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Unhesitatingly, Serve at once


One of the greatest elements of customer delight is to receive service promptly. Services that are on time all the time are cherished. This means that a Customer Service Professional should be swift and alert. He should have an attitude that is conducive to doing things at once, without procrastinating.

To be prompt in delivering a service means to understand a customerís need to deliver in a timely fashion.

The best example of Prompt Customer Service comes from the leading courier brand in the world, FedEx. In India too their strategic partner, Blue Dart, provides prompt service. There was an occasion when a patient in critical condition needed some medicines urgently. FedEx promptly picked up the medicines from one country and delivered it to the patientís doctoring another part of the world, thereby saving the patientís life.

For the customer, in this case the patient, this was excellent Brand Experience. The courier company not only earned its service fees but also the blessings of the patientís wife and children. The good word-of-mouth that resulted was pure bonus.

The value of my Prompt Customer Service Prescription was driven home to me forcefully during a time of extreme grief. I lost my younger brother in New York when he was just 31 years old. Coping with the tragedy was made much easier by the quality of Customer Service in the US. The funeral home offered their help and services in a very sensitive manner, causing virtually no pain. Unlike how it is in India most of the times, we did not have to run around for death certificates and there was a quiet dignity that characterised and there was a quiet dignity that characterised their service. The whole ceremony, including the cremation, was invested with a caring and compassionate attitude.

Security, customs, the British Airways flight back and the thoughtfulness of the travel agent, Amriwala, made light of what could have been an ordeal.

Just as in times of tragedy and grief, so also at times of immense joy and happiness, the quality of Customer Service can play a great role in helping a customer cope or celebrate.

Service brands from the fields of health (hospitals and medicine), communication (phone companies), travel (airlines, car hire) that cater to a customerís sensitive needs at times of stress should take special note of my Prompt Customer Service Prescription.

Standard Chartered Bank makes a virtue out of promptness. There was a occasion when a customer had to get a draft to a prestigious educational institution on course of study. Taking the order on the phone and realizing the customerís need for swift action, the bank unhesitatingly took up the task.

The result was a very grateful client who says, ďAt Standard Chartered even ordinary customers get added privilegesĒ.

The promptness of Standard Chartered Bank kindled hope in the student and his entire family.

RCI, one of the largest resort chains in the world, too has a history of Prompt Customer Service. Despite the pressure on their holiday properties, they never keep a customer waiting. Once they get a request for a particular country, they are swift to respond whether or not the property in the question is available at the time that the customer requires it. In case of unavailability, alternative dates are immediately suggested. This makes it easy for RCI customers to plan their vacations and arrange for their foreign exchange requirements.

RCIís Prompt Customer Service begins even before the holiday and continues well after, making their customers very happy with the quality of service.

Life is short and time has a nasty habit of slipping away into oblivion even before we know it. A lot of people think that they can practise time management. I disagree. According to me, you cannot manage time. Time manages you. What you can do, however, is to mange yourself and utilize time better.

The Customer Service Professional must be prompt because a delay in Brand Experience could be the beginning of the death of the brand.

Prompt Customer Service therefore is a sure way of satisfying customers because delay and procrastination are things that customers hate.

The author is Jagdeep Kapoor, Brand Guru and Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy. 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.
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