Chan Brothers Travel, Singapore

Satisfactory service at Chan Brothers Travel’s flagship store, but the cruise centre could use some sprucing up


Presence Chan Brothers Travel’s 370m2 flagship store and cruise centre is anchored at the Fook Hai Building in Chinatown. The shop is relatively easy to spot, with the enormous Chan Brothers sign next to the main door. The contemporary-styled and well-lit ground floor office, which features numerous counters, is a hive of activity. Two LED TV screens hang on adjacent walls – one showcasing destination videos, the other directing customers to a free counter. The small waiting area in the centre of the room is stocked with comfortable benches, while a clutch of brochures occupies the shelves close to the entrance.

The cruise centre on the seventh floor was a lot quieter and messier, and also appeared gloomier due to the lack of natural light. Only two staff members were manning the counters there. The space is shared with other departments including longhaul, China tours and hotels. A briefing room for group tours is situated at the back.

Appearance All staff members were dressed casually in T-shirts bearing the Chan Brothers logo. Every travel consultant I observed projected a professional demeanour. Initially, I approached a travel consultant on the ground floor about cruise packages and was advised to head to the cruise centre where staff would be more well-versed with the various cruise packages on offer. While polite, the staff member failed to smile.

Conversely, the travel consultant that served me at the cruise centre was much friendlier, and she remained cool and calm despite the barrage of questions I threw at her, answering all my queries concisely.

Ease A numbering system is in place on the ground floor, but no such system runs at the cruise centre. Nonetheless, in both instances, I had to wait for less than five minutes before I was attended to. As my visit took place in the late afternoon, I presume that the agency was a lot quieter than it would have otherwise been. There were sufficient seats and reading material in both offices for customers to while away the time as they wait for their turn during busier periods.

Suggestions Service was satisfactory overall, but there’s certainly a need for more consistent service standards. It is essential that all employees ensure that they make eye contact and smile at each and every customer. The office the cruise centre is housed in needs to be updated or at the very least, tidied up or given a new coat of paint, perhaps in a brighter colour.

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