This Management report will reflect on research carried out from undertaking industry experience in connection with a problem within Ramada Jarvis. This report will have several sections for completion of the management report, which will contain areas such as, Literature review, Methods and Methodologies, Findings and Analysis and Conclusions & Recommendation. The section on Literature review will consist of several authors on customer service with each of them sharing various opinions. Subsequently the Methodology section will describe areas in which primary and secondary research will be carried out. The following report analysis will identify, compare and contrast gathering of information from interviews carried out on customer service and review this by looking at theory from books in connection within this topic area. Based on discussion from the literature review and analysis, conclusions will be drawn upon. Finally some recommendation will be made for Ramada Jarvis for further improvement.
To evaluate the customer service provided by Ramada Jarvis
The objectives are as follows:
1) To examine the importance of training in achieving high levels of customer care at Ramada Jarvis
2 )To investigate secondary research on customer service and make comparisons on customer service
3) To make recommendation to Ramada Jarvis's customer service.
2.0 Literature Review
For the review of literature several authors on customer service will be discussed in this Literature review stating well-established thoughts and opinions from different writers and theorists.
2.1 What is Customer Care?
Customer care is all about treating all customers the same way In which you would like to be treated, which involves quality service, being friendly, helpful and efficient. Having a good range communication skill is quite vital ensuring that you have a positive attitude towards customers. Customers want efficient, cost affective and efficient services, which companies have to strive to meet these individuals' demands. All customers want to be greeted with courtesy, respect and treated with dignity. Theses are very fundamental towards customer care.
D.Clutterback (1996) claims that Customer Care involves a complex series of relationships between customers, individual employees and the organisation; B Morris (2007) argues that Customer care puts customers at the centre of the service rather than treating them as an afterthought, this means determining who the customers are and trying to ascertain and anticipate their needs.
There are different perceptions on customer care and different companies will have their own customer care policies, which can vary as different structures being put into place to provide good customer care with involves mission and goals. Appendix 1 clearly shows the customer life cycle.
2.2 The Importance Of Customer Care?
Customer Care is vastly important because satisfied customers tell other people and this helps to enhance the reputation of the business. "High quality customer care adds value and helps to create customer loyalty". http://www.thetimes100.co.uk From a short period of time, it creates long-term business for the company, as customers will come back to you if you provide excellent service, this will fulfil their individual needs On the other hand providing bad customer care will have a negative affect on your business and can create bad publicity.
S.Cook (2008) states that the significant of good customer service can be shown in financial terms as it cost at least five times as much to win a new customer as it does to keep a current one.
This is quite important to note as many industries rely on existing customers and keeping them happy and satisfying them is vastly important. Appendix 2 Shows a diagram of the affect it can have on good and bad customer care.
2.3 How well do you meet Customer needs?
Customer needs is quite instrumental towards proving a great level of service. By finding out what people actually wants helps to identify the areas of improvement, which can only be beneficial for the business.
Cook (2008) states recognising the customer chain is pivotal to service management and forms the basis of the concept of total quality management. Awareness and understanding, therefore of who are the internal customers and what internal customers needs is vital. Neville Lake & Kristin Hickey (2002) claims once you understand your customer needs, wants and demands, you will be in in apposition to provide them with better Service and ultimately secure their loyalty.
. Maslow's Hierarchy is a prime example of needs wants and demands of different customer, which shows in Appendix 3. Different customers have a range of individual needs and motivation factors. In theory finding out what customers want helps fulfil their individual needs. On the other hand not always customer needs can be fulfilled as it all depends on the organisation. "Gaining high levels of customer satisfaction is very important to a business because satisfied customers are likely to be loyal and to make repeat orders and to use a wide range of services offered by a business. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk.
By demonstrating good customer service for Customer Jarvis they have invested in refreshing customer service by serving people mars drinks. Ian McGrady, sales director at Mars drinks commented, "Service is a paramount importance in the hotel industry. Being able to expand our working relationship with Ramada Jarvis Hotels is a great reflection of how both organisations put customers first See Appendix 4. This is an increasing way in which you can retain existing customers.
S.Cook (2002) claims a company's ability to attract and retain new customers therefore is a function not only of its products offering but also the way it services its existing customers and the reputation it creates within and across market places
2.4 How can you motivate people to give quality Customer Service?
There are many techniques that can be implemented that you can use to motivate people to give a high standard of customer service, which involves different strategies and programmes. Recognising achievement by staff pays good affect for the company and with that customer service reward schemes are put into place to motivate staff to keep providing high quality service. By having a reward scheme, it will encourage all members of staff to emulate each other to do that little bit extra for customers, which will lead to incentives and rewards.
T.Johns (1994) states the reward has to be made in public, or has to be publicized, and the reason why it sets a good example has to be spelt out in capital letters. On the other hand N.Lake & K Hackey (2002) argues with reward systems, a situation can arise where the same person wins more or less everything. This can be depressing for others whose performance have improved significantly but cannot attain the achievements levels of the permanent victor.
