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Customer Services: Fast Food And Restaurant

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Question:

Discuss about the Customer Services for Fast Food and Restaurant.

 

Answer:

Introduction

Customer services have a key role to play ensuring customer satisfaction. Customer service management is one of the most important activities that are taken up by any business organization, such that the customers could be retained. This assignment highlights two customer service encounters that I have experienced. The two experiences are attached in the appendix. The two experiences are analysed in details and the feelings regarding each of the experiences have been described. This assignment highlights the two major companies operating in Australia. Foodland is one of the largest retailers in Australia, and has thousands of loyal customers. KFC is another major fast food and restaurant chain operating in Australia. The customers services provided to the customers by both these companies are shed light upon in this assignment.  

 

Background

With reference to the customer service encountered at Foodland, my feeling was good and positive. Though initially I was disappointed with the delay in the delivery of the products, along with rotten food products being delivered, yet, the positive and helpful attitude of the customer service executives helped me recover the disappointment. The customer service executives apologised several times, for the delay as well as for the rotten food products being delivered. However, they ensured that my orders would be replaced without additional charges. Moreover, as compensation, I will be given discount on my next 2 purchases with Foodland. The personalised service and compensation given to me, made me a happy and satisfied customer, looking forward to place several orders with Foodland. The factors that led to this feeling includes the personalised services that were given to me, along with the efficiency which was shown by the service executives (Blut et al. 2015).     

However, the other experience was not a good one. The complaint against KFC regarding less number of items being delivered along with stalled food being delivered, was completely ignored by the customer service executives (So et al. 2016). They denied the complains and blamed me for escalating a minor issue. The customer service executives failed to believe me, and misbehaved with me projecting it as my fault. I was disappointed and annoyed with the services and responses I received. The behaviour of the customer service executives triggered anger and disappointment (Lin and Bennett 2014). This experience was beyond my zone of tolerance and it resulted in escalating the complain to the highest levels. I was satisfied with the customer services provided to me by Foodland. However, the customer services provided by KFC, was disappointing.   

Discussion

Customer services have a key role to play in business organizations. The gaps in the quality of services have to be identified, in order to ensure customer satisfaction and retention. The GAPS model of the service quality is an essential model that highlights various gaps in the expectation of the customers, and the services being provided.

  GAPS model of service quality

Figure 1: GAPS model of service quality

(Source: Jahanshani et al. 2014)

The gap 1 highlights the distance between the expectation of the customers and what the customer service executives and managers perceive. This gap could be reduced by carrying out survey research of the needs of the customers (Suryandari and Paswan 2014).  

The gap 2 is the gap between management perceptions and the actual specifications of the customers. It is important that the manager ensure that the organization is defining the level of services that are believed essential to be offered to the customers (Jahanshani et al. 2014).

Gap 3 is the gap that is seen between the service delivered and customer driven service design standards (Lin and Bennett 2014).

Gap 4 is the gap that is seen between the delivery of the customer experience and the things that are communicated to the customers (Jahanshani et al. 2014). However, the business organizations often exaggerate what they offer to the customers. However, the same is not delivered.

Finally, gap 5 is the gap between the perceptions of the experience of customers and expectations of the services being offered to the customers (Suryandari and Paswan 2014). It is important that these gaps are identified and mitigated, such that the expectations of the customers meet with the services that are delivered. In case of the customer service of KFC, my dissatisfaction was triggered (Kursunluoglu 2014). The 5 gaps in this case were much wide and hence KFC failed to ensure customer satisfaction and customer retention. The lesser the gaps, the better is the customer services being provided to the customers.

The qualities of services being provided, have to be monitored at a regular basis, thus ensuring achievement of customer satisfaction. The needs of the customers are to be collected in forms of feedback and incorporated such that the customer satisfaction could be achieved (Suryandari and Paswan 2014). The negative reactions that were triggered from the incident of KFC, needs to be eliminated.        

Conclusion

Customer service management is important in ensuring customer retention and customer satisfaction. Lack of effective customer services will result in loss of customers (Orel and Kara 2014). This assignment highlights two experiences of customer services, one being a good one, while the other being a disappointing one. However, superior customer satisfaction and customer retention is important, such that loyal customers could be retained, along with attracting new customers.  Moreover, quality assurance of the services and products being provided to the customers, have to be ensured as well. Thus, the importance of customer services has been discussed in this assignment.

 

References

Blut, M., Frennea, C.M., Mittal, V. and Mothersbaugh, D.L., 2015. How procedural, financial and relational switching costs affect customer satisfaction, repurchase intentions, and repurchase behavior: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32(2), pp.226-229.

Jahanshani, A.A., Hajizadeh, G.M.A., Mirdhamadi, S.A., Nawaser, K. and Khaksar, S.M.S., 2014. Study the effects of customer service and product quality on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Kursunluoglu, E., 2014. Shopping centre customer service: creating customer satisfaction and loyalty. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 32(4), pp.528-548.

Lin, Z. and Bennett, D., 2014. Examining retail customer experience and the moderation effect of loyalty programmes. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 42(10), pp.929-947.

Orel, F.D. and Kara, A., 2014. Supermarket self-checkout service quality, customer satisfaction, and loyalty: Empirical evidence from an emerging market. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(2), pp.118-129.

So, K.K.F., King, C., Sparks, B.A. and Wang, Y., 2016. Enhancing customer relationships with retail service brands: The role of customer engagement. Journal of Service Management, 27(2), pp.170-193.

Suryandari, R.T. and Paswan, A.K., 2014. Online customer service and retail type-product congruence. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(1), pp.69-76.

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