The increasing indifference and empathy of service providers and retailers towards cutomers often has me question whether this is a human resource issue or sheer indifference on part of the business owner. After all, when businesses are created, the owner wants to set certain benchmarks, values and industry standards besides just profits. What then goes wrong?
Most businesses start out well. Systems are in place, focus is on customer acquisition and engagement, and there is attention to brand positioning, competition and detail. But as time passes – here, I am not talking in years but weeks and months, the business starts to lose grip. If they are doing well, they grow rigid, righteous and hardened, and if they are struggling, they lose interest.
A company creates values and goals to unify and inspire people, especially their employees. The commitment to these values and vision is what holds them together in providing the best outcomes for their customers whether it is a two people run shop or a business with hundreds of employees. But sometimes, a company becomes so rigid in this ecosystem that they forget to adjust to the changing times and what was once their unifying code begins to crack and dismantle creating what is termed as active inertia. This happens not because somebody decided not to act on change but because they did not act appropriately.
When a business leader loses interest or is not adequately responsive, it goes beyond revenue loss, the business itself will lose all relevance.
Simple examples of businesses failing in the very basics of customer experience in the country is indifference to the promise of quality, over pricing, poor service, inability to accept and respond to feed back and complaints, tardiness, lack of courtesy and etiquette, over promising and undelivering, lack of product knowledge or service expertise among others.
It takes years to build a reputation and only moments to ruin it. Unfortunately for Nepal, accountability is still just an idea and rare is the citizen who stands for his rights which means that we are fast becoming a breeding ground for indifferent businesses, indifferent customers and a culture of mediocrity and failure. Does customer service even exist?