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Give a definition of what a customer is?
The simple definition of a customer is an individual or business that purchases a product, services or ideas. Customers can be internal and external. External customers are the people that pay for and use the products or services your company offers. External customers are the people are not directly connected to your organization other than by purchasing your product or service, examples of external customers include suppliers, creditors, government and shareholders. These customer could be a one-time purchaser or a person your work with long-term. The goals for your external customers can depend on your product, but they can include repeat purchasing, giving referrals and positive reviews, and otherwise supporting your company. You might follow business adages such as “the customer is always right” when serving this group. These are the lifeblood of the company because of their revenue stream—if they’re not here, the company fails.
An internal customer is someone who has a relationship with your company, though the customer may or may not purchase the product. It is often a person who works within the company, such as general employees and managers. Internal customers need not be directly internal to the company. For instance, you may partner with other companies in order to deliver your product to the end user, the external customer. Such internal customers all have a hand in delivering the product to your end client. Less obvious but certainly significant, stakeholders and shareholders are additional internal customers.
Give a definition of customer care. Explain 3 principles of effective customer care?
Customer Care is the process of looking after an organisations customer’s. It is a means of exceeding customer’s expectations and ensuring customer satisfaction with the company’s good’s or services. Customer care is much more involved than customer services, which is an experience that customers would experience at the moment of transaction (an exchange of goods or services), whereas customer care is a transaction that takes place during, as well as pre and post transaction. One principle to show effective customer care is that employees be have a fully understanding of the company’s goods or services. To customers these employees are the front of the company and are therefore the customer’s first impression of your company. Employees who are knowledgeable and professional would ensure that customers are not left in confusion or left with any unanswered question.
Another effective customer care principle is to show the customer that they are valued. Companies can show that they are valued by taking care of wants and needs in a professional and efficient and timely manner, but also by anticipating future needs and wants of their customers, as well as taking care of their customers beyond the initial transaction. This shows that the company never takes their customers for granted, that they are appreciated and respected.
A third effective principle is by investing in your employees. If employees are expected to be knowledgeable and at the best of their profession then employees need to be educated in the company’s goods or services, but also in what it is to provide excellent customer care. This would ensure that all customers, internal and external, receive a consistent and professional service. This would give all customers a good experience and entice customers to come back, ensuring customer loyalty.
What is the difference between customer care and customer service?
Customer service and care are both about providing a service to all customers. Customer service is a more immediate service, satisfying customer’s basic needs with professional and consistent service. It is a service that all customers expect, for example, a customer returning a fault goods to the store would get a customer service experience from a store employee.
Whereas customer care is a service that companies provide that goes that extra mile. A service that will exceed a customer’s expectation’s, that makes customers feel welcomed and valued, creating an environment that would ensure customers are happy and satisfied which would create a loyal and repeat customer. It is anticipating customer wants and needs, offering a consistent and professional service that meets customer requirements and future needs. For example, a customer who has been a customer of a company, such as virgin, for many years being offered a special deal such as 10% of their next yearly bill.
What are the benefits of delivering customer care instead of customer services?
There are many benefits to delivering excellent customer care instead of customer services. One of the main benefits is that it creates repeat business. Creating a consistent and professional environment would ensure that customers have a positive experience ensuring that they would most likely to come back. Treating customers with respect and professionalism and providing continuous care after the transaction, such as sending a thank you email or offering a discount to a long-time customer, you are confirming that the customer is valued and will begin to build trust and a good relationship with the customer, which will bring the customer back.
Another benefit is that it can impact the businesses reputation. Delivering excellent customer care can boost a company’s reputation, for example by delivering good customer care, such as offering a customer a complementary thank you gifts, will ensure that the customer has a positive experience and the customer will come back, but this will also allow the company to take advantage of free advertisement (word of mouth) where the customer tells others about their positive experience, prompting other customers to try your company, boosting your company’s reputation.
Product knowledge enhances customer experience how? Give 4 examples of how staff can gain this knowledge?
Employees who have a fully understandable knowledge of the company’s good’s or services can provide a positive customer experience. An employee a working knowledge of their goods or services would ensure a confidence in the customer that the employee would be competent, for example a car sales man knowing everything about the car he is selling would make the customer more confident in buying the car with a confident and professional sales man.
It can also help empower employees as they will then feel confident to complete their jobs without any issues, deal with customer complaints or enquires faster with the information and help boost the company’s reputation by providing an excellent experience with helpful and professional employees.
One way for employees to gain product knowledge can be through consistent training, for example Apple has built it’s brand on product knowledge by ensuring all staff are trained in their products and creating a ‘genius bar’ in it’s stores where customers can go for help.
Another way to gain knowledge is through Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). Suppliers will provide information on their products; some supplies will also provide specialist programs to teach employees about their product, helping to boost employee’s confidence and knowledge on said product.
