Key provisions of relevant legislation that affect aspects of business operations
Task 1 Question 1 • There are a number of key provisions of relevant legislation and regulations from all levels of government that may affect aspects of business operations, such as: 1. Anti-discrimination legislation. 2. Ethical principles. 3. Codes of practice. 4. Privacy laws. 5. Financial legislation. 6. Health and safety legislation. 7. Consumer law. 8. Credit procedures legislation and regulations. Why is it necessary to have a working knowledge of the legislation that affects customer service operations?
Question 2 • Identify and explain the stages that should be followed when dealing with/ managing a customer complaint. (180–200 words) Question 3 • Identify and explain the six steps in the problem-solving process. Question 4 • Explain how you can use policies and procedures to make sure you comply with an organisation’s expectations in relation to managing quality customer service and following best practice. (150-180 words) Question 5 • Why is it necessary to clearly identify, before designing product and service offerings, customer needs, and what are some of the less obvious service aspects that might inform purchasing decisions? (180–200 words) Question 6 • Being able to provide good customer service is not an innate skill. It requires that employees receive appropriate training and learn to understand their role/s with regard to customer service. This applies to those employees who are in direct contact with customers and those who have no direct contact with customers. Employees who have good customer service skills will generally encounter fewer complaints. Describe the ways in which employees can learn the skills needed to provide good customer service. (180–200 words) Question 7 • What are the questions that all customers ask themselves (consciously or subconsciously) before they commit to a purchase and how is the presented product/ service bundle likely to affect a customer’s purchasing decision? (180–200 words) Question 8 • In any organisation there are both internal and external customers. These are all part of the customer–supplier chain. For the customer/ end-user to receive quality products/ services it is necessary that all aspects of the customer–supply chain meet specific quality objectives. Who actually sets these quality standards and how are they set? (180–200 words) Question 9 • How can an organisation encourage suppliers—both internal and external—to participate in actively ensuring quality standards are maintained so that fewer customer complaints are likely? (80–200 words) Question 10 • How can you collect customer feedback about customer service levels, their satisfaction with products and services and any complaints they might have? (180–200 words)
Task 2 Project 1 • Excellence in customer service is the objective of all organisations wishing to be successful. However, there is often a gap between customer expectations and management perceptions of customer expectations. Organisations often fail to get close to their customers and correctly read their expectations.
Other reasons for customer service problems include: o not listening to or collecting information from customers o poor, or no, focus on the actual design of processes to turn identified customer needs into products and services o gaps between what the organisation intends to produce for its customers and what its systems do actually produce o gaps between what the system is intended to deliver for customers and what it actually does deliver o cost constraints, or failure to set and meet realistic performance standards, which affect what the organisation can actually deliver o poor staff attitudes, training levels and working materials o gaps between what salespeople promise and the actual service or product quality (Zeithaml, ParasuramanBerry 1990) Comment, in approximately 2,000 words, on these statements.
Project 2 • Janice works in the production department of a book printing firm. Her role involves collating printed documents, binding them and preparing them ready for shipment to the customer. She has no direct contact with the customer and believes that she has no responsibility for quality management. If a mistake in the print run is made, then she is not responsible. Her responsibility is just to take the printed material, collate it, bind it and ship it.
Janice has reasonable communication and interpersonal skills. She is friendly and gets along well with her co-workers. Although Janice prepares the products ready for shipment she does not address them. In fact, if you asked her, she would not be able to tell you who the organisation’s customers were. As far as she is concerned all the knowledge about customers—who they are and what they actually want—is processed by other people in the organisation. All she does is work on the production line. This means that as far as she is concerned, she has no responsibility for customer service.
Other people in the organisation are employed to provide customer service because they are good at it. 1. What is wrong with Janice’s attitude and with the organisational system? 2. How do you think attitudes like Janice’s impact on other employees, on the supplier–customer chain and on the organisation’s outcomes? 3. What do you think should be done to make Janice more aware of her responsibilities toward the organisation’s customers? 4. Why is it necessary that she understands that she has a very definite role to play with regard to customer service? 5. How can these problems be overcome? Project 3 • Organisations that intend to be successful need to design products, services and product/ service bundles to meet customer needs. How can they do this and how can they ensure that the organisation’s plans achieve quality, time and cost specifications agreed with customers? What data and records might be drawn upon to make plans intended to meet customer needs?
What monitoring and evaluation procedures might be followed to ensure that the organisation keeps up with changes in customer needs and in market conditions, procures and disburses resources appropriately and is able to consistently meet product quality and delivery standards? How can customer feedback be collected and used and why is it necessary to consult with customers (internal and external) and with other stakeholders when monitoring and assessing the organisation’s progress toward achieving quality targets?
Within the organisation there will be groups of people or teams which work toward goal achievement. How can managers and supervisors ensure that team members have the skills needed to communicate effectively with customers and to provide excellent customer service? How might they assist colleagues in overcoming difficulties with meeting customer service standards?
What procedures might be followed to identify problems and with appropriate individuals and groups to adapt customer services, products and/or service delivery so that it continues to meet customer needs?