CUSTOMER SERVICE CARES: A TOOL FOR EFFECTIVE HUMAN RELATIONS MANAGEMENT IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY

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CHAPTER ONE

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

            Some organizations are heavy bureaucratic, old fashioned and seem to treat their customer as irritants, while others are fast-moving, flexible, exciting and dedicated to providing a different and better service, developing service excellence can only be achieved by focusing on the consumer and paying attention to their needs with a view to exceeding them (Carrington, 1995). Developing the customers focus is no longer a choice for organizations if they want to survive. Many organizations which took their right to exist for granted and prioritized their own interests above those of their customers have either collapsed or experiencing a decline in their fortune.

Deregulation, globalization, technology and liberalization have changed the market place considerably with breath taking speed.  Organization which had previously believed themselves immune to the need to consider their customers’ needs are being thrust into an environment in which customers can now go elsewhere if they are continually let down.

Successfully organizations in the public or private sector no longer just sell or market their customers. They form a healthy human relationship bond and partnership.  To do this they must be flexible and

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supply solutions to fully understand customer’s needs and not just products or services for customer to use.  The present day consumer is discerning and has high expectations, which can only be not consistently by firms that are committed to excellence.

Excellence must transcend the entire organization to be effective.  An organization’s operations must be seen as a process or value going from identification of a customer need to satisfaction of the need.  And it is no longer fashionable to talk of satisfying customers but delighting the customer by exceeding their expectations.  Delighting customers on a consistent basis is a critical requirement in the high competitive market place. Hence companies formulate customer management policy with regular training and healthy human relations to both the internal and external customers for competitive edge. This study therefore is an attempt to examine the customer service care programme within the organization and how it promotes healthy human relations with the internal and external clienteles.

1.2       PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

            Since customer services is the vogue in the services industry there is a paradigm shift from the traditional selling of service to marketing philosophy in service where the customer is celebrated as the king.  Companies that want to remain afloat and maintain a pace-setting role in the competitive market situation go beyond lip in the competitive

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in the competitive market situation go beyond lip service in the customer management policy.

            This study tends to:

(i)        Examine the existing customer service policy and how effectively the implementation has been.

(ii)       To address issues relating to organizational policies as it affects customer’s service namely: delivering real value to customers, maintaining a healthy, empathic business climate through effective human relations skill constant service innovation, high standard of professionalism, service excellence, care and courteous attitude to customers.

(iii)      It is a critical question for operations and stakeholders in the service industries to seek for ways of constant innovation and improvement to remain relevant in the industry.  This study seeks to find out innovative programmes  and customer relations programme available for corporate survival.

1.3       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

            This research work will contribute to the streams of knowledge the findings of this work will:

(i)        Provide information for policy formulation and implementation among the management terms, stakeholders and player in the industry.

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(ii)       It will improve the quality circle of service delivery mechanism in terms of customer satisfaction and tune –lead.

 (iii)     It would further promote service effectiveness with a monitoring network and staff empowerment customer service programme in an effort to promote the culture of excellence.

1.4       SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY  

            This study is limited to the staff of Union Homes Savings of Onipanu and Modern Business System Ltd at Thorburn Street, Lagos.  The staffs of Union Homes are about three hundred staff (300) comprising forty (40) top management staff, sixty (60) middle level staff and two hundred (200)

junior staff.  While Modern Business system Ltd comprise of two hundred (200) staff.  The study is administered to all level of staff.

            However, the study is only limited to the Union Homes Savings at Onipanu – a branch of the Union Bank Ltd and the Head office of Modern Business System with ten other branches nationwide.  This study is only narrowed to the branch of the bank.  Due to time constraint and fund the findings from the study of these branches could be used to deduce some recommendations for other service companies within the industry.

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1.5       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

            This research work will attempt to answer the following questions.

(1)        Will customer satisfaction promote total company commitment?

(2)        Do we need to empower and train the staff for service standard and consumer delights.

(3)        Is customer demography necessary for identifying customer’s needs and values desired?

(4)        Do highly motivated staff provide customer service of delight and exceptions?

(5)        Do organizations with customer’s service policies go beyond lip service in promoting partnership with the customers?

1.6       RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

1.         Customers satisfactions will not significantly promote total company’s commitment.

2.         Staff empowerment will not significantly enhance service standard and customers delight.

3.         Customer demography will not significantly identify customer’s needs and value desired.