ida needed a phone replacement and we didn't find time during the week. When you browse Singtel's store you keep remarkably undisturbed. Undisturbed to a point where you could call it neglected. There were a lot of phones on display and a rather pathetic kiosk system that didn't really help to narrow down choices. Anyway if you want to make a transaction to get a queue ticket and have to wait for the counter to call you up.
So we picket a ticket and were browsing the selection while waiting. Hint to Singtel: make it less confusing and provide a phone finder: select a model and show where it is exhibited. Also provide some good find and comparison features.
When it was our turn a young woman (salesman 8190) attended to us. She first asked if we already had a model in mind. Since this wasn't the case she helped us to narrow down the choices based on criteria she established with a few easy questions: No more Samsung (the 2 year old Samsung couldn't even associate pictures with numbers), flat design - no clamshell, good camera, 3G, big numbers and small enough to fit into Ida's hands. She used a external website (seems Singtel's own wasn't as feature rich) to compare various models. She even discussed upcoming models with us to make sure, that it wouldn't make sense just to wait a little longer. Once we narrowed our choice to 3 models she actually got 3 boxed with the original phones, so Ida could weight them and feel the keys and balance. There was quite some price span in the models, so one would expect the more expensive models would get all the praise. Not here. The sales girl used solely our criteria to match it to the phones regardless of price.
We settled on a Nokia 6280 in black. Once it was decided, despite the fact that we were well beyond closing time, she made the effort to copy all phone book entries from the Samsung (which would let go of entries only one by one) to the Nokia.
What a pleasant shopping experience. Can backoffice and support please take note?

Posted by on 18 May 2006 | Comments (3) | categories: Singapore


  1. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Monday 22 May 2006 AD:
    Yes they still run these campaigns. You even can fill a little card if you feel the service was good. The waiter/waitress collecting the most of them will get an award Emoticon wink.gif
    However the Singtel shop was different. Once we got the idea, that service happens behind the queue ticket, things went nice. The sales girl attending to us was knowledgeable, knew about trends and fashions, knew where to find information that her employer didn't provide, did ask the right questions and didn't push for closure or a specific model. She even suggested, that if we felt the upcoming models would be a better fit to come back once they are available.
    In short: her performance was world class and very pleasant. I also had the strong impression she did that because she actually enjoyed delivering this quality of service. And that was really outstanding for Singapore standards.
    Emoticon smile.gif stw
  2. posted by Slawek Rogulski on Monday 22 May 2006 AD:
    Then if that girl is still working at SingTel when I am there next I will be taking my custom to SingTel.
  3. posted by Slawek Rogulski on Monday 22 May 2006 AD:
    So things have not changed since I last visited one of those Hello shops in 2000/1 tiem frame. Star Hub shop didnt seem much better in the sense of being able to make an informed purchase. Mind you I am probably spoilt by comparatively helpful shop assistants in Sydney and other parts of Australia. Although from what I hear Germany is similar.

    Are they still running campaigns where they try to encourage hawker center operators to be nice to their customers, and speak proper English to people who obviously look like tourists?

    I still love Singapore ... after all its a tropical island, allbeit with busy working bees instead of relaxed locals.