Saturday, January 17, 2009

Service Minus

Witnessed service taken to a new low . At a Food Bazaar store the security person opens the bag of the consumer , evaluates content that is similar to what is being retailed in the store and tags it with a sticker e.g deo spray , powder . Idea possibly being that at the exit another security person will countercheck contents (even if randomly ). Watched this happening to a consumer before me. I walked out of the store after seeing this completely ridiculous and disrespectful attitude towards the consumers . Resorting to such extremes is a sign of intellectual bankruptcy on part of a retailer . No amount of "low prices" is worth enduring such disrespect .

The unspoken approach at Food Bazaar is to treat all customers as potential shop-lifters . Insisting on depositing bags , sealing purses in plastic bags , sealing plastic bags of purchases made in-store in such a way that plastic needs to be ripped apart . These are some of the measures adopted by Food Bazaar in the past . Possibly they continue to do all of this . Having been put off by initial experiences of this type I seldom venture into a Food Bazaar outlet. What I witnessed today was by far the worst ever experience at a store .

Across the country there are plenty of stores across categories that don't subject customers to such ignominy . Are they all approaching bankruptcy courtesy loss due to pilferage ? Doesn't seem so . 

Many retailers look at service as something they are sort of expected to provide once the consumer is a few feet inside the store . What happens at the door is not their responsibility .

The other part of the problem is that consumers in India tolerate poor service to a large extent .And will go off the deep end when it gets beyond a point . This type of an approach on part of the consumer adds to the problem of poor service . Pro active service is an alien concept for many retailers ( like Food Bazaar ). Add to it the fact that there are no/few recorded complaints from customers . Until something becomes statistically significant it is not meant to be addressed .

The field is wide open for retailers who choose to compete on service .


1 comment:

nelson solomon said...

hello good morning, read your comments with intrest on kishore biyani's food bazaar.
hope to see your views on ramalingam raju and satyam