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Introduction to Customer Focus for Strategic Advantage

Customer focus indicates that, it is crucial for every organization to pay attention on the needs and preferences of clients in order to satisfy them. However, the significance of customer-centric business helps in attaining strategic advantage. Business adopts customer focused strategy and delivers varied products and services to diverse customers as per their choices (Zeithaml, Bitner and Gremler, 2006). Although, every business adopts customer focus tactic but only those businesses that are able to make strategic choice, build distinct brand image in market which leads them to attain maximum revenues.  In the present research, the senior management team at Crabtrees Ltd is required to decide and implement a new strategy so that, they can regain their market share again. Further, developing understanding of customer focus has been assessed to gain strategic advantage within the firm.

TASK1

1.1 Customer Focus

It can be assessed that, customer focus is significant for every businesses that helps them to assess their needs and preferences with the aim to deliver best products and services and satisfy their needs. The main objective of Crabtrees is to provide excellent customer centred services which are according to the changing needs of the user. However, through evaluating different authors of customer centric approach it can be inferred that, customer focus; organizational values, mission, vision and objectives are strongly linked together. Thus it can be evaluated that, top management of business should value their customer feedbacks so that, they can be improved (Cronin, Brady and Hult, 2000). Here, organization should also value their employees and connect them to their brand through motivating them by reward and award to deliver  best quality products and services to their clients.

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1.2 Customer Expectations

It can be analysed that, customer expectations and preferences is required to be assessed by business so that client satisfaction can be measured. However, when it comes to formulate budget, Crabtrees approve the budget by taking the feedback from clients and how they comprehend the business performance. Thus, the top management of firm should assess their service which are offered in context of needs and preferences of clients so that, they can select company instead of their competitors at the time of availing products and services. However, it has been inferred that, there is a connection between customer expectations and the service offered to them (Ryu, Lee and Gon Kim, 2012). Crabtrees should employ customer service representative who is knowledgeable and skilled to deal with clients effectively.

1.3 Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy can be defined as the opportunity for business to enhance its sales and attain sustainable competitive advantage. However, it serves as fundamental underpinning of marketing plans designed to fulfil market needs and reach marketing objectives. It can be evaluated that, there is a strong connection between market positioning and customer service strategy. Customer service strategy is a set of choices which is made by firm to maximize potential use of its products and services. However, choices are influenced by business's mission, target market and environment (Gustafsson, Kristensson and Witell, 2012). Thus, it is essential for Crabtrees to formulate customer service strategy through positioning best quality products and services in regard to the perception of competitors offering merchandise in the same category.

1.4 Financial Performance and Business Growth

It can be analysed that, both financial performance and business growth imperatives impacts the customer service strategies. The significance of financial performance needs is of varied types such as economic, social, political factors and thus it impacts on the marketing tactic to attract clients within business. Also, there is a link between the financial performance and business growth imperatives so that, individual can assess the different perspective of business i.e. downfall or expansion of venture (Chen and Tsou, 2012). For instance, the main impact of financial performance and business growth imperatives on customer service strategy is that, many investors view financial statements of firm before making investment decisions. Thus, it is essential for Crabtrees Ltd to present financial position of firm in order to attract new investors within the business.

1.5 It can be evaluated that, each and every business requires customers in utilizing products and services of firm. Also, firm undertake every possible action to revive them back within business. Similarly, it has been assessed that Crabtrees is losing its market share because of new entrant and thus top management of firm decided to develop and implement effective marketing tactic to regain  customers again within the firm and satisfy their needs. However, it is crucial for the organization to retain customers by fulfilling their needs which can be done through promotion and advertisement campaigns of products and services (Chiu and et.al., 2011). For instance, in order to regain customers, business is required to provide them with best services so that, they can be satisfied and thus gain competitive advantage within the firm.

TASK 2

2.1 Communication Process

It can be evaluated that, listening is a crucial part of communication process. However, communication cannot take place until and unless a message is heard and retained thoroughly by listeners. Here, listening organization acquires information by employees to make attainment of desired customer service vision.  Organization attentively listens to the message delivered to them so that best output can be generated (Tang, Lai and Cheng, 2012). Further, it is an active process which requires conscious efforts; concentration and interest so that, required action can be undertaken in regard of customer service vision and fulfil their needs.

