Earlier this morning, I was reading this article by Govind, most likely inspired by an experience that he had recently, and decided to punch in a post, mostly as a ‘notes to myself’ reminder, about very logical behaviour by consumers (including myself), the understanding of which marketers (including myself again) perhaps find so elusive that we spend a considerable amount of time, effort, money on paid research, rather than just closely observe ourselves and our surroundings:
Customer expectations are Dynamic
- One of the young executives in my previous office was disappointed that his client score on the service quality index was stagnant for the last 2 quarters, where the team had consistently delivered better results. Smiling, my CEO explained to him that having delivered excellent service in the past, the team will now need to surpass that as the client expectations too had kept pace – the existing high service having become just STANDARD
- Sometimes, the score can actually go retrograde for seemingly vague reasons – I found the customer relations team of my credit card company to be consistently exceeding my expectations, this continued for about a year or so. One day, delighted, I decided to speak with the floor manager and asked him who I could write to/ speak with, to communicate my feedback and congratulate? Obviously happy (how many happy customers actually call?), he asked me to be on the phone for a minute and managed to get the head of customer service to speak with me. The gentleman too was very pleased to learn that his team had done well and gave me his email id, upon asking. I told him that I would write the team a letter of praise – I did. I never got a reply or an acknowledgment from him. From a score of 10:10, I brought them down to 9:10.
Right now of course, they have earned my huge displeasure, for some other reasons. As you gain height, the climb become Steeper
- In one of my previous assignments we found that real journey had just begun, as we touched guest satisfaction of 90% – moving from 80% to 85% was a breeze; the jump from 85%- 90% took twice as long. To wow a customer is not that easy…
Unhappy customers need to be recovered Quickly. Will Govind fly the same airline again, by choice? That would also depend on what Jet did to control damage
- At my aforementioned place of work, in hospitality, based on a daily audit of customer feedback forms, the head of quality would personally call up all cases of critically dissatisfied guests, the very next morning and offer apologies and corrective measures taken by the organisation. Remaining complaints would be mailed a letter, within 24 hours of feedback received, informing guests corrective measures taken
- I rarely mention brands by name, but I think I need to mention my experience with Airtel and how I think they managed to retain me as a customer – this was a few years ago- I was ‘furious’ with the atrocious quality of connectivity, and handling customer care executives that Airtel offered. The list of complaints just kept piling. One day, simply livid, I somehow managed to get the head of customer care on the phone – we spoke for about an hour. Not just did she listen to me patiently, she made notes, thanked me for the feedback, gave me her personal hand-phone number, in case required for any future assistance and THEN, in about two weeks time, went on to actually execute many of the suggestions I had offered (a significant one, to protect user interest, was my request to display 98 100 98100 (instead of private/ blank/ etc) when a call actually emerged from their network (I had just had an experience, at that time, of someone trying to derive personal information, using a number that proved to be unreachable upon trying to call back). I called the lady on the handphone number she had given me, expressed my thanks, but she thanked me again in turn. I continue to be with Airtel – the general service of course is much better and so is the quality of customer care executives (though I wish they would quit reading the entire 1 minute goodbye spiel: “Thanks for calling customer care. Is there anything else I call help you with? I hope you have a pleasant evening!” even as I am saying…I have gotta ruuunnnn.
Originally posted on my blogVerbum.
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