How to serve the customer
This week I came across two service orgs (cafe coffee day and shoppers stop) and observed peculiar things about their service.
The “we serve you faster than anyone” problem:
After roaming a lot in hot chennai sun (well, slowly people have been dropping hot adjective for chennai, you see, it has become redundant these days), ashwin suggested that we go to CCD and relax ourselves. Promptly we entered the CCD near Gemini flyover and ordered for a couple of cold coffees. After a couple of mins, the boy cameback with a bill not with the coffee. We were surprised, even before we can ask him, he started explaining,
“Sir, this is your order confirmation and bill, you can choose to pay now or later, before leaving the place.”
It was clear that CCD has the problem of “we are done with eating/drinking and want to checkout. how long should we wait for our bill?”, but isnt the solution little rude? Personally, I feel that the moment someone gives you the bill, its the signal asking you to settle and leave. How about preparing the bill at the time of order and presenting when the customer asks for it?
The “we want to serve you better” problem:
Later the same week, I went to shoppers stop to do some orbit shopping. When I presented my items at the checkout counter the person informed me about Shopper Stop’s crm initiative where I can get points everytime I buy something there and later on, I can redeem the same. Basically, a method to reward the loyal customers. I asked him, “whats the catch?”. He said that I have to pay Rs. 150 to sign up for the program. He also said that for every 100 rupees I shop there, I get .7 rupees worth of points. That means, I have to shop 20,000 or above to get my initial 150 recovered.
Surprised, I asked him, “when will I get a free subsciption to this?”, he said, “no matter how much you purchase, you will still have to pay 150.” All these years, I thought, CRM is done by companies to reward loyal/willing customers. Huh!, here shoppers stop, choosing to trouble the customers to cover their operational costs…
To end with, yet another Chennai weather joke: There are only 2 seasons in chennai: summer and night.
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