Managing Customer Expectation

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“Discuss the critical factors relating to Customer Expectations and the ways in which organisations can ensure that these expectations are consistently met or exceeded

The UK is in a recession and business are getting hit hard, people are no longer spending as much money as they once did on luxuries (fool, 2012) like going out or away for a short break. Companies need to adapt to this market so that they can continue to be in this market, the way that companies can adapt is by offering the best service for customers as possible. Customers like to have an extremely positive service whenever they spend on luxuries like going out or having a break, Companies therefore need to offer service which stands out from the rest of the businesses out there. Especially as the recession means customers no longer have any money to waste on going out all the time, so when a customer goes out for them to want to go back means that the business needs to be meeting or exceeding expectations as set out by their customers every single customer experience. There are two levels to expectations, what the customer desires to happen and an acceptable level of service which is provided, expectations are made up of past pleasant and negative experiences at similar or the same place of business such as a another branch, a customer will remember the good and the bad. This is known as the Zone of Tolerance concepts as coined by Johnson (1995), performing above the tolerance zone will surprise customers and therefore increase loyalty to that store and also the chances of the store making it through the recession and still existing. There are many ways in which an organisation can ensure they are given the best customer service so that their customers are indeed having their expectations met or exceeded, this essay will look at the critical factors which companies should undertake to survive in this recessions’ market. It is also more economically friendly to your company to ensure your customers are happy with the store because on average it costs between 5% and 10% more to attract new customers rather than keep the one you already have (CSM, n.d.). The first thing a company needs to assess is whether or not they are offering what customers actually want, doing so will assure that not only the companies are not wasting money offering services to customers that they do not need. One of the ways they can find out exactly what the customer wants is by doing there market research (mind power marketing, 2010), an organisation can undertake market research in a number of ways for example, via mystery shoppers and feedback forms, doing market research will allow a business to identify exactly what customers want to receive when customers there, as well as identifying what exactly customers like about what the organisation offers already. The two techniques, feedback forms and mystery shoppers both provide feedback for an organisation however the two are done in different ways. Feedback forms are sometimes done in store however this is a dated way of gaining feedback as it is cheaper to get feedback online via the company’s website, like at American Apparel (American Apparel, n.d.). Mystery Shopper feedback is usually done through an external company like Radius (Radius, n.d.), and they look at things like the cleanliness of a store, helpful staff or speed of service varying upon the outlet as stated by Palmer, Other (2012). For example Queens Hotel in Leeds is a luxury hotel located at the heart of Leeds, it is £89 for a double room (Daily Mail, 2012) which is expensive per night for a hotel room so customers will expect to have the best service as possible for the price they pay, so a mystery shopping visit would be a lot more complex and look out for more detailed things than at a fast food restaurant like Burger King. A feedback form is for light comments made between the customer and the organisation, sometimes the feedback form has little space for...
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