by Alexander Chan on

It’s not too often that you would hear the standards of customer service in Singapore being praised as world-class.

A few days ago, however, an encounter with the dedicated staff of Changi Airport showed The Pride’s editor Ivan Lim and his 13-year-old son Alex just how much of a difference great service can make.

It all started on July 21, when the pair arrived home from a day out only to discover that Alex’s tablet device had been misplaced.

In a Facebook post that Lim shared on his personal profile, he explained that after retracing their steps and considering the possibilities, it was deduced that the tablet had most likely been left behind at Changi Airport.

Thinking that it was a relatively inexpensive model, and as it was already well-worn from use, Lim tried to assure his son that they could buy a new one to replace it.

However, having formed an attachment to the games and images he had stored on the device, Alex pleaded with Lim to try and recover the lost tablet.

Seeing his son’s distress, Lim decided to send an email to Changi Airport’s contact centre, detailing the whereabouts of and time Alex’s tablet might have been lost.

To his amazement, he received an email from Changi Airport staff Chris Poh the very next morning at 6.56am, saying that she had found a possible match at the lost and found department and required more details to identify the tablet.

A mere ten minutes after replying to Poh at 7.22am, Lim received another email confirming that Alex’s tablet was safe with them, along with information on how he could retrieve the device from the lost and found department.

Lim wrote: “I’m not one to be easily impressed by efficiency but I was, in this instance. Furthermore, my calls to them (I had to irritate them a couple of times by changing the collection details) were taken with patience, clarity and courtesy.”

By Wednesday morning, Alex was reunited with his tablet – a happy ending that could not have been possible if not for Poh’s proactiveness and attention to just one of the “countless emails” that the staff receive each day.

To Lim, it showed that at the airport, great service isn’t just limited to first-class passengers, as its staff would also treat a father who was just hanging out at the airport with his son with the same amount of care.

In response to his post, many of Lim’s friends praised the staff for going the extra mile to help.

A few encouraged him to write in to Changi Airport, with one even suggesting that Lim alert its management to Poh’s exemplary service, to help her secure a promotion.

One friend also felt that it was a “heartwarming story”, especially because it was more common to see Singaporeans grumbling and complaining than celebrating acts of kindness.

Noting that “lazy crew could have easily said it didn’t show up”, she pointed to the staff’s “honesty, efficiency and kindness”.

An example of world-class service befitting the world’s best airport, indeed.