But despite all the stress on Customer Service, for some strange reason, it’s not very often that the Head of the CSD of prominent corporates are seen talking to B-school students. IMT Nagpur once again lived up to its reputation of a young, vivacious, B-school with a difference, when Mr. Rohit Relan, National Head - CSD (Voice and VAS), Airtel, walked into a packed IMT Nagpur auditorium. What followed was a jaw-dropping account of behind-the-scenes action that is pivotal to the growth of a Company.
“It costs 7 times more to acquire a new customer, as compared to retaining an existing one,” pointed out Mr. Relan, in one of his studied insights into the Customer Services. “Therefore, ‘Retention is better than acquisition’. As Managers, you have to learn the art of retaining.”
Mr. Relan, despite being a Chartered Accountant, made the big-switch to Customer Service in 2003, with Airtel. With the organised, critical, and probing mind of an ace CA, Mr Relan was fruitful in bringing in a completely different skill-set to the Airtel CSD. On the 1st of November 2012, Mr. Relan laid forth his experiences of 9 years in customer issues management before the students and Faculty of IMT Ghaziabad with remarkable astuteness.
“You get what you give,” stressed Mr. Relan with unassuming candour. “Only 10% of the customers actually complain about being dissatisfied with the service provided by the company. However, it takes twelve positive feedbacks to compensate for one negative complain. A successful CSD eliminates the defect rather than correcting it.”
To his credit, Mr. Relan’s interaction lasted for over an hour, but not a soul stirred in the auditorium of IMT Nagpur, for the fear of missing out something important. Over his precise and pertinent lecture, Mr. Relan presented, with apt real life cases, the challenges faced while dealing with customers, the difference between good and bad service, a studied approach to improving Customer Service, and also discussed numerous defect elimination and customer retention techniques.
“Everybody knows that your first boss is your customer,” reflected Aakash Kishan, PGDM - 1st year at IMT Nagpur . “But the way Mr. Relan explained what it meant was commendable. The session not only helped us discover the essentials of this domain, but also equipped us to view this field in a completely different way.”
Students of IMT Nagpur also found various aspects of Mr. Relan’s lecture quite an eye-opener. For instance, he dwelt upon the big shift of Customer Service towards social media, making the internal customer (inside the organisation) as important as the external customer (outside the organisation).
“I learnt a few commandments of how to offer the best service to your customer without compromising on anything,” said Vishal Moonka, PGDM, 1st year. “Thanks to the lecture, new vistas of ideas and opportunities have opened up for me.”
With no dearth of competing products, Customer Service Management has shot back into prominence in the recent years. Clearly, Mr. Rohit Relan’s interaction with the students is in complete sync with IMT Nagpur’s continuous process of exposing the future managers to deeper issues and practices of the management world today.