Monday, September 28, 2009

The power of HOKKA

Hello,

At about 12pm yesterday I rang the bell at your rooms in Castlereagh St and someone came to the door, I asked about Omega Watches and was turned away because the person was having lunch.

I am a huge clock fan and I have recently become interested in Omega Watches, Especially the MoonWatch which is what I wanted to look at. I liked the idea that I could start with a pre-owned watch.

I have been thinking about this experience with your business since and I have decided it was a horrible experience for me and I will not be coming back. It was a horrible way to be treated and It seems the business does not need money.

I was prepared to spend what a lot of people will consider to be a lot of money, especially for a watch, but I cannot give my money to a business that treats me this way. It is a shame because I liked the idea of dealing with someone who was independent and not a large corporation.

Sorry about the negative feedback but first impressions count and you may like to consider how you manage this going forward.

Darren.



Dear Darren,

thank you for your feedback.

Please allow me to explain what happened on that dreadful Friday: the person who opened the door at 12pm yesterday was me, so I am solely accepting responsibility for the horror you've went through.

However - and I beg you to accept this as a fact - I had absolutely no intention to hurt your feelings. The blame must be put on to that very strange establishment
located in the basement of MLC centre called HOKKA. The said HOKKA (or more precisely the young Rachel who works there) makes the best stir fry noodles in Sydney CBD. To my embarrassment I have to admit I am totally addicted to their noodles and a few times per week, I can be seen salivating and drooling in front of their noodle bar.

My standard choice is this: vegetables, tofu, bok choy, mushrooms, capsicum and extra tofu with thick rice noodles, chilly sauce and no oil. (This last no-oil bit is crucial!). For just $10 I get the most succulent, chilly-rich, hot melting-in-your mouth experience money can buy!

So dear Darren, when I am having my stir fry noodles (which again, for some strange reason is always at 12pm) I am experiencing something that can be only described as a hedonistic ecstasy. And if you ring my door bell at 12pm unannounced, you will either have to wait for 15 minutes (as I've kindly ask you to do, which for some reason you conveniently forgot to mention) or you would be asked to enter, sit quietly and watch me eating my noodles.

Now when I opened my doors yesterday, I had no idea that you were loaded with cash. What I saw was a tall, well-built, grumpy man and the last thing I wanted was to have you next to me when I eat my noodles.

Please rest assured that no amount of cash in your pocket would make any difference - even if you were George Clooney or James Packer, or Nicole Kidman's sister, I would still ask you to come back in 15 minutes. Such is the power of HOKKA!

Such addiction to noodles is very shameful indeed and could lead to a horrible experience for both parties. But if you want to deal with someone independent, not a large corporation (your words, not mine) then here is a piece of advice: when ringing at someone's door without appointment or announcement at lunch time, do the following: introduce yourself, smile a lot, speak quietly and if asked to leave and return in 15 minutes, DO EXACTLY AS TOLD BECAUSE YOU MAY BE INTERRUPTING SOMEONE'S LUNCH YOU WOMBAT!

The power of HOKKA


Links:
George Clooney and Omega
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxKhuqaSTUc
Wombat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk4BA6eDwuU
Aussie Slang : If someone calls you a wombat it means you are slightly thick in the head. This is not a terrible insult because Aussies like their wombats and generally it means being slightly exasperated with your behaviour. There are far worse insults than this - like "May all you chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down".

THIS POST WAS FEATURED IN watchmaker's newsletter.
Here are some of the comments received from subscribers:

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GOOD STORY !!!
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Nick

I like that story very much.
You may have “lost” a watch customer (with a “lot” money), though won a noodle customer for HOKKA – how ironic - next time I am in Sydney, I am up for some!

Regards


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Dear Dr Nick,

My friends and I love your newsletters and marketing circulars. Great story about that potential client ringing your bell unannounced during lunch.

I guess because most of us are so obsessed about the power of money and finance nowadays, it probably gives many of us the mistaken impression we own everyone merely because we have cash in our pockets.

