Home > Ideas > Does your customer know?

Does your customer know?

Yesterday I set aside time to make the pilgrimage to the library. Was looking forward to picking up the next book  – in spite of wanting to finish Part-2 of the Nelson Mandela biography quickly work and other distractions made sure that it took longer and I was cross with myself for it. More time spent to read each book meant I got less bang for the buck! Book-1 had been finished at a frenzied pace. Both books are written like a racy novel and the language is uncomplicated – Mr.Mandela did not wish to add to his glory by giving a flowery account of his life, he just said it like it is.

The library is not located on my regular route and I have to visit that part of town for just this purpose. Yesterday I made time and went all the way there to find the gate closed – a neat sign on the gate announced “We are closed on Monday”!

I cursed loudly; fortunately no one was around to hear my Shakespearean usages.

Shouldn’t the customer know? I wasn’t informed when I joined and had assumed that their weekly-off would be on Sunday. There was no sign posted inside the library premises nor was it mentioned on the library card; the label pasted inside each book didn’t say so and it wasn’t on their cash receipt either.

I went there earlier today and spoke about this to the Service Executive. Without displaying any anger or annoyance I mentioned that they had wasted my time and that there were so many ways for them to convey this information to their customer. The young fellow said that I was not the first one to be sent back disappointed in this fashion. Damn!

The board at the gate is missed easily because it is parallel to the path when the gate is open and nobody usually notices it.

I had given them three different options to inform their customers – will they implement even one?

Most telecom operators complain about falling revenues but many still continue to disappoint customers who walk into their Service Centers with cash or cheque in hand. Either there is a power failure or the computer isn’t working. And instead of accepting the money they direct the customer to another centre that’s located far away.

Some of them still do not have tie-up with banks and credit card companies, nor do they have a user-friendly portal on the internet to receive payment. And strangely some don’t even use mobile-based payment platforms.

Even those who have convenient options aren’t promoting them actively.

Many organisations fail to inform customers about the basics and end up irritating them. Holidays, payment options, terms of service and product features are not stated with clarity.

They lose customers or irk them with such irritants but still fail to learn …. When will their portals be opened to accept, and address the genuine needs of their Customers?

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  1. Jamy
    June 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Wow Jay! This is a great topic and getting it right makes a hellava difference to Customer Satisfaction and Perception. It is so important not to keep the Customer in the dark about last-minute changes and major changes in the foreseeable future so that they can plan accordingly or communicate their difficulty with the company ahead of time so an alternative solution can be put in place to minimise or eliminate any inconvenience to the Customer. Am so with you on this one Jay!!!

    • JayadevM
      June 27, 2012 at 3:08 am

      Hi Jamy

      That’s right. Company’s often mess-up on what can easily me managed. A little bit of thinking through would make each process more customer-friendly.

      I did not include future changes because that is fodder for another article. I have to worry about the blog’s future too, don’t I? 🙂

      But you are right … it’s just as important to make the future changes easy on the customer by working with them/informing them well in advance. No surprises other than pleasant ones.

  2. June 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    It seems companies are perennially testing our patience. It is our thick skin verses theirs. Sadly, most of us lack that rhinoceros hide and give away too soon. Someday tough, they are all going to pay it through their nose, sooner rather than latter.

    • JayadevM
      June 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      I agree

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