Category Archives: Sales

અતિ ઉત્સાહી ક્રોસ-સેલીંગના કારણે આપણે કસ્ટમર કેવી રીતે ગુમાવી શકીએ?

પ્રમોદભાઇનું આખું ફેમિલી અમદાવાદના એક નામાંકિત આંખના સર્જન પાસે તેમના આંખોને લગતા પ્રોબ્લેમ્સના સોલ્યુશન માટે જતું. પંદર વર્ષોથી આ વ્યવહાર ચાલતો. ફેમિલીના દસેક મેમ્બરો ડોક્ટર પાસેથી સારવાર લેતા.
પરંતુ છેલ્લા એક વર્ષથી પ્રમોદભાઇ અને આખા ફેમિલીએ એ ડોક્ટર પાસે જવાનું બંધ કર્યું છે, અને બીજા આઇ-સર્જન શોધી લીધા છે. ડોક્ટરે એક સાથે દસ પેશન્ટ ગુમાવ્યા છે.
કારણ?
 Marketing Blog by Sanjay Shah (Author: Business Management Simplified)
ડોકટર હજી પણ એ જ છે, અને એમની સારવારમાં કોઇ કમી નથી થઇ. પરંતુ, છેલ્લા અમુક સમયથી ડોક્ટરની ક્લિનિકમાં જવાનો બધાને કંટાળો આવે છે, એક ત્રાસ અને તાણનો અનુભવ થાય છે.
વાત કંઇક એવી છે કે બે વર્ષ પહેલાં એ ડોક્ટરને કોઇ કે સલાહ આપી કે તમારી પાસે આંખના દર્દીઓ આવે છે, એમને બધાને ચશ્માની જરુર તો પડે જ. તો તમારી ક્લિનિકમાં જ એક ઓપ્ટીશીયનને બેસાડીને એ સેવા પણ ઉપલબ્ધ કરી દેવામાં શું વાંધો છે? પેશન્ટ્સને પણ સુવિધા થશે અને તમને પણ એ ઓપ્ટીશીયનના નફામાંથી કંઇક ભાગ મળશે જ. ડોક્ટરને ગળે આ વાત ઉતરી. તેમણે પોતાના એક ઓળખીતા ઓપ્ટીશીયનને ક્લિનિકમાં જગ્યા આપી. દરેક પેશન્ટ જેવો આવે એટલે ડોક્ટર એની આંખો ચેક કરે એ પહેલાં, આ ઓપ્ટીશીયન એની આંખના નંબર ચેક કરે. ડોક્ટરે ચેક કર્યા પછી પાછો એ પેશન્ટને ઓપ્ટીશીયન પાસે મોકલવામાં આવે, જેથી એના ચશ્મા અંગે એને માર્ગદર્શન આપી શકાય.
ડોક્ટરનું માનવું હતું કે આ વ્યવસ્થાથી પેશન્ટ્સને ફાયદો થશે. પરંતુ થયું બિલકુલ ઊલટું. દાયકાઓથી ડોક્ટર પાસે આવતા પેશન્ટ્સ આ ઓપ્ટીશીયનના વર્તનથી કંટાળવા માંડ્યા.
ઓપ્ટીશીયન જરા વધારે ઉત્સાહી હતો. ડોક્ટર કરતાં વધારે એનો પોતાનો રુઆબ હતો. એ પેશન્ટ્સ સાથે જરુર કરતાં વધારે વાતો કરતો. એમને યેન-કેન-પ્રકારેણ મોંઘા ભાવના કોન્ટેક્ટ લેન્સ, ગ્લાસ અને ફ્રેમ પરણાવવાની કોશિશ કરતો. એક કરતાં વધારે ચશ્મા બનાવડાવવા આગ્રહ કરતો. કોઇ પેશન્ટ ના પાડે તો એમની સાથે ઉદ્ધતાઇથી પણ વાત કરતો અને કટાક્ષ પણ કરતો. પેશન્ટ્સને આ ઓપ્ટીશીયન પાસે જવામાં ખૂબ સ્ટ્રેસ થતું.
ધીરે ધીરે ડોક્ટર સારા હોવા છતાં, આ ઓપ્ટીશીયનના કારણે પેશન્ટ્સ એમની પાસે જવાનું ટાળવા માંડ્યા. આંખના ડોકટરો પાસે આખા ફેમિલીઓ આવતા હોય, એટલે અમુક ફેમિલીઓ ડ્રોપ થતાં જ ડોક્ટરને પેશન્ટ્સની સંખ્યામાં ખાસ્સો ફરક દેખાવા મંડ્યો. અમુક પેશન્ટ્સ સાથે વાત કરતાં ડોક્ટરને ખ્યાલ આવી ગયો, કે એમની ક્યાં ભૂલ થઇ હતી. એમણે એ ઓપ્ટીશીયનને કાઢીને ફરીથી માત્ર આંખની તપાસ અને સારવાર પર જ ધ્યાન કેન્દ્રિત કર્યું. પરંતુ ગુમાવેલા પેશન્ટ્સને પાછાં મેળવતાં ખૂબ સમય લાગશે જ.
કીટલી જો ચા કરતાં વધારે ગરમ થઇ જાય, તો ઘણાંયને દઝાડે. આપણી કંપનીમાં કીટલીઓને કાબૂમાં રાખવી સલાહભર્યું છે.
– સંજય શાહ (SME બિઝનેસ કોચ. લેખક: “બિઝનેસ મેનેજમેન્ટ સિમ્પ્લીફાઇડ”)

