Planning at Flight Centre
Management is a group of people united with a purpose to design the structure of an organization as well as determine how different organizational aspects will interact. It encompasses six essential functions including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, controlling, and motivating. In the process of organizational design, the management considers several organizational characteristics such as an economy, flexibility, simplicity, acceptability, reliability, and economy. The flight center is similar to any other organization in terms of management and other aspects that are related to the coordination of natural and healthy interaction. However, there constantly arise specific management issues that require intervention in order to keep the organization running and be effective.
One of the management issues that a flight center would face is weak customer service. According to Gibson (2012), customers are the primary target, and therefore, instead of them depending on the organization, it highly relies on them. It means that the organization should ensure the customers’ satisfaction in order to make them loyal to the flight center as satisfied customers constitute a strong foundation for any successful business. Specifically, their contentment also leads to repeated purchases as well as positive word of mouth. In the flight center, poor customer service arises due to the poor retention of employees who have knowledge about the individual, organizational clients, which in turn, aids to build better relationships with them.
Secondly, Furterer (2016) argues that around 96% of dissatisfied customers never complain. Among them, 90% decline from the organization’s services; besides, all those customers disseminate negative comments about their frustration. In addition, substandard customer services are seen when long-term customers leave, and the flight center has very few referrals.
Customer service is critical because it provides the flight center with clear guidelines on how to satisfy their customers, to enjoy the benefits that arise with long-term customer retention and gaining new customers (Letavec, 2014). On the other hand, poor customer service results in dissatisfied customers, some of who are unwilling to pass complaints to the management, but instead, decline from the organization. Unfortunately, these customers, via the word of mouth, might discourage other prospective clients. Therefore, this management issue is worthy of research. This report will critically identify the management issue and provide a clear discussion of the issue suggesting proper recommendations in order to solve the problem. In fact, better customer services would mean enlarging the organization’s range of profits.
Keeping customers loyal requires the managers’ constant attention to detail. However, as the organization grows, the ability to consistently provide top-notch customer service proves expensive and arduous. Nothing surpasses good customer service from an actual individual. Thus, the use of feedback strategically has the potential of making it easier to scale the organization’s efforts as well as of focusing more resources in other most important areas. The obstacle to this is the difficulty in identifying the right issues to address when customer service becomes a management issue to the organization. For instance, Lastminute.com, an online flight booking organization, lost many customers because of poor customer service ranging from unanswered customers’ phone calls, fraudulent actions, to harassing customers by being unaware of their history. In addition, the management showed little interest in their customers’ complaints (Shamma, Dyer, & Liebrenz-Himes, 2011). Therefore, further research of this issue would indicate to be a value in the management of this difficiency. Primarily, it would alert the management to be on the lookout for the strategies that would enhance customers’ satisfaction and retention.
Customer service is essential since it is often the only contact that a customer has with the organization. Sometimes, customers would spend additional money on the services offered by the organization. Consequently, they would expect the organization to resolve issues they may experience regarding their relationship with the organization. Customer service helps differentiate an organization from its competitors. As an example, an organization with excellent customer services is more than likely to receive repeat business from the long-term customers as well as entice new customers via the word of mouth. Consequently, the organization would enjoy more benefits concerning sales and profits (Humphrey, 2011). On the contrary, the organizations with poor customer service are likely to lose their customers, which would entail a negative impact on the organization.
Considering the cost involved in advertising and the expense of sales calls and other means of communication with new customers, it would show the importance of retaining customers rather than targeting new ones. This would mean that the effort that is placed in maintaining quality customer service, can increase dividends to the organization over time. Thus, according to Harding (2011), the quality of service to customers can be a sound source of organizational promotion.
Excellent customer service involves understanding the needs and desires of the customers. In addition, it includes keeping promises as well as delivering consistent high-quality standards. The principles of good customer service include the aspects discussed below. Primarily, the organization should be committed to the customer service culture. Secondly, precise, relevant as well as accessible information should be provided to all customers. Thirdly, having well trained and customer-focused staff along with excellent communication are paramount. Finally, a quick resolution of the customer’s problems with the efficient use of the customer feedback would help resolve common problems.
The most relevant management theory about customer service is the behavioral management theory, especially when it involves the customer relationship management. The behavioral theory of management concentrates on human nature and attitudes, as well as on the methods that managers apply to motivate their employees in an effort to improve their productivity (Pokharel, 2011). Well satisfied staff performs better, which is the necessary foundation for enhanced human interaction between the employees and the customers. Moreover, content staff interacts best with the customers, having a positive attitude and being ready to solve all the issues that their customers may present. This helps in retaining the customers as they build certain level of confidence with the organization as a whole. Therefore, the theory is vital in this research due to the fact the flight center requires a healthy employee-customer relationship with the purpose to retain its customers and respond quickly to the issues affecting them.
Evidently, it is never easy to handle a customer service issue. In most cases, complaints from customers are just, thus, it is necessary to supply a solution to the frustrating problems. Therefore, providing excellent services to customers as well as following the right procedures in order to combat these issues would reduce the number of complaints. First, it is always advisable to listen to the customer’s issue without interrupting them. This time is of the essence in the process of identifying the issue. However, it is imperative for the employee not to take the complaint personally.
Secondly, acknowledging the customers’ efforts, understanding why they are upset, and being sensitive to the frustration that they have experienced, shows the manager’s attention to the customer. This technique does not lower the employee’s dignity but rather demonstrates that the customer is valued as is their complaint (Kamin, 2010). Thirdly, providing real solutions to the problems would help retain the customers. This would require the employee’s assessment of the problem and the available solutions. After providing a solution to the issue, it is imperative to investigate if the suggested solution met the customer’s needs. Finally, thanking the customer for their continued confidence in the organization is appreciated. If the customers are satisfied, they will maintain their interest in the organization, and also recommend the organization to other prospective customers.
For the flight center, my recommendation is to maintain an excellent customer relationship, as the flight center is a service provider and not an organization dealing with the sale of tangible goods. Customers will always want to see the value of their money considered from the services they obtain from the organization. As an example, the Apple organization considers customer service to be among its most important areas of concern. This consideration has led to a significant number of loyal clients, translating to increased sales in addition to other benefits. As the managers of Southwest Airlines would put it, “happy employees lead to happy customers”. Therefore, taking the time to give them excellent services is mandatory.
In conclusion, from research and the experience shared by successful managers in several other organizations, customer service is primary. It determines the financial state of the organization through the loyalty of its customers. Moreover, it decides the path of entry for new customers into the organization, thus, making it more competitive. The flight center is an organization offering direct services to its customers as well as customer interaction. In its desire to improve its customer service and to retain long-term customers and attract new customers, the organization should ensure that customer service issues are solved amicably, as these are issues that have a direct impact on the condition of the organization.