Skip to main content

Retail Boom - customer service is the key

Everyone around the world is talking about the retail boom happening in India and the way it is going to explode and everyone who is anyone in the world retail space wants to be in India. Having said that things have changed quite a bit in terms of presentation and availability of products in India but what has not changed is the attitude of the sales staff and the way customers are treated in the stores. The feeling one gets is that the store is doing the customer a favour by existing and serving the customer and its not the other way around where the customer is king and you need to do all you can to delight the customer. Let me give you a few examples of my experiences in the last couple of weeks to illustrate this.

I visited Metro Cash and Carry (India) here in Hyderabad and I wanted to pick up some furniture. So I found what I wanted and was waiting for someone to help me find a packed piece. There were a couple of sales guys who were buying shirts (yes during store timings and wearing the metro yellow overall) so I approached them and asked them to help me - they made a phone call and I waited for 5 min (they continued buying their shirts that were going at 99 and 199 each). I then went to the front desk and I saw someone dressed like a manager I told him and he too made a call and I came back and waited for another 5 min - nothing happened. I then told a couple of more sales people who came and went but no one was able to help me - at last after nearly 25 min a sales person approached me telling me that he was the in charge for the furniture - only to tell me that they are out of stock.

I then continued on my shopping and bought a lot of stuff that was on discount due to the 83% clearance sale that they were having - I especially bought stuff from the Johnson Winter Care offer. I then approached billing and everything was going fine till I realised that none of the discounts were showing up on my bill. So a few more phone calls and about 10 min of waiting nothing happened so I approached the main cash desk and saw a lot of sales persons (including the one in charge of the furniture section) loitering and chit chatting there. So I asked them what is happening about my problem and they told me that they already informed the person in charge about it. So I waited for 5 min - nothing happened. So I approached them and asked for the manager - they told me that the manager is in a meeting and that he cannot be disturbed. The other weird thing is that the person who was to help me said - only the manager knows about the offer - but he is in a meeting. That's when I lost my cool since it was already more than 30 min that I was waiting and they were still not ready to bring the manager out. Anyway after a bit of my screaming the manager came out and told me that all the stuff that I bought was not on sale - I then opened the metro mail magazine and showed me the pictures of the products that were on sale and they matched the products that I had - but he insisted that none of them were on sale. This clearly shows that even though something is on sale in the magazine it need not be on sale the day you visit the store. I left all that I bought and walked out of the store having wasted enough time already.

My other bad experience was at Big Bazaar in Ameerpet. The store is a new store but it lacks the following - very bad traffic management, parking is still being constructed, construction material all over the place, water all over the place, very few and badly organized billing counters, very few sales people to get clarifications from and when you add the crowds into the equation it just ends up being such a bad shopping experience.

Of the two experiences - I will never go back to Big Bazaar but I will go back to Metro. Metro is a nice shopping experience, its a nice store will well laid out aisles and items. All it needs to improve is the customer service when customers have issues. Big bazaar is just the pits it leaves one being frustrated after you shop there.

There are a lot more stores on the smaller store front that have opened like Reliance Fresh, Fresh @, Ratnadeep, Trinetra, Subiksha and so on and things are changing - I have had good experiences in many of these stores. Things are improving but the stores have to realise that the key to their success is
  • Ample parking
  • Well stocked stores neatly arranged
  • Quick billing
  • Customer service help desk that can actually help


Ourspace said…
Metro Cash & Carry - Hyderabad sucks!! This time it is regarding Christmas Decorations. The prices are atrociously high. The weirdest part is that their In-Charge Sandeep says on the phone that they have lots of stock of christmas decorations and nativity sets etc. but you dont see much. Wonder for whom they are storing it all in for !!!
I have noticed the folks at the Hyderabad Metro dont care, terrible apathy !!! More like an attitude of I've come to earn and go home, care a damn abt the customers, they should fend for themselves.

Popular posts from this blog

Online Encumbrance Certificate in Andhra Pradesh

You can get an encumbrance certificate online in AP now. In order to get it you have to perform the following steps. Go to the website Click on Citizen Services -> encumbrance -> Search Click on Yes in the screen that appears Fill in the entries that appear in the search screen. You will have to get quite a few details in so it will help to have a copy of the registration document available with you. Once you finish entering all the details click on Submit. It will then go to a new page with the list of items that matched the search displayed. Click on the check box of the list of encumbrance certificates that are needed and click on submit. This will open a new popup window with the encumbrance certificate. You can then print this certificate. What is this useful for Anyone buying new property can go and verify the current owners of the property that is shown on this certificate in the column Name of PartiesExecutant(EX)&Claimants(CL) with the copy of

Cricket Grounds in Hyderabad

This is a repost of the article I published on the 10th of Jan, 2008 as I have added a new ground - Lahari Resorts. View Larger Map In this post I will try and update the list of cricket grounds that i know in Hyderabad. The grounds that I have listed till now are MCH Play ground, Ameerpet Francis (Do not have the contact number but go to the ground and ask for him). The charges are Rs. 1100 for the ground. They do not charge for anything more. You get the ground from 9:00 AM to 4:00PM. The ground is small. Welfare Center, Sanath Nagar Dhanraj Babu (+91 9394556356). The charges are Rs. 1100 for the ground. They charge you an additional Rs. 500 for the mat and Rs. 100 for cleaning and drawing lines and stuff. They are supposed to give you the ground from 9:00 AM to 4:00PM but what they do is that they pocket extra money from another team wanting to play and give the ground out to them for the remainder of the day assuming that you won't play for the whole day. So what happened th

Problogger guest post

Today my guest post appeared on . I wrote about 9 Tips to Start Blogging Successfully . Let me give you a bit of a background about where this article originated from. I have been blogging for close to 3 years now but I have been doing it seriously only for the last 2 months. I then analysed what were the things that I should have done in order to have become a successful blogger based on what I have noticed on the ones that have become successful. The final analysis of my study is what I put into that article and it is what I am trying to implement since the last 2 months. Reading the comments it was exhilarating to notice that some of the readers actually thought Darren was writing the post :-). It was also nice to notice that many readers agreed with my analysis and that strengthened my belief that what I have written if followed will work. How did I get to do a guest post on ? A little more than a week ago Darren invited bloggers to do guest pos