I wrote a couple of customer care related posts in my blog earlier. Its not unknown that customer care does not exist in India. Its mostly ‘customer cares but the company doesn’t’ . Links to my previous posts :-
I react when ever there my rights as a customer is questioned. I have written atleast 40 complaints in writing/emails/forums to the company management giving my feedback. Very few write back, some call and that’s the end of it.
When I was twelve years old I visited a Footwear shop (Goodwill, Kottayam) along with my elder brother. After looking through and trying out some of the shoes there, I was not happy with any of them, so we decided to walk out.
While we walked out, the person at the bill counter(whom I assume is the owner/manager) commented “Then why did you come here?”
I was angry and was about to respond when my brother stopped me. We walked out and never entered that store again. For the next 10 years we would have bought atleast 10-20 footwear from Kottayam, but never from that store ! Surprisingly with that attitude the store still survived. I make it a point not to go to the same store again. May be losing one customer is not going to affect his business.
Last week my wife and I visited Westside Forum, Bangalore I picked up a Nike Floaters. A week later the sole started ripping off ! I was surprised ! That was my third Nike Floaters and I used the previous one for three years without any trouble !
I visited the store again and they offered to replace it with any other product available in the store. I picked up a Woodland, payed the difference in price. After reaching home on examining it more carefully (my mistake should have looked at it more carefully before buying it), I observed that it was a defective piece.
Disappointed, I visited their store again and replaced it. I wrote a feedback and handed it over to the store manager. I also wrote an email to their head office detailing the issue. I asked them about Tata’s credibility and how defective (factory seconds) merchandise is kept for sale at their outlets. They responded in two hours apologizing and they would work on corrective action ! — First surprise !
By 6PM yesterday I got a call from their Bangalore office. Later at 8PM an employee from Westside was at my door with gifts and apologies ! The gesture says it all !
I am surprised that this level of customer care actually exists in India. Now would I visit Westside again? Yes. Would I share this story with everyone around? Yes ! Would I publish it on the web? Yes I did !
Customer is okay with mistakes. He only wants it to be acknowledged and assured that corrective actions would be taken. He is angry when he is ignored. Mahatma Gandhi once said
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”