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Communication in the existing market place is one of the most important factors in corporate functioning. For maintaining the continuous growth in existing competitive business environment, regular communication with its stakeholders is an essential step. Customers are the significant parameters of the corporate marketplace. As a marketing manager of a lifestyle café based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it can be asserted that the customers are the key building blocks of such kind of service provider business’s profit. According to the present scenario of corporate competition, every café delivers more or less same kind of products. Subsequently, the differentiation is highlighted from the area of physical evidences in service environment. This specific physical evidence of café’s service environment is directly related with the customers. Customers’ feedback and effective communication help at the time of business expansion, franchise programs along with gaining an understanding regarding the need of the business as well (Parvatiyar & Sheth 2001).
In order to expand the business and to open almost eight retail branches of lifestyle café throughout Kuala Lumpur metro area, the business needs to focus on a franchise program along with strengthening the customer relationship first. This essay is based on the perception of a marketing manager of lifestyle café and includes an in-depth literature survey on the importance of customers’ feedback, incorporation of IDIC model to improve the customer relationship, and certain programs that can assist to understand the customers’ behavior.
According to Torokoff (2006), feedback is the proof of development and continuous growth of a business. Organizational goals rest on the factor of profit maximization through implementations of strategic business ideas. These business thoughts are developed towards a practical perspective through the efficient intellectual capital incorporation within the existing operations of the respective firm. Torokoff (2006) also asserted that intellectual capital mainly includes the organizational learning and the effective feedbacks of its stakeholders. In respect of the organizational learning process, Mets (2002) depicted that it is a cognitive mapping, wherein learning originates from the organizational external as well as internal environment. In this context, Mets (2002) asserted about a basic framework of organizational development through effective feedback. From this framework, it is evidently illustrated that the feedback system plays a significant part in the organizational development as well as both are having a mutual impact on each other. In respect of the mutual impact, Georgievska (2007) stated that communication is a return message of certain service or products. There are always two parties involved in the feedback system; feedback provider and taker. One is providing the service or product for the feedback and the other one is offering feedback about it. This feedback is most effective one for the service providers because through the feedback system they are able to gain a comprehensive idea about their provided service or product. Oja (2010) supported this fact and commented that it is easier to rectify the gaps within the provided services or products through the feedback system.
According to Hearst Newspapers, LLC (2016), feedback also helps in launching new products or services within market. Simultaneously, for expanding the business or enhancing the existing customer relationship along with creating new customer base, a large number of corporate firms utilize several marketing research surveys to collect the information about the customers. At times, these information collecting surveys include customer feedback as well to know their perceptions. According to Torokoff (2006), feedback is a regular development process for the modern corporate firms, through which it is capable to gain an in-depth understanding about a newly launched or existing product or service in terms of whether it is ready for the marketplace or not. Customer feedback is one the best sources through which corporate firms are able to know about the customer’s requirements and tastes. Specifically, when a corporate firm introduces new products in the market then the customers’ feedback is the most important factor for profitable business. With the assistance of customers’ feedback, the modern corporate firms are able to gain knowledge regarding the features, flavors, and styles i.e. the requirements and expectation of the customer. In respect of this context, Hearst Newspapers, LLC (2016) reported that it is the only one process through which corporate firms can understand the products or service differentiation from the competitors’ products or services and identify the gaps. The modern firms distinguish their loyal customer base from the feedback reaction and take significant proceedings to attract new customers as well.
Moreover, based on the customers’ feedback, the modern corporate firms can gain competitive advantages in the respective marketplace. From the perspective of functional approach, it has been emphasized that customers’ feedback is the manifest of the behaviors of firms’ employees towards the customers, which also determines the customers’ satisfaction level from the employees’ services (Hearst Newspapers, LLC, 2016). Besides the internal manifestation scenario, it also assists to identify the market trends along with technological advancements. Customers’ feedback program is one of the potential ways through which respective firms can get an idea about competitors’ technological improvements as well as significant threats in terms of price and quality from marketplace. If the customers’ feedback indicates that they prefer other firms as compared to the firm which is conducting the survey due to better quality, price or technological support, the respective firm should make necessary changes in order to transform their overall operations for gaining utmost customer satisfaction (Hearst Newspapers, LLC, 2016). Based on these literature supports regarding the importance of customers’ feedback, as a marketing manager it can be determined that to launch new products or services from lifestyle café, it needs to seek feedbacks from the customers. Moreover, to ascertain potential customers’ feedback, the café first requires developing strong customer relationship. In order to augment the customer relationship, certain steps are required to be followed that are illustrated below.
Customer relationship management is one of the core business strategies, which integrates the functions and generates values for the organization and the customers too. There are several models that can assist the business firm to collaborate with the customers for building an operational distinction, product and service leadership along with customer familiarity (Parvatiyar & Sheth, 2001). In order to set up the relationship with the customers, on behalf of the managerial position, it requires to be accomplished through the IDIC model implementation. The model includes four basic steps, which are described in the following section:
Figure: IDIC Model
Source: (Marketing Information, 2015)
Identify the Customers Individually: Before creating the relationship, it is essential to know each other. In respect of this statement, the lifestyle café will be required to identify its actual customers and gain a comprehensive knowledge regarding them. For generating such database of existing customers, the café require to have an information system wherein it segregates all the data about customers, their individual tastes and their visiting time span in the café.
Differentiate Each Customer from Another: Every customer is valuable for the business purposes and they have different tastes and preferences as well. If the business can value its customers’ preferences and behaviors, the ultimate result will be in favor the firm. Conversely, a negative turn of events can also happen due to disregarding customers’ behaviors. The lifestyle café will segregate its customers in two significant bases such as value and requirements. Though the café gives more value to its customers, the customers are also generating value for them. Furthermore, differentiation in customers’ needs makes the business profitable for café, because serving as per the tastes of individual customer makes them satisfied and loyal as well.
