A valid question, particularly in the current context of Retail Boom, Value Addition the new specialty stores provide etc. etc.I would like to share 2 examples over the past 12 odd years.

Example I

Having worked in Sales & Marketing; as also the Travel Trade for most of my career, always had an opportunity to travel both domestic & International substantially.

Way back in 1995 after the so called airline shakeout it looked as if Indian Airlines; Jet; Sahara were in the reckoning. Jet became the preferred business airline & I started traveling Jet just as others did. We took it for granted that the service was excellent, on time etc. etc. the usual. Till a couple of years later, there were constant issues on service levels, the attitude!!! Had to travel to a sector they did not fly, went by Indian Airlines, a couple of more flights and started realizing – No expectations (i.e. expected it to be late, food cold or pathetic, seating an issue, hostesses rude & so on). One fine day decided to risk an early morning flight to Delhi, since the Jet attitude had surfaced once again. Imagine Flight on time, excellent warm service, and hot food and above all since everyone was fighting on Jet & Sahara ample seating. This was in 1998 & completely switched me over. Mind you it hurt, and I had an occasion to speak to people at Jet, but the high ensured that they nodded their heads & went their own way! Heard & shared complaints with a lot of people but I never flew Jet.

TILL

2006 – A sudden trip with overseas visitors left me with no option but to travel Jet. Good greet at the airport, youngsters & seniors brimming with enthusiasm, great onboard service & everything they had started off with!

What had happened?

Had an occasion to speak to ex Jet employees & other industry veterans who summed it up with one word – KingFisher!

Example II

Having shifted to Mumbai & the new MNC expected me to report for the presentation in a JACKET????

The next day being Sunday, my wife said Shoppers Stop – here we come!

The Service impeccable as the jacket, made me a sworn loyalist always reaching out to purchase from the andheri store.

Time passed, another hectic day of shopping required, was curtly informed at Shoppers Stop, “We no longer stock Arrow shirts” My explaining to them that I have been buying for years together etc. carried no weight. Writing of complaints did not help. Finally gathered a % issue between the two companies.

My wife continued, but I never stepped into Shoppers Stop to buy again.

TILL

August 2007 – The wife forced me to visit Home Stop. Nirvana. Finally found it meeting the expectations once again. The smiling helpful staff, going out of their way to find things, everything that was a hallmark 10 years back.

Who else but Lifestyle; Westside??

This is exactly what is changing the stores next door also. It is empowering the consumers who shall soon dictate more & more. And competition shall ensure that you are on your toes. But surprisingly, the rewarding aspect is still neglected in India. More on this soon…

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends