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The service sector is experiencing increasing growth and playing an important role in development of the global economy


The author would then study the service design of Vodafone and evaluate how the company markets its products

Evaluation of the nature of service provided by Vodafone

Implications of nature of services on the management

Capital generation

Innovation

Diversity management

Evaluation of service design of Vodafone

Evaluation of service marketing of Vodafone

Evaluation of service delivery of Vodafone

Analysis and evaluation of role of employees in Vodafone

Strengthening of customer care services

Manufacturing of electronic devices under its own brand name

Findings

The service sector is experiencing increasing growth and playing an important role in development of the global economy (unctad.org 2018). The paper would delve into a service organisation with Vodafone as the example. The paper would explore the products of Vodafone and the implications these products have on the management of the company. This section would show the superior product line of a company is the outcome of management support. The author would then study the service design of Vodafone and evaluate how the company markets its products. The next section would explore the service delivery aspect of the company. The author would finally delve into the role of one of the most powerful drivers of all these business activities of Vodafone, its employees. The analysis would form the base of certain recommendations with which the study would close.

Evaluation of the nature of service provided by Vodafone

Vodafone provides telecommunication services in more than thirty countries using the two models of business to provide the services namely, subsidiaries and partner market model where the group provide services through third party providers (Appendix). An evaluation of the services of the company shows that its appropriate segmentation allows it to cater to millions of consumers across the world. Vodafone uses subsidiary model in countries like Australia and the United Kingdom. The company uses partnership model to cater to markets like France and Singapore. The consumer segment of Vodafone can be divided into business organisations and individual consumers (Xing, et al. 2017). The company offers a variety of services to business organisations like mobile communications, fixed communications, unified communications, carrier services, cloud and hosting and internet of things. The company offers customised solutions for different industries like banking and finance, health and transport and logistics. The global telecommunication company offers cloud computing services to business organisations all over the world.

Vodafone offers a range of telecommunication service to millions of customers spread all over the world. The company provides talk time, data connection and fund transfer services to these domestic customers. The British multinational telecommunication company is known for offering affordable, cheap and customer friendly services to its customers. The company, in addition to its superior services, provides round the clock services on its official website and customer care services (vodafone.com 2018). Vodafone also markets third party devices like tablets manufactured by other companies like Samsung. This product strategy is a part of the product bundling strategy of the company to enhance the value of the purchase of the consumers (Kortmann and Piller 2016).

Implications of nature of services on the management

The service strategy of Vodafone have deep implications on its management having their base in London, the United Kingdom.  Zeschky,Winterhalter and Gassmann (2014) mention that the product strategy of Vodafone impact the management in diverse ways as like capital generation, revenue generation, human resource planning and corporate social responsibility. The following section would shed light of these aspects as far as the management of Vodafone is concerned:

Capital generation

Evaluation of the nature of service provided by Vodafone

The superior and vast category of the services which Vodafone provides require the company to acquire immense amount of capital. The multinational company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Vodafone provides services like telecommunication services which it provides using chips, sim cards and other hardware. The company has to spend immense of amount to acquire these raw materials. Moreover, service provision of Vodafone is dependent on its network of towers which once again attracts immense amount of expenditure. Vodafone provides high quality services to its business clients which requires the management to channelize immense investment into the area (Cerutti, Claessens and Puy 2015). The network allows fund transfer and hence needs to make its network very secure which again requires immense capital investment. The management of the Vodafone in order to raise the robust capital to drive the global operations of the company, has obtained listing on several stock exchanges around the world. For example, Vodafone is primarily listed on the London Stock Exchange in the United Kingdom and NASDAQ in the United States of America as shown in the stock charts below. The 5 years stock graph clearly show that though the share price of the multinational company fluctuates on both the stock exchanges, it is showing an upward trend (Barberis et al. 2015). Thus, one can infer from this discussion that the immense numbers of services have compelled the management raise immense amount of capital by getting the company listed on several stock exchanges in the world. This management decision has enabled Vodafone to float shares in the stock market to generate immense amount of capital.


Figure 2. 5 year stock chart of Vodafone on NASDAQ

(Source: nasdaq.com 2018)

The second implication the service products of Vodafone has on the management of the company is continuous innovation. The services of Vodafone are of high quality and succeed in meeting customer needs around the world. The business customers of the company keep on demanding new products which satisfy to their new business needs. The domestic customers keep on demand more value creating products. These growing demands of the consumer bases have necessitated the management to accept innovation as one of the core business areas of the company (vodafone-us.com 2018). Vodafone collaborates with its customers to gain information about the newly emerging needs to develop new products. The management of the company puts continuous emphasis on bring about innovation in products using artificial intelligence and robotics (Giménez-Figueroa, Martín-Rojas and García-Morales 2018). This analysis shows that high quality services of Vodafone create increased expectations among consumers which in turn demand new products. These new requirements of consumers encourage the management to put emphasis on innovations to bring about new products.

