The new campaign from the bank is guaranteed to put you to sleep
Realising that customer-dedication and relationship-building (remember that ICICI Bank ad where a staffer entertains an aunty till the wee hours of the morn?) have been done to death in the banking world, Axis Bank has tried to offer something new in their communication. Their promise? 'Solutions Provider'.
Hmm. Now, in principle, one has to agree a bank advertising itself at this time has to say something fresh in order to stand out from the 'relationships' clutter.
Granted that. But the solution found by the Axis guys is so broad-based and boring, it puts you to sleep. Problem/solution is too generic a promise, and any organisation can offer that-from a giant steel company to a retail outlet to a cobbler on the street. So that marketing platform is too dull and uninviting. Also, it's nebulous. Will the Axis guys help me out when I have a car accident outside their branch? Will they help me find a boy friend? No, I am not joking… this sort of a claim is much too vague.
The other problem is an equally dull and trite execution of the already silly promise. Two commercials are on air. In one, two army jawans are seen goofing around at the Nathula Pass. With no war on, they are busy yakking with each other on whether a yak, that's passing by, would turn its head to look at them.
The wager: One hundred bucks. When the chap who loses the bet claims he has no money, the ATM promise gets flashed. Ho-hum stuff. Reminds me of the Maruti Gypsy Service 'Kancha' ad. Done to death. The other commercial is only marginally more interesting. An elderly couple in a bus is seen having a go at a youngish man who's occupied a seat reserved for senior citizens. The poor chap does everything to prove his elderly status but to no avail. Finally, he flashes out an Axis Bank card to prove his age! Wow! Hasn't he heard of mundane things called driving license, voter ID card, ration card, etc? In fact, those documents are officially recognised as evidence of age. Promising start to the commercial, which ends on a whimper.
So, poor strategy, uninspired creative. All that can go wrong with advertising. Moral of the story: If you just can't think of something interestingly new to say to your audiences, then you have to come up with sizzling creative ideas of an existing concept in order to stand out. The oldest lesson in the ad world, often forgotten by the right-brain challenged suits.
Anyway, not all is lost. The Axis boys can re-visit the drawing board and come up with something different. There's always a solution, right? :)
Yet another case of a multinational which would rather spend on advertising and sales promotion rather than respond promptly to a customer complaint
Whirlpool started manufacturing motorised washers in 1911. Since then, it has grown rapidly to become one of the world's largest manufacturers of home appliances. It has a strong presence in India now.
But after-sales support-or just a simple response to a customer query-requires the personal intervention of the managing director of the company. That brings us to ask a simple question-is it possible for each and every Whirlpool customer who might have a problem with any of its products to personally try to get in touch with the head of the company for something that should be a given-good after-sales support?
Here is a case in point. Harsha Parekh, a senior citizen, bought a Whirlpool Refrigerator (a 300 L 'Proton 3' door model) from a Whirlpool retailer, Vijay Sales, at Prabhadevi in central Mumbai on 22 May 2010. The machine was not cooling-Ms Parekh repeatedly tried to call the Whirlpool customer service numbers on 25th May.
All she got was an automated response (of course, with the 'your call is important to us' thrown in) saying that all the executives were busy. Finally, she was informed that she should leave her number and the Whirlpool executive would call her back or send her an SMS. Nothing happened after that.
Finally on 26th May, Ms Parekh got through to a new contact number and was asked to contact the service centre-for which she was given another number. At last, a Whirlpool engineer knocked at her doors, examined the fridge, and proclaimed that the machine would need to be replaced because of a clogged gas pipe.
Moneylife contacted Whirlpool on 27th May on the travails that Ms Parekh was facing. We were told that only Arvind Uppal, managing director; Shantanu DasGupta, vice president-corporate affairs & strategy, Asia South and Tamal Kanti Saha, vice president-sales would be in a position to answer this simple query-when would Ms Parekh's fridge be replaced?
These top executives, we were told, were travelling and could not be reached. This boggles the imagination.
Does Whirlpool require its who's who to respond to customer complaints? Whatever happened to customer service back-up support?
We are not questioning the quality of Whirlpool's products. But is asking for a response from a human on the other end of a help number of one of the world's biggest conglomerates a tad too much? Is this how a customer, say, in Spain, would have been serviced?
Coming back to Ms Parekh's problem, it has finally been resolved. At least, Whirlpool has promised to replace the defective piece by 3.00 PM today, Friday. We'll keep you posted.
And let us add, this is just one of the numerous problems that have been voiced by customers on Whirlpool's after-sales support (or rather, the lack of it). A cursory round of surfing on various customer grievance websites throws up a litany of woes.
