Competitive Advantage Of Customer Centricity Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Competitive Advantage of Customer Centricity.

Answer:

Introduction

Customer service management is one of the essential activities that any business organization has to give adequate importance, such that customer satisfaction could be achieved. The customers’ services offered by the business organization highlights the number of customers being attracted to the business organization (Blut et al. 2015). The customer services include guidance provided to the customers, promptness of the employees, politeness and courtesy. Professionalism is also an important factor to be maintained, in order to achieve customer satisfaction. Personalization of the services, according to the demand of the customers is also an important part of customers’ service management (So et al. 2016). This assignment highlights the evaluation of the encounters of two business organizations namely Coles and Foodland. Both these companies are retail supermarkets and are leaders Australia. The evaluation of the emotional responses has been shed light upon in this assignment, along with a comparison of the relative performance. The emotional responses of the customers, in the encounters of the same incidents highlight the effectiveness of the customer services in both the companies. Finally, recommendations have been added for each of the companies. The ways the companies could enhance their customer’s services have been shed light upon in this assignment.

Coles and Foodland are two major grocery and food retail chains in Australia. Both these supermarkets have been the leaders in the Australian market, outperforming each other in every survey. The issue that is faced is in the return of the products bough online. I had bought few grocery products from both Coles and Foodland. However, the experience in the return with Foodland was much better than that of Coles. In Foodland, as I requested the return of the products online, immediately I was contacted by a customer care service professional. The professional wanted to know the details of the issue that I faced and the reason I wanted to return the products that I have bought. Moreover, the customer service professional was empathetic towards me and apologised several times, while I communicated that rotten and out dated products were delivered to me. The customer service professional of Foodland guided me with the following steps that I need to take in order to return the goods that were not in order. He apologized several times for the mistake and ensures that the same incident will not be repeated again. The next time I placed an order with Woodland they compensated for their mistakes and give me a lot of free items along with the products that I had ordered. They clearly explained to me that due to some delay in their supply chain and the logistics management, the orders placed were delivered to me rotten. Though, I will disappointed at first yet the guidance and empathy that I got from the customer service professional of Foodland made me understand their problem.

While I face the same issue with Coles, the behaviour that I got from the customer service professionals was more painful and annoying than wrong products being delivered to me. When I lodged a complaint due to incorrect delivery of orders, the customer service professional behave with me very rudely. They were very reluctant to replace the order and force me to take the wrong products being delivered to me. Moreover when I ask for compensation they refused. The behaviour of the customer service professionals were not professional at all and were unexpected. I did not get any empathy from them rather I was blamed for not verifying when the products while they were being delivered. I was totally dissatisfied with the customer services provided by Coles.

Evaluation of the emotional responses

In the incidence of long products being delivered to me by Coles and return products being delivered by Foodland, was equally unexpected and annoying. However in case of Foodland, I had a better experience than in Coles. The professionals of Foodland and the customer service executive were very helpful and empathetic. They reviewed the problem and guided me towards the next steps. Since wrong product delivered to me, I was angry as well as sad. However, the professionals of Foodland handled my anger very efficiently. At times I was angry with their irresponsibility and was rude to the customer service executive. However they understood the pain that I was going through and hence they did not behave rudely with me as a response of my rude behaviour. As the problem was solved by the customer service professionals I realised my mistake. Mistake in delivery of the product might happen once in a while. I could have handled it with more patience. Later I felt that my anger and rude behaviour towards the customer service professionals was unjustified.

The performance of food land commendable and has outperformed the retail market chain Coles. Along with achieving the best customer service award, Foodland has also been chosen for the best store layout, freshness of the food, as well as product variety. The product of food is fresh and cheaper than the other competitive Supermarket stores (Kursunluoglu 2014). The store layouts are well planned and help the customers find the product of their choice very easily (Orel and Kara 2014). The stores also have special facilities for the disabled as well as the elderly citizens. The customer service professionals assist the disabled people and the elderly citizens to find their products (Jahanshani et al. 2014). The company is also active in the CSR activities (Lin and Bennett 2014). Along with hosting various charitable activities, Foodland hosts various sports event and other cultural or charitable activities (Parniangtong 2017).

