McDonalds is a fast food company with its headquarters in Chicago America. The company was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald. The company Starting as a small restaurant and has since grown to become a multinational company with businesses all over the world. McDonalds have gained reputation as the world largest restaurant by revenue and the world second private employer. The company which has more than 36,900 outlets in more than 100 countries has a record of serving more than 68 million customers every day. The company is known for its hamburgers, chicken products, French fries, breakfast items, cheeseburgers, wraps and soft drinks.
The company has always been keen to ensure that their customers have the best experience. They always inquired the customer for a feedback to access their level of satisfaction and help in improving their products and services. For this reason, the company reacted to their customer’s negatives backlash and changing tastes because of unhealthy foods and introduced fruits, smoothies, salads and fish in their menu. This paper tries to look at customer experience management strategy at McDonalds.
Customer experience management strategy
Customer experience management (CEM) can be defined as a strategy used to organise, track and oversee all the transactions between the organization and a customer (Prevos, 2018, p. 12).Customer experience management is important consideration of any business organisation as it helps in ‘closing the gap’ between the actual customer and the intended customer. According to Willbun and Morris (2008), CEM helps to increase customer’s loyalty, satisfaction and advocacy. Customer experience management involves viewing and improving the interactions between a customer and the organization from the customer point of view rather than from the “organizations”, groups and departments point of view.
According to Waden (2017), Customer experience management has become part of any business that wants to remain competitive. Businesses only succeed if and only if they have satisfied customers who are pleased with the services offered. The only way to assess the level of satisfaction on the customers is to have a successful customer experience management system (Seligman, 2012, p. 42).
According to management at McDonalds, some of Benefits that the company has accrued from addressing and acting upon their customers experience are:
- Inquiring about Customer experience helps in lowering costs by reducing customers churn
- Helps in improving customers loyalty and create products advocated through memorable and valued customer interaction
- Helps in increasing the organizations revenue with increased sales from existing royal customers
- Strengthens product and brand preferences through differentiated customer experiences
Emerging concepts and practises that underpin the customer experience at McDonalds
According to t research by kureemum, et al., (2011), customer experience has proved to be an important aspect of business success. A study by Arussy (2005) showed that businesses lose more that 25% of their customers due to poor customer experience. Some of emerging trends that have affected customer experience at McDonalds are:
The main goal of any business is to have a big number of satisfied customers. Different customers on the hand have different tastes and experiences. To help in meeting the expectations of all customers, McDonalds have been providing tailored services to their customers. Understanding the expectations of a customer enables the restaurant to serve their customer best reinforcing connection. This has an effect of making the customer to always come back thus increasing the revenue of the company (Nas?r, 2015, p. 24).
Mobile payments are convenient in that it provides personalized content and it is safe (Bruhn, 2015, p. 142). This provides a platform where customers are able to get their services from the comfort of their home as they pay via their phones. Mobile payments have effects on customers experience in that luck of physical contact helps in reducing personal conflict between the restaurant employees and their customers. Mobile payments at McDonalds have led to introduction of delivery services. This service has enabled customers to make orders at the comfort of their homes. A successful transaction between the restaurant and a customer that was done via mobile money tends to boost customer experience.
Next level transparency and inclusiveness
Being transparent about services and products provided by the business organization tends to boost customers experience (Shaw & Ivens, 2007). Customers feel to have a better experience with a business when the business is open on how they run their business. For example, McDonalds have a policy whereby they provide demonstration to their customers on their production process and openly sharing their pricing to the customers. This has an effect of making the customer have trust on the restaurant and record good experience. Despite the fact that this inclusiveness has proved to be costly and risky, the company has gained a number of royal customers who feel being part of the company thus translating to increased revenues and growth.
Customers have shown appreciation and recorded good experience with business organizations which provide quality but affordable goods and services (Schmitt, 2008, p. 82). This has made business organizations which used to make low-usage high-cost commodities such as cars, sports equipment’s and luxury formalwear to develop new models which are affordable and yet luxurious. McDonalds is one of the biggest and prestigious food stores in the world. Despite the status, the company has always set its bar low providing quality services to people at all social classes. For this reason, customers who seek the company services have always shown appreciation and gave a positive when asked about their experience
Application of customer perception to the customer experience of service delivery at McDonalds
Customer perception can be expressed as the manner in which customers think about a business and goods and services provided (Newell, 2010, p. 76). Customer perception affects the ability of an organization to keep existing customers and to attract new customers. Customers experience in an organization is not only affected by the quality and value of goods and services they are getting but also their perception on the organization, products and service that are offered by the organization.
Some of the factors that influence customer’s perception on a business are: advertising, personal experience and influencers (Shaw & Ivens, 2007).
