Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chhota Bheem & Kellogg's

Friday, September 19, 2014

On to the next orbit in Customer service

On many occasions I have used this blog to vent out my frustration on the poor quality of service which we get.  It is a very sensitive issue and if I touch this issuer in a class it would ensure that for next 10-15 minutes everyone is sharing his/her service horror stories.

I would try to justify telling them that marketing is new in India, categories are unsaturated and so on... And sort of conclude that things will improve as time goes by,

And yes in the last few years the customer service levels have improved, but this improvement has not come from the traditional older firms, but it is the ecom firms which are setting up the new benchmark.  

The best experience is from firms like Amazon which has a stated aim of becoming the world's most consumer friendly company.  And for the first time other firms in India want to follow the international standards, so our own flipkart and myntra also provide the same exceptional customer support services.

I think historically companies have competed to reach the bottom rung in delivering customer service, and this would apply to both domestic as well as multinational firms. With the MNCs I guess when they start-off they do set high standards and then over time decide to compromise or match the lowest denominator in the industry. 

But with the consumer getting a chance to experience best-in-the-class service he/she will demand the same from the traditional older firms and they will have to respond if they have to compete and survive

Sunday, September 14, 2014

More on channel shift

Continuing on the previous post on how traditional channels are being threatened by online channels this post tries to understand the impact across product categories.  The example which I often talk about is the closure of Gangarams Store in Bangalore.  I think most of walking on M G Road would visit the book store to look for new books.  And for a die-hard book fan its closure marked a major milestone on how people would buy books in the future. But one question which I still think about is that even today I first check-out books in the physical stores and then buy them online unless there is a real urgency or I am traveling with no books. So the importance of the physical stores in the experiential part even in a category like books is still strong, but how long will the physical stores manage to survive. In a period of six years I have seen a Landmark Store open and close down in Lucknow.....

Books as a category are the most favorable for online shopping, so consumers taking to online buying of books are not surprising.  But more interesting are categories like jewellery where traditional brick-n-mortar stores like Tanishq have worked for many years to move the consumers away from family jewelers to their stores. The new online options like bluestone . com are ones which will face the uphill task of convincing consumers to buy online.  Books and Jewellery perhaps form the two ends of the spectrum of online buying..
But one thing is sure we as consumers are in for exciting times.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Channels Shift

In the early ecom days people said it is traditional channels which will be threatened  the most, it was predicted that they will be replaced by ecom channels.  The utopian world of no intermediaries in between the consumer and the manufacturer.  That was in the early 2000. But the way the market played out in the next 15 years was very different,  first came the burst and then the second life,  and in the second life with a wave of new ecom firms booming the dire predictions for the middle man  are back. But this time it is not just in thin air, the first signs of what could happen in the future can be seen with many firms using only ecom sites to sell their products with no physical  presence. With the Moto Gs and Mi3s being sold only thru flipkart. 

Will it mean the end game of traditional channels, beginning of the end....

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