Why sharing your experience is important?

Sharing bad experience with our ever growing network (made possible because of social media influx), is a low cost solution to get service providers improve service quality. Taking customers for a ride by businesses is quite common in India. Let us take some examples:

A builder threatened (and ultimately) forced a hapless home buyer to sign a modified apartment buyer contract that increased the possession date by almost 2 years and halved its liability of penalty payment for late delivery.

It took me almost two months of regular follow ups and exchanges of over 200 emails to get an online retailer which only sells through mobile apps to refund for a bad product that it sold to me.

Because of the nature of my job, I have to travel a lot. An airline bus meant to carry passengers from Gate No. 12, domestic airport, Mumbai India to International Airport runway for take off, had non-working air-conditioners, yet it boxed as many passengers as it could in the bus. Then a complaint to its crew member to get the seat cleaned got me the cynical response: the cleaner has left so we can’t do anything now sir.

A builder trying to fleece its customers who’re enslaving themselves in a bad job or with a bad boss to be able to continue paying EMIs in time so that they can have a roof over their heads or a retailer refusing to refund for a bad product and an airline or a hotel ruining your trip are just a few examples of doing business without business ethics. That is not all, though. Doctors at top hospital prescribe additional medicines or tests which are not needed. Such practices must stop.

Resorting to legal remedies in India is too cumbersome. Besides it costs money and time so most aggrieved people just keep quiet. However, sharing your bad experiences with your network or on social media does not involve any real cost but it helps. It helps even though it can’t exactly be a substitute for legal actions either through consumer or civil courts.

Because of sharing, other potential customers get to know what kind of service they should be expecting, and may take timely corrective actions or may decide not to use the service provider in question. Thus, in a country where contract enforcement is really poor, sharing our bad experiences are a no-cost- method to rein in bad service providers.

This however doesn’t mean that we should only share our bad experiences with individual service providers. Sharing good experiences is equally important. Like, returning a book that I had bought from another online retailer, Amazon and getting the refund was absolutely no problem. When I pointed to a crew member of another airline, Vistara, about my seat being dirty, the crew member immediately cleaned it herself.

From then on, I prefer using this airline flights whenever I can and buy from Amazon when I’m buying online. To summarize, publicity about bad service may mean lower sales for the service providers. Publicity of good service also mean increased sales revenue to the seller in an intensely competitive market place.

That’s why, reputation management is fast becoming important for businesses. Good and bad reputation have serious financial implications. Therefore, businesses do care about what people say or tweet about them simply because it may affect sales and revenues. It’s more likely that businesses do take corrective actions to improve the quality of services they offer.

Are you sharing your experience with friends or colleagues and your network? Share you must because we deserve better. And together we can and should make it better by our small efforts like sharing our thoughts and experiences with our networks.

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