Interact with the Customers: Relationship always depends on the communication between two parties, who are mutually ready to interact with each other along with sharing the individual conceptions. Moreover, it would facilitate the set forth a clear blueprint regarding the firm’s understanding about the customers’ expectations and their relationship with the product or service, through which the café will be able to find out the key success drivers of its continuous profitability. For the café, interaction must be cost effective but intense in order to reciprocate the market needs.
Customize for Customers: Customization is the word that has the power to increase the business profitability of an organization. Through understanding the requirements of every customer, if the firm presents products and services as per their choices, it will be able to add value to the customers’ behaviors along with the firm’s presentation as well. Customization is required to be adopted for the lifestyle café’s future expansion and franchise program because it will reflect an in-depth interaction with the customers and will enable it to transform and channelize its operations according to their values and requirements along with enhancing the chance of profitable business (Süphan, 2015; Gordon, 2013).
Based on the IDIC model, it is quite apparent that the lifestyle café will need to implement certain steps for gaining utmost customer relationship and comprehensive interaction. For further business expansion process, it is the most crucial factor for the café. At the time of arranging the steps, the café will need to concentrate on each of the steps to eliminate the gaps and evade the failure.
Customers’ behaviors are typically replicated through their buying behaviors. Customers’ buying behaviors are often influenced by the initial impressions that they derive of a particular product of service. At times, this influence comes from their peers’ groups via the internet. Now, people are connected with each other through the internet, hence it is the best way to reach the customers and develop knowledge about them. Here are certain possible processes through which the lifestyle café will able to reach its customers accordingly.
Search Engine Optimization: It is one of the internet marketing strategies that can be utilized for generating connection with the customers for future business prospects and sustainability. There are several search engines present in existing web networking process such as Google and Yahoo among others. Through these networking sites, the lifestyle café can easily connect with the customers. The café can also open its own official website for its customers. It will be a great opportunity for the café to attract the customers and maintain the growth (Lee, 2015; Spais, 2010).
Social Media Traffic: Social media is recognized as one of the most prominent networking platforms in the modern day purview. Almost every person nowadays has their social media accounts in several social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn among others. Hence, it is one of best ways to directly connect with the customers and collect their feedbacks. Besides, the café can also operate through a Facebook page or a Twitter and LinkedIn account for connecting with a large number of people through sharing information, pictures and updates. This process will be able to deliver huge prospects for the lifestyle café to get the attention of new customers and build relations with them (Management Association & Information Resources 2015).
Content Marketing: It is an enhanced marketing strategy through which corporate firms are able to present a specific content to its customers. These content pages are enriched with information and adequate relevancy to attract the target customers. Moreover, this process is also applicable as the customer retention strategy. From the perspective of a marketing manager, it can be inferred that content marketing is a trendy process in the present global marketplace. If the lifestyle café needs to attract a large number of customers at a time through the internet, content marketing can be one of the best ways (Brito, 2013; Close, 2012).
The essay has highlighted an important factor of marketing scenario namely consumer relationship and behavior. In order to get the relevant knowledge regarding the stated fact, a literature survey on the importance of customer feedback and relationship with the corporate firm has been conducted. Accordingly, a comprehensive idea to lifestyle café for creating potential relationships with customers has been provided.
Brito, M 2013, Your Brand, The Next Media Company: How a Social Business Strategy Enables Better Content, Smarter Marketing, and Deeper Customer Relationships, Que Publishing, US.
Close, A 2012, Online Consumer Behavior: Theory and Research in Social Media, Advertising, and E-tail, Routledge, UK.
Georgievska, A 2007, ‘The feedback’, Comunication, The Importance of Feedback and A Study Research on the Rating of the Two Courses “Advanced Fife Support” and “Emotional Management in the Areas of Emergency”, pp. 43-55.
Gordon, I 2013, Managing the New Customer Relationship: Strategies to Engage the Social Customer and Build Lasting Value, John Wiley & Sons, US.
Hearst Newspapers, LLC 2016, Business Technology & Customer Support, Viewed 9 July 2016,
Lee, A. Y 2015, Handbook of Culture and Consumer Behavior, Oxford University Press, UK.
Lee, E 2013, ‘The Consumers’, Impacts of Social Media on Consumer Behavior. Decision Making Process, pp. 11-23.
Management Association & Information Resources 2015, Social Media and Networking: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, IGI Global, US.
Marketing Information 2015, Models Of CRM (Customer Relationship Management),
Mets, T 2002. ‘Learning-based strategic development framework: implementation in Estonian company’, Management of Organizations: Systematic Research, pp. 83-93.
Oja, P 2010, ‘Significance of Customer Feedback’, An Analysis of Customer Feedback Data, 2-40.
Parvatiyar, A & Sheth, J, N 2001, ‘Customer relationship management: emerging practice, process, and discipline’, Journal of Economic and Social Research, vol. 3, iss. 2, pp. 1-34.
Rani, P 2014, ‘Factors influencing consumer behavior’, Int.J.Curr.Res.Aca.Rev. vol. 2, iss. 9, pp. 52-61.
Spais, G S 2010, ‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a dynamic online promotion technique: the implications of activity theory for promotion managers’, Innovative Marketing, vol. 6, iss. 1, pp. 7-15.
Süphan, N 2015, Customer Relationship Management Strategies in the Digital Era, IGI Global, US.
Torokoff, M 2006, ‘Introduction’, The Importance of Feedback in the Organisation’s Development Process, pp. 1-12.
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