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Today business sectors give prime importance to customers and regard their feedback valuable. Thus, customer's satisfaction and approval is the factor that ensures the success of an industry. Relationship Marketing is a type of marketing that is emerged from direct feedback promotion campaigns accomplished in the 1970s and 1980s, and which highlights customer retention and approval, rather than a domineering spotlight on point-of-sale dealings (Peck, & Institute, 1999). It compares the expectations, demands, responses and feedbacks of the customers to evaluate the performance of a certain customer care industry and suggests recommendations for further progress and growth.
Residential sector of Real Estate industry is the one that cares for Man's prime need of shelter. Relationship Marketing is proving to be a new life to the otherwise dormant housing industry (Arbuckle, & Bartel, 2004). This idea will aid to make sure profligate earnings in future years in order to maintain rising business prospects and maintaining a trusty patrons. However, this idea was still not entertained practically in residential retail industries till Barratt Development Plc took the initiative. Barratts Development Plc the leading house builder by number in the Great Britain. Established in 1958, it has been able to provide millions of homes up to the customers' satisfaction and contentment. The Board of this corporation is dedicated to the main beliefs of CR and has assured this in a Corporate Responsibility policy which is accessible through their website .
As the object of researcher's study was to understand the perception of relationship marketing for residential sector of the real estate industry and to investigate the way relationship marketing is implemented by the companies in this sector, the researcher had analysed and evaluated the Corporate Responsibility Policy of Barratts Development Plc in details. The Group Board holds the entire liability for shaping CR stratagem, and general accountability for delivery goes to the Chief Executive of the Group.
OBJECTIVES OF CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
Recently redefined CR objectives of Barratts Development Plc are as follows:
Management and Governance Systems
The first objective of Barratts' Corporate Responsibility agenda is to make sure the finest practice in all of their management and governance systems, mainly for SHE i.e., Safety, Health and Environmental issues. It is to be achieved through the implementation of authorized management systems and approval of a risk-based approach to Corporate Responsibility.
The Barratts Corporation Plc is to be connected openly to all of its customers and the related communities.
The corporation will try to make it sure that the communities built under its supervision will cast a constructive financial impact on the residents.
Management of Environmental Effects
The corporation will take measures to minimize its environmental effects in all of the working areas and to focus chiefly on the re-establishment of ruined land.
Plan and Procurement
To improve the standards of housing plan and procurement will be an important objective of the corporation so that to minimize harmful social and environmental impacts.
Safety and Health
The corporation will ensure the safety and health of all the human beings living in the vicinity including the public, its workers and shareholders.
Variety and Employment
The corporation will also make it sure to care for the talents of its workers and to offer rewarding jobs in an equal opportunity environment.
FOUR PRINCIPAL DIVISIONS OF CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
The Corporate Responsibility agenda for Barratt Development Plc has been divided into four principle factors that are determined by their dedication to Economic Solutions, Safety and Health. These four principles are:
A team of senior managers had developed these criteria from the bases inside the association. These managers were concerned with finding out the most important factors for the business at every level of development. They considered the development right from the attainment of land through arrangement designs that were built to sale and after sales services for the customers. These factors form four major departments of the Corporate Responsibility sector of Barratts Development Plc. Each department is led by an associate of the Executive Committee who is primly responsible for the development and implementation of the targets and objectives related to corporation's CR policy. This makes it certain that CR concerns are rooted in the regular course of business and decisions affecting CR issues can be implemented swiftly at a working stage. The main ideas of each of these departments are called to be working on the respective philosophies which are united by active Charters used to set definite targets and objectives about each belief.
A Risk Committee reviews the key risks of CR recognized in each department and it reports to the Board Audit Committee. This committee is accountable for supervision of the execution and function of the risk administration procedure on the Board's behalf. They have formed a data collection method to determine their CR functioning and performance that is reported annually.
This philosophy or idea of CR strategy of Barratts Development Plc is to attract and hold on to the best people from all fields of life and to provide them with a motivating atmosphere to encourage potential. The chief characteristics of their working environment are as follows:
The working atmosphere isÂ fair, honest and open that allows each person to be important
People are listened to, kept well-informed about the work, and are acknowledged and valued forÂ their participatory role
Collaborative and cooperative atmosphere makes it possible for the people to work together in a right way
Everyone is encouraged for every worthwhile participation
Barratt Academy: launched in March 2010, it intends for an encouraging environment by combining professional training to create the very best skills learning environment by mingling specialized education with qualifications recognized by the industry. It offers programmes for the followings:
Assistant Site Manage
Site Manager Programme;
Graduate Development Programme: launched in 2007, it recruits fresh graduates and turns them permanent according to their performance and progress.
Building Careers Together: the corporation has launched an online employment site in March 2010. Its URL isÂ www.buildingcareerstogether.co.uk,Â and it enables all of the employment opportunities in the organization in a single location.
The Customer ideology of this corporation is to comprehend and enchant its clientele all through their relationships with them and to retain them for their entire life. The chief qualities of this department are as follows:
The purchasers' needs are listened, treated with esteem and highest levels of services are provided
Each of the home is built as it is building its own home
Building of the quality home is its commitment
Barratt has defined a Customer Service Charter that is used to clarify its commitment to all customers and employees. In order to improve the communication with customers, Barratts has introduced a number of new facilities:
Schools Search Engine: joined with the Good Schools Guide, Barratts has introduced a School Search Engine that ensures the provision of needed aid and information to the customers.
Customer Sales Centre: launched in December 2009, it caters any query to the group. A high volume of calls ensures the immediate connectivity of the customer correct capture and transference of the contact details to the related Sales Adviser.
