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The Connections Between Customer Service Strategy Business Essay


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Strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more, how its going to get there and how it'll know if it got there or not. The focus of a strategic plan is usually on the entire organization, while the focus of a business plan is usually on a particular product, service or program. There are a variety of perspectives, models and approaches used in strategic planning. The way that a strategic plan is developed depends on the nature of the organization's leadership, culture of the organization, complexity of the organization's environment, size of the organization and expertise of planners.

Analyze customer expectations and preferences in the context of organizations' service offer:

Customer expectations touch on everything a company's clients -- or the market, in general -- anticipate in terms of product, service, price and distribution outlet. Marketing strategists view such expectations through the lens of client desires, needs and wants at a given point in time. Given the significance of client expectations in marketing analysis, running a business without understanding them might be akin to producing a Appraising customer expectations typically is part of a company's strategic vision. This exercise generally spans multiple periods -- say, several months or years rather than one-time energy-sapping meetings that drag on far too long and might not actually engage personnel.

Explain the connections between customer service strategy and an organizations' market positioning

Marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.[1] Marketing strategy includes all basic and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies and therefore contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives. Marketing strategies serve as the fundamental underpinning of marketing plans designed to fill market needs and reach marketing objectives.[3] Plans and objectives are generally tested for measurable results. Commonly, marketing strategies are developed as multi-year plans, with a tactical plan detailing specific actions to be accomplished in the current year. Time horizons covered by the marketing plan vary by company, by industry, and by nation.

Analyze how financial performance and business growth imperatives impact on customer service strategies

Marketing participants often employ strategic models and tools to analyze marketing decisions. When beginning a strategic analysis, the 3Cs can be employed to get a broad understanding of the strategic environment. An An off Matrix is also often used to convey an organization's strategic positioning of their marketing mix. The 4Ps can then be utilized to form a marketing plan to pursue a defined strategy. There are many companies especially those in the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) market that adopt the theory of running their business centered around Consumer, Shopper & Retailer needs. Their Marketing departments spend quality time looking for "Growth Opportunities" in their categories by identifying relevant insights (both mindsets and behaviors) on their target Consumers, Shoppers and retail partners. These Growth Opportunities emerge from changes in market trends, segment dynamics changing and also internal brand or operational business challenges. The Marketing team can then prioritize these Growth Opportunities and begin to develop strategies to exploit the opportunities that could include new or adapted products, services as well as changes to the 7Ps.

1.5 Compare the importance of customer retention and one-off customer satisfaction when

Every business needs customers to survive, and it undertakes every possible action to get them. It runs advertisement campaigns on television, in print, and even on web. It hires public relation firm to build trust and create positive corporate image. It hires search engine optimization expert to make their web presence prominent. It does everything that is needed to be done - from sponsorship to realizing corporate social responsibility to hiring best people to making product available within the customers' reach to pricing it attractively. A company does everything to acquire new customers, but when it comes to retaining them, most of the businesses fail; may be because some of the decision makers do not see any point in spending time on retaining customers. I have heard business people saying that why should they worry about customer retention, if they can get a lot more by spending some dollars on promotion.

Amplification of assessment criteria

1.1 Analyze critically the links between customer focus and organizational values, vision, object

1.1.1 Define customer focus, organizational values, vision and objectives

Vision The vision of the department is to provide a customer centered ICT and Business Development service that:

Is responsive to the needs of a diverse range of users

Is a valued and integral part of the University's academic and business processes

Provides the lead in access to electronic forms of information

Exploits technology to its full potential


Professional and friendly

Proactive as well as reactive

Customer focused

Collaborative and sharing


To lead, manage and develop ICT in the University

To provide excellent customer centered services, that are responsive to the changing needs of the user

To maintain an effective staff development programmed to ensure that ICT staff continue to develop the necessary skills to provide high-quality services and support

1.1.2 Identify why customer focus, organizational values, vision and objectives are linked

base their values on customer feedback

involve their employees in the development of values

link these values to their brand

encourage their employees to align their behaviors to the values

reward their employees for 'living the brand'

1.1.3 Analyze critically how service strategy is used to design detailed customer service processes in organizations

Keeping customers happy and satisfied is integral to the success of any business. Customer service training is an essential tool for any employee who works in a service industry. There are different methods available for customer service training, each with its own pros and cons. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each will assist you in choosing the best method for your employees. Many companies focus on acquiring new customers to boost revenue, but you can actually work with your existing customer base instead. Current customers already have an established relationship with your company and trust the quality of your product or service. From a marketing perspective, it also costs less to market additional products to an existing customer than it does to market to new customers. You can sell additional products and services to customers at the time of a new sale, or in the future as you acquire new products or discover a change in your customer's needs.

1.2 Analyze customer expectations and preferences in the context of an organization's service offer

1.2.1 Define customer expectations and service offer

Many companies today particularly in the service sector carry out some form of customer satisfaction measurement. When it comes to budget setting, the vast majority of organizations approve the budget for asking their customers for feedback on how they perceive the organization's performance. However, very few companies develop budgets around what should be done as a result of the survey findings.. CRM is a fantasy in most organizations …. Over 60% of CRM projects end in some form of failure - Gartner Group 80% of all CRM initiatives fail, and provide no reasonable ROI - vented Consultancy More than 90% of Meta clients are examining the financial justifications for CRM … many are taking a step back - Meta Group CRM does have some success with this, but the crucial element that gets overlooked with CRM, is that on its own it does not help you understand your customer needs or build a customer culture.

