How a few Indian organizations and public sector/government departments set examples of good experience delivery and how a few others can leave you fuming…

As a CX professional and a consumer oneself for various services from private or government/public sector undertakings, you tend to always be in an evaluation mode. Analyzing mentally to understand what may have gone wrong when encountering a memorable experience or what may be the reasons for shortcomings when receiving below-par or downright abysmal service.

Shining examples of Indian organizations that have a great reputation for excellent experience delivery is Urban Clap. Every experience with a multitude of services they offer always leaves a ‘wow’ feel. Delivering this on a national scale with high variety and volume is truly commendable and praiseworthy. Speaking to their delivery partners about their training and service quality assessment systems reveals thorough training/certification on services offered on the platform as well as control over the quality of material used by service providers. Clearly, attention to detail and robust execution of all experience elements makes them a shining example.

In the public sector space, a wonderful example is IGL – domestic piped supplier of PNG cooking gas. I have been amazed at their extremely quick response to any support requirements – especially for emergency needs. Quick access to their contact centers, well-tied service delivery partners for installation/fault repairs, and good digital interface platforms. Clearly, someone at the leadership level in the PSU has done an excellent job to create a robust delivery system.

When I share these examples, I also get reminded that great experience delivery has to be an ongoing organizational focus at all times. One of the organizations where I have seen this slip over time is HDFC. Earlier both HDFC Housing Finance and Retail banking stood apart in terms of well-laid-out processes, quick response times, and well-trained staff, eager to help. However, as volumes of banking/retail operations went up, there were many chinks in their delivery experience, and you notice significant gaps in many areas. I had a strange experience while using one of their International FX Travel cards while traveling in Europe. Withdrawing foreign exchange cash in Switzerland, the ATM displayed an error message, so the process was repeated a second time and this time the required cash got dispensed. However, to my dismay, the mobile notification showed 2 debits of the same amount (it seems even the earlier error message had still debited the amount from my card). In a foreign land, this is an extremely distressing situation for your liquidity needs on travel – so I immediately got in touch with the Customer Support contact number mentioned for Forex cards. The agent at the other end took details and said it would take 1 week to resolve the case!!! This displayed a completely insensitive/uncaring design of a process completely misaligned for emergency case handling – which should be a 2-4 hour resolution time. It was clear that the agent could not go beyond the standard script/SLA defined for the case – a classic example of even a mature service organization not stitching the customer experience across their product range. (The matter took a huge effort of social media escalation, repeat calling to the Relationship Manager for intervention, and in the process spoiling a day of planned leisure/sightseeing.)

On the government visitor services, a friend relates his recent experience of a visit to Mughal Garden in Rashtrapati Bhavan – a beautiful tourist spot teeming with visitors from across the country and many international visitors. He was very impressed with the beauty of the garden yet shocked at so many gaps in the overall visitor experience at various touchpoints. The official website said taking water bottles is allowed (given it is a 2-3 hours walk, it is definitely needed), yet at the check-in points, the security refused, not caring about what was said on the website. Bottles had to be dumped on the side. Carry bags are not allowed inside for security reasons (understandable), so the very least one would expect is to have a facility of lockers where they can be kept (even if at nominal charge). Yet, what was available was only an option to leave the bag in the hall, ‘unmarked, untagged,’ and to be collected back on return. Nothing was stopping anyone from walking off with someone else’s bag!!! Similarly, he narrates that at every security point there was a printed sheet of visitors who had taken an online pass (booking for which opens only 1 week in advance – again a mystery on why it can’t be a longer window giving ease to outstation visitors who have to plan much in advance). However, at the last security checkpoint, the entry of all visitor details was being done manually in a register, creating a huge backlog of waiting queue. Clearly, there was no mind being applied by the supervising staff/Administrative head here to spot areas where the ‘visitor experience’ is suffering and resolving the same. Indifference & lethargy at its best, was on display.

The lesson is that whichever organization – private/PSU/Government it may be, it has to keep the customer/citizen/visitor as the ‘center point’ of their focus to deliver a good experience, consistently. If attention shifts or it is not there at all, below an acceptable level experience gets delivered eroding the brand reputation of the organization or the country.

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