Social Media and Customer Service

Well a lot of has changed about customer service since new age media came into picture. Customers can actually impact potential customers choice just by googling. I just experienced an incident where i was called back for my tweet. Let me explain in detail.

There is one awesome mobile app ngpay which is simply too good and gives you a direct access to bank literally in addition to lot of other key m-commerce options. I have been using this app for more than a year and have always been impressed with how they provide value on your finger tips. But last saturday i was slightly let down by it and i was more pissed off by their social media team.

I was on dire need of cash for personal emergency on last saturday and bank being holiday for bakrid, the only option was just to take out of ATM. I exhausted my 10k limit on other bank ATM(Our town had only one ATM functional at that moment) and was thinking how i can get as much as i can. That was the time to check out HDFC Fund transfer on ngpay. I tried to transfer 10 k to another HDFC account and it failed. Then i did a 5k, it succeeded. When i called up HDFC customer care why it was not allowing and whether it was problem at HDFC or ngpay, i was told HDFC allows till 10k, So i called up ngpay customer care to get a clarification why i was not allowed to transact when i have funds and HDFC says the limit is 10k per day. The call was not attended for ~5 long minutes and i got pissed off. To vent out my frustration i wrote this tweet. Left it then and made ways to get money.

Monday morning rush hour to office i get a call from ngpay asking what was my issue. I explained the problem i faced and got a clarification saying RBI limits fund transfers to 5k per day and merchant transactions can be up to 10k per day. Fair enough, HDFC is not aware of this, ngpay being in core m-commerce domain may be best persons on RBI’s m-commerce policy. I thanked him and left to my office. Again after an hour i got a call from another person asking if am satisfied with response to my query. Obviously the person wasnt happy with my tweet and was insisting that i update it. I was also told about other mechanisms of contacting like customer support like emailing , using the “Contact” option in the application etc indirectly to imply  that ‘I need not tweet if i dont get support, there are other ways of getting it too’ .Once again i was reminded that “it would be great if i updated my twitter status”. Probably what they expected was  a tweet like “ngpay customer care rocks! they promptly called me seeing my tweet”, but i wrote this “Okay.@ngpay seems to have ‘rot learned’ customer service through social media.I will write more on it least tweets get some response”.

Let me explain that tweet. While i completely appreciate ngpay for embracing new media like twitter and responding to customers, I find very few Indian companies actually learn the art of customer service and making the customer more comfortable using these new media.ngpay too has areas to improve along with others like tatadocomo,redbus_in many others.

I might be wrong in all fronts, but am just writing my thoughts below. The brands which adopt new media use them to do a better brand management. So they have to learn that there will always be detractors for the brand as well as attractors. So when they get the free branding from customers who are satisfied, they should understand that they will also get detractors automatically when the customers are dissatisfied. So instead of asking the ‘dissatisfied’ customer to change their views and propagate them, they must provide more value to get the positive sentiment back on new media possibly from the same person and others.

What ngpay did wrongly?

1. While they saw my tweet and called back, am damn sure their process hasnt changed you may still get call waiting for 5 minutes and may not be called back until you tweet something like i did. They didnt take my critical feedback in complete sense and act on it, they just asked if my query was resolved. It is critical that you improve your voice support since its all related to money. I will not be transacting if i know that your customer support is pita and i may not get attended after a possible failed transaction worth 10k.

2. The person who spoke second time, actually did more damage (So much that it has given me energy to write such a long post when my blog is nearing death). The person spoke about contacting through email, Contact us instead of tweeting a critical feedback.Now among call centre,email,contact us, twitter, only call centre and twitter are real-time communication tools. If i had ability to email [access to computer], i would never used ngpay firstly, have used net banking and everything would have been peaceful. “Contact us”(basically will again email you) is again a passive option and am not sure to get a response soon. I thought twitter was a real-time tool, perhaps i should have realised your twitter account is just there for sake of it when i tweeted nice things about ngpay and found you retweeted after days. So lesson is if you are on twitter, make sure you check the account twice a day(at least) and not only monitor it on 9 – 5 during weekdays. I would also suggest you to read this article to get a sense of why i called customer care and then tweeted instead of emailing.

Related read :- Cleartrip-Kiruba Incident

Am alive

Been months since i logged into wordpress.So what was keeping me busy? Well a lot of things. Work got tighter on and off, forcing to stretch for project deliveries.But a lot of other activities also took my time. Playing TT at office in the evenings was a great exercise and stress buster.

I typed the above sometime in July and i stopped it and didnt publish that time.So what else is keeping me going? Justifying that i was busy at work all along the year will be a lie, though it can attribute to 50%. So what are the other acitivities that i did? Apart from work, been doing quite few things that bring in some satisfaction. Be it hanging around with guys and making some tiny contribution in python/php/testing or literally roaming around the streets for mapping e-city / hosur or attending the Wikipedia Meetup 3 and getting hooked into it or making my first article appear on the DYK section of the main page or participating in Wikipedia takes Chennai, it was all pure fun and learning. Came across a bunch of awesome people in the process of doing these things. Been to college couple of times during the alumni meet and then for software freedom day, it was just refreshing to breathe the “old air”. So stressed office schedules + Parallel activities like above + travelling home twice a month leaves no time for blogging. I have been tweeting heavily though for quite sometime now. Follow me there. Hope i will update this blog soon and will not keep it idle for a year.

