Sunday, May 20, 2018

Chandra loves tapioca, Big basket customer service

Chandra still loves tapioca... one of the things that still connects him to his roots, Kerala.........ah!

His wife ordered from bigbasket when it was shown available, that too 'Fresho' brand. 

When delivered & checked, it was not of good quality. 

Quality tapioca is always a gamble. 

Chandra immediately called BigBasket call center, and informed, Fresho tapioca was not good, yet again. Asked call center executive to send back the delivery boy, who was at the apartment gate. 

The executive politely said the delivery boy cannot be sent back to pick up the stuff. Instead, the executive accepted the complaint, asked to dispose off stuff, refund being arranged (SMS received) and will take care in future! That was cool!

The prompt acceptance of the customer version, no lack of trust or inquiry. Just simple acceptance almost made Chandra feel guilty. The bigger challenge for Chandra was to dispose off :( 

It was almost like like customer service, Tony Hsieh fame!

Pesticide-free, organic store: Why this makes it interesting? Chandra had a different experience with another fruit-vegetable premium (not 'thela' types) store. 
Last Thursday he asked the store-head for a recommendation of best mangoes. He was pointed to cardboard boxes (thankfully no plastic) dasheri mangoes. One of the staff helped Chandra to select the best box! 
By Saturday, four mangoes had got rotten, almost indicating the use of chemicals! (And they sell non-chemical/organic stuff only, their USP! Only vegetarian). 
Chandra took the mangoes to the store on Saturday afternoon. The store head was not there, someone else was officiating! (delegation at corporate or these small stores, are never effective).  
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown...
He asked for the bill. Chandra retorted, 'you expect me to save your bills?' (like we do for GST, Income tax purposes, he wanted to add, but did not!). The expression on his face was, 'I don't trust you'!.... 
he just messed up a 6-year-old relationship. 

Customer may not be always right. But it pays to trust the client. 

Big Basket may not need SRK or Ratna Patakh, both superstars. They need policies, customer orientation, and empowered, committed employees. Bliss for customer, success for the brands. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Karma of Customer Service - Lessons from Ola Drivers

I booked last evening for an Ola-ride for this morning, for a 9 AM pick up. I was a bit tensed as I did not want to be late for the event this morning in the city.

Anand kumar

The car allotment confirmation came at 850 AM, but the vehicle was a bit away. It was 915 AM by the time he arrived. I stepped out waiting for the cab to arrive... 
And the cab arrived, clean, a very polite and courteous driver and with the air conditioner on... Often cabs arrive with their aircons not switched on, and I find many drivers prefer it that way, perhaps to save diesel. Unless it is unbearably hot and/or dusty, I am reluctant to add to my carbon footprint too... would rather suffer....

This morning was different. 

CRN1716112615 :

It was a long day... but a good day. I booked for the return 'journey' home (Bangalore to Whitefield is a journey). While it showed 7 minutes wait, after booking it became over 20 minutes. (Ola can fix this)
It was peak evening. I chose to wait patiently. He came in. Again, very courteous, polite and exceptional driving. No wonder his rating was 5/5. 

I am delighted to note two wonderful experiences today, 5/5 on both occasions. Ola should have a 5+ for such exceptional ride experience. 

How do we ensure such great service at the customer touch points, by all our customer-facing representatives, at all levels? 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Six pack abs : When a coach was ‘coached’

Short, dark and handsome… has some resemblance, somewhere, to the great Charlie Chaplin or Kamal Haasan? Was his moustache or his height or his mannerisms…? He was definitely muscular:
  • Why don’t you learn this. It is good for health”.
  • Then he pointed at my sign of prosperity and indicated ‘not acceptable’ in a subtle way!
  • Then he said, ‘You will be muscular like me’, pointing to his own six-pack ab.

He had just climbed two coconut trees, dropped few coconuts and was in the process of removing the husk.
The Master had manifested even before the student was ready! While fitness and wellness was always part of my ToDo list, not a six-pack ab.

On the budget day, India’s Finance Minister was presenting the country’s annual budget, around same time. It included a new proposal for Medicare for the poor. This man had a better solution for fitness : six-pack ab, nothing less!
For more than 30 minutes, he has been climbing coconut trees, pulling down coconuts, both tender and not-so-tender. He would climb without any support, machine or old-fashioned coir, just a big knife. He climbed like a proficient artist. He was a master at it. He showed me how rough his forehand was. He has been at it for a long time.
He would have seen my silent admiration for the way he went about his work, as I went around collecting coconuts & checking damage to the newly painted compound wall. He was unaware of the xbanker in me looking at these facts!
He was all ‘left brain’ 🧠 while dropping the coconuts from the heights, but artistic while peeling them. That is when he expressed my waist-line was not up to his expectations. He was mindful of not only the health of coconuts and coconut trees 🌴 , but also the consumers.
I asked him if he had an insurance policy l. He proudly said, ‘yes, for my daughter…’ (life insurance). I meant medical insurance, I clarified. ‘No’, he said.
When would he receive the benefit of the budget proposals, or will the BFSI once again mount a cross-sell for their own benefit, not for the most needy? He had fallen from a coconut tree sometime back and was on bed. He had to bear the expenses himself.
I walked away with more questions to ponder… climbing a coconut tree was surely not one of them, nor removing the husk, anytime soon!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Act now to stem the rise of disorder :ET Edits

Must read, act.

Our generation will be judged by the holistic leadership we demonstrate at all levels and manage the chaos. 

