Friday, September 07, 2007

Typical customer service experience in India

To some this may be hilarious but ask anyone going through this...everytime it is hell. Hopefully Indians travelling overseas upon return will force vendors to provide a better level of service. Editor

Here is a real life conversation with a vendor in India that I just had this morning. As you will realize, service standards are appalling and accountability is a missing. Can you guess when the laptop eventually got delivered?

Time of conversation: 12.30 PM

Customer: I believe that laptop still hasn’t got delivered...

Vendor: sir there was a little delay as my person was going to another customer, he is nearby and any moment he will deliver it

Vendor: sorry sir, it was a delay by our driver

Customer: I told you from the beginning that we need it on Friday said sure sir, no problem

Customer: even this morning you confirmed

Customer: how can I depend on your other commitments if you can’t keep simple ones like this?

Vendor: yes sir he left in the morning itself

Customer: but I didn’t get the laptop right?

Vendor: but slight delay due to the traffic

Customer: his leaving doesn’t help me

Vendor: sorry for that sir

Eventual delivery of laptop: 4 PM !!


Key lesson from this scenario for every aspiring global citizen - Customer service means keeping smallest of commitments. Simple rules:

1. When you cannot deliver on commitments, you must anticipate it and let hem know well in advance. NEVER wait until the customer calls.

2.In case the customer calls you before you did, NEVER give silly excuses like the ones above. The customer can see through your excuses and that makes the customer even more angry because he/she thinks you are insulting his intelligence.

3. 1st Principles: NEVER commit what you are not sure of! Really simple isn't it or is it?

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