August 8, 2006

Last Mile Connectivity!


The last mile is the final leg of delivering connectivity from a communications provider to a customer. And last mile connectivity is real time head ache for the service provider. In essence how a service/product provider connects to the consumer is determined by the process/method of last mile connectivity.
     Same holds good with any service or the product. Okay you, as a service provider (as in service industry) and product manufacturing company, got a great service/product to offer with all those features and everything. But Success of the same depends apart from quality the way your last mile connectivity elements works. For example, if you are offering a product then sales person and in case of service also the person representing your organization becomes face of your product/service and hence they are your last mile connectivity. How successfully and efficiently you get new customer and then repeat customer depends mostly how your front line workers do their job. In most of the cases they are real representative of the company and their behavior can really make or break your customer base.
     And if your company happens to be in service industry then boy you gotta be very serious in selecting these guys. Suppose you are running a restaurant. It offers some fundoo delicacies, has reasonable pricing, good ambience but front line staffs are rude, late service is norm, and proper care of customer is not taken. Then your business is doomed. Similarly how the sales person selling your product deals with customers can really be decisive factor in the overall sales pattern.
     Few days back two incidents made me think this. I had heard of Bose’s soundDock and one fine evening thought of checking the same out and landed at the Bose’s shop at somajiguda. Yes they manufacture sound systems which are perhaps the best in the world but it was the way the sales man, Naveen received us worked as aha effect for the customer. Despite knowing that we were only looking for ipod speaker he went on showing other music systems which at that point of time, for that matter in coming few years also, I could not afford, I am sure he had already made out that given our reaction but that never was visible from the way he kept on entertaining us. He even invited us for the demo of their home theater fully knowing that we would not be buying that. But sure, he was successful in converting us a potential customer. And few years down the line I would certainly think of going for a Bose system.
     Compare this to the attitude of sales person at the showroom of world space. We entered the showroom, stood there for about a minute. No body cared to attend us. I called up a sales guy and asked if anybody would attend us. He told he would have had we asked for some assistance. WTF? You are not displaying some clothing or shoes; where we can browse and if required ask for your assistance. You yourself gotta demonstrate whatever damn radio receiver you are selling. That was major turnoff. I wasn’t in any particular mood of getting a subscription for world space, but who knows mebbe after demonstration I could have opted for one. So he turned back a potential customer. What is the use of having a showroom at Prasads when those guys are not getting you any or less than forecasted customer.
     Sometime back Rashmi has rightly pointed that there are salesman and then there are sari salesman.

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