Through evaluation it can be inferred that, customer and employee feedback is very critical for attaining organizational customer service vision. Customer and employee feedback helps in overcoming issues and satisfying their needs and preferences to attain goals. Thus, it is essential for Crabtrees to keep clients and employees loyal and satisfied by fulfilling their expectations. Further, firm should evaluate responses given by client and workers to improve performance of business (Lam and Chen, 2012). Enterprise can use varied surveys to obtain meaningful feedback which can help the firm in the growth. . Thus, through gaining positive feedback from clients and employees, business can focus on attaining customer service vision.

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2.2 Developing Communication

There are varied methods of listening to customers which helps in developing communication within the business and understanding needs and requirements of customers in order to satisfy them. However business should be able to accept new ideas and information with the help of which they can attain potential outcomes. The different methods of listening to customers are telephone survey and one-to-one interview. By using such methods business can analyse perceptions of customers and provide them with required products and services so that, results can be attained (Lightner, 2004). By adopting telephonic survey Crabtrees Ltd. can listen to its customers and get benefit in the form of making fast contact with clients. On the other hand, one-to-one interview method benefits business in developing personal relationship with customers and thus marketers of Crabtrees effectively listen to individual needs and further helps in satisfying them.

2.3 Customer Opinions

It can be evaluated that, there are varied measures which can be used to analyse information collected regarding customer opinions and experiences. It is essential for Crabtrees marketer to attentively listen to key points so that; required information can be collected about customer feedback. It helps in establishing appropriate metrics to report performance related to customer expectations. Employees should be able to summarize speaker ideas so that there is no misunderstanding of thoughts and thus relevant information can be gained (Mengi, 2009). For instance, business is required to employ effectual techniques which can be implemented in order to collect information about customer opinion and experiences so that, best quality product can be delivered to satisfy their needs.

TASK 3

3.1 Customer Service Strategies

It can be evaluated that, people development within the firm is essential to attain customer service strategies. As per the view of Attner and Allen (2007), the development of employee is critical for business success. However, it is imperative to develop existing talent by focusing on business objectives and growth opportunities. Crabtrees Ltd. assists the employee in developing effectively by rendering proper training and development activities to gain expertise so that, firm can attain competitive advantage. However, it can be assessed that, business grow and develop their employees effectively which helps them to overcome risk and attain customer satisfaction by delivering them with required products and services (Attner and Allen, 2007).

3.2 Leadership

Leadership actions help business to involve skilled leaders so that, they can effectively contribute to the empowerment of customer service and thus satisfy the needs and preferences of clients. However, empowerment benefits the firm by focusing on requirements of consumers and gaining competitive advantage, innovation and effectiveness (GOODMAN, 2009). Management of Crabtrees is required to adopt varied leadership actions such as gender equality within business so that, it enhance human resource power and thus they can render best quality service to clients and satisfy their needs. Thus, building effectual leadership actions helps in contributing to attain empowerment in customer service.

3.3 It can be examined that, Crabtrees have direct connection with employee development, empowerment and customer service strategies. However businesses generally focus on strong customer service and for that, they need to empower their employees to render best services in order to satisfy consumers. Empowering employees means that, giving them the authority to make decision regarding customer service strategy and enhance customer service in business (Cook, 2008). Crabtrees also provide confidence to workers by attending different training programs and thus providing them with better customer service. Thus, involving motivation within the firm helps in developing connections among people development, empowerment and customer service tactics.

3.4 Enhancing Customer Service

Empowering workers of Crabtrees Ltd. can result in enhancing customer service by giving them power and trust to make improvements without waiting for the approval of management. However, empowerment of employees will also increase productivity and quality of business. It provides opportunity to individual who are in regular touch with clients and utilize their skills to perform best actions for the firm. Moreover, employees should be encouraged and trained to raise empowerment among them so that, continuous improvement can be attained in the customer service (Ukens, 2007). Further, in order to attain regular improvement in customer service, employees should develop regular contact with customers through web or telephone. 

3.5 It can be assessed that, excellent customer service is crucial in any business and thus there are certain employees who may not always want to contribute their 100%. Thus, management of Crabtrees is required to recognize and reward their workers efforts to motivate them and to  deliver them outstanding customer service. However, managers should inform employees regarding present customer service handbook in regard to explain expectations to every worker during their initial job training (Arussy, 2005). For instance, if employees do not know exactly regarding the needs of clients then, they will not be able to treat their customers effectively. Also, happy and satisfied customers within the firm always results in repeat clients and it enhances customer satisfaction. 

