Yesterday I had to book a cab to go to Hazrat Nizammudin Railway station, so I Googled for ‘Easy Cabs’ to get a number from my mobile. On my screen I saw a number (later I would come to know that it was India Taxi service’s customer care number) and dialed it (See image below).

CSE Blunder easy cabsThe customer care executive picked up the phone and before he could say anything I asked him, “Is this Easy Cabs?” He immediately responded: “Wrong Number,” and kept the phone down.

The moment the customer care executive banged the phone down, I realized the blunder he had just committed.

1) Me searching for ‘Easy Cabs’ was brand recall

2) India Taxi Service’s number being displayed right on the top when I searched for ‘Easy Cabs’ was paid marketing

3) The customer care executive keeping the phone down was a LOST OPPORTUNITY. He could have just tried to convert me into his customer

Two learnings for me in this incident:

1) One just can’t put in words the importance of inter-department coordination. If the Marketing team of India Taxi service had informed the rest of the organization that they were bidding for the keyword “Easy Cabs” and there might be such calls coming in, the customer care executives would have been given a appropriate response flow chat by their Manager.

2) Your employees who are in touch with the external world need to be much smarter – with a lot of common sense. They should know NOT just what you are offering but also who your competitors are and what they are offering. If this customer care executive I spoke to had even a little bit of commonsense he would have tried to convert me, and I would have agreed – I just needed a ride to the railway station.

Second incident with an external facing employee

facing_employeeComing back to the extreme need for your folks who are interacting with the external world to be much smarter…let me quote a real incident which happened with me around 18-20 months back.

I was flying back from Chennai to Delhi and at the Chennai Airport saw the Goibibo kiosk (just in case you have been living under a rock for the last two years, let me tell you that Goibibo.com is a leading online air ticketing destination). Since I had worked for ibibo three years back and had an interest in knowing what they were up to, I walked up to the two pretty ladies and feigned ignorance.

I asked: “What is Goibibo?”

Their next statement shocked me. One of the girls said: “Sir, do you know makemytrip.com? Goibibo is like that.”

Another example of an external facing employee (or intern in this case) not being appropriately informed & trained.