1.1 Explain the relationship between customers’ needs and expectations and customer satisfaction
A Customer’s expectations, needs and satisfaction work hand in hand. A customer may feel unsatisfied if they want something from a company but don’t get what they expect leaving them with a negative impression of the organisation. They may feel increasingly satisfied if they have low expectations from the start and get an excellent service from the organisation. If the customer wants a particular service from the organisation and expects the service to be at a certain level and the organisation achieves that then they will leave satisfied and happy with the organisation and that they have abided to the brand promise. An example of this is if a customer wishes to purchase a product and the brand promise says that it will be delivered within 3 working days and the product arrives early this would mean the customer would be increasingly satisfied with the service provided as the product arrived within the time scale and earlier than expected. On the other hand the negative side to this is if the customer expects a delivery of a product to come within 3 days which is the expectation the customer has as it states on the organisations website and it doesn’t arrive until a week later the customer would ultimately feel unsatisfied and unhappy with the service resulting in a negative impression of the organisation which could lead to reputational damage and further reduction in revenue.
1.2 Describe the features and benefits of an organisation’s products and/or service
The feature of a product is what is physically looks like and what it can do. for example a feature of a telephone is that it has a voicemail feature in which you can access your voicemails another ‘feature’ of a telephone is that there is a button where all calls are logged in order for you to see who had called you during the day. A benefit would be how the product helps the individual. So for example the benefits of these features is that A. the voicemail button’s benefit is it allows you to access your voicemails and listen to them and take messages B. the call log button benefit is it allows you to identify and retrieve the callers name (sometimes) and phone number in case you need to call them back along with this the call log button benefit also allows you to view any missed calls so you can retrieve the number and call the caller back. Feature and benefits of a service and product are similar but are defined differently.
1.3 Explain the importance of treating customers as individuals
When a customer calls an organisation to sort out a problem or use their services they want to feel valued and cared for leaving them with a positive impression. It is important for organisations to put customers first and treat them as an individual ensuring their customer service experience is at a high standard. By treating each customer as a individual strengthens the rapport between the organisation and customer as they feel that the service given is bespoke to them making them feel respected and appreciative of how they are being treated as an individual. If a product or service was to be presented to a customer the customer needs to understand how the product and service will affect them as individuals. Different customers have different needs so organisations need to be able to cater those and treat each customer as an individual helping them with their queries or services.
1.4 Explain the importance of balancing promises made to customers with the needs of an organisation
Balancing promises made to customers depends on who the customer is and what the situation is. For example if the customer is a potential stakeholder it is important for the business to implement promises in order to secure the stakeholder but these promises need to be balanced in the sense that they are achievable and manageable promises that the organisation will be able to fulfil. Another example of balancing promises to customers is staff should believe in the organisations products and services that they offer when a customer doubts that they should be able to promise that the quality of the product and service is high. All staff within the organisation must be aware and understand the promises the organisation makes to customers for example specific delivery dates , promotional offers , discounts and so on. In order to balance certain promises to customers everyone should be able to work together to fulfil these promises and create a successful delivery of service. By being able to balance the promises made to customers the organisation is able to create a rapport between the customer making the customer feel a sense of belonging and cohesion. Companies that hold and successfully deliver their promises are able to stand out from competitors and able to attract more potential buyers as well as keeping loyal customers as they feel trustworthy knowing that the company will fulfil the promise again.
1.5 Explain when and to whom to escalate problems
Customers may escalate problems if they are unhappy with the service or product given. There is usually on the website of an organisation an option to put a complaint in. This is then picked up by a team within the organisation who deal as appropriate. Some organisations have customer service reps who deal with situations where the customer is unhappy. Their priority is to keep the customer happy and solve the problem where the customer is happy with the solution. A problem with a product or service can also be dealt with via a form this form would need to be filled out by the customer detailing what the problem is. the form will then be sent and passed on to the organisation who usually have a set team in place to deal with queries once a member of the team have picked up the form they are able to deal with the problem. Customer may want to escalate a problem to the manager or someone senior within the organisation if they aren’t satisfied with the solution given by a customer service personnel this is usually dealt with differently for each organisation the manager may want someone within their team who have enough experience to deal with the problem to sort it out or some managers may want to deal with it themselves. If it is an IT problem organisations usually have designated IT teams in place which can be contacted through the organisations switchboard or a direct line.
