Communicating with the customers
Discuss about the Report for Address Customer Needs.
Communicating with customers regularly is important due to various reasons. First, where the company ensures regular communication; it is easy to implement change. The clients are more likely to stay with a business they rust even where the goods and services are changed. The communication, therefore, is important in creating this trust. The customers are also a source of new ideas, because they know the needs that need fulfilling. Additionally, the company is in a position to identify the needs of the clients hence modifying the products and services accordingly. Good reputations also spread where the customers are satisfied. This, therefore, helps in crating new customers. As a result of the change in technology, customers should adopt new communication methods. The new methods may include using a website, application of some means such as the e-mail. Further the business can use videoconferencing, as well as social media, texting, and blogs. Loyalty programs have some negative aspects such as the fact that the product being offered is additional and not free. The client, therefore, still pays for that additional item as opposed to the belief that it is free. They are also not effective because most people are offering tem, and could even lose their meaning.
A loyalty scheme refers to a system where the customers who frequently make purchases are offered rewards (Cantamessa, & Montagna, 2016). This may include access to new products, coupons, special sales, as well as free merchandise. One loyalty scheme that I a part of is the loyalty cads which are provided by the local supermarket. These cards add points every tie I make purchases, and I later redeem them for free products. The supermarket waits until a certain time when they state the redeeming of the points accumulated by the cards. At this time, the points are many, as I always shop with the supermarket. This scheme is beneficial to me as customer because I am able to acquire products without paying for them. This, therefore, helps me save on the expenses. Further, the card is a like a form of reward which I am given by the business because of my loyalty. This, therefore, boost my level of satisfaction. The second loyalty scheme is the scratch to see program, which is on-going for some products from various companies. Under this scheme, where one buys a product, they scratch the bottom and see a gift which is offered for free. This scheme, however, does not need registration and is open for all people. As such, the scheme is beneficial since it does not necessarily need one to be a loyal customer, and it saves one’s money.
Keeping records is important because it makes the preparation of year-end accounts quicker. It also helps the company in making tax plans. Further, it is important while identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a business. It also helps in the management of changes, as well as the improvements which are made on the business. Further, one can get the information to change and improve the business. Customer relationship management software, (CRM) is a class of software which is used in the management of customer data, as well as the customer interaction, and also accesses the information on marketing and automated sales, and customer support. It is also used in the employee management. CRM is used in a business to help in organization; storage of data to be used in the future, predicting the future, and is also used to track data and events. The four classes of functions of CRM include tracking of customer interaction, registration of the lead contacts, possibilities revelation, and storage of customer data.
A Company Policy and Procedure refers to a set of guidelines, principles, as well as regulations which are established and adopted by an organization in the attainment of the company’s long-term goals (Harhoff, & Lakhani, 2016). Recording complaints is important for a company because it is the basis for changes and improvements which are made by the organization. It also enables the company to understand the customer’s perception. It also assists the organization in being a step ahead of the other firms the industry, hence creating a competitive advantage. The complaints which are documented are also significant because are applied in the future while modifying products and services. The complaints recorded by the organization are solved by the application of a certain procedure. The first step is listening to the customer, and understanding the complaint. The second step involves apologizing to the client. The third step is finding and implementing a solution to the complaint. The company then follows up on the customer, and finally goes further to exceed the customer expectations.
A referral system in business is a program which is designed to get referrals through marketing and can be duplicated and is not dependent as a single unit. A formal referral is one where there is agreed procedure between the agencies. In this case, referral protocols are followed, where adult guidance is done with the agencies. The professional judgment and experience as well as good practice are important aspects which assist one in selecting the referral. The informal referral, on the other hand, involves the use of existing networks between people to create new networks amongst themselves (Andersen, & Ritter, 2008). This kind of referral is most favored by the clients because it enables the client to take responsibility of the choices they make as minimum information is provided. In our case scenario, it is important for a business to have well established as well as maintained networks because the clients also need preparations for other sections. The fact that the company is only involved in small conferences and weddings, and the client requires the firm to arrange the entire wedding; the business will need assistance in some of the sectors. As such, the existing networks will be helpful in acquiring the services required.
It is, therefore, important for a business to keep its networks are not only accurate but are also up-to-date. Such a situation can be attained by ensuring that the business works closely with other firms that carry out activities that are related. This will help the firm to keep connections which can inform them of any additional requirements, as well as the upcoming trends. In the given scenario, the organization may need to source services of a caterer, photographer, floral designer, entertainer or deejay, and even a stationer who arranges wedding invitations. The referral may benefit the customers because they will not be required to seek services form different people. This will, therefore, save them time, as well as money. The organization will benefit because it will create good relationships with other businesses, hence future referrals from these organizations. The referred organization, on the other hand, will benefit because it will acquire clients (Brink, & Berndt, 2004).
