Developing The Heartware Of Service

by Patrick Liew on August 30, 2011

On my mission trip to Cambodia, I planned to share on how to develop the heartware of an enterprise, or in other words, how to establish a powerful corporate philosophy so that the organization can serve its highest calling.

I ended up learning more about heartware, and bringing useful lemons home with me.

On my first day inCambodia, I chartered a taxi as I often do in a new country. My plan was to have a good look and feel for the city.

I also wanted to supplement my desktop research and to do it in the fastest possible way.

I had bargained with the taxi driver and was already on board the taxi, going on our way to our first stop, a museum.

Somehow, I felt as a businessman that I should try to negotiate again for a lower fee.

I started to bargain with him.

This is not a normal practice and I had half expected the driver to be impatient and even angry. Instead, he responded in a professional and polite way.

During lunch, I decided to go to a Cambodian restaurant that was facing the Mekong River. As I was not familiar with the items on the menu, I asked many questions, including questions that probably did not make any sense to a local.

The waiter put on a smile throughout the conversation and was very courteous. I ended up having a good meal, enjoying some strange looking but delicious food that I have not eaten before in my life.

At the hotel, I ordered food through the inhouse telephone system.

I also asked the staff from the ‘Room Service’ department if he can bring me an adaptor and a shaver. I knew this is not the right department to call for such a service.

I was pleasant surprised by the response.

“Mr. Liew, even though this is not our job, I will call my colleagues for you. I will make sure they deliver what you need to you.”


I went to a shop to buy some clothings. It was located near Psar Toul Tom Poung (the Russian Market).

As my body is more normal than normal people (Ha!), I have to spend a lot of time trying out different designs and sizes.

Please imagine what the salesgirl had to go through as I had to go in and out of the dressing room and try different clothings.

I was also asking the salesgirl many questions. As somebody who disdained shopping and find it a waste of time, I was sure many of my enquiries were dumb ones.

The salesgirl gave me excellent customer service. She provided me useful tips and helped me to make what I believe to be good decisions.

I walked out of the shop, a happy customer.

I had similar experiences throughout my trip in Cambodia.

As a frequent traveller, there are not many places in the world where you can enjoy a great service experience.

Even in developed countries, where there are world-class customer service trainings, customer relationship management (CRM) technologies, and excellent infrastructure, the service level leaves much to be desired.

I have come to one realization.

The heart of customer service problems is a problem of the heart.

The worst heart disease is not to have a heart for people.

If I don’t have a heart for the customers, nothing in the world can help me to improve my service.

The quality of my heart determines the quality of my service.

When I achieve outstanding service, it can also mean that I have an outstanding heart.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we have a heart for loving people and providing them the highest level of service?  



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