HAVING recently return from my annual pilgrimage to Thailand, I am pleased to acknowledge the continuing congenial culture of the people from the "Land of a Smiles" scored with their excellent service, which was delivered straight from the heart.
Whether it was the masseuse at the dainty and unassuming foot-massage shop or the concierge where I stayed, their actions and mannerisms were consistent with, I believe, an intrinsic Thai cultural trait which causes them to exude both a natural and genuine humility, affable and warm hospitality which we in Australia can learn a lot from.
Compared to the our “Lucky Country”, I am sure Thailand has not had as many "courtesy" campaigns to inspire the population to achieve such high levels of service delivery. I think the Thai add Khun Kaa" sums it up.. see this link below. In Thailand, you will notice every encounter starts with "Sawasdee ka" (Hello) and ends with "Khob khun kha" (Thank you).
Case in point:
My friends and I were taking a stroll along Sukhumvit Soi 19 after dinner one evening when it began raining (nothing new really)..
The rain should be accepted as a clear sign that you should be in company of others and so we did. Instead of braving the elements and getting drenched we hopped into the nearest foot-massage shop.
After subjecting our feet to an hour of pleasure we made our way out the door, only to be confronted with a flood that had risen along the entire stretch. We tried to flag down a taxi, but to no avail and here is the wonder of Thai smile…
Noticing our plight, the masseuse approached us and asked us to wait under the shelter and she promptly took position in the flood waters and waded (more than ankle deep) to the middle of the street to wave down a taxi for us. She (Khun Anne) even made sure the driver reversed the vehicle as close to the curb as possible, so that we could enter it without getting wet.
We all share the view/comments that She didn't have to do this, but she did and without expecting anything in return. We were enthralled and impressed by her actions.
Shopping at Central Department Store was another happy experience. No matter how many shirts and paints the sales staff showed great enthusiasm, not just about a sale, but about having the satisfaction of a satisfied customer. It did not stop there, the experience was repeated with most everything we did, be shuffling many pairs of sunglasses to DVD and electronics, no one showed any grumble about the endless changes we made, they just kept smiling.
It was the same when shopping at Platinum and again the famous MBK. My group was a bunch of guys and girls that had all sorts of styles and tastes so and constantly overriding each other and insisting on another style so there was multiple changes before a sale. We were taking a long time deciding, which included calling and sending text messages to family members back home to check on sizes, before making a purchase.
The stall owners were patient and appreciative that we were a customer (of sorts) and served us more than required (or what I’m used to back home). I noticed that regardless of where we went, be it Siam Paragon, Emporium or the Chatuchak Weekend Market, the experience was the same.
It felt good that the polite treatment and courtesy we received was not the template stuff that big brands have been known to dish out. The cold, formulaic classroom inculcation of service-oriented values will never be as good as the warmth that emanates from one's innermost spirit.
How do we foster that attitude within our society? The current "Brand Thailand" effort which the Abhisit Government is embarking on can only be a positive push for the country as a whole.
With their native DNA already in place, everything else should be a breeze.
Bangkok Tourism is guided by the leadership of a elite Networking group called "Skal International Bangkok".
This chapter is part of the older and largest travel association the world.
Here is an "Unpublished" version of their Members Handbook for 2009-2010 - check our the players in this Network (place the cursor on the book to view).
See more about Skal Bangkok in the link below "Networks Bangkok".
AusWaThai executives conduct monthly tours from Perth WA to Bangkok - if your an Exec looking to achieve more for Business or Social we have the networks. Join our Monthly tours or D.I.Y. .. from our website - Networks Bangkok