What specific actions would you take to improve Zerons service structure and its overall level of service?
Quality service is an essential element for the success of any organization. Today, many businesses still have poor service structures and low levels of service, which have led to the loss of their competitive edge and business. Zeron is no exception, and it has experienced a high level of customer complaints over the past few years most of which relate to service delivery. Recently, the Public Service Commission approved two new cable providers for the country, which have begun making deep cuts into Zerons market share. Evidently, there is a need to improve Zerons service quality to curb the loss of customers to its new competitors and even win back some of the lost customers.
As the consultant, I recognize that Zeron needs to identify how it can deliver the cable service better, to improve the perceptions of the customers. The first action I would take is to implement Six Sigma to define the service problem currently facing Zeron, establish improvement goals, and measure the results of the improvement project. According to Furterer (2016), Six Sigma is a business improvement approach that seeks to establish and eliminate causes of defects and errors in service processes by focusing on outputs that are crucial to customers and a definite financial return for the entity. Evidently, the customer complaints commonly received at Zeron indicate that there is a problem in the service processes, majorly from the time; a customers request is received by a customer service agent to the time a service technician attends to the customer. Therefore, implementing the Six Sigma would ensure the problem is identified and improved upon to improve the overall level of service in Zeron.
The second action I would take is a culture-based improvement. According to Voorhees, Fombelle, Gregoire, Bone, Gustafsson, Sousa, and Walkowiak (2017), one of the most significant sources of positive or negative perceptions of the service originates from the interaction between the service provider and the consumer during the service encounter. The employees ability and willingness to be flexible according to customers need, and to resolve any issues that occur promptly are a function of their training and the organizational culture in which they operate. Thus, cultivating a customer-centric culture within the customer service agents and the field staff would ensure that they serve customers promptly and efficiently to improve customer satisfaction.
Once the service processes are streamlined, and the company has a customer-centric culture, I would then embed customer service into Zerons goals, vision, mission, and core values. Wartnaby (2014) asserts that an organization must define its values, mission, and vision of the future to avail a long-term direction for its management and employees. I would ensure that Zerons primary objective is to provide customer satisfaction through high-level service delivery. Then, I would empower the employees to attain this through holding them accountable for service delivered, which will only be possible by including it in Zerons mission, vision, and core values.
What step-by-step approach would you recommend in creating a customer-centric culture throughout Zeron?
As argued by Voorhees et al. (2017), the interaction between the service provider and the customer during the service encounter is crucial to the success of any service company. Currently, Zeron boasts on it being a monopoly in the cable services industry, and it has chosen to do nothing to reduce the customer complaints or to correct the causes of the allegations. However, with the entry of two new competitors, Zeron needs to improve its service delivery, which will only be achievable through the development of a customer-centric culture throughout the company. As the consultant, I would recommend a five-step approach to create this culture.
In the initial step, I would recommend Zeron to secure top-level management support for the change in the organizational culture. Commitment from the companys executives is the beginning of any auspicious transformation. Therefore, I would recommend Zeron to use authority, logic, and emotion to secure the support for the customer-centric culture. The second step I would suggest is building a customer experience team to lead the transformation. The unit can be assembled from current employees to foster workforce engagement. However, Proctor (2014) asserts that it is essential to form a team with a shared vision for the customer-centric culture. Once the team is in place, I would recommend Zeron to create a shared understanding of the intended experience. Mainly, this step ensures that all employees understand the expected experience while reducing resistance to change. To attain this, I recommend Zeron communicate the vision for the intended experience to ensure the employees have a clear and concise picture of what the entity is trying to achieve and how they will help attain it.
Once the employees understand what they are supposed to do, they need to be motivated to do it. Therefore, in the fourth step, I would recommend Zeron to rally and align employees to the transformation. Strategies to achieve this can include explaining what is in it for the workers, feature the cultures principles in corporate communications, and develop regular celebrations for customer-centric staff (Proctor, 2014). Finally, since motivated employs are ready to change their behaviors, I would recommend Zeron to embed customer experience principles into the entity by providing training on how to deliver the intended experience, redesigning employee incentives to reward customer centricity and to integrate customer-centric tenets into hiring and onboarding.
Utilizing the criteria for Category 3.1 and 3.2 (b) of Baldrige, what actions would you take to build better customer support and customer relationship management (CRM).
