Services Marketing Individual Assignment Essay Example
This report is a feedback of the role mandated to me by the marketing function manager. The report is a response to queries raised on the issue of customer feedback marketing. As such, it answers three pertinent questions on the source of customer feedback, the benefits and concerns of collecting such data. Finally, based on the responses analysis, it recommends approaches through which the airline can improve its collection and management of customer feedback. First, it establishes that customer feedback can be obtained through online feedback platforms, social platforms, and organsiational surveys respectively. Moreover, it demonstrated that customer feedback allow organisation to align service quality perception with customers, allow for continuous improvement, and enhance customers satisfaction. Further, an evaluation of challenges illustrated the lack of honesty, unethical organsiational practices in handling the data and poor analysis methods as key among the concerns. Finally, the report offers a recommendation for the use of different customer feedback sources and the use of a neutral third party to mange customer feedback platforms.
Table of Contents
42.0 Ways of gathering Customer feedback
42.1 Electronic Review Platforms
52.2 Social Media Platforms
52.3 Customers Follow-up Interviews
62.4 Market Survey
63.0 Benefits of Collecting Customer Feedback
63.1 Align Service Quality Perception
73.2 Continuous Improvements Strategy Enhancement
73.3 Customer satisfaction and Loyalty
84.0 Concern Associated with Customer satisfaction data
84.1 Lack of Honesty
94.2 Unethical Interference
94.3 Subjective Analysis Methods
95.0 How to improve customer satisfaction data
105.1 Use Multiple Sources
105.2 Have External IT Systems Managers
Customer feedback is described as the information that an organisation acquires form its customers. In this case, the feedback is often acquired after a product or service experience. In the case of the airline industry, a customer feedback is described as the review and information offered by the customers in response to service offered (Fabijan, Olsson & Bosch, 2015, p. 142). This serves as an illustration of the service level and its perception on the customers end. This report offers a strategic analysis of the role of customer feedback to the airline industry. As such, though the help of peer reviewed scholarly articles, the report evaluates the alternative approaches through which the organisation can gather customer feedback, the benefits, concerns, and finally approaches through which the organisation can improve its customer satisfaction and feedback collection process.
2.0 Ways of gathering Customer feedback
2.1 Electronic Review Platforms
There are different strategies approaches and ways through which an organisation can source and acquire its customer’s feedback. One such approach is the use of an online review platform the emergence of new technology and internet adoption has facilitated increased electronic communication. As such, organisations have the option of developing online customer review portals (Ordenes et al, 2014, p. 19). In order to allow for independence, the customers should be allowed free communication with no direct regulation of speech by the organization. As such, through the online review portals, customers are able to express their positive and negative service experience with the airline.
On its part, the airline should establish a regular review system maybe quarterly or monthly to analyze all the comments and formulate a summary of the all the positive and negative remarks, as well as areas earmarked for improvements.
2.2 Social Media Platforms
An alternative to the development of an online review website approach is the use of the social media. Currently as Fabijan, Olsson and Bosch (2015, p. 147) noted, a majority of the organisations have reverted to the use of the social media platforms as alternative approaches through which to interact with the customers. Therefore, the organisation can collect its customer’s feedback through the social media. In this case, through setting up accounts such as on Facebook and Twitter, the IT and customer relations department can on regular basis pose updates and information, provoking the customers reaction. Such information could include a potential service offer, discount and other marketing mix element variables. Similar to the online reviews, the organisations should have an evaluation criterion as well as frequency to ensure the actual representation of the customers’ feedbacks are adopted for inclusion and consideration in strategies and organisational decision making process.
2.3 Customers Follow-up Interviews
An additional approach to collecting customer remarks is through a direct involvement with the customers. This is achieved through a customer follow up strategy, especially fit the most frequent and loyal customer to the airline. In this case, the organization can set up a follow up interview on its passengers selected in a convenience sampling approach, to ensure that only willing customers offer their feedback. This approach is most suitable for private jet hires and other one off aviation services offered to the customers. In this case, by comparing a number of similar projects feedback, an organization is able to evaluate not only on the quality of the offered services, but also on the consistency of the offered quality, a key pillar in facilitating customer loyalty in the aviation industry.
