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Friday, August 10, 2007

Brand building tips for Club Mahindra

Ever since I wrote a negative article on Club Mahindra here, I’m discouraging people from enrolling for Club Mahindra’s Life membership and driving away CM’s business -Many people searching about Club Mahindra land at my blog post as it is appearing almost right below Club Mahindra official website for search queries-Details here(I don’t regret that because whatever I wrote is genuine and supported by necessary evidence/reasoning) however I feel obliged to write some tips how Club Mahindra can regain lost confidence of its members. (This is fully complementary to Club Mahindra from my side).

To justify the huge amount they are charging, and to fulfill whatever they are promising before taking the money, I suggest Club Mahindra to implement the following, at the earliest:

1. Commit a minimum service guarantee to your members and define a SLA (Service Level Agreement). (Currently, members must keep paying ASF (Annual Subscription Fee) etc irrespective of usage, while Club Mahindra has no commitment on guaranteed booking). That is, if a member expresses interest to take a holiday within reasonable time (say 30-45 days in advance) Club Mahindra should ensure that the member gets a confirmed booking. If you can’t comply with the SLA you must compensate the member adequately, which should include refunding ASF and extending membership by one year besides other compensations. This is very much essential, because as a member if I’m paying several lakhs of rupees, I would like to have an assurance that I’ll be getting whatever the salesman promised me. I’ve no interest in hearing “Sorry, NO vacancy at our resorts” and excuses CM may give, however sweet and reasonable, doesn’t serve my purpose and do not compensate my loss.

2. Make it inflation free: Either remove your slogan of promising Inflation Free holidays or commit to not increasing ASF every year.

3. Have a Customer Support Cell: (and attend members’ concerns too) Focus on keeping existing members happy so that the members themselves will refer more and more people and bring business. Avoid hunting for new people to fool every time.

4. Give a withdrawal option: Give members an option to pull out of membership scheme if they wish and offer proportionate refund. This puts an obligation on you to give better service and retain them. Naturally quality of service will improve. Also when you give a cancellation option more and more people will come and join (since they have an option of canceling membership and won’t be loosing much)

5. Do not enroll members when your resorts do not have the capacity to accommodate them. Resorts are not dormitories. When members enroll, they expect maximum return on their investment and satisfaction.

6. Reduce ASF: I feel the current ASF is not justified (it is almost at par with hotel rent, given that huge sum is already collected as membership fee). Bring it down or provide complementary food, transport etc.

7. Tell your sales reps NOT to make unrealistic promises. They should explain in plain english all pros and cons-What members are guaranteed to get, what all are purely luck based, what CM doesn't offer and what are the hidden factors and risks involved. They need to declare what all are covered by initial membership fee, what expenses are to be paid later (like ASF), what all are not at all covered etc.

All these are suggested hoping that you wish to grow your business by delighting your members and give them value for their money. It’s obvious that since you are in business you need to make money. But profit should be realized after delivering whatever was promised to the customers and not by fooling/cheating/misleading unsuspecting public.

Disclaimer: No offense is meant. The post only lists simple practical implementations which if implemented will increase customer satisfaction and automatically promotes business. This is just a suggestion and implementation at Club Mahindra’s discretion.

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16 comments :

hari said...

I think those are great tips. I wish somebody from Club Mahindra would read this and take note.

In fact, most service industry people need to wake up fast to the fact that their whole business depends on keeping satisfied customers more than creating new customers.

Well written.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hari. I'm confident CM will take note, though not sure if they will implement...

Service industry, if tries to sell service as a product, will suffer setback. Service is an ongoing concept and not a one time deal, so customer relationship is the key.

Anonymous said...

yake guru ..yee tara hinde biddiddiya club mahindra ge

Shrinidhi Hande said...

eNo help madaNa anta...

Anonymous said...

Hi Srinidhi,

I hope you are NOT withdrawing your earlier blog on Club Manhindra, which was an eye opener for innocent people, and helped people to know problems faced by members of CM.

Please keep the blog accessible to public.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I do not have any plans of taking them down in near future What makes you think so? as they host both my views and Club Mahindra's official response, readers should be getting both side of the story to take an informed decision.

OSK said...

Dear Shrinidhi,

Contents of your blog are indeed valid and would be of great help for those who are planing to buy timeshare holidays.

With regards to your suggestions to CM, surely CM would have taken note, but whether they have tried to, or have implemented or not, I will come to know only when I go there in mid July 2009. Yes I am going there to make it a life time memorable family holiday. Surely it will be a life time memorable however, whether it was a good experience or not I will write on your blog after returning from there.