The customer perceived value proposition of Foodland is higher than that of Coles. With the same amount of money a customer is able to get more products from Foodland, than from Coles. Thus, along with obtaining fresh food products and groceries, the customers are able to save certain amount of money while shopping at Foodland. In order to influence the value of perception of the customers the priority of the company needs to be communicated to its regular customers (Hurewitz 2014). Along with priority at low cost product equality has to be ensured. The efficient customer services will help enhancement in the customer perceived value, thus increasing the business to a significant amount.

Recommendations

In order to ensure that both the companies are able to enhance their shares and business remarkably few recommendations have been given. Foodland needs to ensure that they maintain their standard of the fresh products as well as mention the low cost. The priority that is given to the customer services should be retained, so that they are able to attract more customers along with loyal customer retention (Suryandari and Paswan 2014). It is also recommended that they introduced loyalty bonus for the customers so that they get more discount than the other customers. This will help in retaining old customers.

For Coles, it is recommended that they give priority to the customer services in order to attract more customers along with retention of old customers. The price of the product should also be regulated in order to ensure that the customers can save certain amount of money while shopping. The customer service professionals need to be trained more efficiently so that they are able to handle the customer care and empathy does avoiding loss of loyal customers.

Conclusion

Customer services have a key role to play for any business organisation. The customer services include guidance to the customers for selecting the product along with assistance in after sale services being provided to the customers. The customer services include in store guidance, along with online assistance to the customers. Issues and problems faced by the customers have to be looked after by the customer service executives. It is important that Coles and Foodland give priority to the customer services such that they are able to attract more customers along with the retention of old customers. Customer satisfaction could be achieved if the customer services are given efficiently. Thus, along with quality enhancement and price reduction, the customer services have to be prioritised in order to achieve competitive advantage over the contemporary retail grocery chains. Personalised services are to be given to the customers such that they feel important. Customisation of products and services helps in establishing customer relationship by increasing the number of customers. Strong customer relationship is important for effective Customer services. Loyalty programs for the customers are also effective in enhancing the customer services and establishing a positive customer relationship. Customers feel the priority that is being given to them, thus attracting and retaining them. Empathy towards customers along with professionalism has to be maintained by the customer service executive to enhance the services given to the customers.

References

Blut, M., Frennea, C.M., Mittal, V. and Mothersbaugh, D.L., 2015. How procedural, financial and relational switching costs affect customer satisfaction, repurchase intentions, and repurchase behavior: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32(2), pp.226-229.

Hurewitz, M.., 2014. Retail customer service interaction system and method. U.S. Patent Application 14/180,484.

Jahanshani, A.A., Hajizadeh, G.M.A., Mirdhamadi, S.A., Nawaser, K. and Khaksar, S.M.S., 2014. Study the effects of customer service and product quality on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Kursunluoglu, E., 2014. Shopping centre customer service: creating customer satisfaction and loyalty. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 32(4), pp.528-548.

Lin, Z. and Bennett, D., 2014. Examining retail customer experience and the moderation effect of loyalty programmes. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 42(10), pp.929-947.

Orel, F.D. and Kara, A., 2014. Supermarket self-checkout service quality, customer satisfaction, and loyalty: Empirical evidence from an emerging market. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(2), pp.118-129.

Parniangtong, S., 2017. Competitive Advantage of Customer Centricity.

So, K.K.F., King, C., Sparks, B.A. and Wang, Y., 2016. Enhancing customer relationships with retail service brands: The role of customer engagement. Journal of Service Management, 27(2), pp.170-193.

Suryandari, R.T. and Paswan, A.K., 2014. Online customer service and retail type-product congruence. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(1), pp.69-76.

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