This article considers customer services in a business to business relationship. This essay will summaries they key findings and methodology, and People aspect of services marketing. The article identifies the importance of customer service within a service provider’s organization, areas In which customer service may be affected by the marketing mix and additional three As. The article defines that it isn’t just one specific P, that has an effect on customer service but all of them are inclusive, and Identifying the correct mix, at the correct times, will impact customer service, satisfaction, customer loyalty ND retention.
The people employed by an organization, for customer services, act as an interface between the company and the customer as a source for input. The provision of good customer service takes In to account numerous different people factors. Two major influential factors are the performance of employees and the quality of technical service. It is widely expected that company employees would be professional, this includes courtesy and competency.
The findings of Pursuant (1 985,1988) found that courtesy with respect to telephone manner was mentioned as important, especially in complaint handling situations, as according to the article people interviewed were dissatisfied with the selling companies complaint procedures. However Panting (1976) and Homburg and Rudolph (2001) found that it Is considered more Important by customers that the contact personnel who directly provide the service (In the case studied the primary contact personnel would be the engineers) should have and provide a professional service in the same respect as a telephone salesperson.
This leads to employee competency and knowledge as it is he contact personnel’s responsibility to continue to provide the service expected by the companies reputation. Competence is “offering professional knowledge and expertise” on the particular service which along with professionalism, courtesy and communication skills can be ascertained through training, which according to Lewis and Craven (1995) Is an important element of service in general. On the other hand the article found that the performance of subcontractors is an area that has not been Identified in any previous research.
Subcontractors may appear to a customer to be a regular many employee, as many would wear the same uniform, however usually subcontractors would not have received full company training, and may not be aware of issues such as technical design, financial information, personnel and expected company standards. This is important as subcontracted employees are working directly on behalf of the company and may not be able to provide the full expected service of a regular employee. 1 OFF Craven (1995) mentioned trust as a factor within service quality.
Trustworthy contact personnel is a factor for trust which can be achieved through training, employee titivation, morale and benefits. However the performance of subcontractors can be related to this as they do not always receive the same level of training as regular employees. A possible way to overcome this would be for a company to develop a positive relationship with a industry orientated agency, for use on a frequent basis, as these are likely to have more highly qualified staff with a higher level of understanding.
Trust also encompasses complaint handling procedures and telephone manner. As if a customer had a complaint they should feel that they are able to complain with the knowledge that the complaint will be received and acted upon in a professional manner to prevent re-occurrence. This can be linked to communication. Pursuant (1985,1988) and Hooters (2001) stress the importance of external communication with customers. However these researchers do not recognizes the importance of internal communication.
As internal communication can be deemed important by a company as communication between departments is essential for smooth running of a business. The article considers a multinational company based in the North west I-J, whom provide a diverse range of products specializing in fire protection and safety. In a business to business service provision the initial customer, may not be the end user, which adds to the complication of collecting customer service and satisfaction data.
In depth interviews, observations and the use of secondary data were used to conclude the findings within the article. Both the company and customers were contacted and interview on different subject matters as a method of defining different peoples perceptions on the products and services. The secondary data used in the article varies over a significant time span, however this in no way affects the elevate of the information as the findings are still relevant in modern services marketing.
For example Pursuant (1985,1988) and Hooters (2001) both come to the same conclusion despite being carried out 14 years apart. The conclusions drawn from the people aspect of the article can be directly related to the contact personnel aspect of the correction model. In the case studied the contact personnel would be the engineers and telephone sales agents. The findings of the article with relation to employee performance directly has an affect on the benefits of a service received by a customer.