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The Direct Response Group (DRG) at Capital Holding is a direct marketer of life, health, proper-ty, and casualty insurance. In the past, it sold a mass-produced product to a mass market. Over time, how-ever, sales slowed, profits eroded, and the company decided it had to refocus its efforts. That meant, for one thing, selling to particular, identifiable customers and giving those customers a customized prod-uct/service package that was world class, enabling the company to compete globally. An analysis of the corporate culture showed that people were more concerned with pleasing their bosses than pleasing the customer. People hoarded information instead of sharing information because the people with information had power. The information system had to be changed to encourage sharing. Organizational change began with a vision statement that emphasized caring, listening to, and sat-isfying customers one-on-one. To accomplish that goal, the company formed a cross-functional team to study the sales, service, and marketing processes and completely redesign those functional areas. The idea was to have a world-class customer-driven company. That meant gathering as much information as possible about customers. Frontline customer-contact people were empowered with user-friendly information systems that made it possible for one contact person, working with a support team, to handle any question that custom-ers had. Management used external databases to get detailed information on some 15 million consumers. The combined internal and external databases were used to develop custom-made products for specific customer groups. The whole company was focused on satisfying customer wants and needs. That meant changing processes within the firm so that they were geared toward the customer. For example, one case worker is now attached to each customer, and that case worker is responsible for following an application through the entire approval and product design process. Previously, many people handled the application, and no one person was responsible for it.A pilot program was started whereby a customer-management team was formed to serve 40,000 customers. The team consisted of 10 customer service representatives and their support team (a marketer, an expert in company operations, and an information systems person). Employees are now rewarded for performance, and merit raises are based on team performance to encourage team participation.

1. Are traditional bureaucracies set up to provide custom-made products to individual consumers? Could they be, or is it always better to have customer-oriented teams design such products?

2. Anyone who has worked in team situations has discovered that some members of the team work harder than others; nonetheless, the whole team is often rewarded based on the overall results, not individual effort. How could team evaluations be made so that individual efforts could be recog-nized and rewarded?

3. What service organizations, private or public, would you like to see become more customer oriented? How could this case be used as a model for that organization?

4. What are some major impediments to implementing customer-oriented teams in service organizations? 

Benefits of Customer-Oriented Teams

1.Traditional bureaucracies are corporations that possess various managerial layers who put down directives and take part in making resolutions in the organization. A corporation with this characteristic will have the incapability to prepare a response to the consumer demands briskly. The process of making important decisions requires a set out adjacent to the consumer and not in the managerial layers of the organization. Traditional bureaucracies get to grip with specific drawbacks in establishing custom-made products to individual consumers, individually as a result of their fixed administrative structure and safe practices and procedures. It is much preferable to have a customer-oriented team. Customer focused teams have the superiority of comprehending more distinctly the particular needs of consumers as a result of making the consumer be of a priority. This kind of approach answers appropriately to the adjusting demands from their pliability and offering a superior and a more modified resolution to the consumer emanated from their integrated series of skills (Emerson and Gerlak 2014).

Direct Response Group changing to a customer-oriented team will understand that their success is dependable on customer satisfaction. Customer-oriented organizations aim to motivate consumers preferably than sales of their products. They have a firm belief in their clairvoyance when it comes to formulating future innovation. The Direct Response Group adaptation to being customer oriented will encourage teamwork among employees. When the organization develops a more effective team, it will mean that Direct Response Group will be able to get more success. A customer oriented organization will say that Direct Response Group will network more and cooperation will increase as compared to when it was of traditional bureaucracy.  Direct Response Group will be able to expand its activities and networks. Due to this it will adopt new difficulties and will be able to set objectives (Terry, 2015) routinely.

2.Team assessments should be set to create a centre of attention on a single person's efforts in various ways.  Direct Response Group can assess the effectiveness of each employee against the duties that they were allocated. This technique can monitor the performance of each member. The Direct Response Group organization can determine how much the results of a member’s attempt have been used in teamwork by contemplating their production and contributions in the process of the team’s discussions and their disposition when the team’s responsibility distributes among the team members (Tonidandel and LeBreton, 2015).

