Management: Exceeding Customer Expectation

Executive summary

In serving the customer, it is important to supply services and goods that will either meet or will surpass the expectations of the customer. Customer fulfillment has become a major differentiator in most industries as competition has reached very high levels. To retain the already existing customers and acquire new ones, the organization has to create strategies that will surpass the standards that customers expect.

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Customer communication coupled with customer service form a major basis in understanding the needs of the customer hence their expectations. By communicating with customers and availing customer services to them, it is possible to detect whatever quality, and service the customer expects of you hence the company can improve on the service it offers to individuals (Plunkett 1998).

So as to determine the level of customer fulfillment, several factors are of great importance. The.quality of the product or service, its value, how timely it is delivered, the efficiency of the service, the level of innovation involved and the behaviors in provision of the front-line services, inter-departmental teamwork, the environment under which the service provider is offered will enable the customer to tell the committee of the organization hence the customer will rate the services provided appropriately. Customer satisfaction is basically a psychological issue hence ultimate care has to be taken to satisfy the customer; surpass their levels of expectation.

Customers are not supposed to sense any form of the quality gap which is an experience that is far much less than what the customers expect. This can result from another product or service brand comes to the market and proves to be better than the existing one. However, if a brand or service quality is kept strong, then even another brand coming to the market will not out-compete it. This can be as a result of the manufacturing and maintaining the quality of the product or service (Barbara 2006).

Introduction

In surpassing the expectations of customers, it is important that the organization does remove some old misconceptions that are implanted in the customers. The customer has to be educated on issues relating to the services being rendered.

It is important to come up with a benchmark in this kind of industry. In benchmarking, the time used to accomplish an activity, the cost incurred, and the quality of the service provided matter a lot in exceeding the expectations of the industry. It acts as a strategic management technique that helps to improve the performance as well as the practice habits in an organization. Through the benchmarking process, organizations are able to weigh their performance against other organizations, set new and more challenging objectives and strategies to be achieved and where it beats other organizations, the organization challenges its own strategies and attempts to achieve these new objectives. The company can also identify the nature of its activities and the reasons why they engage in, the company can also determine what the industry in which it is operating entails, what the competitors do and therefore it can develop a clear analysis of what to do so as to improve on its performance or make it the best (Ganeshan & Harrison 1996).

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The company is supposed to view the customer as a friend, a customer who will be with the company for life. The company is supposed to practice excellence while offering customer service. This could include attending to the needs of the customer s urgently, replacing what can be thought to be undesirable habits that the customer doesn’t like. Also, there is no need to guarantee the customer lots of niceties and claims. These are to be seen in action. Promising what may not be delivered is lowering the credibility of the firm. The customer should receive information relating to the strategies and objectives.

In order for the company to exceed the expectations of the customers, there is a need for it to make customer service efficient. Efficient customer service will ensure that the customers come back automatically as a result of the easy time they find at the organization. To enhance customer service e, the company must work on all major and minor things affecting the relationship between the company and the customer as it has to do with the customer’s perception. In some cases, the company has to ask the customer for their views towards certain responsibilities by the company towards the customer. The customers can have a lot to say regarding what can be done so as to improve the way the freight activities are organized and run. Selectively taking into account the views of the customer will see the company’s performance rise (Thompson 2001).

There must first be practical, achievable targets which the organization. The objectives of the organization must be well outlined and these have to be aimed at improving on the present services offered by the organization.

In exceeding the expectations of the customers, meeting deadlines is a basic requirement. By meeting deadlines set, the organization presents a trustworthy image, one that can be relied upon and efficient. The customer has to be conducted within a period of twenty-four hours from the time the order is received. The reasoning behind this is that by setting the appointments within a narrow time limit, the customer is automatically presented from choosing another alternative service lender. In this case, conducting the customer within a day or less and affecting the service ensures that the customer doesn’t choose an alternative company that provides freight services. This as well boosts the confidence of the customer towards the company hence the company acquires a good reputation. Meeting deadlines also helps to reduce customer anxiety such that their needs are solved immediately or at least in good time.

It is also good to accept only those tasks that can be deemed to be right. This then means that the organization takes up only those projects within its area of specialty, offering the best freight services. These can be for luxury properties or deferred maintenance property. Accepting only those tasks that are deem able as right also ensures that the organization is being honest with the customer and this goes far in promoting the name of the organization. The company has to be taking the duties with a win-win motive for both the company and the customer being served.

Consistency and professionalism is another area which has to be considered in providing excellent services. It remains to impact on the company positively for simple professional courtesies such as respect, politely answering most questions the customer could be having.

