Excellence in Customer Service & Organisations Often Fail to Get Close to Their Customers and Correctly Read Their Expectations

Topics: Customer, Customer service, Service Pages: 6 (2186 words) Published: November 24, 2012
Work Related Project
Question 1
Excellence in customer service is the objective of all organisations wishing to be successful. However, there is often a gap between customer expectations and management perceptions of customer expectations. Organisations often fail to get close to their customers and correctly read their expectations. Other reasons for customer service problems include:

* not listening to or collecting information from customers * poor, or no, focus on the actual design of processes to turn identified customer needs into products and services * gaps between what the organisation intends to produce for its customers and what its systems do actually produce * gaps between what the system is intended to deliver for customers and what it actually does deliver * cost constraints, or failure to set and meet realistic performance standards, which affect what the organisation can actually deliver * poor staff attitudes, training levels and working materials * gaps between what salespeople promise and the actual service or product quality Source: Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry (1990)

In approximately 2000 words comment on these statements.
By implementing customer feedback strategies, the organisation will be able to discover the company's strengths and potential weaknesses, as set by the actual customer. Reacting on the feedback in a timely and appropriate manner will increase revenues and customer satisfaction. Although a customer feedback programs will be an added cost in the beginning, long term it will save money for the organisation, as it costs far more money to get new customer’s than keep a satisfied, existing customers. Understanding what customers think of the organisation will improve service delivery and quality of products leading to business sustainability. By conducting market research and analysis of customer’s needs and expectations, an understanding of what the customers think about the organisation can enhance the continuous improvement process within the organisation. Customer perceptions are a subjective assessment of actual service experiences. Customer perceptions and customer expectations play an important role in service marketing and are the standards of performance against which service experiences are compared, and often formulated in terms of what a customer believes should or will happen. Supplying reliability to the customer will have the highest influence on the customer’s perception of quality and ability to perform the promised service effectively with efficiency. Responsiveness from employee’s and the willingness of the organisation to help customers and to provide them with a prompt service to deal with their queries, concerns or complaints will determine how the customer perceives the organisation. Giving the customer assurance and inspiring trust and confidence in the product or service supplied will encourage and support the organisations objectives or goals. Showing the customer empathy, caring and individualized attention during the process will enhance the customer’s individual experience with the organisation. By not knowing what customers expect is one of the root causes of not delivering to the customer their expectations. This is the difference between customer expectations of the service and the organisations understanding of those expectations. Unwillingness to ask customers about their expectations will not address current issues, service providers may think that they know what is best for their customers but without research, information and data, they may well be misaligned. Feedback strategies may include electronic feedback mechanisms using intranet, internet and email, feedback forms, questionnaires, formal or informal surveys and interviews or databases and other controls to record and compare data over time. Market segmentation to understand the needs of the market are important. Market segmentation is the grouping of...
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