But based on my own experience since Feb 2008, there is no doubt in my mind that, it was a very wrong decision to buy this membership. Club Mahindra representative never told me that, members have to keep on paying separate fees apart from the huge money for membership as ASF every year. Also, it was my biggest mistake because, I did not ask CM’s representative to provide the terms & conditions of membership. I just blindly trusted this person as he was referred by a friend of mine.

I receive an Invoice for ASF and was surprised then I tried to cancel and get my moneys back but after reading terms & conditions, realised that what the terms are. Surely, I had never expected such kind of one sided terms from a brand called Mahindra. Earlier I had great amount of respect for Mahindra & Mahindra (brand). But now I have no doubts in my mind that, this company’s policies are not only unfair but ethic less too. I am sorry by can’t stop myself expressing my feeling that, they believe in looting public in this way.

OSK

Shrinidhi Hande said...

OSK,

Please come back and share your holiday experience.

Its a very common complaint that sales staff do not give full picture-CM says very few percentage of the sales force might be like that, but realities may differ.

Irrespective of situation and weather we like CM or not, their IPO was a great success, reinstating that investors believe in Mahindra brand and their holiday business. let us hope the money collected through IPO helps members enjoy their membership to the fullest.

Thanks

Nitin Mehta said...

I think they should open recreation clubs in mumbai and other cities so that local ones who cannot go for a vacation can enjoy there and value also increases

Omprakash said...

Dear Shrinidhi,

Sorry for being (too) late. I enjoyed my holidays in Coorg CM Resort. It was really a nice place but Club Mahindra is surely looting its customers. I have no doubts in saying this.

They say it is 5 star Resort but it is rubbish. I think these people are just looting the public who have never enjoyed / been to 5 star hotels/resorts facilities.

I have given my feedback to them and I don't think they would implement them.

What I have done during my 10 days trip is, I have totally enjoyed the beauty of that place by ignoring / forgetting the greedy attitude of these Club Mahindra's Management.


Concerning Nithin Mehtha's message, I don't think they would do that. Because if they open in Mumbai, members will surely utilise their holidays which they don't want.

What they want is....... their Clients should keep on paying their ASF fees and not to use the facilities. If you are a member, please try to get booking at your preferred location. I can guarantee you, you will never get it unless you are shrewd enough.

If call them as a non-member, you will get confirmation in not time. You can just try.

I have tried.

Anonymous said...

Instead of criticism write the variants is better.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Nitin

That's a good idea, but properties inside city will be very expensive...

Omprakash,

Thanks for sharing your experiences

Anon,
Be more specific

Anonymous said...

You have hit the mark. It is excellent thought. I support you.

sandarsh said...

hi i need 2night stay at coorg on 25,26 night i am willing to pay 3000 for to night my no 09880293334 sandarsh

Abhijit said...

Fantastic.

This is one of the best critic post I have ever read.

Precise, True to writers heart, For common man.

Really appreciate your both posts.

Thanks again and may the force be with you.

O S Kempawad said...

Dear Nithin,

Based on my experience, I have no hesitation in saying Club Mahindra a criminals company. It is not just Sales team and booking team but its chairman too. Yes it seems that all wrong things are happening with his knowledge and he is supporting his cheating (420) team to loot innocent public.

I have been sharing my bad experience on Facebook and Twitter from last few weeks. Since then Club Mahindra is calling me again & again and trying to lure me with same false promises. But since I know them very well they have not succeeded.

Since Mid of May, a rep from Dubai office called and informed that, since I am not using their services Club Mahindra wants to refund my moneys. I said good do it why you are waiting?

After a week later, he called and said Club Mahindra will refund about 60% money after deducting 40% towards admin costs!!! In response, I told him, your company was known for cheating but now behaving like begger. Most of members know that how you people lur but I don't think you people have gone down to this level? He started saying some story... Finally I know you people do not believe in ethics and principles but still I am I am still giving you a chance to prove that you are doing ethical business by refunding full amount.

I did tell him that, being member from 4-5 years you people have denied bookings but have given red carpet welcome as revenue member. So I know you will not refund and the only way to recover is through legal means. He then replied saying he will send me the offer officially for 60% refund. However, to date I haven't received any email from him.

Note that sometimes back I did tried to draw Mr. Anand Mahindra's attention via twitter on Club Mahindra's misadventurous criminal / cheating activities. But he has preferred to remain silent! Recently he tweeted on someone's crime but when I retweeted him asking about his own Club Mahindra, instead of replying he ran prefered to run away and finally he protected his tweet!

I hope potential member will think 1000 times before becoming this 420s criminals company called Club Mahindra's members.