Thursday, March 13, 2014

Are you being served? - A debate about customer service in Sri Lanka

Eva Stone photo, Haputale, kade, shop, grocery, Sri Lanka
Customer service is commonly defined as the "service provided to customers before, during and after purchasing and using goods and services". It is often said, good customer service provides an experience that meets customer expectations resulting in return business. On the other hand, bad customer service is where the experience does not meet customer expectations potentially generating complaints. Bad customer service may result in lost sales if customers decide to take their business to a competitor.

I was having a debate with a few friends (both expats and locals) about customer service in Sri Lanka. It was a veritable feast of views, opinions, rants and raves lol. I'm sure none of us came out unscathed from this lively debate! There were some insightful, and sometimes over-the-top discussion points coming out of the afternoon. So much so, I thought it'd make for a good blog post.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Roast Chicken Tales of Collisions with Sri Lanka Customs

You cannot say you've received the "full Lankan" experience as an expat unless you've had a run-in with Sri Lanka customs officials and a juicy story to share. Well, I have more than a couple of those, so it's a good time to start sharing. And while I'm doing that, I have some funny stories from friends to add to the mix too lol

When I first moved to Sri Lanka I shipped quite a few boxes containing my belongings from the UK. At that stage I wasn't sure how long I really wanted to stay, but in my mind I thought I'd give it a year to see how living and working in Sri Lanka would pan out. With this in mind I decided to ship over more of my personal belongings to give myself the best opportunity to settle in and make it feel like home. I had previously done expat stints in other countries, so shipping boxes filled with my belongings was not a new thing for me. I'd had very little difficulty (other than maybe a broken item in one shipment when I moved to Australia from the UK) and had little to no dealings with customs officials in these countries (other than filling out customs forms). Mostly, my belongings arrived safely to my doorstep. So, it came as a huge shock to navigate my way around clearing my boxes through customs in Sri Lanka the very first time!