With the effect of introduction of internet and globalisation, functionalities of business entities have been evolved. Globalisation and internet has brought revolutionary changes in the business’ functionalities and both these factors generates rapid opportunities for the objective of improving performance of their products and services with the objective of enhancing customer satisfaction. In the business’ context, customer satisfaction has been given the priority in order to attain long term goals. With regards to this, developing as well as maintaining positive relationships with the internal and external stakeholders have been considered as the primary factors.
1.1 Strategies for establishing and maintaining positive workplace relationships
Workplace relationships are the interpersonal relationships between internal stakeholders and external stakeholders. Workplace relationships directly affect an individual’s performance which ultimately hits organizational performance. Due to the great deal of time co-workers spend together, approximately 50 hours each week, friendships start to emerge through their shared experiences, and their desire for a built-in support system. When people share good bond with each other at workplace, the whole organizational culture becomes positive and it also creates positive impact over the organizational performance. In the same manner, the relationships between organizational internal and external stakeholders are also very important. Thus, it is very crucial for the organization to implement appropriate strategies or making amendments in the existing strategies to develop positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders to generate positive outcomes (Nextgen People, 2017).
Strategies for internal stakeholders
Internal stakeholders are those people who are already serving within the organization as board members, volunteers or donors. All those people who are working in the organization such as employees, board of directors, managers, leaders, etc. are known as internal stakeholders. Establishing and maintaining relationships with internal stakeholders is important because they are the people who deals with the client on behalf of the organization as well as they deal with the changes in the business environment and perform their actions with the objective of accomplishing organizational vision and objectives. In relation with this, following strategies could be adopted by the organization to maintain effective workplace relations with the internal stakeholders:
- Engaging the stakeholders from the start: Vision for every organization is very crucial and to accomplish that vision, organization needs to engage their internal stakeholders with the vision in order to achieve it. In relation to this, the vision needs to be shared with all stakeholders on regular basis as this develops trust amongst the stakeholders towards the organization and its functionalities. The functionalities of TWG are very wide, thus, they are required to maintain an effective connection amongst the stakeholders to manage all the functionalities along with gaining positive outcomes (Muth, 2016). Thus, the organization must ensure that the trust amongst the stakeholders is never ruined because a single breach might affect the whole relationships which have direct or indirect impact on organizational performance. In order to build appropriate trust amongst the stakeholders, it is necessary for the organization to match up with their expectations along with engaging them with every significant activity of the organization.
- Meet up with the stakeholders who are resistant to change: Resistance to change is one of the most determinant factors which could affect organizational performance in negative manner. As TWG is a huge group and it is engaged in various industries such as providing warehouse services, departmental stores, offers financial services, deals in alcoholic beverages, etc. Thus, it is necessary for the big brand like TWG to regularly invent and introduce new ideas to make their products and services different from others in order to retain their existing and potential customers’ interest as well as to target other customer segments with new product and service offerings. In this context, there are certain employees in the workplace who might resist towards regular adaptation of change as their demands and needs get affected and in some scenarios, people who resist towards change might get thrown out of the organization. To avoid these situations, organization could meet up with those stakeholders on regular basis who resist towards change because employees are substantial part of the organizational process, thus, they are kept engaged within the crucial decision making processes by email, phone call or by inviting them in face-to-face meetings. This could lead to bring potential change at the workplace and the desired goals and objectives.
Strategies for external stakeholders
External stakeholders are individuals or group of individuals outside the business or a project but they affect or they can be affected by the actions taken in any business or any project. Organizational performance gets affected by the actions of external stakeholders as they are the end users or consumers of the products and services offered by the organization. Some of the external stakeholders are government, vendors, consultants, associations, trade unions, etc. Following are crucial strategies to establish and maintain effective workplace relations with external stakeholders:
- Regular communication: Confusing the external stakeholders could affect the organizational performance. Inconsistent messaging could lead to public outrage, negative reputation, loss in trust, etc. for the organization. As TWG functional area is very wide and with each functionality, number of stakeholders is linked, thus, it is necessary to give them regular updates about the project in which they are connected. This helps the organization to build appropriate level of trust amongst the external stakeholders and giving them regular updates helps them to feel connected with the organization. In this context, when any issue or challenge arises, stakeholders stood up with the organization in order to tackle the issues conveniently rather than blaming the organization for those issues (Goerke, 2018). Along with sharing information and updates, organization should adopt and take appropriate actions to make them feel that they are part of the organizational functionalities. These actions could be taking feedbacks from them, asking them to share their opinion on the shared information along with asking to share their consent. This will help the organization to gather relevant ideas through which the particular project be handled in order to gain positive outcomes and it will also result in establishing and maintaining effective relationship with the stakeholders (Jager, 2017).
