Saturday, July 12, 2008

Same brand, different levels of services

Have experienced some very poor and obvious inconsistency in services between one franchisee to another, while same may be true even of various Branches of banks, hotels, services, there are very few who actually get the formula of consistency right..

So who has it wrong :

  1. Kaya Skin clinic. Their Bandra branch is one of the best. The Bangalore one comes a close second. The worse one is the Kolkata Alipur branch. Reason? Well the Kolkata branch does even have the latest phone numbers of their Bangalore counterparts. Let’s admit Kaya is not a cheap service. If they cannot get their around to having a customer data base such that their customers can indeed avail of services in any city(as they claim), then they indeed have got it wrong. Alternatively there needs to be a system such that transfers of customers etc are well noted/and actioned. If you want to be frustrated with the innate lack of response/action/or understanding of a problem even on emails, just send an email on The service in Bandra one was quite good. I did have a few issues which I had expressed and it got immediately addressed in Bandra. The Bangalore one was all rite. But the Kolkata one had some inexperienced people, who handled some of the delicate services, the noise; loud chatter etc was just not like any Kaya Clinic. One wonders if Marico even have a check to ensure uniform service levels across the country.
  2. Lakme Salon : What started as a niche service with the Lakme Salon in Churchgate, Mumbai has now become a mushrooming easily accessible Salon in every city . So what’s going wrong ? Inconsistency in services. Yes they get the green shaded interiors right. They have the use of products down correct. But the staffs from one location to the other are very differently trained. Example the one in Borivli, Mumbai used to be one of the very best, but now with people changing the service is very So-SO. One of the worst ones is LAKME in 12th Main Indira Nagar, Bangalore. The Franchisee is a retired teacher who walks around with an air of knowledge that she doesn’t have. What does one need at a Salon ? Perhaps a head stylist/or supervisor who knows her job-and at least looks like she uses her own products. Someone with crow black hair dye, and dishing out advise like “I think you need to go darker(on hair color)” when the trend was to go lighter at that time, was really disappointing. Bad enough it’s crowded, worse is having people with no frame of reference on good service. Having complained about this earlier recd ZERO feedback from LAKME. Disappointing.
  3. AYUSH : These are the Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Sala venture with Unilever, Yes the Kerala massages(Abhyangams) and good. The one in Indira Nagar Bangalore was very professional. Very good service.(yes, the same one next to Dravids house J. Have found the service even better at Egmore, Chennai. The one which got it bad ? Besant Nagar branch. They don’t even know how to address a complaint. The Egmore one gives a discount of 10% if you are a regular. But if u visit the Besant Nagar one, they won’t offer the same discount. Why ? Because they are separate franchisees. Secondly The Besant Nagar one had some serious comment written by me in the feedback only to NEVER hear from them. How sad. Seems like they are suffering from too much business.
  4. Kiah Diamond Jewelry : Am not much of an expert. But these are a bit cheaper than the over priced Nakshatra(I guess we are paying for the advt. to be done by the Ex Ms. World, but then the Ex Ms. Universe is selling branch Kiah..Hmmm) Kiah in Bangalore was one of the best. They allowed one to buy on installments(now this is quite interesting for buying a small bauble, which one might be able to pay over period of time). Not THAT stressful on the pocket and the vanity and pride of owning a diamond pays for itself. Kiah in Bangalore(Commercial Street) actually has some cleaning services as well, which is quite convenient since the product is high maintenance. The worse one was in Kolkata in South City Mall. On Saturday as I was walking around the Mall, I just walked in. There was no other customer. I almost felt like Julia Roberts when she walks into a high end store. First of the staff have a demeanor about them like “you cannot afford to buy this. Why bother getting up to serve this customer” all of them were sitting around, and seemed pretty over staffed. I looked around and felt a little uncomfortable as they couldn’t answer any of my questions on whether they had polishing/cleaning services or if they had any installment based plans. They were clueless and didn’t even want to ask any other branch like Bangalore whose example I had given I realized, this differs from store to store. Have left behind a seriously caustic moment and wanted a response back. Haven’t heard from them till date..

    So who’s got it right ?

  1. Saravanna Bhavan : Say what you want, this chain has got it right. The service, the timeliness, and the taste is the same whether irrespective of which branch one goes to.
    Canara Bank : Yes the humble Canara Bank, who are now going in for an image makeover. The service is the same, whether it was in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, or Dahisar, Mumbai, or Kilpauk, Chennai. No frills, just plain vanilla service. That’s all rite as long as one can expect consistency.
  2. Shoppers Stop : Same service. Almost similar merchandise. You wouldn’t really know if you were in Hyderabad, or in Chennai, Kolkata Bangalore or in Kandivli, Mumbai. Other than Size of some of the stores, most of layout is the same. Why the citizen card works in any branch. Its cool.
  3. INOX and PVR : Again they have got it right. Consistency. Irrespective of the city. The online booking of tickets, the screens, and the popcorn-it’s just uniform.
  4. Café Coffee day/ Barista : Menu, Decor, and services irrespective of city. It’s the same, Ok I would also grudgingly add Mc Donald’s for consistency. Décor, service, menu, and layout is usually the same from city to city/branch to branch.


Aditi Bhagwat said...

Hey good analysis. I think the Indian (even global) Service industry is going through a metamorphosis of some sort. You know there was a story where a well known model lost most of her hair after she went for hair ironing in Lakme, Richmond Road.

Then coming to banks and call centres. People picking up the phone and then not sounding grumpy over a query is a real wonder. And i cant say shipping is far behind. The basic commercial sense has not yet percolated to the grass root levels.

Deepa Subbaraman said...

The Lakme Indira Nagar is one of the worst...That Lady creeps me out with her lack of knowledge.

Even Kanya off 100 feet road is so so. The one i can recommnd is JEANNE Salon on Church Road(same building as the Aligator brand)

and Kaya is just going downhill. Why do i still go there? I had paid them a lot of money and wont get a i have to suck it up with the levels of service. WHy the other day, i was told i had an appointment on Tuesday only to realise it is Tuesday AFTER next. How professional....NOT.

As for Banks, and others they seem to be bent on wiining/read harrassing customers over Phones "DO u need a loan. DO u need a credit card" its pathetic when the after sales is so bad..

The one i really prefere for after sales is TATA Sky. Quite Prompt and very professional(hope this lasts)

Cheers, D