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QUESTION 1: Assess the suitability of a range of techniques for monitoring customer problems.
The sources that one can use to gather information about customers include external resources such as conducting field research study or a survey, conducting telephone interviews, conducting an online survey and also carrying out group discussions with a sample population (Heffernan 2017). The other sources include business contacts, local reference libraries, or utilizing the existing company data and case studies conducted by other companies. One can also utilize professional social networks such as LinkedIn or Quora(Heffernan 2017).
Gaining feedback is also crucial for building the customer base. One can utilize online surveys, POS (point-of-sale) systems, social media pages and email. Face to face talk with customers is also reliable, including conducting contract surveys and giving out response cards (Hill2017).
The credibility of results is critical towards solving customer problems. According to me, a phone call survey is more credible as one can have a more intimate conversation with the customer(Hill 2017). One can collect their emotional feedback too from the survey.
One of the biggest problems in customer service industry is the lack of a well-structured and strategized customer service philosophy because clients make their own success. People are still rigid to changes that are happening in the world hence companies are to be blamed for these problems. Individual employees are also to be blamed for not adhering to the company needs. To identify gaps in the company, the management needs to conduct an internal audit of the company to identify gaps, do a follow-up on customers and also obtain feedback from the company employees (Hill 2017).
Research source:Hill, B. 2017. Methods for Collecting Customer Feedback. [online] Smallbusiness.chron.com. Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/methods-collecting-customer-feedback-39664.html [Accessed 2 Oct. 2017].
Heffernan, P. 2017. 5 Ways to Research Your Potential Customers. [online] Marketing-partners.com. Available at: https://www.marketing-partners.com/conversations2/5-ways-to-research-your-potential-customers [Accessed 2 Oct. 2017].
Learning Outcomes(LO) covered: Unit 3:1.1
QUESTION 2: Explain how to use the resolution of customers problems to improve products and/or services.
Product recall is common in small and big companies. Product recall ruins customer expectations and loyalty to a brand. They will begin having doubt on product quality and its overall efficiency. Products are often recalled due to defects or safety issues. Suppliers, retailers, and customers often make companies aware of the product defect or safety issue. Suppliers and retailers often contact the manufacturer once a customer files a complaint regarding the defect or safety of the product.
Companies recall products, hoping to restore customer confidence and trust regarding their product. Companies have realized that defects and safety issues of a product can cost them even the most loyal customers. It also has an impact of how the stakeholders would perceive the company. Persistent recall of products could be a challenge to a company, and it is highly likely to become a problem even for future customers especially regarding company reputation. The solution to such a challenge includes restructuring the overall company culture, upgrading production processes, consistent training of the employees and improving marketing strategies of the company.
Research source:Bortoli, L.V. and Freundt, V., 2017. Effects of Voluntary Product Recall on Consumer's Trust. BBR. Brazilian Business Review, 14(2) retrived from http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1808-23862017000200204.
Learning Outcomes(LO) covered: Unit 3:1.2
QUESTION 3: Explain how the successful resolution of customers' problems contributes to customer loyalty and enhanced business performance.
Maintaining customer loyalty is critical in ensuring enhanced business performance and improved competitiveness in the company (Kumar, Batista and Maull 2011). Resolving customer problems is one of the crucial issues to perform, towards ensuring that they are loyal. When a customer comes with a non-working product or because of service failure, the best thing to do is to first express a sincere apology to the customer, and immediately repair the product or re-examine the service provision without asking for additional charges from the client. Resolving the issue without charges ensures that the company takes full responsibility for the problem.
If the problem is not resolved, either the customer can be reimbursed the full amounts used in purchase or service, or they offered a new product or service based on the warranty agreements. Before it is done, the production manager must first be consulted to ensure that there is no bridge of protocol. The message to be relayed will be based on the nature of the problem, a full report that the problem could not be fixed and the product warranty details (Kumar, Batista and Maull 2011). If the customer gets a new replacement to the product or is offered a new service, it would restore their confidence to the company, and they would be compelled to be loyal to the company. It is also likely that they would give a positive feedback regarding the company to the members of their social cycles. Customer feedback is crucial towards protecting the companys image. It is important to note that customer reactions do not affect an individual employee but the company as a unit (Kumar, Batista and Maull 2011).
Customer loyalty is a consistent positive emotional experience, the perceived value of an experience and the physical attribute-based satisfaction that includes products and services (Beyond Phylosophy 2017). It is established between customers and persons, brands, companies, and products. Loyalty can be technical, contractual, psychological or economic.
Research source: Beyond Phylosophy 2017. Customer Loyalty | Customer Loyalty Consultants | Beyond Philosophy. [online] Beyondphilosophy.com. Available at: https://beyondphilosophy.com/customer-experience/customer-loyalty/ [Accessed 2 Oct. 2017].
Kumar, V., Batista, L. and Maull, R., 2011. The impact of operations performance on customer loyalty. Service Science, 3(2), pp.158-171.
Learning Outcomes(LO) covered: Unit 3:1.3
QUESTION 4: Explain the features of negotiating techniques used to resolve customers problems.
When a customer presents a, complain, it is critical that proper negotiation techniques are applied to resolve the issue. Resolving customers complains requires skill to ensure that the customer is satisfied at the end of the process. The strategies that can be applied to solve the problem presented include listening actively and taking notes, acknowledging their concerns and thanking them in the process, apologizing for the inconvenience caused and asking questions to summarize ones understanding of the problem. It is also critical to give the action to be taken to handle the complaint and asking for feedback to find out of what the company to improve their experiences with the company.
If the customer expresses concern that the previous product had not worked for them, one can present another product or service that could be an alternative. This can be done by asking them what their preferences are, for a given product or service. For instance, if one does not like a white paint in their living room, you may ask them what they would like their wall to be, and give them a list of alternatives to choose from.
Some of the barriers that can be experienced when convincing a customer to try a different product are the fact that, it may not meet their expectations, or they may face similar experiences as the previous product. It is also challenging to convince a customer who is disappointed into trying another product from the same company. To break this barrier, one should be straightforward regarding product information, and the customer is made part of product analysis. While communicating, one must always maintain an eye contact, to ensure that they gain trust and loyalty from them and assurance.
Research source:NH Department of Justice 2017. Effective Negotiations. [online] Doj.nh.gov. Available at: https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/negotiation.htm [Accessed 2 Oct. 2017].
Learning Outcomes(LO) covered: Unit 3:1.4
The unit has exposed me to different ways of handing customer challenges. I have learned that customers need to be assured that their needs are adequately addressed through different negotiation strategies. Maintaining good communication is critical towards earning their trust and confidence in the company. The section was very straightforward and no barriers were experienced in the process.
Learning Outcomes(LO) covered: Unit 3
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