This department sustains aÂ system of regional, local and nationwideÂ allies to build a relationship based on mutual reliability and respect. The chief qualities of this department are as follows:
It is an honest, integrated and transparent provider of the finance of the customers
It ensures equally advantageous long-standing relationships with its suppliers and subcontractorsÂ in an environment of trust
It has an open engagement to support the local and national initiativesÂ to make certain the valuable delivery of the needs of shelter
It has been regarded as the most successful purchaser of land who uses inventive and bendable methods and provides best cost for its retailers
"Q17 Creating Great Places to Live" is a design competition launched by Barratts that is aimed toÂ elevate standards of blueprints by focusing on the outlines of developments.
The philosophy of Planet of Barratts ensures that it respects the purity of the environment. Its chief characteristics are as follows:
It comprehends the effects of its growth on existing societies, paying heed to their desiresÂ and fears
It tries its best to lessen its carbon trace by looking for more applicable solutions and by functioning with its supply chain to decrease the ecological effects of the homesÂ that it builds
It also continues to put in research to get a hold on useful technologies
Thus, the researcher is of the view that Barratts Corporation Plc is working at its best to provide reliable customer care services so that to achieve greater benefits. It spends a lot on the relationship marketing, but in return it gains enormous benefits. This is even more significant because Barratts Corporation Plc is a real estate agency that deals with millions of British daily. People rely on it to provide them with a sound and safe home where they can live comfortably and where they can be assisted whenever they need. Corporate Responsibility policy has made it possible for this corporation and at the moment it is satisfying almost 90 percents of its customers. They trust its services and they believe that they will never face any kind of negligence.
The researcher is of the view that if other residential companies adopt the same customer-care approach, they can create a healthy competition within the field. This kind of competition may persuade the companies to look for the best way possible to comfort their customers as well as employees and to propose the facilities and innovative offers that may create a healthy and safe environment for the residents.
After analyzing the results, the researcher believes that the following recommendations can be prove advantageous if acquired properly and enthusiastically by the Real Estate Agencies not only in Britain, but also throughout the world. These recommendations are as follows:
The Real Estate Agencies should build a system of managing the records of all of their customers and employees, so that they may take care of their needs and demands immediately up to a satisfactory level. The customers feel happy when they are valued and acknowledged (Payne, Christopher, Peck, & Clark, 1998). Therefore, when they will learn that the corporation they are dealing has kept a record of their queries, problems, complains and demands, they will feel recognized and cared-for. In this way, the gap between the customers and providers will be minimized.
As Real Estate Agency provides the most basic of the Human needs, they should make it their ultimate goal to take care of the homely atmosphere that their customers demand (Halinen, 1997). As stated in Barratts' Corporate Policy, they build each home considering it their own. In this way, the builders take notice of the things that they may not if the feeling of relations is not involved. Therefore, the researcher is of the view that the Real Estate industry should make it certain that they corporate a feeling of homely care in their designs and plans.
Customer Care Call Centres can prove an essential boom to the corporation if implemented cleverly. As no customer likes to be neglected, ignored or at a waiting list to be listened to, the instalment of a CSR department with a large volume of call-lines will prove really beneficial (Brink, & Berndt, 2009). In this way, the customer will be connected immediately and will be assisted as soon as possible. The professionally trained hospitable CSRs are also the demand of the time. The politest way to listen to the problems of the customers and dealing can do the things that can never be possible by any other means. Therefore, the researcher believes that the Real Estate Companies should take care of this aspect of their marketing and should not hesitate to invest a little for long-lasting good results.
Other than Call Centres, the appointment of Door-to-Door staff for investigation of any occurrence of problem or compliant can add to the company's customer-caring image a lot. The researcher is of the view that this will add into the trust level of the organization and the customers will prefer them for their affection. In this way the company will be able to hold a census regarding the satisfactory levels of the customers as well as their suggestions for the further improvements.
The provision of productive competitive environment plays with the psychology of the workers and motivates them to work at their best (L., & Parasuraman, 1991). Therefore, the Real estate agencies should try to maintain an encouraging competitive atmosphere within their organizations so that the employees use their creativity and skills for the best. In this way, the dealing with other employees as well as with the customers will also be affected and improved ensuring beneficial results for the company.
The environment friendly development is the need of the hour that may minimize the threat of global warming to some extent. This also reduces the threats of disharmony and incoherence with the community. Therefore the researcher is of the view that the Real Estate Corporations should take care of the ecological effects of their buildings as done by Barratts.
The provision of different ways and schemes of financial assistance should be an important objective of the Real Estate Builders. Financial problems and inflation is the major issue of the day. The affordable rates as well as easy instalments and processes of hiring shelter is what needed by almost everyone (Gummesson, 2002). Therefore, any such offer may prove really beneficial for the further new projects of the corporation. The customers will start looking to the corporation for new projects and schemes and in this way the demand will be increase as will the customer's trust level.
The best residential services are at the top priority list of every human being. Everyone wants to live in a place that accommodates to all of his needs and requirements (Brink, & Berndt, 2009). Therefore, the insurance of the availability of every basic need within the premises of the community will increase the trust level of the customers and will increase the profit also.
The arrangement of healthy competitions within different schools is a strategy adopted by Barratts, and it can really prove beneficial because parents listen to the views of their children more intently (Gummesson, 2002). Therefore the expenditure of some money on such things will prove excellent form of marketing investment and will eventually cast amazing results in the popularity of the corporation as well as an increase in its income.
In short, the researcher believes that Relationship Marketing is a form of little investment and more benefits. In the case of Real Estate industry, it creates a kind of trusting relationship between the customer and the provider that leads to permanent business relations. Therefore, Real Estate Industry should recognise the importance of the residents within their buildings as the future permanent source of income and serve them as much as possible.