A new breed of shoppers is emerging in India.
These people are the ones who are as what we would call ‘globe shoppers’. They vacation abroad, shop abroad and for those who do not travel that frequently, international brands have thrown their shops wide open via the endless WWW, the Internet.
This group of shoppers is used to the excellent customer service given to them when they go abroad. So when they go shopping back home, comparisons are inevitable. They expect the same kind of world class customer service that they experience abroad. But as we all know, customer care service here has a dismal record. India has one of the poorest ratings when it comes to customer service and excellence which could be attributed to various factors like…
1. The in-famous “Chalta Hai” attitude.
2. Sheer volume of complaints because of our population.
3. Lack of legal support for the consumers.
4. Lack of a single consumer forum which will take care of consumer complaints.
5. Media is not willing to take up causes until they have something in it for them.
But as mentioned earlier, consumer awareness is increasing by leaps and bounds and as a result, retail businesses have to step up their act. It is the fundamental right of a consumer to be treated fairly, to begin but here are a few other reasons why businesses should step up their customer service act.
1. Explosion of social media and the internet
Facebook, Twitter etc are powerful media tools in themselves. An irate customer raving and ranting about a business can have disastrously viral consequences as seen in many cases in the past. Since it is an unmanaged media, damage done to your brand here is irrecoverable. Also, unlike the TV or print medium, the evidence is always there online. It never dies.
2. Be good, attract good people
It is difficult to attract good manpower if you do not have a good reputation. And if you don’t have good manpower, it is difficult to do justice to your business. It’s a vicious circle.
3. Are you thinking of expanding?
Then better put your money where your mouth is because potential joint ventures, bankers, investors and public (in case of an IPO), are going to avoid investing in a business which is infamous for ill treating/ neglecting its customers.
Keep monitoring your employees and your business regularly via Mystery Audits, Mystery Shopping exercises etc. You will come to know what it happening beyond the confines of the board room. It will give you ample time and opportunity to clean up your act and patch up the anomalies in case you see any, in your customer service and you will not be left wondering as to where you slipped up.