Archives For bad customer service

Bad-Customer-Service-ToonA barber wants to get things done quickly without focusing on the quality of his work. You see he is getting his joint renovated and he cannot afford to close it down for a couple of weeks. That could affect his business. So what does he do? Keep one side of his shop open and make sure every customer is attended to but does not care about what kind of work is getting done. So customers walk out with a bad hair day after spending time in a place where they are supposed to give you good ones.

A tailor is the busiest during festivals or events, so to keep up with the demand, she rushes through the process which ends up with mis-fitting clothes and a lot of frustration. Her staff is under so much pressure they do a shoddy job at every step from taking measurements to the final sew.

A telemarketer does not bother if she has called the same customer three times already on the same day. She is just trying to finish her daily quota of calls.

A restaurant waiter does not bother to keep the hygiene because he has been working from seven in the morning and it is going to be nine at night. He is tired and wants to go home.

A newspaper company introduces a scheme to deliver papers for a whole year and collects money for it too. But they do not bother to live through their promise. Of course, they would just blame the people who are in the business of delivering the papers.

Obviously, all these people and so many others like them don’t bother to change. They don’t care about building relationships. They don’t bother if the customer is happy. They don’t mind if a couple of customers are not satisfied with their work.

They really don’t care about the customer.

We should stop caring for these people too. Stop acknowledging their presence. Stop shopping with them. Stop using their services. Switch brands. Switch loyalties. You are not bound to them. They depend on you. Spread the word on how they ignored you, how they overcharged you, how they didn’t respect you for who you are. Stop them before they become a bigger menace.

Stop-Bad-Customer-Service-Campaign-Poster

There are two supermarkets serving the community where my parents live. Let’s call them Supermarket A and Supermarket B. Both supermarkets are national brands. In fact, Supermarket B has a legacy that is older than Supermarket A. Supermarket A is where I frequent, because my parents introduced me to them first.

Last weekend, I decided to visit Supermarket B, because I heard that their bakery section is supposed to be good. The first thing I noticed when I entered the place is the lack of people. There were two customers. And both of them were in the checkout lanes. I went about getting what I needed and I noticed – they either did not have what I wanted or the existing stock was running out of shelf life. They did not get enough customers to recycle their stock. The bakery section was literally empty.

I headed for the checkout lane with what I found, feeling bad for these guys. And then I noticed, the lady at the checkout counter did not smile, nor greet and was rude to whatever questions I asked.

When I reached home and told my mother that we visited Supermarket B, her reaction was, “Why did you go there? Nobody goes to that place!” That’s when I realized that Supermarket B had just missed the market. They did not relate to the community. They did not understand customer service. They did not understand the importance they could have played in the community – serving their needs. They lost out.

I have always been allergic to bad customer service. Add to that aisles of soon-to-be-stale grocery, how many customers would be interested in coming back? If they don’t plan to change, they might as well sell out.

What can you do to protect your business or organization?

  • Promise to give something and give it. Or don’t promise at all.
  • Good customer service is not about smiling or greeting your customer. It is more about respect and understanding their needs. Be fanatical about good customer service.
  • Keep a tab on competition. See what they are doing right and copy, then do better. See what they are doing wrong and improvise.

I had to visit Supermarket A that evening and it was crowded as usual.

That’s what I felt what Pantaloon was telling me. (For those who don’t know – “Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, is India‚Äôs leading retailer that operates multiple retail formats in both the value and lifestyle segment of the Indian consumer market – from here.”

I went there today to get some shirts. And I saw that they had an offer – depending on the number of shirts, you get a package deal. So as I was checking out one rack, I asked the salesman if those shirts were included in the offer. It wasn’t. He mentioned only the Rs. 499 shirts were part of the offer and showed me the rack where the board was kept.

So I started checking out shirts on that rack, selected one and was ready to select my next shirt. That’s when I saw the price on the shirt – Rs. 799. Out of curiosity, I asked the guy if this shirt was included. Nope. I finally figured out that there were just some two rows on sale. All the other shirts were not included.

Did Pantaloon do this after some consumer research where they figured if you keep the shirts-on-sale and shirts-not-on-sale together, people will end up buying both and more of the second? I just didn’t get it. All they had to do was say “on shirts of Rs. 499 only” on the rack-advertisement.

I tried telling the sales guy my experience had just gone awry and he was quite apologetic about it. He mentioned that he had issues with other customers too and would change the board soon. I finaly exited the store with no purchase and a very bad experience with Pantaloon.