Any Service Industry Must be User-Friendly Without Showing Signs of Brazenness!

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  • As the subject matter reveals in no uncertain terms, the service industry is not only expected to be customer-friendly in every available means and way but also go the extra mile in catering to the needs of the patrons to make them feel a comfortable and pampered lot as well. Meeting the expectations within the defined parameters is par for the course standard operating protocols that are non-negotiable. Any breach in the services will only prove to be counterproductive affecting the businesses to no end. Remember, the watchword in any business is to ensure repeat customers flocking again and again to lock loyalty.

PC: Hagueaustralia

  • And any mistake in antagonizing the customers will result in loss of precious business which nobody desires. No business or customer is small you see. As you are aware, the services industry has suffered immensely courtesy of the pandemic over the last couple of years needs no elaboration. Thankfully, when the virus front appears to be well and truly in control, the services sector should make every effort at reverting to the pre-pandemic levels by leaving no stone unturned in provisioning the comforts to the patrons. A recent incident reported simply goes against this tenet.
  • The controversy over a budget airline denying boarding to a special needs child in a wheelchair at Ranchi airport is first and foremost another heart-breaking example of the lack of sensitivity towards the differently-abled in this country. Some lessons are hard to learn at all despite concerted exhortations. Incredibly, the airline has stood by its decision and said that the child was reportedly in a state of panic due to which boarding was denied, aviation regulator the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has rightly instituted a probe. True, civil aviation rules enjoin all airlines to detect and report unruly behavior and refuse embarkation to unruly passengers deemed a threat to airline staff and other passengers.

PC: Indian Era

  • However, in the instant case airline officials should have analyzed the situation better and provided on-the-spot assistance to the child and the parents. The lack of such situational awareness regarding differently-abled people is the reason why policy measures mostly remain on paper. As per Census 2011, India had 2.68 crore people enumerated as disabled out of which 20% had disabilities related to movement. Nonetheless, the government’s flagship Accessible India Campaign launched in 2015 to make transport and public spaces accessible to differently-abled people has fallen way short of its objectives.
  • As per its original target, it had aimed to make 50% of rail and 25% of government-owned public transport accessible by March 2018. Sadly, slow progress has led to a frequent revision of timelines with the current deadline now set at July 2022. Social attitudes towards the differently-abled in this country mostly vary from indifference to downright cruelty. Indeed, governments can’t change social attitudes quickly but smart policy can create incentives and disincentives that can help shape behavior. As regards the Ranchi incident, post the probe DGCA should institute significant penalties for airlines that fail to deal with differently-abled passengers with due sensitivity. The motto should be user-friendly, nothing else.