Abhishek Shrivastava, Mall Manager at The Bahrain Mall highlights various customer-centric factors that give The Bahrain Mall its title of being a family mall, where customers can conveniently find all their needs under one roof. He also talks about the proactive customer friendly staff available at the mall to assist customers at all times and speaks about the services available for customers with special needs.
Q: In what ways do visitors at the mall experience a customer friendly atmosphere upon entering the mall premises?
Abhishek Shrivastava: Bahrain Mall is one of the ultimate family shopping experiences in the heart of Bahrain’s retail district.The Bahrain Mall has a welcoming easy access entrance from the main Highway in Manama. The building captures the legendary culture of Bahrain, recreated in a traditional ambience. Desert palms, water features, flaming torches and tent structures of the centre court evoke the Arabian heritage.
Once you enter the car park, customers have various options to park as the entrance to the building is accessible from four sides in the car park. We have dedicated handicapped parking facilities as well as wheelchairs, which are available next to the main entrance and a unique area has been created for private taxis that are always available to customers.
Once inside the building, security staff is stationed at all entrances to greet and assist. Customers are greeted by a brightly lit, temperature controlled ambiance coupled with subtle music.
The open clutter free corridors give the mall a spacious and airy ‘look-and-feel,’ and Geant Hypermarket trolley bays are well placed for an easy and comfortable shopping experience.
Q: What Customer Service systems do you have in place at the mall to assist visitors and help them with their queries?
Abhishek Shrivastava: We have adopted a hands-on, face to face customer service approach by developing emotional connections. We believe in human communication and assistance which supports our motto of being a Family Friendly Mall. We also have a hyper market customer service counter where customers may address their queries or suggestions.
The security control room is located in the car park that assists with any queries, emergencies as well as handicapped customers. Well trained security staff is stationed at all entrances and main traffic areas and always present to assist when needed. One will find special assistance on the travelators for mothers with pushchairs, handicapped customers as well as overflowing shopping trolleys.
For more technical and modern applications, our social network channels are always available for communication.
Q: What kind of Customer Support trainings do you have in place to train your staff on Customer Care essentials and protocols?
Abhishek Shrivastava: Ongoing training programs take place on a regular basis for all Bahrain Mall staff such as customer service, first aid, safety and fire trainings through a reputed company in Bahrain. Currently we have an internal program called “Lighting the Fire within”. This is a project born from the vision of our group to create stronger employee engagement to engage, energize and motivate our employees across all levels within the organization.
Q: What kind of activities and events are held at the mall besides shopping and dining to enhance customer experience?
Abhishek Shrivastava: Our central location, with ample parking space, allows us to organise some exciting events every year. The Bahrain Bike Week is one such event that draws at least 4,500 people from across the Middle East. This year the event will take place in December.
Throughout the year we have sales driven promotions where our tenants offer special discount as per the season. One of the most popular sales promotions of the year is the Geant anniversary campaign which runs every year during the month of May.
We also have entertainment promotions, especially during the festive seasons of Ramadan, Christmas and National day.
Retailtainment- the latest trend in the shopping industry where we integrate marketing and entertainment, are the main factors. Awareness campaigns related to medical and social activities are being conducted on a monthly basis here at the mall.
Arts & Crafts events are very popular and well received with our customers. We have several promotions where we introduce new arts and crafts to our customers such as cooking classes/ demonstrations, introduction to the art of mosaic as well as hosting art galleries for our local artists here in Bahrain.
World holidays are celebrated such as Christmas, Diwali, Eid and National Day with the related themed entertainment and mall decor paired with each event.
Q: What are your processes for measuring Customer Satisfaction at the mall and in your opinion how important is Customer Feedback for improving service?
Abhishek Shrivastava: We measure customer satisfaction through customer feedback forms on our website, customer service counters and social media. Customer feedback is crucial to any business since it helps improve service. Listening to your customers is the only way to guarantee you create a product or service that they actually want to buy.
Measuring customer satisfaction helps you determine whether your product or service meets or surpasses customer expectations. This can be done in person, via email, via phone or even inside a website or mobile app. It provides actionable insight to create a better customer experience and it can help improve customer retention. It also delivers tangible data that can be used to make better business decisions.
Q: What kind of digital platforms do you use to connect with your customers online and how do you offer online customer support?
Abhishek Shrivastava: We use Facebook, Instagram and Trip Advisor as digital platforms and also have our own website where customers can connect with us.
Q: In your opinion, how important is social media to connect and engage with online customers?
Abhishek Shrivastava: Connecting and engaging with our customers is very important. Social media generates many enhancements to a business and its customers. You learn about your customers and connect with your audience. You can reach a new audience locally and globally, improve customer service and create meaningful relationships that generate leads. If you’re doing it right, social media will lead to real relationship building.
Q: What upcoming developments are in the works for a better Customer Experience at the Bahrain Mall?
Abhishek Shrivastava: One way of providing good customer experience especially to the younger generation is a bigger and better entertainment area which is being explored. We are targeting new concepts not yet available in Bahrain. Apart from this, we are also exploring the possibility of bringing some good fine dining concepts as well as cinema.
About Abhishek Shrivastava
Abhishek Shrivastava, the Mall Manager at The Bahrain Mall, is responsible for achieving the mall’s operational objectives in terms of profitability, optimizing the mall’s productivity, revenue maximization, quality service to the customers and tenant relationships.
An astute and result oriented professional, he brings a rich and varied experience in retail operations & leasing, business development, mall management to quote a few. During his career, he has worked with reputed companies in India like GVK Mumbai Intl. Airport, Future Capital Real Estate, JLL Meghraj Property Consultants and had held the position of Deputy Centre (Mall) Director in Phoenix Marketcity- Mumbai, India prior to joining The Bahrain Mall. He is a qualified Architect, Town planner and holds an Executive MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C).