2.4 Market Survey
A final approach is the collection of market data through surveys. In this case, the use of surveys is essentially hedged on the use of questionnaires. The use of market surveys has its key merit in that it allows for the targeting of not only the existing customers, like the previous two approaches, but also the lost and potential customers respectively. In this case, Olsson and Bosch (2015, p. 157) noted that the use of surveys to collect customers feedback allows an organisation to reflect and establish the customers feedback, as well as reasons for any lost customers as well as key incorporation incentives to attract potentially new customers in the market.
3.0 Benefits of Collecting Customer Feedback
3.1 Align Service Quality Perception
The process of collecting customer feedback has wide and far reaching benefits in an organisation. One is the evaluation of the actual service quality in the market. In order to elaborate on this argument, the serviqual model comes in hand. As Chou et al (2011, p. 2119) noted, the serviqual model serves as an illustration and measure of service quality in the service industry. In this case, the service is hedged on the principles that there exists a service quality gap due to perception. In this case, one of the gaps is a difference between the management perception of quality and the customers’ perception of quality. In this scenario, the review argued that a majority of the service industry corporations failed to meet their customer needs as the perception and expectations on quality by the customers. In this case the collection of customers’ feedback serves s mitigation measure. In this case, the organsiational management is able to evaluate and establish the customers’ perception of quality. Consequently, if there exists a quality perception gap between the customers and the management, negative feedbacks enhance the correction of this challenge.
3.2 Continuous Improvements Strategy Enhancement
In relation to the organisation, the collection of the customer’s feedback will enable the evaluation of the offered services and comparing them against the organizational systems and expectations. In this case, the organisation has its mission and vision statements as the key guiding tools in the operations. In this case, the mission and vision statements outline the service delivery quality objectives by the airline. By collecting the customer feedback, the organisation will be able to evaluate the extent to which it has delivered on the mission and vision goals, as well as the existing shortcomings. Consequently, the model will allow for a continuous improvement process. Heracleous and Wirtz (2012, p.483) an evaluation of the Singapore airline industry stated that organisations with regular internal reviews, through the evaluation of their market status and competitiveness, are often successful in the execution of
In addition, the collection of customer feedback serves as an organisational self evaluation system as well as a continuous improvement system. In this regard, Heracleous and Wirtz (2012, p.489) noted that in the generation of internal data allowed organisations to reflect on their operations and consequently improve in their operational systems. Therefore, through collecting the customers’ feedbacks’, the airline will enhance and support its existing continuous improvement culture and competitiveness in the long run period.
3.3 Customer satisfaction and Loyalty
An additional gain to the airline will be increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. In this case, through seeking the customers feedback, the venture creates an avenue for stakeholders inclusion and engagement in the decision making process. The customers, although having high interest in the aviation industry operations, are often accorded less power, thus a failure to incorporate and consider their interests in strategic decision making. Thus, through collecting their feedback, the organisation will allow for customer engagement and their inputs, enhancing its decision making quality and diversity.
4.0 Concern Associated with Customer satisfaction data
4.1 Lack of Honesty
Although as identified above the collection of customer feedback is imperative, it has its share of challenges. In this case, Nasr, Burtor and Gruber (2015, p.n605) noted that one of the fundamental challenges of using such data is the issue of dishonesty. In this case, although some of the customers could be honest on their experiences, there is the likelihood of dishonesty. On one hand, there is the emerging trend on the competitors’ use of customer reviews as a means of discrediting an organisation. As such, ghost and non-existent customers often create profiles and offer misleading feedback. In the airline industry, such feedback could either be negative or even positive.