1.2.2 Explain the connections between customer expectations, a service offer and customer satisfaction

Making a good first impression

Remembering that good customer service is defined by the customer

Understanding customer expectation in part from your own experience as a customer

Knowing the common customer expectations

Knowing how to act to fulfill a customer's expectations

1.2.3 Compare service offers that meet different sets of customer expectations

Promptness We live in an era of impatience. Customers do not want to wait for service. Even a short wait will deter most customers in most situations. Customers want a customer service representative that is knowledgeable about products and services, skilled at dealing with people, and responsible in performing duties. Customers want to deal with a professional customer service representative. Accuracy Customers expect the CSR to get information and orders correct the first time. They do not want to have to deal with mistakes or correct the CSR's errors. Friendliness Customers expect to be treated respectfully and politely. Customers want to be liked and to be treated in a friendly manner. Honesty Customers want honest, straightforward information and responses. Most customers appreciate a CSR that will admit mistakes and work to correct them. A customer that believes he or she has been misled will stop doing business with the company and will likely complain.

1.3 Explain the connections between customer service strategy and an organisation's market

1.3.1 Explain the concept of market positioning

positioning is the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.Re-positioning involves changing the identity of a product, relative to the identity of competing products.De-positioning involves attempting to change the identity of competing products, relative to the identity of your own product. The original work on positioning was consumer marketing oriented, and was not as much focused on the question relative to competitive products as much as it was focused on cutting through the ambient "noise" and establishing a moment of real contact with the intended recipient. In the classic example of Avis claiming "No.2, We Try Harder," the point was to say something so shocking (it was by the standards of the day) that it cleared space in your brain and made you forget all about who was #1 and not to make some philosophical point about being "hungry" for business. The growth of high-tech marketing may have had much to do with the shift in definition towards competitive positioning.

1.3.2 Summaries the process of formulating a customer service strategy

What most will agree on is that Positioning is something (perception) that happens in the minds of the. It is the aggregate perception the market has of a particular company, product or service in relation to their perceptions of the competitors in the same category. It will happen whether or not a company's management is proactive, reactive or passive about the on-going process of evolving a position. But a company can positively influence. (According to the book "Marketing Concepts that Win! Copyright 2011 by Martha Guidry, Live Oak Book Company) Many individuals confuse a core idea concept with a positioning concept. A Core Idea Concept simply describes the product or service. Its purpose is merely to determine whether the idea has any interest to the end buyer. In contrast, a Positioning Concept attempts to sell the benefits of the product or service to a potential buyer. The positioning concepts focus on the rational or emotional benefits that buyer will receive or feel by using the product/service.

1.3.3 Examine the importance of market intelligence in clarifying an organization's market.

Positioning includes identifying the unique market position, or "niche", for your organization. Positioning is accomplished through market analysis. Market analysis includes finding out what groups of potential customers (or markets) exist, what groups of customers you prefer to serve (target markets), what their needs are, what products or services you might develop to meet their needs, how the customers might prefer to use the products and services, what your competitors are doing, what pricing you should use and how you should distribute products and services to your target markets. Various methods of market research are used to find out information about markets, target markets and their needs, competitors, etc. It's very useful to articulate a "positioning statement" or "unique selling position," which articulates what is unique about your organization and why people should buy from you, rather than from your competitors. Some people differentiate between the unique selling proposition and the unique value proposition.

1.3.4 Analyze how customer service strategy influences an organization's market positioning

Marketing strategy is a set of choices made by an organization to maximize the potential use of its products and services. The choices are influenced by its mission, target market, environmental assessment and goals. Ultimately, these factors determine how marketers will use the key tactics in the marketing mix: product, promotion, price and place. An environmental assessment, also known as a SWOT analysis, helps the firm evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This information is incorporated into the marketing strategy through resource allocation as well as marketing-mix decisions.

1.4 Analyze how financial performance and business growth imperatives impact on customer service strategies

1.4.1 Explain the1.4.1 Explain the importance of financial performance requirements for different types is a system of economic, political, or social organization that involves association of the people of society into corporate groups, such as agricultural, business, ethnic, labor, military, patronage, or scientific affiliations, on the basis of common interests.[1] Corporatism is theoretically based upon the interpretation of a community as an organic body.[2][3] The term corporatism is based on the Latin root word "corpus" meaning "body".[3]In 1881, commissioned theologians and social thinkers to study corporatism and provide a definition for it. In 1884 in Freeburg,

1.4.2 Clarify the connections between financial imperatives and business growth

financial press is littered with stories about the downfall of companies that have resulted from expanding too rapidly or venturing too far from their core business.Picking the "wrong" opportunities, overstretching resources, both organizational and financial, and taking your eye off existing business can all be damaging consequences of not having a systematic process for analyzing and selecting new business opportunities when they occur. Periods of rapid growth can be just as confronting, and potentially damaging, to a business as an economic downturn. When multiple opportunities appear an executive team needs to give itself the best chance of "picking the winners" and maximizing its returns. In order to achieve this, there are some key considerations that executives need to be mindful of when analyzing opportunities. Firstly, how does the opportunity fit with the organization's strategy? Will it support the company's chosen financial imperatives (growth, profit, cash, increased shareholder value or acquisition/divestment)?

1.4.3 Analyze the possible impact of financial performance and growth targets on customer

Impact on Stock Price Financial statements can have a drastic effect on the stock price of a company. Many investors look at the financial statements when making investment decisions.

