Untrained female staff irk customers

Updated 19 September 2014
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Untrained female staff irk customers

Several customers have complained that the newly appointed female work force, which was hired in a bid to reduce dependency on expat male employees and to check a soaring 34 percent unemployment rate among Saudi women, lacks training and customer sales experience.
While many have commended the country’s nationalization program, customers have nonetheless complained of a less rewarding shopping experience thanks to lack of training.
Mashael Al-Ansary, a university student, said that the increase in the number of women working is a positive step for the Kingdom, but that these women just do not have the same work ethic as men.
“Workers from the Philippines have excellent customer service attitude,” she said. “Unfortunately, the quality of service has dropped since these women are not trained to handle clients.”
Dina Fathallah, an accounts executive, experienced a lack of assistance from female employees while shopping.
“Saleswomen are not familiar with the products and I can confidently say they aren’t trained or have a professional attitude, which is required in client servicing,” she said.
The expat community in the Kingdom also thinks that the language barrier plays a major role in women employees’ inability at providing quality service.
Khairia Iqbal, an English teacher, said: “Saleswomen must learn how to speak English to deal with expats because many of us do not speak Arabic, which leads to confusion when communicating with them.”
She also suggested that work efficiency should be stressed prior to hiring women.
“I prefer not to deal with female cashiers since many of them are not familiar with how cash registers function,” she said.
Sana Siddiqui, an IT professional, suggested that companies provide specific training to female employees and place emphasis on work ethic, customer service, communication skills and product information.
“The government can also provide free workshops for working women, which has been implemented in China through providing classes for employees, especially those being hired abroad.”
Customers also find it difficult to distinguish between customers and saleswomen since they all wear black abayas.
“Employees should wear a recognizable headscarf with a big nametag in order for us to be able to spot them easily,” Siddiqui said.


Cabinet welcomes joint Saudi-Turkish Khashoggi probe

Updated 50 min 49 sec ago
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Cabinet welcomes joint Saudi-Turkish Khashoggi probe

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet on Tuesday welcomed Turkey’s acceptance of the Kingdom’s request to form a joint team of specialists from both countries to investigate the circumstances behind the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
At a session chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, the Cabinet thanked all countries, organizations, parliaments, authorities and people who prefer the search for truth rather than jumping to conclusions, spreading rumors and making accusations.
“The Kingdom’s commitment to the UN Charter and the principles of international legitimacy are the cornerstones of its foreign policy,” the Cabinet said.
The ministers reiterated the Kingdom’s support for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide, particularly in the Middle East.
The Cabinet also condemned attacks targeting election rallies in the Afghan provinces of Takhar and Lashkargah, a school in the Kenyan city of Mandera, and a restaurant and hotel in the Somali town of Baidoa.
It expressed its condolences to the families of the victims, and to the governments of Kenya, Somalia and Afghanistan.
The Cabinet wished the injured a speedy recovery, and reiterated the Kingdom’s firm stand against terrorism in all its forms.