Administrative Services Outcome 5

Administrative Services
Outcome 5
Customer Service Policies
Importance of Customer Service
 The
most important aspect of a business...
without good customer service there is no
Mission Statement
 A statement
which is usually a couple of
 Employees
are encouraged to learn it, which
shares the management’s vision of how the
organisation hopes to grow and develop
“DHL enhances the business of our
customers by offering highest quality
express and logistics solutions based on
strong local expertise combined with the
most extensive global network presence.
Customers trust DHL as the preferred global
express and logistics partner, leading the
industry in terms of quality, profitability and
market share”
Ikea's mission is to offer a wide range of
home furnishing items of good design and
function, excellent quality and durability, at
prices so low that the majority of people can
afford to buy them.
Virgin Atlantic
"To grow a profitable airline, where people
love to fly and people love to work"
Customer Care Strategy
A written statement of principles to ensure that the
customer gets what they want at the right
standard, quality and price.
It will cover how the company will:
Ensure the quality of its customer care
Measure and test that customer needs are satisfied
Ensure service level agreements are in place
Deal with customer complaints
Effect of Poor Customer Service
Dissatisfied customers
leading to a high level
of complaints
A bad reputation with
the effect of a reduction
in sales and therefore
Administrative Assistant –
Role when Dealing with Complaints
Competence – professional and knowledgeable image, use the
customers name when possible eg Miss Wright
Confidence – keep eye contact and smile at the customer with
positive body language
Be Concerned – listen, be honest even if you have to give bad
Be Courteous – be polite, don’t argue – even if the customer is
shouting/being abusive – be assertive but not aggressive
Communicate – ask questions, take notes, pass on information,
keep the customer informed
Customer Care Strategy
The standards a customer can expect
A good customer service will allow an organisation
to benefit from:
Achieving customer satisfaction
Increased sales
Increased customer loyalty
A good reputation
Increased competitiveness
Fewer complaints
Customer Service Level Agreement
An agreement between the organisation and the customer
describing what the organisation promises to be able to do and
what the customer can expect
States what, how and when the organisation intends to deliver
States what will happen if the organisation fails in its promise
and commitment
Outlines the responsibilities of both parties
Specifies any extra or hidden costs
Increases customer confidence and sets the standard for
measurement and comparison with other organisations.
Customer Service
Benefits of Good
Motivated and high
performing staff
Satisfied and loyal
customers who
recommend the business
Reputation – attracting
customers and staff
Competitive edge
Increased market share
Effects of Poor
Demoralised and
demotivated staff
Dissatisfied customers
won’t return or recommend –
loss of income
Difficult to turn around a
poor reputation
Loss of status in the market
spending on
 Survival
 Repeat
depends on the customer
customers are important customers
 Satisfaction
is essential and depends on high
quality and continual improvement
Gerald Ratner
He built up an extremely successful chain of jewellers during the 1980s, of which he
was chief executive. The shops shocked the formerly staid jewellery industry by
displaying fluorescent orange posters advertising cut price bargains and by offering
low price ranges.
Although widely regarded as "tacky", the shops and their wares were nevertheless
extremely popular with the public, until Ratner made a speech at the Institute of
Directors on 23 April 1991.
During the speech, he commented:
“We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated
tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, "How can you
sell this for such a low price?", I say, "because it's total crap."
He compounded this by going on to remark that some of the earrings were "cheaper
than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn't last as long."
Customers exacted their revenge by staying away from Ratner shops. After the
speech, the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million, which very
nearly resulted in the firm's collapse. Ratner resigned in November 1992 and the
group changed its name to Signet Group in September 1993.
Complaints Procedures
 Must
be a specific policy in place to deal with
these customers – remember not everyone
will complain
 Sometimes
referred to as Customer
Retentions especially in Mobile/Broadband
Dealing with Complaints
All complaints should be treated seriously and
They should be handled by specially trained
They should be acknowledged and the customer
should be kept informed of what is happening
Time limits should be established eg all
complaints dealt with within 10 working days
The result of the investigation should be
communicated to the customer
Why Don’t People Complain?
Don’t want
to make a
nature of
dealing with
Who to
scared to
Take up
too much
Evaluating Policy
If the customer care policy is evaluated it allows
the organisation to:
Monitor where complaints come from and what
they are about
Target where training or changes in procedures
need to be introduced
Assure customers of prompt attention at all times
Show commitment to customers, encouraging
their loyalty and gaining their trust and respect
Customer Focus
Organisations who show a willingness to find and
eliminate customer problems achieve customer focus
How to improve:
Listen to what the customer has to say
Conduct focus groups
Customer satisfaction survey
Best customer service awards
Provide customer service training
Internal newsletter – sharing good practice
Provide warranties, guarantees and refunds
Guarantees and Warranties
is a formal promise – belief in
product or service. Brings in more business
even if ‘money-back’ guarantee offered.