- Addressing the issues when they arise:This is one of the most effective strategies to build positive image amongst the stakeholders for the organization. External stakeholders are the people who consume the services and products offered by the organization, thus, it is very necessary for the organization to address their concerns at the very early stage so that those issues could not affect the organizational performance. Along with this, addressing the issues also helps the organization to regularly engage with the organization which leads to generate positive outcomes for the organization (Gcoyi, 2016).
1.2 System for customer service response
The Warehouse Group (TWG) is currently using ‘Financial Performance Indicator’ for continuously checking customer responses along with determining the issues and challenges if any, faced by them in order to match up with their requirements. Under this system, the key financial performance indicator is Total Response Cost (TRC). With the help of TRC, organization easily computes cost incurred for customer responses, asset used, workflow and infrastructure used within the workplace and in this process; mediums involved are phone calls, internet, etc. The extended use of TRC indicates the difference between the profitable and non-profitable aspects. With the help of these responses, organization could easily determine that which aspects will be profitable for the organization in the future and which will be not. TRC is a powerful system which helps in improving financial aspects of the organization by limiting the investments along with always checking the customer responses to enhance financial features (MacDonald, 2018).
1.3 Ethical and cultural behaviours
Ethical and cultural behaviours have significant impact over the customer service rendered by the organization because employees deal with the customers and with other customers on behalf of the organization. No matter, how well and effective ethical and cultural policies have been made by an organization until and unless, their employees will not practice as per those guidelines, adequate goals could not be attained. Following are ethical and cultural behaviours expected by customers from customer service:
- Quality of service:The quality which was promised by the organization, the same quality is expected ethically by the customers from a business. TWG is a big company engaged in various functionalities, thus, it is crucial for the organization to strict their policies and guidelines to render the expected quality to the customers for the objective of enhancing their experience with the organization and this also helps in retaining customers for longer period of time (The Institute of Customer Service, 2018).
- Customer service: When a consumer purchases any product or avails any service from an organization, he/she expects that they will also get the after sale service or help from the organization. After sale service is another effective strategy through which organization could easily uplift its performance along with fulfilling customers’ demands and wants (Morrow, 2018).
- Communication:Customers ethically expects decent communication from organizational employees and especially from those who are dealing with them. This is necessary for developing good customer relations and communication is also considered as the key to convince the customers (Newman, 2014).
- Fair treatment: All customers must be treated equally irrelevant to their caste, religion, colour, etc. Employees who are dealing with the customers on behalf of the organization must give adequate resolutions to the customers’ queries and not on the basis of any other factor. This helps them to build any effective relationship with the customers.
- Company strategy: The resolutions given by the employees should be based on the organizational strategy. Although, the resolutions will be drawn on the basis of customers’ requirements, but still, employees are not authorised to go beyond the policies and strategies to provide resolution (Chughtai, Byrne & Flood, 2015).
- Indoctrinate the employees with the organizational culture: As soon as new employees enter the organization, they should be trained according to set organizational culture along with describing them all relevant details and information about the organizational culture. This is necessary for the objective of enhancing customer service.
1.4 Design thinking Methodologies
Design thinking methodology is design methodology and focuses on generating solutions rather focusing on problems. With the help of this, organizations could easily tackle problems irrelevant to their nature, size and severity (Dam & Siang, 2018). This approach involves five stages which are mainly used for designing appropriate solutions for clients and it is oriented towards creating preferred culture. Following are steps of design thinking methodologies which will be used for proposing a system to improve customer service response system:
- Developing empathy: This is the first stage and it is mainly used for gathering relevant information and for gaining basic understanding about the problem for which solutions are being developed in the next stages. In this context, a new system has to be developed for customer response, thus, as per this stage, issues and challenges faced by the customers will be interviewed. Apart from this, role plays will be conducted under which problem solver will be placed on the role of customers who actually faces problems in order to develop better understanding. Thus, in this stage, data will be collected in relevance to the nature of problem and type of issues faced by the customers (Gonçalves, 2018).
