It is often said that good and bad are inseparable! And also too much of Good is often Bad. I experienced this through a rather mundane occurrence today – which made me think: in our enthusiasm to run our business are we running it over?
I called the popular Just Dial service and requested for a service provider’s information. Interestingly before I put the phone down, I had a call on my mobile asking if I wanted some help – from another company who is into similar servicing. By the time I told them that I have already asked someone for the service, there was another provider calling me on my landline. This “call attack” continued for about 15 minutes! At some points it resembled a comedy paradox with me glued to the telephone.
Just Dial is a very helpful service, which I have used number of times. It is especially useful for local search queries and for getting a general list of providers for common services. When Just Dial started sending a bunch of numbers as an SMS to our mobile number so that we can reach out to alternate providers, I was appreciative of this value add. But today Just Dial has started forwarding our numbers to providers for a fee. There seems to be now, a good number of people who get our numbers and names. While it seems like a logical extension to servicing and also a good revenue stream for JustDial – for me as an user it is a cause of irritation (due to the ambush by so many agencies) and concern (privacy). If this continues (and it looks like it will) many people will have to think twice before calling Just Dial – considering the fact that we will be flooded with calls from vendors almost instantaneously.
While Just Dial may have thought of the value add (for organizations who enlist with them), they seemed to have missed the impact on the user (people who make the enquiries). Additionally with stiff competition for local search coming from data based on-demand search services from the likes of Yahoo! And Google, this consumer irritation / concern could hurt Just Dial, if not addressed in time.
This experience is a page out of the Just Dial approach towards business – but do we also make such decisions? Are we thinking enough on our customer acquisition and retention strategies? Does our organizational strategy think long enough on sustainability and repercussion of our choices? On whose perception are we basing the value of our initiative?