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Another yet potentially useful move is to impose reasonable charges on the services provided. The customer will really find it fair if whatever amount he/she is charged equals the services offered. This does not necessarily mean low charges, it means regulating the amount charged so that it is neither too high nor too low for the company to collect reasonable profits. Too low charges could also be associated with poor or substandard service and hence customers would shun such companies. At the same time, even if the service is superb, charges that are too high will discourage customers and this will reduce company targets. Creating a fee panel could assist to consolidate the correct charges and hence keep the integrity, organization’s professionalism, and top customer service (Nash 2003).

Communication is very necessary to the company. There should be clear and regular communication on the target dates when the task will be completed, how the sales process is going on all the way till the process is completed. In case of any changes on the date when the activity will be accomplished, this has to be communicated instantly. Good customer service entails continuous communication between the customer and the organization. Closer communication can mean the customer becomes a friend. Keeping close contact with all the customers that have ever been served by the company will keep them close to the company and they will feel like they are part of the company and this will mean loyalty to the company.

Effective communication between the company and the client can take several forms; use of postcard mailings which is mainly used to inform the customers regarding seasonal specials or if there are new products or services in the market like in this case, postcard mailings can be used to inform the customers about special rates for carrying cargo during holidays. This form of communication is mainly used for loyal customers. It can also be used to remind the customer about the approach of inspection or warranty expiry. The second form of communication is by use of e-mail. These are short, flexible, and can be best applied to inform about a certain special promotion, it can be used to educate the customer and it can inform the customer about certain products.

The last tool of communication that is also effective is the use of phone calls. Calling customers once in a while gives the company-customer relationship a personal touch and the customer will not fail to notice and appreciate this. Most customers are likely to feel that the company is genuinely concerned and this will satisfy them hence creating customer loyalty.

The best way of communicating is combining all the three forms listed above and this should integrate educating the customer, informing, advising, and reminding them about a certain forthcoming event. Regular and well-planned communication leaves the customers well informed about the activities of the organization hence are most likely to remain loyal to the organization.

There has to be organization or order in the company. This entails reliability, punctuality, and doing all that entails the project. In this case, this involves carrying out all the details involving the freight activities, organizing to pack the luggage well, and having all relevant procedures followed. Every customer has to be handled well and offer the best customer service to each of them.

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Comparing the company performance with other companies, it is worth noting that some of the policies and strategies of other rival firms can be copied to better our performance and service delivery. Mid-west Airlines Company, for example, is known to be one very competitive air services company and this comes from its constant aim of making the customers happy in which case the customers traveling on their plane receive a free drink, a snack, and a cookie all free. This keeps the customers coming back. The company can copy the idea, promoting customer happiness by either offering regular discounts; quantity discounts, or by compensating the clients for cases of unsatisfactory services. Another simple yet very important action is thanking the clients and showing appreciation for using the company’s services. Every time the clients use the company’s services and no one appreciates them, they don’t feel like coming back again. This appreciation can be in form of “thank you notes” (Telles 2007).

Workforce issues

A clear recruitment strategy in the organization will ensure that the organization has an efficient workforce. Labor charges have also to be kept in check so that the organization hires the best and most competent workforce and the workforce is paid well. This will serve to act as a motivational factor. It is not efficient for the firm to have a staff that demands less pay yet their overall output isn’t bringing much to the company and their efficiency is questionable. Such a workforce will not be productive, qualitatively nor quantitatively. Shortage of a competent workforce is a common scenario in many organizations and this impacts negatively on their overall performance. As earlier mentioned, a clear recruitment and retention strategy is important in having the companies go further. Having an efficient workforce is a major investment by the company as the workforce will help the company, through efficient performance, to get a lot of profit.

It is important that the organization has to have sufficient, well-trained employees so as to enable it to have a competitive edge over its opponent. The fact that the employees have the right skills will ensure the service delivery takes a short time and is performed more efficiently. This will satisfy the customers and it will give the company a competitive edge. The choice of the right employees is important for not only efficiency but also because qualified, efficient employees are likely to contribute to the organization in terms of invention, innovation, and research. The organization will receive more recognition and customers will want to identify themselves with an organization whose staff is efficient.

Cross Channels

The company has different types of customers in terms of the luggage to be carried, there is a need for it to provide services to all these channels such that all these are to be treated equally. There is a need to build loyalty among the clients towards the brand of product or service so developed; this will require consistent effort and investment by the company to develop this loyalty. The company has also to take up the initiative of reducing the waiting time for customers so that the time that clients take waiting before having the delivery is minimized. The company is also supposed to make self-services much better so as to bring more satisfaction to the clients and increase the volume of sales (Ching 2004).