सावधान… इन्टरनेट पर सारी ओन-लाइन शोपींग साइट्स सलामत नहीं है ।

थोडे दिन पहले मुझे एक फोन आया । उसने बताया की मैं Crazy Deals India कंपनी से बोल रहा हूं, और हमारी वेब साइट पर आप को शोपींग पर बहोत डीस्काउन्ट मिलेगा । क्या आप अभी हमारी वेब साइट देख कर चेक कर सकते है? मैने उसी वक्त साइट देखी तो हर चीज पर भारी डीस्काउन्ट के ओफर लिखे थे । मेरे लिए यह मानना मुश्किल था ।

मैने पूछा: यह सब कैसे खरीद सकते हैं?
वह बोला की मैं आप को हमारी वेब साइट के एक दूसरे पेज का एड्रेस लिखवाता हूं, आप उस पेज पर जाइए, अपनी डीटेल दिजिए और शोपींग करिए ।

मैं उस दूसरे पेज पर गया । मैने देखा की वह एक  unsecured पेज था । उस पर एक फोर्म था जिस में मेरा नाम-एड्रेस तथा मेरे क्रेडीट कार्ड की फूल डीटेल CVV नंबर के साथ पूछी गइ थी । मैं एलर्ट हो गया की यह पेज unsecured है, और मेरी सारी डीटेल misuse हो सकती है । मैने उस सेे कंपनी का नाम-एड्रेस पूछा तो उसने फोन रख दिया । मैने उस फोन नंबर के खिलाफ DOT मैं complaint लिखवाइ है |

आज कल बच्चे भी e-commerce साइट्स पर ओन-लाइन शोपींग करते हैं । आजकल इस के बढते क्रेझ का फायदा उठाने के लिए कुछ cheater साइट्स भी ऩिकलीं हैं, जो लोगों के क्रेडीट कार्ड इत्यादि डीटेल लेकर उस का गलत इस्तेमाल करते हैं ।

यह समजना और परिवार में सब को समझाना जरुरी है की Online shopping की सारी साइट्स सेफ नहीं हैं । 
सामान्यत: secured पेमेन्ट साइट्स का एड्रेस https:// से शुरु होता है । ओन-लाइन शोपींग करते समय ध्यान रखें की अगर वेबसाइट सेफ है, ख्यातनाम हैं और भरोसेमंद हैं तो ही उन पर शोपींग करें ।

Please आप के ग्रुप में जो लोग ओन-लाइन शोपींग करते हैं, उन को यह share करें |

– संजय शाह (SME बिझनेस कोच, लेखक: “बिझनेस मेनेजमेन्ट सीम्प्लीफाइड”

How a business loses its customers?

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.

Why?

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.

