Smiling People, Smiley Faces

May 18th, 2009, in IM Posts, by

Indonesians are officially the most smiley and pleasant people in the world, in shops.

The 2009 Smiling Report, conducted by two Swedish organisations called Better Business and the International Mystery Shopping Alliance (IMSA), analyses how likely shop, hotel, and office staff are to smile at and greet customers or people they are required to deal with as part of their job.

66 countries were surveyed and 2.5 million probing questions were asked during 2008 and in the Smiling category Indonesia was found to lead the way with a whopping 98% Smiling Rate. The most miserable customer service staff were in Pakistan, with a hopeless 44% Smiling Rate.


It starts young.

On the Greeting front Indonesia again had a near perfect 98% score, but this time grudgingly having to share top spot with Hong Kong. The gruff customer service staff of Morocco were weakest with pleasantries, with only a 48% Greeting Rate.

However in a third category, "Add-on sales", analyzing the rate at which sales assistants suggest additional products or services to customers, Indonesia couldn't claim first place honours. Instead Pakistani shop staff made up for their woeful 1 in 2 lack of smileyness and took the number one rank with an 82% rate of suggesting extras. The Finns, on 3%, were the least imaginative in this area.


Generals do it too.

In general the Report found that worldwide smiling and greeting rates in shops and offices had been on the decline since 2004.

The industry where smiling was most common was Health & Beauty with 86% worldwide, greetings were most likely in government service departments (94%) while the Business to Business area was lowest for both categories, 52% and 70% respectively. [1]

In Stockholm an Indonesian embassy representative, Dody Kusumonegoro, proudly informed Indonesian media of the Report recently, and noted that his hosts the Swedes ranked a lowly 24th for Smileyness. [2]


57 Comments on “Smiling People, Smiley Faces”

Pages: [1] 2 »

  1. avatar Astrajingga says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    :)

  2. avatar Carla says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Hahahahaha… hilarious. I’m pretty sure most tourists would agree to that (and love that for sure) and a lot of expats wouldn’t, given to the fact of how big their cultural shock is in their first months living here knowing that the smile is not always genuine.

    Maybe it’s a one-sided opinion, but it just happens a lot to my disappointed non-Indonesian friends. :)

  3. avatar Lairedion says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Patung,

    Coincidentally I made a comment about it in the Dating thread and I was seriously considering writing an article about it but there you go. :-)

  4. avatar Cukurungan says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    the smile is not always genuine.

    our smile is always genuine, it has been proven by Amrozy and his friend, they were on big smile when they detonated the bomb killing the infidels and they were also smile when facing the death penalty execution.

  5. avatar ET says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    they were also smile when facing the death penalty execution.

    According to Balinese newspaper reports they had to drag Amrozy to his execution and afterwards had to sew him up completely because no muscle tension was left before he was shot. So he probably wasn’t able at all to raise the corners of his mouth.

    There goes your hero.

  6. avatar Cukurungan says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    According to Balinese newspaper reports they had to drag Amrozy to his execution and afterwards had to sew him up completely because no muscle tension was left before he was shot. So he probably wasn’t able at all to raise the corners of his mouth.

    There goes your hero.

    Is there any video or photo to back-up this report? If so please do no hesitate to up-load those photo in here… hahaha …I am waiting with big smile want to see it.

  7. avatar David says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Coincidentally I made a comment about it in the Dating thread and I was seriously considering writing an article about it but there you go.

    Yeah I know, I wrote it last night, if I’d known you were going to I would have let you have it…

  8. avatar Odinius says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    This is one national stereotype that’s, well, kinda true.

    Swedes definitely are not smiley. Nice, but not smiley.

  9. avatar joao says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    the International Mystery Shopping Alliance (IMSA)

    Hmmm, must be helmed by the International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers himself. Yeah, baby! :-) :-) :-)

  10. avatar Astrajingga says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Comments with :) are 98% Indonesian.

    Those without are, um… Pakistani.

  11. avatar Andy says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 3:49 am

    This might come as a shock bigger than an Indonesian earthquake but I happen to agree with my old mate Cuk. Amrozi’s smile when telling of the horror of the Bali bombing says it all that smiles are not always genuine. I don’t recall though him smiling before his execution. If he did he is truly insane but I think they said he was quaking with fear. So you gotta wonder how true their God is don’t you.
    On the shopfront thing though, Carla also made a good point. Expats would rather have prompt, attentive service than smiles any day of the week. We don’t necessarily want to be friends with the staff (unless we are frequent customers) but want what we are paying for. This is where Indonesia let’s down their customers. After the smile often comes a ‘sorry mister’ when we ask for something that should be in stock or even when we hand over our money and wait for change.

