Ideally, city public bus services can help traffic congestion in metros. AC public transport buses can also attract some private car owners to switch to them if the service is reliable, fast and comfortable. One bus can help keeping 30-40 cars off roads used in daily, regular commute.
AC bus service provided by BEST in Mumbai runs empty even during rush hours. This is one example of marketing failure. There is a huge demand for transport during rush hours in Mumbai, and still BEST does not get customers and loses money on the service.
The buses run frustratingly slow. It seems the drivers are trained and told to “take their time”. Also, the buses seem to have very slow pickup. Or, may be they are of inferior quality which can’t run or maneuver fast. So, taking such a bus means having a leisurely ride to somewhere where you are not in hurry to reach. Officegoers can’t rely on such a slow, unreliable service.
Another reason is timings. Many of the rides run during non-rush hours, attracting hardly 10% occupancy. It seems BEST has not studied customer needs before starting this service and its timings.
If municipal corporations want to provide some reliable alternative to private commuting, they must promise and provide reliability, punctuality and speed at peak hours.
If they fail to satisfy this basic customer need, customers will not patronize it. It is simple marketing lesson. Governments and its companies should look at marketing from customer’s point of rather than ruining their enterprises from bureaucratic point of view.
Till about a year back, I subscribed to Hindustan Times and its sister publication Mint. But, I discontinued them and switched to Times Of India and Economic Times.
Because HT/Mint failed to help me to continue. They were disinterested. Generally, one would expect the newspaper office to be aware well in advance when any subscription is due for renewal. HT/Mint did not care that my subscription was expiring. They let it lapse. Till about two months, nobody from their office realized that they had lost a customer. (Typically, this happens when you are losing hundreds or thousands of customers and don’t really understand whom to track.)
Times came in on time. They were prompt, true to their leadership position. Last month, they followed up and collected my second year renewal. About one month in advance…!
And, on the other hand, since about an year, the ill-informed executives of HT/Mint send me a lot of SMSs, calls and individual follow-ups to remind me for renewal, blissfully ignorant that my subscription had ended one year back…! Either HT/Mint don’t have a CRM in place or it sucks…
When you are too busy to track your sales and customers, you ignore your ready and loyal customers, you lose business. Customer apathy is a sin, which leads to a heavy punishment.
No wonder, Times leads. In every area of business of publication, be it editorial, content, innovation, pricing or sales.
Hindustan Times & Mint need to learn a few lessons from the leader whom they may hate to follow.
पर्यावरण को खराब होता बचाने के लिए Green Initiative के अनुसार हर बार Printed Statement न भेजना पडे इस लिए HDFC Bank ने हमारे बेन्क एकाउन्ट का पासबूक भेजा, ताकि जब जरुरत हो तब हम उसे Update करा सकें | इस से बैंक का स्टेशनरी और courier खर्चा कम होगा |
स्वीकार्य है |
लेकिन जब पासबूक नया छापा है, कस्टमर के नाम-अड्रेस छापे हैं, तो उस में अभी की current balance भी तो छप ही सकती थी ना? आज तक की बेलेन्स उसी कोम्प्युटर में से उसे छापना है जहां से यह पासबूक छपी है और उसका कोइ अलग खर्च भी नहीं होनेवाला है | फिर भी बैंक ने plain passbook भेज दिया है | अब पहली बार उस में entry कराने के लिए बैंक के लाखों ग्राहकोंको ब्रान्च में जाना पडेगा |
अगर HDFC Bank ने कस्टमर के Reference से सोचा होता, तो उसने पासबूक का पहला पेज current balance को छापकर ही भेजा होता | एक छोटी सी लापरवाही लाखों कस्टमर के लाखों घंटों का समय-शक्ति बरबाद कर देती है |
हमें हमेशा अपने कस्टमर की सुविधा का विचार करना चाहिए | अगर हमारा हर कर्मचारी, हमारा हर डीपार्टमेन्ट की सोच के केन्द्र में कस्टमर का खयाल करना स्थापित हो, तो ऐसी बिना सोच-समज के Decisions नहीं लिए जाएंगे |
अगर हम वैसा नहीं कर पाये तो कस्टमर की नाराज़गी स्वाभाविक है |
Here are some consumer insights which may help you to lend meaning to your tagline : “We understand your world”.
1) In our world, when we call up the branch (at given number in the passbook), we expect some human being to speak to us. Not a AVRS taking us through a range of meaningless options and then leading nowhere.
2) If you decide to send us the passbook and print it, we expected it to print the initial pages with the current balance also. Why do you expect us to go to the bank for getting it updated for the first time, when the data is already there in your system when you printed our passbook? Think logically, marketing guys…!
