Tea Leaves and More, originally known as Global Tea Company, is a 1985 business established by three sisters in California. However, after the death of one of the sisters, their CPA, Raynold and his two other partners became the new owners of the company through acquisition. Under the new management, Los Angeles became the new headquarters for the company. From the time Jack Raynold took over the management to 2009, the company’s revenues have grown from below 1million to about 25 million U.S dollars. However, the company’s revenue growth entered the plateau phase due to expansion and engagement into other ventures.
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Currently, the main problem experienced by TAM is customer service. Arguably, TAM’s customers are unable to receive quality services because the company is currently understaffed. Notably, the company has three full-time sales representatives expected to efficiently serve the main accounts across the various states (Doyle & Bell, 2014). In addition, the company hires other staff contractually responsible for managing smaller accounts. Some TAM’s staff admit that it is expensive to contact clients without financial support from the company. As a result, most customers often complain about a lack of personal contact with TAM’s sales representatives. Therefore, most clients have to search for alternatives or place their orders online and incur shipping costs. The contracted sales representatives are angry for not earning commissions from customers buying online and thus unable to offer customers quality services.
Possible Solutions and their Advantages and Disadvantages
Notably, increasing connection with customers through the approaches mentioned above can significantly improve customer service. Ensuring customers experience personal contact with the business by increasing the number of full-time employees, creating responsive communication channels, and enhancing good relations with contractual sales representatives will enhance enduring customer relations and value. Improved customer service enables businesses to identify and satisfy personalized customer needs (Graef et al., 2020). The downside of the solutions provided above is that they can make a business less creative and innovative. If a business concentrates too much on making all its customers happy, there is limited time to create new products or improve the existing ones. Therefore, although improving customer service is important, the company should not forget to set time for invention and innovation.
Choice and Rationale
The most outstanding solution that TAM should consider implementing to solve customer service problems is increasing the company’s connection with new and existing customers. Notably, customers significant pillars in determining the success or failure of a business, and thus, connecting with them assures the company a longer lifespan. Undeniably, when a business connects with its customers, it becomes easier to understand and satisfy their specific needs. In addition, by positively connecting with customers, a business can receive customer complaints and respond to them correctly (Graef et al., 2020). Therefore, if TAM focuses on establishing and maintaining connections with its customers, it will increase its customer base and market competitiveness.
To successfully implement the above solutions, the company should identify the main problems contributing to poor customer service. Second, the company should develop appropriate strategies to improve customer service. For instance, it can increase its market coverage and customer experience by hiring and training full-time sales representatives to improve customer service quality. In addition, TAM can encourage contracted staff to serve customers better by motivating and rewarding them for any successful sale. To effectively connect with their customers, the company should ensure all staff receives regular training concerning the enhancement of customer relations (Graef et al., 2020). Therefore, the company will act on customer needs and complaints promptly.
Doyle, B., & Bell, A. (2014). Reading the Tea Leaves at Tea and More: Resolving complex supply chain issues. Operations and supply chain management: an international journal, 2(3), 172-177.
Graef, R., Klier, M., Kluge, K., & Zolitschka, J. (2020). Human-machine collaboration in online customer service – a long-term feedback-based approach. Electronic Markets, 31(2), 319-341. Web.
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