Therefore careful consideration has to be done in order for this scheme to work as it can be abused and cause conflict within staff as continuous staffs could not be getting recognition for repetitive work as others who have also shown progress are not recognised. Appendix 5 Shows how you can improve on bad customer service and how this can be injected into an organisation, which can be communicated and taken seriously and developed the future interest of the business.
2.5 Training and Development for a Customer Service mentality?
Training is an essential in any job as a lot of money and time have been created so that people are taught properly about their job roll and what is expected from them, which will only enhance their knowledge and skills towards helping customers.
S.Cook (2002) claims Training and personell departments will find it beneficial to develop their own standards to regularly measure their own performance through techniques such as questionnaires, personnel visits, telephone surveys and customer focus groups.
Training programmes such as this will have to be regularly refreshed through out to ensure the consistency of customer service is being provided to the perfect standards. Appendix 5 shows the training and developing cycle)
The importance of training programmes is that customers will have the same level of service provided by each member of staff that each customer is looked after in the same manner as the company wants them to as they have standards in which they have to live up to and the level of service standards customers expect from staff. Appendix 6 shows the service improvement cycle)
2.6 Quality Customer Service
As for quality customer service the most significant things are what customers actually see, hear and experience. Quality can only be seen from a customer's point of view as quality is what customers look for and as for staff it's their responsibility to ensure that we are doing everything to fulfil the quality they are looking for.
B. Martin. (2000) Claims Quality customer service can only be understood from a customer perspective. We must define quality service through the eyes of your customers, only when your customer perceive that you have delivered quality customer service you have done so.
Quality is a very important for customers, therefore there are two elements, which are: procedural dimension and personal dimension.
Procedural dimension relies on systems and procedures, which delivers that service for the customer without individually providing that service your self. On the other hand procedural dimension is the opposite this at this you have to interact with customers which involves attitude, verbal skills and behaviour. Ramada Jarvis 4 star rating reflects on the standard of the hotel as this shows a description of hotel standards star rating in Appendix 7.
3.0 Methods and Methodology
This management report will be created through Methods and Methodology, which will be used to conduct primary and secondary research within customer service. An Interpretivism approach is the most suitable as you would be able to get people's thoughts and opinions about Customer care at Ramada Jarvis.
"The interpretive model places more reliance on the people being studied to provide their own explanations of their situation or behaviour. The interpretive researcher therefore tries to get inside the minds of subjects and see the world from their point of view." (Veal 2006)
Therefore an interview is an ideal to get in-depth answers in relation to Customer care. As a result to this you would then be able to get face to face interaction with the person and add any additional questions as the interview progresses as for an questionnaire the person will only fill out the given questions on paper. Interviews are structured in two different ways. These are structured and unstructured interviews. The interview, which has put together, will be in form of an unstructured interview because it surrounded on a topic area, which is customer service, therefore it will have flow to the interview and would be able to gain the respondents perceptions and views on the topic area. Doing in-depth interviews would be suitable for sensitive areas as respondents maybe be reluctant to give their information in front of many people. E.g. personal information.
Lashley & Best (2004) states, "Unstructured interviews are largely based around a series of themes, which the interviewer wishes to pursue"
There is a significant advantage in doing unstructured interviews. This is usually based upon open-ended questions which will encourage the respondent to supply answers in full which avoids direct answers as YES and NO. Questions such as who, what, when, why and where will be included within the questions for the interview as this will result in the respondent in giving substantial amount of information. In depth information will be beneficial, as similarities and conclusions will be drawn from interviews.
"Qualitative methods provide valuable insight into the social and contextual circumstances surrounding leisure involvement." (Finn 2000:68)
Secondary research will use and adopted from different research tools from books, journals and websites. This will give qualitative information to look at in depth to use and help to construct the literature review. Using various sources of information as well as the primary research will be quite beneficial towards to the literature review which will give contrast between different authors and opinions of respondents from the interview to compare and draw conclusions and recommendation.
4.0 Findings and Analysis
As part of this research two interviews took place to analyse customer care at Ramada Jarvis Hotel. The interviews took place from a member of the reception and the events co-ordinator. The purpose behind this is that I will be working with the events team and therefore have an insight of customer service and further knowledge on customer service provided within the events team. Analysing customer service at the reception desk was a valuable and significant reason as the receptionist are the first people customers see and they see the first in the building and first impressions accounts. The transcript of this research can be found in appendix 8 & 9.
4.1 Do you feel you have an effective customer care policy?
From gathering information from two different departments it shows that the customer care policy is quite important to Ramada hotel and it is quite similar and excellent customer care policy is what is required from all member's and departments at Ramada Jarvis as they have quality standards to look up to.
