Friday 9 March 2007

Customer Service and Customer Care- We need our Business Houses to Ponder


Before I write on Customer Care & Services offered by the Indian Business fraternity, let me give you examples of customer service offered by few firms abroad.

I had purchased my domain name and web hosting, online, from “Godaddy.com” which is located in Scottsdale, in US. I had also purchased additional utilities which would help me in creating a decent website. As I was a beginner to web designing & hosting, there were many questions to be resolved. I must first of all admit that, the tutorial/ help posted on their website is very detailed and easy to understand. Thick head that I am, I still had a few silly questions, for which I sent them mails to resolve. You will be surprised that I got an auto-response mail, with the incident no. and a statement of assurance that they would come back to me, with the solution of the problem within 24 hours. The most surprising and satisfying experience was that they never waited for 24 hours to end. They always responded with a satisfactory solution within 1 to 12 hours.

I would like to mention another interesting incident experienced by one of my friends about four or five years back. He had an assembled PC with an Intel Motherboard and there was some problem in the system. The exact problem could not be understood by the Service Engineers and it looked as though he had to live with the hitch. One day, while surfing the net and browsing the Intel site, he posed this issue through their website. To his surprise, he received an email with a set of questionnaires, followed by another mail requesting him to carry out certain test procedures and forwarding the results back to them. Within a fortnight of posting the results, he received a mail from the company regretting that there was a design problem and asked him to return the motherboard. He was also promised a brand new replacement mother board, which he received in a month or so. He was thrilled and went on to narrate this incident and praise Intel, when ever he got the chance.

The point I am trying to make by stating the above two incidents, can be well understood if we substitute the names of US firms above with our Indian firms…I need not to elaborate more on this, as everyone knows, how our Indian reaction would have been. In fact even if a customer care guy in India calls up to take a follow up info….we are surprised.

We have experienced hours of waiting in anguish, with the telephone hand-sets stuck to our ears, bearing that recorded female voice, in anticipation for that sweet voice of the Customer Care/Service representative. E-Mails sent through customer care are never responded. Haven’t we taken off from our work and made several trips, to get a guaranteed appliance repaired. We can count a multitude of such torturing instances by the so called Customer Care & Services. Can we count a single Indian company with a genuine Customer Care & Service support?

I was reading this article on ethics of Customer Service on the net by Ms. Susan Ward on http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/customerservice/a/custservrules.htm. According to her “Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.” It is not that these issues are not understood by the business houses, they are, but the system simply does not work. It is only there on paper, the experience by the customer is agonising and frustrating.

The Indian industry has managed to make a mark in the world. This is the beginning. But will it sustain? If it has to sustain, and if it has to be a world leader, “The Customer Care & Service” issue needs to be addressed on a war footing. Charity begins from home.

Can our Indian Business improve? Can we have some solutions?

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2 Comments:

At Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 , Blogger Indiaaa said...

The Government has set up a cell http://darpg-grievance.nic.in:80/ where grievances can be addressed. I understand that this cell has been addressing grievances related to the following
1) Railways

2) Posts

3) Telecom (incl. BSNL & MTNL)

4) Urban Development (DDA, L&DO, CPWD, etc)

5) Petroleum & Natural Gas

6) Civil Aviation (IA, AI, AAI, etc)

7) Shipping, Road Transport & Highways

8) Tourism

9) Public Sector Banks

10) Public Sector Insurance Companies

11) National Saving Scheme of Ministry of Finance

12) Employees Provident Fund Organization

13) Regional Passport Authorities

14) Central Government Health Scheme

15) Central Board of Secondary Education

16) Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan

17) National Institute of Open Schooling

18) Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti

19) Central Universities

20) ESI Hospitals and Dispensaries directly controlled by ESI Corporation under Ministry of Labour

Many of us are not aware about this site. I understand that the complaints registered on this site have been addressed in earnest

 
At Tuesday, 11 November, 2008 , Anonymous Dorset said...

Good words.

 

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