A business inability to create a positive business perception leads to negative perception. Some of the ways in which a business can create and maintain a positive perception are: by use of local channels to make adverts, making promises that they can meet, listening to their customers and constantly measuring their customer’s level of satisfaction. Customers with positive perception about a company tend to have good customer experience. On the other hand, a customer with a negative perception do not appreciate the services offered and will always record a bad experience with the business organization.
At McDonalds, the management has keen to deal with any information that could create negative perception to their existing and new customers. The company ensure that all customer complaints are dealt with positive feedback and reviews are posted in their various social medial sites to help in creating trust among their customers. Other methods used by the company to create customer perception among their clients include making adverts in radios, dailies and television stations and funding various social activities
Customer journey map
Customer journey map is a representation of typical customer experience. The journey tends to focus more on questions and task. Customer experience maps are a representation of customer experience over a certain period of time (Staudt, 2014, p. 201). Customer journey map is essential to a business in that it helps the management to understand their services from the customer’s point of view. This enables the business to identify and implement opportunities that improves the experience.
Customer experience strategy
Customer experience can be defined as the interactions between an organization and a customer (Peppers & Rogers, 2017). Customers who have positive experience with a business tend to become royals. Customer experience strategy can be defined as mechanisms put forward by a business organization to ensure that their customers have a good experience and remain royals to the organization’s goods and services.
Tools used to monitor and evaluate customer experience strategy at McDonalds
Some of ways in which McDonalds use to create great experiences with their customers are:
Having a clear customer experience plans
The first step of developing a good customer strategy is to have a blueprint of the experience. The management of the restaurant have developed and communicated to their employees a clear vision about their customer experience plans. This enable all employees to work towards delivering the best experience to the their customers
Understanding McDonald’s customers
The management at McDonalds takes their time to understand their different customers when opening an outlet. Understanding customers need and wants enables the restaurant to meet their customer’s expectations thus recording a positive experience.
Having an emotional customer connection
In developing and monitoring a business customer experience strategy, a business should be driven by the phrase, “it’s not what you say, and it’s how you say it”. According to Shaw, et al., (2011), best customers experiences are developed when business employees learn to create emotional connection with their clients.
A research by Klaus and Connect (2015) stated that 65% of customer’s experiences are based on emotional relation between the customer and the business personnel. Customers tend to become to the business services and its products because they are emotionally attached to the business. Schmitt (2013) argued that business which invests in emotional connection with their customers tends to perform 85% better than their competitors.
The statistic available in McDonalds indicates that, their employee’s technique of emotionally connecting with their Customers has helped in creating great experience to their customers such that:
- 75% of McDonald’s customers are likely to recommend the restaurant to others
- 70% likely to make a comeback
- 80% are Less price sensitive
With the statistics, the restaurants encourages their employees to keep an emotional connection with the clients so as to offer them the best experience
Always seeking for customer’s feedback
The best way to gauge customer experience with the business is by asking for their feedback. This can be made possible by asking for their feedback in real time, making calls or conducting a post-interaction survey vie emails. Seeking customer’s feedback enables a McDonalds to have an understanding of customer’s positive and negative feelings and thus help in improving on their services and products
McDonalds ensure that they conduct a training to their employees to enable them understand the business agenda in dealing with their customers and meeting their expectations. Business employees play a vital role in portraying the business image to the customers and thus creating the customer’s experience. Training employees on good customer relation policies have helped their employees to create an emotional relation with the customers leading to royalty.
Acting upon employee’s feedback
To boost customer’s experience on a business, McDonalds is always ready to receive any feedback from their customers and act on it. Whether positive or negative, if acted upon, the customer tends to have emotional connection with the business and become royals.
Measure the return on investment derived from great customer experience
The way to measure the performance of a business is by accessing the business returns. Many businesses have experienced challenges measuring their customers experience in the past. At McDonalds, the management have developed a policy where they measure their customers experience and the effectiveness of their customer experience strategy by evaluating their return gained from customers who keep coming back.
The business believes that the most important customers are those who come back as they have a chance of making the restaurant their favourite from the experience gained. Therefore, an increase in incomes from royal customers means better experience while a reduction means poor services and thus experience.
Customer expectations on goods and services provided by a business have become higher than ever. With customer empowerment, it is important for business organizations to consider their customer’s experiences which determine the future interactions with the business. Positive customers experiences helps in creating a pool of royal customers who in turn boost the organizations revenue. At McDonalds, the company has been keen in ensuring that their customers experience the best services in food industry. They have therefore developed the best customers experience management strategy have seen the company grow to the biggest in the world serving more than 68 million customer every day.
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