  12. avatar Andy says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Are the Pakis whose mouths are covered by a burqua counted in this survey?

  13. avatar Carla says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Are the Pakis whose mouths are covered by a burqua counted in this survey?

    Makes it logical why they are in the bottom of the smiley list, doesn’t it?

  14. avatar ronald says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    looking at the two girls smiling makes me smile and feel happy.
    looking at the general smiling makes me wonder of what is really in his mind, Good thoughts or crazy thoughts.
    but no matter genuine or not, indonesians do like smiling.

  15. avatar Astrajingga says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Cukurungan & ET, please upload both photo/video if you have.

    Let see which photo is right, and which photo/video is not digitally tailored.

    I think we can judge which one is representing the truth, even without any advice from Mr. Roy Suryo.

  16. avatar ET says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Cukurungan & ET, please upload both photo/video if you have.

    There weren’t any pictures published but if you don’t believe me check it out yourself with the Bali Post or Radar Bali.

  17. avatar Cukurungan says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Cukurungan & ET, please upload both photo/video if you have.

    Let see which photo is right, and which photo/video is not digitally tailored.

    Here the photo :
    http://usahaonline.net/2008/11/01/detik-detik-menjelang-eksekusi-amrozi-cs/

    I have to admit that ET claimed is truth you can see by yourself that Amrozy seemed crying loadly in this photo

  18. avatar Astrajingga says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Cuk, your video/photo, or any other source?

  19. avatar Astrajingga says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Hmm. Not really a genuine smile, also e it’s a microphone instead of a loaded gun which was pointing at him.

    I have to go with ET’s.

    See, we don’t need Mr. KRMT Roy Suryo expertise, if he has any, to do this.
    :) <– genuine smile

  20. avatar ET says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Indeed, where is the execution squad?

  21. avatar Odinius says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Perhaps the executioners will smile back at him!

  22. avatar imaz says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 4:50 am

    No wonder Amrozi was shaking with fear at his execution, he had studied the Qur’an long enough to know that he was going straight to Hell.

    As for the difference between Indonesians and Pakistanis regarding smiling… Pakistanis are not renowned for their love of foreigners or indeed those from different regions of Pakistan. Just ask a Sindhi about Punjabis or a Punjabi about Mirpuris. In fact the the levels of intermarriage have had disastrous genetic consequences among certain Pakistani ethnic groups which I’m far too polite to mention…

  23. avatar fanglong says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Smiles have so many possibly contradictory meanings…

  24. avatar ET says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Perhaps the executioners will smile back at him!

    Execution à la Indonésie. Smiles instead of bullets. It’s cheaper (murah senyum) and one doesn’t have to clean up the mess. Black magic is another possibility.

  25. avatar Odinius says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    I figure they should smile as they shoot him. I’m not generally a fan of capital punishment, but that would be poetic justice.

  26. avatar Bas says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Commercial smiles only. When they are aware they won’t get anything from you the smiles are gone and all you get is their dark “go back to your country mister and don’t touch our women” eyes. Personally I can spend days without seeing any smile here in Jogja. People just look like in Parisians in the Metro.

  27. avatar madrotter says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 12:30 am

    well here in bandung you can still go snowblind from all the glittering smiles

  28. avatar tomaculum says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I heard once a phrase:
    “The Asians smile always, even if they stab a knife in your back.”

  29. avatar Andy says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Yes i’ve seen Indos smile and some even laugh hysterically when someone has had a serious accident in front of them. Doesn’t anyone think maybe they should help out or call an ambo?

  30. avatar madrotter says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 4:39 am

    i’ve lived in bandung a long, long time and still do. i
    ‘ve seen a lot of accidents, way too many. when an accident happens people will come running from everywhere trying to help out, people come running up with glasses of water, band-aids, even really good massage if you’ve got some swelling or pain. i’ve made a pretty bad fall when i went from bandung to pangandaran on my little scooter, somewhere around banjar in the streaming rain, and like i said above, people just came running up and helping out, and nobody wanted anything for their help either… once a guy on a motorbike made a really bad fall, all entangled with a guy on a bike and i was untangling them with a whole bunch of transvestites… about 10 years ago i had to pick up somebody at the airport, with my wife and her brother driving. our tire blew while going 125 on the jalan tol, we flew off the road, rolled over 3 times, into some kind of ravine. i was unscratched my wife drenched in blood from a headwound, her brothers foot broken in 3 places. i’m clawing my way up to the toll road again, covered from head to toe in my wife’s blood. people see me and they press their gass pedal!!! a bule covered in blood!!! in the end it was a truckdriver who called in the cops and the ambulance for us….

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