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Monday, June 26, 2006

Trying hard to please...

Catering to each individual
A couple months ago I was at P.F.Chang's for lunch with 6 of my colleagues. Lunch done, we were served the check. We paid for it with 7 cards! Our very attentive and witty server left the table with "I will be back in an hour". :-) He was back in 5 minutes. He called out each of our names without once looking at the cards - even my very "Indian" name. He also knew where each individual was seated! Amazing memory. But more importantly, he lent it a very personal touch. Needless to say, he got a hefty tip from us. Personalized Customer Service at its best!

"We try harder" or should it be "We hardly try"?
Yesterday, I tried to reserve a van for our trip to Crater Lake this long weekend. I found a deal on and booked it. But then realized they had limited miles (200 a day). So I looked up Orbitz and sure enough, found the exact same Avis offer on Orbitz, but with unlimited miles. So I called Avis and asked them to match the Orbitz offer. But they refused. So I asked them to cancel the reservation and they did without blinking an eye!

The Avis Offer Screenshot:
Avis: We Try Harder
The Orbitz Offer Screenshot:
Avis: Doesn't Try Harder

It is very unlikely that I will go over the 800 miles they had on offer. They could have matched the deal and retained a satisfied customer. But instead, they preferred to lose the business to a competitor, created some negative "word of mouth" for themselves and lost a customer. So much for "trying hard"!

"Please hold. Your business is important to us." - Is it? Really?
This one takes the cake. A Comcast technician, put on hold for an hour by Comcast Technical Support, dozed off at a customer's home. The customer, Brian Finkelstein posted a clip of the dozing technician on his blog and word soon reached the upper echelons at Comcast. The technician was fired and Brian had a few guests from Comcast who worked thru midnight to fix the problem. Why does it have to take so much effort to get companies to provide basic support?

Customer Rules! And can be easily pleased!! Just ask the server at P.F.Chang's.

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At Tue Jun 27, 07:28:00 AM, Blogger Random Access said...

Welcome back! Interesting post.. But sadly in the place I am, u can be jailed for even blogging it, esp against govt agencies :P And I thot the company u mentioned shud have looked into the tech support team rather than on the hapless technician! Often corporate dharma dictates that it can operate as lousy as it wants, but the point of exposure to the media is severely dealt with!

Random Access
The search has just begun !!!

At Tue Jun 27, 07:35:00 AM, Blogger Balakumar said...

Thanks RA. Can't agree more with you on the action taken by Comcast. The technician just turned out to be the best scapegoat for them. I hope they are taking measures to fix the process instead of just pointing fingers!


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