This assignment is aimed to analyze McDonald’s customer care services. For the first part, a brief overview on McDonald’s history and the customer care is presented to introduce the readers to the main topic. As it approaches the middle part, it discusses about actual application of the customer care concepts how McDonald’s mange it’s customer relations and try to find out the possible actions for improvement its customer service. Topics included are the specific practices and policies of McDonald’s customer service to its internal and external customers, issues relating to customer service and examples of their treatment regarding the said issues, and others. For the last part, a conclusion section is added to formally end up the discussion.
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As one of the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurant, it’s serving nearly 47 million customers daily. McDonald’s restaurants are found in 119 countries and territories around the world. McDonald’s operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 1.5 million people. McDonalds opened its first restaurant in the UK in 1974. Today it serves 2.5 million people in this country every day.
Customer Relationship Management is an information industry term for procedures to help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. As experts on customer service says, anybody can compete on a product. You can differentiate your price, product, etc. However, you also need to consider differentiating your service. Excellent customer service combined with efficiency is the best tool for any type of business in any type of industry. However, fundamental principles in the art of customer service vary for every culture and race. Certain factors like culture, history, religion and others require customization or modification for some principles. That is why they should be considered in identifying what specific practices are acceptable in extending customer service for specific customers in a specific country or race.
The main objectives are helping an enterprise to enable its marketing departments to identify and target their best customers, manage marketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives, and generate quality leads for the sales team. Assisting the organization to improve sales, account, and sales management by optimizing information shared by multiple employees, and streamlining existing processes (for example, taking orders using mobile devices or by e-mail). Identifying the most profitable customer’s area one of the very important task and providing them the highest level of service. Providing employees with the information and processes necessary to know their customers, understand their needs, and effectively build relationships between the company, its customer base, and distribution partners.
Analysis of Customer Relations
The success of McDonald’s, since its first opening up to the present, can be attributed to its very strong culture that bonds together its franchisees. Their main driver in everything it accomplished is people, from the brand ambassadors of their customers (employees) up to the customers themselves. Organizational culture is a relatively long-term, interdependent symbolic system of values, beliefs, and assumptions evolving from and imperfectly shared through organizational members’ interaction allowing them to ascribe common meanings to the encountered stimuli in the organizational context. These functions are accomplished by refereeing the implied and obvious rules that act as cultural warranties. Simply stated, it is the way things are done around the place. And for McDonald’s, their vision statement is Quality, Service, Convenience, and Value (QSCV). These beliefs are their shared value system, which forms the basis of all its business decisions. The manuals of the McDonald’s employees not only emphasize the organization’s motto and QSCV, it also spells out everything they need to know to perform their tasks efficiently. It includes detailed rules on cleaning, food preparation and employee’s grooming and hygiene. They help ensure efficiency, predictability, and control in the production and customer service.
As the restaurant wants to be known for its consistent high quality food and uniform methods of preparation, the Hamburger University is created to train unskilled people to follow the McDonald’s formula. Through this, they can ensure repeated business based on the system’s reputation rather than a single store/operator’s quality. The specific things taught at the said university ranges from the making and serving of a hamburger, quality control, all through its way of dealing with customers and crews. They are also taught to possess and practice strong traditional values like loyalty, dedication, and service in maintaining the family-like culture of McDonald’s. This culture is reinforced continually through inspection and administering of contests that determines who among its sets of franchises best reaches McDonald’s standards. They are honoured in a ceremony where these franchises and regional associations feel their oneness as a big family.
Three strategic priorities of McDonald’s are integrated in their core values. The first one relates to its emphasis on their profitable value-meal combinations as a way of enhancing their message of McDonald’s value-driven motive in behalf of its customers. Second is to provide exceptional customer care by exceeding their expectations, which includes finding ways to add personal touches that go beyond convenient locations, quick service, clean restaurants, and quality products. Lastly, to remain an efficient producer without sacrificing quality, by searching on different innovations in food processing, construction, and design operations that will increase global profits.
Due to the increased competition and price sensitivity, proactive management of new promotions is also essential in maximizing the sales of the promoted products. On the other hand, the sales of other products should not suffer the consequences. While at the same time, the ever-growing customer requirements should also be met constantly.
