Operations Management

Developing Effective Operations: Customer Service

Developing Effective Operations: Customer Service

Business Studies A Level - Customer Service

In order for a business to survive, it must have customers. They’re the ones who use the services provided or purchase the goods produced and represent the main revenue source of a business. It is, therefore, vital that a business keeps up-to-date with the needs of its customers. Good promotion is needed to reach the target audience and an effective after-sales service is just as vital to ensure customer satisfaction. A loyal customer base ensures that they return and repeat their purchase.

If a product or service is poor then the chances a customer will remain loyal are low. Nowadays, customers are more quick to complain if they’re unsatisfied and so it’s important for a company to have strategies in place to deal with this.

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. This service must meet the expectations of the customer.

Customer expectation are based on:

– What they see and hear
– What they read about a business
– What a business tells themselves
– What occurs during their customer experience
– What their previous customer experiences have been like

In general, there are ten top priorities looked for by a customer in their service:

– Good quality product or service
– Being treated as a valued customer
– Speedy service
– Friendly staff
– Efficiently handled complaints
– Accurate information with enquiries made
– Competent staff
– High level of ease when doing business
– Being kept informed of any developments
– Helpful staff

Ways in which a business can make sure it meets its customers’ expectation are:

Business Studies A Level - Customer Service Market Research– By conducting market research

– Making customer services a number one priority

– Appropriate training for all employees

– The use of quality assurance and quality control

– Monitoring performance against the standards set so that quality customer service is maintained

It’s important that the customer service provided is carefully monitored so that bad practices can be stamped out. This can be achieved through:

– focus groups
– instant feedback from employees and customers
– mystery shoppers
– reviews of complaint letters

If a business has a low level of customer service there are a number of ways in which it can be improved:

– answering enquiries promptly
– only making promises that can be kept
– listening to customers
– dealing with complaints efficiently
– always being helpful and going the ‘extra mile’
– staff training

A business that boasts a good customer service can have a competitive advantage over any rivals which can lead to better profit margins. It will improve its reputation and public relations. Customer will differentiate this business from others in the same market and so repeat buy.