1.6 Describe methods of measuring their own effectiveness in the delivery of customer service
There are many methods of measuring effectiveness when delivering customer service one being customer feedback this can be done through many forms via a form that customers can complete , via telephone after the delivery of customer service , through the post where customers can give their feedback and physically. Customer feedback can then be analysed to measure the effectiveness of the delivery and also be able to identify what is working well in terms of delivery. Another way effectiveness of customer service delivery can be measured is by asking employees to list the top complaints that have kept on being mentioned. Managers / senior staff could take the top three complaints and work on those to try and develop a solution towards minimising / eliminate those complaints and providing a better customer service delivery to customers. Another way to measure effectiveness is by monitoring calls and listening to them trying to create a list of all aspects that could be improved and positive aspects too. Items that should be looked out for are not interrupting the customer when speaking, having general customer service skills e.g. being polite, offering solutions to problems and ending the conversation with appreciation that the customer used the organisations products/services to do business with them.
2.1 Explain the importance of a brand to an organisation
A brand can be formed in many ways and is an important factor for an organisation as it defines the business and makes them identifiable through the branding. Brands come in many forms this could be a name, slogan, logo, label or any other marketing practice that helps the organisation to distinguish from competitors in a positive way. The branding of an organisation creates an overall impression on customers and other parties as it allows them to understand what is to be expected from the organisations in terms of the products they sell or the services they provide. The branding of an organisation can change someone’s impression on the business as it is the face of the company and is generally the most iconic. as it can drive new business opportunities. The importance of it is that it allows the organisation to be recognised and allows other third parties to develop an interest to the business creating more revenue. The branding of an organisation provides motivation and drive for staff as it allows them to identify organisational goals and objectives and gives them a drive to be successful.
2.2 Explain how a brand affects an organisation’s customer service offer
A brand is what defines an organisation and emphasises a certain impression that customers take from seeing the brand. The brand helps customers to understand what kind of service they will be getting from the organisation this is why branding is key to any organisation. If the brand promotes a positive impression to customers and meets the high level of service then the organisation will use this to maintain the high standard of customer service. Branding isn’t just the logo it is everything combined to make the organisation what it is for example branding includes the way staff answer phones, the uniform everyone wears, the way the organisations website looks like etc. These attributes all contribute to how staff behave when delivering customer service.
2.3 Explain the importance of using customer service language that supports a brand promise
All staff should take into consideration and use customer service language in order to abide to the brands promise. The brands promise should be guidance to staff in order for them to use it when providing a service for customers this is because a brand promise is a promise made by the organisation to the customer to ensure a trustworthy relationship between the organisation and customer. Using customer service language with a customer allows them to take away a positive impression of the organisation as staff have abided to and used their brand promise. An example of a brand promise is the organisation will ensure that all problems/concerns are dealt with in the best way. An example of positive customer service language / question is ‘Are there any other queries you would like to address that I may be able to help you with?’ using this type of language emphasises the organisations brand promise in making sure that problems and concerns are dealt with in the best way as staff are asking the customer if they have any other queries this shows the organisation want to help.
2.4 Identify their own role in ensuring that a brand promise is delivered
In my role when I speak to a customer or a colleague I always ensure that I fulfil the brand promise by communicating professionally and addressing what the customer wants or is querying. I always use customer service language to help me do this for example common phrases would be how can I help you? , Is there anything else I can assist you with? Lastly , ending with ‘Thank you’ leaving the customer with a positive experience. Other ways I ensure the brand promise is by being trustworthy for example if someone calls up to speak to my manager and they are in a meeting I would let the customer know and to tell them that their message will be passed on. And so when my manager comes out of the meeting I ensure that I pass on the message and my manager calls them back.
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