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Service Failure at Axis Bank: A Celebrity Lesson

CASE STUDY, MARKETING MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 10 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Kshitiz Sharma, PhD, Associate Professor, ABBS School of Management, Acharya Bangalore B School and Gopal V. V., PhD, Associate Dean, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore

Case Preview

Service Failure at Axis Bank: A Celebrity Lesson

Dipika Pallikal (Dipika) was the top-seeded Indian squash player and the first Indian woman among the top ten of the WSA1 rankings. Arjuna Awardee2 (2012) Dipika was the youngest ever Padma Shri awardee3 (2014) too. Born on September 21st 1991 in Chennai (Tamilnadu state, India), Dipika was playing squash from the age of ten. She grew up in a sports environment at home as her mother Susan was the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team and her father Sanjiv Pallikal played college-level cricket.

She played her first international squash tournament in London, 2003. In 2012, she became the first Indian to reach the finals of the Tournament of Champions squash meet in New York.

Dipika turned into a professional player in 2006 by joining WSA at the age of 15. She featured as a qualifier in the first round of the Hurghada International and Los Angeles Open before winning the British Junior U17 Open in 2008. Her first WSA World Tour title came in 2010 at the Indian Challenger No5 in India where she beats the then top two players Sharon Wee (Malaysia) and Emma Beddoes (England).

In 2011, she won the Equinox Orange County Open and the Dread Sports Series in United States. In the same year, Dipika reached the quarter-finals in the World Open in Rotterdam. Dipika continued her winning streak at various prestigious championships viz., the Crocodile Challenge Cup, Hong Kong (Winner-2011); Tournaments of Champions, United States (2012-Runner Up); Australian Open, (2012- Semi-finalist); Meadow Pharmacy Open, Canada (2013); Macau Squash Open, China (2013); Winipeg Winter Club Open, Canada (2015).

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Debit Card Transaction

Annexure

Annexure I: Card Transaction Cycle

Annexure II: Master Card


1 Women’s Squash Association is the global governing body for women’s professional squash
2 Arjuna Award (a civilian award) is given by Government of India for outstanding achievement in National sports
3 Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, awarded for distinguished contribution

Teaching Note Preview

Service Failure at Axis Bank: A Celebrity Lesson

Synopsis

In 2011, Dipika , top-seeded squash player from India went to participate in an international event in Holland. The Axis bank debit card that she was carrying declined in spite of having sufficient funds and player had to face trouble which impacted her performance in the event also. Later in another event, the same bank returned a cheque issued by Union Sports Ministry, Government of India stating the cheque ‘not drawn on us’. When contacted Axis bank, the bank accused player for lack of mental toughness and was reluctant to take any recovery of the said failure. The case discusses about the service expectations of the customer from a premium brand like Axis and how technology cannot be seen separately from the service offered to satiate the customer. It also highlights how customer tolerance level changes with different dimensions of the service. The case concludes with the court’s order to compensate the customer for bank’s inability to offer necessary support and services to the customer.

Case Positioning and Setting

This case is suitable for MBA program in the Marketing of Services module of a core marketing course. In a Marketing of Services course, this case can be used in the first half of the course dealing with Customers’ Expectations, Customers’ Complaints, Service Recovery, and Customers’ Role in Service Delivery.

Expected Learning Objectives

• Understand the customer expectations and perception for services related to debit and credit card
• Highlight the service failure instances and recovery mechanism in place
• Analyze the impact of brand dilution with service failure and lack of service recovery strategy

Assignment Questions

I. What are service expectations of customers like Dipika from bank?
II. What are the challenges of service delivery?
III....................

Exhibits

Exhibit (TN)-I: Classroom Discussion Board

Exhibit (TN)-II: Zone of Tolerance

Exhibit (TN)-III: Zone of Tolerance across Service Dimensions

Exhibit (TN)-IV: Banking Service Dimensions

Exhibit (TN)-V: A Service Branding Model

Exhibit (TN)-VI: Service Recovery Strategy suggested for Axis Bank

Exhibit (TN)-VII: Customer Response Following Service Failure

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Abstract

Quality of service rendered is the edifice on which service firms such as banks build their reputation. Due to occasional demand surge and heightened levels of interactions with the bank staff, service failures are likely to occur. The net result could be customer attrition and at times even loss of reputation.

Ace Indian squash player Dipika Pallikal faced acute embarrassment when her payment through Axis Bank debit card was rejected at Brainpark hotel, Rotterdam, Holland in 2011. In just a month after the Brainpark incident, her banker dishonoured a government cheque deposited by her. This came as a double whammy to Dipika.

All she could do was to knock on the courts’ door for justice. What went wrong and where? Could the bank not deal with the issue more professionally? To what extent is the bank responsible for the failure of a third-party system?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • Understand the customer expectations and perception for services related to debit and credit card
  • Highlight the service failure instances and recovery mechanism in place
  • Analyze the impact of brand dilution with service failure and lack of service recovery strategy

Case Positioning and Setting

This case is suitable for MBA program in the Marketing of Services module of a core marketing course. In a Marketing of Services course, this case can be used in the first half of the course dealing with Customers’ Expectations, Customers’ Complaints, Service Recovery, and Customers’ Role in Service Delivery.



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