3) In our real world, we don’t carry HUF debit card (because we said we did not want it, in the first place), even if it comes FREE. You send us a FREE debit card and then you force us to enter Debit card and its PIN number in various transactions which could have been designed some other way.
4) In real world, we don’t carry following things, all together :
- Bank Account Number
- Your Customer ID (TWO in case of HUF)
- Your NetBanking Password
- Your TPIN (Phone Banking PIN)
- Your Debit Card Number
- Your Debit Card ATM PIN number
No we dont’t.
5) In our real world, when we go to our bank to deposit cash, the Receiving Cashier does not treat us as if we are the reason for her Bad Hair Day, and angrily ask us to provide “Source” for a deposit of few thousand rupees. It could be a formality, but your Cashiers could behave a little more friendly, if you really Understood Our World.
6) In our real world in our Credit Card statements, the name that we should write on cheques for Credit Card payment should be written in normal sized letters. Currently, you can’t read it with Magnifying glass also.
7) The space for writing name in your Deposit Slips is illogically less. In our real world, this space should be bigger.
8) When we are sold the Credit Card, the bank RM and some other sales people follow up a lot, but after that, for making payment for the same Credit Card, the branch does not have much support other than a drop box to drop cheques. Any grievance, concern regarding the Credit Card has to be handled by the customer himself/herself. In real world, the customer is same when you sold him the card and after that. You may turn your back towards him, but he does not forget that.
किसी पान वाले की दुकान पर आप गये होंगे तो आप ने कुछ ऐसा अनुभव किया होगा |
१) उस के पास आनेवाले कस्टमरों को वह क्रम अनुसार ही attend करता है | पान या मावा बनाते वक्त कोइ सिगरेट-गुटखा वगैरह खरिदने को आता है तो उस को wait करना पडता है | अन्य जगहों पर उतावल से, जल्दी सर्विस की डीमान्ड करने वाला कस्टमर भी यहां मजबूरी से wait करता है | पानवाला अपने कस्टमर की सायकोलोजी अच्छी तरह से समझता है | जो अपनी तंबाकु-गुटखा-सिगरेट वगैरह की आदत से मजबूर होते हैं ऐसे weak-कमजोर लोग ही वहां आते हैं| ऐसे मजबूर लोगों के पास और कोइ विकल्प ही नहीं है, इस लिए वह वहां इन्तज़ार करेंगे, कहीं नहीं जायेंगे |
पान वाले के पास से कस्टमर सर्विस का पहला पाठ : अपने कस्टमर की सायकोलोजी को समझो | उस अभ्यास के अनुसार उस के साथ बर्ताव करो |
२) हर ग्राहक का एक “खानदानी” पानवाला होता है| उस को कैसा पान-मावा चाहिए यह पानवाला खास से याद रखता है| और कस्टमर को इस बात का अपूर्व गर्व होता है| इसी वजह से कस्टमर पानवाले को छोडता नहीं है|
पान वाले के पास से कस्टमर सर्विस का दूसरा पाठ : अपने कस्टमर की पसंद-नापसंद पर ध्यान दें | ग्राहक को आप का व्यक्तिगत ध्यान प्राप्त होगा तो वह आप का साथ कभी भी नहीं छोडेगा…
३) पानवाले के पास से कस्टमर को हमेशा वही क्वोलिटी मिलती है, हर एक चीज़ की सही मात्रा, प्रमाण सब कुछ वैसा ही हमेशा मिलता है, इसी लिए कस्टमर उस पानवाले को छोडता नहीं है|
पान वाले के पास से कस्टमर सर्विस का तीसरा पाठ : Be consistent. कस्टमर को हमेशा वही क्वोलिटी मिले वह खास ध्यान दें|
मेनेजमेन्ट-सिस्टम्स-प्रोसेस यह सारी बातें सही हैं लेकिन उनका Overdose या गलत अमलीकरण कभी कभी कंपनी के नुकसान का या उस के पतन का कारण बन सकते हैं| Over management का एक जीवंत उदाहरण प्रस्तुत है|
मुंबइ के झवेरी बजारमें एक पुराने समय से विख्यात एक मीठाई की दुकान है| उनकी मुंबइ के अलावा अहमदाबाद में भी शाखा है|
दुकान काफी पुरानी है और उनका बडा अच्छा नाम है|
पुराने समय की सफलता के आधार पर ग्राहकों की बडी संख्या को attend करने के लिए कंपनी के मेनेजमेन्ट ने कुछ कार्य विभाजन की सिस्टम लगाई हुई है|
वहां एक कर्मचारी ओर्डर लेता है, दूसरा बील बनाता है, तीसरा बोक्स निकालता है, चौथा मीठाइ निकाल के उसका वजन करता है, पांचवां बोक्स को पैक करता है, छठा उस बोक्स को प्लास्टिक बैग में डाल कर काउन्टर पर छोड देता है, सातवां पैसा लेता है और तीन-चार लोग यह सारा नजारा देखते रहते है|
किसी भी घडी आप इस दुकान में जाओगे तो ग्राहकों से तीन गुना स्टाफ पाओगे|
इतना सारा स्टाफ होने के बाद भी बील बनाने वाले के पास से बील केश-काउन्टर तक कस्टमर को ही ले कर जाना पडता है| और फिर पैसा देने के बाद वापस काउन्टर तक जा कर कस्टमर को ही अपना खरीदा सामान उठाने जाना पडता है|
उस में भी अगर दो या तीन कस्टमर एक साथ आ गये तो उधर धमाल-full chaos हो जाती है|
इतना overstaffing और over management होते हुए भी कस्टमर को अच्छी सर्विस या अच्छा अनुभव कराने में यह दुकान सरियाम निष्फल जा रही है|
Management अगर ज्यादा और बिना सोचे समझे होता है तो उस के विपरीत परिणाम भी आ सकते है|
मीठाई की famous दुकान भी कस्टमर को कडवा अनुभव करा सकती है|
This is how Just Dial works. And it does not work for its paid customers. It may be working for free listers. But moolah will keep coming only if it mends its way of working.
