- Two examples of external clients are the members of the gymnasium that Amira works at and the suppliers who purchase pharmaceuticals from the company that John and Jessica work for. The members of the gymnasium expect safe facilities, knowledgeable staff who can teach them proper exercise techniques, and factual information to be published in the gym’s newsletter. The suppliers expect safe and effective pharmaceuticals, correct information from salespeople and customer service representatives, and accurate labeling of their products.
- An example of an internal customer relationship would be between the upper management at the pharmaceutical company and the front line staff. As Jessica noted, there needs to be better communication between the two parties so the front line staff may have the correct information when dealing with external customers.
- John mentioned that there are suppliers that purchase products from the pharmaceutical company who require re-branding in the form of their own company logos and information. These customers require consistency in dealings with the company. As John noted, it is important for these customers to remain with the same sales representatives to ensure that the rep is familiar with their needs and wants. However, to take this concept a step further, it is essential that the proper systems are in place to ensure continuity of service should there be employee turnover or if the regular representative is unavailable. These systems should include thorough documentation of the logo and labeling requirements, as well as any prior issues or problems in order processing. This will help to streamline ordering time when the customer places orders. These customers should also be offered bulk discounts to encourage larger orders and to help the customer to cut costs.
- Amira discussed the standard of clients who want to lost weight and how these standards are measured. Another standard that could be measured in the gym is a client who wants to run a 5K. The standard is the activity, which would be running a 5K. Service levels would be the particular goals, perhaps weekly or monthly. The actions would include the weekly program to get the client from not running at all to running a 5K. The specific program would be prescribed by the trainer taking into account the clients individual needs.
- Management at the gym could provide role playing exercises utilizing common inquiries or complaints. A large team meeting where the management provided training regarding principles and practices of customer service, along with policies and procedures of the company. This larger training would conclude with role-playing examples displayed by the supervisors, showing both excellent and poor customer service. A discussion would follow. The larger training would then be broken up into groups, where employees would role-play different scenarios. Individual follow-ups could then be performed by management with employees that require further experience or training.
- Dear Valued Customer,
At ABC Gymnasium, we take the needs of our customers very seriously. We have developed this short survey to ensure that we are consistently meeting your needs. Please answer the questions below so that we may incorporate your feedback into our customer service program.
- Please rate your overall experience with our gym: Poor Needs Improvement Satisfactory Superior
- Please rate your customer service experience overall: Poor Needs Improvement Satisfactory Superior
- Please rate the cleanliness of our facilities: Poor Needs Improvement Satisfactory Superior
- Please rate the expertise of our physical training staff: Poor Needs Improvement Satisfactory Superior
- Please rate the customer service provided by our front desk staff: Poor Needs Improvement Satisfactory Superior
- Please rate the value that you receive from our services as compared to our pricing: Poor Needs Improvement Satisfactory Superior
Would you recommend our company to your friends, family, and/or coworkers?
- At the company that John and Jessica work for, Jessica suggested that upper management seemed to ignore the front line staff. If one of these employees gave feedback to upper management suggesting that he did not feel that he had been provided adequate training for his position, the management may feel that this feedback is not important. The employee may feel increased levels of stress and anxiety on the job and may eventually quit if they do not feel adequately trained and prepared for their job. High employee turnover or poorly trained employees can have an impact on the quality of customer service perceived by external customers.
- The group suggested sales records as a means of measuring how well service is being provided, with the thought that a higher sales record reflects a higher level of customer service. Another record that should be kept is a customer retention record. Tracking customers and whether or not they provide repeat business is an excellent indicator of their satisfaction with a company’s customer service. As Lawrence (2012) points out “it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than to brand new prospects.” Focusing on client retention can help to maintain and even increase sales.
Lawrence, A., 2012, Five customer retention tips for entrepreneurs, Forbes, [online]. Available at < http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexlawrence/2012/11/01/five-customer-retention-tips-for-entrepreneurs/> [Accessed 7 February 2013].
Reh, F., 2013, Customer satisfaction surveys. About.com, [online]. Available at < http://management.about.com/od/competitiveinfo/a/CustomerSatSurv.htm> [Accessed 7 February 2013].