Over the past couple years, I’ve developed a relationship with a number of companies in different parts of the world, but without a doubt, the level of customer service I’ve received from companies in India surpasses most. In fact, I was so blown away by the service at one Indian company in particular IndiaNIC, I started to map it out so that it can be shared.
1. Google your clients
During the very first conversation I had with Ashish Chawla, Business Development Manager, IndiaNIC, I realised that he not only knew, but was able to make reference to industry specifics that I was very involved in. He also knew that I was a Marketing Consultant, that I was an entrepreneur and that I was highly ambitious (his interpretations of the information on my Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles). Additionally, I later received a Statistics update that indicated that one person from India was reading my blog at the very same time of our telephone conversation.
This gave him tremendous insight on who I was, my degree of credibility as a prospective client and my interests, so that he can hold a conversation with me. Little did I know that while I was interviewing his company, he was interviewing me.
2. Make friends (one point of contact)
Before the end of that first conversation, we were discussing Yan Martel’s “Life of Pi” and the different ways it can be interpreted from the perspective of a Trinidadian vs an Indian. We discussed doing business in Trinidad and he gave input into my company’s business development strategy, and of course how his company can support it.
He assured me that he will be my main point of contact, and although there will be several other team members as our business relationship grew, he will be part of all of my interactions with the company. Before the conversation was over, he had begun following me on G+ and sent me a request for connection via LinkedIn. And when the conversation ended, he promptly emailed me a recap of the pertinent points in our conversation along with a few reminders around the lighter points.
3. Check up on them, ask them what they’re working on and how you can help
Several days later, Ashish popped up on my Gmail chat window to ask me if I had made any progress with a client I was courting (I mentioned this to him in our first conversation). He further suggested ways that he can add value and help me book my client.
4. Show them who you are
Later on in our interaction, an important festival was approaching in India, and as such the office was to be closed for one day. I was contacted by Ashish with this information and, to my surprise, a culture lesson, including pictures, so that I could be made to understand the importance of the day, making it a lot easier for me to accept the company’s day off. In fact, it did much more that that, it lent insight into who I was dealing with, and laid the foundation for a real, genuine relationship.
5. Tailor your image to one that is palatable by your target
Although I made reference to my customer service rep by his real name, Ashish, he introduced himself to me as Peter, which is also the name on his email signature. I came across this before in China, where almost any Chinese national who interacted with English speaking tourists, gave themselves an “English Name” like Chris, Kelly or Jack. This was in an effort to make it easier for the tourists to relate to them and of course to remember their names. Ashish used Peter as his english name because Peter is a common enough name for Westerners to relate to and remember. He is one of the faces of the company and as such, this was necessary to make the company’s image more personable to their target.