1) I posted a complaint on 14th June 2013 on its FB Page. Somebody responded in about half an hour saying “Please share your contact number with us. Our team will get in touch with you shortly to address the issue.” Today it has been more than 2 MONTHS, somebody is still working on it?
2) For free listings, JustDial may be a good option, (even though a lot of entries are junk and with wrong numbers), but for paid listings, I am finding that JustDial is a waste of money and peace of mind.
We have registered for a paid National Listing for some Business Categories. But, this is how they are treating our paid listing :
a) On justdial.com, in many cities/towns our listing comes AFTER all the free listings in that city/town. But while in response to a phone query, our name is given along with other paid listers. There is a clear discrepancy in their logic for phone query and web query, but nobody at JustDial is ready to listen. There appears a stubborn rigidity on the part of the decision makers at JustDial who are not able to see the obvious anomaly in their own product. Any sensible businessperson will agree that this is a wrong logic, but the honchos at JustDial prefer to differ.
b) In some cities our name is not shown (we have paid for National listing, which means all cities are included.)
c) At the time of booking, the sales person took an advance payment of 3-months of Down Payment and a mandate for ECS. He said, the ECS will start after 2 months and the third month amount will be adjusted against last month charges, when you terminate the contract. Contrary to his promise, ECS started in the very next month and that, too, in one month, JustDial deducted TWO installments. On seeking clarification of such random actions, I was communicated by JustDial that only ONE month payment is adjusted against your Down Payment and now, 2 months will be adjusted against your last 2 months. In short, within about 50 days, they collected 5 months of advance payment.
d) All the promises made verbally by the sales representative are not reflected in the contract. Even the contract is silent on Termination terms. On asked a query about the same, email@example.com is yet to revert.
3) JustDial does not have any transparent customer accounting practice by which the customer knows when his contract starts, when it ends, when DP is adjusted and when ECS will start or stop. At least in my case, they have failed to come up with ledger or any such document with complete details, adding doubts about their system. They send various intimations in short SMSs or Emails and try to get away with the mandatory process requirements. But these “bits and pieces” practices are surely unfriendly to the customer because they leave him completely in the dark about the exact status of this contract with JustDial. Moreover, in the absence of any sensible person on the other hand, dealing with amateur customer care people really wastes a lot of talk time and and energy. If we ask anything about the accounting to these customer care people, they direct us to write to firstname.lastname@example.org, the readers of which take weeks to respond with stock answers and then conclude that “the complaint is resolved….”.
4) A lot of promises that the sales people make are all verbal. I am still in dark about how many cities I am registered. Even though I was promised that my registration is valid for all Indian cities/towns listed in JustDial database, what I am discovering is that my name does not reflect in some of the cities, where in other cities for the same business keywords it does.
5) We have met 3 sales representatives from JustDial and each of them has quoted different rates for similar new listings. One of them remarked “June ke IPO ke baad hamare upar target ka bahot bada pressure hai. Hum sab ko target diya gaya hai…Kaise bhi sell karo… ”
6) When somebody inquires about our service, and after they give our info to the caller, JustDial sends us the caller’s info. Sometimes the same info is repeated 4 to 5 times, with the same caller details. They have not been able to develop a simple software to ensure non-duplicate leads going to a customer in a span of 4-5 minutes. In the business of information selling, they must have enough talent to catch such simple gaffes, but they come out with silly explanation “The customer has inquired 5 times, and hence 5 SMSs and Emails are sent to you…” I think Customer Care people as JustDial think that all their paid customers are dumbos and they will buy into any story they choose to tell them.
