How Vijay and Siddharth Mallya are handling the whole Kingfisher Airline fiasco is appalling.
In a similar situation, way back, Richard Branson sold his first and extremely-close-to-his-heart business, Virgin Records at the insistence of financial institutions, so that the resulting funds could be infused into Virgin Atlantic. He supposedly cried the day the company was sold to EMI.
Employees at Kingfisher (KF) Airlines haven’t been paid salaries for over 7 months. A few weeks ago, the wife of one KF airline engineers committed suicide as her husband had not been paid salaries for 6 months.
And here we have the shameless Mallyas who flew abroad in their private jet, away from the troubles their employees are facing.And Siddharth’s busy with bikini models abroad, working on the next KF Calendar. What’s his plan, to tide over the crisis by selling calendars?
Respect and reputation take a lot more than parties to earn.
The “Kingfisher” turned out to be more of a Vulture. How the crisis was handled by the father-son duo was extremely ‘chicken’. And the King of Good Times, nothing more than a King of Traumatic Times.
India is ashamed with the way you’ve handled this crisis.! I suppose there still are some things that money can’t buy. Common sense?
As for United Breweries, for whatever it’s worth, I’ll definitely be avoiding your beers.
“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”
– Peter Drucker
We recently bought a cordless telephone from Croma (for the uninitiated, Croma comes under the Tata umbrella). Took it back home and it was not working. Late next evening mom and I made another trip to the store to exchange it. We entered Croma around 8:30pm, I suppose the store is open till 9:30pm or so. The salesman at the telephones section directed us to the Customer Service Dept at the back of the store. There we were directed to a small office cabin and asked to wait.
Right outside it was what appeared to be a desk where customers were guided and assisted with easy EMI and payment options. It seemed to be bustling with activity, with 2-3 customers waiting their turn, while an enthusiastic employee briefed each customer with her available options, found work-around solutions for delivery criteria, payment modes, etc. And here we waited patiently.
A few minutes later, an employee came by and we briefed him about the faulty telephone. He informed us, matter-of-factly, that the Customer Service dept closes at 8pm, and that the representative has left for the day. He said he’d check with someone. We waited another 5-10 minutes. And all this while, the “easy-payments” desk was abuzz. I was bored and sleepy. Someone told us that we’d have to come back the next day, anytime before 8pm. Mom expressed her displeasure. That was when someone took us to a senior manager on floor who promptly approved an exchange. It was past 9.
How unforgiving the present day customer is, cannot be over-stated by any measure. Companies offering services must go the distance while delivering the same. In this case, by service I do not mean the consumer products that Croma sells, but what they offer in the name of “customer service” or “after-sales service”, call it what you may. And it isn’t about Croma. Or any other biggie for that matter.
So if you’re offering a service (read customer service), offer it completely. Or don’t offer it at all. That’s about what you choose to offer customers. It’s different if, with a stiff upper lip and folded arms, you flatly refuse prompt after-sales service during a sale. But if you do offer it, do everything necessary to make it the integral part of your bigger sales cycle.
Nobody gives a shit if you have a nice big air-conditioned waiting room with a big board that says “Customer Service” if it isn’t manned, or if you close it hours before the store closes. If you’re open to business, you have to be open to customer service as well.
Because you could find a hundred different ways to entice people to buy more, ease payments, etc. but if something doesn’t work, until it is fixed, it is not a product that doesn’t work, it’s “their” money that’s just sitting there and not doing anything for them.