Sunday, January 23, 2005

customer loyalty

Sometime around last week, I had an accident which I actually ramped two cars from behind. I lost a substantial amount of Ringgit as I am not a rich perosn.

My car was pretty okay, the front bumper was a little wreck and front case was a little dislocated.. The worst damage is done to my car plate.. I sent it for fixing yesterday and got over with RM120 service.. The job was well done by some mechanic who specializes in Volvo services. He told me he is no expert but could do away with some trick. Anyway, the output was okay... One of the question I repeatedly asked him was how good my front bumper now, would it be as strong. ? He gave me a yes and no answer.. Suddenly, I realized that bumper is really to protect your engine and etc..without it, my engine would have been damaged and I would suffer greater lost. But since he gave such good service (probably is only for first timer), I was kind of considering switching my regular service from Cycle & Carriage over here because partly it is nearer to my place.

I still undecided as I couldn't find a good reason to quit Cycle & Carriage apart from its slightly more expensive treatment. But Cycle & Carriage does give a good documented account of the service done to the car and etc.. One of the thing that hold me back is the kind of strategy Cycle & Carriage used to keep customer loyalty. They actually had someone called me up to chit chat with me... via surveying.. She asked me a lot of stupid question ... Now I realized they are trying to create loyalty by making a presence in your mind.. Great Eastern did the same thing.. of course surveying might be helping them to solve some problems, but I dont think that is the main purpose. See, surveying is different from customer service which actually helps customer on real time.. Surveying is more like a marketing channel, which you will be introduced to things which they want you to know ... for instance;

"Our company recently implemented 2 minutes customer service response, how affective you find it ?".. you would probably say "ok". But aim is to let you know that they are doing something to be better customer-oriented.

Another thing I realized.. recently PLUS decided to hike the price.. they created a lot of issues in the newspapers.. Then suddenly the news is as calm as dead sea. I heard that some investigation revealed that PLUS is actually making millions of Ringgit which they claimed otherwise as reason for the hike. Anway, the story is that parliment has ordered a halt on the debate and the hike still go on.

Then yesterday nite, PLUS appear on TV ads.. with theme song "Stand by you" (originated from stand by me).. The ads features PLUS working day and nite to serve its customer. This is brilliant, somehow I was caught there too.. It was able to make you forget about the whole hiking issue, where you see smiling faces proejcted from PLUS and the song they are sing to you.. I am not sure, I am going to see it again.. But it works.

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