As we said, the quality of the manufacturer's products is really not being questioned. What happens after the sale-that crucial last-mile connectivity-is something that Whirlpool needs to take a hard, serious look at.
A third day of rally is guaranteed, but what’s next?
The market closed near the high point of the day amid a high degree of choppiness, normally seen on the futures & options (F&O) expiry day. The sluggish opening on the back of a negative close on Wall Street overnight gradually led to a jagged climb into the green in the morning session. However, a pick-up in Asian markets and a strong opening of European markets gave the domestic indices the much-needed boost and the going was northwards after that.
The upmove was supported by sectors like banking, auto, oil & gas-all of which registered gains of over 2% each. Finally, the Sensex close at 16,387.84, up by 278.56 points (1.70%) while the Nifty gained 87.50 points (1.74%), to end the day at 5,003.10.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) late Wednesday allowed banks to draw additional funds from it by opening a second window, to meet the expected cash crunch in the system on account of the Rs1 lakh-crore demand of corporates to meet their third generation (3G) fee payouts and advance-tax payment requirements. The central bank also allowed banks to seek waiver of the penal interest if they have less government securities when they borrow more from the RBI.
All Asian equity markets ended on Thursday after paring early losses as investors resorted to bargain hunting after the recent decline in the regional bourses. The advances were also sustained as the euro surged against other major currencies.
The Shanghai Composite rose 30.12 points (1.15%) to 2,655.92; the Hang Seng gained 234.92 points (1.22%) to 19,431.37; the Jakarta Composite was up 17.14 points (0.64%) to 2,713.92 and the KLSE Composite soared 20.22 points (1.62%) to 1,269.16.
Similarly, the Nikkei 225 surged 117.06 points or 1.23% to 9,639.72; the Straits Times advanced 43.68 points or 1.62% to 2,739.70; the Seoul Composite jumped 25.38 points (1.60%) to 1,607.50 and the Taiwan Weighted added 75.81 points (1.06%) to 7,243.16.
US markets witnessed a negative finish on Wednesday as late sell-off erased gains accrued earlier in the session. The markets ended lower as reports suggested that China was reviewing its eurozone debt holdings.
The Dow fell 69.30 points (0.69%), to 9,974.45. The S&P 500 shed 6.08 points (0.57%) to 1,067.95. The Nasdaq gave up 15.07 points (0.68%) to 2,195.88.
Back home, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is likely to take the final decision on the fate of the 4,000-MW ultra mega-power project (UMPP) at Sarguja in Chhattisgarh, which has been delayed due to the non-receipt of environmental clearance.
The environment and forests (E&F) ministry has declared the Hasdeo coal block in Chhattisgarh-which was allotted by the coal ministry for the Sarguja UMPP-as a 'No Go' area, where coal mining cannot be done as it will adversely impact the environment.
The gainers list on the Sensex was led by Tata Motors (up 4.74%), ONGC (up 4.64%), Sterlite Industries (up 4.26%), HDFC Bank (up 3.78%) and Reliance Communications (up 3.11%).
The major losers on the Sensex were ACC (down 1.64%); Bharti Airtel (down 1.29%), Cipla (down 0.64%) and Hero Honda (down 0.21%).
All sectors on the BSE closed in the positive terrain today. The top gainers were bank stocks (up 2.55%), auto (up 2.10%), oil & gas (up 2.09%), realty (up 1.70%) and consumer goods (up 1.63%).
Research firm Religare today said that the economy is expected to expand by 7.8% during the current fiscal, lower than the government's projection of 8.5%, mainly on account of a moderation in industrial growth.
"Our FY'11 (2010-11) growth estimate is 7.8%, versus the consensus of 8.2%-8.4%, on account of the higher base of FY'10, as well as a faster slowdown in industrial activity year-on-year in the second half of FY'11," Religare said in a statement.
The top performers on the Nifty were Reliance Power (up 6.70%), Tata Motors (up 5.70%), Sterlite Industries (up 4.84%), Axis Bank (up 4.59%) and Unitech (up 4.22%).
The laggards on the Nifty were Power Grid Corporation of India (down 1.16%), ACC (down 1.10%), Idea (down 1%), Bharti Airtel (down 0.93%) and Hero Honda (down 0.78%).
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in equities on Wednesday, offloading stocks worth Rs166.66 crore. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers, purchasing equities worth Rs64.86 crore. The Indian forex market was closed for a local holiday today.
At the time of writing, key indices in Europe were trading with modest gains. UK-based FTSE 100 was up 1.82%, Germany's DAX was up 2.21% and CAC of France was up 2.01%.