4.2 What would you improve?
Both departments most significant area is to improve on there current service and as they are different departments they both have areas of improvement which would be very beneficial for Ramada as they would help them retain customers by making these changes in the near future to satisfy customers which will create customer retention. This will make considerable ploy towards the status for the future as companies have vision and values, which they want to meet and improve on, so building a foundation, will prove to be excellent for the business and create a competitive edge with other competitors
F Bee (1999) states if we rely upon our value alone we shall obtain considerable success. If to our value we add a constant and careful cultivation all the other arts of building up and maintaining good will, we shall be vastly more formidable to our competitors, and do a very great deal better.
4.3 What external awards does Ramada Hotel have for great
The departments of reception and conference and events have similar awards for good customer service as each awards is provided for each award for providing great customer care. E.g. Austin Solomon from the conference and events team got an award for exceeding customer expectations, this individual has gone out of his way of going that extra mile for customers which was showed in recognition for this award.
4.4 What do your customers expect from you?
Analysing customer expectation closely, it can be said that an overview of this is that customers want service with quality, which makes it that, more special for customers. This is a positive factor for Ramada Hotel as it has increased emphasis for customers therefore it creates a competitive edge from other hotel competitors as competition has become well known globally as price isn't the only important factor. This is the reason why companies introduce strategies to provide superior customer service. As Ramada Jarvis being a 4 star rating hotel according to visit Britain so customer expect 4 start service and have an Green Tourism Silver Award for their 4 star status. Customer takes note of this and they know the quality of service they should get throughout all areas of the hotel. www.ramadajarvis.co.uk
N.Lake & K.Hickey (2002) claims once you understand your customer needs, wants and demands, you will be in in apposition to provide them with better Service and ultimately secure their loyalty.
4.5 How do you ensure all members of staff provide the same standard of customer care?
Every member of staff has training regularly to ensure each individual has the skills and knowledge to deal with customers efficiently providing they have training behind them that's why regular training only has a positive affect. Having a customer care manual helps to gain further skills manual and what is expected from you as a member of staff, which can be put into practice.
F Bee (1999) states all staff are trained to provide the highest quality customer care.
4.6 How often do you provide training?
Every member of staff is required to have training each month to make sure they are still fully focussed on customer needs and familiarize themselves with customer care. This is essential as it is a basic requirement from Ramada Jarvis as they take training very seriously to ensure staffs are prepared for any situation faced when dealing and handling customers. The most important aspect of having training is that anything new that staffs have to learn can be introduced and taught which could be in relation to customer service.
S.Cook (2002) claims Training and personnel departments will find it beneficial to develop their own standards to regularly measure their own performance through techniques
Looking back to the aims and objectives, they have been met and fully evaluated. Customer service has been fully research within Ramada Jarvis and from books. The importance of training has been investigated thoroughly from completing interviews along side analysing them in depth and also by looking at what different theorist have said on the importance of training within customer service. Recommendations have been made and draw upon from the findings that have been gathered from which would help for future knowledge and improvements. Successfully all objectives have been completed tested and been accomplished.
To sum up
After reading your review your reader should be convinced that your proposed research project will play a necessary role in furthering knowledge in your field.
Refers back to the originals questions and summarises how this has been answered.
The main conclusion that can be drawn is therefore that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
In the light of this, it is recommended that
After investigating Customer care at Ramada Jarvis and further research carried out, it has lead to looking at future improvements. Recommendations that have been made are as follows:
6.1 Recommendation 1: Practical & Non Training Programmes
The most significant change that have to made at Ramada Jarvis within their training programmes. It is recommended that having practical training programmes will help staff to deal with customer situations they may come across and having experiencing this kind of method in training will benefit them when it comes to putting it into practice therefore all the knowledge and skills will help to dealing every kind of customers and in any given situation. Having training refreshments every 4 months instead of 6 months will be very beneficial for staff as they will retain the same knowledge and standard required to the their job of the highest standard.
6.2 Recommendation 2: Monitoring and observing
Examining each individuals handling of customers by monitoring their performance and will the business as they would be able to see if the training staff have completed has helped to a positive affect. Observing staffs performance and capabilities will see the areas of improvement, which can be focussed upon in the training.
6.3 Recommendation 3: scenario tests
Having scenario tests within customer care can be quite beneficial as testing your skills, knowledge and understanding on paper in how to deal with different calibre of customers and how you would go about handling each customer, therefore training staff would be able to see how you would go about dealing with customers and looking to see if its the highest quality standard of Ramada Jarvis.
6.4 Recommendation 4: Customer Feedback
Carrying out customer feedback forms is highly recommended as the company can look to see how the service provided towards customers can be improved and that look to see if the current service is acceptable for customers and what extra service can be implemented to fulfil all the needs for the customers
6.5 Improvements for future research
It can be said that there are areas in which can be addressed for future research. This area of improvement relates to the structure of the interview and having an variety of questions which can be looked in more depth in terms of comparisons and looked at from all angels therefore more than 2 interviews need to be constructed which would be quite pivotal for further research.