Customer service – what ? where ? why ?

Well, after having read quite a good number of articles, books, etc on Customer Relationship Management and Customer Services during my stint at IIM Indore, I came out expecting at least the biggies in Corporate India to be following at least a few of the concepts mentioned here.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit a Reliance India Mobile Webworld to purchase one of those Rs 2,600 lifetime incoming-free connections. Suffice to say that none of the guys working in there have any inkling of the concept of Customer Service. One can peacefully walk into the showroom and spend the entire day or probably the entire week in there without being asked what you are there for. After a helluva lot of jostling and mumbling/screaming ‘Excuse me!!!’, one guy finally asks me what my problem in life is.
Upon having made the request for the connection, this guys pulls out a phone from the showcase and plomps it in front of me, asks me to fill up this mandatory form and give a photocopy of my identity. I mention that I don’t have a photograph with me, which was requested by the form, for which he tells me that it is not at all a problem if I don’t have one.

Once the form is complete, this guy just gives me the phone, without telling me anything at all either about the phone, the connection, the rate plan or anything else. After having pestered him for another 10 mins, he just tells me that incoming is free for lifetime and if I have to make any outgoing calls or SMSes I have to recharge the phone, he promptly shifts his attention to the 20 odd people who are milling around me, asking for various other things. No mention of where I have to make the payments, etc.

To top it all off, these guys don’t even have a Credit Card swipe machine. I had to run another 10 mins to find the nearest ATM to pull out cash for the phone. Upon asking him why he didn’t have a swipe machine, he informs me that he’s never ever felt the need for one!!!

Conclusion, as long as your product is cheap, the advertising for the same is good, it will sell irrespective of how good or bad your service offering is. No one seems to care that these guys are pretty much the rudest, callous chaps out in the markets. All Indian customers seem to care about is the price, not even the service bundled along with it. No wonder the low-cost products and service offerings are doing so good in India. Wonder how long we Indians are going to be such careless, take-it-as-it-comes customers.


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