Eskimo को Refrigerator बेचने की कोशिश नहीं करनी चाहिए

सेल्समेन को चुनते वक्त अगर हम ऐसे लोग ढूंढते हैं, जो किसी भी कस्टमर को कुछ भी कर के – येनकेनप्रकारेण हमारा माल चिपका देने की काबिलियत रखते हों, तो हमारी गलती होगी |

कभी कभी हम कोई चीज़ खरिदने के लिए जाते हैं, तब वह सेल्समेन हमें वह चीज़ पसंद न हो फिर भी चिपका दे, तो हमें बाद में कैसा महसूस होता है?

उस सेल्समेन ने हमें उल्लु बनाया, हमें cheat किया, उस कंपनी से अब हम shopping करना कम पसंद करेंगे, ऐसा हमें लगता है, ना? और उपर से हम दस लोगों को भी बतायेंगे की इस कंपनी या शो-रुम का माल नहीं लेना चाहिए |

कुछ साल पहले हमें जरुरत न हो तो भी Encyclopedia या आज कल किसी Multi-Level Marketing कंपनी की कुछ काम न आनेवाली घटिया, useless product चिपकानेवाले किसी दोस्त या रिश्तेदार को हम किस तरह से देखते हैं?

हमारा “बोल-बच्चन” सेल्समेन जब किसी को माल चिपकाता है, तो हम खुश होते हैं, लेकिन हमें यह याद रखना चाहिए की १०० रुपये का माल चिपकाकर उसने हमारे हज़ारों रुपयों के भविष्य के कस्टमर को भगा दिया है | ऐसा शोर्टकट आगे चलकर कंपनी को भारी पड़ता है, बहुत नुकसान कराता है |

तो क्या करना चाहिए?

सेल्समेन और हमारे मार्केटिंग के प्रयासों का Focus सही कस्टमर तक पहुंचकर उसे और उस के जरिए दूसरों को एक नहीं अनेकबार माल बेचने की कोशिशों पर होना चाहिए…|

Eskimo को जिस चीज़ की जरुरत हो वह ही उसे बेचें तो वह खुश होगा, और दूसरे Eskimos को भी बतायेगा |

The way Just Dial works, does not work…

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, mumbai@justdial.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 mumbai@justdial.com, 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 mumbai@justdial.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.

Are we shattering our customers’ dreams?

A friend was thinking of buying a new car. One day, he and his son went to see the new cars available in the showrooms. They had shortlisted three brands and  visited the three car company dealer showrooms. At each, they understood about various models available within their budget and took a test drive.

When they visited the first showroom, they rejected that brand out of their consideration list of three brands, due to one small but unsavory incident. It went like this.

They had discussed the various models, variations, prices and even took a test drive. It took them one good hour. In the end, they wanted to see a brand new car of their desired model with a specific color. The salesman willingly showed them the new car kept for display. They were very happy with everything including the price, and almost started dreaming of owning the car. While they were leaving, the son remarked “The interior of this car is very good.” To which the salesman said, “Yes, they are tailor made.” Further inquiry revealed that the car shown on display was not the standard model with accessories listed in the brochure, but with a lot of customized add-on, which costs at least one lakh rupees, not anywhere mentioned in the brochure and also not informed by the salesman throughout this one-hour interaction with them. He disclosed it only when asked. The incremental cost was prohibitive for them and they had to leave leaving their dream behind.

At other two showrooms, they were shown new cars as they were described in the brochure. That made a lot of things easier to decide. They appreciated the business practices of these other two car dealers in contrast to the earlier one.

We all may have come across incidents where we had to pay some “hidden costs” which we were never aware of or were never told of. Such things happen when we are on tours and we are more vulnerable. At such times, we don’t have much choice than to pay up.  It creates very bitter word of mouth publicity and damages the brand reputation irreparably. But when the customer has yet to make a choice, such incidents result in direct loss of sales and our credibility.

Customers are delighted when they get more than they expected. And they get equally disappointed whey we shatter their dreams. Nobody likes people who show them the dreams and then increase the cost of realizing them. Dreams are too precious to be broken by bad marketing. Specially if they belong to our customers’ eyes.

BIG reasons of Big Bazaar’s success

Sometimes accused of being a Wal-Mart wannabe, Big Bazaar is surely not a Desi copying an Angrez for sure. It has received great success on its own steam and can be called our own home grown “India’s Wal-mart”, even though the comparison is out-of-place and unnecessary. 

