Sunday, May 26, 2013

Toyota India gets it wrong on social media

Sorry for the long gap however this time the incident I am sharing happened with one of my relatives. I was so baffled when got to learn about how an esteemed car maker brand from Eastern world does not get it right on new age channels.

The case in this point does not originate at social media as my relative had some issue with a particular component of the car and wanted to get it serviced at its outlets. However, since this was not related to regular service, the enormous amount of delays and internal department assignments made it cumbersome for my relative to follow-up with no committed response even after multiple follow-ups.

As a last resort, the relative vented out the frustration on the Facebook Page of the organization - almost two paragraphs explaining the whole situation. And the response posted was a simple acknowledgement that looked automated with zero degree of empathy in it.

This event made me realize it's still a long road ahead for the brands. A basic rule in my view for adopting social media is that brands should always have people interact converse in a manner as if it is a face to face. This channel has all the resources to make and feel it like face to face. Seriously, not sure what's stopping the brands to use the various mechanisms.

In my view, as soon as this post made it to Facebook page, it should have been viewed by the service rep and based on the post intensity, should have lead it to send the customer an invite for a hangout with a SME or a call. It's not that problem could be resolved in jiffy but at least be emphatic if the brand really believes in providing a great customer experience.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A delightful experience with Indane - a leading gas utility company of India

Generally a good consumer experience is not what one relates with Indian utility companies. But, a recent experience not only negated my thoughts but also it was a first of its kind experience for me with any Indian company be it private or public.

I am a consumer of Indane Gas Services, one of the leading provider of commercial and domestic gas in India. Recently, I booked a refill request via the IVR channel. Using of IVRs is norm in current customer service landscape across sectors, however if you are one of the users, you know the pains going through the automated recorder asking for inputs to validate your identity.

But to my surprise, as soon as I called the IVR number, it recognized my consumer number as I was using my registered mobile number to make the call. The complete process was done within a span of a single minute and also getting my booking number confirmation instantly via SMS.

I believe this kind of experience that is hassle free and to the point with no unnecessary jingles/promotions is what will keep consumers becoming advocate of a company.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Online ordering experience with an e-commerce retailer in India

E-Commerce retail has created a buzz in Indian markets with many players trying to grab the wallet share. It goes without saying that all this buzz will naturally die down (already started?) and only few players who can really differentiate will exist in few years.

Being a professional in CX/CRM arena, I believe customer experience will act as a key differentiator for players in this space. And one of the recent experience with a big name has just showed the trend of downfall if that is how they want to work with their customers.

We, I and my wife, were browsing sites for a good gift for a kid. After spending good amount of time, we managed to select one pair of Spiderman walky-talky. As it goes, we specifically chose it because of the character which kid loves. We were all excited to touch and feel the walky-talky. As we opened the packet, there was a walky-talky but of a different character.

It was an instant let down, an outright negative experience for us. not to say, this was the first and last time we did a transaction with them. Here, assuming their inventory is still not real-time reflected, a simple call from them could have made a difference.

It is not always that we need to blame lack of technology integration, the customer experience is much more ingrained in the organization culture.

I hope other firms do take a cue.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Multi-Channel journey experience with a telecom service provider - II

Continuing from the Part I, we avoided doing a name change and continued with updates only to contact and email. However, a time came when I moved out and subsequently asked other folks to update the email/contact.

They updated only the mail! Further, I applied for a new connection with the same provider at my new location in the city. So, in their system, my contact no. was listed under two connections and surprisingly, no intelligence has been built to consolidate connections on the basis of contact. 

Imagine my situation now, I am paying regularly for my new connection and I keep getting calls to pay my dues for the earlier connection. How good an experience is that? :-(

And even if I try to inform about my helplessness, they are constrained as the system does not allow them to do so (the enterprise seriously need to go and learn some basic of customer service). the reason. the calls I get is from departments such as revenue collection and customer retention department and no amount of CRM technology will help them until the enterprise is really determined to provide an integrated experience.

I hope by reading the blog, the solutions can be well inferred :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Multi-Channel journey experience with a telecom service provider - I

Sorry for the delay in the post but as the intent of this portal is to only document positive and negative experiences, I could not find any worth while experience that I could share with my audience. That in itself speaks about the efforts enterprises are putting in bringing great customer experience :)

Coming to the main point, this is about the India's largest private communication service provider. I have been their customer at one point or the other. In my previous residence as a bachelor, I used to share home with other folks in order to save on our rent. In fact that home was a bachelor's abode for quite some time.

Internet is almost a basic necessity for people of my generation and as expected the home already had a broadband connection being used by folks already living in there. However, I came as a replacement for the guy who had installed this connection. Hence, as a honest customer, we thought of getting the contact details updated.

To my surprise, a change in name was chargeable though contact and email could be updated free of cost. As a professional in this field, I do understand the name dependency but still considering the Indian dynamics where most of the population is in young age group, I believe some flexibility should be introduced to ensure there is better transparency both for the enterprise as well as customers.

There is more to this whole scenario which I would continue in next blog post...stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Banks..please know your customer in real sense!

Ok so I had given out a positive experience with the same bank in this post. Though the experience that I will share now also cemented my belief that providing a perfect Customer experience is still a distant dream.

The brand takes a beating for me whenever I get a call from agent claiming she is calling from the same bank and whether I would be interested in a credit-card ????

Ok to give some benefit of doubt, we can assume that the nos. probably would have been obtained from a third party and also the telemarketing is outsourced with no actual data shared by the bank.

So if that is the case, then the bank is really not doing a good job. At least, if not integrating the systems, it can ask agents’ company to have a diligent check before making repeated calls on the same number. After all, for the customer it is a touch point with bank and hence can break the positive experience.

How proactive alerts can be a good customer retention strategy - my personal experience

In my first job way back in 2006, I was issued a complimentary credit-card by the 2nd largest private bank in India as I opened a salary account with them.

I am still holding the upgraded credit-card with the same bank apart from few bad experiences with the bank’s different products and services.

The key reason is an experience that touched me during my initial days with the credit-card.
I had used the credit-card for consecutive transactions for airline tickets on the same day. Thereafter, I got a surprise call from the credit-card rep to verify whether I was the one who had done it. This kind of experience exceeded my expectations at that point of time.