Service Culture versus Customer Culture

I often write about service failures. Today I wish to write about service successes.

In this article, by Service Culture, I am referring to the culture of the service people who visit customer homes, offices and premises.

Recently, I had three service encounters (I wonder how I automatically used the word encounter. Have past interactions traumatized me?):

  1. Airtel: My broadband was not working. My experience with the call centre was mediocre, but the person who came to fix the problem was good, quiet and competent. He went about his work without aggravating me or getting in my way. Very happy.
  2. HP…call centre guy. Aggravated me by asking me my name twice and details twice, but once he got control of my computer solved my printer problem fast and without hassling me. Good show. He called me back a week later to check if all was well with the printer.
  3. Chevy Cruze: They were to pick up my car. The person was half an hour late, but polite, showed me his driver license, took my car, and then I was called by the service centre. This is what they would do, and this is how much it would cost. Wanted to do some optional stuff, which I knew was not really necessary, but he explained things and said he recommended them, but if I wanted to wait, no problem. I told him to go ahead. He called me when the car was ready, told me he had dry cleaned the car, and not charged me for a couple of things. The car came back looking newer that it ever did, full marks.

This certainly means the service culture is there. Yet, I have seen failures at Chevy, and now in buying a new car from Honda, and Maruti Suzuki… I would rate them and their follow up as poor. Why?

Just as another example, the Emirates ‘plane caught fire in Dubai. Emirates promptly closed their Kerala office so that the passenger’s families would not hassle them. This is complete lack of Customer culture. This starts from the top. When CXOs can think only of themselves and their companies, and not of Customers, where is the Customer Culture? Superficial, at best.

I keep going back to the Value Creation culture. The lack of focus by top management in this very distinctive and competitive edge issue of taking care of the customer…The top management needs to be re-educated so that they can support the front line people. Are the bosses ready to change their culture and their own mind-set, or they think they know it all?

So even if you have good service people, your company culture can negate their impact.

Would love your comments and help. We are happy to help others in education and executive education on courses in Value Creation.

Join our Value Creation Forums, and our LinkedIn group, Journal of Creating Value.


Gautam Mahajan,
President, Customer Value Foundation and Inter-Link India

Founder editor, Journal of Creating Value
K-185 Sarai Jullena, New Delhi 110025
+91 98100 60368, 011-26831226

Twitter @ValueCreationJ

Customer Value Foundation (CVF) helps companies to Create Value and profit by Creating Value for the Customers, employee and for each person working with the companies.

Total Customer Value Management (Total CVM) transforms the entire company to focus on Creating Value for the Customer by aligning each person’s role in Creating Customer Value and getting shareholder wealth and Value.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business & Management

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