The Relationship Between Business Ethics and Customer Relations
The Relationship Between Business Ethics and Customer Relations
The relationship between business ethics and customer relations lies in the manner in which the management of various businesses apply the principles of ethics in their interaction with customers. As such, business ethics and customer relations may apply to the way in which a business conveys its products and services to customers and the manner in which it handles customer complaints. It also deals with the manner in which businesses address ethical considerations related to the health and welfare of their customers.
An example of the relationship between business ethics and customer relations is a situation where a company falsely represents its products or services to its customers. A company that specializes in bakery products may advertise that its muffins contains blueberries without letting customers know that the blueberries in the muffin are synthetically created to simulate the real fruit.
This type of unethical consideration when dealing with customers also applies to orange juice makers that advertise their orange juice as “fresh,” without explaining to customers that the juice had been extracted from the orange and preserved under special conditions for almost a year. The implication here is that the oranges may have been squeezed when they were still fresh, but the process of storing the juice for so long makes their claims of freshness highly unethical.
This is especially true when customers buy the product believing that the oranges had just been squeezed within that week or month. Another instance of the link between business ethics and customer relations can be seen in the way in which the company treats any complaint from the consumers. A customer may notice a wet spot on the floor in a store and tell an employee about this condition, expecting the complaint to be investigated. If the store does nothing and a customer slips and falls on the wet spot, this might lead to the initiation of a lawsuit on the part of the injured customer.
The issue of dishonesty toward customers in the quest to make as much money as possible is one of the more common factors of the relationship between business ethics and customer relation. For instance, in the United States, every year, after the Thanksgiving holiday, there is a day known as Black Friday when stores compete with each other to slash the prices of goods and services. On that day, a television that would normally sell for $1,200 US Dollars (USD) might be sold for $500 USD.
What the various manufacturers and marketers fail to tell their customers is that such items have been specially made for this particular period and that they are inferior to the expensive ones, even if they look the same on the outside. This paper seeks to discuss three components of business ethics, namely: international differences, dealing with employees and fair compensation. It will assess the impact of these three issues in relation to the ability of the organization to achieve success in the achievement of their objectives.
It will highlight proper ways of handling business ethics that will ensure that all the stakeholders feel respected and proud of associating themselves with the organization. International Differences An organization needs to put into consideration the existing cultural differences of the people that are working for the organization and other stakeholders. The organization needs to provide a working environment that respects the existing cultural diversity. This is because failures to appreciate cultural differences can quell a lot of animosity amongst the employees.
Culture is a very sensitive issue, because it greatly influences the behavior of an individual. People attach a lot of significance to culture, and this influences the nature of the decisions and decision making in an organization (Bacal 67). An organization that considers the prevalence of cultural differences is able to ensure that most of their policies are acknowledged and appreciated by various stakeholders within the organization. An organization needs to put into consideration the existing cultural differences in when developing and introducing new products into the market.
The organization needs to be informed of things and practices that are considered taboo in the area in which they are operating. This will enable it to introduce products that are relevant to the market, thus they do not face a lot of resistance and challenges whenever they are trying to sell it (Delpo et al 79). For instance, a company that deals with the production of animal products should not introduce products that are made from pork in Muslim states or areas that are characterized by a large population of Muslims. The organization needs to appreciate that Muslims do not consume pork or pork related products.
An organization should take account of the cultural practices of the workforce working within the organization, when developing the dress code for their employees. If the organizations ignore the culture, they may end up facing challenges with regards to hiring as well as attracting customers (Diener 67). For instance, an organization that has a dress code, where members of the feminine gender expose most of their body parts, faces challenges or operates successfully in regions where such kind of dressing is considered unethical.
In order for such an organization to conduct its business successfully in such regions, it is supposed to change the dress code of the employees in order to meet the requirements of their culture. Organizations that conduct their business internationally should ensure that their policies are tailor made to meet the cultural requirements of the community that inhabit the surroundings in which they conduct their business. Such organizations should ensure that impose heavy penalties for employees and stakeholders that are found guilty of perpetuating stereotypes about a certain culture within the organization (Dollinger 53).
