Citizens urge improvement in customer services standards
Amid an increasing number of cases of unsatisfactory customer service, citizens have demanded an improvement in the standard of after-sale services provided
New Delhi : Amid an increasing number of cases of unsatisfactory customer service, citizens have demanded an improvement in the standard of after-sale services provided, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, a citizen engagement platform.
India has a thriving middle class who buys a product based on its utility, life span and after-sales customer service. However, many cases of bad customer service have been reported by consumers, largely due to the absence of set customer service standards in the country.
In this regard, LocalCircles conducted a set of polls, wherein 38 percent customers said their problems were either unresolved or took over a month to resolve. Furthermore, 24 percent said it took 8 - 30 days, 20 percent said it took four to seven days, while 18 percent said it took up to three days.
Meanwhile, 43 percent customers said the poorest customer service was that of the mobile handset and computer manufacturing companies, 38 percent voted for white goods companies (makers of fridge, TV, washing machines) and 11 percent said automobile companies (two and four-wheeler manufacturers) ranked low in terms of after-sale services.
Furthermore, 53 percent said companies never replace the product, while 30 percent said companies replace but take very long to do so.
In terms of customer service in the services sector, banking and insurance got 43 percent votes, mobile telecom received 32 percent votes, e-commerce received 14 percent votes and airlines got 11 percent votes for poor service.
Furthermore, 93 percent consumers said brands should acknowledge complaints within 72 hours when contacted through the standard modes of toll-free number, email or website.
Nearly majority of the respondents (95 percent) said it should be mandatory for every packaged consumer product to have a functional toll-free phone number, email address and a website in interest of good customer service, along with a fixed 'maximum time taken' standard defined for brands to close a consumer complaint.
Therefore, as after-sale customer service continues to be an integral part of retail, consumers also suggested different ways of improving customer service by brands, including well-manned customer service helpline, prompt response to email enquiries, and a dedicated person taking care of social media complaints.