Given the struggle with customer service in many parts of India, it makes you wonder how much is the result of intentional decisions and how much just happens that way. One can only imagine a fictitious boardroom meeting like this:
Ok, next on the agenda is how to have great customer service. Any ideas?
Definitely the most effective approach we can take is to pack the store full of associates who can stare at customers when they come in the store.
Brilliant! People love being stared at. What kind of training will these associates need?
Aside from staring, they should be good at memorizing and repeating product specifications that can be easily read off the product itself. Anything more than that would be overkill.
What if a customer has a specialized question they need answered?
Associates can just repeat the same specifications.
Ok, I like the simplicity of this approach. What if a VIP comes in the store?
Then we should all be there to greet him/her. He should meet the General Manager, the Assistant General Manager, the Regional Manager, the Assistant Regional Manager, the VP of Sales, the VP of Operations, and the Regional Sales Head.
Not the Finance Head?
No, he’s not very sociable, so it’s not a good idea.
Ok, now what if the customer has a problem with something?
That’s easy. We will simply wear them down until they give up. Everyone gives up eventually. We will make our systems complex enough and just inefficient enough so that they stay with us, but the entire experience will be enough to make them scream.
That sounds a little harsh. Won’t they just go to the competition?
No, I’ve arranged it with our competition so that they have the same plan we do.
Ok, great. But what if they want a refund or their money back?
(Awkward long silence, followed by hilarious laughter)
Hahaha! Good one, sir! You had me going there for a second! Yes, of course we will never give cash back for any reason ever. But seriously, in that case we will give them a voucher to force them to continue shopping only at our store and we will increase the number of people staring at them so that they feel cared for.
Fantastic. Let’s get to work.
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Photo Credit: Rob Greg on Flickr