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The business of selling plants and trees in the outer suburban location may attract many different customers. Other than this, therefore, one can refer the customers to other products as well as services. Some of the services which may be referred in this case include tree-trimming, fence repair, lawn care, concrete contractor, tree cut and removal, as well as yard care. Each of these services brings a lot of benefits to the business because they will assist in creating networks. Further, the business could refer the services at a certain fee hence making some profits. Additionally, the business may get benefits from working with the companies which provide the different services, hence creating a business transaction. This is particularly important for services such as concrete contractor, lawn care.
Wheels in Motion, which deals in bicycle sales and repair, can communicate to the customers using different types of communication. The first type is physical media, where the person communicating can be seen and heard by the audience (McNealy, 2004). This is effective because the receivers of different messages consider it important if it can be communicated live from their manager. This, therefore, will catch the attention of the customers as well as potential customers to the business. Some of the methods that are applicable in this case include viral communication by word of mouth, where different departments of the business inform the customers of the sales and repair business. Large meetings in town halls are also effective as many people can be reached by the message. Further, the business can identify individual clients, and set up close and personal meetings, which will help register them and clearly outline all the information about the company services and products. These methods are effective because the personal approach to the customers helps in convincing the clients. Further, the clients cannot misinterpret the information because they also have the chance to ask questions on aspects that are not clear. Additionally, the business is in a position to create a relationship with its clients. This also ensures that the views about the business, as well as the feedback are collected from the individuals during the interaction.
Address Customer Needs: Referral Networks
The second type of communication that can be used in this case is the mechanical media, where written, as well as electronic means are used to communicate with the clients (Barnes, & Kelleher, 2015). This method is important because the client is in a position to archive messages so as to get the bigger picture as well as the in-depth details that may escape the customers. These ways are also fast, though the reader may interpret the information wrongly. Some of the means under this type of communication include personal letters, sms, e-mail, magazines, as well as social media. These methods are effective because they provide a means where the business and the customers can refer where there are misunderstandings in the future. Additionally, the customers can scrutinize the information thoroughly, and also apply it in future times while considering dealing with the business. The customers can also share the information with their friends and family via sms, e-mails, social media accounts, as well as giving the magazines and letters to other people. As such, this method is effective because more customers are created and hence increasing the sales of the business.
Wheels in Motion can create good business dealings by creating referral networks. These networks are important as they help in providing further business activities for the company by providing new and additional clients (Williams, 2009). The first network is associations. This can be achieved by joining and being an active member of different associations. The business should first look for firms that deal with similar business activities. They should then join the associations that include these firms, hence creating a background for sourcing target market. This is a perfect start where a business intends to meet bigger opportunities. The second network is created by doing a good job. This refers to the provision of quality services and good products. The business should ensure that all the customers are satisfied with the products, as well as the services which are provided by the company. This works because where the customers are happy with the services provided, they are likely to refer these services to other people. These people may include friends, family, as well as business colleagues, who will be convinced of the effectiveness of the services and products provided by the company. Where this happens, the business will gain revenues and hence ensuring growth of the business.
Addressing Customer Needs: Part B
Information regarding the customers should be kept up-to-date (Kessler, 2003). This is important as it assists the business identify the information which is applicable at the current period. AS such, “Wheels in Motion” should ensure the information on the customers is always updated. This can be done by giving specific instructions to the people handling the customers, so as to have the information updated regularly. The individuals responsible, therefore, should always communicate with the customers so as to enquire on the extent of business activities at different and regular times. The staff should also compare the sales against the revenues, to ensure they check for any additional transaction. On finding this information, they should record it in the books according to the nature of the transaction.
Different kinds of information can be collected about the Wheels in Motion customers. This includes the dates of transactions, different kinds of transaction, as well as different agreements between the company and the customers. The information is important for different reasons. First, communicating with the customers is important as one is able to get the accurate and up-to-date details of different transactions. It is also important to check he transactions that took place during the day at the end of each day. The records on this information should also be kept so as to ensure errors are not committed. Where the records are not clear, one should compare the revenues available with the remaining stock. In the case of bicycle repair, strict instructions should be issued, requiring the staff responsible to record each transaction. The information is also important for future reference incase of any disagreements between the customers and the company. The business can also use this information while making crucial decisions in the future.
On acquiring the information and giving services and products to the customers, it is important for a business to get feedback from the customers (Ingram, 2008). One type of feedback acquisition for Wheels in Motion is the use of physical communication. This can be done by calling meetings, or holding conferences in town halls. The business can also call the customers and have an up-close and personal discussion. This way, the business is in a position to get the information from clients first hand, and the individual responsible for collecting the information can read the facials expressions. This method is also effective because it ensures that the business is able to get all the expectations that the customers, as well as potential customers have. Further, the meetings capture additional clients for the business. The second method used for acquiring feedback is the use of social media, which is a common site for many people. Here, the business can gather all the genuine feedback that the customers have, as well as the genuine concerns. This method is beneficial because most people go to social media sites to pour heir frustrations or to praise good products. As such, one is able to acquire accurate information on the products and services.Andersen, H., & Ritter, T. 2008. Inside the customer universe: How to build unique customer insight for profitable growth and market leadership. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.
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