Expert Speak

Developing a customer-friendly approach


— By V Jeevakumar

A key differentiator to customer-centricity in the modern day is being responsive to their needs. Such a focus could often prove to be the differentiator in a market where products and services are too close to each other for comfort in terms of featured offerings. Hence, a company that takes its own initiatives could emerge the winner in the ultimate analysis.

Let me ask all of you a simple question. How does one approach customer-related issues? I would suggest that companies take their own initiatives while selling a product and even get an agreement signed by the customer.

Let me narrate an incident. About a decade ago, I purchased a brand new mobile from a well-known retailer those days. When the gadget started giving me performance related trouble within about two months, I took it to the person who had it sold me. ‘How rude he can be?’ I told myself with least knowledge of terms like service or warranty.

I come across many cases where the plaintiff (petitioner) files a complaint against a defendant for something that the latter was no way eligible to responsibility. One amongst these is the issue that comes between a channel partner and a customer.

With the demand for IT and IT-related products going up steadily, it is obvious that customers are used to getting their hands around the latest piece of technology available in the market. Since most of these gadgets are considered a status symbol for customers, there is also a feeling that quality is also critical for the Gen-Y that spends money to buy them.

I’ve seen cases where both the customer as well as the seller have reached out to me for consulting in services-related issues. Needless to say the lack of awareness of both the parties on the judicial system in the country makes them partially understand on the issue.

For a partner, my advice would be to educate the customer on the warranty issues clearly in the first meeting rather than thinking only on the immediate sale. If you think the particular vendor is poor in service in your area, please do not hesitate to tell the customer the truth.

If possible, I may suggest, take initiatives on your own and while selling every single piece of product, get an agreement signed by the customer that the seller is not responsible for the warranty of the product and he has been explained on the company policies in terms of the warranty and service policies.

These steps will help you sort out issues like a consumer taking your name to the doors of the court. You may take it easy. However, you should calculate the wastage of human resource, time and of course believe it or not, even if you are not responsible, you may not be in the good books of everyone if you have a legal case.

My suggestion would be, keep your papers clean so that if your customer shows the bill claiming to be too smart, please show him in return, the agreement you had with him that he was well-informed that service-related issues should be addressed to the vendor.

(The author is a Tamil Nadu based Advocate and a veteran in handling consumer-related cases. He can be contacted at

(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Channel Times or any of the websites owned by Trivone Digital Services)

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