Thursday, July 06, 2006

Service Providers - A Pain in the Rear

All of us have sob stories about how the service providers took us for a ride. I think most people waste atleast 3 hours a week following up with service providers and call centers about the status of their requests for services of Banks, Telephone, Airlines and Travel Agents, Broadband, Magazine Subscriptions, Cellphone and other utilities. I am sure it is not a pleasant experience either. In this respect, I found the following though (and experience) of Tom Peters very "disruptive":

"Hence my "golden rule" du jour: My service provider is my customer. To get good service give good service to those who service you."

I think it is easier said than done. However imagine trying to empathise with the service provider and helping him/her. I think it is definitely better than yelling and coming back with a sour taste in the mouth. Moreover you do not give them the power to spoil your day (and life). On a personal note, I try to make it a point not to make any calls more than 30 minutes per day to any customer service department, and limit them to one a day maximum. Only in the rarest of the rare cases will I make two calls in the same day. I can atleast control this aspect of my life and not let them run it on a daily basis.

Any reader having other/similar thoughts?


Amit said...

I had a very bad time with the Tata Broadband. Basically the problem i think is with the customer care exceutives who don't give a damn for customers plight.

Anonymous said...

hi nitin,
i read article from kamla and reached to your post. i feel the same as you.
thanks for your article and comments from members. this is really very sad for a big MNC bank like Citibank to have unsatisfied customers, this is true that there are times when customers are not satisfied with the services, but as reading the article Ms. Kamla tried everything possible for her to get the issues resolved. NRIs Help desks and all other services for NRIs are expected to be world class because people travelling across the world are experieced of better services. being in a company which serves NRIs customer worldwide i feel all the satisfied customers bring good business for future and fuel the growth of a company. i personally feel the indian set ups of MNC Banks and other companies must read these articles and work best to make necessary changes.
as far as the workload is concerned its true that indian companies get the most time out of a employees day, so these tired employees may not be able to service good. for the technical problems and other issues indian banks and other service sectors are trying to provide good services and we expect to these to be world class near future.
customer care executive

Harsha Raghavan said...

Good post, Nitin. I did not realize that Tom Peters and I said the same thing regarding customer service. Check out my Name Experiment and Followup on my blog. I believe that this is a great differentiator - thats why you might hate a service/company that I love and vice-versa.

Satnam Singh said...

Hi Nitin,
I am along your lines. I value my time. I look at my hourly rate and count how much time I spent with customer services. I am straightforward and aggressive from the beginning and I tell them that they should fulfill request at once bec. they are consuming my money(depending on how much time I spent). I also try to resolve most of the issues by email which saves time.