The telecom industry in the present times is growing more than ever, with globalization in its full swing the need for communication is intensified hence the means of communication are under going revolutionary changes. Looking at the great market potential the number of competitors has also increased hence new packages are brought everyday in order to attract customers and customer retention has become a major issue. The basic factor for the lack of customer retention is the lack of ‘Customer Satisfaction’, high number of satisfied customers ensures long term profitability and a strong customer base for the company to bank on. (Ensuring Customer Satisfaction)
In order to achieve customer satisfaction it is necessary for every firm to shift its approach from being product centric to customer centric that is instead of the activities of the firm shouldn’t revolve around its product but should rather concentrate on the customer. In this growing and evolving era of modernization and the increasingly evolving “consumer market”, no firm can survive with concentrations based on their products; rather, the focus should be on the customer.
There are various ways in which these shortcomings can be met. Not all of them may lead to the same success and some may be easier than the other. The aim of this paper is to discuss in detail the different ways in which the change can be brought about and the different methods that can be taken for this.
BRINGING about the change
In order to achieve customer satisfaction the MCI should focus on the following four factors:
- Identify Customer Needs and Concerns
- Customer Services
- Focus on Customer Benefits instead of Profitability
- Building Customer Relations
The following pages will discuss in detail the above four factors and will provide justifications for their need.
Identify Customer Needs and Concerns
What matters to the customers the most is his recognition, the customer needs to feel important and it’s the company’s responsibility to meet this expectation. For customers to feel satisfied they have to feel that their opinion and concerns matter to the company, hence it is essential to know the customer’s desires at every step of the business.
A great product according to the company may fail to impress the customers, the reason being that probably that was not what the customer was looking for at that time, in order to prevent the company from such failures the company needs to develop a procedure to know the customer’s needs. (Ensuring Customer Satisfaction)
Hence customer’s opinion must be involved from the very first level when the product is developed, this would benefit the company because for such a product the company wouldn’t have find a market as the market will already be existing, hence the company would now develop a product for the market instead of the traditional finding market to sell the product.
Involving customers at the development stage may attract a lot of new customers who would be satisfied with the company’s service form the very first day, for the existing customers the company needs to realize what are the matters of concern for them, this would help the company in improvising on its existing products rather than developing an entirely new product and increasing the level of satisfaction among its existing customers. (Wilusz, 2008)
Customer satisfaction increases in multiple folds through an efficient customer service process; by this process we mean the existence of a procedure that assists the customer whenever there is need, any query that the customer might want to clarify or any problem that the customer is facing and it needs to be solved.
It is essential to have a defined procedure for the customer so that he is clear on what he needs to do in case of any need for assistance, he should be informed on who to contact to contact in which case as it gets very frustrating for any human being when his call is being transferred from one person to another and companies in highly competitive markets cannot afford such emotions of a customer.
Besides letting the customer know what to do in any possible situation it must be ensured that the people attending these customers are helpful and willing to assist the customers, they must do everything and take every possible step to satisfy the customer and solve his problem, the customer needs to be welcomed in such a situation and must be given every assistance to rectify his problem. (Dasgupta, 2006)
Focus on Customer Benefits instead of Profitability
During the product development and even after that the prime concern of the company should be the customer’s satisfaction and how can the customer benefit from the activities of the company.
In this way the company now revolves around the sole objective of achieving customer satisfaction; hence activities of the company now become customer centric and now attract and retain more customers. The profitability of the company becomes a secondary objective but it is certainly not neglected at any point of time since the company of course needs to make profit in order to survive, but once customer’s benefits and satisfaction becomes the company’s objectives profitability follows by default as more and more customers now buy the product. (Wilusz, 2008)
During product development and improvisation the main focus should be that what the customers would get out of it and will it benefit the customers. (Ensuring Customer Satisfaction)
Building customer relations
In order to achieve customer satisfaction it is extremely important that the customers develop some sort of association with the company, in this way now they would want to buy the company’s product no matter what the competitor is offering, this may also be looked upon as building customer loyalty. (Working with Globalization)
This relationship may be developed by following the prior three factors or by going out of the way and wishing customer birthdays or sending them holiday cards. This all gives the customer a sense of belonging and a caring feeling which ultimately becomes strength for the company. Obviously if a customer is involved in a product’s development from the beginning he would want to buy the final finished good.
Advanced Management Approaches
In today’s competitive environment the only way to survive is to stand out of the competition and stay ahead of everyone involved. The concept of continuous improvement states that a company should never take a pause in its activities instead it should keep on working towards developing an even better product.
