Sunday, September 30, 2007

Is Customer the king in India,Yet?

This is a question which I have raised in this blog quite a few times and whenever I have written about my experiences or rather bad experiences as a customer i have had quite a few people commenting on it.Which essentially reinforces the fact that most of as consumers have faced similar situations and thus are able to relate to it. Any of us who has stayed for a reasonably long time in US has more discomfort with the way we are treated here. Our experiences in banks, both nationalized as well as private is equally bad though one would expect the experiences in the private banks to be better. Dealing with service-guarantee on products is still a painful process, and so is dealing with salespeople in various shops . The list seems to be endless...............

Maybe one can console himself by saying that things would change and we are wrong in comparing ourself with economies which have been customer-oriented for a much longer time than what we have been, one could say that we have become consumer-oriented since the liberalization of the our economy in the 1990's, so as such we are a very young customer-focused country. This is an important point because putting the customer first and making him the king or queen will not happen automatically , once you put it in the mission statement of the company. Because this care and focus on the needs of the consumers would come only through the behavior and attitude of not just the marketing department and but also the other departments which have an active interface with the consumer. The term used for this effort is "Internal Marketing", which essentially means you need to start the marketing process within the company starting from the Marketing Department itself and then covering other departments. How many times have we interacted with either the lady at the reception of a company or a sales person in a multi-brand outlet and carried a bad impression about the company itself?????

Internal Marketing would require companies to hire right kind of people and train them well enough, and ensure that you communicate your philosophy through the company right from the top management to the distributor sales person.

Things would start to change when the employees of a company get treated well when they themselves go out as customers ... and start to accept the fact that they have to treat customers well, and this is a long term process and hopefully we are moving towards it......



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