Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Selective measurement

I signed up for a new mobile connection from a large service provider . This was primarily to be able to access emails on the mobile . I had hoped that they would be far better than the existing service provider whom I shall endure until number portability is enabled .
With Airtel by now I have experienced the full range of problems that one can possibly have with a mobile phone provider - billing problems , activation , lack of technical support , network crash . From this point onwards things can only get better .
One strange phenomenon is that when one calls their technical help line and if the call exceeds a certain duration then an automatic text message is sent to the effect " Thank you for contacting Airtel . If you were satisfied with the last interaction you had with abc pl sms YES else NO to toll free number 247 " . Probably consumers text message their response . The sheer fact that interaction and individual specific feedback is sought makes the individuals do their best to resolve the customer queries . They don't often succeed . But at least they try .
Strangely the customer contact centres of Airtel are totally different story (based on 3 visits to an Airtel centre ) . Chaotic , overcrowded , rising tempers , mismanaged . The folks at the centre don't seem to be trained to be efficient . Most of the time "the system is down" . There is no mechanism for monitoring interactions at this "customer contact centre " . This is carte blanche for the folks manning the centre to respond to customers the way they see fit or able at that point in time .

The common factor in my experience with the technical support centre and the customer contact centre was that neither of them could resolve the problem ( It was finally done by a Nokia dealer ). But the monitoring of the interaction by the company and the feedback system seems to make a world of difference between the 2 experiences.

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