Financing Decisions Financial statements can also have an impact on how easy it is for a business to get financing. If a company is trying to take out a business loan, the lender will typically want to look at the financial statements of that company.

Attract New Investors Financial statements also affect attracting new investors. When a company issues new shares of stock, it will most likely distribute financial statements to potential investors.

1.5 Compare the importance of customer retention and one-off customer satisfaction when

1.5.1 Explain the difference between service strategies with a focus on customer retention and those

"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." Yet it's surprising how many companies have evolved into organizations where the customer is the least important person in the organizational set-up. And as Walton's creation, Wal-Mart, goes from strength to strength, one of its chief competitors, Kmart, earlier this year slid into bankruptcy. The difference between the two? At the end of the day, 'customer focus'. Wal-Mart has over the decades been able to understand what its customers want and when, while Kmart has had to depend on endless discounting and price wars to lure its clientele. Customer Focus' explained all companies go through cycles of growth. Behind this cycle there is a deeper pattern which the graphic below shows, where the nature of this growth changes the company focus from the customer (entrepreneurial stage) through to the company (mature stage)

1.5.2 Examine the importance of customer retention to most organizations

High satisfaction with product performance and customer service.

High intention to continue to do business with you.

High willingness to recommend you to others.

Customer satisfaction.

Systematic and proactive customer relationship management.

1.5.3 Demonstrate how customer retention can result from customer focus in a service

Customers who have an issue dealt with to their satisfaction have a 95% likelihood of repurchasing and telling 5 people about their experience; if they don't complain (as 96% of people do) they will tell at least 10 other people about their problem.

The occurrence of problems can cause a 15-to-30-point drop in high-satisfaction responses and in loyalty indicators. This puts revenue at risk to the average tune of 11%.

Outcome 02: Understand how being a listening organization contributes to the achievement

Assessment criteria

The concept of a listening organization

Listening is a significant part of communication process. Communication cannot take place until and unless a message is heard and retained thoroughly and positively by the receivers/listeners. Listening is a dynamic process. Listening means attentiveness and interest perceptible in the posture as well as expressions. Listening implies decoding (i.e., translating the symbols into meaning) and interpreting the messages correctly in communication process. Listening differs from hearing in sense that: Hearing implies just perceiving the sounds while listening means listening with understanding whatever you are listening. Both the body as well as mind is involved in listening process. Listening is an active process while hearing is a passive activity. is an effortless activity while listening is an act requiring conscious efforts, Hearing concentration and interest.

2.2 Compare the benefits of different methods of listening to customers

Discover your interests' field.

Grasp and understand the matter/content.

Remain calm. Do not loose your temper. Anger hampers and inhibits communication. Angry people jam their minds to the words of others.

Be open to accept new ideas and information.

Jot down and take a note of important points.

2.3 Evaluate measures that can be used to analyse information collected about customer opinions and experiences

Is attentive- Good listener must pay attention to the key points. He should be alert. He should avoid any kind of distraction.

Do not assume- Good listener does not ignore the information he considers is unnecessary. He should always summarize the speaker's ideas so that there is no misunderstanding of thoughts of speakers. He avoids premature judgments about the speakers message.

Listen for feelings and facts- Good listener deliberately listens for the feelings of the speaker. He concentrates totally on the facts. He evaluates the facts objectively. His listening is sympathetic, active and alert.

Concentrate on the other speakers kindly and generously- A good listener makes deliberate efforts to give a chance to other speakers also to express their thoughts and views. Opportunisms- A good listener tries to take benefit from the opportunities arising. He asks "What's in it for me?"

Demonstrate the importance of customer and employee feedback for achieving organisational customer service vision

Customer feedback and/or employee feedback solution. Keep customers and employees loyal and satisfied by knowing how your business is perceived, and use that feedback to improve your business processes and product planning. With its easy-to-use interface and rapid survey programming capabilities, Kinesis Surveyâ„¢ can be used to obtain meaningful feedback that can grow your business - even if your organization is not familiar with market research practices. Kinesis also provides custom integration to CRM solutions such as Salesforce.com and other in-house systems to maximize the potential of your research. And with Kinesis' outstanding customer service team, training time and support expenses are also significantly less as compared to competing solutions. It is enterprise feedback management that fits your needs and budget.

Amplification of assessment criteria

Examine the concept of a listening organization

Outline the key features of a listening organization

A learning organization is the term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself.[1] Learning organizations develop as a result of the pressures facing modern organizations and enables them to remain competitive in the business environment.[2] A learning organization has five main features; systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning.[3] The Learning organization concept was coined through the work and research of Peter Sense and his colleagues (Singe, 1994). It encourages organizations to shift to a more interconnected way of thinking. Organizations should become more like communities that employees can feel a commitment to.[4] They will work harder for an organization they are committed to.[citation needed]

2.1.2 Investigate the barriers to effective listening

Some problems and issues In our discussion of Senge and the learning organization we point to some particular problems associated with his conceptualization. These include a failure to fully appreciate and incorporate the imperatives that animate modern organizations; the relative sophistication of the thinking he requires of managers (and whether many in practice they are up to it); and questions around his treatment of organizational politics. It is certainly difficult to find real-life examples of learning organizations (Kerka 1995). There has also been a lack of critical analysis of the theoretical framework.Based on their study of attempts to reform the Swiss Postal Service, Matthias Finger and Silvia Bűrgin Brand (1999) provide us with a useful listing of more important shortcomings of the learning organization concept. They conclude that it is not possible to transform a bureaucratic organization by learning initiatives alone. The concept of the learning organization:

