The UK and India have many differences including:
- The weather (typically a lot hotter in India)
- The cost of living (typically a lot lower in India)
- Wages (typically a lot lower in India)
Another key difference, based on my recent visits, is the exceptionally good customer experience offered by the majority of service providers in India. There seems to be a real passion and pride to treat customers extremely well, whilst providing a great product or service.
For example, we visited a jewelry shop in Mumbai to buy a bracelet for our niece. The person that served us showed us a fantastic range of bracelets, relying on the quality of the goods and his knowledge of the product to make the sale, rather than giving us a sales pitch. He then took us down to another shop owned by the same family for a cup of tea and a chat where every member of the team was exceptionally pleasant and helpful, even though they knew we were not there to make a purchase. Whilst we were in the first shop, the assistant also did a small repair on another piece of jewelry we had purchased in the UK; this was done at no charge!
It doesn’t take much to guess where we will be going back for any further jewelry purchases next time we are in India.
I also had a pair of leather flip-flops repaired by a shoemaker and repairer; his shop was a small shed at the side of the road in the local village. The care, love and pride in his work that he showed as he made the repair was incredible to see and we went back the following day to get a zip on a handbag repaired.
Again, guess where I would go for further shoe and zip repairs in the future.
In both these examples, the work environment and tools to do the job were very basic, however the passion for serving was outstanding.
Lessons for us:
- Adding value can be easy, low cost and fun
- It is important to create an environment where people can do their best work
- Empower your team so they can to go
- A smile makes all the difference – easy, low cost (free in fact), and fun?