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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Customer is not always the king

With growing consumerism, we’ve a saying that Customer is always the king and all companies will do whatever it takes to get business from these customers.

In reality, it is not always so. When demand is more than supply, service providers get to chose their pick and often get to chose the customers they wish to serve. Some examples:

1 Several resorts in India prefer foreign tourists to Indians. This is because foreign tourists often tip generously and spend well on additional services, while Indian tourists are often cost sensitive. They expect everything to be included in whatever they’ve paid and in general do not spend much unless necessary. Also the concern is huge that many Indians are notorious for stealing accessories from hotel rooms or damaging the property by plucking flowers etc.

2 Bangalore autos are notorious for not coming to wherever  you need to go. There was a tweet sometime back “I just asked a driver to take me wherever he is going, he still refused!” I do not know the exact logic used by drivers to decide if they wish to take the passengers to a particular place or not. Some reasons like destination being too far from auto drivers home might make some sense late night, but refusing to come to a nearby place in broad day light must have other reasons. Once I remember reading in Hai Banaglore that because of goonda problem, auto drivers hesitate to pass through certain areas.

3 Buses plying long distance do not entertain passengers who’d like to get down in first few stops, as it may mean opportunity cost of not getting to accommodate a passengers who might travel full distance

4 When it comes to self drive car rentals, India has a long way to go. Many agencies are just not keen on self drive rentals, because of multiple reasons- not much demand, risk of customers mishandling the vehicle which can increase its maintenance, risks involved in vehicles getting used for illegal activates and so on.

5 Certain timeshare company is criticized of buttering the prospects till they signup and subjecting them to all sorts of difficulties once they commit to the membership. Customer is the King as long as he/she parts with his/her money?

6 Getting a passport has been made extremely complicated now, ever since the process is outsourced to a private company by Govt of India. Despite paying the prescribed amount, passport applicants are subjected to all sorts of difficulties and delays.

As a customer, we’ll only be fooled if we expect to be treated like a king. We need to be on guard always and have backup plans. Do you agree?

11 comments :

vishesh said...

Completely. You need to be ready to fight(esp. with companies like airtel) to get things done or you need to know someone.

As for Autos, well the Chennai ones are worse..they would of course come where ever you want them to, as long as you are willing to pay. There are times, when the Merc taxis in Singapore would be cheaper than Chennai autos :P

And I am guessing you are talking about Club Mahindra..yup. they are know for that.

Mridula said...

I am wondering what is this new passport thing? My old experiences have been horrible enough!

Raveesh Kumar said...

Good point nidhi

ಸುಬ್ರಮಣ್ಯ ಮಾಚಿಕೊಪ್ಪ said...

ಗುಡ್ ಆರ್ಟಿಕಲ್

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Vishesh, Mridula, Raveesh and Subramanya..

Agree on Chennai autos...

Passport process was much simpler and faster 5 yrs ago...

Farila said...

Airtel has surely pulled us down from the throne ... I agree with you.
Thanks for welcoming me back to blogging

Deguide said...

When i got my passport renewed i did not pay a single np through Blore one, it was gr8 experience now they have discontinued them. Reg autos in Blore sooner or later they will out of business due to increased AC bus service. A pass for Rs 85 is ideal for full day. i believe auto guys are making more money or loosing by gambling

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Umesh Sir, Bus pass is indeed ideal...

thanks for your comments

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Farila,

good to see you back commenting

surbhi said...

Interesting read. Nice observations. The auto problem is equally bad in Delhi. And they refuse to turn on the meter.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

thanks for sharing your experience