7) The Customer Support at JustDial is very bad. They take a lot of time to understand the problem. For all of the above concerns, we have contacted them umpteen number of times, but some ill-informed juniors on the Customer Care line respond with recorded feedback, which does not make any sense. Writing emails to email@example.com also results in some feedback only after 2-3 weeks with some illogical and unsatisfactory replies and a prompt SMS saying “Your complaint has been resolved.” Writing some stock lines in reply has become a way of ‘resolving’ customer complaints at JustDial.
Honestly, it has been a huge disappointment and harassment after registering with JustDial. Nobody seems to care there.
It may be a good free telephone directory, for finding some restaurant or courier numbers, but if you hope for some serious business leads, JustDial just does not measure up… They have a very long way to go. The first step may be to listen to the customers who pay them. Second may be in investing some really sensible marketing team, who can understand the mindless anomalies in their own products. Till then, it is not just JustDial.
I am a well-wisher of JustDial. I have put faith in its services, but the sloppy execution model of JustDial is utterly disappointing. Before it erodes the value created by the brand, I hope the top minds at JustDial will pay heed before it is too late.
The people in our company who interact with the customers can make or break a lot of things concerning our brand and organizational image. Whatever could be our strategy, planning and projections, if the people at the front desk mismanage customer experience, it all crumbles.
So, the way your receptionist treats your visitors, the tone with which the telephone operator greets a caller on phone, the manner in which your watchman behaves when a visitor comes in, the treatment that your counter sales person gives to a customer, the manner in which the waiter handles a guest at a restaurant – these are all the critical points where a lot of problems, disappointments, grievances and heart-burns to the customers occur. Most of the customers’ problems arise when they are treated badly by the front desk or the customer service people or call centre. If this starting point of trouble is taken care of, a lot of back-end work can be avoided.
This is more crucial for a service organization. I had a recent experience where a timely, sensible action could have saved a lot of headache and hardwork from back-end team at Airtel.
As is the case with many irresponsible and tired front-end people sitting on the customer-facing desks of many powerful service brands, the employees at Airtel Relationship Centre (ARC) at Malad-West once more mishandled one name-transfer request from us. Their carelessness cost us 10 days of a disconnected phone, which could have been done in 48-hours, as promised by them.
Finally, Mahesh Narkar, a senior at Andheri office of Airtel handling transfers and customer verifications, took charge of the case and moved the things swiftly. If Airtel is a good brand, (which, as a customer I firmly believe it is), it is because of the people with strong initiative and customer focus like Mahesh Narkar.
But, Airtel can be much better, if the callousness at ARCs is reined in. A lot of unnecessary work for people like Mahesh will be saved only if the front-desk people take care of handling customers well. A stitch in time can save a lot many in future…!
Milind runs a DTP set-up in Mumbai. He takes typesetting jobs. Regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati are his specialty. He uses an Indian language software on top of DTP software. He had bought that software about two years ago which came along with a dongle (security lock).
Recently, he had to format his computer hard disk and hence needed to re-install the Indian language software. He found that the installation CD of the software was not working. May be due to prolonged non-use it had been damaged. He immediately contacted the dealer of the software from who he had bought it and requested for another copy of the CD. The dealer’s response shocked Milind. This is what he was told :
Dealer : Damage of CD is your fault. You must have kept CD properly. Why you did not take care of it? Now you will have to pay money for that. People are careless and then they come to us. You should contact Company for the new CD.
Milind : My work has stalled and I am losing at least two thousand rupees a day due to that software not installed. Please give me company phone number.
Dealer : That is your problem. I am not here to give everybody phone numbers. It is printed on the CD. I know at least you can find those numbers on the CD label.
Milind was shocked by such callous attitude. Helplessly, he contacted the Pune head office of the software company. There was another shock waiting for him. The person at the company told him “Why did you call up the head office? We have a dealer in Mumbai and so we don’t attend customers directly when a dealer is assigned a territory. You will have to speak to him.”
After explaining to him the story, the person relented, listened to him and told again “Ok. You call up the dealer and tell him to speak to me.” It was only after about ten days, that Milind could get the CDs after paying an unreasonable amount for something which should come to him at a very nominal cost.
He decided to switch to another Indian language software as soon as possible and he did it within a few weeks. Sometimes, no complicated reasons are responsible for business failures. They are all simple, silly things which lead to mammoth failures. The apathy of the dealer and other customer-facing individuals in a company’s channel can destroy a customer’s trust and drive them away from us. When a B2B customer’s work gets affected due to the supplier /vendor’s delayed response, he will promptly find another vendor and product.