It’s no secret that customer service in Nepal isn’t all that great. In fact, it is seriously lacking in most places where we spend our money – from the grocery store and clothing outlet to banks and hospitals. Despite the fact that there are people whose job is to help customers and clients in every place you go, you often find yourself lost and helpless. The Week asked a few people to share their experiences about the customer service in Nepal. Here’s what they had to say.
There was a time when I had to pick guests from the airport. It was their first time coming to Nepal. I faced some technical difficulty while entering and as I entered and looked at the flight status screen, it showed that the plane had already landed fifteen minutes ago. I went to the information desk and, to my dismay, didn’t find anyone. I was very anxious for the guests and could not find anyone to provide me with the information of the cause. There was no one inside and I had to wait for 40-45 minutes with no idea of where and how they were. I finally found the guests after waiting for a long time. However, such carelessness could cause a lot of problems for people.
I have had harrowing experiences while dealing with the staff at hospitals. In the last couple of years, I have had to take both my mother and my father to the hospital for various reasons. Going to a hospital is already stressful, both for the patient as well as their caregiver. And the hospital staff makes it all the more difficult by not being cooperative and helpful. I think hospital staffs are only helpful when they know the patient or their families personally otherwise they won’t even answer a simple question properly. In my line of work, I deal with customers on a regular basis so I understand that there will be times when you are in a bad mood but I don’t think staffs at hospitals have that luxury. The people they deal with are already stressed without them adding to it. Maybe they are overworked and underpaid but that still doesn’t justify their ill behavior.
Ramesh Raj Sitaula
When I go to banks and ask the desk officers for the account number confirmation, they do not confirm in time. Also, the information for the renewal of ATM cards is not relayed to the account holders. There was a time when my debit card simply stopped working and I had no idea about it. The transaction was withheld and many works could not be conducted. I only came to know that my card had expired when I went to the bank and inquired about the problem. It could be convenient for people if the bank could pre-inform them through a call or message. At this day and age, when we get messages for the airing of different shows through messages, crucial information can be circulated too.
In my experience, customer service has always failed to solve my problem on the first attempt. For example, whenever I call my internet service provider, on the occasion that I do manage to get a technician on the line, he doesn’t know how to explain the solution to me. It defeats the whole purpose of having a help line but they don’t seem to care. I don’t think it’s a lot to expect customer service to be capable of tackling plausible scenarios and guiding customers through the difficulty. If only they had bothered to train their staff, it would save so much of my time.
On top of that, I have had an experience at a bank where the staff member was reluctant to share the inquired information and be of assistance. I wanted to open a new bank account and had inquired about their possible saving schemes. They insisted that they didn’t have any at the time but when I later googled their bank’s site, I found there were many that offered more interest.
Businesses believe in giving their utmost priority to their customers but that attitude simply hasn’t carried over to those in our country. I have had many problems, particularly, of late with the e-commerce businesses in our country. Online shopping stores may be gaining a lot of traction but they deal with their customers in a very careless manner.
I had recently made an order with the biggest online shopping site in Nepal. Their delivery was delayed by a couple of days so I called to inquire. They promised that the dispatch would bring me the goods by that evening and I agreed deciding not to make it a big deal. I even got a call informing me that the delivery was on the way, however, 20 minutes later, I get another text telling me that my order was out of stock. I just didn’t understand what happened. They didn’t even have the decency to call and explain. What’s more, when I called them back, their tone was so casual. It’s all so incredibly unprofessional. There have been other such incidents with other online stores as well.
Customer service is all about helping customers. In most places of Nepal, this definition is not quite applicable. Places like airports, government offices, and government banks and not to mention telecom companies are some of the worst places to demand customer services from. More than just a service, customer service has become alternative source of income for most corrupt officials. So, I think that these places should be managed and accessed more carefully. Offices, airports, telecom companies and integral places which provide the public with various services should value our trust and time that we invest on them and respond with efficiency and respect.
If you think customer care is bad in general, try dealing with government officials. I think that government officials don’t really care about complaints and people seeking help. They rarely give importance to what we have got to say. In contrast to that, I think that private offices are much more helpful when it comes to customer care. It must be the friendly competition or something as such but they are more sympathetic and helpful in nature. The government officials, on the other hand, are just there for show. It’s frustrating but that’s just how it is.