TOPICS: Service culture

After a long and tiresome day, I knew I needed a good cup of coffee. So, I went to this new coffee place to give myself some time away from the usual hassles.

The place looked quite exotic with wooden furnishings and pretty lights and a tranquil looking environment. So I went in and got myself comfortable in a corner sofa. As I sat there, a man dressed in a uniform took my order and vanished into the kitchen.

Luckily, that morning I had remembered to slip a novel in my bag, so I took it out, turned to the page I had bookmarked and got immersed into it.

It wasn’t until I finished two entire chapters that I realized I had ordered a coffee. I looked around but to my surprise found no one. I sat there some more. Still the coffee didn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.

So I went to the counter and asked what happened to the order I made about 35 minutes ago. Then, I had to go through something very unexpected. Instead of being sorry or apologizing, the counter guy gave me the most unpleasant look and blankly asked me to wait for some more time. Well, then I kindly left the place.

“We don’t have a service culture in Nepal” is what my teacher repeatedly says in our service marketing classes. It is not that I was oblivious to this very fact, but I never took it seriously, well, until that incident.

It is such a pity that even when service sector covers a substantial portion of Nepal’s GDP, the quality and the culture of service have not been able to develop as required.

There remains a big ‘why’ to the lack of service culture in our part of the world. The most prominent reason why service is poor in Nepal, is we consumers do not ask for it.

Consumers are good with what has been given to them and even more astonishing is the fact that people are fine with paying a service charge worth more than the service so provided.

Businesses are product focused meaning they continuously strive to improve the quality of their product or offering and completely forget about how they are going to deliver it to the customers.

What businesses need to understand is that customers are retained not just with a good offering of a product but also with the way that particular product or service is offered.

Businesses trying to earn their way into the customers’ heart has to cope with changing dynamics and learn to be unique in their service.