In the current era of globalization, businesses have to be on top when it comes to offering quality customer services. I term it as the lifeblood of any company or business besides offering promotions and discounts. For any businesses to remain competitive, customer service should be on top of their agenda. A satisfied customer will always come back and bring others due to positive feedback. An excellent customer service is about creating a sustainable relationship with a customer, hence turning them into repeat customers. On a personal level, I have come across several instances of good service that completed the gap between business and customer as well as the opposite. I had a positive experience with Oxygen, a Travel and Tours company. On the other hand, Telkom, a communication company, made me reflect on how that gap is still wide and needs to be filled.
Last April, I decided to visit my grandmother who lives in New Jersey. From many modes of transport, I settled on travelling by bus. I knew it was going to be a long journey, but I wanted adventure and this was a good one since I had the chance to see the countrysides. It was long since I had seen my grandparents. So, I packed many clothes as I planned to stay for a month or so. I decided to travel with Oxygen Company, since I admired its fleet of buses. As I booked the ten o’clock bus, I noticed there was a rule stating that passengers had to be at the bus station thirty minutes before departure. I had a suitcase and a small bag with me, and, as my suitcase was put in the luggage compartment, I hung on to my small bag with my laptop inside.
Just before departure time, I felt pressed and had to relieve myself. So, I went to the lavatories for a short call. I left my bag at the secretary’s desk and went to the loo. Thereafter, as I emerged, I found out that my bus was about to leave and rushed to take my seat. I had totally forgotten about my bag with my laptop. After about an hour of travel, I wanted to check my mail and realized that I had left my bag at the secretary’s desk. I panicked and had no clue as to what would follow next. I prayed that my laptop was safe since it cost me a lot. Immediately, I contacted the driver about my situation and, to my surprise, he just smiled and gave me that reassuring look. He said I should not worry, as he will get in touch with their main office at once.
As I went back to my seat, I expected the worst since I had heard many stories of missing luggage. I thought of what could happen and if I would ever get it. After about five hours, we alighted at our destination after which I was ushered in to a waiting room and given a cup of coffee. I was told to wait for about an hour before my luggage could arrive with the eleven o’clock bus. All the while, I was entertained and felt at home. Sure enough, the eleven o’clock bus arrived with my bag and everything was intact. I did not expect this to happen. This act reassured me and ever since, I always travel with Oxygen wherever I go for short distances.
From the experience, I noted that Oxygen has been investing in their customer service. The fact that they take care of customer’s luggage is a confirmation to that. Moreover, they ensured that I got my luggage within the shortest time possible. It was such a positive experience because I did not have to wait for a long time before I got my luggage. Many travel companies state that customers should keep their luggage at their own risk. It was such a quick response and a good one.
On the other hand, I was irritated with Telkom’s customer service. I had just bought airtime credit and was planning to call my cousin. He had just said how sick he was and before I could ask more questions my line went off. I checked my credit account balance only to find that I had none. I was perplexed and wondered where the credit could have gone. I was sure I had not used any amount of it. I called Telkom’s customer support service to find out the truth on what had just happened.
However, no one answered my call on the other side. After a few tries, I was put on hold and told to wait until they find one free customer care agent. This went on for more than half an hour. I was furious since I wanted to call my cousin urgently. I was finally put through after an hour, which seemed to be an eternity. They fixed my problem after two hours. My dissatisfaction caused me to change service provider. I believe that telecommunication companies such as Telkom should invest in getting more customer care agents if there are so many customers calling for help. The few that have been employed seem to be overwhelmed and do not put customer at the forefront.
Telkom has had poor marketing strategies. It has not been able to cater for its customers’ needs as advertised in the media. The company has been engaging in misleading advertisements that indicate the provision of better services to customers but is not practicing it in the actual sense. This has led to loss of trust to the company especially to servises customers feel discontented with. I would recommend that the company adopts a marketing strategy that involves customers’ contribution and is in line with the emerging levels of technology. This would ensure that customers contribute their views and are able to be served as required. Technological improvements in marketing strategies would ensure that there are no delays when attending to customers.
Oxygen Company has a stronger marketing strategy that translates better services to its customers. It has conducted several market researches in the transport industry hence enabling it offer best services to customers. In addition, the company always involves its customers in marketing its services. Technology has been adopted in its marketing plans, to ensure that customers are effectively served per their suggestions. The records relating to customers are also effectively kept in order to ensure they are satisfied.
I still remember that incident because I did not manage to talk to my cousin. Although, people say that bad memories last longer. That is an example of a negative experience that I would never forget. When faced with a problem, I wished customer support agent to fix it. I have taken a lot of time contemplating whether it is worth my time and effort or not. Things like automated customer service should be managed well to ensure smooth service around the clock. Such a company would attract many customers.