Service needs to improve to woo customers back

The slowdown in the economy and the retail sector has left many department and retail stores almost empty, with few customers browsing around ("Shopping patterns shift amid slowdown"; Oct 12).

Despite this, service remains bad. I have observed retail staff standing around chatting with one another and not bothering to approach customers to assist them.

This is very disappointing and disheartening.

Bad service will only result in customers turning to online shopping, where they can get lower prices and home delivery, and need not face inattentive retail staff.

At this time, stores should improve their customer service even more, so that customers will leave with a purchase instead of empty-handed.

Staff should be trained to be more attentive and helpful to customers, and assist them in finding what they want, or recommend suitable items. Even if customers do not make any purchase, staff should thank them and invite them to return.

With good service, customers are more likely to make purchases and return to the store.

Susan Tan Lin Neo (Miss)