Explain the benefits that can result from listening to customers

Maintaining levels of innovation and remaining competitive[8]

Being better placed to respond to external pressures[8]

Having the knowledge to better link resources to customer needs[1]

Improving quality of outputs at all levels[1]

Improving Corporate image by becoming more people oriented[1]

Increasing the pace of change within the organization[1]

Compare the benefits of different methods of listening to customers

Describe different methods of listening to customers

Systems thinking: Organizations are a system of interrelationships. To become more successful we need to analyze these relationships and find the problems in them. This will allow an organization to eliminate the obstacles to learning

Personal mastery: An individual holds great importance in a learning organization. Personal development holds as much important as commitment and work for the organization. Employees need to grow and work on their own goals.

Mental Models: This is the company culture and the diverse theories and mindsets that serve as a framework for the functioning of the organization. Learning organizations look for how these affect organizational development.

Shared Vision: A learning organization's employees all share a common vision. Personal goals must be in sync with the goals and vision of the organization.

Team Learning: The importance of dialogue and group discussion. For a team to learn, they must be in sync and reach agreement

Compare the benefits of different methods of listening to customers

The first is that an organization does not have enough time.[13] Employees and management may have other issues that take priority over trying to change the culture of their organization. The team may not be able to commit the time it takes. Another problem is that an institution does not have the appropriate help or training. For an organization to be able to change, it needs to know the steps necessary to solve the problems it faces. As a solution, a mentor or coach who is well versed in the learning organization concept may be necessary. The change may not be relevant to the organization's needs. Time should be spent on the actual issues of the organization and its daily issues. To combat this challenge, a strategy must be built. The organization should determine what its problems are before entering into the transformation. Training should remain linked to business results so that it is easier for employees to connect the training with everyday issues. Some of the issues that Learning Organizations wanted to address within Institutions is fragmentation, competition and reactive ness generate more profit.

Explain the link between listening to customers and continuous improvement

Systems thinking. The idea of the learning organization developed from a body of work called systems thinking.[6] This is a conceptual framework that allows people to study businesses as bounded objects.[3] Learning organizations use this method of thinking when assessing their company and have information systems

Personal mastery. The commitment by an individual to the process of learning is known as personal mastery.[3] There is a competitive advantage for an organization whose workforce can learn more quickly than the workforce of other organizations.[7] Individual learning is acquired through staff training and development,[8]

Mental models. The assumptions held by individuals and organizations are called mental models.[3] To become a learning organization, these models must be challenged. Individuals tend to espouse theories, which are what they intend to follow, and theories-in-use, which are what they actually do

Shared vision. The development of a shared vision is important in motivating the staff to learn, as it creates a common identity that provides focus and energy for learning.[3] The most successful visions build on the individual visions of the employees at all levels of the organization

Explain the importance of involving different employees and departments of organisations in measurement of customer satisfaction

Organizations mostly employ external agencies to listen to their customers and provide dedicated feedback to them. These feedbacks needs to be sophisticated and in structured format so that conclusive results could be fetched out. Face to face meetings and complaint or appreciation letter engages immediate issues. The feedback received in this is not uniformed as different types of customers are addressed with different domains of questions. This hiders the analysis process to be performed accurately and consistently. Hence the best way is to implement a proper survey which consists of uniformed questionnaire to get customer feedback from well segmented customers. It becomes easy for the supplier to know the weak and strong aspects of products and services.

Demonstrate the use of a balanced scorecard in measuring customer satisfaction

Customer Complaints: Customer's complaints are the issues and problems reported by the customer to supplier with regards to any specific product or related service. These complaints can be classified under different segments according to the severity and department. If the complaints under a particular segment go high in a specific period of time then the performance of the organization is degrading in that specific area or segment. But if the complaints diminish in a specific period of time then that means the organization is performing well and customer satisfaction level is also higher. Customer Loyalty: It is necessarily required for an organization to interact and communicate with customers on a regular basis to increase customer loyalty. In these interactions and communications it is required to learn and determine all individual customer needs and respond accordingly. A customer is said to be loyal if he revisits supplier on regular basis for purchases. These loyal customers are the satisfied ones and hence they are bounded with a relationship with the supplier. Hence by obtaining the customer loyalty index, suppliers can indirectly measure customer satisfaction.

Demonstrate the importance of customer and employee feedback for achieving

Explain the position of a mission or vision in a service strategy

Mission We provide lifecycle power solutions to enhance the business of our customers, whilst creating better technologies that benefit both the customer and the environment.

Vision We will be the most valued business partner of all our customers.

Strategy Watseka enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. Creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products, solutions and services.

Watseka's strategic aim is to strengthen its leading position in its markets and to ensure continued growth by offering customers reliability and the best lifecycle efficiency available..

Examine how measurements can be used to gauge the achievement of a mission or vision

Watseka's overriding promise is to supply power solutions that offer high efficiency with low environmental load. Our objective is to continuously improve the environmental performance of our products and services, as well as to maintain technological leadership by utilizing new technologies and collaborating with our customers and other stakeholder groups. In doing this we help to enable the tightening of global environmental regulations and guidelines.Wärtsilä acts as a good corporate citizen wherever we are active. Our business operations and relations with our stakeholders are governed by our Code of Conduct. Wärtsilä is a responsible employer and we seek to offer our employees an interesting and exciting workplace where openness, respect, trust, equal opportunity and scope for personal development prevail. A further aim is to offer a hazard-free working environment to our employees and contractors, and to minimize the health and safety risks associated with the use of our products and services. Supply chain management and development are integral elements of our operations.