The third implication which the services have on the management of Vodafone is diversity management which can also be interpreted as the outcome of the two previous implications. The need to bring about innovation require Vodafone to use modern technology like artificial intelligence. This requirement in turn necessitates the company to employ scientists from all over the world (Oteri et al. 2015). Cobham, Janský and Meinzer (2015) point out that in order to achieve the first implication described above which robust capital generation, the apex management require to employ top financial experts in the world. All these human resource requirements necessitates Vodafone to employ human resources from different countries in the world with specialisation in diverse fields. Meyer and Xin (2017) further points out that in order to operate in more than two host markets, the company employs human resources in these countries. Thus, the management in order to acquire talent from different markets and areas of expertise as mentioned above require to adopt diversity management as a part of its central human resource policy. This one again that need to create diverse products require Vodafone to acquire talent from different areas of expertise and from different countries. The apex management of the company requires to amalgamate all these human resource to form a central diversity management plan as a part of its human resource management policies (Budhwar et al. 2017).

Implications of nature of services on the management

Figure 3. Figure showing impact of products and services of Vodafone on the management (Source: Author)

The service design of Vodafone is well aligned with the three main customer groups namely, small enterprises, large enterprises and individual customers. The service design of Vodafone is well aligned with its corporate strategy which is to retain its leadership in the global telecommunication industry and generate immense revenue (Ghezzi, Cortimiglia and Frank 2015). The British telecommunication giant offers a variety of products to its three customer segments to maximise their convenience. For example, the service design for the business customers has been divided into three main branches namely, small and medium business, large and multinational business and public sector organisation. The service design for the small and medium business organisations consists of diverse products like connectivity, which enables the personnel of these organisations to communicate using fixed and mobile network and converged communications, which is the flexible working cum communication product (vodafone.com 2018). An analysis of these products which Vodafone offers to these small enterprises would point out that they have been designed to meet the communication and business needs of these enterprises within their limited budgets. The services of Vodafone for the multinational companies consist of products like unified communication which enables these companies to collaborate, hold conferences and communicate with branch offices and business partners scattered all over the world using  fixed and mobile calls. Thus, the services which Vodafone offers to its multinational business customers are suited to meet their business requirements to traverse multiple countries. Again, as far as individual customers are concerned, Vodafone offers a range of services like talk time and internet packs. Individual customers can use Mpesa to transfer funds. This analysis shows that the service design of Vodafone products are determined by the needs of the customers (Gruber et al. 2015). 

Figure 4. An excerpt showing market achievements of Vodafone

(Source: vodafone.com 2018)

The above figure is an excerpt from the financial reports for the period 2017 which Vodafone published which clearly shows that company’s service marketing prowess. Vodafone uses both online and offline marketing modes to market its products. The company markets its services in newspapers, magazines and on hoardings. This enables the company to get access to towns and villages which are not advanced technologically. This is evident by the immense number of customers the company has developed in the underdeveloped markets (business-standard.com 2018). Vodafone markets its services using the audio-visual and digital media which allows the company to showcase its technological prowess it can offer to its customers. Vodafone uses zoo zoos to promote its services on both the two media (newindianexpress.com, 2018) (Appendix 2). This service marketing strategy of Vodafone clearly shows its power to collaborate with advertising companies all round the world. The Vodafone also promotes it’s products on the social media platforms like Facebook and Youtube. One can evaluate that this aggressive service marketing strategy of Vodafone has made it one of the dominant telecommunication service providers in the world. The marketing prowess of Vodafone can further be testified by the fact that the company leads the telecommunication in markets like Australia (afr.com 2018). However, the intense pressure which Vodafone encounters due to its increasing consumer base is resulting in customer complaints in several important markets like the United Kingdom (thetimes.co.uk 2018). Thus, one can evaluate that Vodafone has a strong marketing strategy though it faces criticism and complaints from the customers.