It is a Japanese concept derived from the word ‘KAIZEN’, in this processes of the company are continuously evaluated and are improved in term of their effectiveness and efficiency. The evaluation is done on the basis of feedback from the customers which are weighted against the company’s objectives. (Dasgupta, 2006)
Sometimes even major corporations make this mistake of banking on to just one type of product and trying to sell it without improvisation, what they don’t realize is the fact that soon the competition catches on to their product and produces a similar if not a better product, hence the individuality and uniqueness is gone and the product loses its attraction for the customers.
The remedy for this is that the company keeps on improvising on its product and coming up with new ideas, in this way the customers are bound to check out what is new on the offer and also in this way the company will be able to maintain its status of being the market leader; this also gives the company an opportunity to charge a premium on the product since its rare in the market. (Working with Globalization)
Employee empowerment is a rather new concept where the employees are allowed to make their own decisions, this of course doesn’t mean that they would make decisions for the company but instead this refers to the fact that they can take their own decisions within their domain and are not required to consult their supervisors for every minor detail. (Potterfield, 1999)
This encourages the employees to take the responsibility of maintaining company’s image and also gives them the liberty to enjoy their own decision making capabilities, this strategy is very effective in a customer driven organization as the customers would want the person they are talking with to solve all their problems and not go through the entire hierarchy for different problems. (Employee Involvement) This also serves as a motivational factor for the employees as they believe that their opinions are valued and that they play an important role in the organization. (Potterfield, 1999)
Value Chain Analysis
Introduced by Michael Porter, the concept spreads out all the activities of the organization that are involved in producing the final product, each activity is viewed individually and is analyzed according to the value that it adds to the final product.
The main objective of the value chain concept is to deal with each activity individually and in this way maximize the value of each step while keeping costs to the minimum, when all of these are summed up the final product is of the highest value and has incurred minimum costs in the process. The breaking down of the major activity into smaller fragments makes the process easier as well as individual activities are focused upon and individual attention is given to each, hence any flaws are easily identifiable and conveniently rectified as well.
VALUE To mci limited
Identifying Customer Needs and Concerns
This would significantly reduce the risk attached with any product launch, with the market already existing for the product the MCI only needs to fulfill the requirements and measure it against the cost that would incur.
This also would develop the required sense of belonging among the customers as they will be able to relate to the product and are more likely to buy it.
In the telecom business customer services play a major role in any company’s success, clearly defined procedures and friendly staff assisting the customers would reduce the ambiguity and would give customers a feeling that there will always be someone to help them out and that they know what to do in case of any problem. This in a way locks the customers to MCI and would gain their trust and they would certainly go for a service they trust rather than any other competitor. (Ensuring Customer Satisfaction)
Keeping the focus on customer benefits is an essential factor influencing customer satisfaction, as the customer would obviously choose a service that offers the most benefits. As more and more customers join in the profit would obviously increase. (Potterfield, 1999)
Customer relations is the most convenient way of convincing a customer to buy your product, any emotional attachment with the company makes the customer loyal to its products who would now prefer the company’s product irrespective of what the competitor has to offer.
Feedback from the customers needs to be analyzed and subsequent changes would need to be made in order for MCI to stay in the competition, as mentioned in strong competitive markets the only way to survive is to keep on improving and stay ahead of the competition, hence it is beneficial for MCI to adopt this approach. (Wilusz, 2008)
Since customer services is an integral part of the telecom business, customer interaction with the employees is to a great extent, in order to facilitate the customers MCI would have empower its employees so that they can take their own decisions and giving the customers relief hence maintaining the level of satisfaction. (Potterfield, 1999)
MCI’s processes can be divided into several fragments, losing focus on any of these fragments can result in a huge loss for the company, each sub-division has its own importance and requires individual attention as it in its own way adds value to the company as a whole, hence adoption of the approach can be fruitful for the organization.
Dasgupta, S. (2006). Is Globalization Causing A ‘Race To The Bottom’ In Environmental Standards? (Part 4 of a four part series). PREM Economic Policy Group and Development Economics Group , 2-4.
Ensuring Customer Satisfaction. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2008, from Dos and Donts of Insurance records: http://www.insurancefile.net/dos/archive/945hfnf/kl=opuyr=2008
Wilusz, L. M. (2008). Growing into My Dreams. Public Manager , 31-34.
Working with Globalization. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2, 2008, from www.worldbank.org/globalization