CUSTOMER IS KING (OR QUEEN!!)
First I will talk about my own approach to customer service.
This happened several years back. I was into selling a famous brand of air-conditioners.
A customer of mine (a lady officer from a leading nationalised Bank) purchased an air-conditioner. This air-conditioner was a one ton window model unit of the non-remote type having two knobs.
It so happened that within a few weeks one of the knobs developed a crack and broke. Unfortunately spare knobs were not available and also similar new units were out of stock.
Else I could have purchased another new unit and removed the knob from it to service the customer. The customer got annoyed and she immediately contacted the Chairman's office in Mumbai and created a scene.
The news came to me through proper channel to solve the issue. I have a great passion for customer service and furthermore I am a fan of the particular company. So I explained to her my inability of getting her a knob or another new unit. But I immediately offered to pay back to her from my kitty the entire money (to the last rupee) that she had paid for her unit and take it back. She accepted this offer and to this day our relationship is very cordial! That the said company did not compensate me in this issue is another matter!!
I wish to recall another incident which took place recently in a company to which I was a part-time consultant. This company had supplied a one ton air-conditioner and there was some issue with the unit. The customer had filed a complaint with the consumer court and the company requested us to close the matter. I visited the customer and after going through the details I found that the particular location required a one-and-a-half ton unit. So in order that the customer may be satisfied, I asked my company to replace the one ton unit with a one-and-a-half ton unit. The court case was withdrawn and the company also gave us a new one ton unit as replacement.
Having said this much I wish to recall what I saw in the newspaper (Hindu) about an order issued by the consumer forum (read: court) to a leading manufacturer of Geysers and a leading retailer to pay Rs.10,000 as compensation for causing mental agony and to replace the defective geyser with a new one. The cost of the item in question is only Rs.3,550. This very same retailer has in the very same paper released an ad worth several tens of thousands. I just wonder why the company in question did not replace the item earlier and earned goodwill.
Let us think about this. And so until tomorrow......