The employees should be firmly committed to the firm, they are the face of a firm (also its eyes and ears). The staff focus should be involved in the process management, also their measurement and knowledge as well as initial contact with customers, all contribute to the performance of the organization.
Firms need to provide results on a consistent basis, be innovative and should respond quickly to any changes in environment for giving exceptional results and satisfying customers. Further in continuous improvement, aspects such as redesign of processes or services, upgraded technology systems, proper paperwork should be focused upon. Continuous improvement requires all firms' members to look for opportunities to improve. Overall, the continuous improvement process involves customers, leadership, employees and quality. It is the customers who determine if the firm is providing quality. They are the judges of it. The leadership is useful for setting direction of the firm. It is responsible for making high level performance.
Let's review the basic continuous improvement model, identifying the problems then search the causes, plan on the improvement then implement it and observe the progress. Performance measurement for consideration includes short-term, medium term and long-term outcomes, efficiency in cost management and services and the proper process measures.
Now, let's focus on the design or redesigning of processes, Firstly the opportunity should be studied properly, then the need to explain the quality attributes. The end user or customer should be contacted to determine its wants from the service or product. Once information is received from within and outside the firm then a proper Gap Analysis should be done. This involves observing at the gaps between the current functionality of the firm and the desires, wants or expectations from the end user (customer) of the firm.
If the Gap analysis predicts a failure in meeting the customer's expectations, then proper solutions should be looked out for the desired problem, this may require many different creative techniques for the solution of problem be applied, then determine on how to test the improvements. Finally the implementation comes. A proper team should be assigned for the implementation plan and for the timeline for operations.
Let's focus on empowerment in TQM, it is the transfer of authority in a firm to the bottom most level. It makes personnel at bottom levels of the firm to contribute towards decision making which was usually done by the top level management. This empowerment helps the firm's personnel to improve the process and give services which benefit the customer.
Employees are a great resource, they should be supported by proper empowerment. Their work should get proper recognition. Quality is a huge aspect of services, it should be combined more efficiently to the services produced. Now a days, almost all major firms in the Western hemisphere have different types of empowerment techniques in them.
Finally, let's focus on the communication component. The communication process is very crucial for giving appropriate service to customer. This process involves seven major elements, the main speaker, the message it conveys, the communication channel, the target listener, feedback attained, interference and the complete situation. The speaking manner is crucial here, the speaker must make the listener understand what is said. Transmitting a message includes the message itself, selection of words, tone of voice, complete appearance (if any), gestures, body language, facial expressions and the eye contact. The speaker must ensure that the nonverbal message is not distracting the listener away from the main spoken message.
Every message should be filtered, listener's scope includes its total knowledge, experience and main goals. The speaker should ensure the listener understands the message by focusing on its scope of reference, furthermore the speaker should know of the verbal and non-verbal gestures which are understood by the customer. Negative gestures should be avoided, calling by name is considered as a positive gesture. Always remember that customers want to be treated respectfully, they also need positive interaction and attitude. The speaker should put proper attention to what they are saying.
The E-government factor in communication is growing at huge pace which involves modern methods of communications such a through e-mail or telecommunications rather than meeting in person. It is encouraged because technology is easily available and it is very cheap and convenient to use. You can easily emulate the main business which applied technology, it shifts the main work form the company towards the customer by reducing many company workloads, saving huge proportions of money, increasing the overall productivity and in many cases reducing the workforce.
Customer Services Essentials
Following are some main points which the organization can use to make more efficient decisions on customer services, firstly identify the customer type. "External customers are the end users of the main type of services and the internal customers are those which lie inside the firm depending on different departments for services."(Brown,1998).
The firm needs to take advantage of the customers who fits in their scope and focus on satisfying that specific set of population, these are the main primary customers and the foremost source of income to the firm. The process of customer satisfaction involves meeting or exceeding the end user's expectations from the product. Some characteristics which help in determining the order of satisfaction from the customer are as follows, ease in availability of services, the comprehension of the services provided, the reliability of services (does the firm fulfills it's obligations on what it claims?), Responsiveness (how quickly the firm respond and react to the customer's wants and desires?), the timing of services and competence (discusses the accuracy of service).
Companies and firms should not confuse customer service with the customer satisfaction. The satisfaction factor is measured by the customer themselves, customer satisfaction has influence on the entire set of operations conducted by the company, in either short or long-term planning the main input from the customer is essential to determine the upcoming direction of the entire firm.
Information provided by the customer makes the firm to better determine outcomes and results which can aid in decision making and overall planning whereas the companies set the service measures which are more often done regardless of the desires of the customer. Service measures are implemented on taking note of the most recent experiences available.
The continuous improvement factor is labeled as process improvement and is very critical for development of customer services. Processes are simply ways to do a work, they have inputs in the form of data, once entered the data is transformed from the process into the necessary output required. The outputs of the processes can be inputs to another units, this chain can go on and on until the final desired result is obtained, feedback loops are created within these chains between the processes, here the improvement factors comes to effect.
There are many ways to find out what the customer wants, some of those methodologies are as follows, qualitative research which focuses on selected hypothesis and searches data to reply to question, a selected statement of problem is required here. The firm should also define the aim of the research. Quantitative research which quantifies information obtained from a targeted set of individuals, it includes interviews, surveys designed to get selected information (the questions may ask to choose from a set of options in surveys). This research in most cases samples the population.
There are many informal research techniques such as administrative information, complaints, complements and suggestions (where customers provide information on a regular basis by the complaint system) and informal interviews.
Other methods for research are through focus groups, different kinds of open surveys (which includes personal interviews, telephone interviews and written questionnaires).
Once results are obtained from the source, the data analyzing begins (e.g. analyzing a survey by a rating scale from 1 to 5 where 1 is the lowest score and 5 is the highest). Also, there is a need to assure the obtained information from the analysis is reliable.
Some more Principles for Proper Customer Service
"The ability to satisfy the wants and desires of the customers properly is considered as lifeblood of the business."(Buttle, 2004). There are many ways for customer satisfaction such as offering discounts to attract more customers or to make existing customers spend more by other offers. "The business holder should always make efforts to make the customer come back (or in other cases, use services time and time again)"(Els, 2003), otherwise the business won't be giving profits for a long time. "The essence of proper customer service is to make customer come again (or as pointed above, use services over and over) and satisfy them so that they may provide positive feedback to others on the services they received who may then later on become new customers themselves."(Horrell, 2006).
"Let's say if someone is a good salesperson then it can make its product sell (whatever it is selling) to any person once,…