I remember my days working part-time as a room service waiter in 5 star hotels when I was studying at university. Although the vast majority of the guests I struck were reasonable and polite, staying in a luxury hotel seemed to turn some people into ruthless fascist dictators.

I learned an enormous number of valuable life skills working in hotels & hospitality ie: politeness, self-restraint, co-operation, a results orientation, an excellent telephone and speaking manner, how to upsell and inspire consumption, as well as lots about liquor, wine and cuisine.

The most important thing I learned however, is that in customer service (and in work, marriage, friendships and life in general), we must set ourselves personal boundaries. These boundaries protect us from exhausting ourselves completely of energy, generosity, humour and self-esteem.

I loved your response to that guy’s complaint because I empathise completely. Out of a 8-10 hour productive working day, requesting clients arrange viewing appointments and that little 15 minute escape to enjoy something private and special like some Hokka noodles are probably your only boundaries.

Keep up the good work Mr Clockmaker.

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Maybe you can buy my planet ocean so I can fly from London to Australia to try the Hokka noodles! :-)
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Those noodles look pretty good, pretty veggies, I’d would not have answered the door…
Kindest regards,
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Hi Nick,
I am addicted to two things. 1 watches and 2 Asian cooking. I can relate to you 100%.
Well said my man. I'll be sure to respect your 15 minutes of time out when I visit you.
Best regards,


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The best email I've seen in years, and I get a lot of the buggers, especially at around lunch time on a friday..

all the best Nick

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Dear Nick
Great noodle story. It is not the watch you wear -its the time you waste... The wombat at the door person always talks about the huge purchase they are going to make, But were interrupted by a limp noodle. Most times this person has mental problems and perhaps has never eaten "The oil free version" of her noodles. Buy a box of the same style you like and send it to the person 3rd class mail.

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Nick, you've blown it with the last of the big spenders now mate. Cancel that order on your new Lear Jet, get your deposit back on the villa in Tuscany, send the Veyron back.
On the other hand, enjoy your noodles, you spotted a time waster and made the right choice.
Cheers.

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Dear Nick,

I'm glad to see (and read) a man who treats all his clients professionally yet maintains standards and above all a SENSE OF HUMOUR. I enjoy your blog, your weekly emails and respect your knowledge and work.
Keep up the good work and keep smiling. Remember that it's only Monday so the week can only get better!
Regards,
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Fantastic
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Thanks for this note,
We in the office were looking for a new place to get our lunch...
Very helpful article, like all you notes.
Kind regards

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Business is business
“lunch is for wimps!”
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Now that's what I call customer service!!
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Dear Nick,

I am not 100% sure about the pre-requisites, but I feel your email to Darren should qualify you for an Order Of Australia Medal.
It looks like someone never had to tidy their room up when they were little...
Enjoying your posts immensely,

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love this Nick!
you made me smile
I am not yet a customer, but drool over your watches regularly.
I am now drooling over your lunch and the related habit indulged in
hoorah to you i say!
and i reckon the wombat doesn't deserve a nice watch!

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Laughing My Fat Ass Off :-)
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On the floor rolling around in stitches…..damn they look good those Hokka noodles.
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Dear Nick,

Reading your emails, and drooling over your watches (possibly much the same as you drool over the thought of your noodles) is my little bit of 'happy time' - in a usually otherwise chaotically hectic day.

I have to confess that, earlier this year, also loaded with a fair bit of cash, I was also in the market for an exceptional timepiece.

I live in the country. I rarely get to Sydney. On those few times that I was in Sydney and actually able to look at watches, I did not approach your establishment specifically because I felt a bit intimidated by the whole 'make an appointment thing'. I'm sure that this is not your intention.

Incidentally, I was almost unceremoniously bundled out of the xxxxx shop in Sydney having indicated my initial price range - then up to $2,500.00. Actually, had they been a bit nicer and more patient, they would have been rewarded, as I was, by my budget increasing to about $4,000.00 - cash.

