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The call of duty

Kathmandu, May 09, 2016: Often what distinguishes a company from another, when their core business is similar, is how they treat their clientele. It takes the making of a good product to sell it to the customer a first time, and notable customer service to make the customer want to keep coming back. Depending on the customer, customer service may be non-negotiable and they may even prioritise customer service more so than the product itself and choose to do business with a company based on how they treat their customers, and only reserve their clientele for companies that approach them with respect and make it their number one priority to satisfy them. Subisu Cable Net, one of the most prominent internet service providers in the country, which currently connects over 60 districts through their wireless internet services, is one such company that prioritises on customer service and believes it is what makes or mars the success of a business.

“What we think at Subisu is that the customer is god. It is because of the customers who come and pay for our services that companies run. If we don’t concentrate on making customers happy, the company will surely go down because at the end of the day, it’s business and the money is coming to us through the customer, and that’s how businesses run. So if they aren’t happy or satisfied, and if we don’t work towards delighting them, then the company will surely go down,” says Sudhir Parajuli, one of the owners of Subisu Cable Net, on how important customer service is in the success of a company.

Subisu, since its inception in 2001, has always been committed to customer service. All the services available at Subisu come with a minimum guaranteed uptime of 95 percent. Although they provide up to 99 percent uptime, customers mostly sign a contract stating a minimum 95 percent, says Parajuli. Given the current power problems in the country, the company also promises a 95 percent uptime which is around eight hours of downtime in one month. “The first thing that customers have to do to use our services, whether it is cable TV or the internet, is to set it up, of course. The second thing is use the support when needed. We are available 24 hours a day, all 365 days of the year. I think we are the only company that you can call at 2 or 3 in the morning and we pick up. In this way, we are responding to the urgency of our customers’ requests at any time of the day and prioritising their satisfaction,” says Parajuli.

The Subisu hotline, which is reachable at any hour of the day, picks up and notes down the complaints, and solves the customer’s problem over the phone, if it can be solved by phone support or has somebody sent to the customer the next morning.

The first person that picks up the phone call is outsourced. The company, like a lot of other Nepali telecom companies such as Nepal Telecom and Ncell, has outsourced their first channel of communication to a professional Nepali outsource company that is good at providing such services. The first line of support can be outsourced to professional companies that provide such services and are very good at it since it’s their core business. This ups overall efficiency and is well-received by customers as it translates to good customer service and improves service provider and client relationship.

The employees from the said outsource company undergo training sessions every 15 days regarding the services of Subisu, how it works, and how to communicate with our customers. Then, at the second level, after going over their problems, they may direct the customer to different departments. At this departmental support, it is Subisu’s own employees that are responding to the customer. Every month, the company trains them to solve problems, familiarise them with any of the new services of the company by holding interdepartmental meetings and trains them to appropriately approach and respond to a customer’s queries. At Subisu, training is a continuous process.

“I think like most internet providers in the country, Subisu’s service can be pretty choppy and frustrating at times. But because they have the 24 hour helpline, it at least appears to me as a customer that they actually care. Other ISPs will not even answer your phone, let alone provide any form of customer service,” says Maya Tulachan, a Subisu Cable Net subscriber for the past year, and a resident of Sanepa.

The world of internet is evolving at a great pace. Amid all this, there are numerous cable internet providers vying for your hard-earned rupee. If these companies were to take stock of the best global practices around the world, they would quickly reach the conclusion that providing great post-sales customer service is the very foundation of successful businesses, particularly those that provide intangible services rather than physical products. And by those standards, Subisu is well on their way to incorporating such culture in the Nepali corporate landscape as well and look to outdo all competition when the market eventually catches up.