Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Take a bow Air Vistara!

Last month I was traveling from Mumbai to New Delhi by Vistara airlines, as I was traveling to Agra. After getting down from the plane and after collecting my checked-in bag, I got into the car arranged for further travel from Delhi airport to Agra. By the time we reached Noida, I realised that I had left my Kindle e-book reader in the flight. Just to be sure, I checked my laptop bag, but did not find the Kindle. It was then confirmed that I had left it in the flight. The same carrier was to fly to Srinagar from Delhi, and the chances are it might have already left Delhi by this time.

Immediately, I called up Vistara's call centre. The person on the phone was very courteous and sounded very professional. He took down all the details. He confirmed that it would take at least 3 to 4 days.

Since nothing happened for 3 days, I called up the call centre. I was also a bit nervous since I was not given any complaint number. To my surprise, the person on the phone could locate my complaint only by taking down my name, flight number and date of journey. He did not need any other details. He said that their team was working on the issue and that they would need some more time. I was asked to call up again the next day.

The next day when I called up, there was a different person on phone. He also could locate my complaint with just the basic details. he asked me to note down a phone number. My experience with customer service and call centres in the past has not been good, so I was a bit irritated when he asked me to note down the number. However, he assured me that this was the mobile number of a person at the security office of Vistara at New Delhi airport, and that he had my Kindle with him. I was requested to go and collect it from him.

I told the guy that I live in Mumbai and at the time of the call I was in Mumbai. He said I should tell this to the person whose number was shared with me, and he would arrange to send the Kindle to Mumbai.

When I called up the guy in the security office at New Delhi airport, I had to only mention my name and he said that he had my Kindle with him. I told him that I was a resident of Mumbai. He immediately said he would send the Kindle through the next flight and confirm to me. Within 15 minutes, I got an email from this gentleman confirming that the Kindle was shipped to Mumbai. The mail was addressed to his colleague in the security office at the Mumbai airport. The phone numbers of that colleague as well as mine were mentioned in the mail. I was asked to carry the boarding pass and a photo ID with me when I reach there. The arrival time of the flight was also mentioned in the mail.

After some time I called up the person at Mumbai. He immediately recognised me on the mention of my name. He asked me when would it be convenient for me to visit the airport. At the agreed time, I reached the airport and went to the ticketing office (as instructed) outside the Mumbai airport and inquired about this person. The person at the booking window asked me why I wanted to meet this person, which I mentioned. He asked me to wait for a minute and called up the office inside the airport. After talking on the phone for a minute or so, he hung up and told me that someone was on the way with the Kindle and asked me if I wanted a glass of water or something.

Within 15-20 minutes someone came out with the Kindle nicely put in an envelope. He asked for a copy of the boarding pass and my photo ID, which I handed him over. He then requested for my signature on a form (confirming the receipt of the Kindle).

When I thanked the person on the counter, who had placed the call, he said, "Sir, we should thank you for patiently waiting."

I was amazed at the whole experience. It was not just an individual, but the whole system - entire staff that was professional and courteous. They were nice, prompt and exhibited that they meant "The customer is king".

Take a bow team Air Vistara. When two great institutions - the Tata group and Singapore Airlines get together, you create a world class company.