And he lost business !!

Today morning as we were concluding our walk, we went to the main road in Dr. A S Rao Nagar to buy some fruits. The first fruit cart guy had bananas and they were my favourite variety – “Rasthali”. I asked him how much they were for and wanted six of them from one particular bunch. Now he had these bananas as they grow on the plant with their main stalk also. He told me to take the bananas that were in the top row, while I wanted the ones in the next row. In fact there were no bananas on top of the side I was asking him to cut from. He told me that I could take any of the bananas in the first row, but none from any other row. I refused to buy any of the first row ones and walked off and he just let me go. 

While I admired his sticking to his process, he lost business !! He is not alone and that’s what’s worrying for the corporate world…. How many times have you lost business because you stuck to your process and the customer could not conform to your process ? I get it that a “process-less” environment also doesn’t work, but are your processes designed with the customer in mind or your operational ease in mind ? :). 

Please read this fantastic article from Harvard Business Review,  Stop trying to delight your customer. It clearly shows through research that customers want ease in doing business not the extra mile that you have been taught to go. 

Now a contrasting experience that happened just two days back. We stopped at the Nagpur Haldirams to have breakfast. We wanted to drink lassi, and asked for two glasses and one empty glass so we could share some with mom. My mother doesn’t drink anything cold and wants just a little quantity of lassi. See the picture below – 

Do you see one small glass and two regular sized glasses ? The waiter, Amit, followed the process but made the customer’s life easy by pouring some lassi from Krishnan and my glass for mom !!. I left an extra large tip for him obviously. Will we go back to Haldirams at Nagpur and look for Amit again ? You bet. 

Review your processes from the customer’s perspective and make it easy for them to do business with you, if you want to win their loyalty. Easy peasy… 

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