This would be a very common experience for many.
Maybe with your car mechanic or tailor or barber or plumber or any person providing any kind of service. Without sounding callous, it looks as though many are taking umbrage in the pandemic for providing shoddy and sub-standard quality of customer service.
Right from airlines, telecom providers, retailers, even banks, financial services – everywhere, we as customers have to endure long waits and huge amounts of inefficiencies; there are delays and sometimes no reply to any emails sent. And they all say the same thing – “our supply chain or labour has been impacted due to Covid, so please bear with us.”
This sounds ironic as people all over are either looking for jobs or those with jobs are bending backwards to ensure they protect their jobs – those working from home are working much longer than what they did when they went to an office to work. Yet, the amount of inefficiency one has to ensure today is huge.
Once again, this is a big slap on the face of India trying its best to convince the world that we are ready and eager to become the factory for the world. How can we? When even after more than 6-8 months into the pandemic, how can companies say that they do not have enough staff to sort out customer issues? Especially now, when people need jobs. They have had more than enough time to turn things around.
The sad truth is that, which many might not agree – at the core, people are not as well-mannered as before. Road rage, public personalities behaving badly, swearing in public, rage on TV, increased violence – all point out to the simple fact that we all are poorer mannered than what people were 20-30 years ago. People are rude and difficult to please as tolerance levels are much lower. And that is what percolates down to poor customer service.
Sadly, Covid has provided the perfect cover for so many companies, who can now give you their usual poor service, but hide it behind the epidemic rules.
The bottomline – if customer service was bad earlier, it will get only worse and this impact of the pandemic, no vaccine or medicine can cure.