The importance of attending to customers for the fear of bad PR on the Internet
I feel really funny writing this post, a large number of posts (by multiple authors) on this blog are about companies refusing to honour warranties, giving bad customer service and/or ruining customer products. When we started this blog, we thought of it as a technology blog, talking about the latest technology marvels hitting the market.
Soon, our outlook to the blog changed, we realised that with the growing popularity of the blog, we had another power in our hands. The power to help consumers. Its very simple actually for the companies, attend to your customers or the customer plasters the internet with his experience which in turn ensures that as time progresses more and more customers find out how you ill-treat customers and in effect shy away from buying your product and services.
So if they stand to lose customers, why do companies still do it ?
1. The upper Management doesn’t know – This is the most common reason. The management of any good company would not want a single unhappy customer let alone websites dedicated to reveal their incompetence. Usually the first level customer care staff in companies is little educated and usually dont get to show influence anywhere. So when a poor customer calls them up, its the start of their power trip. They take the customer for a ride until the top management finds out and crucifies them.
2. The company cant handle it – This usually happens in telecom companies and Internet companies (You know the ones I am talking about) . They just cant handle the customer pressure for good services. They grow like crazy via aggressive pricing but are unable to get enough technically sound people to form a good customer service team.
3. The company doesn’t care – This happens in extremely big conglomerates and huge companies. Smaller and midsize companies cant afford to treat their customers like this. You will find multiple examples on this blog only wherein super large companies didn’t even respond to bad PR because they think that they are untouchable and invincible. Losing a 100 customers doesnt mean anything to them since they would gain a 1000 more with a Rs.10 drop in pricing. Sad but true !
4. The company threatens legally – This does work, and boy does it work. You can take down the original complaint, but now you have 10000 times more direct and powerful ammunition to use against the company. Threatening free speech and bloggers is the biggest sin a company can commit. Examples can be found all over the Internet.
So if you are a company who is affected by bad blogger reviews or customer testimonials, there is only 1 way you can do better, that is by attending to those complaints. Here I would like to mention a few companies which in my opinion and experience do take consumer complaints seriously :
1. Eureka Forbes – This has to be the most proactive company in terms of taking complaints seriously. I had a problem with a local franchisee and one email to these guys via Mouthshut resulted in the franchisee being crucified.
2. Hyundai – We had a problem with the dry cleaning done during a servicing, an email to the company meant an instant waiver of dry cleaning for the next time from the service center.
3. TNT Courier – They had once not delivered a package to me, a review here and one of their employees fully co-ordinated an effort to get the package to me and I had the package in my hand by next evening.
For the ones who dont, feel free to check out our archives
If you are a blogger and have been shortchanged by a company, write a review (with truth only, since if they want to pursue legally, false allegations will rule against you), email the company a copy of the review and tell them how so many people are reading about how they treat customers. That usually gets their attention.