How to provide excellent customer delight and retain customers


There are so many examples from within India, of a good number of examples of how some very good organizations are in the forefront of working for the ultimate of what the Japanese call as Customer Delight. In the process, these organizations retain thousands of customers, helping the organizations to grow from strength to strength. Certain dimensions of the same are sought to be discussed in this article.

Introduction

Do you want to know how this Non-banking financial company has made giant strides in customer delight? How they have built a reputation for massive trust in an industry well known for so many unethical players? Over to Sundaram Finance, one unit of the Rs 62,000 TVS group, the largest and most prestigious group of South India. Similarly, a particular group which is today a very big player in the two-wheeler segment, back then, even in the late seventies and eighties, when the license-raj, permit Raj was very much in existence, was famous for it's product quality.

Be that as it may, Customer delight is centered around enabling a) Having a clear intent of a very good Value Proposition as Differentiators b) Very high consistent quality c) Creating the wow! experience repeatedly as a matter of routine d) Developing high quality of trust in customers and e) Increasing value propositions over a period of time.

Having a clear intent of a very good Value Proposition as Differentiators

The intent to provide the best product or service to the customer is a very good Value. It is a deeply emotional construct. It means a lot in terms of enabling the customer to get real value for money. This happens everyday. The product or service itself becomes something that becomes part of the collective consciousness of billions of customers around the world. It had happened when the late Steve Jobs, one of the most innovative creators of best products was in command. Stories of his genius in making products that were truly breakthrough products took the entire world by storm. Even today, Apple computers is the foremost innovative company in the world and its leadership in terms of technology is still unchallenged. Similarly, in India Infosys Technologies and TCS are top-of-the-mind recall companies when one talks about Global core competencies, capable of competing with the best in the world.

This kind of a value proposition is exactly the very big differentiator. It is this that sets the company apart and leaves all the competitors far behind. Take the Taj and the ITC Welcome group of hotels for example. Their core competencies in providing the best to customers is even today unmatched by competitors.

Very high consistent quality

This is literally taken for granted in such excellent companies. Hundreds of retired people prefer the world-class service of Sundaram Finance. That it belongs to the famous TVS group is another plus. What really happens in terms of quality is the ability of the Management in delighting the customers again and again. The service quality of Saravana Bhavan Group of hotels is so good even today, when the brand is so huge in terms of reach. It's ability to reach out to hundreds of thousands of customers in Chennai and it's branches in India and abroad, has been the subject of case-studies in many B schools. The online agency Redbud takes customer feedback very seriously and takes remedial action. Ola cabs and autos have redefined personal transportation all over India. The consistency in terms of very good customer experience has made it a great leader.

In one of the aforesaid paragraphs this author had referred to a company whose brand was famous even before 1991, the year of economic reforms. No wonder. Because, even on those days, it used to be Hamara Bajaj, as the brand was known and companies like TVS-Suzuki were struggling to make a mark. It is another story that after 1981, when the IT boom started and a huge middle-class with fairly good disposable incomes came to increase demand, TVS purchased all the shares of Suzuki and went on to become number three in the market. And now Bajaj is growing by leaps and bounds in the increasing market for motorcycles. However, after it acquired Kinetic from Pune, Mahindra & Mahindra has attracted women buyers with a good range of scooters and TVS has come out with a brand called Jupiter.The quality revolution of Indian companies that have now started exporting their goods to other corners of the world and also through green-field plants abroad, is one massive paradigm shift in the history of Corporate India after Independence.

Creating the Wow! Experience as a matter of routine

Each of the Indian organizations quoted above has been able to give the customer the Wow! experience again and again. This is the kind of chemistry that works in their favor. Having tasted success in the huge Indian market, the likes of KFC, Domino Pizza and others with similar competencies are zooming in the Indian market. For instance, Domino Pizza has vegetarian variations that cater to local tastes. This sort of capturing the Indian minds is now happening like never before. Across product categories.

Quite apart from offering such a huge range of products and attractive discounts, of late, the MNC giant Amazon.com has made everything so simple for the online purchases. The customer has to just give the OTP that comes to his or her mobile and the product is delivered. It has already emerged as the most reliable brand in business. The Indian guys like Snapdeal were not able, and are still not able to provide very reliable deliveries.

Hence, whether the company is an MNC or an Indian company does not really matter. Goods from India have also reached the various countries of Europe and USA. Radiator caps are being supplied to all plants of General Motors throughout the world by Sundram Fasteners, a prestigious TVS group company. Such examples abound. What really matters is the sheer delight of the customer, who gets hooked to the particular organization for it's products. At the global level, Apple has shown that it is eminently possible to get this done on a routine basis. Indian companies should think of imitating such superb experiences. Ask any retired person, who would above the age of 70, particularly in South India. When referring to their experience of parking their money with Sundaram Finance, they would immediately reply that " it is better than the Reserve Bank of India" for safety of money. Period.

Increase value propositions over a period of time

Headquartered in Chennai, with numerous branches in many other parts of Tamil Nadu and a presence in Bangalore as well, the Adayar Ananda Bhavan group of restaurants stand out for their sheer variety. Since they are also present in the various Highways, they are really very good when it comes to giving good value for money. Discerning customers do not bother to even spend the extra money to get to eat the various items of food offered. For a four member family, the bill would touch one thousand rupees for a decent dinner. Yet, there are hundreds of thousands of takers everyday. They have continuously increased the offerings and are able to delight the customer. Swiggy reaches even remote corners of big cities. Every single experience is too good to be actually experiences. Of late, the Shatabdi trains are superbly maintained and their punctuality has also improved. Once again, the customers do not mind paying the extra money for the really good comfort. For example, the Coimbatore to Chennai Shatabdi express is so well maintained that the number of takers are very high and occupancy rates have improved drastically.

Indians are getting used to such very good customer delight experiences. The good news is that with the foreign companies entering India in a big way, the Indian companies are also waking up and doing it takes to provide the customers very good customer delight. This single hope is very good for the growth of the Indian economy as well.

Conclusion

Given the massive Indian market, the sheer variety of experiences is very good. Some examples have been discussed above. The scope for customer delight is still very high. The very good news is that Indian companies are ready for the challenge. Forever.


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