Customer Analysis

So as to know what the customer considers as most important, the company has to make an analysis of the customer needs. This analysis is meant to reveal the evolving requirements of the customers. It is also useful in uncovering major experiences that the customers have in shopping and at the same time, the main processes affecting the customers are identified. This will also serve to carry out the action plans in order to raise the average tickets to be sold and the return tickets.

Customer Analysis

The following is an analysis showing the level of consumer satisfaction at various times that he/she visited the company for service.

Management of technology and data

This is aimed at ensuring that the customers receive quality products and services. Technology is a support tool that enables the company to serve the customers faster and more efficiently. Technology assists the company to deliver information to the clients faster and more accurately to the client. It also helps to handle data relating to the transactions faster. Technology is important in assisting to improve the quality of products supplied and services offered through faster processes and faster service delivery. It as well enables the customers to get access to the product and to information relating to the company much faster such as the use of the internet to locate what activities a certain company in a certain country engages in (Murphy 1996).

Supply Chain

A supply chain is a network consisting of the entity responsible for the distribution, collection, and manufacturing of the product or service. It can also be defined as the network consisting of facilities that serve to transform raw materials into more useful goods and services after which the goods or services are transported and distributed in the entire trading system to the final customers. The supply chain is closely related to logistics in which goods and services are provided or offered then distributed throughout the customer system. An efficient logistics system ensures that the right products are provided in the right quantities at averagely low costs.

Customer service, which is a very important aspect in ensuring customer satisfaction, entails reliable delivery of goods and services and delivery at the right time.

The supply chain is divided into three decision-making levels. The decisions to be made in the supply chain are divided into three sections or levels: the strategic level, the tactical level, and the operational level. At the strategic level, decisions made are mainly long-term.

These decisions mainly deal with the location, manufacturing, and transportation of the goods or services. The location has to do with size, quantity, and the physical location of entities within the supply chain. This includes inventories, plants, and the centers of distribution. The major decisions on production are mainly meant to detect the products that are to be produced and where to produce them, suppliers and plants involved. Decisions regarding inventories deal with the way in which inventories are managed in the entire supply chain. Decisions related to transport give a direction on the transport mode to be used (Murphy 2008).

The other level is the tactical level at which the main decisions made are medium-term decisions. This will include decisions on demand forecasts, production planning, transportation planning, and distribution planning, and planning related to the materials required. The last level of decision-making in the supply chain is the operational level. At this level, most decisions made are on a short-term basis which helps the organization in its daily running. In measuring the standards of performance in a supply chain, a metric is used.

Flexibility and Customer Service

The management strategy relating to the supply schedule aims at satisfying customers completely. In satisfying customers, customer satisfaction can be measured in terms of metrics. Customer service can be rated depending on how able the company is to fill orders in the set time period or how able the company is to render the required service or goods within the required time frame (Kazanjian 2005).

A business is said to be stable if it has the ability to respond to effectively adjust to changes within its operating environment. The manufacturer’s flexibility in his/her ability to alter output amount as a result of demand changing. Overall flexibility has to do with the company’s total ability to change its production process using its entities so as to effectively respond to changes within its immediate environment. The company has to develop strategies that will enable it to adjust to changes in the number of customers or other factors effectively so as to maintain the market (Wood 2008).

Conclusion

Reaching the point where the company goes past the expectations of the client, there is a need for the company to develop a culture in which the customer will feel valued. This will create a sense of identification from the customer towards the company hence loyalty will be created towards the company. Customer service is the foundation of exceeding customer expectations. Supply chain, workforce issues, and technology, control among other issues are essential in detecting the level of customer contentment which will lead to greater customer expectation later on.

References

Plunkett, WR 1998, ‘Exceeding Customer Expectations’, Academic Journal, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 135–141.

Barbara, B 2006, ‘Dummies Branding for Dummies’, Journal essay, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 247.

Ganeshan, R. & Harrison, T 1996, ‘Supply Chain Management’, Wiki Journal, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 10-15.

Thompson, H 2001, ‘Putting Customers First for Better results’, Journal peer review, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 15–19.

Nash, D 2003, ‘Keeping Your Customers Happy’, Books Review, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 35–141.

Telles, G 2007, ‘Surpassing Customer Expectations in Car industry’, Journal Books on Tape, Vol. 3, no. 1, p. 88.

Ching, W. 2004,‘Applying Marvok models in managing customer relationships’, Management maths, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 13-24.

Murphy, M, & Trevor, N 1996 ‘Valuing customer concerns and strategic relationships’, IJL and IT, Vol. 4, no. 3, p. 14.

Wood, D 2008, ‘Contemporary Logistics’, Pearson Education, vol. 41, no. 11, p. 45.

Kazanjian, K 2005, ‘Contemporary Customer Expectations, Random House’, Journal of Petrology, vol. 41, no. 11, p. 154.

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