- Determining problem:After gathering enough information, problems will be identified and the most destructive problem will be selected for making a perfect resolution. In this context, customer response system needs to be developed, thus, the company will come up with the statement i.e. “proposing a new customer response system”. With regards to this, appropriate systems will be evaluated as per organizational requirements in order to determine appropriate system.
- Generating ideas: Using the brainstorming, all possible and relevant ideas will be generated in order to make appropriate customer response system. The proposed system will be evaluated on the basis of their advantages and disadvantages. The major focus will be imposed on quality of products and services offered to the customers. With the help of quality performance indicators, organization would easily be able to enhance customer satisfaction.
- Building prototypes:In this stage, the suggested prototype model will be designed and its main focus will be on improving customer service quality for enhancing their experience with the organization. The performance quality indicator is Order Entry Accuracy (OEA) and First Time Fall Rate (FTFT). Apart from this, there are various indicators through which quality of performance of customer responses could be measured.
- Rigorous Testing: This is the last stage and under this stage, test will be executed for the prototype model suggested. If the outcomes will come in the favour of the organization, then the model will be implemented and if not, then amendments will be made as per the organizational requirements of improving customer experience with the organization.
2.1 Continuous improvement process
The process of continuous improvement is implemented for enhancing the quality and performance of the particular product, service or of any process. In this context, the continuous improvement process will be implemented in order to enhance the performance of quality performance indicator model which is suggested for the objective of enhancing customer satisfaction and their experience with the organizational products and services. The requirement of continuous improvement process is essential for The Warehouse Group in order to make their varieties of products and services efficient as per the demands and wants of their customers.
Rapid improvements in the quality of the products and services will be implemented along with executing market research activity for the objective of analysing target audiences’ demands and wants. This will help the organization to deliver as expected by customers and the purpose of developing customer response system will be fulfilled. This will help the organization to attain their strategic objectives of enhancing customer satisfaction, expanding business in the domestic and international market and enhancing revenues, profitability, market share, etc. (Guerci, et. al., 2015).
2.2 Strategies to access performance
- Checklist: This strategy is used to evaluate one’s performance on the basis of criteria set up by the management of the organization. With regards to this, TWG has marked performance, quality, behaviour, skills, learning capacity, curiosity to learn, customer resolving approach, etc. With the help of these factors, organization could easily evaluate an employee’s as well as own performance.
- Relating performance with productivity:Every organization’s main motive is to enhance productivity and for this, they provide appropriate training and all other required measured to their employees in order to enhance their productivity so that organizational productivity could be enhanced. Thus, according to these measures, employee’s performance will be evaluated on the basis of their performance and actions taken by them to enhance productivity of the organization (Ruiz-Palomino & Martínez-Cañas, 2014).
Self-assessment is the process of evaluating own performance on the basis of set criteria. This is very crucial method as it analyses the gaps between the organizational requirement and the actual performance. With the help of self-assessment, one could easily find its disabilities and the failures through which further actions could be taken to fill those gaps.
Performance management includes activities which ensure goals are attained in effective and efficient manner. This technique is essential for the purpose of enhancing an organizational performance, an employee’s performance or a department. It is also used for building a product or service as per customers’ requirements. Thus, it is also adopted along with the strategies to evaluate and enhance the performance of employees.
Workplace relationships are the interpersonal relationships between internal stakeholders and external stakeholders. Workplace relationships directly affect an individual’s performance which ultimately hits organizational performance. In this report workplace relationships between the organization and internal and external stakeholders have been discussed along with analysing their significance. Along with this, the report has also concluded relevant strategies to analyse own as well as other employees’ performance, thus, it is very crucial for the organization to focus on its customer response system in order to generate positive outcomes in order to gain desired goals and objectives.
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