Customer Management Strategy

Abstract

This paper discusses one of the key strategic elements of operations management, which is customer service. It focuses on the importance of paying enough attention to this concept for any organization, regardless of the industry in which it operates. The paper reveals how these actions affect a company and customer loyalty. The necessity to develop a customer management strategy that can shape related operations is emphasized.

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Its constituencies are mentioned, as well as the most beneficial approaches. The focus is also made on company’s communication with clients. It is stated that it affects the way clients perceive the organization and make their decision to purchase a service or a product. Several types of companies are described in detail on the basis of their customer service operations. Further, elements of the most beneficial operations are listed, and ways to optimize customer service are outlined. Finally, conclusions are made on the basis of the obtained information.

Introduction

Operations management is vital for various types of businesses because it deals with the way company’s operations should be conducted. An ordinary organization performs a range of different functions while dealing with its operations. Regardless of the number of individuals who are involved in business operations, a lot of companies manage to provide a product or service. That is why, they are to perform not only sales and marketing functions that are needed to ensure profitability, but also accounting functions and administrative ones, as they ensure that the personnel is managed appropriately as well as the whole business.

In general, operations management includes those employees who deal with the provision of services, ensuring that the production of a high-quality service is performed. These workers deal with the increase in productivity and reduction in expenditures, using various ideas and technologies. What is more, they enhance the flexibility of the services, which is critical today, as client needs alter rather fast and it is difficult to keep up with them (Dash et al., 2014). Finally, they are concerned with the establishment of a safe workplace and high-quality customer service.

Customer Management Strategy

The world of sales is not constant and it is significant for business owners and their employees to be able to keep up with the times. For example, they are supposed to make their business appropriate, considering changing environment, increased number of competitors, and many other variables that affect performance but cannot be controlled. To survive in this complex field, organizations need to realize that their situations are unique. In this way, every company has a unique market position, faces specific threats, and have its own capabilities. Nevertheless, all of them are likely to improve their performance when focusing on their personal customer management strategy (Ruchi, 2014). Being a foundation of organizational operations, this element shapes the business.

Experience of getting in touch with clients is important for every sales leader. However, it is beneficial to focus on a particular guideline that will minimalize the utilization of unsuccessful techniques. Being free to do what they want, salespeople can resort to those approaches that fail to provide expected benefits. Nevertheless, a defined customer engagement process cannot be completely followed. An appropriate customer management strategy is likely to improve this situation and ensure that an organization is capable of moving further.

When developing their personal customer management strategy, professionals need to consider the following elements:

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  • Managing relationships. Salespeople shape their perceptions of how customers should be managed on the basis of the sales culture that exists in their environment. In this way, it is vital for sales leaders to explain all vital concepts, including costs and market position, etc.
  • Creating opportunities. Professionals are to pay enough attention to prospecting, as they are to ensure that marketing is capable of delivering right messages to clients. As a result, they generate demand that is aligned with people’s needs and leads to new conversations. For example, a lot of organizations today are present in the social media. Their salespeople need to know how to operate successfully in this field because of the possibility to harm company’s reputation and cause more harm than good.
  • Managing opportunities. Qualifying opportunities, professionals make the initial step in their management, as they determine which of them are worth investing. Then, the customer’s decision dynamic is to be considered (Ruchi, 2014). Focusing on buying influences, problems, and competitive positioning, professionals will provide guidelines and insights that prove that the opportunity is on track.

Types of Customer Service Operations

Customer service management is more than just a strategy that describes organizational goals and promises. It is focused on the performed actions that can be observed by clients. In this way, companies can be divided into several groups, according to their operations and management.

There are some organizations that pay enormous attention to the development of positive relationships with their clients. They focus on people’s personal experience, trying to make it as appealing to customers as possible. Other companies develop rather complex strategies and approaches. For example, they emphasize the value of detailed support requests. Their customer service operations are dynamic and sophisticated.

In addition to this, there are some organizations that do not realize all advantages of customer service management, falling to reach their full potential. These companies do not have well-organized support management, which prevents them from benefiting their clients and enhancing their loyalty (Dash et al., 2014). At the same time, they are often more focused on their sales and marketing. As a rule, such a mistake is common for start-ups, as they are not yet aware of the ways performance improvement can be reached.

Finally, some companies can be treated as captains of scale, because they manage to pay enough attention to the operations of all departments and consider numerous elements that influence their overall performance. In other words, they do for customer service management as much as for other operations.