How could Future Group’s Big Bazaar achieve what many Angrez companies still dream to do…? There are some very good reasons and learning lessons for all those who aspire to earn from the buying potential of swelling middle class of India.

1) Big Bazaar has given freedom of choice to those who did not have it in their life
Big Bazaar’s founder Kishore Biyani has popularized the very logical categorization of India in 3 divisions. India-1 is the Upper middle class, about 14% of the population that is the actual consuming class. Serving to this India-1 is India-2, forming about 55% of the country’s population. These are drivers, peons, cleaners, maid servants etc. etc. who have very meager salaries and live a hand-to-mouth existance. The third part is the balance 31% of India-3, which is struggling for the existence.

The Kirana shops which sell goods, do not offer the choice, ambience, service and of course the discounts Big Bazaar offers to customers. You imagine going to your nearby friendly grocer to buy a toilet soap. He will ask you “Which one do you want?”. If you know, you get what you what. But, if you want to know how many new brands, types, sizes are there to choose from, grocer will not be very happy to tell you or show you all this. Such situation is even worse for those from India-2. They are not treated very well if asked such questions or trying to get more information, trying to get a ‘choice’.

Big Bazaar gave them choice. A freedom to choose. It offers a very wide range of goods required for daily needs. You can have a look, touch and feel them, compare and then decide to buy. With the plethora of FMCG items occupying the shelves of stores, such choice is really convenient and facilitating the buyers. This choice, I think, is one very important reason for Big Bazaar’s success.

2) Big Bazaar connects with the masses effectively
The communication of brand Big Bazaar is sharply focused and to-the-point. Big Bazaar talks in local language. Observe Big Bazaar’s communication.

  • “Isse Sasta Aur Accha Kahin Nahin”
  • “Saal Ka Sabse Sasta Din”
  • “Hafte ka Sabse Sasta Din”
  • Sell your Bhangar at great rates”
  • “Purana Do Naya Lo… Badal Dalo”
  • Stall ke Bhaav Balcony
  • Chane ke Bhaav Kaju
  • Paise Jodo Kaam Aayenge

All this smart communication has worked wonders. Today also, you observe any of the advertisements of Big Bazaar competitors. Their tag lines are still in English. This Angrez attitude does not connect with Indians. Big Bazaar has understood it clearly and others have not yet woken upto this simple fact, giving Big Bazaar a clear, distinctive position in customer’s mind. Big Bazaar is perceived as a store which knows India and Indians well. Its communication has been successful in achieving this objective.

3) Big Bazaar has understood its target customer very well
If you go to a super store in any mall, we may find some very smart boys and girls greeting us. This may be good for some, but people like me sometimes get frightened by these fine and smart people, because they are so much better looking than me. They speak so much better than me. They are dressed much better than me. I get put off by all this and hence avoiding such stores who have very smart people greeting me. At Big Bazaar, the staff is helpful, but not overtly smart. You don’t get frightened by their style. This is very practical. The customer coming to Big Bazaar is of the middle class If they are greeted by people smarter than them, they feel uncomfortable. So, Big Bazaar has ensured that customers are not made to feel small by overbearing staff members. This is one very smart strategy of Big Bazaar and it reflects its deep understanding of the customer psyche.

4) Big Bazaar has understood changes reshaping India very well
With increasing urbanization, more and more people are migrating to cities from villages. In villages, there are no big stores, but in nearby towns there are weekly ‘mandi’ e.g. Somwaari Bazaar, Budhwaaar Bazaar, Ravivaar Bazaar etc. In such mandi set up, one gets to look, see, touch  and feel all the ware that is for sale. This is what the village customers are habituated to do. When they come to cities, they had to buy from small kirana shops, where the goods were not displayed freely. They had to ask for what they want and get away from there. Big Bazaar recreates that mandi environment for them. It gives them the same open display of all that is available, and that too, in elegant, clean, air conditioned ambiance with helpful staff to support the customer.. And I think, this is profoundly important from a customer’s point of view. The current demographic shifts happening in India are understood very well by Big Bazaar and are implemented profitably.

The mythical 50 Crore Indian middle class is a part of many smart projections of world leader retail giants willing to enter India. But, Kishore Biyani and Big Bazaar have succeeded in getting to the true understanding of Indian middle class. This a very important learning lesson for all those who wish to succeed in retail in India.