India Inc's Customer Identity Crisis

DQI Bureau
New Update


18 people eat a lot of pizza. It takes us time to agree on the menu, but it's

a welcome break in the late hours at office. But hey, we can't get through!


phones are busy.

We can't reach the toll-free number from our non-BSNL phones. Then we get

through, but Domino's can't 'transfer the call'. We call the local

outlet again, but it rings away. We give up and call Pizza Hut. (And they too

they ask us for our phone number. And they us call back to reconfirm!)

You'd think the world's pizza experts would be able to identify a large

customer's call. No way. While their US counterparts have used caller ID and

CTI for over a decade: to prioritise call pick-up, profile customers before

answering, allow quick 'same as last time' self-orders. And maximize revenue

by ensuring that regular, large customers are handled quicker and never turned

away, and by reducing call turnaround time to the minimum.


There are others who haven't heard of caller ID. Airtel's support line

asks me for my phone number each time I call them!

Companies in India are losing business because they can't identify, and

segment, their customers. While Indian BPO units are doing all of this for

US-based companies.

Switch to the tech leaders in banking. ICICI does not recognize common

customers across divisions. Its housing finance company suddenly tells me of an

unpaid EMI even though I see that its bank debited the cheque on schedule. I

have to get the statement from the bank and fax it back to the HFC!!! A bank

customer asks for a credit card three times before ICICI responds, telling her

she has to make a full, fresh, new application; her customer status is



HDFC Bank records a marital status upate, and promptly bounces all cheques

with the earlier name, including cheques sitting with its HFC. HDFC Chubbs

asks a customer to stop (and replace) a cheque because they can't locate it,
presents the original cheque, and cancels the car insurance with a nasty letter!


Amex regularly calls to offer me a gold card, though I've held two of them

for eight years.

Here's the challenge for the CIO. Can you help your company know and

leverage customers across departments? Even if your individual line function


are more concerned with their own problems and sales than working on One View

So step back from the IT support role in 2005, and take a look at the

customer. Does your company know its customer? You could be surprised by the

answers. And you could find a great way for the IT department and the CIO to

really add value to the business. And prove that IT really does matter.

Prasanto K Roy