The importance of ‘customer care’ in the Indian Industries has been on the rise ( or I should say decline) lately.
I have been calling up customer care offices of various companies (not just telecom) of India since 2004 (as far as I can remember), being the ‘chhotu’ and the most tech savvy guy in the family, this responsibility was always loaded on my shoulders.
I have dealt with the IVRs slow and non-bypassable instuctions, I have waited for 10-15 minutes at times for getting a ‘chance’ to connect with the ever-so-busy ‘customer service executive’, I have seen it all I guess, or I should say I presume…
The Biggest telecom operator in, the telecom giant, famous for its coverage and slightly higher pricing.
I have had an ok-ok experience with them, whole of my family uses Airtel (3 memebrs to be precise) except me, I have stuck on to aircel, as I can’t imagine living with a limited mobile data plan (like most companies provide).
The customer service has been rude, sleepy and arrogant, maybe I am exaggerating, but when you are ought to be polite, a minor incident of rudeness seems huge. The thing is, their network is good, and the quality of service is also fine which might compensate for their customer service, these observations are a generalized result of calling them up some years back, NOW, they seem to have corrected their behavior somewhat, but, I would admit, they sound arrogant. Maybe, the companies dominance has gone into their head too.
Remains my preferred network, though, not out of choice but under my need to have a good (unlimited) data pack.
The coverage is pathetic, If you travel a lot, this can mean nightmare, network blows away in the middle of a metropolitan city mysteriously.
The only selling point they had for me was their unlimited Pocket Internet Pack, NOW, even they have limited it to 2 GB of data at good speed and later on, unbrowsable speeds.
The customer service isn’t rude straight away, they will entertain you (only after you wait for 10-15 minutes for the call to connect and sustain their theme songs on loop), and then they will try to divert you, saying this is not our fault, this is not the right department, this service is not available or anything after which you wouldn’t even be asked if they can put down you call, that will be done in a very autocratic manner. Maybe a result of poor training. But still, when you call and you have to wait for so many minutes you are bound to be frustrated.
Tata Docomo: 5/5
This company, backed by one of the most respected business houses and a pioneering japanese telecom giant is of the ‘hat-ke’ thinking, they have tried to stand apart in this competitive Indian market and I must say, they actually did.
Be it their ‘doo-tu-du’ (ambiguous spelling) theme song or creative marketing, they have done things differently, and that also has been applied to customer service.
I have been using Tata Indicom’s (now docomo) walky wireless phone and now my sister too had a docomo connection, and seriously they are a step ahead in customer care.
I’ll list their good points:
1. First and foremost, this company, unlike others, doesn’t avoid customers to call, they were the first and I assume the only company to allow a direct call to an executive from the first option screen of IVR.
To explain, whenever you call and listen to IVRs instructions you can just press 9 (not sure) and connect to an executive, instead of finding ways to talk to customer care via different menus and sub menus.
2. They don’t have that mechanised or overtly official sound on their IVR system, I was surprised when I was greeted by Miss India Pooja Chopra on the IVR (obviously that was recorded 😛 ) that really makes a difference.
3. The customer service executives are good, polite and helpful.
Seriously, they stand out in customer service and care.
To be honest, I have never used a reliance mobile connection (provided their reputation).
But I have been using a Reliance Broadband connection for some time, and I would assume they have the same level of service.
I have been calling them rather frequently, due to some technical problems that never seem to go.
There agents have been polite, well versed and patient, as if they have all the time in the world. They are not reluctant to take complaints, and in solving them too. They time it takes to connect is very less too.
Overall, an experience that one expects. (an mysteriously they are the only executives who can pronounce my name correctly after listening to it just once)
The ‘national’ telecom company, what more I can say??
And they take this ‘sarkari’ stature rather seriously. Marred by ‘red-tapism’ and governmental slowness, they never seem to improve.
Good things are their tariffs, coverage (all over India, and not the quality of service) and Broadband.
Bad things?? it’s full of them.
1. Super-sarkari procedures-
Once (I will never again), I bought a BSNL sim, submitted my documents, the retailer gave them to distributer, the distributer to the company… and then a wait of 2 week and still, no activation. There are companies who activate your SIM right away, but BSNL you are too formal I guess. Yes, I can wait for a day or two, but 2 weeks??? I called their customer service (comparable to Aircel’s wait) and there a rude government employ (most probably) told me that now they couldn’t do anything and I will need to come to their regional office to get it verified. It was far, but not too far, but I was frustrated and I had made up my mind to never touch a BSNL product again.
2. Customer Service.
Slow. Rude. Poor Knowledge.
You cannot talk to an executive and you’ll have to wait a lot listening to pre recorded messages while waiting with a rough background music, then you’ll be greeted by a rude executive, who’ll speak in tone that will make you think about the governmental permanency of his/her job at least once. You’ll be ignored, or redirected somewhere else.
3. Quality of service isn’t great, even after a great and unsurpassed coverage.
These results are based on my experiences and dealings with customer services in Mahrashtra telecom region, your area might or might not be different. I haven’t talked about some other companies as either I haven’t used them or I haven’t used them enough to be in a position to comment.