 A guarantee
 A warranty
states that a product/service will
last for an appropriate length of time – if the
need arises repairs/replacements offered at
no extra cost
Internet Research
Visit Trading Standards…
Look for advice leaflets for customers
What products have been recalled in the last
Visit Citizens Advice – Consumer Services
How does the law protect your rights?
Customer Satisfaction
Questionnaires – often need an incentive like entry into a prize
Comment cards – not always taken seriously eg after a meal in
a restaurant
Telephone – customers resent being interrupted at home, but
often used as a courtesy call after eg home improvements to see
if there are any problems (being pro-active)
Interview – time consuming and expensive, unpleasant if people
are rude
Online surveys – often questions not read properly, often
follows an online purchase
Loyalty Cards
Examples: Boots, Tesco, Nectar (Sainsbury)
regular customers with ‘points’
which may translate to money off coupons
 Rewards
 Used
to gather spending habits of
customers in order to alter prices and extend
special offers.
Mystery Shopper
This is a person who pretends to shop and
experience the service and care ordinary
customers receive.
Feedback is then given to either praise
employees, or to reinforce company policy.
Sometimes staff can become aware of the
mystery shopper and don’t always cooperate
and can even be hostile if they feel that they are
being spied on.
What might be Mystery Shopped?
 Assessing
Customer Service eg speed,
 Assessing customer experience in store eg
cleanliness; product displays etc
 Assessing any hostility from company
 Are customer needs being met?
 Are policies being followed?
 Sample employee’s product knowledge
Customer Focus Groups (1)
Small groups of customers brought together to
provide the organisation with feedback on their
goods and services, proposed new products and
lines that are no longer profitable.
Feedback is immediate.
Sometimes a marketing organisation will carry out
the research – so the participants don’t know
which company they are reporting on.
Customer Focus Groups (2)
to run – minimum would be travel
expenses for participants.
 Expensive
 Information
is only a sample of what all
customers think at a certain point in time.
 For
a national perspective, focus groups
would need to be held throughout the country
– time consuming exercise.
Market Research
 Field
new information is gathered for the business.
what we have just looked at… (previous slides)
 Desk
Information which already exists
eg government statistics, competitor profiles,
financial reports
Quality Management Systems
(now just referred to as Quality Management)
 All
employees have an individual and a
collective responsibility for quality.
 Principle:
“Get it right! First time! Every time!”
Investors in People
Relates to staff training and development.
Awarded for 3 years, after which companies must
10 Key Indicators must be covered under 3 areas:
Plan – Develop strategies to improve performance of
the organsiation
Do – Take action to improve the performacne of the
Review – Evaluate the impact on the performance of
the organsiation
Investors in People
Benefits to Employer
Improved morale and
Increased productivity
and profit
Training closely linked
to business objectives
Increased customer
Improved reputation
Positive publicity
Benefits to Employee
Recognition and
improved job
Better communication
on training and
development issues
Pride in belonging to the
Supportive working
Communicating with Customers
 First
impressions count! Remember body
language and tone of voice.
 If
an irate customer can be calmed by a
pleasant, courteous and competent assistant,
then the heat will be taken out of the situation.
Call Centres
Outsourcing to foreign call centres (eg India) may
anger and frustrate some customers if a complaint is
not being treated seriously.
PlusNet (ISP) advertises a Yorkshire based call centre
In general this is a cost effective method of dealing with
However, they can get easily confused if a large
number of automated call menu options are presented
Complaints in Writing
 This
creates a permanent record, replies can
be kept for future reference (especially if the
customer contacts again).
 Email
is becoming more important, however
this has the drawback that a customer might
expect an immediate response.
E-commerce (Customer Service)
 A well-designed,
easy to use and up-to-date
website will encourage customers.
 Available
24/7 and as more people gain
confidence in using the Internet this will save
the organisation costs in terms of staff,
storage and advertising.
Dealing with Customers Face to Face
 Can
identify uncertainties and
clarify immediately
 Allows for subtle questioning
 Demonstrations can be given
 Body language can be read
 May help to defuse the situation
(personal contact)
 Up-selling may increase sales
Administrative Services
Outcome 5

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