What is customer service
Customer service is when an organisation will provide the customers with a service that is friendly and making the customers feel at home. By the organisation delivering this they will be able to gain and build their customer base and when they achieve this they will have to maintain and keep these customers because without the customers they will not be able to survive in the market.
When it comes down to customer service it involves three different stages which are pre, during and post transactional.
Before the customers buy the product there are many things which are done so that when the customer does come they will be provided with a excellent customer service. An example of this is employees getting training before they start working with British airways. With any job that is face to face with the customers, the organisation will always provide the employee with a handbook which will include details on what they expect from they employee and how to sort out situations if the occur.
In relation to BA they will always send out their employee on training so that when they are working for BA they will know what to do and how to do it also the flights attendants will be trained so that they a will know what to do in an emergency and before lift off they will explain what the passengers will need to do in an emergency.
During the customer buying the product there are other services that are provided to the customer so that they will come and shop with that companies again one of these things can be loyalty cards which will contain points and you will get a certain amount of money based upon how much u spend at that company. The way is works out is that points will equal to money or air miles. They can also provide varies different forms of payment methods this will please the customers because then he or she does not need to go to the cash point to withdraw money.
At British airways they have an executive club which you join to and when you buy a ticket with them you will earn air miles with them depending on where you sit on the plane (economy, business, first class) points will be given.
The post transactional stage involves everything that is done after the sales is made for instance is the company offering delivery? and if they are if it is free? And if it is is the delivery man or woman friendly? All these thing will put an image in the customers head about the company. Most companies will offer insurance and guaranty and warranty should be on product provided by the supplier these thing will insure the customer because he or she will be confident that if the product is damaged in anyway they can come back and return it for a new one. They company should also give out vouchers because this will encourage the customers to come to buy of that company because they will be getting money off the product they want. If the company has got a customer complaint and customer feedback service then the customer will be able to get there voice heard if they have something good to say or if they have got something to complain about.
The customer service provision of my organisation help build a good relationship with them by giving them all that they want by providing the best customer service possible because if the customer is happy with the service then they will want to come back to British airways and this will gradually build to a relationship which is hat companies like British airways want.
Attracting new customers
There is a proven fact that it is 5 times move expensive to attract new than to keep and old one this is because there are a lot of promotion that is involved in attracting that new customer but if you have got an old customer then he or she will already know all about the company and will trust you already. Also the new customers my not come to you because they are loyal to your rivals and the only way to get them to leave them and come to you is by offering them cheap products. It is also difficult to attract new customers because the new customers may not trust your product or service because they have not tried it before and the company they are currently with my offer them all they need and are satisfied with their product or service so to get them will cost your too much that is why it is important to concentrate more on retaining your current customers.
You can also attract new by offering loyalty cards and in the case of BA they offer an executive club where by travelling with them you will earn air miles which can be used when you have got enough to travel with them for free this will attract new customers by them wanting to travel free.
Six steps to customer loyalty
This is someone that you may believe can be a potential customer to your organisation. British airways have loads of prospect customers because most people go on holiday every year so what they do is a lot of promotions and a load of advertising mostly on the internet because that is where most people go to find airline tickets these days.
This is a customer that has bought a product of you once. From that customers coming to BA once then that is when BA will try there best to retain that customer again and again by providing the best customer service possible so that they can satisfy the customers need and hopefully retain that customer to travel with them on future flights.
This is someone that has done business with an organisation on a repeat basis but may be negative, or at best neutral, towards your organisation. BA will look at this client and will think how they can satisfy this customer so that their negative or neutral image of the organisation will change so that they are happy and pleased with the service. This will help BA because then that customer will tell all their family and friends to travel with BA as well.
This is someone that supports your organisation but this is only passively. These customers are which BA want to push up higher in the ladder because this could help make there customer base bigger by word of mouth which is the quickest way of advertising.
This is someone that actively recommends you to others, who does your marketing for you. BA will give use these customers promotions and vouchers for being loyal customers and they may even give them more air miles.
This is some that has a relationship like a partner with BA. This is someone that will only buy from BA and will travel with them on a regular basis. BA will use this step by trying to get everyone on there so that they can become the leading organisation in their market.
Segmentation is when an organisation will split the customers into groups so that they can concentrate on a specific set of customers and work no as much on the rest. This help an organisation in knowing who there target customers are because the group that is buying the most will be there target. Segmentation can be done in many ways for example age, gender and socio-economical and geo-demographic grouping.
BA would try and target business man because they are the one that have got them money and business men would travel a lot because they would need to do business deals al around the world but I also think that they will try and target the middle class people because that is a big sector and most middle class families would go on holiday at least once in a year.
BA do do socio-economic segmentation by using the class system of A-E a being the people with high qualifications and E being the people on benefits. This is do though there the class system that BA have:
1st class = A-B class people
Business class = B-C class people
Club class = C-D class people
Economical class = C-E class people
The loyalty scheme that BA have is the customer has to join to BA executive club this is where the customers can build up air miles that they can use to go on trip for free but before that they have to collect enough air miles first. Depending on where the customers travels on the plane (1st, business, Club and economical class) will determine how many point they will get for that flight. This will help keep customers because they will want to build points so they can get a free flight of there choose but on the way they do not know how much money they have given to BA that its not costing BA anything to take them there because they have made enough profit on them already so it like both parties win.
BA does a lot of promotional offer like offering customers tickets to New York and back for ï¿½299. BA always have special offer on this is why they are such as successful business.
Databases and marketing
British airways has a CRM database and they collect all of there information form the people that join to there executive club have to provide there details and by obtaining this they will send messages via e mail to the customers about special offer and news about BA. They will also look at the buying pattern of there members so they can see where they like to go so they can provide special offer to them to place that the person regularly goes to. This will attract the customer to buy that special offer. BA will usually contact there customers via e-mail because this is an easy, fast and free thing to do. They may also phone up customers about special offer and they many sometimes phone up customers to do a questionnaire.
I think that BA are doing good in their market mostly because the business is established well and has a lot of contract with people for instance the England team always travel with BA. They all have a very good name in there customer’s service sectors.
The method that BA uses with their executive club can be improved because they have a few rules on it that might not attract customers to join like each membership year, the customer must earn the minimum number of Tier Points and take at least 4 BA flights to achieve or retain Silver or Gold status. Also the rules that is someone wants to upgrade to a gold or silver membership then they will start afresh but I would say they should be encouraging people to take the gold or silver membership and by making this rule it will not encourage the customer to upgrade.
For any business customer service is very important but for BA it is even more important than that because they depend on the customers for the business to be a success and BA customer service is at a very high standard thanks to some great training that BA provide to produce employees that are well mannered and are very helpful making your journey with them easy. Thanks to that I would say that there customer service is at a high standard and would say they do not need to make any improvement here.
The way BA segment there market is done very well be segmenting different class people by offering tickets in different classes and if you are at a class like a-b the 1st class has been made for then and so on this is done very effectively because people find it better this way because they can afford tickets if they are not in a high class so making there target market even bigger. So it is done very well in my opinion.