CA Rajesh Pabari
Why this article?
I feel this article is needed in current business environment where each person is equipped with access to internet, content creation, social media and much more that collectively enables them to speak out and express what they feel about a company, a service, a trip, a product and so on. As an individual, the article is also meant to open your eyes and make you aware about the possibilities of fulfilling your urge to speak out your frustrations, so the article serves dual purpose. For business and for customers.
The Incident which triggered this article:I was reading about a recently popular company Zappos.com (Incorporated in 1999 and sold in 2003 to Amazon in $1.2 billion) and was researching on how their organization’s culture was and how they deal with their customers.
While reading one of the articles, I came across another article which talked about an incident where a Canadian Musician Dave Carroll composed a song about his frustrations when United Airlines broke his guitar on a trip (Incident of 2008). On the top of that he was treated badly by the customer care executives. After following up for around six months with the company, he was given no compensation. His video which was uploaded on YouTube.com went viral and till date (27th August, 2014), it was viewed around 1.41 Crore times. He has also composed two more sequels of the song. More than anything, it can ruin the reputation of the organization concerned.
1. Social Media has equipped all human beings with the ability to express their views and experiences.
2. Don’t take customers for granted:You cannot take customers for granted especially when they empowered and connected with the whole world. Gone were the days when customers could not speak what they feel and what they experienced about a product, a company, an experience at hotel and so on. Now, the situation has changed. They can shout out loud in front of a thousand Facebook friends and so thousands of twitter followers.
3. Satisfied customers are best advertisements: In the connected world, there is lesser and lesser requirement for advertisements. If there are 100s of channels in the TV, who will bother about watching the advertisements during the commercial breaks. It will be increasingly observed that the best advertisements will be your satisfied customers. To tell my experience, I was quite satisfied with Amazon services when they reversed the money for a book purchased on Kindle by mistake.
4. Customers are empowered to narrate their experiences: To cut the long story short, while I was getting bugged with poor customer services of Reliance Communications, I used to comment and post status messages on Facebook to tell my friends that they should stay away from it.
5. Costs of mistakes are bigger than ever:Mistakes in the customer services and dissatisfied customers may cost you more than ever depending upon their connectedness in this digitized world of togetherness. It does not take more than a few days for such unusual news to spread throughout the world, sometimes even less than that.
On the contrary, if your company is focusing more and more on Customer Satisfaction, it will take a little bit more time to spread but similar to the above examples, it can create a good image in the market and will get recognition and trust of customers based on referrals.