“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” This is one of Malathi’s guiding principles in life. In the YewTee Point community, Malathi stands out as a friendly familiar face at the customer service counter, having been there for over 8 years.
“My family and friends did not take me seriously at first and felt that my patient and level-headed demeanour at work is unlike my actual self at home. They often tease me about it, but it’s all in good humour.
Prior to joining Frasers Property Singapore, I was also in the customer service line. Overall, I have been in this industry for almost 16 years now. I truly enjoy my work as a customer service officer.
It may seem like a very straightforward role – dealing with customers’ enquiries every day, but it takes a level of understanding and patience to attend to their requests. Besides attending to customers’ queries, I also train newer staff and get them acquainted to this role.”
Bonding with shoppers
“To me, my job is pretty exciting. There is always something different happening at YewTee Point. Exciting “Excitement” to me does not mean a major event is happening. It’s the little things like my daily interactions with my customers that keeps my job exciting and far from being mundane.
My regular customers have been with me for years now. I look forward to meeting them every day at work. There are times where they will come up to my counter to have a chat and have little conversations about my day. We treat one another like best friends!
In fact, I have gotten to know the regulars of YewTee Point so well that sometimes, they even try to help me answer the queries from other customers. They tell me that their efforts to appease other shoppers are meant to help lighten my load - It’s quite an endearing and heart-warming gesture!”
Malathi strives for professionalism. Any personal problems are pushed aside when she enters the workplace. In the same vein, she has learned not to take work matters personally and leave them behind when her shift ends.
“YewTee Point, being a heartland mall, means that families and senior citizens make up a fair share of our customer base. One of the challenges that I often face is the language barrier. However, this is easily resolved, though. I usually stay patient and seek the help of other shoppers to translate or explain the situation as I cannot speak Mandarin. Most of the time, the queries are direction related, which are easy to resolve.”
As part of her job scope, Malathi also trains new staff that join her at the customer service counter.
“In our line of work, having patience and humility is a must. Members of staff usually undergo basic training before their first day on the job. This is important for them to understand how to communicate well with customers. It is easy for shoppers to vent their frustrations on us, but I always advise the newer members of my team to not take it personally. I remind them to stay confident, hold their ground and face shoppers the way they would face their friends.”
Striving for excellence
“I believe my best is yet to be. I don’t like sitting idle at home during my off days. I prefer spending an off-day outside, watching movies, going fishing, or going bowling with friends.
Whenever I visit other shopping malls, I will spend some time observing the Customer Service counter and take note of anything that I can improve on, or raise to my supervisor. I personally feel that our malls provide the best services in Singapore.
When I am home, I indulge in some art and crafts, such as crochet or do-it-yourself activities that I see online. I also enjoy baking, and then of course, I ask my colleagues to try my cakes!
My competitive nature also fuels me in everything that I do. My father is a traveller and he sparked my interest in travelling the world at a young age.
Besides visiting the wonders of the world, Malathi has also made her way to the picturesque Santorini
One of the most memorable trips I’ve been on was a visit to the Taj Mahal. It was my first impression of the Seven Wonders of the World. I remember naively telling my parents that I want to see the rest of them! I’ve since visited the Colosseum in Italy and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Someday, I hope to visit all the beautiful places in the world that even my father has yet to visit, that would be one of my proudest achievements.”