Saturday, February 11, 2006

One bottleneck

This was a few days back, but my visit today brought back memories of this visit. I had been to the Maruti Suzuki automobile dealer/ service center to get a pollution certificate. The reception was friendly, quick and the pollution certificate ready in exactly 5 minutes. But I spent an hour over there. Why? First the billing counter was busy. "Busy" adjusting paper in the dot matrix printer (philistines!). Then he was busy with other "urgent" stuff. He finally printed my bill and then I had to wait at the cash counter. The cashier spent some time subtracting 342 from 500 and then a few minutes searching for 2 rupee coins. Then there was another chap who had to make a big payment and he spent time counting cash. Finally, I had to pay 65 rupees and it took me a total of exactly 65 minutes.

Surely the billing counter could have been more efficient? Faster printers could be installed? The biller and cashier can do both billing and cash (atleast for small, trivial amounts)? Empower (to use a cliche) the service engineers. Let them bill what they service.

When you as a company strive to make your service experience worthwhile, remember that all it takes to get a disgruntled customer can be one bottleneck.

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