1. Organisations that intend to be successful need to design products, services and product/ service bundles to meet customer needs. How can they do this and how can they ensure that the organisation’s plans achieve quality, time and cost specifications agreed with customers? What data and records might be drawn upon to make plans intended to meet customer needs?
Organisations that use market research to gather feedback from consumers regarding product design and product/ service bundles tend to be more successful that those who do not use market research as a business tool. Data received from the market research records that have been collected from any market research including surveys, questionnaires, focus groups or simply speaking with customers, are drawn upon to ensure the organisation achieves quality, time and cost specifications as per the customer’s requirements. For example, the Mining Village I currently work at have designed a total accommodation bundle for its clients.
Each room is equipped with Wi-Fi, a Smart TV, air conditioning, refrigerator and advanced security systems. After a hard day’s work guests can unwind around the fireplace, watch a movie in the cinema, socialise in the Tavern and recreational room or work out at the gymnasium, pool or tennis court before sitting down to a meal in the restaurant. The cost of the bundles includes 3 meals a day plus use of the facilities as mentioned above. The Owner of the Village, has done market research with Companies who would require accommodation in the area with the Coal Steam and Gas development in the Area. They drew down on the information received and purposely built the accommodation to house those working in the area. The market research provided a edge to the company over the Hotels in the area, as the Village supplied everything the market were after.
2. What monitoring and evaluation procedures might be followed to ensure that the organisation keeps up with changes in customer needs and in market conditions, obtains and distributes resources appropriately and is able to consistently meet product quality and delivery standards?
Monitoring and evaluation procedures are important to keep up with changes in customer needs and in market conditions. They ensure the organisation obtains and distributes resources appropriately, and constantly meets product quality and delivery standards. Monitoring and evaluation procedures include interviewing and communicating with customer regularly, as market conditions and customer needs often change. It is important to find out their priorities, likes, dislikes and purchasing intentions, demographics and psychographics.
Procedures also include measuring progress against the organisations vision, its goals, and its predetermined performance expectations and quality standards.
KPIS and KRAs should be monitored as they provide measurement criteria. Data should be compared with the forecasted or expected performance, and measured against the organisational goals and against the individual, team/section/division and organisational KPI’s.
Customer feedback is vital and can be collected through customer surveys, product testing, focus groups or simply speaking with the customers during sales transactions. Speaking with sales staff is also important, as they are the ones who deal with the customer’s every day. They are able to directly observe customer responses to products and to the service they receive.
3. How can customer feedback be collected and used and why is it necessary to consult with customers (internal and external) and with other stakeholders when monitoring and assessing the organisations progress toward achieving quality targets? Customer feedback should be collected and used to investigate and identify target markets, current and emerging needs, satisfaction levels and complaints. The ways you can collect feedback are through formal surveys including mail, email and phone, questionnaires, focus groups, speaking with customer service operators and speaking to customers while they shop or customer feedback forms.
It is necessary to consult with customers and other stakeholders to identify progress towards the results, the likelihood of receiving the results towards quality targets and the impact of work against the targets. Consulting with customers and stakeholders helps to keep the work on track, and can let you know if things are going according to plan. For example The Old Spaghetti Factory has Customer Feedback forms on their dining tables. Customers are able to fill in a feedback form to comment on customer service quality, food quality, speed of service and the dining experience overall. By collecting the feedback forms the managers are able to see if the team is performing up the standard the organisation is aiming for.
4. Within the organisation there will be groups of people or teams which work toward goal achievement. How can managers and supervisors ensure that team members have the skills needed to communicate effectively with customers and to provide excellent customer service? How might they assist colleagues in overcoming difficulties with meeting customer service standards?
Managers and supervisors need to ensure that team members have to skills needed to communicate effectively with customers and to provide quality customer service. For this to be done, the managers and supervisors themselves need to have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives the organisation is trying to achieve in relation to customer service standards. They need to be able to help team members understand and act towards meeting those requirements. Managers and supervisors also need to be able to communicate well with team members. To ensure the employees are fulfilling the customer service requirements of the organisation, the manager or supervisor need to make sure the team members know how the organisation expects is employees to behave and what the organisation expects the team members to achieve in the workplace. Their performance should be measured and adjusted according to the organisations goals.
To assist their colleagues, if they required assistance in overcoming difficulties in customer service standards, they need to communicate with their colleagues. They should ask if there was any reason as to why they are having difficulty reaching the customer service standards of the organisation. They should reiterate the company’s customer service standards and the reasons why they need to meet and exceed customer expectations, and how it impacts on the achievement of the organisations goals.
The offer of support as well as retraining, coaching or mentoring should be given by the manager or supervisor. Kerri has noticed that Terri work performance is lacking. She is being rude to the customers and is not completing the tasks that are required to provide superior customer service. Kerri has spoken with Terri and reiterated the organisations goals and objective in relation to customer service. She can see that Terri’s performance is lacking as she is unmotivated at work. Kerri has offered Terri a series of coaching sessions to help her be motivated and work to the organisations standards.
5. What procedures might be followed to identify problems with appropriate individuals and groups to adapt customer services, products and/or service delivery so that it continues to meet customer needs?
KPIs and targets can be applied at individual level or as a department. Those who do not meet their targets can be coached or placed on a performance improvement plan to assist them in achieving their targets.