Some weekend, I visit chat center on road side behind my house in Bangalore neighbourhood. I am impressed with running of the center and observed them closely. Two persons run the stall, who are happy and contented with the small stall and are known for being customer friendly.
I admire the Customer Care that makes every customer get feeling of being given special care. When the center is over-crowded in evening hours, there is no increase in man power and there is neither 404 error. Every customer arrival is acknowledged and shared between them. The buyer is informed of previous customers waiting and they might have to wait for their turn.
Accompanying children are provided with a small puri to make child and their parents happy. Few customers complains that stall is busy as people use waiting time to discuss and it is nice to observe that strangers converse, that happens rarely in today’s busy world. Regular customers understand time taken to make specific items and order items based on the time available to wait and queue at that moment. No one in years complains that the stall is slow, only the crowd has increased.
Transparency: I admire the transparency nature of the stall. Makes you feel that there is no cheating and there is transparency. Look at the price list below listing all items available for customer and against items, prices are displayed for view by the customer across hours.
Time Based Offers The stall provides the customer with time based offers (time of the day). In discount hours, all items are made available at lower cost. The stall started to have time based differential pricing based on the college located closer to the stall and students visit between 2:30 pm to 5 pm. The prices were offered lower to make items affordable for students to attract more foot-falls. The deal for college students has been extended to any customer as this time was off- peak hours, lean and only few customers come in this time and tricky to ask whether they are college student or not.
Packaging Cost Packaging comes at additional cost. These guys really are conscious of the environment and use paper plates over steel or china plates and reuse plates. Last year, the parcel option was offered with no extra charge. Stall owners noticed unrest from people who eat at stall on the road-side waiting for another big parcel order to be completed. Packaging cost brings fairness in treatment of people who take away as parcel and who eat food item there. Customers (like me) bring container from home and are not charged for packaging.
Personalization for every customer Every make of food item is customized. There is freebie of a dry puri (called sukka) for most of the customers. Customers can choose to prepare chat items blend or spicy and add or not add some ingredients. Based on multiple customer interest, the stall introduces new variant of chat items.
Payment options. The stall offers multiple payment options of cash and sudexo passes. If you did not have the right denominations of money, you are excused and asked to pay later. The business works based on trust and customer service.
Understand customer behaviour. Some of chats are branded as Delhi chats and Bombay style chats based on people preference over years. Do remember that they have not heard the term analytics? They are open to introduce new chat styles based on customer inputs.
Special Offers In addition to discount hours, the stall offers weekly subscription offer to attract regular customers. Separate offer targeting women to vist the stall and my wife talks of respect and treatment equal to men. Special combo offers are available to encourage customer to order multiple items. The offers are mentioned in detail for its applicability( ex: applies to parcel or not).
Respect Customers by offering best quality of food items In addition to prepare food with the right taste, these guys do one level above. For customers coming at closing time of the stall, they have challenge that some ingredients are not present. If customer continues with ordering items, the item is prepared and offered free. Customers should get value for the price they pay.
Understanding customer patterns, they plan their holidays on long weekends. Customers are informed and customers feel that stall owners are human beings and need a break. If the stall is not there, customers comes & check the next day and might skip eating that day.
I observe that New Delhi Masala Puri Center has increased prices and customers still come in large numbers. To handle crowd and lean times, they offer food item at two prices. When prices are high, more crowd continues to come due to their focus on customer service. On enquiring of competition from new stalls opened nearby the response is ” Every one has a right to earn and live, both us and others”. Great words and positive attitude from 2 people doing business standing for close to 8 hours every day.
Wish e-commerce and e-food web-sites are more focused on customer and customer satisfaction in addition to lower price and aggressive marketing .