HK services go without smiles

Hong Kong salespeople and service providers are the world’s worst smilers.

The 2016 Smiling Report found that they hardly smile.

A worldwide survey by the Mystery Shopper Providers Association (香港神秘顧客服務協會) assessed smiling, greeting and upselling in 61 countries and regions. Its ‘undercover’ observers have made 1.1 million visits to service providers and sellers.

Hong Kong was ranked last out of 37 in the smiling subcategory for the first time. Hong Kong scored 48, compared to first-placed Ireland’s (愛爾蘭) 100 and the global average of 83.

Workers in the transport sector are the worst culprits, scoring 28. Telecommunications, with 71 points, has the most smilers. Ireland ranked first in smiling for the second straight year.

In the 2014 report, Hong Kong’s score plunged 20 percent from 2013 and there was no significant improvement last year.

Hong Kong Mystery Shopper Service Association chief executive Anders Wong Siu-leung (黃兆良) said the poor economy is a big reason Hong Kong people smile less. He believes it places great pressure on frontline staff.

Wong added: “We can see vacant shops, and with salespeople having higher targets to reach, this leads to greater pressure and less smiles.” Wong said sales people who do not smile may leave a bad impression on tourists and reduce sales.

Wong suggested companies improve on their corporate culture and working environment instead of just focusing on sales targets and revenue.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 14 April 2016)

Good reasons to smile

The Smiling Report