Blog 1 of Rudrakshahub and CX Series
A view on Customer Service
It is, in general, said that customer service is the best way to trace your sales through the roof. Blazing past through my MBA life of 2 years, I clearly remember Philip Kotler’s book stating about how fraud is the concept of marketing without proper customer service and support. Those words made little sense then, as a fresher with no hands-on experience, but with growing time and aging experience into the world of entrepreneurship, even the slightest of customer support leading to positive results made complete sense.
In a world of uncertainty and possible misleads everywhere, it is an innate feeling of every buyer to check the product before they buy it. It is common knowledge that not every potential buyer or casually interested person to post an inquiry can travel to the place of the seller for a mere understanding of the product and its look-feel. Thus, communication becomes a key, not just for selling the product, but also for creating a difficult inquiry into an easy pitched one. We at Rudrakshahub believe in conversing with all the inquiries and make our people comfortable with their questions and doubts. These made us not just convert the inquiries to sales, but also establish a relationship with our customers for being their future choice for purchases.
Recently, we received a message on our Facebook Business Messenger from a very heavily populated metropolitan city, Mumbai. We made sure to connect with them and ask them about their needs. Considering the fact that the inquiry showed up from a guest profile, we were unaware of the person’s name, residence, location, or profile. The customer was patient enough and answered about his name and his location. The moment we read “Main Mumbai se bol raha hun” (I am connecting from Mumbai), our brains switched to a highly professional tone of questions like “How may we help you, Sir?”, “Which product are you interested in?”, and the likes. He told about his requirement of an Ek Mukhi Rudraksha Mala. We provided him with the image on the Messenger app along with the price.
He requested a call back at his contact number which he had provided in the chats. When we connected with him, he said, “Sir, kuch discount denge?” (Sir, will you give any discount?). We tried telling him how we were already cutting down the price and made sure that all our products are available at low costs even if it means lower profit shared with us. Being completely satisfied, he asked us where are we working and how will we ship the products. We told him, our USP that we are operating from Varanasi, the city of religion. This made him feel highly nostalgic and he resorted to Bhojpuri (a very common local language spoken in a slightly changed dialect from that of Bihar). He said,” Are tohu Banarase se hola? Hamahu ohare se hola. Humra gharwa hola oohar Shivpur se agiyan. Tohu oohare rehla ka?” (Hey, you too are from Banaras (another name for Varanasi and Kashi)? Even I am from there. My house is near Shivpur (a location in Varanasi). Do you also live there only?).
This made us highly emotional and for the next 10 minutes, the customer talked to us only in Bhojpuri. Later, while disconnecting the call, he mentioned that it was over 8 months that he had spoken in Bhojpuri to anyone and over a year since he had heard from anyone speaking in Bhojpuri to him. He also told about how he missed his hometown, the carefree lives back here, the non-judgmental behavior of his people while he is around and the smell of his home garden. He spoke his heart about how he missed having space of more than just living to call his own and away from the continuous traffic of the town. He was on a very high post in his company and held a very respectable position in his social circle, but he talked about how he really missed the people at his village, who called him a Bada Babu (Big Person, a person of respect) but treated him like anyone else and no differently.
In the end, he became like our family and we even exchanged addresses so that whenever he is in town, he can visit us and live like a normal small town-er than being just another big shot in the most populous city of India. He placed an order with us and made an instant payment. (There is a feeling among many Indians specifically from the Gen-X side to hold the product in their hands before making the payment for it to ensure a surety of delivery. This is the second-largest taboo with regards to online purchases after the first taboo of using online purchases as a normal way of living).
Not just that, he even gave us a 5-star rating on our product purchased and became a regular product reviewer for us as well. (We are attaching the image below to show the truthfulness of this entire writeup).
The question is, how did we achieve this? Did we make something out of the blue and served it to him? Did we try to know about him before he could tell us about him? No. We just did what it takes to run the business. We understood where he is coming from and what he wants from us. We tried to gather all the information that we have and we made a collective sum of the same. We presented to him the best product with easy query resolving patterns and most importantly, unlike several others, we provided him with assistance.
We believe where we went right were the 3 key aspects:
1) We called him from a personal number, and not a telle-calling number. We build trust in him because we were a phone call away from him.
2) We gave him what he wanted. He wanted a guarantee that the product is original. He got that. He wished for a callback. He got that. We requested the image of the product from 3 different angles before actually buying it. He got that. Basically, we gave him all the information that he wanted about the product and made him believe that even now if he is unsure of the product’s originality; we will accept a return and process a refund if he can give proof of fault. We made him believe that we do not deal with anything that needs a product reversal. We made him feel at home.
3) We were prompt at answering his queries. We made sure that all he wants is answered without him being conscious of being judged or misinterpreted. What played to our benefits was that he too was from U.P. and he knew the local dialect. What we used to our advantage was the facts was quick thinking and immediate switch from English speaking mode to Bhojpuri and try to match the buyer’s side. This made him feel connected with us and bond with us. We gave him a reason to return back to us.
Now that we reflect upon it, is customer satisfaction really about meeting people of your comfort zone (intentionally or accidentally) and then making it work out? No. It is also about making them believe in the true potential of understanding the buyer and make them believe that they are still in the touch and feel era, but this time, it is highly personalized and individualized for each one. To present this statement in a much better fashion, I will again give another example of another customer whose language or origin, both were way different than ours and our understanding. Tune in to read more in the upcoming blogs in the series of Rudrakshahub and CX…