According to Baldrige National Quality Program (2015-2016), the criteria for category 3.1 relates to the voice of the customer while category 3.2b relates to building customer relationships. Regarding the voice of the customer, the action I would take to make better customer support, and customer relationship management (CRM) would involve listening to Zerons customers to obtain relevant information and determine their level of satisfaction and unsatisfaction. While listening to this voice, I would gather and combine different types of customer data, for example, survey data, comments from the social media, marketing, and sales information, and complaint data that affect customers purchasing and engagement decisions. On the other hand, concerning building customer relationships, I would develop partnerships or alliances with customers. Mainly, this would involve large customers such as corporate and institutions. An example of a partnership I would build is a joint marketing program where Zeron commits a particular dollar amount towards advertisements featuring it and the customer.
Apparently, it has been reported by the media that Zerons workers; the customer service agents, technical staff, field staff, and management have failed in meeting the needs of the customers. Staff absenteeism has increased, and the annual employee satisfaction survey has shown that employee morale and job satisfaction are at all time lows. Also, a recent customer service survey of all public service providers in the country positioned Zeron last with a median score of 2.2 on a scale of 5 in universal customer service. Evidently, there is a dire need to improve the overall morale, spirit of service and commitment of Zerons employees.
What specific actions would you take to improve the overall morale, spirit of service and commitment of Zerons employees?
The specific actions I would take as the consultant would majorly focus on the work environment, teaching a people-focused culture, work design, compensation and benefits, training and development, and recognition and rewards. When individuals work in a supportive environment, they strive to perform at their best (Armstrong and Armstrong, 2012). Moreover, positive working environments, where employees feel good about going to work, have a sense of comfort in the company and can focus on their work, foster their experience their spirit of service. Therefore, as a consultant, I would ensure that Zerons employees have a right work environment equipped with the necessary information and equipment to ensure they meet customer needs efficiently. Also, to help Zeron create this positive work environment, I would teach a people-focused culture within the company. Workplace culture tends to be reflective of leadership, relationships, priorities, opportunities, and how corporations regard their employees (Armstrong and Armstrong, 2012). Therefore, cultivating and demonstrating care, collaboration, and support is critical to creating a people-focused culture that motivates employees and increases their commitment.
The third action I would take is improving Zerons work designs to ensure workforce engagement. In particular, I would ensure employees participate in fundamental processes of the company such as decision-making and planning as a way to foster workforce engagement. Involving employees in crucial operations enable them to contribute to the ongoing success of the business as well as create unity in a direction towards the attainment of the set organizational goals and objectives. Also, it develops a sense of belonging to employees, which increases morale, the spirit of service and commitment (Proctor, 2014). Notably, the more satisfied an employee is on the job, the more efficient he or she will be in performing the assigned tasks.
The fourth action I would take is to develop a competitive compensation and benefits package coupled with recognition and awards aimed at motivating Zerons employees to perform better. Maslow recognizes money as a base need for behavior (Armstrong and Armstrong, 2012). Therefore, introducing a competitive compensation and benefits package in Zeron would bring job security to the employees and increase their commitment to the organization. Additionally, incorporating recognition and awards within Zeron would improve the overall morale of employees. Thus, I would introduce promotion, shopping vouchers, paid vacations, and employee of the year honors to motivate the employees to perform.
The final action I would take is to develop a training and development program that includes a comprehensive induction program for all the employees. Learning, training, and development have grown in importance in organizations that seek to retain talented employees. Imparting employees with additional skills, knowledge, and abilities gives them an opportunity for growth both personally and in their careers (Richardson, 2014). Therefore, raining Zerons employees would improve service accuracy and impact service performance and employee engagement, which would improve their morale, spirit of service, and commitment to the company. Moreover, through this training, all employees will have adequate skills, knowledge, and competencies to assist a customer regardless of their department.
Armstrong, M., & Armstrong, M. (2012). Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice.
Furterer, S. L. (Ed.). (2016). Lean Six Sigma in service: applications and case studies. CRC Press.
Proctor, C. R. (2014). Effective organizational communication affects employee attitude, happiness, and job satisfaction(Doctoral dissertation, Southern Utah University. Department of Communication. 2014.).
Richardson, F. W. (2014). Enhancing strategies to improve w...
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