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3.6 Motivation and Performance 

It is crucial for the organization to adopt motivation and performance models to contribute in attaining customer service objectives. Thus, it helps management to encourage their workers by adopting performance models so that, they can satisfy the needs of clients effectively. Also, delivering best training to employees helps in rendering excellent customer service. Thus, involving best motivation and performance models within the firm assist in attaining customer service objectives (Raulerson, Malraison and Leboyer, 2009). Crabtrees is required to provide varied training and rewards to their employees so that, they can be encouraged in order to render best customer services within the firm.

Organization is required to adopt varied options available to communicate with the key stakeholders of firm regarding customer service strategies. For instance, adopting survey method helps in effectively communicating with customers about particular product or service and adopting change as per the feedback (Azulay, 2012). However, it is essential for Crabtrees Ltd. to evaluate varied option of communication  like conducting formal meetings with employees and deciding on the selection of customer service tactics so that, firm can retain clients for long time.

Crabtrees is required to fulfil customer needs by employing best strategies which influence stakeholders. It can be inferred that, business is required to demonstrate effectual customer service tactics to its employees so that, they can involve in attaining desired results. By providing training to workers, management of the firm can introduce them with various customer service techniques so that, quality services and products can be delivered to them (Bernoff and Schadler, 2013). Business can also influence customers by offering them superior quality products and regain them in business for long term. 

TASK 4

4.1 The senior management of Crabtrees Ltd. evaluated that, it is a challenge for the business to embed continuous improvement processes in the firm. Also, the managers and employees need to understand their importance in sustaining competitive customer service advantage. Thus, further comparing continuous improvement and service excellence approaches with respect to financial and growth driven approaches business development can be attained. It is significant for the firm to adopt regular enhancement and service quality so that, customers requirements can be attained effectively and efficiently (Williams, 2007). Thus, both these approaches need to be compared with the financial and growth driven approaches to attain business development and growth perspectives. 

4.2 It is essential for business to evaluate roles of manager, team members and quality controllers in creating, implementing and promoting a continuous improvement programme within Crabtrees Ltd. Business is required to develop an effectual team of different members and assign them with different duties and responsibilities so that, they can effectively promote and implement regular enhancement programme within firm. Here, the role of managers is to examine the techniques that need to be implemented so that workers can execute their given task efficiently (Siebelink, 2007). Team members follow guidelines which are provided by managers in order to attain continuous improvement. On the other hand, quality controllers play a crucial role in maintaining appropriate quality of business operations to attain desired results

4.3 As per the view of Kazanjian (2007), it can be analysed that, there are varied challenges which are faced in maintaining customer focus and continuous improvement programme so that, customers can be regained for long term within firm. Thus, it can be evaluated that, management of Crabtrees Ltd. is required to maintain equilibrium among customer focus and regular improvement programme by providing them best training and development to employees so that, they can render best quality services to clients. However, Karten (2013), argued that, business maintains an effectual customer focus through analysing their needs and thus fulfilling them through continuous improvement programme so that set targets can be attained.

6.4 It can be assessed that, in order to attain continuous improvement within the business management of Crabtrees Ltd. is required to gain feedback from customers and employees to overcome challenges and thus attain desired goals. Thus, feedback loop plays a critical role in business to attain regular enhancement in the customer service strategies. However, feedback loop model is adopted by the firm to attain continuous improvement and innovation in the business (Evenson, 2011). Through gaining feedback from customers, management can fulfil their needs and preferences to attain set goals.

4.5 The management of Crabtrees Ltd. is required to analyse varied factors which assess the speed at which customer service improvements can be made. Employees need to analyze needs and preferences of customer needs and expectations so that, it can be achieved through effective customer service. Further, seeking and analysing customer feedback in order to assess the customer’s requirements and improving it so that satisfaction can be attained (Muller, 2007). Also, business should effectively communicate with the customers as desired improvements can be made which helps in satisfying demands of individual clients. Excellent customer service will help in regaining earlier customer market share of firm.

CONCLUSION

It can be articulated from the above study that, customer focus is essential for business to attain competitive advantage. However, it is essential for Crabtrees Ltd. to adopt effectual customer centric approach to target on customer needs and satisfy them to attain targets. Also, proper training and development should be provided to human resource so that, they can assess the needs of clients and focus on them to achieve results. It is essential for the management of firm to provide proper motivation and rewards to manpower so that; they can enhance performance within the business. Further, continuous improvement is required in organization to obtain customer service strategy effectively and efficiently.

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