Last weekend was very interesting for me - met a few of my school friends, some of them I hadn't met since school days got over (12 years). All of us are doing different things in different parts of the world...that was the interesting part.
This group brought along a wide range of experience and knowledge to the table and somehow during our reliving the "good-old" days - we approached the subject of Customer Service. I do not remember the incident that must have prompted this discussion - the main point of discussion was that it is observed by globetrotters that Indians have a higher customer service quotient vis-a-vis developed countries, i.e. we are better in providing service.
Though I do not dispute the statement that service levels in India are good, but in my experience there is no consistency. Quality of service is certainly not directly proportional to price of service. It will be foolhardy to think that quality of service will be poorer at a dhaba than a five star hotel or that the local kiryana store owner will be any less respectful of your business than a shop in a mall. Also, I cannot say with confidence that service levels across same price-bands will be consistent (e.g. service of all five stars will be equally good) - rather I can prove it that this is not the case.
I wonder why my friends feel pampered when they seek service, while in India. Few thoughts come out - one, they are back in their "own country" and this would make them feel good about everything; two, service in certain sections is certainly top-class; third, probably customer service is really poor in their part of the world and lastly probably they can see-n-feel this difference and may be actually correct in their assessment.
What do you guys think? Is India that lonely planet where customer service is the way of life, where customer is the king...where the words "Atithi Devo Bhava" actually come out in action?
Do let me know what you think of this, leave a comment and share some experiences to elaborate on this.
Thanks...take care and keep smiling.