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Customer Service Excellence - Essay Example

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Customer service has always been the prime concern of most marketers but in the wake of economic downfall, this has gained more importance. This is because costs have to be contained while service cannot be compromised with. Besides, one satisfied customer translates into more customers…
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Download file to see previous pages This gradually led to the awareness that employees are the contact point and they need to be fully taken care before expecting them to take care of the customers. This gave rise to the term internal customers (employees) and hence the term internal marketing or IM came into existence. Today organizations use different techniques to keep the internal customers happy as a long-term strategy. Internal marketing, according to Kotler (1991) includes successful hiring, training, motivating and remunerating able employees (cited by Vella, Gountas & Walker, 2009). Thus to achieve the service quality the internal customers should be developed effectively first. It is assumed that effective internal marketing will lead to employee satisfaction which in turn impacts the service quality. If the staff are friendly, helpful and generally agreeable it influences customer views of service quality. Internal marketing (IM) is viewed as the application of all external marketing orientation philosophy to all internal organizational and HRM processes. IM is the activity that connects internal customer or employees with all external service activities. Employees are not merely part-time marketers but they are the first set of customers that need to be satisfied fully. IM was considered as a possible solution to the challenge of delivering consistently high service (Khan & Matlay, 2009). IM is a business philosophy which lays emphasis on developing, encouraging, understanding and valuing the employees. Internal customers’ needs must be first met before a firm can successfully satisfy the external stakeholder needs. The concept and practice of internal marketing is based on the premise that employees as customers would feel committed and motivated, cooperative and enthusiastic (Mudie, 2003). Service quality can be impacted by three service factors – service orientation, service adaptability, and flexibility to manage service demand with frontline staff supply (Vella, Gountas & Walker, 2009). Adaptive and flexible organizations can create better work environments leading to higher job satisfaction and stronger customer relationships. If the employees are not treated well many IM strategies such as service orientation may fail. Since the service brand depends upon employees’ attitudes and behaviours, investment in internal service factors (ISF) should not be compromised as this could negatively impact the achievement of customer service excellence. To keep the internal customers satisfied reward systems, motivational techniques, training and recruitment policies should exist because these enable the external customer oriented marketing to succeed (Vella, Gountas & Walker, 2009). Customer service excellence can be achieved by allowing individuals and teams within organizations to explore and acquire new skills in the areas of customer focus and customer engagement (CSE, n.d.). This suggests that internal customers or employees should be focused upon; their skills need to be enhanced. This is known as internal marketing where the internal customers are first satisfied because it has strongly been advocated that satisfied employees can deliver enhanced service to external customers. To deliver excellent service requires focused and effective organizational and institutional processes. Employee training can lead to prosocial behaviour, which Chebat, Babin and Kollias (2002) consider essential because the front line staff are the first customer ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Customer Service Excellence

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