Is Customer Relationship Management only a Corporate Mantra


Final Year M.B.A.
Panimalar Engineering College

It was a bright sunny afternoon on Saturday; I went to a Xerox shop for doing project binding as a part of my college seminar report. The shop is located in one of the busiest commercial complex in Anna Nagar, Chennai which is well known for shops doing major zerox & binding jobs. I have reached this particular shop and could able to see three persons inside, busy in their routine individual activities. I was able to read from their faces how busy they were. The standing "Q" also was encouraging them to be remains busy for the remaining day.

I was told to wait for 30 minutes for this specific job to be done. My eyes were catching up some of the customers passing all around and busy with their jobs. I myself distanced from the cloudy area for sometimes and watching people move around the corridor. An old man, tall, fair colored, dressed well, seemed to be educated entered into the corridor where I was leisuring. Of course with his third leg I was able to determine his age as 85+. I was amazingly watching this old man who also has job to be done in this hot summer.

To my surprise, old man was entering the shop where my job to be done and called the busiest people working inside the shop. On hearing this, a lady one of three came forward and stood in front of him without asking anything. Even now, I could make out the attitude of that old man and lady. The situation forced old man to come forward and talk further; he started to talk with a gentle smile and explaining his experience,

"Six months back I came here to have zerox for my certificates. I was quarreled with you because one of the main certificates was missing when it was been noticed it in my house. I made you responsible for the things happened and made you to search the same in your shop for 20min by wasting your time. I could able to see your business losses also during these processes, but was not able to find out anything, returned home". I went to DPI and applied for duplicate certificates but they toiled me three months to issue the same.

The value of a particular thing, small or big, will be known only when it is lost, yes, "lesson learnt".

"Old man was able to continue his talk after taking a deep breadth, Two days before, when I was rearranging all my documents, I could see the certificate for which I made quarrel. I felt so bad of me and I wanted to apologize in person for the trouble made. Old man made clear the reason for being there at shop at that time.

I was excited to see a man with such an approach and was extremely impressed by him. But in other side, I was astonished to see that neither a lady nor other two gentlemen working inside were bothered to listen "what old man says". I would say rather their ears were blocked deliberately till the old man completes his talk.

The speech which the old man had in front of shop for just a couple of minutes resonated in my mind even after he left and I felt personally so sad for him. Also I couldn't resist myself from asking those employees about their brutal behavior with an old man.

I was waiting for some one from shop to question about their misbehavior with an old man; yes! I could see a man coming forward from inside and I myself adjusted my throat to shout on. "Frustrated" this was the word came out of that guy before I start.

I was shocked with his reply and allowed him to talk further. Started murmuring… we face this kind of people every day and we are used to it. We can listen what they say that too if time permits, not beyond. We are also human being and our works are time bound.

Shopkeepers can at least listen and respond what an old may says. Old man never expected red carpet reception, he expects a receiver who can listen and accept his apology. I don't think at this stage a man come forward convey his apology for the reasons which we are discussing about. Old man knew well that shop keepers will not be able to recognize him, still wanted to come forward and confront his mistakes. Yes, we have to appreciate him.

However, I could able to learn something; I can say it's a lesson, "We'll never know the value of a person or an object, unless and until we lose it".

In this technological era, we are thinking of making Customer Relationship Management most effective using the advancements in IT and other technologies. "Customer is king or queen" is slogan everywhere nowadays. But at the same time we should understand that, small activities (i.e.) listening to the customers is also CRM. In how many business situations at least this basic step of CRM is followed in recent times or otherwise "Is CRM only a corporate mantra".

Questions that can be discussed for case study analysis from the above:

1. Is the employees behavior towards the old man is correct?
2. What are the measures can be taken by these types of organizations to employ CRM?
3. If you were the employee of that Xerox shop, how will you behave? Substantiate your answer.

Final Year M.B.A.
Panimalar Engineering College

Source: E-mail July 20, 2011




Occasional Papers Main Page