2.4.3 Demonstrate how continuous improvement contributes to achieving a vision and relies on feedback from customers and employees

It gives your customers, service users, and your team a way to resolve problems with your product, service, or organization.

If set up correctly, it allows continuous Many organizations collect feedback from their teams or customers only once a year. But collecting feedback should be a constant process, not an occasional event.

An effective feedback process gives you the data that you need to create real, lasting improvement. Team morale, product quality, and an organization's reputation may all improve as a result.

A good process helps organizations act on the feedback that they receive. This, in turn, can create a strong bond between the organization, and its employees and customers.

Outcome 03 Understand how customer service strategy and objectives contribute to the

development of customer-driven processes

Consider how customer service strategy and objectives lead to the design of customer service processes

Customer insights and segmentation Product and category, management, Pricing, Sales and channel effectiveness, Marketing and brand strategy, Customer experience, Loyalty:

3.2 Analyze critically the contribution technology makes to the delivery of effective

customer-driven processes

Giving presentations to audiences, large or small, can be a daunting and anxiety-ridden task. You're going to be in front of a group of people, some you may know, some may be total strangers. You're on stage, all eyes are on you, the audience has high expectations or they wouldn't be there. Every word, every nuance, your appearance, the tone of your voice, not to mention the content of your presentation, will be scrutinized in every way. You know what you want to say - you know the material - but there's that nagging feeling that you'll say the wrong thing or you'll have a spot on your suit or there will be some errant distraction. Business presentations take many forms. Some are extremely formal with highly detailed information… how do you make sure the audience doesn't get lost in the detail and lose focus on the overall message? Some are informal and the difficulty is controlling the cross-talk.

Explain the importance of continuous improvement and service chains to organizations' customer service processes

allocating employee time to participate in group work

training coaches

setting up a manual of tools and techniques

reduced waste through lean production

improved product quality

reduced rework time

faster response times, giving more customers their orders on time

becoming more competitive by driving down costs

retaining/gaining customers through innovative products and services.

Amplification of assessment criteria

3.1 Consider how customer service strategy and objectives lead to the design of customer service processes

3.1.1 Explain how the service chain and internal customer relationships help to link strategy with effective customer service processes

Excellent customer service is a result of a number of things, many of which are unseen to customers, and have nothing to do with the direct customer-employee interaction. There's a kind of chain which ends with the customer, and if any link is broken, it negatively affects customer service. So, you must look at the entire set of factors, and consider the following quote: Consider inventory control. The customer does not see all the processes at work to ensure that products are on the shelves in adequate numbers. But clearly, if inventory control is poor, customers will be frustrated at not being able to purchase what they want when they want

3.1.2 Compare the influence of customer feedback and organizational objectives on the design of customer service processes

The customer may not always be right, but he does pay your bills. That's something to consider if you're tempted to quibble with a customer over principle--you may achieve some smug satisfaction, but you will probably lose a future revenue stream and may create a new spokesperson for your competitors. According to an article on the U.S. Small Business Administration website, a National Federation of Independent Business study put customer service ahead of both price and product in determining business success.

3.1.3 Clarify the direct link between customer satisfaction and customer-driven processes

One of the most important measures in the business process of any company is to constantly be customer driven. In the business process, customer service has almost become more important than the actual product or service a company provides. Depending on the quality of your customer service and satisfaction, it could cost you your customers and could even cause them to run right toward the competition. Your process management and constant process improvement in being customer driven will determine the competitiveness and longevity of your business. In order to keep your customers happy, you must meet their needs and expectations. But how do you find out what they really want? Well, ask them! So many companies make the terrible mistake of assuming what their customers need and expect, rather than actually asking them, thereby skipping one of the most important steps in the business process. Only the customer can speak for themselves.

3.2 Analyze critically the contribution technology makes to the delivery of effective

customer-driven processes

3.2.1 Summaries the different levels of technology involved in customer service delivery processes

Technical support or tech support refers to a range of services by which enterprises provide assistance to users of technology products such as mobile phones, televisions, computers, software products or other electronic or mechanical goods. In general, technical support services attempt to help the user solve specific problems with a product-rather than providing training, customization, or other support services. Most companies offer technical support for the products they sell, either freely available or for a fee. Technical support may be delivered over the telephone or online by e-mail or a website or a tool where users can log a call/incident. Larger organizations frequently have internal technical support available to their staff for computer related problems. The internet is also a good source for freely available tech support, where experienced users may provide advice and assistance with problems. In addition, some fee-based service companies charge for premium technical support services.[1]

Discuss why technology does not remove the need to observe customer service principles

With the increasing use of technology in modern times, there is a growing requirement to provide technical support. Many organizations locate their technical support departments or call centers in countries with lower costs. There has also been a growth in companies specializing in providing technical support to other organizations. These are often referred to as Map's (Managed Service Providers).[4]For businesses needing to provide technical support, outsourcing allows them to maintain a high availability of service. Such need may result from peaks in call volumes during the day, periods of high activity due to introduction of new products or maintenance service packs, or the requirement to provide customers with a high level of service at a low cost to the business.[5] For businesses needing technical support assets, outsourcing enables their core employees to focus more on their work in order to maintain productivity.[6] It also enables them to utilize specialized personnel, whose technical knowledge base and experience may exceed the scope of the business, thus providing a higher level of technical support to their employees.