Another way for gaining product knowledge would be to do some role playing. Creating different scenarios for the employees to work through. This will not only help increase employees product knowledge, but it will also help to develop their customer care/services.
A final way for gaining product knowledge is to give employees quizzes/tests. This would be linked to employee’s consistent training. They could either be done individually or in groups, online or on paper. Test help to establish the level of product knowledge, but also help identify areas where employees are weak in their knowledge and can set up new training programs.
What are the factors contributing to excellent customer care in an organisation?
Some factors contributing to excellent customer care include being accessible. This means that customers are able to reach the company easily and obtain good service, for example if a customer calls with an enquiry, then answering that call as soon as possible would ensure customer satisfaction.
Another factor is that the company should know their customers. The company should be thinking in the long term, that a customer is for life. The best way to of doing this is to keep the customer happy and this can be done by knowing who they are, by understanding their needs and wants and by anticipating their future needs and wants, this could be something as simple as remembering their name or providing them with their favourite chocolate when they check in. This would give a positive experience and ensure customer loyalty and due to word of mouth the possibility of gaining new customers.
List 2 examples of poor customer service. Discuss the impact of poor customer care on an organisation?
Poor customer care can impact a company just as much as good customer care, only in a negative way. The most effective way of advertising is word of mouth and while most customers may not complain to the company they will complain to their friends and family, which will reflect poorly on the company’s reputation, as it isn’t just the lose of one customer but the loss of potential new customers.
It can also impact the employees as it can lead to employees leaving the company. Employees can sense when a company is in trouble, for example if employees can see that management does not care about their customers then it is possible that they do not care about their employees and they will start looking for work elsewhere, this would affect the company’s turnover rate, and companies with high turnover rates would gain a bad reputation. This would also impact the revenue and profit of the company, with a shrinking customer base would to less sales and a loss of profit, high turnover rate would mean an increase in employee’s costs as it would mean new staff and training etc.
An example of poor customer care would be to never answer an of their customer enquiries, this would make the customer feel unwanted or devalued and maybe start looking for somewhere else to shop.
What factors can maintain customer satisfaction?
Factors that can maintain customer satisfaction include listening to customers. Customer feedback can be beneficial to a company. It can tell you what you are doing right but it can also tell you where you are going wrong. Customer complaints can help company’s to see their mistakes and implement their changes to their customer care.
Another factor is getting to know your customer. It is important to know your customer as it creates customer royalty and positively impact your business. Another factor would the company’s employees themselves. Happy employees makes for a happy and positive work environment, ensuring that customers will have a happy and positive experience, meaning that they will likely become a repeat customer as well as tell others about their experience and creating a new customer base.
Explain 4 methods of effective communication with customers?
Effective communication with customers is important to both customer and a company. It can create a good relationship between the company and customer, attract and retain customers. It could help promote new products/services and address any customer complaints or enquires.
One method of effective communication it to be accessible. Customers like to have options in ways to get in contact with a company, this is including email, phone or text etc, and because of new technology customers are aware that companies are able to get back in contact with customers as soon as possible.
Another way is to provide personalised communication. As stated before getting to know your customer is essential for a company’s customer care, for example remembering a customer’s name, this would provide an excellent experience which would create customer loyalty.
Finally Employees are trained for effective communication, including body language, eye contact and actively listening to the customer – engaging in the conversation, asking the customer question and their opinions. This ensure that the customer feels valued and will come back.
How could an organisation anticipate needs?
An organisation can anticipate customer needs by accepting customer feedback. By accepting customer feed back you will learn what customers like and hate about your products/services. What is needed to improve product, how to improve employee/customer experience.
Follow up with your customers after the initial transaction. This will allow you to interact with customers and learn more about them, learn their likes and dislikes, for example a customer who uses your hotel regularly can be given a complementary gift basket waiting for them in their room or a gift voucher to use their hotel spa/gym. By getting to know the customer you will be able to anticipate their future needs.
How can social media help an organisation build relationships with customers?
Social media can help an organisation build relationship with their customers as it can help them to respond quickly. By monitoring social media, such as twitter, will show that you are not only listening to customers but that you are taking their suggestion, complaints or enquires by responding to their tweets. Social media also helps with customer feedback, by providing a public avenue to area your opinions and issues to the public but you are also showing that you are taking them seriously by addressing them publicly. Social media helps to impact the company’s reputation in a positive way as you can use media to public address customer concerns, but you can also use it to promote products/services, promotion and competitions.
If an organisation is customer focused, they often say they are meeting customers needs and expectations. What does this mean?
This means that the company is customer focused, that it puts the customer first. By focusing on customer wants and needs they are concerned with customer satisfaction. This would include having a customer care policy that would have the customer as a priority, employees will be trained to be customer focused, having a customer service policy.
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