Capital generation

The dominant market position of Vodafone in the global market clearly shows its high quality service delivery. Vodafone uses both offline and online methods to deliver service to its customers. The company uses its brick and mortar stores to deliver services to customers. Customers can avail services like purchase of new products and after sales services like bill payments at these physical outlets (Zhang, Lawrence and Anderson 2015). The customers of the company can also avail the services like bill payments at third party outlets in areas without Vodafone stores or mini stores. However, Vodafone reserves certain services like mobile number portability to its own outlets to ensure high quality of service delivery. The British multinational company also uses its official website to deliver services to its customers. Customers can obtain services like purchasing of products and after sales services on the official website at their conveniences. The company in order to deliver high quality services and customer assistance maintains personnel to visit the premises of customers to deliver services like guiding them on appropriate data packs and offering them the same (Ascarza et al. 2018). One can evaluate from the discussion that Vodafone holds a high level of service delivery. The customers can avail products at the outlets, purchase them on the official website or get them delivered at their door step as per their conveniences. This multiple channel service delivery method has enabled Vodafone to create high amount of customer satisfaction which is evident from benchmark of 75 million 4G customers the company achieved in 2017 (vodafone.com 2018).

One can evaluate that the customers of Vodafone play a very important role in ensuring that the company provides the customers with high quality services. Bowen (2016) mentions that the ability of the service providing companies to ensure customer satisfaction rest on the role of their employees. The employees of Vodafone can meet the customers at the outlets or at the premises of the latter. This enables the front office employees of Vodafone to gain knowledge about the requirements of the customers and offer them appropriate product solutions to them (Zhang, Lawrence and Anderson 2015). The back office employees process the instructions of the customers like activation of new connections. Thus one can evaluate that the employees of Vodafone play crucial role in ensuring customers satisfaction. One can analyse this role of the front office employees and point out that they also play crucial role in stealing customers from competitors. Min et al. (2016) point out that the front office staff get opportunities to meet customers in the outlets and at the premises of the customers to offer after-sales services. The staff use these opportunities to offer additional products to the customers and convince them to replace their existing telecommunication service providers with Vodafone. Thus, this analysis clearly point out the staffs of Vodafone play three very significant roles. They offer after-sales services to existing customers, sell new products to existing customers and steal customers from competitors, thus acquiring customers for Vodafone products (Ascarza et al. 2018). The staff members of Vodafone again ensure high level of satisfaction among these new customers. Thus one can point out that front office staff of Vodafone play significant roles in acquiring and maintaining loyal customers’ base. These loyal customers provide the front office staff with references of their friends and acquaintances who can be approach for selling Vodafone products (Berman 2016). Thus, one can evaluate the role of the Vodafone staff and infer that they not only secure present business generation but enable the company to acquire new customers for future business expansion.

Innovation

Sung and Choi (2014) point that the employees of Vodafone play an important role in securing Vodafone the high position in the global telecommunication market which necessitates the company offer training to them. Vodafone offers periodical training to its employees to improve their skills and competencies. The departmental heads measure the performances of employees and recognise new needs to provide them with trainings. These trainings motivate the employees to perform to highly to bring further development in their career like gaining promotions to higher position (Min et al. 2016).   This high quality of training and development initiative of Vodafone is evident from the high productivity of employees of Vodafone which in turn contributes to the high market performance of the company.

Conclusion

One can conclude from the discussion that Vodafone has a formidable product line which enable it to cater to both business and individual customers. The services which the company offers these customers have important implications on the management. The management has to form strategies to acquire capital and human resources to support these services. The continuously growing demands of the consumers also necessitate the management to adopt innovation to introduce more services as a part of its core management strategies. The marketing and service delivery methods of the company are commendable as evident from the high position of Vodafone in the global market. The following are the recommendations which one can make to Vodafone in pursuit of the above discussion:

Strengthening of customer care services

The above discussion clearly mentions that customer care standards of Vodafone are not up to the expectations of the customers. The number of complaints which customers lodge against Vodafone is highest among the leading telecommunication companies in Britain, the home country of the company. Vodafone should treat these increases in consumer complaints as its losing consumers to its competitors. One can recommend that the company should increase its customer care service to meet the requirements of the growing number of customers. This will allow the company to retain its global position.

Manufacturing of electronic devices under its own brand name

The discussion above reveals that Vodafone sell electronic communication devices manufactured by other manufacturers like Apple. One can recommend that Vodafone should manufacture electronic devices like mobile smart phone handsets and tablets under its own brand name. The company has got a massive consumer base which would form the base it can use to launch its new range of electronic products. Moreover, Vodafone has a global base of investors from whom the company can generate immense capital to back its new business venture. The innovation and technological prowess of the company would enable it to bring about revolutionary electronic products which would offer stiff competition to established electronics good manufacturers like Apple. This would expand the customer base of Vodafone which would in turn maximise the revenue base of the company. It would also boost the market goodwill of Vodafone as the leading manufacturer of electronic goods and provider of telecommunication services. This business expansion is in fact, capable of strengthening the sustainability of the company by multiple times.      

Diversity management

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