I started using Justdial three years back in Mumbai and one thing that has impressed me about them in all my interactions was the way in which they have personalised the services both in Mumbai and Bangalore.
The first time you call them they login all your details and each time I have called them I was impressed with few things
1.The person at the other end picks up the call maximum on the second ring. I just call them once in a while to check whether they go till the third ring, but it has never happened( I am impressed)
2.He/ She greets me (Good Afternoon, Good Morning, Good Evening) and says my name. Good Afternoon, Mr: Lijo ( I smile and nod(only if it is a she before my wedding) when someone greets me by name)
3.He/ She asks me what I want and helps me in finding the same. (I have asked things from movie timings in Inox to Malayalam Mass timings in an Indiranagar, Bangalore church)
5.They send an SMS at the end of the call and in some cases connects me to the service owner
Justdial is like an offline Google and no wonder they have been quite successful.
Compare this with Subway. The company in which I works give free lunches but I am a big fan of Subwaying my lunch. Each time I call them, the same girl picks up but never greets me by name and I have to recite to her my address and contact number each time. I am tired of doing it every time but since I love subway sandwiches I don't mind that much but sometimes I just don't call subway due to the frustration of doing it again and again.
Compare this with Citibank/ ICICI Bank or any of the six banks I deal with. Each time I call them for my bank account or credit card related issues, I have to hear the music and advertisement on why citibank/icici bank is great. ( Not a good Point to interact with a customer who does not have patience) and I go to some stupid IVR menu which is not personalised even after they have all possible information points about me. The only personalised service ever I get from banks with my name in it is a Birthday mail once in a year and the credit card and account statements.
In Internet, may be the scope for personalising the product is maximum. How often we get invitation mails from addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org or Hi, emails even after collecting all the information points. Some of the sites and web services just goes on collecting information points one after the another with out any road map on how it will be used(ever).
Personalisation is one of the cornerstone features of any successful consumer Internet product, and the focus of a product manager should be in creating a simple but a personalised experience for users. It not only impressed and wows the users but also helps us in creating a number of visitor segments, and tailor the information that is presented for each segment.