We owe it to the country, state, world, ourselves and our future generations. Political leadership is one part of it. We all are leaders, just as we are all followers. 
Let us not allow this to slip further. 

'Act Like a Leader, Think Like a leader'

#Legacy #Leadership 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Death of customer service in India

Death of customer service in India:

Behaviour by brain - 'In recent times, the focus on customer care as a core business strategy seems to have lost its importance'

Chandra has several recent, but unresolved customer-services (CRs) issues with 
  1. #Uber - two drivers cancelled a prior-appointment for an important meeting. Multiple reminders, incl tweets, have not been responded to. No closure even after 10 days! 
  2. #3M car care - they just decided to save water, get environment-friendly with retrospective effect, thus unilaterally nullifying annual maintenance contract (AMC)
  3. #Airtel 4G wifi - connectivity is an issue for over 2 years now - not dependable, when most needed
  4. #HDFC Bank - multiple issues, for they don't see multiple products as one relationship. So much so, he decided to downgrade from 'Imperia' to 'cattle-class'!
  5. #HDFCLife - poor returns, over and above wrong #CrossSell by the bank RM himself :(
  6. #JetAirways - a packet of sweet disappeared from his checked in baggage. 
  7. #CrownePlaza, Chennai - he lost his power-bank
  8. #DTDC - the Diwali gift he had sent to his mother is still missing. DTDC is not responding
Chandra conducts training/visiting faculty engagements for young leaders and BSchools students (aspiring leaders!). He seems to be attracting a lot of case-studies :((
20 yrs or 30 yrs back, when many of us were in the corporate world, at lower/middle level leadership roles, the customer was still important. Customer complaint was not measured scientifically like it is today. But then it was not mere a process management, but managing relationships. What caused this?

- Is it our obsession with top-line and bottom-line, come what may?
- Is it our myopic view of quarterly, monthly or even weekly targets vs achievement?
- Is it the expanding market where it is a deliberate strategy to acquire customers, vs retention?
Would these sustain in the long run? 
Make in India or any variant thereof, including the focus on Services, will have no impact unless we bring back the customer centricity, at its holistic level. 

It is about #leadership. Moving from selfish to at least partly selfless? #I2We2He

Our Leadership has to move to #ServantLeadership #CustomerDelight as primary focus

Glad Biju Dominic wrote about this and Mint carried the article on November 23, 2017 (when I was away on a spiritual retreat, in bliss, and no expectation of customer service - I was 'serving' some 'customers', or guests at the Ashram) 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ramu is Missing, since Diwali - Cruel Sapiens

PC @Pixabay
Ramu and Brownie were two dogs in our locality. They were neither street dogs, nor fully at home. They moved around freely, seemed to be well-fed. They enjoyed the freedom.

Often, when I took our dog (not so lucky with such unlimited freedom) out in the evenings, both Ramu & Brownie would come over and hang around. Then I started giving them biscuits. Occasionally I surprised them with the branded-treats! Ramu would enjoy the biscuits more than Brownie, who had an air of detachment for biscuits & treats!!

Ramu & Brownie had a very loving presence when we were out. 

Since Diwali, Ramu is missing. I have been looking around for several days. No sign of Ramu. Brownie has been around, but occasionally. At times Brownie would be found barking his heart out in the dead of the night. He was restless. 

Yesterday met a familiar face from the neighborhood and I asked him about Ramu. 

He said, 'Ramu looked very agitated during Diwali. This Diwali-season people burst more crackers in our locality. Ramu would run helter-skelter. He seemed to be under severe stress. A couple of days after Diwali, when most crackers were burst, Ramu looked very agitated. And just disappeared...
Ramu is very old. He has never gone away like this. We have no idea where he is and how he is...'

Ramu is missing, or is in danger... :(

There was a tinge of sorrow in the young man's eyes. A sense of helplessness just like these animals feel when we burst crackers indiscriminately... 

Why are we 'Sapiens' are cruel?  (Currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Harari)

This year we have seen unusual levels of bursting crackers in Bangalore. We continue to burst crackers even till today! It is getting worse by the day... 

For many of us, life may be a celebration! Hence some of us burst crackers. That may not be the case for many others. 
- Children and senior citizens, who can not handle the pollution, esp those who are sensitive to breathing-related problems
- Animals, birds and environment.

Whatever the excuse, should we stop bursting crackers and reserve some pollution for the next year?

Spare a thought for Ramu and all the birds & animals. They need all our loving care... 

'every being, knowingly or unknowingly, is on a spiritual pilgrimage'. 

And that includes Ramu...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Honey Bee Terminator Sapiens

'If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change 
- #Buddha 

(Courtesy #NarayanRamachandran @livemint) 

We grow colorful flower-plants, all around...
It is like enticing the honey bees and then killling them in large numbers. 
Can we get more cruel? Why do we get pleasure in killing these bees, who are so very critical to the environment?! 

When you start a day with low energy, expect more unpleasant surprises during the day. 

Chandra does not look at the morning news - on tv or on the smart-phone. To keep away the negativity. 
But when the balcony is full of dead honey bees, it can be very depressing. Moreso when a not-so-friendly neighbor, in an apartment 'above', choose to be a terminator. 
The sight of hundreds of honey-bees lie dead on the floor, in the garden of the apartment complex... was most painful...  
All Chandra could do to overcome the sorrow was to try to ignore! 

DYK our great grandchildren may face acute food shortage because we are being so destructive... honey bees to the environment? And that may be the legacy of our generation! 

Why we need bees - TED Talks