We are not tickets!!!

December, 2021

Dear Friends

In this fast moving world, processes have become paramount to achieve scale and so-called success. Many a times sacrificing at the altar of process, the very people that are supposed to be serviced. I am not against systems and process. No I cannot be, coming from a governance profession. But when the people behind the process work mechanically without understanding the purpose, without being sensitive to the people being served, to the criticality of the issue, to the timelines to be met, the organisations that they represent stand to lose. Because ultimately the people being served (customers) are left dissatisfied.

“Hey, we are not mere TICKETS, we are human beings and we need to be treated likewise” exclaimed an exasperated Harsha, a first time entrepreneur. It took me a while to understand that he was unhappy with the online aggregator who had trapped him into a package for compliance services promising ‘everything under one roof’. Experiencing the services from different professionals under a single banner but operating individually across India was not the ideal solution Harsha expected. He said each time he called a ticket would be raised, his call put on hold and transferred to a new person. The same set of questions would be raised and again the call would pass on to a new person until it would either get disconnected or a standard ‘raise a query, we will resolve’ kind of response would come up. Harsha was himself a techie, deploying algorithms and what have you to offer solutions to his customers but he admitted that mere technology will not do. Technology and process must be used to offer a pleasant experience, an efficient resolution, a quick response, a proactive approach to the customer. What he missed most in the TICKET-process-approach was the lack of proactive advice, an assurance of ‘hum hain na’ (we are there), a consistency and stability that gives comfort and confidence to building a lasting business relationship. I couldn’t agree more with him when he complained that he was reduced to a mere ‘TICKET for disposal’ rather than a ‘living person to be serviced’. This disappointment and frustration is what has brought Harsha to our firm as a customer. After helping him unentangle the maze he is in, he is able to appreciate the difference in services that a boutique firm like ours brings. I am sure it is the same with most other professionals as well who care for PEOPLE rather than NUMBERS (whether ticket or revenue figures !). People are at the core of businesses, be it employees, be it vendors, be it customers, be it consumers, be it partners. While processes are required, they must be people-sensitive and agile.

I am sure each of you will have a story to share – both good and bad – about your own experiences with banks, insurance companies, retail stores, ecomm companies, educational institutions, hotels, hospitals etc. which are expanding their footprints constantly. We all have pleasant experiences too that make us go back again and again to them. Let’s create such memories in the coming years, despite the pandemic challenges that we have – the need is even more now than ever before !