State Bank of India: SMS Unhappy, is a deceptively simple but comprehensive case of a public sector company using a customer complaint management tool as a catalyst to improve overall service performance and overtaking even its private sector competitors in terms of both customer satisfaction and organizational performance. The case describes a novel, mobile phone-based complaint redressal system designed and implemented by Shiva Kumar, chief general manager (south) of the State Bank of India (SBI). The long-term impact of the simple system was the alignment of the entire organization, especially at the branch level, with customer-defined parameters of performance, driving it towards very high levels of customer-centricity. The SMS Unhappy initiative brought greater levels of transparency to all levels of branch performance, resulting in superior service operations with low variance, and ultimately, better customer response.
To understand the relationship between customer satisfaction, service excellence, and organizational improvement. The case enables participants to appreciate the power of organizational transformation that comes from using customer satisfaction programs as indirect control mechanisms to drive overall business performance.