Customer focus remains one of the core values of many companies in the service industry. It involves determining and evaluating the needs of a company’s customers. In determining and evaluating these needs, most companies focus on their products or services, the quality of these products or services as well as their ability to meet the needs of the customers in later years. Many companies continue to employ consultants for advice on meeting customer needs in a competitive economy. Customer focus goes hand in hand with good customer service. Hence, creating good customer relationships is very vital for any company.
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Parkplace motors have been a successful Mercedes Benz dealer since the late 90s. The success attributes to good customer service, the integrity of the employees, the commitment of the company to its clients, and the good working environment it provides for its employees. From its strategic plan, Parkplace forecasts that it will have over 50 stores globally in the next fiscal year (Parkplace Texas).
Currently, Parkplace operates in Dallas, Texas. Texas is one of the most populous and largest states in the United States. Texas has an approximate area of 700,000Km2 and a population of almost 27 million. Its in a strategic position since it borders Mexico as well as shares an international border with Mexico. The economic activities involve agriculture and mining. Its GDP is the highest among other states in the USA. This population is important for the establishment of a business owing to the overwhelming consumer demand and the available market.
The population that is mainly involved in Mining has a higher income than the one practicing agriculture. Most of the business people in Dallas can afford Mercedes Benzes because of their admirable income levels. The internal publics of ParkPlace are the employees of the company. It is amazing to note that most of them are the very customers of the vehicles. With over 300 employees, half of them drive Mercedes Benzes. The company makes the cars available through affordable loans they give the employees as well as various M.O.Us that the company has with various banks. This not only boosts the morale of the employees but also acts as a marketing strategy for the company. These Mercedes Benzes usually have a park place label.
Parkplace external market mainly comes from the city of Dallas, the bordering states of New Mexico and Arkansas. The main buyers of these cars are high profile individuals thus the rich and elite. With such a population, Dallas continues to be the main source of external customers for Parkplace. These individuals include the rich university students, (Dallas has over 5 universities), the professors of these universities, bankers, and the politicians. The need for consumer satisfaction and ego fulfillment prompts the consumers to act in a similar manner. The monetary prowess and the showing-off character will improve their relationship with the mentioned company. For this reason, customer care is imperative for consumer loyalty and retention.
Methods of Collecting Customer Feedback
Obtaining customer feedback helps a company to determine whether the company meets the consumer’s needs. This is an essential process for all companies. The following methods can help in ensuring that this occurs in a civilized manner: carrying out surveys, customers filling in questionnaires, social networking, after-sale services, and hoisting a website that allows customers to give in their feedback. The selection of either of these methods will depend on the companys customers. A company could have elite and easily accessible customers hence, collecting feedback through email and through the company’s website. Parkplace mainly obtains its customers’ feedback through its website, its employees, and questionnaires that are usually given to the customers once they buy the cars. On a weekly basis, the company analyses the questionnaires in order to maintain or augment service delivery.
Analyzing the customer feedback involves determining the categories in which the comments fall. For example, customers may base their comments on the speed of a car, color the availability of servicemen at the garages, and also the credibility of the employees. After collecting such data, it is important to categorize the information in a prioritization format. This does not allow a company to focus on a particular area but pinpoints the problem area. Parkplace analyzes the customer feedback on a weekly basis. The customer service group communicates the results to the rest of the employees through multimedia.
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Methods of Meeting Customers Needs
In order to meet the customers’ needs, we must first know the consumer requirements; Parkplace customer needs incorporate speed, class, and prestige. Its young customers mainly university students want cars that are fast, beautiful, and those that attract attention. These young lads will go for a small and bright-colored Mercedes. Parkplace usually stores red, blue, and orange small Mercedes for these kinds of customers. Alternatively, the old and middle-aged customer needs, engross prestige and class. They want classy and seemingly expensive Mercedes cars. Parkplace not only met the needs of these kinds of customers but also exceeded their expectations. The frequent surveys done over the previous year depict these results. Parkplace also meets customers needs through hiring consultants to do various surveys on the customers needs and various gaps that may exist. Upon discovering the various gaps that may exist, they seek solutions through a consultative session between managers and employees. The managers motivate employees to ensure that they in return meet the needs of the company consumers. A de-motivated employee is a poor customer service provider. Parkplace puts in place excellent reward and recognition programs for its employees. A reward is in the form of having an employee of the month and throwing a party for him or her as well as receiving congratulatory messages from the superiors (Latham and Locke, 1984).
Implementing Changes Based On Customer Needs
It is essential to focus on the customer’s needs. Customer needs change from time to time. In a particular period, the need of customers becomes different from another period. It is essential to regularly evaluate customer desires within a similar and divergent environment. As such, change is inevitable for any company. For successful change implementation, the process must start with the managers themselves. The managers must first adapt and agree to change. The subordinates later learn the changes that are about to occur and the expectations from the change.
The management should make the company values known to all company members. For this reason, staff orientation is imperative for understanding the vision and mission statements of the organization. Staff training is also essential in implementing change in an organization.
Employees should undergo vigorous training to educate them on the reasons for change. Staff should also ensure that they improve their customer service skills. The successful implementation of changes arises from customers needs; hence it requires the identification of the critical success factors. These could include customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction.
Latham, G. & Locke, E. (1984). A Motivational Technique That Works. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Make. (n.d.). Park Place Texas: New & Used Car Dealerships in Dallas, Fort Worth & Plano. Park Place Texas: New & Used Car Dealerships in Dallas, Fort Worth & Plano. Web.