August 15, 2014

Marketing Lessons: How to dissatisfy a customer with and without delighting him?

Hi Guys,

It is so often said in Marketing that a mere Customer Satisfaction is not enough and you need to go ahead and delight the customer for Customer is always the king. I and my friends have been facing quite a few situations with a few service providers recently. So, I decided to jot down those experiences into a blog post.

When Twitter came to the Rescue
One of my team mates had got a postpaid connection from a Telecom Service Provider (whose name rhymes with the largest network provider) in northern part of the country where they are not very strong. He got into a scheme where he prepays and enjoys quite a few benefits. The provider charged him some prepayment charges and along with that usual monthly bills as well. Dissatisfied he called the customer care and they said nothing can be done and he needs to pay the bill. He wrote mails and contacted them some 30-40 times.

The main problem with many of our customer care centers is that they  don’t have a database for the complaints and every time we need to start from scratch. He had been asking for a revised bill and they cut off the connection after some point of time. Again he called Customer care and got the same response.

Frustrated, he tweeted about the poor service. And came the response! The largest Network Provider tweeted back saying that they have better offers and asked my friend to switch to them. These guys then realized and called back and requested my friend to stay with them and the issue will be resolved. That is how the situation is hanging in now. I hope they do a proper service.

When Customer service goes beyond delighting
There are two situations. First faced by a friend and second by me.

You buy a mobile phone using your credit card around 11 pm for around Rs. 15000. And then you doze off. The bank calls you back at 11.30 pm. They say they are suspecting a fraudulent usage of the card. The credit limit of the card is far higher and the amount is not that worrying to call you in the mid of the night and disturb. This is when you get annoyed, even though the customer service is good. This is what happened to my friend.

This happened to me the next day. I was trying to book tickets to travel home through a Ticket Booking service provider that is creating huge waves in South India through huge marketing spends. I have used their service before that too and their customer care unit is just great. They quickly respond and call you and help out in booking.

When I was trying to book the first time around 11.30 pm, the payment transaction failed and I was not able to book the ticket. I tried immediately and the ticket got booked. I got a call around 1.30 am. I was wondering who is calling in the middle of the night. It happened to be their Customer Care Center. They wanted to guide me booking that failed ticket. I got so aggravated and cut the call after giving a few harsh words.

At least, in the first case it was credit card and you could say it is better to be safe than sorry. The second case is a very poor customer service model where you service the customer based on reply back time and do not consider the privacies of the customer and the gravity of the situation.

I have very often seen scenarios similar to the Network service provider, but scenarios at the other extreme are new to me. It is good that companies are focusing on customer satisfaction, but it essential for them to know the limits as well.

Happy Reading!!!

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