For an organization to realize what type of company it currently belongs to, its management should conduct an analysis focused on workloads, support strategies, and resources so that their operational traits can be identified. As a result, the organization will have an opportunity to reconsider its performance and implement changes needed for the improvement of the current situation. This approach is appropriate for the representatives of any industry, which proves that all organizations, regardless of their focus, should consider the most effective operations management approaches.

Ways to Optimize Customer Service

In order to appeal to their clients, organizations need to understand what customers want to obtain. As a rule, they look for efficient and effortless service that can be obtained in the way they like the most. Providing several communication channels, companies can meet this demand. However, it is also critical to ensure that all of them are operated in the same manner and clients can obtain appropriate answers to their questions. In addition to that, this information should be provided as soon as possible because the majority of customers emphasize that they value their time and the speed of service.

This point is critical for salespeople because many buyers abandon their purchases if they do not receive answers immediately. Facing something complicated and time-consuming, the representatives of the general public become more likely to resort to another company than to wait for some resolution. As companies face significant competition today, it is more advantageous for them to do their best to meet clients’ expectations.

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It is vital for organizations to ensure that their customers are satisfied because satisfaction leads to loyalty, which affects profits significantly (Dash at al., 2014). There may be a chance of winning millions of dollars due to the increased number of customers. However, adverse experiences faced by clients reduce the company’s revenue, as they tend to search for other providers.

Many organizations find it difficult to provide customer service so that it meets their expectations, which can be explained by the complexity of the technological environment. While traditional communications used to be extremely popular several years ago, they are affected by social technologies today. People do not want to interact face to face if they have some questions, they are not satisfied with the opportunity to call support specialists, as smartphones and tablets provide them with an opportunity to chat with others.

In this way, operations management is to ensure that service packages meet clients’ expectations. To reach this goal, they can focus on the establishment of standards for service, aligned service production and delivery system, and the possibility to improve customer service performance with minimal changes, etc. Attainment of quality standards, in this way, includes the focus on various elements:

  • Clear standards and procedures. Professionals should not act as they want or believe to be appropriate. Organizations should have set standards and procedures that are familiar to all professionals and can be followed without any problems. That is why it is likely to be advantageous for an organization to provide highly detailed specifications of all activities and processes.
  • Multiple focuses. To provide high-quality services and ensure that clients receive the desired product when needed, companies should pay attention to various elements. For instance, it is significant to focus on processes and clients, organizing and monitoring, etc.
  • Customer services. Operations management requires paying attention to those parameters of customer service that can be aligned with standards, measured, monitored, and corrected without critical problems. Focusing on time, organizations should ensure that the services they provide are available for the majority of clients. It is advantageous to encourage customer participation in monitoring through the provision of feedback (Hogreve, Iseke, Derfuss, & Eller, 2017). Flexibility is significant because it provides an opportunity to improve performance in case of any issues. Finally, it is critical to ensure that quality standards are met.

In order to improve customer service as a part of operations management, organizations should consider the possibility to:

  • Find out those elements that are important for customer service. Focusing on the current trends and expected changes, organizations should use up-to-date technologies and resort to outsourcing.
  • Identify existing gaps and develop a plan for improvements. Knowing their strengths and issues, companies can find out what their opportunities are and how they can be reached.
  • Develop initiatives on the basis of the existing findings that relate to an organization. Being aware of the current situation and customer expectations, a company can make important decisions, identifying whether it needs to consider outsourcing. This step is critical because partners can both benefit each other or have a negative influence on performance.
  • Optimize customer service. Previously, companies were concerned about their productivity and efficiency. However, they start realizing the value of customer satisfaction, which affects the overall performance.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be stated that to develop customer service as a part of operations management, organizations need to focus not only on marketing but also on an operational reality of the changing environment of service trade. The provision of high-quality services requires the accomplishment of a complex and difficult task that ensure that customers’ expectations are met, and needs are considered. In this way, the interactive nature of the customer services can be approached, and a corporate commitment to quality is likely to be developed. All in all, a properly developed customer management strategy is vital for operations management and should be considered in its framework, as it affects company’s performance.

References

Dash, M., Havaldar, K., & Jacob, A. (2014). Exploring a new dimension of customer service and its impact on sales growth and loyalty. International Journal on Customer Relations, 2(1), 14-22.

Hogreve, J., Iseke, A., Derfuss, K., & Eller, T. (2017). The service-profit chain: A meta-analytic test of a comprehensive theoretical framework. Journal of Marketing, 81(3), 41.

Ruchi. (2014). Customer relationship management: A customer retention strategy. International Journal of Management Research and Reviews, 4(5), 624-631.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, March 14). Customer Management Strategy. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/customer-management-strategy/

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Customer Management Strategy." March 14, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/customer-management-strategy/.

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