Service With a Smile in Xi’an – China Real Time Report – WSJ

In China’s ancient capital Xi’an, police are taking charm lessons from high-end innkeepers.

The Public Security Bureau in the city’s Chang’an district sent more than 20 officers to a nearby luxury hotel to study “Smiling Services” on Sunday, a few days after a local TV news program aired footage criticizing police and other local bureaucrats for poor customer service.

It’s a rare case of public agencies turning to private companies for working advice in a country where officialdom has long enjoyed the superior status.

The news report focused on difficulties people have in getting a Hukou, an essential local residence certificate in China, and the service they received from desk officers at the local police station.

The report came on the heels of a pledge by new Xi’an’s municipal party secretary, Wang Yongkang, that he would serve as a “five-star waiter” for local residents, and drew a sharp response from local Communist Party officials.

“We are all the waiters for the people. We should not only serve people well, but also should serve them better than five-star hotels and try to devote wholeheartedly to become people’s ‘Five-star Waiters,’” an article posted on the website of the Xi’an Communist Party’s municipal committee said.Chinese people have long complained about poor service from bureaucrats, with many saying their sole focus is on pleasing their superiors, not the people they are paid to help.

Mr. Wang’s “five-star pledge” has resonated throughout Xi’an and appears to have inspired the undercover news report on police services. The same news program aired a similar report targeting bureaucrats in the city’s business registration offices two days before it took on the police.In the wake of the latest news story, Public Security Bureau officials said they held emergency meetings to watch the program and criticize involved officials before coming up with a plan to seek advice from a local five-star hotel, which wasn’t identified.

The police officers received a PowerPoint presentation on the hotel staff’s serving standards and observed their work on site, according to sanqin.com, a local media site which was allowed to tag along at the sessions. Public Security Bureau officials declined to comment to The Wall Street Journal.

A photo posted on Chang’an Public Security’s social-media account showed police officers smiling behind the hotel desk counters, attending to “guests” played by hotel employees. Another photo showed police officers listening attentively to lectures and carefully taking notes.

The effort didn’t impress everyone, judging by responses in social and traditional media.“The timely response of local authorities toward local media exposure is worthy of praise,” Nanfang Daily commented, but it went on to question the value of the charm lessons. “Smiling shouldn’t be a fake smile. It’s better to come from the heart.”

One commentator on social media said people would simply be happy if bureaucrats did their jobs correctly.

“Citizens don’t ask you to extend warm welcome and farewell or deliver some star-level service,” this person said. “What we ask for is only that you answer questions and solve problems according to the rules.”

Source: Service With a Smile in Xi’an – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India

%d bloggers like this: