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Is Customer always Right.

August 7, 2011

During my consulting days I had worked on multiple projects where I gave advice on how companies can build competitive advantage by becoming more customer centric and not product centric. What this meant was that companies have to be built with customer in the focus, understand their needs and develop its ecosystems around the customer – what products to offer, how to offer, how to service them and so on.

Running a company has made me realize all the more that this concept of a customer centric company is super duper important. So the question here arises – does the customer know what he/she wants? Do they explicitly state that or should we as companies have to infer these from different data sets that customers leave during their interactions with companies? How should startups like DesiSauda.com should bear the burden of excellent customer service. In this I would like to concentrate on the last question – over the past three months I have encountered numerous situations that made me think at what costs should startups bear to make the customers happy.

Everyone agrees that having a satisfied customer is very important as they become your company’s spokespersons and at the same time disgruntled customers spread the bad word like a wild fire. we at DesiSauda had always tried to serve our customers to our utmost capability and sometimes going over and beyond. But what we have seen is that most of the customers are satisfied with what we have to offer and as a company we cannot afford to cast the net wide spread to satisfy all customers. There is always a cost benefit analysis that comes to play – for example during our referral program we have seen few people misuse the program by creating incorrect email ids and referring members within the family (invalid as per our rules). Given this we had to revamp our referral program. At the end of the day what counts is whether you are able to satiated at least 90% of your customer base and as a startup this is even more important.

Now I do not loose sleep on every customer complaint and try to resolve genuine customer issues aiming at their satisfaction and for rest of the issues try to do a cost benefit analysis

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