Direct Response Group may make use of this stereotype and in such a manner that it defines the procedures that may be approached by the organization executives to focus more on its customers. The Direct Response Group case correctly defines the necessary requisite for the organization to be more focused on the customer, such as transacting with distinguishable consumers and offering the particular consumers with customized products and services that are among the best in the world. To ensure that Direct Response Group team accomplish their responsibilities and that the team members have determination in working for a project, they need to understand that all members are required to be accountable by sharing their liabilities for the general production. Cross-functional teams lessen a rigid hierarchal structure (Costa, Bassos and Bakker, 2014).

Importance of Team Evaluations

3.The Direct Response Group case on the customer-oriented teams shows that the firm should dedicate its efforts to the customer-focused organization set about to ensure its success. Customer orientation affirmatively connects with the public as well as private employee production and perspective towards work. Consumer orientation has a tremendous enthusiastic influence on a workers production as well as inspiration.  Customer orientation of an employee in a public and private organization gives a relationship to the objectives of the respective organization that is in alignment with the employees’ moods, feelings and attitudes, and behavioral principles of public service, and feedback inevitably to ameliorate delivery of services (Lam and Mayer, 2014).

The public and private organizations have distinct missions and objectives and controlled by inconsistent principles. Distinctive groups supervise them on their performance and processes. The individual organizations are prerogative to function, while public service organizations controlled regulations, long-established customs and traditional bureaucracies, inspection and stabilities. The private sector organizations set their targets and pump in resources to accomplish them while laws govern those in the public sector and thus are not flexible in being customer oriented. The public sector is mostly concerned with offering services to public members while private organizations mainly focus on establishing markets to warrant much profit. It creates the need on the individual organization of being more customers oriented (Korschun, Bhattacharya and Swain, 2014).

4.One of the main impediments in the application of customer-oriented teams in service corporations is the technique of actions and operations in the firm, specifically the rigidity that associates with those operations. It is critical for an organization to develop into entirely focusing on their customers. A precise extent of pliability in procedures needs to answer to the requirements of each consumer in the greatest optimum method (Kettunen, 2014).

The hierarchical structure is an additional impediment in the implementation of teams that are focused on their customers. The perspectives and characters of employees are also an impediment in the establishment of a successful team, specifically a group that is mostly cross-functional. How a client approaches the customer matters a lot in the relationship between the customer and the organization.  Employees will not be certain operating with each member in the team and may not desire similar social positions. It may affect the successful functioning of a group, even though teams have already been created (Joshi, 2016).

Reference:

Costa, P. L., Passos, A. M., & Bakker, A. B. (2014). Teamwork engagement: A model of emergency. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 87(2), 414-436.

Emerson, K., & Gerlak, A. K. (2014). Adaptation in collaborative governance regimes. Environmental management, 54(4), 768-781.

Joshi, A. W. (2016). When does customer orientation hinder (help) radical product innovation? The role of organizational rewards. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 33(4), 435-454.

Kettunen, P. (2014, January). Directing High-Performing Software Teams: Proposal of a Capability-Based Assessment Instrument Approach. In International Conference on Software Quality (pp. 229-243). Springer, Cham.

Korschun, D., Bhattacharya, C. B., & Swain, S. D. (2014). Corporate social responsibility, customer orientation, and the job performance of frontline employees. Journal of Marketing, 78(3), 20-37.

Lam, C. F., & Mayer, D. M. (2014). When do employees speak up for their customers? A model of voice in a customer service context. Personnel Psychology, 67(3), 637-666.

Terry, L. D. (2015). The leadership of Public Bureaucracies: The Administrator as Conservator: The Administrator as Conservator. Routledge.

Tonidandel, S., & LeBreton, J. M. (2015). RWA web: A free, comprehensive, web-based, and user-friendly tool for relative weight analyses. Journal of Business and Psychology, 30(2), 207-216.

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