Saturday, May 15, 2021

Bad business

‘Customer is the King’ is a universal adage accentuating the importance of customers in businesses. Traditionally, this maxim usually entails a promise of businesses to provide good customer. In contemporary times when technological advancement has, among other things, revolutionized business operations, the dynamics of customer service too has changed. Now, it’s not a matter of resting with being good as a service provider. The time demands to move from good to great. But let’s have a look at what is happening on this front in our part of the world. Are we experiencing great customer service or still continue to remain stuck with the concept of good customer service? The fact is that with the technological revolution sweeping the businesses, especially the services sector, the customer service seems to have received a hit. It is simply deteriorating and has triggered large-scale customer disloyalty as they are not treated as ‘kings’. We mostly find that today’s king (customer) is not allowed to dictate and is forced to listen what to do or what not to do. It is not he who demands, but it’s the other way around. This is exactly how customers are nowadays treated by the companies. This menace is rampant especially in services sector where customers are made to beg to avail a service at a cost. Now, there is another question mark. Why customer service has been taking a hit despite the modern technology removing so many hassles in service delivery mechanism? We know it’s not the ‘defective’ product line or any major fault in operational model of the companies or businesses that make the customers suffer. It’s simply the behavior and the attitude of the employees of companies that has emerged as a major hurdle in healthy customer relationship management. For most of the employees’ (who have been habitual of rude behaviour while rendering a service) a customer is a unique king. They make the king to take dictation and beg for justice. This is contrary to the fact that kings dictate and deliver justice. Let’s take the case of banking industry. Despite revolution in product line and service delivery mechanism, the customer relationship management has always remained loaded with controversies. Over the years, we have come across various surveys about customer service in banks done by major agencies which have revealed ‘rude behavior of the bank staff’ as major cause of poor customer service. This is not a problem with a particular bank or a section of bank. But whole banking industry including public sector as well as private sector banks is in grip of this crisis, leaving their customers fuming. Why bank staff behaves rudely with customers? There is no doubt that bank staff, especially at the counters where they are face-to-face with customers, is one of the most busiest class of people. They are always loaded with work pressures and stress remains a permanent companion with them. But, does that mean they should treat their king (customer) like a beggar? It’s this king who keeps them in business. However, the kind of stress or workload seems to have erased the old-age maxim ‘customer is the king’, from their memory. Normally, when we talk about the stress among employees, we in one voice attribute it to the workload. It may be the workload, but only up to some tolerable level. Actually the problem lies somewhere else! Most of the bank employees are struggling because they don’t exactly know about themselves and the organization in which they are working. Precisely, most of the employees lack knowledge about their organization as well as the industry. They fumble while trying to deliver services. During the course, to avoid humiliation and cover their lack of knowledge, they snub the customer. However, it has a remedy. The remedy is to make the employees knowledgeable. Let them know their organization. Let them understand the sector in which they are working. Now here comes the responsibility of the management of such organizations to tailor knowledge management initiatives to create every employee as a knowledge bank. A knowledgeable staff will treat king as a king and power the organization to unimaginable heights.