Service Recovery and Word of Mouth Hospital Marketing

Goof ups in hospitals are always round the corner.

I dare suggest that quite often they are unavoidable. Do what you may, there will always be someone who will slip once in a while and you will have an irate customer. The headcount in a typical 300 bed tertiary care hospital in India can easily be 800 people or more. In spite of all the care in hiring the right set of people and putting them through rigorous training, they will still end up making mistakes.

Good hospitals, while trying to minimise errors also learn to accept them as inevitable and put in place systems, that help them handle difficult situations well. Great hospitals go one step further, they not only do excellent service recovery, they also ensure that the the patients leave the hospital with a positive frame of mind, in spite of the mishap.   Continue reading

Customer Experience at the Web World

Yesterday evening I needed to buy an Internet Data Card. I walked into the store of Reliance Communications (The Webworld) at the New Friends Colony community centre in New Delhi at around 0730 PM. I knew that the store closes at 8 PM.

I found an almost deserted store.

An executive was busy stacking the CD’s of some movies on the Big Flix counter. He paid me no attention. I hesitatingly approached another individual who was busy watching television on a newly installed ‘BIG  TV’ screen. The gentleman curtly informed that there was no one available to sell me the data card.

When I remonstrated that I needed the card urgently as I was traveling to Mumbai the next day, I was told that the cards have been locked away by the sales person and he has already left for the day. When I pointed out that the store remains open till 8 PM, I was told that on Sundays executives leave earlier. No reasons were ascribed to this. The body language indicated that this is the way things were and I better accept it.

I than asked to speak with the store manager. I was informed that no one was available and when I requested for the store manager’s phone number I was told to go and get it from someone in the basement. When I reminded this gentleman that I was a customer, and he needed to get me the number, he reluctantly went downstairs and returned with a number.

I promptly called up this number and discovered that the number did not work!

By then another gentleman had turned up from the basement and he indicated that he was the Customer Care Executive. He too said that he was helpless and absolutely nothing could be done about my request. He also informed me that the store manager whose number has been given to me was on leave and not available on the phone!

When I asked for the number of the Head of Customer Care or any other senior official I was informed by the ‘customer care executive’ that no number of any other Reliacnce official was available with him.

Finally left with no choice I departed feeling outraged and disgusted.