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July 27, 2014
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Are you simple and easy to do business with?

There are loads of research done on customer experience and it has been proved beyond doubt that an organization must try to deliver superior experience in order to be a successful and sustainable business. All B-Schools teach this; these days, many undergraduate schools talk about it; students in the high schools are quite aware of this. Yet, we find that most organizations don’t do enough to deliver a pleasant experience to their customers in a uniform manner. Why?

First of all, many organizations are so difficult to reach! And that too, for an existing customer. We all are existing customers of a telecom company, utility providers, credit card companies, neighbourhood grocery stores, hair dressers, coffee shops, doctor’s chamber, fruit vendor, bakery, pharmacy store, a bunch of supermarkets and department stores that we frequently visit. How easy it is to reach them? Phones don’t work or if they do, your patience is tested each time you call them as you try navigating through the myriad choices and machine languages. Same is the experience for b2b situations. The executives aren’t reachable easily by phone, email, text, what’sapp… until you escalate to their higher levels who often don’t respond and merely organize a response! Phone service is expensive for an organization. Why can’t they have self-serve e-counters on their website, their social media pages just to make themselves easy to reach?After browsing through all options online, their customers can reach them in person if they require.

Secondly, there are often long queues at places that we visit in person. The option of pre-booking a slot is a rare option. These days, most of us buy tickets online for movies, railways, airlines, hotels, holidays, libraries. When I think of b2b situations, it’s a nightmare to know the status of your order, your query. They have SLAs which are hardly met. I wonder, why firms don’t use this simple system of queuing, booking and billing to make their life simple and deliver superior experience to a customer. Common sense says, such a system reduces their own costs in many ways. Why don’t they deploy these simple solutions?

Last, but not the least, in our daily lives, when something goes wrong, we would like to talk about it if given the right environment to talk. We do that each day at our home, at work and in public places. Why don’t firms make it easy for their customers to talk? Think of so situations where you wanted to buy something from another company or get something done by your colleague who is in a role to enable your firm to deliver what the customer is looking for. How often do we really listen to what the customer is saying? Question is, “do we enable and encourage customers to talk?” The firm can learn a whole lot about what’s going on and prepare better for the future. This is an important lifeline for any organization and available free of cost; And this is the most under-leveraged resource and often ignored by the company. This is common sense, but not on top of mind of the Management Team.


The HBR blogpost made me think of this subject … here is a few very simple stuff that companies could do to increase their revenues and sustainability.

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