I ended up with a Tag Link Chronograph, ordered in from the factory, via xxxxx . Whilst I am extremely happy with my watch (after years of wishing and wanting, hoping and praying), I still wish that I had dealt with someone like you - actually, very much like you - in terms of your passion for timepieces. It is difficult to explain to those around me why this particular watch should be so valuable, and to my mind, worth every cent.

So, please keep sending out your wonderful newsletter. I still keep looking, and am particularly interested by your 'bargain basement' articles. Also, if ever I am in Sydney, and actually have the time, I will make a point of trying some Hokka noodles - 'the ones recommended by Nick from upstairs' - just to see what reaction I get.

Regards
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Oh my gosh, this is SO funny. And advice well received. Thanks for sharing a good story.
Regards
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Hi Nick,
What a wonderful reply. It makes me a/want to eat noodles b/visit your shop.
Thanks for making me smile today,
Kindest Regards,
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Well put
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Well done Nick!! no one should get in the way of your noodles!!! I haven't stopped laughing, that was an awesome response!,

I will try some Hokka noodles when next in Sydney, Cheers,
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well done nick i was impressed with your comeback to that ignorant customer, everyone needs to eat enjoy your noodles
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you little ripper! made my morning reading that - is there any chance Darren comes from generation Y - why arent' you treating me like the centre of the universe (mummy & daddy always have), why don't you have a whole team on hand to serve me? why don't you realise it's all about me, me, me. Right - o - best I put my string of hobby horses back in the stable. Must plan to go to hokka for lunch one day. all the best,
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Well said, we are turning into pushy xxxx type people. Yes it is not uncommon for many businesses to shut for lunch and yes some of us will put down our lunch but only for special clients that have earned that level of service. I would suspect it was a sale you did not need, I can only imagine the issues with a purchase by such an attitude when dealing in second hand watches. I suspect if it was not like Brand new all hell would be paid.
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Funniest Letter Ever! Well done Nick.
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Hi Nick, what I want to know is who is breeding all of these turkeys? I
don't know how some people manage to get thro' their day when horrible
tragedies such as that occur!
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Well done Nick. Hopefully the guy will learn some manners. In the meantime, enjoy your addiction.
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Well Nick,i agree with you,every time i've needed your expertise i have been very happy.I am yet to visit in person,but when i do it'll be at 12 o'clock,i'll shout lunch,you have to eat,take TIME to do it the best you can,thank's again for your exellent service,best wishes
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Being turned away because someone is having lunch does not seem to warrant 'horrible experience' to me. Just wait and come back!
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Dear Nick

What I relief…….. I thought I was the only one hooked on noodles! Prior to 12 noon, like you, my mouth starts to water and the thought of noodles is almost excruciating. I switch my phone to silent and hold all calls so I can enjoy a moment of bliss. In my busy day it is the only time that is mine. Just me and the noodle.
Like you, all business stops and part from a major disaster, nothing interrupts this time.I am surprised that you even opened the door. Next time put your sign up – back in 15 mins.
It is pleasing to know that you have well placed priorities.
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Biggest laugh I've had in ages. Having an "appointment only" business myself I know your pain!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! So pleased to hear about someone who values their own happiness above mercantile advantage. "With getting and spending we lay waste our powers". And look at the joy your joyfulness has brought to so many others. I hope that the bruised customer has been able to review his experience with good humour. Good fortune to you and I hope that this web page results in your meeting many new customers. Outside of noodle time.

Robert said...

I started with this post (which made me hungry) then went on to read about thirty more. Now I'm really hungry and off for noddles and veggies.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Ha, great story! :) We live around the corner of Castlereigh, and I love watches (so it's perhaps ironic that I had to come across your blog through a Dutch one), so we're definitely going to have to check out those noodles, and have a look at your shop. I guess my wife will see to it that we'll do the first and tell me to check out your shop while she orders. If those noodles are as good as you say, I think she would have been much less courteous to good old Darren.