3.2.3 Clarify why customer-driven processes must also be supportive of organizational goals

This type of technical support has been very common in the services industry. It is also known as "Break-Fix" IT Support. The concept behind this type of support is that the customer pays for the materials (Hard Drive, Memory, Computer, etc.) as well as pays the technician based on their pre-negotiated rate when they have a problem. Block Hours Block Hours is basically a way to purchase a bunch of hours upfront to pay a reduced hourly rate. The premise behind this type of support is that the customer has negotiated a discounted rate and a fixed number of hours to use either per month or year. This allows them the flexibility to use the hours as they please without doing the paperwork and the hassle of paying multiple bills. Managed Services means a company will receive a list of well-defined services on an ongoing basis, with well-defined "response and resolution times" for a fixed rate or a flat fee.

3.3 Explain the importance of continuous improvement and service chains to organizations' customer service processes

3.3.1 Describe the concept of continuous improvement and its relationship with customer service strategy

Often organizations confuse defining a customer experience strategy with creating a "slogan". How many companies create a slogan without any supporting initiatives, thereby disillusioning employees and creating a "flavor of the month?"

To establish a good strategy certain key practices are required:

Understand the overall organisational vision and mission

Define the organization's customer service direction, slogan and values

Ensure customer service is defined as a key responsibility for the business/department

Share the customer experience strategy via a comprehensive communications program

Ensure that this strategy does not conflict with other business strategies. As consultants, it is amazing how often we hear organizations say, "Improving Customer Service is a priority, and we are also introducing stringent cost-cutting measures." This can present a tough dichotomy.

Clarify the concept of the service chain with examples that involve internal customer

One of the ongoing challenges successful businesses face is in optimizing customer satisfaction and developing Customer Relationship Management. So many companies "jump on the bandwagon" of improving customer service in order to impact customer retention levels. Yet, since 1994, customer Selecting the correct people

Developing, motivating and managing your people

Establishing effective service delivery processes

Building in continuous improvement

Ensuring managers are the key change-agents

3.3.3 Evaluate the importance of service chains and continuous improvements to the creation of customer driven processes

Demonstrate commitment.

Stake your own reputation to the transition

Commit to the goals in public

Adjust reward and recognition programs

Commit the required resources

Fund in full the up-front investments to get started

Dedicate excellent people to the effort

Demand participation and engagement

Stay personally engaged throughout the process

Be passionate about change

Talk about it to everybody and get them emotionally engaged

Outcome 04 Understand the links between people development, empowerment and the

implementation of customer service strategies

Assessment criteria

Examine critically approaches to people development in the context of customer service strategies

is the process of developing and implementing technical standards.The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers (commoditization), compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality. In social sciences, including economics, the idea of standardization is close to the solution for a coordination problem, a situation in which all parties can realize mutual gains, but only by making mutually consistent decisions. Standardization is defined as best technical application consensual wisdom inclusive of processes for selection in making appropriate choices for ratification coupled with consistent decisions for maintaining obtained standards. This view includes the case of "spontaneous standardization processes", to produce standards. Standardization is the process of establishing a technical standard, which could be a standard specification, standard test method, standard definition, or standard procedure. Standardization means that there is a standard specification, unit, instruction or something that is understood globally.

4.2 Assess leadership actions which contribute to empowerment in customer service

Boyatzis' management competencies: Skills leaders need.

Function and leadership: actions varying with role.

Michigan Leadership Studies: Task, relationship and participative focus.

Ohio State Leadership Studies: Consideration and Initiating structure.

Stein's leadership culture-change actions: how a leader forms the culture.

The Leadership Challenge: Integrity and competence.

Yolk's taxonomy of management behavior: classic list of actions.

Show the connections between people development, empowerment and customer service strategies

Many companies have found a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Companies like Disney and FedEx are known for their strong customer service. They understand that to provide outstanding customer service, employees must be empowered. Empowering employee's means giving them or someone who manages them the authority to do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer. Often you have to trust your employees to make the right decision without waiting for management to provide approval. level of empowerment requires that employees be trained to recognize and act on opportunities to improve customer service. Managers must remove the constraints that keep employees from making decisions on their own. They also must give the employees the confidence that their contributions do make a difference. It is not just "being nice" to employees that leads them to provide better customer service. The continuous improvement of the organizational processes removes many hassles that produce disgruntled employees, who in turn produce dissatisfied customers.

4.4 Consider why empowerment is an important part of continuous improvement in customer service

Empowerment of employees can lead to improved customer service by giving the employee the power and the trust to make improvements without waiting for the approval of management. Empowering employees will increase their productivity and quality. It gives the people who actually do the work to determine how they best way to do it is. It gives those who are in touch with customers and circumstances to use their best judgment and abilities to do what is best for the company. Empowerment brings employees into the team. It encourages them to align their priorities with those of the company. They understand what is good for the company is good for them. Empowerment will not work with every employee. Some are not capable or do not have the confidence to act without managements approval. These employees should be encouraged and coached. If they lack the skills then perhaps empowerment is not meant for them.

