How an Indian hotel chain turned their customer satisfaction around using stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 15, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Two years ago Mark and I flew to New Delhi to run a public Storytelling for Leaders program. This public program was an extended version because we combined a day on business storytelling with a day of what we call story-listening, that is, collecting stories in an organisation and using them to instigate culture change.


One of the participants was Balaji V. who is the human resources director of Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India. Mahindra Resorts has 43 properties in India and is the market leaders in vacation ownership in India.

We didn’t know it at the time but Balaji V. had a problem. Customer satisfaction was low, staff morale was dipping and it was, as you can imagine, affecting business. Balaji was feeling a bit stressed.

Story-listening as part of a brand re-launch

Story-listening inspired Balaji. Right after the training he started a major narrative project as part of their brand relaunch that was designed to find the stories of success and amplify them throughout Mahindra Resorts. In the first 6 months they collected thousands of stories and started conversations using them as triggers. Their narrative project became the centrepiece for the relaunch of their brand.

A couple of weeks ago, two years after our workshop with Balaji, we received a lovely email from him thanking us for our contribution.

Email from Baliji

He put together this case study of what they did and the results they achieved. As the email highlights, one of the numbers that stand out is their version of Net Promoter Score (CaPS – Customer as Promoter Score) went from just below zero to now just over 50 in that 2 year period. It’s a great achievement. Balaji is feeling justifiably proud of what he and his colleagues have done.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

One Response to “How an Indian hotel chain turned their customer satisfaction around using stories”

  1. Narayanan Says:

    Story telling is a powerful mechanism to initiate cultural change in an organization and is great way to reinforce what the organization and brand stands for. Congratulations to Balaji for what he has achieved in Club Mahindra and for transforming the brand to what it is today. Great success story!

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