On one hand, if a majority of the customers on the feedback platforms offer negative feedbacks, it will negative impact on the customers’ decision to rely and use the airline. The airline industry, similar to other global industries mainly rely on the customers responses to market and create a positive brand image. Hence, if the competitors infiltrate such platforms and create an impression of a negative feedback, the customers will end up perceiving the organisation as negative and thus led to a massive decline in the organisational image. On the other hand, the infiltration of such ill motives could offer positive reviews. In this case, the key role of customer feedback is the need to raise a critical analysis platform where the existing systems are challenges, encouraging the organisation to innovate and develop more relevant and customer oriented platforms. Therefore, if only the positive feedbacks are offered, the organisation will fall complacent of the operations and consequently lead to its lack of improvement and eventual failure to match up to the competition (Hao et al, 2013, p.43).
4.2 Unethical Interference
A second concern with the use and reliability of the customer feedbacks is the organisational credibility. This is mainly on the online platforms where the organisations are the key administrators and manage the programs. In this case, the organisations fall to the unethical practice of eliminating and deleting negative feedbacks. Moreover, user accounts that are more critical and increasingly negative are often deleted and excluded from the platforms (Hu, Bose, Koh & Liu, 2012, p.674). Therefore, for a majority of the platforms, rather than reflecting the actual customer feedbacks as they should only reflect the image and data that the organisations are willing to demonstrate. In the case of airline organisations, this could include allowing negative feedbacks on non-core products such as the lodge, while deleting negative feedbacks on the ore products such as flight experiences and other flight related issues.
4.3 Subjective Analysis Methods
Finally, a key concern on the use of the customer data is the process of analysing the data. In this case, different organisations used different approaches to analyse the obtained data. Such approaches include quantitative and qualitative approaches respectively. As such, different data analysis approaches are bound to reciprocate and yield different outcomes in the market. Hence, while as some could be objective and deliver as per the expectations, others could be subjective and fail to deliver and reflect the actual customer market feedbacks.
5.0 How to improve customer satisfaction data
Based on the above analysis, it is evident that although customer feedback is imperative, there are a number of challenges. Hence, this report section offers a review of the process through which the airline can mitigate the challenges and ensure that it enjoys the overall market gains respectively.
5.1 Use Multiple Sources
One of the approaches through which the organisation can enhance the efficiency and credibility of the obtained findings is through sourcing from different sources. As already discussed in the report, there are different approaches through which the airline can collect customer feedback. Moreover, as evidenced, the reliance on a single approach creates the risk of misrepresentation. Thus, based on this understanding, the report recommends that the airline should use different approaches. As such, it should have a social media platform dedicated to its name, a customer review website, as well as customer surveys. All the sources data should be analysed separately and acquired findings compared (Sparks, So & Bradley, 2015, p. 77). If a majority of the platforms have similar or close data, then the organisation should always rely on such data in decision making. However, if the data obtained from the different sources appear unique, then the venture should consider developing new mechanisms. This is because the data should be uniform or at the least similar.
5.2 Have External IT Systems Managers
As indicated in the challenges and concerns sections, there is the risk of systems infiltration, as well as manipulation of the study data by the employees, to ensure that they represent a positive reflection of the services offered. In order to mitigate these challenges, the report recommends the inclusion of third party IT systems. On one hand, the use of the third parties will create customers confidence. In this case, the third parties are neutral parties who manage the platform on behalf of the organisation and the customers. Hence, the customers will acquire the confidence that their opinions, whether positive or negative will be retained and reflected on the platforms (Johnson & Connelly, 2014, p.1267). Moreover, the organisation will benefit from such a fair representation. In this case, the presentation of accurate unmanipulated data will enable it improve on its overall adoption and incorporation of the findings in the decision making and strategies formulation process.
In summary, the report illustrates that customer feedback sources are numerous including the electronic review platform and social media applications, as well as the traditional survey approach sources. Moreover, it reveals that the use of such feedback has merits to both the organisation and the customers. On one hand, it allows the organisations align the service quality perception with the customers, as well as enhance countionous improvement. On the other hand, it enhances customer engagement and overall satisfaction. However, a number of concerns especially on unethical practices to manipulate such feedback, lack of honesty, and subjective evaluation means remain key concerns. Thus, the report recommends that the organisation should use n external third party to eliminate the risk of unethical practices. Moreover, it should sue multiple sources to eliminate the risk of competitors’ infiltration and manipulation of its reviews.
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