Customer Service in India has Evolved

After spending a decade in customer service industry, it has been a norm for me to judge an organization basis the customer service and not the product. No matter how fabulous your product is, lack of customer service will call for doomsday for the product.

My recent experiences are not from a high end product or service, the positive experience has come from the cheapest of services of I had bought. I would still expect it to get it right at the first time but an acknowledgement and rectification of the user inconvenience is the least expectation.

My first experience was with 24*7 road assistance service provider, I was really put in trouble by the company, I had a break down and company couldn’t send a mechanic for 3 hrs. Repeated calls to helpline gave more frustration and ultimately I had ended up fixing the car on my own.  I was also denied escalation to higher authorities considering it was weekend and I was simply asked to send email escalation.

As a customer service professional, I always seek an opportunity to improve services and I always give my feedback for others to improve, not giving feedback is breakdown of the process. The very next day, I sent a long email, realistically, I didn’t expect a response but I did. I was called by customer service team manager and all I wanted was; tell me how you will improve your services and that too in written.

To my surprise, I got a detailed response, would have expected some concrete action plan as well but nonetheless, sincere acknowledgment was itself a testimony of urge to improve. Ok, I will mention this, to compensation my lost time, they extended my service by 6 months and I hadn’t asked for it. There you go, the satisfaction, customers love to be acknowledged and feel valued!

My second experience was with UPS in warranty support, I had called for service, UPS suddenly stopped working and I was assured a technician visit in 24-48 hrs and to my surprise, they called in 4 hrs. Unfortunately I wasn’t at home, the technician assured of coming after suggesting some basic checks.

The very next day, I called him as the basic checks didn’t work and to my surprise, the technician didn’t pick my call. Immediately I called the helpline and asked for supervisor, he assured of a quick reply. In next 20 min, I had the call from technician and he was at home in next 1 hr. He sincerely apologized for missing my call. The problem was fixed and gave me repeated assurance of immediate assistance if the problem persists.

In these two instances, my first experience with the customer support was not satisfactory but the organization was quick to respond and made me a satisfied customer.

From my personal experience, I see this big change in customer service across organizations in India which certainly was missing, customers are valuable, not your product.  The change might have triggered because of globalization and increased competition.

A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related – Bain & Company.  The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% – Marketing Metrics.

Looks like Indian companies are now getting it right, how we continue to evolve.

4 things organization must do for an effective customer service experience;

  1. Problems will be there, it takes courage to acknowledge the mistake and rectify immediately. Your customers want to hear a simple acknowledgement of his frustration, give him that!
  2. Beyond the apologies, solve the problem. In changed customer behavior, no one is interested in hearing sorry and apologies; all they want is a working solution.
  3. Don’t give scripts to customer service agents, help them show compassion and be natural. Scripting further elevates negative customer experience; agents should be trained to be natural and be in conversation.
  4. Listen your customer, don’t jump on to solution. Listening is the differentiator specially if you have irate customer to deal with, simply listening him at length will take care of majority of frustration.
  5. Have an escalation matrix/channel and get management involved, don’t leave customer service to be only handled by front line agents. Your customers will feel wanted!

Do you have any negative or positive experience lately, we would love to hear.

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