If you had a technical support query today or needed help with your bank account or wanted to buy something from your favourite catalogue, you might have had some difficulty with that, I apologise. This evening was the Twenty20 World Cup Final in cricket and India were playing their arch rivals Pakistan.
You don’t have to be a native Indian or cricket fanatic to appreciate the exciting way this match ended. It came right down to the wire and the last hit by the Pakistan batsman was what we in America would call a looonnng-fly-ball, if it went out Pakistan would win, if the Indian fielder caught it, India would win – he caught it. At that moment at least 150 of the agents in the basement cafeteria of my building went absolutely nuts, there was jumping, screaming, whistling, glass was broken and I think in the chaos some boys and girls might have even hugged!
Fortunately there were a few dedicated souls upstairs still answering calls through all this but I’m sure, at our centre and hundreds like it throughout India, not nearly as many as usual. I promise we will fix that computer problem for you on your first call tomorrow.
You can read more about this phenomenon that I predict could even get Americans interested in Cricket in this New York Times article.
In August I wrote an entry called “The whole world is watching” in which I suggested that the way we do business and the way we treat employees is more important than ever. I went on to say then:
Web 2.0 has not gripped India the way it has America and other parts of the west, we don’t have 1 billion bloggers yet, but we’ll get there. And when we do, there are sure to be benefits for organisations that conduct themselves in the most ethical, transparent ways.
Well, maybe I wasn’t giving India enough credit. Last week I took Standard Chartered Bank to task on this blog for a shameful level of customer service from their call center and an incident that occurred in their local branch. On Friday I received two phone calls, one from the branch and one from the call center apologising for the problem and assuring me that this is not the level of service they expect customers to receive. They said that they had seen the blog and were prompted to call and make amends. There had apparently been quite a fuss in the branch over all this too as the one of the staff came out to apologise in person when he saw me at the ATM on Saturday.
I was a little taken aback by all this because I’m not used to a bank really giving a damn when I complain, ask anyone that banks in the UK and they will tell you the same thing. So full credit to Standard Chartered for their mea culpa, I think they did pretty much everything they could after the fact to fix things up. Now the proof is in how they do things better, I hope they do.
But I was just as taken aback by the fact that someone at Standard Chartered found my comments here and triggered a response within the organisation that led to me being called. That’s no small feat and it makes me wonder if they actually have a program to monitor their online reputation. Whether they do or whether finding my comments was just some amazing coincidence (like my wife running into a high school classmate here in Delhi this weekend) it demonstrates that large organisations do care about their online reputation. We would all do well to follow this practice in the future.