BBA Business Communication Study Material Communication and Customer Care : BBA Business Communication 2019 Notes Study Material Question Answer Paper in English.
After Studying This Chapter You Are Able to Understand: Introduction of Communication and Customer Care/Customer Relations, Striving Toward Competitive Advantage, The Overall Changing Scenario, Customer as Partner In Production and Distribution, Customer Friendly Orientation of Employees, Implications For Hiring The Right People, A Proposed Framework For Communication With Customer.
- Customer care is the first priority of all business.
- Customer care/satisfaction can be achieved only though effective communication.
- People in business have only recently started caring about customers.
- Customer care gives an industry competitive advantage over its rivals.
- Service industries are especially taking care to satisfy their customers. They are out to convert satisfied customers into delighted customers.
- Liberalization and competition from multinationals have brought significant change in the attitude of management toward customers.
- Customers are now fast emerging as partners in production and distribution.
- More and more organizations are now training their employees to be customer – friendly.
- Customer friendliness has important implications for hiring the right kind of workers.
- Many corporate giants are taking high-tech measures to ensure customer care.
- It is important for an industry to work out a frame work for meaningful relations with the customers.
- Customer’s recommendation is the best marketing tool.
We can start this chapter with a few simple but vitally important questions. What is the raison due – entire, the reason or justification for the being or existence of all business? The answer is – the customer. Who is a business organization ultimately answerable to? The customer. What is the most important criterion of the success of all business? Customer satisfaction. How can a company find out whether this criterion is being fulfilled? By getting feedback from the customer. How does a company get feedback from the customer? By keeping open, and further promoting, the channels of communication. And what is communication, after all? A two – way process for exchange of information. What does it lead to? Establishment of mutually understood/appreciated dialogue or relationship.
People in business have always been aware of these questions, and also of the one point answer to all them. But never before was so much importance attached to the customer as in recent times. They have been talking so much about customer care that it has become a cliche. It has so far been no more than mere lip – service. The reason, perhaps, is that the very importance of communication was not realized so well as in last two or three decades. As we have seen in chapter 2, an organization draws its sustenance, through communication, by building up healthy environment within its structure as well as the environment outside. In other words, good communication is as much important for customer care/relations as for progressive human relations within the organization. Now the thrust is not just towards customer satisfaction but also towards customer’s delight or pleasure so that more and more customers are drawn to the company with the promise of greater interest and profit.
Satisfactory customer care gives an industry, especially a service industry, a distinct competitive advantage over its rivals. That is why most of the service industries are now vying with each other to convert their satisfied customers into ‘delighted’ customers. Needless to say, it is a world of competitive business. Competitors can be divided into two groups:
- Those who take their customers for granted and don’t really value good communication.
- Those who care for their customers and are eager to communicate with them.
One need not be afraid of the competitors, falling in category (a) if the organization is customer – friendly, and already reputed to be so. And if the organization/industry continues to care for its customers and devise newer ways to satisfy/delight them, the competitors will find it hard to catch up.
An Example: The Customer Orientation of Modern Banks
Banks nowadays are giving highest importance to their customers and building up human relationships. They are training frontline employees to be responsive and efficient, keeping customer’s needs in mind and always being alive to non – routine requests. The focus being the customer, the banks are making every effort to understand his needs – whether stated or unstated, and developing state of – the art technological infrastructure and response systems in order to meet those needs. Emulating the practices of other service industries, they are now beginning to provide unconditional guarantees covering a wide range of services in which they actually pay out or credit customer’s accounts for lapses or drops in services levels.
Harping on the notes of ‘loyalty’ the banks are now building up a prominent ‘Retention – Relationship – Referral’ that they call the three R’s of their services. Their slogan is ‘100 percent satisfaction/100 percent loyalty’. They are going all out to persuade and woo the customers by offering them attractive incentives in the names of ‘relationship pricing’. Now the customers can expect prices – offs on certain products and programmes, thus actually profiting from their relationships. This relationship pricing is further supplemented/ augmented by a whole range of what have come to be called ‘valued – added services’ thus giving a new phraseology to the language of industry – customer relationship.
Till about two decades ago the manufacturing and marketing departments remained mostly segregated, and the customer was not given much importance. But now, as we have seen in the case of the banks today, the companies have gone all out ‘caring’ for customers, ‘satisfying’ their wants and even ‘delighting’ them. Take for example the case of Hindustan Lever’s Surf with Excel Power, a new detergent that was launched recently. The product was the outcome of well advertised and researched survey in which Lever called for suggestions before marketing the product. The company got about 75000 responses and claimed, that surf with excel was formulated according to customer demand. Comparing the past practice with the present scenario competence, with no networking between them. But in the (new) organization approach, the focus changes to the customer, the process, and process ownerships by empowered employees”.
Such a change in attitude is primarily due to liberalization and competition from the multinationals, Earlier the idea was to make a good product, price it profitably and advertise. The focus was in this way on the manufacturer and dealer. But now the tables are turned. Most companies are becoming aware of involving the customer right from the inception stage. Till quite recently Indian managers were expected and trained to concentrate mostly on financial performance. But now, in the opinion of a managing director, “Management should focus on creating and delivering the best net value to the customer……” With this shift in focus the customer is looked upon as partner in production and distribution of the product.
This is very interesting situation arising from the process of information sharing in the super markets spread across the world. A lot of information is gathered and passed on in the humming activity in any big retail store where every item bears the bar code or the Universal Product Code label. Much of the information on which retail power depends is found in the bar code. And much of the information about the customer is contained in the credit card through which the payment is made for every item. In the words of Alvin Toffler, “… in a world in which money is informationalized’ and second time by providing information that is worth money”.