THE HOSTAGE CUSTOMER!
With all the customer centricity and user experience we have been talking about, what is happening on the ground is exactly the opposite. A good salesman making your purchase a great experience and also helping you in selecting the right product / item is a rarity. A Thomas Cook card declined for technical reasons, does not even tell the reason, and extols the customer of its services in an instant communication and gives a link to move to its generic website. The whole game of customer experience is biting the customer as nothing else can. If the customer lands in trouble, it’s the job of the customer to move from pillar to post to sort out his issue.
While he pays for every single and every single transaction, yet the whole business process is designed in a manner that he is forced to cough the money first. The rest remains another story for another day. What has come by as customer comfort is not because of any great effort but by way of technology, which generally all business have adopted to remain in the reachability technology threshold, otherwise they would out of business. There are no standard guidelines for the universally accepted parameters for different services / transactions, failing with the company would be put to public shame.
If the regulators across the world the legally accept, such companies could be blacklisted from business. Have your ever seen a case where any damage has happened to the company because of a wrong doing on one customer or group of small customers. The customer experience is brought to a level, where the staff in shop are primarily to collect the money, rest is done by the customer. Self-service has been forced on the customers, and at times selection, billing and payment are all taken care by the customer himself. Camera and staff are just to watch the customer. Getting checked has taken place of customer service. Undoubtedly, the company would be saving huge money out of this sleek exercise, does any price benefit accrue to the customer.
The present age of e-commerce companies expects somebody should be available at home all the time to receive the parcel. Or else it can even be left at the door. You can receive call from any unknown number any number of times, and you have to be at their beck and call. *Otherwise, you could be at the receiving end. Any number can keep calling you as you have decided for convenience and you are ready to pay as well. But the terms are theirs. The quality and standards of digital infrastructure /services are not mandated, you may get it at variable levels of satisfaction. The knowledge of the support and the customer services team is itself suspect. One Chief Manager of Union Bank is not able to provide the basic services, even if requested innumerable times. They don’t even respond. Banks have become owners of our money. They dictate the rules. But for regular transactions on the digital mode, banking most of the times, remains in its cruel avatar. The most fascinating aspect of this story is that the customer is made to believe and he has mostly accepted that he is being treated as king, notwithstanding his real treatment. We pay money to buy comfort.
CUSTOMER CENTRICITY MEANS MAKING LEAST EFFORT AND LEAST EXPENDITURE ON THE REAL COMFORT OF THE CUSTOMER.