Before going into detail, let us define what is perceived by the process? The process is any system capable to work in a direction, possess a particular objective and fulfill what it aims. When we say business or customer processes, we consider a set of systems that works in collaboration with other subsystems, so as to identify a particular set of tasks. Business processes are dependent upon customer satisfaction whereas customer processes or customer value processes are dependent upon the quality the business strives to maintain.
How the processes are linked with each other?
In order to understand business processes from a competitive point of view, it is necessary to perceive business organizations as social and open systems heavily reliant upon the external environment of its market. Since the external environment holds a promising market for business outputs in the form of its products or services whatever the organization promises, therefore it is the responsibility of the organization to provide its customers with their needs. This way we can understand one point that business processes are related to customer processes or both are interrelated to each other and for an organization to be successful, there is a need to fulfill both the criteria of the organization.
In order to prove the above notion let us consider for a while that an organization fails to meet the consumer needs or lacks the capability to understand customer processes. In this case, there would be a high risk on behalf of the customer to switch easily, and since the market is highly competitive, other organizations would easily attain the switched consumer. Another situation would be that organization fails to retain its consumers because of a lack of knowledge of consumers’ needs. In this case, the output would also be a switching consumer. Therefore in order to be successful in consumer marketing and retaining customers, there is a need to understand what consumer is looking for and at what cost? Whatever be the cost, it would not be more than retaining a customer.
Defining customer and business processes
Customer processes are all about earning customer’s loyalty or making the customer satisfied since customer retention is more significant than customer attraction because once the organization is able to meet consumer satisfaction, it would survive hard to retain its consumers’. Since the customer is the most unpredictable thing in marketing, therefore what is important to the organization is to meet and retain his or her demands from the point he makes his decision in favor of your organization to the point of delivery where he or she receives the product.
To understand the business process, one must be able to grasp the volatile nature of consumer demands and to understand consumer is to understand the business process. Any service can be a process, however, a tangible product cannot be a process but a part of the process. Whatever it takes to receive the product to the customers’ doorsteps is included in the customer process. If the product is tangible, no particular effort needs to be done except for the ones that are usually followed in delivering products to the customer. Or we can say that customer support, in this case, has little or no role in relation to if the product is not a service.
Understanding Customer Service
However, if the product is purely a service, then it needs to be available and accessible whenever they are needed. This is so because whenever the demands exceed productive capacity, customers have to confront situations in which they have likely to wait in queues or find another provider. Various service-based products are limited to serve customers, therefore whenever they fail in meeting customers’ demands, firms are thought to be vulnerable since this behavior induces customers to switch to other firms.
Customer switching to another business means one business loses the remainder of that customer’s lifetime value, in addition to incurring the costs of attracting a new one to replace the lost customer. Since the initial costs of serving a customer are high, as the organization sets up procedures for the new customer and becomes familiar with the needs and situations of that customer, therefore no organization can afford to lose the confidence of an existing.
In order to avoid customer switching, tangible products must be differentiated from intangible ones so as to evaluate their level of providing service and since service products vary from customer to customer, therefore this variability is compounded with differences among front-line personnel. Business processes entail several steps while analyzing various levels of service process which indicates that customer interaction is not alike with several different personnel of the service provider. There is a probability from one interaction to another. In some cases, customers will prefer specific front-line personnel with whom they have become familiar and comfortable.
The customer develops perceptions about the quality of service irrespective of the fact that they are encouraging or discouraging, however such perceptions of consumer impacts the organization’s credibility. Since intangible markets manifest themselves and associate their rapport with the customers’ perceived risk and use the tangibles in the customer experience to reduce the risk that customers perceive. Therefore it is vital for any organization to understand the nature of the interaction, where processes serve better to manage the roles of customers and as customer service recognize opportunities for customization and standardization to improve the customer experience.
Understanding Service Quality
In order to make the link between customers and businesses stronger, there is a need to develop a particular perception of service quality that reinforces customer value in the customer service department while developing a comprehensive framework pertaining to customer expectations and service quality. The ability of any organization to serve better is a direct measure of analyzing customer satisfaction than the traditional measures of analyzing the work environment (Hallowell, 1996).
The significance of quality customer service can be elaborated by the fact that among several reasons for customer dissatisfaction in e-business, the key reason is the lack of human contact in contacting customers (Rylander & Provost, 2006). Good service quality in the total product enables the customer to experience ‘wait’ if the demand and supply do not match each other, however, this can be a factor in customer switching to the competitor’s, therefore to avoid idle capacity, services adopt the queuing approach to processing customers, resulting in a certain amount of weight before the process begins. Things can be scheduled in multi-stage processes so as to avoid unnecessary delays.
While calculating the demand and supply paradigm, the capacity analysis holds significance, in that it complements demand analysis and begins with identifying the processes in the queue that relate to each customer interaction. The capacity in terms of every service-oriented customer must be calculated in terms of each value-creating process in order to get a bigger picture of supporting customer interaction. It is the responsibility of the business to identify the nature of productive factors that can be profitably adjusted to demand patterns by increasing or reducing capacity without affecting the quality of the customer experience (John, 2003, p. 130).
Understanding customer behavior
Customer processes can be modified to the extent where the management feels the benefit of both the customer and firm with customer education on how demand fluctuations can affect their own customer experience. Service quality can be raised by setting up different norms in the attempt to inform the customer about peak times so that customer gets aware of the opportunities that they can avail by not being subjected to long lines and wait times, this can provide a brief synopsis of interaction times with the firm during low demand periods.
Any organization cannot claim to satisfy their customer needs unless they are exposed to have appropriate customer knowledge. Since customer-focused businesses understand their customers by acquiring information on the entire consumption process, especially the consumption activities of the customer, there must be a proper channel to evaluate customer’s information and that is through knowledge management (KM). KM gathers customers’ related information, processes the information and utilizes it to guide each and every interaction with that customer. KM provides the organization with the accurate measures that can be implied to make changes and improvements in the value-creation and delivery processes of a firm along with managing relationships with the right valued customers.
Customer-centered businesses use KM to develop smart customer information systems databases from which they analyze actual consumer behavior. Businesses in the contemporary era in order to retain their customers must be capable of delivering excellent customer value service which is a prerequisite for sustainable competitive advantage and that to be able to deliver quality customer value, a business requires a good understanding of what customers value. Good knowledge of customers’ value ends up in productivity of any organization, for which one cannot claim a customer focus unless he or she is serious in making attempts to satisfy customers. An effective customer process requires appropriate KM which suggests that business processes take into account what is required by the customer and act accordingly. KM is the key to understand consumer behavior which is the basic reason for which an organization strives hard to sustain.
- Hallowell Roger, Schlesinger A. Leonard & Zornitsky Jeffrey, (1996) ‘Internal Service Quality, Customer and Job Satisfaction: Linkages and Implications for Management, Human Resource Planning. Volume: 19. Issue: 2, p. 20.
- John Joby, (2003) Fundamentals of Customer-Focused Management: Competing through Service: Praeger: Westport, CT.
- Rylander H. David & Provost Tina, (2006) ‘Improving the Odds: Combining Six Sigma and Online Market Research for Better Customer Service’, SAM Advanced Management Journal. Volume: 71. Issue: 1, p. 13.