Firms have a culture that they have to maintain and uphold within the different societies and environments that they are operating in. Understanding the environment and the society that they are working in is fundamental for a firm to create a culture that will help it to achieve its goals and deliver its mandates not only to its shareholders and the management but also to the society.
A code of conduct has to be taught to the employees in the recruitment process (West). The code of conduct is useful in ensuring employees can abide by the laws of the country and state that they are currently working in while promoting and abiding by the ethical standards that the firm has set. The code of conduct for a firm sets the tone that the employees are going to relate to different cultures and stakeholders of the firm. The most important stakeholder to any firm is the employee followed by the customer. Firms have to ensure for them to be flourish and be able to withstand the various challenges that firms, they create strong employee relations and ensure that the employees can cultivate the same with the customers. For this to be possible, the firm has to be appreciative of the work that the employees are doing while setting an example as to how they expect the employees to deal with customers (Knausgaard). To achieve this, the management of the firm has to come up with training programming which expounds and deal with customer relations, ethical practices and principles employees are supposed to abide by to achieve uniformity.
The customer is the driving force which ensures that firms can make revenue and keep on operating without experiences losses. Employee customer relations determine the market niche that the firm is going to be operating under while ensuring that the firm can have a strong brand. Employee customer relations are emphasized upon in the service industry, but they do play a big role in the manufacturing industry as they ensure that the customers can purchase the goods with the anticipated quality. Customers have different needs form different goods and understanding this is a major step in improving employee-customer relations. While the customer is always king, at times, they might not have access to all the information about a product, or they might have been misinformed. Understanding and knowing how to deal with such customers is one of the important that employees should be able to have and execute with the least help possible from their superiors (West).
For employees to do this, they have to be knowledgeable of the products that they are dealing with and understand that queries that customers will ask. The firm has to provide the employees with a sample of the questions that they are going to be dealing with obtained from most customers complained or questions asked about different products. Employees have a mandate to ensure that customers who feel that their explanation does not dissatisfy them are referred to the management of the firm. To do this, the employees have to have the confidence that they will not be penalized for referring a client to their superiors. The employees have to be able to make judgments on which cases to refer to the management and which cases they have to deal with. For a customer to be fully satisfied, they have to feel appreciated and that their time is taken into account and their problem or issues dealt with within a short period (Knausgaard).
When a customer is transferred to the superiors, they are more than likely going to be satisfied by the information that they are going to acquire. However, this should only occur when the issue raised is above the employee’s authority and capability. When employees continuously refer customers seeking more information to the superiors, leads to customers losing confidence in a firm understanding of the products that they are producing. A company’s code of ethics means that the company is going to respect the privacy of the employees and its customers. This code of ethics is practiced by all the member of the firm concerning the stakeholders that they are dealing with at any moment.
The company must protect its customers and employees information which it does by ensuring that it has the data secured and that it is not intrusive in their lives to obtain further information. Companies should respect their employees right to privacy by not asking them for private information and at the same time employee data is protected and secured platforms (West). The same is expected when it comes to employees and customer relations.
Employees are the first people, who are going to be approached by a customer, should ensure that any private information that they obtain from the customer stays confidential. Respecting a customer’s right to privacy ensures that the information that the client diverges for the employee to help is kept confidential. Employees have to earn the trust of the customer, or the customer will be forced to look for help elsewhere meaning that the brand will have lost out on a customer and the market trust. Employees will be expected to read the tells signs when the customers want something handled in a confidential and more private place, which means asking the customer to accompany them to an area where they can talk with no one within earshot (Knausgaard). The information provided by the customer if private should not be told to another employee however if such a case arises in future, the employee can approach a supervisor and report this for the problem to be dealt with in general without divulging too much information to the public or other stakeholders.
Uniformity is an important way of ensuring that employees and customers can interact with each other freely. Firms with multiple branches, it means that each branch should be the mirror of the other while few altercations may be made to accommodate the difference in community culture that exists between different markets. Maintaining uniformity means that in areas where the firm has branches, customers are going to be visiting them rather than going to other stores of firms within the area based on their experience in previous firm branches (West). Employees should understand that difference in culture does exist, but this does not mean being prejudice or making assumptions before hearing what the customer has to ask. This can be quite irritating especially when the client has a different issue that they want to be addressed. Customer relations should not be one way. The employees should be gaining from their interaction with the customers. Customers have had experience with different firms, and that informs how they are going to rate different firms and whether they are going to return for more products.
The information that one acquires from the customer should not be viewed as petty but earmarked as an area that the firm needs to improve on (West). Issues raised by multiple customers should inform the management for measures to be undertaken to ensure that the firm does not suffer from a market fall out due to not taking action to solve the customerвЂ™s issues. Employee and customer relations are derived from previous experience and the human instinct. Employees are always asked to stick to the rules, but when need be, they are advised to improvise and be able to help the customer in a shorter time frame. Asking employees to improvise encourages them to be free and not be seen as people working under tough riles and a strict code of conduct which creates a barrier to improve and build customer relations (Knausgaard). Once in a while, we visit a new place, and as one is looking for a specific object in a shop, they are confronted by an employee or an attendant who seems hostile or whom one is nervous to approach for help. Employees should not be viewed as robots, but rather as approachable humans who will be of help.
To build a brand means to invest in the services and the products that a firm is dealing with. Wal-Mart, IKEA, Apple among other firms have been able to create successful brands not only because of the products that they offer but because of the interaction between employees and the customers. Wal-Mart has been previously criticized for underpaying its employees which would explain why at times one is left thinking that the employees at Wal-Mart stores should do more to help the customers. Wal-Mart fixed this by ensuring that the employees understood the layout of their stores and could help customers find any item in their stores.
Firms have to come up with different strategies to implement their strategy for it to be a success and to understand that copying existing strategies and cultures do not always work due to the difference in the environment. Employees at times leave their proviso position to experience a different lifestyle and challenge or because they feel that they are in the wrong place and a firm does not resonate with their beliefs and practices. Copying other firms practices will lead to disgruntled employees looking for new challenges which will increase the employee turnover rate and dissuade customers from coming back as different people will handle their issues over a short period (West). The customer will feel as if their privacy is being invaded by having their issues dealt with by different people over a short period.
Authors note Rather than emulate the secondary sources, I choose to use an informative essay form which borders on the line of an academic and public essay. Through this form, it is both to be critical and informative on what is needed especially when it comes to employee and customer relations which is a dynamic topic and keeps changing from time to time.
To analyze the topic, one has to rely on reoccurring events, firm’s hierarchy and emerging trends when it comes to marketing. Since this is a field that we encounter from day to day I chose to base it’s on Karl Ove article, The Inexplicable, where everyone on a country is affected directly by issues which in larger countries would be news sad news to the country but not have a direct impact. With employee and customer relation we have to deal with this in every aspect of our life, more so in the present where we are doing most things online even for customer support.
The migration to the online platform only means that firms should invest more on employee and customer relations to build and maintain their brand to both stakeholders.
Knausgaard, Karl Ove. Anders Breivik’s Inexplicable Crime. The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 19 June 2017, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/25/the-inexplicable. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017. West, Jan. Employees, Customers, Surveys, and Business Success. NBRI, National Business Research Institute, Inc., 2017, www.nbrii.com/employee-survey-white-papers/the-relationship-between-employees-customers-and-business-success/. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.