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October 30, 2011

Excellence in Customer service - A Network Experience - Part II

“That’s a problem! Can you push it to 14 days? I have some urgent work”. I promised to try and followed it with the head office. It was an uneven fortnight and the SP promptly called on the 13th day which was a Wednesday. Luckily the machine had arrived. I told him that we would deliver and install the machine on Friday. “As you know sir tomorrow is Deepavali and it is a off for us”. “That is right” he said.

“But it would be nice if you can install it tomorrow itself as I have to make a presentation to the District Collector. Try your best. I know it is not possible, but that’s my need” Saying this he dropped the phone. By his voice I could make that he was annoyed and upset. But he was too much of a gentleman to shout at me.

I went to my RM (regional manager) and explained the situation. My RM could understand my predicament. We loved the customer at Network and we wanted to serve him at all times. My RM was helpless. Deepavali was the biggest festival of India and there was no person who was willing to work on a festival day. The problem was that the district was 250 kilometers away and that meant that the entire day would be spent in delivering and coming back to Hyderabad.

I volunteered to take care of the training. Electronic typewriters were considered to be technically advanced and all customers were trained in the usage of the typewriters.  I went to the service deportment and explained the situation. A service engineer Durga Prasad accepted the challenge and volunteered to take care of the installation.

On Deepavali we started out at 6 in the morning, took a train and travelled till 11. Finally we reached the destination. A royal reception was waiting for us. There was a police jeep waiting for us.

Our day was very eventful. The SP of Police was delighted by our gesture to install the typewriter on Deepavali. We were given royal treatment. It was customarily to eat only vegetarian food on Deepavali. Otherwise I was very sure that we would have been treated with the tastiest non vegetarian dishes!

We installed the machine, trained the typist, and showed him how to make good presentations. The SP was overjoyed. We were dropped off at the railway station. It was almost 10 in the night when we reached Hyderabad. The bursting of the crackers (the highlight of Deepavali) had already ended.

Yes that Deepavali had become a normal working day for me and Durga Prasad. But we had achieved something that will last for a life time. We had succeeded in delighting the customer who will remember us and Network for a life time. Yes we were the company that sacrificed our Deepavali so that our customer’s day would be lit up like the Deepavali night. 

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