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Let’s stop being a jerk

Today, I was flying from Bangalore to Mumbai in a 6Am flight operated by Indigo. There was a delay of 5 mins to start the boarding due to multiple reasons:

  • There were not enough coaches to ferry the passengers to the aircrafts. The airline was boarding 3 flights simultaneously and looks like the capacity was only to board 2 flights.
  • The security guard was late in arriving at the boarding gate.

Though this was something that the airline needed to get right everytime to ensure customer satisfaction, I think a delay of 5 minutes was something we could make up.

I was the first person in the que at the boarding gate and the person behind me was a part of the industry as he know a lot about the time it takes to board a flight, how the airline industry works. He was getting very impatient with the delay and started fussing about the delay. He started to continuously question the attendant about the delay. After a couple of minutes, he started questioning the competence of the attendants.

I shall appreciate the fact that the attendant for she was patient for all the time and did respond back to him respectfully.

Once we were through the boarding gate, we had to wait for a few minutes for the coaches to come to ferry us to the aircraft. The passenger i was referring to, again started fussing about the delay and started to question the competence of the airline staff and even got a bit personal.

Now, the flight took off about 10 mins late and arrived about 5 mins late at the destination.

Though it is important for all organizations to shore up their customer service, processes to ensure customer satisfaction, i think it is also our responsibility as a consumer to stop being a jerk and harassing the employees trying to help us.

As they say,

  • if you have a negative feedback to share, do so individually. Write to the organization or tweet about this, but with dignity and not get personal.
  • if you have a positive feedback, do share it openly with everyone. This will only increasingly reinforce this behavior and you will continue to get great service.

Have you seen similar behavior and what do you think about such behavior?

 

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How personal is your personalized customer service?

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

 

This is a hilarious video about visa’s personalized customer service.

My experience with the banks with whom I have a card account is eerily similar to the customer’s experience in the video.

1. I am always forced to listen to my balances whether or not I want to know about them.
2. I am always informed that the call maybe recorded for quality purposes. I dont know if it was or if it was not.
3. Even after having entered all the validation, I am again required to validate myself.
4. I am asked to be put on hold almost everytime I call, irrespective of the query.
5. There are times when all I want to do is to talk to a representative and be done with. Instead, I am forced to wait and wade through a lot of options (at times with no clear instructions on how to reach an operator).
6. When I do opt to talk to an operator, the wait time is so loong.

A simple solution to this problem could be to provide the following options:

1. Know your balances
2. Know your transactions
3. Talk to a customer service representative

There is a choice that the banks need to make regarding what is more important to them:

1. Is it satisfied & happy customers or
2. Decrease in the cost of managing the customer engagements.

There could be another alternative for the banks which could be a win-win arrangement for both the bank and their customers.

“Customers can talk to their service representatives once a week for free. In case, they do more than that, the bank can charge a small fee to provide the service”

Before making claims of personalized customer service, organizations should first ensure that their service truly is personalized.

If not, it is better not to claim this as customers do understand the meaning of personalized customer service and can’t be fooled.

Hope the banks and other financial institutions are paying heed to this advice and change the way they connect to their customers.

Have you had any such experience and what would you want to tell these banks about their services?

 

Relevance of our products/services to customers

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

I received a comment on my previous blog on sales process that if there is no demand for a product/service, improving the sales process might not have any benefit. 


True. But how do you know if the decline in sales is due to lowering demand for your product/service or is it due to some other reason. 


My belief is that as long as your product/service is able to solve a key challenge for your customer, the demand for your product/service should not decline. If it still declines, the culprit lies in the process. 


A follow-up question is, how, when and how often do we check if our product/service is still relevant for our customers. Do we have a process in place for this ?