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The Customer is always right, or is he?

Posted by Neeraj Narayanan on Mar 23,2021


Once upon a time someone said that the customer is always right. Well, dunno about the right part, but sometimes the customer is funny. Quite so.

It has been almost a year now, since we started this company and it has been quite a ride so far. We have sold good holidays, strived to provide the best holiday experience and worked a lot. Most of our customers have loved us, some have complained, but throughout we have been sincere.

Occasionally we do get to talk with, heh, lets put it this way - an “interesting customer”.  Like the time someone asked us if we sold packages to Bali. Of course we do. It is a wonderful place, as is all of Indonesia.  Some of the best beaches in the world are present there too, and it is listed as one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world.

“Well, I wanted to know once I arrive there, will I get cow’s milk?”

I wanted to ask him if he felt bovines in Bali had feelings different from the ones in other parts of the world and if he thought Indonesian cows preferred producing Pepsi instead of milk. Or maybe he thought that being frequented by so many Europeans, they had eaten up the entire cattle population of the island.

“Don’t worry a bit, you’ll get a glass of cow’s milk with your breakfast daily.” We told him. He sounded happy after that.

Then, once a Miss Mehrotra asked us if we could book a flight for her.  Yes yes, we can.  “I get very sick on journeys okay, I need some fresh air so get me a window seat.”  After a moment’ silence, the salesperson asked her if she was traveling in an airplane for the first time. “Yes, how did you know?!!” she said, curiosity flickering in her voice. A lucky guess probably.

Just two days back, another lady asked us if we could book her two air-tickets with large seats.  When we asked her if we should give her two seats in business class, she sounded disgusted with our option and almost shrieked “larger larger, I want larger seats.”  Well, what to do if airplanes believe in equality and design seats of exact dimensions.

“My husband is very huge okay, he cannot fit in one seat.” Aah.

She put down the phone, when we asked if she’d like to book an extra seat.

Kingfisher and airplanes aren’t the only point of grievance.The other day this nice man asked us if we booked holiday packages. And if we would book him one for Thailand. A hearty discussion ensued and we discussed a number of itineraries, finally finding one that suited him precisely. “Alright, can you also provide me girls?” I haven’t quite recovered from that yet.  He probably took our “Experience Creators” tagline a bit too seriously.

The job does not end with just the sale. It is only when the trip ends, and ends happily do we take a transaction as completed. It is normal for customers to call us up during the course of their holiday and ask for recommendations for food, shopping etc. Like the other day, a girl called us up from Rishikesh. “Virender, can you tell me where can I find pyjamas in Rishikesh.” Poor Virender spent the rest of the day ‘finding pyjamas in Rishikesh.’

There are dozens of cases like this, every week or so I see our sales representatives scouring the internet for diverse information. Not all of it falls under the purview of booking holidays, many a time the clients would have already booked a package, but a good business is one that is willing to go that extra mile. Value is the key to success.

So when a customer calls you up from their hotel in Madurai and asks you that they will be leaving for the temple tour in half an hour, and want to know if they can change their clothes after taking a dip in the temple pond,  it is okay to be stumped for a moment. But in the next  one, open a tab in Google or ring up your Tamil friend and  figure out whether there is a changing room in the temple or should people just carry their wet sorry selves all around.


Neeraj Narayanan
At WeAreHolidays, Neeraj Narayanan is Head of the Content and Digital Media Team. He has a Masters in Advertising & Media Communication, has had experience as a Communication Consultant to the Government of Gujarat, and as a Brand man in the IT giant firm - Cognizant. On weekends, he conducts Heritage Walks in Delhi.
Neeraj Narayanan

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