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Be Proficient and Efficient, Not Deficient


Customers like to deal with persons who know their jobs and are well organised. A Brand Service Professional must therefore be competent, proficient and efficient while providing Customer Service.

When a customer is faced with a Brand Service Professional who either does not know his job well enough or is lazy in doing it, he immediately wants to get away. The thought that comes to his mind is that he should not suffer a fool in silence. And why should he, when he is a paying customer and he is entitled to all the benefits of Customer Service?

It is the customer’s right to expect competence in every sphere of the transaction he is undertaking with a Brand Service Professional.

At a time when the winds of privatization blew the likes of Damania into the airline sector, its service quality was the talk of the town. With the view of experiencing the service that was being praised so much, a customer approached the airline for tickets to Goa for his whole family.

Just so that there wouldn’t be any last minute disappointment, the customer decided to book three months in advance. The woman at the counter was well groomed and it looked like she was the new breed of Brand Service Professional.

The perception of the new airline was so strong that the customer was ill prepared for what happened when he asked her tickets for his family. At first she said okay and peered into her computer screen. After five minutes of peering, she still seemed undecided. The customer, thinking that the flights were full, reluctantly offered to go to another airline. But she smiled and said that they were still available. Finally after much peering and probing into the computer, she looked at the customer and offered to give him tickets without the PNR number.

Indignant at this offer, the customer refused and the Brand Service Professional went back to interrogating her computer screen. Twenty-five minutes elapsed thus. The customer, patient at first, finally asked what the matter was. “Oh, nothing major,” she lisped shyly before confessing that she had just joined the airline a few days ago and that she was not adept at using the computer.

Now with almost an hour wasted with the pretty little airline Brand Service Professional, the customer beat a hasty retreat. He pocketed his credit card and thought that he was fortunate not to fly the much hyped airline. A disastrous Brand Experience to say the least. What if, he thought to himself, at 33,000 feet, the pilot suddenly confessed that he didn’t know how to land the plane?

Professionalism is a corner stone of Customer Service. No amount of smiling can replace an honest to goodness knowledge of the Brand Service Professional’s field. Please and thank-you is all very well, but only after the Customer Service Professional has mastered the field that he or she represents. When you hear someone say that a particular organisation is very unprofessional, you can be sure that what that person means is that he has come across a representative of that company who does not know his job.

Sometimes Brand Service Professionals try to pretend that they are know-alls with even more disastrous results. When Brand Service Professionals try to fake it, they put the couple at double risks and ensure that the prospect never takes what they are offering.

At a restaurant of a five-star chain in a Mumbai suburb, a family had just finished a most marvelous meal and it was time to order dessert. They decided on a Banana Split. The waiter graciously took the order and disappeared into the kitchen for what seemed like an eternity. On enquiry, he materialsied with the chef in tow. The bewildered family looked at the waiter and the chef and noted immediately that their Banana Split order was nowhere in sight. Their bewilderment turned to confusion when the chef sagaciously asked: “Can you tell me what the ingredients of a Banana Split are ?”

This absolute lack of professionalism had the family ducking for cover. They hastily paid their bill and left the restaurant never to return.

A Brand Service Professional knows his job and he uses the nuances of that knowledge to give his customers a good Brand Experience and help them make informed decisions.

Consumers love Brand Efficiency. They want Brand Service Professionals to be proficient, efficient and not deficient.

The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. Tel: 022 28597700/7701 Fax: 28597699 E-mail: jkapoor@samsika.com

Copyright © 2007 All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd. No Part of this document may be modified, reproduced, stored, deleted or introduced in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (Electronic, Mechanical, Photocopying, Recording or Otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of the document )