Task versus people focus – what does your company need?
“Mei you!”* (No!)
The voice, surprisingly shrill for someone who appears to be asleep, carries across the cavernous room. A blue-clad arm with white elbow protectors waves me away. The shop assistant’s head is not moving from its resting position on the counter.
“But… I haven’t said what I wanted to buy yet?” I say in English, somewhat baffled.
“Er… so probably not, then. Bye!”
This was my first encounter with customer service in China. I had just arrived in Beijing in 1988 and needed something from the optimistically named Friendship Store – a place where you could buy foreign-made goods and pay with US dollars.