My 1 month old Nokia E51

  • Nokia E51
Nokia E51

When all the buzz is on iPhone, its really a cool mobile from Nokia having all the equivalent features and a more simplistic form factor and ‘more like a cell phone’ makes it feel the owner ‘being home’ instead of carrying a big jumbo without compramising on the feature set. You can read the specs by clicking above pic.

7 daysA month into it, what am i upto. Well firstly its been a hectic week since i got this phone, so really not much of time to get used to it. Just uploaded few mp3s, activated GPRS and downloaded few apps.Lot more can be done. One striking feature this mobile with which i was very much impressed was (No its not aGPS, not WiFi, not 3G). Its a very good feature supporting accessibility for visual impaired. Yes text to speech / Voice Aid.If this feature gets into basic mobiles technology will truely empower those people and transform thier lives.Also this features helps us too when it announces the caller name at the start of ring tone, so that we can know who the caller is even when the phone is inside our pockets. Just checked that this feature is also present in Nokia N73(which share a lot of things in common).

Coming to the features, 3G is absolutely useless as of now in india unless spectrum allocation is done for which atleast it may take a year or 2 hopefully. Sooner the better for me 🙂

WiFi is good, but havent tested as all the signals i recieved so far are encrypted corporate networks.Will try out soon in some CCDay.Also planning to get got a Wireless router and using WiFi at home.Seems good EDGE / GPRS is fine but airtels rate is costly for 140 per week.(Though cheaper option if am roaming for a week without a computer, i get a complete substitute for 20 per day which anyway i will spend for cafe).

Built in radio,music player,real player(though havent tried a single video yet) tries to satisfy entertainment needs.Integerated Email with push mail support, office docs,pdf viewer/editor,WiFi it has all thats needed for a miniature substitute for a laptop for a person who always needs to be upto date.

Applications currently installed :-

  1. GMail – Obvious
  2. GMaps – aGPS works great, maps even remote places like ‘Vengambakkam’ near Kalpakkam.I was surprised.
  3. Google search
  4. Fring — Skype + Gtalk voice calls free 😀 decent chat interface.
  5. Watrpad — Supposed to be a book reader.
  6. Teashark — browser based on the same engine used by safari.(Yes you got it. No Opera)
  7. mChek, ngPay — mcommerce.
  8. mundu Radio. Finally i get to listen some free tamil radio in bangalore for free.
  9. Others arent worth mentioning after trying.

Photo clarity is fine.

Overall totally using it.(One more long time draft coming out :P)

Testing Moblogging Clients

First Excuses to my feed subscribers. They may have got spammed by this time. Im analyzing different moblogging clients.

JWordpress doesnt seem to work and development is not active (and no developer doc in english).

Testing a Photo Moblogging client by blogplanet. Its posting but without Titles for the posts. Seeing all this, im seriously thinking of writing a moblogging client in J2ME (Though i dont know J2ME, development shouldnt take more than a couple of weeks.) XMLRPC rocks!!

And I found twibble for mobile, and guess i will start twittering often.

Using the full power of my Nokia 6021 bought 2 years back with GPRS,J2ME support for 7k that time.Now that GPRS is cheap(15p for 10KB is cheap and with no rentals) ,i browse occasionally on Opera Mini,using MoneyManager to track expenses, and started exploring on Mo(micro)blogging. Have to look into lot of other interesting apps. I gotto get one dictionary too. 😛

Once again apologies to feed subscribers.You may recieve some more in the days to come.

Be Carefull — Installing Twitter App on Facebook

I recently tried facebook and found it cool (though i dint have many people there)[Orkut still rules India].One of the best feature in facebook is installing user apps and connecting to other social networks or any site for that matter. I just got back to twittering after the seeing the popularity of it in Microblogging session at BCB4(post to be written soon, after uploading pics).So I thought of installing twitter app on my facebook,To my shock i found this screen in which twitter password field was a plain text box and displayed my password.So be careful if you going to install this app on your facebook.Twitter guys what happened to you??

Orkut adds RSS feeds

Orkut has added feeds into it. One can now add their blog/photo album/video channel or even news  feeds into their profiles with ease.This will increase the number of people who view those sites.Here is my profile

So go and add yours!!!

PS : Lot of orkut related posts coming out.Im just lazy to edit and post.

Google Spamming??

Is google spamming blogs?? I just saw this when i was clearing the spam comments filtered by Akismet.

By the by using Flickr for uploading pics for blog.Installed F-Spot and its integrating well with picasaweb. So Flickr for blogs, PicasaWeb for photo sharing. 🙂