Amplification of assessment criteria

4.1 Examine critically approaches to people development in the context of customer service strategies

4.1.1 Discuss the importance of people development for effective customer service strategies

Cluster or segment target customers based on their common behaviors.

Determine the priorities of your customer "clusters".

When possible, focus on customers with high current or future value-for example, someone who frequently accesses your services. A comparable example is a frequent flier program-airlines offer a higher level of service (such as early boarding privileges) to their frequent flyers, while still meeting the needs of their other passengers.

To target the highest level of service to your "frequent flyers", you also need to identify the best ways to serve non-target customers, those to whom it is expensive to provide services, or those who might be better served by other means.

4.1.2 Examine ways of identifying learning and training needs

While many schools use an IQ-Achievement Discrepancy model to identify the presence of a learning disability, that is students with learning disabilities show an unexpected gap between their potential and achievement, there is a push for schools to use a Response to Intervention (RTI) method to identify learning disabilities (LD). In RTI, students who do not respond to intensive intervention would be identified as disabled. Advantages and disadvantages exist for both methods. Though there is a movement against the discrepancy model, some educators say it has a valid basis - it documents the unexpected underachiever..

4.1.3 Compare the benefits of dedicated customer service training with the benefits of building customer service training into all learning activities

The use of research-based interventions in early reading offers a real opportunity for more at-risk students, including many with LD, to acquire needed beginning literacy skills. Insufficient data are available regarding the long-term effects of RTI on student outcomes.

The ability-achievement discrepancy formula should not be used as the sole criterion to determine eligibility. However, discrepancy remains a hallmark of specific learning disabilities.

CEC supports using methods other than the discrepancy formula. However, there are no research-based alternatives that have been sufficiently validated at this time.

Non-responsiveness to intervention should trigger a multi-disciplinary evaluation and should not, in itself, be considered an indication of a specific learning disability.

4.1.4 Identify why and how learning and training activities can be linked closely with an organization's service strategy

At first glance, RTI seems to address the wait to fail concern. With RTI, low achievers are identified as quickly as possible and provided intensive and validated instruction. However, RTI also raises concerns. First, because we do not have effective measures for children in preschool, RTI can present its own version of wait to fail. Second, there is no guarantee that a student who responds to interventions will continue to progress when he or she returns to the general education classroom. Other questions exist as to how RTI will be implemented. For example, how long should a child receive interventions and how extensive must non-responsiveness be before a student is identified as disabled? Another concern is that few intervention strategies exist for academic areas other than reading or for students at the middle or high school levels. Even selecting intervention strategies could be problematic.

4.2 Assess leadership actions which contribute to empowerment in customer service

4.2.1 Explain the meaning and benefits of empowerment

Empowerment benefits all organizations". The essay will critically discuss the meaning and philosophy of empowerment, its implementation (the empowerment process), the advantages and disadvantages of empowerment, issues which may rise due to empowerment focusing on the case studies on failures and success stories. Empowerment has become one of the most salient concepts in modern management theory and practice. Hostages, G. (1999) acknowledges that "many organizations are seeking to implement various techniques to create a setting for the empowerment of the workforce in order to increase competitive advantage, innovation, and effectiveness. Various factors are to be considered for an implementation to be successful like structure, strategy, environment, technology, and culture".Organisations that want to survive in today's competitive environment characterized by deregulations and converging markets, complex customer needs, corporate restructuring and downsizing, organizations are searching for innovative ways to enhance the creative potential of their workforce.

4.2.2 Investigate leadership actions that may be used to develop and extend empowernment

The task force has adopted an operational framework of gender equality with three dimensions:

• The capabilities domain, which refers to basic human abilities as measured by education, health, and nutrition.  These capabilities are fundamental to individual well-being and are the means through which individuals access other forms of well-being.

• The access to resources and opportunities domain, which refers primarily to equality in the opportunity to use or apply basic capabilities through access to economic assets (such as land or housing) and resources (such as income and employment), as well as political opportunity (such as representation in parliaments and other political bodies).  Without access to resources and opportunities, both political and economic, women will be unable to employ their capabilities for their well-being and that of their families, communities, and societies.

Analyze the contribution of empowerment when service is delivered against a firm set of procedures and guidelines

1. Strengthen opportunities for post-primary education for girls while simultaneously meeting commitments to universal primary education.

2. Guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights.

3. Invest in infrastructure to reduce women's and girls' time burdens.

4. Guarantee women's and girls' property and inheritance rights.

5. Eliminate gender inequality in employment by decreasing women's reliance on informal employment, closing gender gaps in earnings, and reducing occupational segregation.

4.3 Show the connections between people development, empowerment and customer service strategies

4.3.1 Compare the contributions to strategic objectives of people development, empowerment

Gender parity in access to schooling is the first step toward gender equality in education.  However, the world is still far from achieving gender parity in enrollment and completion rates, particularly at the secondary school level.  A review of trends shows that gender parity ratios remain below 0.90 in Sub-Saharan African and South Asia even though girls' primary school enrollment rates rose steadily over the 1990s and are now relatively high.  While the trends at the primary level are positive, a number of countries are likely to miss both the 2005 and 2015 Millennium Development Targets.  Projections are for 19 of 133 countries to have girls' to boys' primary enrollment ratios in the 0.70-0.89 range in 2005 and for 21 countries to have ratios below 0.9 in 2015.  Twelve countries in this second group are in Sub-Saharan Africa, which should be viewed as a "priority" region for interventions. The picture is less hopeful if primary school completion is used as the indicator.

