Some of the major strategies used for building better customers relationship as follows: 1. People 2. Process 3. Product/Service 4. Organization 5. Customer Analysis 6. Cost Analysis 7. Concentration on Performance 8. Training to Supply Chain Employees 9. Relationship Based Pricing Schemes 10. Participating in Social Events.
All employees from the lowest to the highest level must integrate their activities for achieving customer satisfaction of the highest degree.
The marketing department can coordinate the integrated activity towards customer satisfaction.
A process has to be derived from the customers view point for attaining total customer satisfaction.
The product or service offered must constantly provide value addition and the expectations of customer should be kept in mind.
An Organization should integrate successfully the product/service process, people and the management for achieving total customer satisfaction.
The present and prospective customers are to be periodically analysed with respect to their buying behaviour, taste and preference, level of customer satisfaction and where they are placed on the loyalty ladder. For customer analysis and competitor analysis an organization may depend on a external agency for obtaining unbiased information.
An organization must attempt for continuously cost reduction process by adopting value analysis and value engineering without compromising on quality. If the company offers good quality product/service at reduced price to customers, this would avoid switching over of the customers to competitors product/services.
Performance of each one in the chain of product/service offering is to be continuously monitored and corrective actions are to be initiated. This must be on continuously basis and there must be a separate team of members well trained to evaluate the performance and initiate corrective actions.
Each link in the supply chain is very important. Organization must come forward to offer state of the art training to all connected with the supply chain. Training in the areas of customer care, customer communication and customer complaint management etc. are to be provided.
A loyal customer who makes repetitive purchase of company’s product or service is to be charged less price than others. Hotels, Air Lines, Nursing Homes etc. usually adopt this method. This method would induce customers to go for continuously buying from or making use of the service from the same organization and these by the relationship would emerge and continue.
An organization must come forward to identify itself, with all social events with the organization and the customers are concerned providing relief to the community suffering due to natural calamities and active participation in rendering social responsibility and sponsoring sports events etc. help in holding the relation of the organisation at high esteem and such good practices certainly lead towards relationship building.
(i) Customer Retention:
The goal of marketing programme to maintain high levels of customer continuance. The cost of retaining customers is significantly less than the cost associated with acquiring a customer. A measure of the success of customer service organization, customer retention is ensuring that your customers continue to buy from you in the future.
Acquisition is a stage in which customers are acquired for an organization’s business. Customers so acquired would reach a state of either satisfaction or dissatisfaction. While satisfaction leads to retention, dissatisfaction leads to the stage of attention. The customer in the defection stage may be required by means of appropriate marketing programmes aimed at the recovery of lapsed customers.
(ii) Sequence in the Retention Process:
An organization focusing attention on retention may adopt the following sequence of actions:
This step focuses attention on exploring the type of customers to be attracted for retention. The choice is based on value of customers volume of business as they bring in regularity of purpose, profit margin and the like.
It is a detailed analysis of the profile of these customers explored for the purpose of retention. This can be done in forms of the customers’ purchase history.
(c) Establishing strategies:
Customer specific strategies are evolved for effecting customer retention.
(d) Examining Feedback:
The results of the strategies implemented are to be examined on regular basis, as their suitability towards achieving the goal of retention.
(iii) Customer Satisfaction vs. Customer Retention:
Satisfaction occurs when the customer’s requirements are fulfilled and the ultimate satisfaction a customer aims for has the following four elements:
i. Product Satisfaction:
This constitutes the tangible core benefits.
ii. Peripheral satisfaction:
This type of satisfaction adds value to the core benefits. Peripheral satisfaction helps the customer enhances his/her desire for personal attention.
iii Ambience Satisfaction:
This constitutes a blend of tangible factors like competitive pricing, aesthetic property and services offered and intangible items such as co-ordial relations and courtesy extended to customers.
iv. Psychic Satisfaction:
This is related to the satisfaction extended in tune with the individuality of the customer concerned. It depends on the personality traits of the customer. A reserved customer may not like the lengthy dialogue of a salesperson.
(iv) Significance of Customer Satisfaction and Customer Retention for a Market Leader:
(i) A leader in any business field must give due care for all-round customer satisfaction and retention. It is known to the leader that the satisfaction leads to customer retention and the retention not only results in brand loyalty but is less experience that creating a new customer,
(ii) In order to be successful, the leader should consider the changing customer requirements, preferences, life styles and buying behaviour of the customer and design the product-mix, marketing-mix and promotional-mix accordingly to suit the changed environment.
(iii)The market leader must be capable of bringing out suitable innovation in Product- mix, Marketing-mix, Promotional-mix and in Channel-mix in such a manner that the goods and services offered completely fulfill the satisfaction of customer resulting in customer retention and creation of new customers in the ever changing situation.
(iv) The leader organization should develop the culture of total employee involvement towards providing total satisfaction to customers. For the purpose of providing total satisfaction, active and visible involvement of every employee from top to bottom in the hierarchy is required.
(v) The organization must develop the mechanism to identify attrition signals as largely as possible and support suitable remedial measures and provide directions for improving the process of customer retention.
(vi) The leader organization should be involved in conducting marketing research activities continuously with specific importance on customer related problem and there must be active deployment of customer data. This would help in minimising attrition and improving customer retention.
(vii) An organization should develop effective communication system among employees, channel members, suppliers and customers. It should organise regular customer contact programmes and should have effective compliant management system focusing maximising customer satisfaction.
(viii) A business organization desiring to gain or retain market leadership status should address the market dynamics of the following types:
(a) Newly empowered customers who chose how to communicate with companies.
(b) Consumers who expect a high degree of personalization.
(c) Emerging real-time, interactive channels including e-mail, web, ATM’s and call centre that must be synchronised with a customer’s non-electronic activity.
(d) The speed of business change requiring flexibility and rapid adoption of new technologies.