In an identical scenario a few months back at around the same time in a bank in Colombo, Sri Lanka, something different happened. A bank teller who spotted me waiting outside summoned the security guard to open the door, after which he welcomed me in. There were warm smiles from all corners of the room. I was delighted at this red carpet treatment. What followed was even more remarkable. Shortly, the same teller accompanied me to come to the counter where he processed my request, and this was done at 8:50 AM when the bank was still not open. I walked out with a smile. What a way to start the day. The bank had exceeded my expectations not once but twice.
"Ki Bapare Ashchen" seems to be a very common phrase wherever you go in Bangladesh be it private, public or even a foreign owned enterprise. We Bangladeshis claim to be such friendly, warm people. In fact even if there is one thing that foreign tourists are full of praise about us is our hospitability. However in the instances such as the scenario I described above we seem to tend to forget about who we really are.
Customer Service is a widely misunderstood and misused concept in Bangladesh. Service level is not just delivered at the transaction stage and after sales stage of a product or service- rather across all customer touch points. In today's era of commoditization and emergence of me-too culture, service quality can be a key differentiator. It's unfortunate that very few companies in Bangladesh see such potential in service. Theodore Levitt once said "There is no such thing as service industries. There are only industries whose service components are greater or less than those of other industries. Everybody is in Service."
In one of his books, Philip Kotler explained the importance of three F's of service marketing: fast, flexible and friendly. He states any company can use these three F's as a base to develop appropriate service levels. Meeting your customers expectations is good, exceeding it is will take you one step closer to greatness. It's a small world out there, satisfied customers can give your business an unexpected leverage, while you are busy spending heaps on other marcom channels. Still convinced about your customer service? Try giving a call to your customer service helpline asking about an unusual problem? Better get a tough friend to do some mystery shopping. You will be surprised. So the next time you meet a customer or a prospect, smile and say "How may I help you?" Remember Peter Drucker's famous line, your business is all about other people's money. Be nice!