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During the discussion with the Secretary, DOT by the Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations representatives, the demand of the Forum that it should be made mandatory for the Central/State governments and PSUs to take service from BSNL was raised. We cited the example of Air India, which has been mandated for Government officers for flight travel.

The Secretary at this stage brought the issue of efficiency, or rather inefficiency of the BSNL services. Unless the service is improved, nobody can be forced to take it, he said. He said that in the meeting of the Communications Minister with the MPs of various states, almost all the MPs raised the issue of inefficient service, non-repair of faults in time, call dropping, insensitive dealing etc. and wanted improvement of services. he also cited many public and government officers raising such complaints.

As stated above, the  complaints are not from M.P.s alone. To be frank, wherever we meet the public, such complaints are raised. This is a real issue with regard to the revival of BSNL. There is much resentment about our services in general. That is known to all of us. This is also one reason why our land-line connections are drastically coming down and one day we may lose the first position in land lines also. Support of the people are very much necessary in our struggle for “Revival of BSNL”. How we can improve the services and how we can get the support of the people are very important points. What can be done in the matter?

1. Cordial, friendly and supporting dealing with the customer/public: As stated by Gandhiji, ‘Customer is the most important person in the premises’. He is a welcome visitor. The customer visits BSNL office or Customer Care Service for his requirements, whether to get a new connection, pay the bills, making enquiries or to make complaints about his faulty equipment, service etc. etc.

The first thing that the employee/worker can do is to greet the customer with Namaste / Good Morning, and a friendly smile and ask politely what is his requirement? This itself will make him feel that the employee is there to help him. Once his requirement is known, the employee has to immediately attend to it if he is the person dealing with it. Otherwise he has to contact the concerned person and inform him. Asking the customer to go from one person to another person will irritate him. Now that ‘One Window System’ is arranged, the same employee can mostly deal with the problemss.

If it is a case of fault/out of order/ cable fault etc. the arrangement should be that it should be immediately attended. A usual fault can be attended in 2-3 hours time at the maximum. The RM/TM/TTA, whoever is the employee, has to be immediately ordered for attending the fault, whether on line, cable,broadband or whatever it is. It should be ensured that such faults are rectified in the day at least. In case of cable fault etc., if some delay is expected, the customer can be informed the reason for the delay.

Convenient arrangements should be made for the customers at the CSC. If more customers are there, the slip system with serial numbers can be arranged as in banks, so that the customer need not stand in the queue. When his slip number is announced or put on the screen for that purpose, he can go to the counter and present his requirements.

The customer may be angry sometimes due to delay on the part of the BSNL to his demands/requirements. In such cases, the employee should be very calm, hear him fully and patiently explain him the reasons for the delay and express ‘sorry’ for the difficulties caused to him and also assure that the needful will be done without any further delay. In case, it is beyond his authority, the customer may be asked to meet his superior for the same. In no case, the employee should become angry and retort. Patience and being cool is a great asset. While speaking over telephones also, you have to be calm and quiet and not irritate the person at the  other end.

Now the customer has several options other than BSNL for getting telecom services. This we must always remember. Our service should be better than the private companies, if we want to get more and more subscribers.

There is a system in some places that the pending fault are closed by the end of the day and reopened next day to show that there is no pending fault. This is completely a wrong process. Till the fault is rectified, it should be pending, compelling the staff for early fault-repair.

A usual reply from the employee for the inefficiency is that there are no equipment. This is partly true. The earlier situation has  changed. Now in almost all SSAs, urgent equipment are available, though less in number compared to the requirement. It is our job to see that the equipments are mad available.

These are only  some  few suggestions which came to my mind immediately. There are so many other things we can do for the revival of BSNL.

Can’t we practice and implement these small niceties and help to the customer in our premises? It will make a whole change in the situation, which will be in our favour.

If you have got any such suggestions, please intimate  through Comments or otherwise, which we will certainly take seriously.