Be there


Prakash calls the Administrative Office of the IT Park in Trivandrum, which projects itself as not just the most professional work environment, but also as the most hip and fun place to work in Kerala.

A bored voice answered and asked why he was calling – the voice matched the chill and dampness of a monsoon drenched morning in Kerala. Prakash put all the energy into this effort because a breakthrough here would mean big revenue for his organisation and a fat commission for himself. He is eager to make an impact and be able to pitch for business from the Companies in the Park; he also hoped to get a group of companies to attend a presentation on his products. But soon he felt his enthusiasm ebbing, thanks to the lukewarm response from the other side.

Throughout the call the Officer who spoke with Prakash gave just one impression – she didn’t wish to speak for long and wanted to get rid of him at the earliest!

Prakash said: I wish to promote some learning solutions that would help the IT Companies in their Talent Development initiatives.

Officer: I don’t deal with the subject – you have to call Mr.X.

Prakash: Can you help organise a presentation on our solutions to a group of HR / Training Managers?

Officer: You have to speak about that to Mr.Y.

Prakash: Can you forward my call to Mr.X or Mr.Y?

Officer: Both are in a meeting right now. You have to call later.

She cut the call.


The library I visit (Yes, the one that had not informed me about it’s off-day)has this young Executive who did something today that helped to wipe out the disappointment I had experienced after their “no-show” last week!

I was limping as I walked into the library because the sciatic nerve had been acting up. Seeing my discomfiture he makes me sit down saying: “it seems you are undergoing some pain. Let me help you with the book choice, any specific title on your mind? A friend had posted this review on Facebook about “Game of Thrones” with a must-read advice.

The author’s name was not provided in the review and I just had the title – he tapped into the database, found the author name and fetched a few other books of his, but not the one I wanted.

He said: “Don’t worry, Sir! Maybe you have to wait a few days but I can get you a copy from one of our other branches. I have made a request on your behalf and maybe it be available the next time you are here; but in the meantime why don’t you try this new arrival?”

He offered me the latest work of another author I read – he had obviously checked the previously borrowed list in my account.

And while I glanced at the cover of the book offered he did something quite amazing – he pulled out a sample satchet of a pain-relief balm from the table drawer. It had obviously come as a promotion with one of the local magazines and was lying unused – he felt it could be of use to me. The balm provided relief from the pain and I had forgotten their past lapse.

The Officer in the Technopark did not reflect the ethos that is spoken about at length on the website and promotional material of this up-market workplace – she ignored the caller’s need outright. Even if the questions asked by Prakash were not subjects handled by her at the very least the information could have been passed on to the right official or some sort of arrangement could have been made to connect the caller with them.

The young Executive sensed his customer’s discomfort and used it as an opportunity to go the extra mile. It created a huge positive impact and the customer went away happy in spite of the pain.

Being there for the customer is the least any customer facing employee can do to retain them; by behaving in that manner they enhance the service experience and help to improve the image and credibility of their organisation.

Being there is about being human!

  1. Jamy
    July 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    All it takes Jay is to be professional, give the caller / customer your full, undivided attention and give assurance of a proper follow up or follow through….. simple things to do right? But many organisations hire and tolerate people who just work for their weekly or monthly pay and do not care for anything else. Like the old saying… just takes one rotten apple…..

    • JayadevM
      July 5, 2012 at 12:11 am

      Hi Jamy

      That’s it .. are you working just for the pay or because you enjoy doing it.


  2. jaishvats
    July 5, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Hi jayadev

    Did you inform the chap at the library that you have written this about him ? It would have been a great motivation for him . Regarding case 1 , the lady may have had a very bad day or a high pressure situation at work . The same person may respond differently when contacted again . I do agree that people with roles like handling external calls cannot be curt or impolite and should not let external factors affect their composure . End of it we are all humans aren’t we ?

    • JayadevM
      July 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Hi Jayasree

      Excellent thinking! I agree with what you have written – can be a case of bad day in office; but its terrible to be at the receiving end.

      I will tell the young guy at the library when I visit next time.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.


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