This can be attributed to the fact that perpetuation of stereotypes can lead to development of differences between the employees. As a result, the differences might result in hostility between different peoples leading to ineffectiveness and inefficiencies. This is because the existence of hostilities prevents cooperation and coordination of the employees in achievement of the organization’s objectives. Dealing with Employees Employees of an organization should be handled in a manner that enable them feel appreciated and happy to work for the organization.
One of the ways through which an organization can handle the employees in such a manner is by ensuring that their efforts are recognized (Feinburg 40). The efforts of the employees can be recognized through numerous ways, such as hosting end of the year parties for the entire company or even awarding employee bonuses at the end of the year. The system through which employees are promoted should be clear and transparent. The organization should make considerable efforts that ensure that promotions are awarded on merit basis and not on the basis of favoritism.
This will ensure that the employees are well motivated, and they work extra hard in order to be promoted up the organization structure. When employees are confined about the system of promotion, they are usually more likely to develop creative and innovate ways of solving organization problems. They will do so in order for the organization to realize their significance (Shepard 37). The organization should also impose harsh punishments to managers who are found guilty of unfairly promoting employees.
Involvement of the employees in decision-making process of the organization is essential in ensuring the participation of the employees and cooperation in implementation of the firm decisions. The organization should make it a culture to seek the opinion of the employees, especially in matters that will directly affect them. The consideration of the opinion of the employees ensures that the management is able to implement changes effectively and efficiently, because they employees agree to the changes.
The consultation of the employees makes them feel recognized, and this improves the perception of the employee about the organization (Delpo et al 44). The consideration of employees in decision-making enables the organization to retain most of the talent that it has acquired. This is attributed to the fact that employees are able to develop a relationship with the organization that is beyond business relations. Organizations should ensure that they facilitate their employees in attending workshops and team-building activities, which are essential in growth and development of employees.
When employees attend workshops and team-building activities they are able to bond with other employees (Bacal 95). The bonds that are developed during such activities are carried forward to the office thereby improving team work in the working environment. The workshops, on the other hand, provide employees with the opportunity to develop to learn the best practices that pertain to their respective careers. The organization should also cater for the membership fees of employees who are members of professional bodies.
Professionals’ bodies’ plays an imperative in facilitating employees learn more about their professions and the current trends in such professions. The professional bodies help to regulate the conduct of the employees. In addition to that, professional bodies ensure that the employees remain relevant in their careers, because they are normally required to attend a specified number of hours of personal development. Fair Compensation The organization needs to develop a compensation and remuneration system that ensures that all employees are well paid.
An organization needs to ensure hat their employees are enjoying quality standards of living. If the employees are enjoying relatively high standards of living, they are more likely to appreciate their job. When employees appreciate their jobs they do it with a passion, thus they do it well. An organization can ensure that their employees are well remunerated by ensuring that the salary packages are revised often (Dollinger 76). The revision of the salaries should be geared towards ensuring that the employees enjoy relatively good high quality standards of living in the prevailing economic situation.
The organization should provide employees with numerous non-financial incentives in order to ensure that they are well motivated. Good remuneration schemes are also advantageous to employers, because they enable them to attract world-class talents. The organization should ensure that it caters for the academic endeavors of its employees. Whenever employees improve their educational background, the organization realizes immense benefits out of having a highly skilled workforce (Freema 45). An organization that boosts of such a workforce enjoys effective decision-making at all levels of the organization operations.
This is due to the fact that the majority of the firms’ decisions are made based on expertise, knowledge and experience of the workers. The organization should also ensure that the leave days match the nature of job that individual performs. Upon provision of days for leave, the organization should allow the employee to go on paid leave whenever it is most suitable. The management should ensure that the organization is well staffed (Delpo et al 56). This facilitates improvement of the services offered by the employees to the company.
The management also needs to ensure that the employees are well paid for any work that they carry out beyond the regular working hours. In conclusion, ethics in business are essential for the firm achievement of a competitive advantage as well its other objectives. Ethical behavior is essential in the business with various stakeholders, such as their customers, employees through proper working conditions and fair enumerations. The current trends in globalization require the organization to learn various cultures and trends of different cultures to ensure successful penetration of the diverse global market.