Formulation of actions for improvement
The management style of McDonald’s is described as “tight-loose”, meaning it is the corporation that sets the overall quality standards, while the franchisees are given the freedom to make localized decisions. The Filet O’ Fish and the Egg Muffin, and other new product innovations are examples that originated with the franchisees. Recently, McDonald’s has expanded their efforts in developing new products, in response to nutritional concerns of the customers. However, their concern focuses on maintaining their niche of “serving a small number of products that have mass appeal.” In connection to their profitable value-meal combinations, the ad campaign “Great Food at a Great Value” successfully promoted the said product. Along with other ad campaigns, their $1 billion marketing budget has aided McDonald’s in maintaining its level of consumer awareness as the second-best-known global brand. As described by its customers compared to its competitors, they are the easiest and best place that satisfies customers and gives best value. Therefore, McDonald’s emphasizes more on customer convenience. It can be manifested in their self-description as a leader in the industry of quick service, rather than in the fast food industry. For a typical McDonald’s, there are roughly 2,000 people served per day, 60%-70% of which comes from take-out orders. To be able to achieve its goal of preparing hot and fresh food, and serving it within two minutes to its customers, McDonald’s rely heavily on the ability of its service crews. To do this, the McDonald’s engineering department has designed a specific layout and equipment for its restaurants. One important component of its operational strategies is the anticipation of customer traffic patterns and food selection based on a detailed history sales and trends analysis. They used the said information in the preparation of various menu items in the right quantities at the right time, in order to have the food ready for the customers’ arrival. Food may be stored in the bin for about ten minutes before disposal.
In retaining its position being the world’s best quick service restaurant, managers need to spend more time with their staff and customers while gathering the needed information. For the McDonald’s in the UK, “Business Objects” is their main source of quick information.
“Business Objects” (BO) serves as its integrated query, reporting, and analysis solution. It delivers rapid information via an intranet. They have access on Oracle database that holds information on restaurant’s performance to be able to create suitable reports overnight such as sales, income statement, and business controls to customer contacts and the speed of service of the Drive-Thru. It lets the company track, understand, and manage its business performance well. As the company’s corporate culture is built upon the measurement of product and service quality, BO enables the proactive management of the company, of its restaurants’ performance, improved its effectiveness, as well as the introduction of new measures like the basket analysis, in enhancing promotional activities.
The said system also allows the identification of possible problems in specific restaurants. Upon knowing the situation, it can be resolved in the soonest time possible. Furthermore, through the faster collection of the information needed by the management, restaurant managers are more concentrated on customer service.
As a result, significant improvements are accomplished in the customer contacts. Some five hundred stores even achieved a zero complaint for more than two consecutive months. The focus on customer service is enhanced through the information acquired from the three monthly visits of the “Mystery Shopper” in each restaurant. The qualitative information reported via BO ranges from criteria such as the crew’s friendly greeting, wearing of name badge, and the restaurant’s overall cleanliness.
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McDonald’s arrange Hospitality Plus workshops in regular bases, last time attended by more than 2,700 employees in three weeks, which covered personal appearance; ensuring that dining areas are clean and inviting; awareness of customers – including the disabled and those with children – needing assistance; creating a friendly atmosphere by acknowledging customers; complaint handling, the ability to answer enquiries on menu ingredients and awareness of McDonald’s role in the community. Also describes the Customer Care Programme, designed to capture the best parts of the Hospitality Plus workshops, but also to be a sustainable session to help staff to deliver service that customers would view as superior to the competition.
Findings of the workshop – Demonstrates that the training has helped to raise the percentage of customers agreeing that McDonald’s service is friendly and courteous, fast and efficient, Which reveals that the programs have also reduced turnover among customer-facing employees by more than 8% in a year.
Practical implications of the workshop – Highlights the key role of training for customer-facing employees in the service sector.
Originality/value of the workshop – Shows that the training – which is not just a one-off solution – represents real value for money, given the number of people trained and the cultural impact the company has gained.
Customer service is important in the success of any business. It is as important as the company’s product. In building strong customer relationships, factors such as trust, knowledge, efficiency, and friendliness are important considerations. People like to do business with people they trust. Trust is built through personal experiences as well as other people’s recommendations. That is why it is important to treat your customers well. They are the bloodline of your company. Trust is the number one way to build and retain your customer base. Second, people prefer doing business with people who know what they are talking about, making them reliable at the same time. And for the third and last factor, people want doing business where their precious time is not wasted, and with people who are friendly and approachable, making them sensible to deal with.
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