4.3.2 Analyze the concept of the learning organization and the contribution it makes to customer service strategy

Poverty reduction strategies within low-income countries are the mechanisms for influencing development policies and plans and ensuring that actions to address the Millennium Development Goals are implemented.  Thus, a critical entry point for promoting gender equality and women's empowerment at the country level is the poverty reduction strategy process. A core recommendation of the UN Millennium Project is that every developing country restructures its short-term poverty reduction strategy in the context of a 10-year Millennium Development Goals framework.  This offers a new opportunity to apply the lessons from past poverty reduction strategy processes so that the new Goals-based poverty reduction strategies succeed in fully mainstreaming gender and empowering women.  The UN Millennium Project suggests a five-step approach to designing an MDG-based poverty reduction strategy. Gender considerations should be an integral component of each step.

4.3.3 Evaluate the contribution of individuals to customer service strategy and how they are motivated by training and empowerment

I understand the theory of motivation. (If not you can skip the other questions as this is critical)

I believe that there is a direct link between motivation and organisational performance.

I know that each person gets motivated by different factors.

I am aware of the practices that lead to de-motivation of my team.

I share the vision, mission and principles of my organization.

I give my team autonomy in performing tasks.

4.4 Consider why empowerment is an important part of continuous improvement in customer service

4.4.1 Explain the contribution and importance of continuous improvement in the implementation of a customer service strategy

Parcel force Worldwide is using this analysis to identify the key service touchpoints for customers. Customer service has an impact in six main areas of the business:

Deliveries to the customer providing timely delivery, prompt response to queries, clear documentation.

Re-deliveries ensuring clear procedures are in place.

Collections from customers providing a timely service with documentation.

End-to-end parcel location (tracking) an online service with easy-to-use screens means customers can find out when a parcel has been delivered.

Customer contact improving customer communications and providing help by web or by telephone.

Making claims making it easy for people to claim if things go wrong.

Examine the connection between a continuous improvement strategy and market positioning of the service offer

The original work on positioning was consumer marketing oriented, and was not as much focused on the question relative to competitive products as much as it was focused on cutting through the ambient "noise" and establishing a moment of real contact with the intended recipient. In the classic example of Avis claiming "No.2, We Try Harder," the point was to say something so shocking (it was by the standards of the day) that it cleared space in your brain and made you forget all about who was #1 and not to make some philosophical point about being "hungry" for business. The growth of high-tech marketing may have had much to do with the shift in definition towards competitive positioning. An important component of hi-tech marketing in the age of the World Wide Web is positioning in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, which can be accomplished through Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. This is an especially important component when attempting to improve competitive positioning among a younger demographic, which tends to be Web oriented in their shopping and purchasing habits as a result of being highly connected and involved in social media in general.

Identify why people who are empowered at work are more likely to value customers and contribute to excellent customer service

Customer satisfaction begins with the first contact a customer has with your company. Good customer service looks like this: Make sure you represent a product or service you believe in! Then...Warm, sincere greeting on first contact. Establish whether your business has what the customer needs (offer to help find it)-provide it or suggest better alternative, to their benefit. Develop an easy, positive rapport with the customer which lets them know they are respected and appreciated. Go above and beyond. Then, provide an easy, efficient way to complete the transaction. Sincerely and warmly thank the customer for their business and invite them to come back if ever they need your help again (in whatever way is appropriate in your case). Actually, that's excellent customer service- and it keeps people coming back to you.

Outcome 05 Understand communication, recognition and reward actions that contribute

to customer service strategies

Assessment criteria

Explain how managers can use recognition and reward of staff to support customer service

Excellent customer service is essential in any business, and it's a job left up to employees who may not always want to contribute 100 percent. Recognizing your employees' accomplishments and rewarding them for their efforts goes a long way in encouraging them to provide outstanding customer service. Before long it will become second nature, and you'll wind up with more satisfied customers as well as employees. Make or use an existing customer service handbook to explain your expectations to every employee during initial job training and as a follow-up guide for any lingering questions. If they don't know exactly how you want customers to be treated, they won't realize they are not meeting expectations. Tell them why customer service is so important. It may seem obvious that a happy customer is a repeat customer, and that increasing customer satisfaction is a major part of an employee's job.

Demonstrate how motivation and performance models and theories contribute to the achievement of customer service objectives

 Competitors that are prospering in the new global economy recognize that measuring customer satisfaction is key. Only by doing so can they hold on to the customers they have and understand how to better attract new customers. The competitors who will be successful recognize that customer satisfaction is a critical strategic weapon that can bring increased market share and increased profits.  The problem companies face, however, is exactly how to do all of this and do it well. They need to understand how to quantify, measure and track customer satisfaction. Without a clear and accurate sense of what needs to be measured and how to collect, analyze and use the data as a strategic weapon to drive the business, no firm can be effective in this new business climate. Plans constructed using customer satisfaction research results can be designed to target customers and processes that are most able to extend profits.

5.3 Evaluate the options available to communicate with key stakeholders about customer service strategies

Careful consideration must be given to what the organization hopes to accomplish, how the results will be disseminated to various parts of the organization and how the information will be used. There is no point asking customers about a particular service or product if it won't or can't be changed regardless of the feedback.  Conducting a customer satisfaction surveying program is a burden on the organization and its customers in terms of time and resources. There is no point in engaging in this work unless it has been thoughtfully designed so that only relevant and important information is gathered. This information

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