Monday, 15 September 2014

Komala took me for granted

Komala's WTF Samosa
This is a sad story. Some might ask why I am making a big issue out of such a small incident but there is a lesson in customer service and branding.

Ever since Lau Pha Sat reopened,  I have been having breakfast (and sometimes lunch too!) almost every day at the Komala outlet there.

That was until last week.

What happened? Short version, they decided to take me for granted.
I ordered takeaway lunch. A masala dosa, vada, idli combo. As I watched, the attendant packed the box with the dosa, idili and ... samosa?

Did I just see a samosa being packed? Maybe my eyes are playing hunger induced tricks on me. So when the box arrived, I asked him? You packed the vada and idli right?

"Yes. Yes"

OK then, off I go to my office, sat down to eat and what do I see? Samosa.


Did they just lie and cheat me? I was too hungry to go down again and ask them about it. So I ate my dosa-idli-samosa combo and went about my day. It was still bugging me - why would any business to this to one of their most frequent and loyal customers? Maybe it is a one off, maybe the employee made a mistake.

In the evening I decided to go over and find out. I asked for the manager, a gentleman in a blue shirt came out. "Yes Sir?"

I told him I came in the afternoon and got a samosa instead of vada. I told him his staff can verify because I come here regularly. Another attendant, said he saw the box being packed with Samosa but didn't say anything but chose to remain silent because he was worried about how the guy packing would react.

The manager was clueless. He was like a broken record. "Sorry sir, sorry sir, sorry sir... "

I told him I am disappointed and he will not be seeing me around for a while.

As I left I saw a sign which said, "Jain Sambar Available - NO Onions, NO Ginger". I thought to myself, if they can put a Samosa my meal, how serious are they about their no onion, no ginger sambar?

Jain friends, please take note.

If you don't respect your customer - no matter how small, you will lose his respect and more importantly, his trust. No amount of advertising will be able to win him over. He will never bring his friends and family over and you would have earned yourself a negative ambassador.

Komala needs to find out why its employee would cheat and lie to a customer. Also, why another employee would see it happening but preferred not to intervene and why its manager would prefer just to repeat himself with a meaningless apology rather than being in the outlet and making sure incidents like this don't happen?

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