Technology can be defined in the simplest of terms as any new invention that makes task performance easier and effective. It comes as a result of research and hard work by scientists. This could almost mean that they make to measure but it is not so, at least not for everything.
This paper seeks to outline the procedure used in introducing a new product to customers and the ways in which the benefits of the products can be measured. It further explains the importance of having a customer support plan. The paper also outlines the reasons why companies should maintain contact with their technology providers and how that may enhance customer satisfaction.
In an office, technology could mean the introduction of the e-mails as opposed to paper memos and other means of communication by paper. For the employees to buy into the idea the first step is to talk to them about it. This is necessary for those who might not have encountered the technology yet. The management can make sure everyone has one so that the many steps and processes through intermediaries can be reduced. This may mean the errand boy losing his job or less work for him depending on his job description. For a tangible product, say the first introduction of the ATM cards by the banks more work in convincing has to be done. Kenya Commercial Bank is a popular bank in Nairobi Kenya. They did research was on the different target markets in the society. They identified them and segmented them then they asked them of their views and what they thought ATMs would mean for them. They designed a test product to be put to test in the market. They did a pilot test of the product to determine how much sense they could make out of launching the product.
After this information was accumulated and analyzed, they used the media to create awareness for the product first. After that, they started calling their clients and sending them messages about the same. While doing this, they had set a launch date when the different people banking with them would go and get their own cards. They were very loud o the day of the launch and they gave the first fifty customers the cards for free after configuration. This created a curiosity in the others who had not applied for theirs. They went on to publicize the idea until all customers got convinced.
Some of the benefits that came with the introduction of the cards was convenience. One could make a withdrawal at any time. The best part was that one did not have to get frustrated about the queues in bank all the time. This meant accessibility to the money when needed at any point. Another form of convenience was the fact that the card could be swiped so one does not have to have solid cash on them all the time. The next thing was reduced risks of robbery. It was less predictable whether one was carrying cash or not. Before the cards were introduced, thugs knew the probability of someone having cash when entering or leaving the bank was almost 80%, cases of mugging were high.
All these information was gathered by the management through feedback from customers when they visited the banking halls. They also made calls to random users of the cards to get a feel of their experiences since the introduction of the product. The other method was administering questionnaires that help in determining the efficiency of the product. They also help point out the other areas that may be sloppy or ineffective. The questions always have to be relevant to the product or service and inquire about customers views for future development. The questionnaires were both online and hard copy. The ones in hard copy were made in such a way to have open-ended and close-ended questions and did not take longer than five minutes each to fill.
The next method was the use of suggestion schemes. This ranged from suggestion boxes in the banking halls to pop-up boxes online. They both encouraged feedback. They also used symbols in the banking halls. The customers were to put balls in the containers that best described the impact of the cards in their transactions, negative or positive. Focus groups were conducted and informal comments noted all towards the same goal. They also conducted semi-structured interviews. Graffiti walls were also used to get opinions of the staff and some selected samples of people.
They have a website that has question and answer section where the customers can log in and post their questions and the customer care team gets round to answering them as soon as they can. They call it the contact centre where they answer all the calls e-mails web chats, sms, voicemails and even attached documents regarding the services offered by the bank. They could also be requests by customers for certain information about the bank. they print out fliers with such information and issue them on request. At the physical locations of the banks for those who are not literate, they provide the same services in the same quality. For example, the Mindjet maintenance and support plan provides upgrades for the soft wares that they sell as a way of after sales service (Mindjet LLC, 2008).
In addition, companies should strive to eliminate demotivators even before they try to motivate their customers. This ensures that they deal with potential problems way before they occur. If a customer cannot trust the company to deliver already, the trust factor becomes a ‘demotivator’. Another in the same category is the usability of the product or service. If a customer cannot find their way easily about software or cannot operate a new product despite the instruction manual being provided, then a huge problem is brewing because it might be just a matter of time before they tell ten other people about it. Loss of potential customers is as bad as losing loyal customers (Long, 2006).
It is important that the organizations stay in contact with their technology providers. This ensures that they always have the latest developments in the industry.thy will also be able to get technical support in a case of any malfunctions for the case of mechanical systems or electronics. They get training that they can later pass on to their customers. Some technology experts offer technical support for free but others require one to pay a fee.
This will also impact positively on their relationship with their customers in that they will also be knowledgeable in the products they introduce to their clientele. This will help the customer in developing brand loyalty because they will always find the organization dependable.
In the same spirit of maintaining customer satisfaction, service or product providers are supposed to make sure they check how they reward their customers. For instance they should reward them when they do things right like for example if an airline starts online booking, they should make sure it works the way it should and then for something extra they can make an offer for discounts every time a person books online. This keeps the customer disciplined at the same time it wins their approval.
The other important factor is to be careful not to punish customers unknowingly. For instance if the online booking has interfaces with so many procedures, that could put off a customer. If a banking hall is too hot or too cold, it will make the customer develop an attitude about visiting the bank and probably always put the idea off. This can be bad publicity for the bank.
It is important that a company has a strategy when launching a new product in the market. Analysis should be carried out depending on the target market; market segmentation comes in very handy in this procedure. After the product is launched, it is essential that the company knows the customers view on the product and what value it added if any. This can be measured by various methods of getting feedback. Among them is conducting interviews. In addition to that is administering questionnaires and use of focus groups among others. The company should also provide an avenue through which the customers can seek clarification on the new products or services. This leads to the idea of a customer support system, which provides information and also gives technical assistance where needful. For the company to do this effectively, they need to maintain contact with their technology providers. This connection will help them stay up to date on new developments so that they can stay dependable to their customers.
Long, K. (2006). Social Strategy and Design. Web.
Mindjet LLC. (2008).Mindjet maintenance and support. Web.