Thursday, March 26, 2009

Say cheese

I picked up a cheese packet a few days back. My favourite brand, by far, is Amul.

But when I opened it, this cheese pack had some black thing on it. I, as usual, took a picture of it, ready to shoot off an email to anybody whose mail id was printed on the pack. But there was no mail id - instead there was a phone number - STD that too. I was surprised, but I decided to try my luck with it. The first time I called, I was asked to call after 10 am. Which I did. My call was promptly 'transferred' to the 'cheese department' who took down my complaint and said they would get back to me and all they asked was the product details and asked me to preserve the cheese till they could take a look at it. I wasnt very optimistic, given my previous experiences with other companies.

Get back they did. Within a few hours, a distributor had taken my address to deliver a replacement. Next day, it was delivered to my home. By evening, a food technologist from the factory had called me up, took details and explained why it could happen and how they were extremely sorry that something like this happened. (And it was not entirely their fault. Given the current power situation, it is possible that many shops cannot run their refrigerated storages 24/7 and that caused some temperature difference etc. etc. They could have easily washed their hands off this, but they did not.)

Lesson in there. Customers don't need a fancy schmancy call center and people with accents and a website and a jing bang marketing campaign. What matters is do you really care for them. A simple number will do - where real people pick up the phones when you call and listen to your complaint and respond sincerely. Obviously, I am a fan of Amul for life...


niti bhan said...

Utterly Butterly yaar ;p

AGworld said...

very impressive but not surprising.
Indians are so used to saying "in india nothing works" that we are blind to things that do.

and many things do -- and they do so fr better than anywhere else in the world.

I was stuck on the mumbai pune highway yesterday due to a car breakdown. I called the 24/7 helpline and a patrol car called me in 5 min to confirm my location and reached in 10.

In 15 minutes, a towing van came and took our car to lonavala to be fixed.

Incidentally, the customer service performance of several indian services exceeds that of any in the west.

Anonymous said...

Truly heartening to hear something like this. May be most of us does not expect and response from complaints like this and never even try ... May be there are more people out there eager to resolve their issues and make their product better

I am sure, they won atleast one customer for life :)

Swapz said...

Good show by Amul. Forwarded this post to few groups. Amul rocks and so do you!

Savitha Rao said...

Just yesterday we were discussing in office that it's tough to find Indian companies that make an effort to address customer concerns . It's heartening to hear of the response from Amul .

Tanuj Lakhina said...

That's a great piece from you and cheers to Amul for their stupendous effort to bring out the facts and the truth rather than covering it up with baseless reasons.

Great instance from AGworld above too.I am more surprised with the towing car arriving that soon and taking it to be fixed.

Kavi said...

This is wonderful. And does permeate hope that there is still value to 'responsiveness' to customer !

I am going to share this with a few marketing folks at my place too..


Mihir said...

Mumbai Police has this infoline - 1090

I called to get my passport info and honestly, didn't expect much help.

On calling though, I was greeted in very fluent English by this young man who referred to me as 'Sir' and asked me "How may I help you?"

...and I actually got the info I asked for!

Fancy schmancy call center PLUS helpful. Shocking for a police department, isn't it?

Harvey Palmer said...

I'm from Anand where Amul is based and makes me feel real proud hearing this...