The present study tries to understand the impact of management styles on employee approach to customer service in India and USA. It is very important for companies to be focused towards providing high quality customer service because that would ultimately bring about customer satisfaction which is an important key for customer retention. It is very important for organizations that they maintain and nurture their relationships with the present customers and tries to retain them and simultaneously work towards acquiring new customers. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of different management styles on the approach of employees towards customer services in the telecom industry.
A well crafted methodology for the research is used to collect data for the purpose of the research. This research will help in exploring the factors that affect the selection of different management styles in modern organizations and how it impacts the overall behavior of the employee and how is it reflected in the way the employees approach the customer. Both primary and secondary data has been collected in order to study the past trends in the industry and the present scenario of the sector.
The research has also been helpful in drawing conclusions about the overall picture of the customer service segment prevailing in India and USA. There are striking differences in the management styles that are followed in both these countries and also, there are differences in the quality of customer services that is being provided in both these countries in the telecom sector.
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In order to be successful in the present unpredictable economic conditions, it is very important for organizations to manage customer service departments with care and finesse. The management style adopted to manage the customer service department holds great importance for setting the right track for empowerment and personal expression of positive behavior (Hayes and Dredge, 1998). The management style that is adopted by manager gets deeply embedded in the departmental culture and influences the behavior of the employees within the department. It is very important that organizations which aspire to grow and develop continue to inspire their employees to aim higher than what is expected from them.
Particularly, managing the customer service is a very tricky task for modern managers as it is reflected in the manner the employees deal with the customers. Organizations most often pay a great attention to customer service as it is a pre-requisite for any successful and growing organization. But quite often the role of a manager managing the customer service team is neglected or overlooked (Szperlinski, 2012). Thus, it is very important to have an appropriate approach for managing the customer service team as efficient and motivated employees will be able to render high quality customer service which will further create a database of satisfied customers who will themselves make repeat purchases from the organization and will also help in bringing new customers to the organization.
The current report deals with analyzing the effect of management style on employee approach towards customers in the telecom industry within India and USA. The overall state of customer service in India is not satisfactory. It has been repeatedly observed that businesses in India is losing a large part of their revenue due to poor customer service as the customers leave the transaction in between and end the relationship with the organizations that do not fulfill their demand or meet their expectations (Poor customer service: India loses Rs 11,640 cr/yr, 2009). India is bearing a huge cost of poor customer service in comparison to any other country throughout the world. It has been observed for most of the Indian companies that a huge anger flows from the customers when they are asked about the customer service that they receive from the company. Also, in India there are no strict rules and regulations governing the customer services.
On the contrary, in USA the organizations come up with newer strategies to effectively manage the customer services. The department that manages the customer service is closely linked with all the other departments that are related to customer service. Also, there are strict laws governing the entire customer service segment in USA (Blacharski, 2006). The organizations in USA strictly believe that it is important to retain customers and keep them satisfied as customers today have many options available in the market and losing customers would mean losing market to the competitors. The management in the organization constantly work towards reforming and updating the services from time to time in order to maintain the satisfaction level of the employees.
A very important function of managers managing the departments in organizations is to lead and develop the team. Managers are those people in the organization who guide the way in which the organization moves forward towards meeting its objectives. A manager has to perform several functions at a given point of time through which he controls the way the organization is moving forward and also simultaneously lead and inspire people under them (Daft, 2011). The management strategies differ from one organization to another depending on the complexity and nature of services that the organization offers but there are some approaches which are common in every organization which are systematic approach, classical approach, evolutionary approach, processual approach etc. A manager has to be flexible enough in implementing any approach to his style of management because a combination of approaches is often used for effectively managing the people in the organization. But it has to be kept in mind that any approach that a manger uses has its direct impact on the final user.
Customer service is slowly emerging as a prime concern for modern organizations as the sales and profitability of any business is dependent on the customers (Suttle, n.d). In the context of the present report which mainly focuses on telecom industry, it is worth noting that telecom industry has moved a step forward from traditional customer service and now has a higher focus on customer experience. Customer experience includes not just the conversations but a complete customer contact right from the point when a product or service is ordered till the point when such services and products are delivered (Customer Experience in Telecoms, n.d). The consumers of the telecom industry have a wide variety of choices available and the products and services are becoming increasingly complex. Each introduction of a new product or service brings new service requirements and new customer expectations (Shaw, 2012).
The telecom industry of both India and USA are vast and has a large number of service providers who are constantly fighting for the market share and there is stiff competition existing in the industry. It has thus become very important for the telecom companies to manage the expectations, communications and take every measure to hold up the perceived image as it would be very difficult to reverse the bad experience of the customer (The four main pillars of the telecoms customer experience, 2011). Just because a representative was not able to communicate properly with the customer and was not able to judge his requirement brings a blame for the company on a whole. Thus, management of the customer services people is also very important because it is reflected in the way employees deal with the customers.
Particularly for India, it has been observed that telecom industry is constantly reported to provide unsatisfactory customer service. TRAI has been the regulatory body for the telecom industry in India and it has been revealed in an investigation by TRAI that customers constantly report of unsatisfactory customer service levels (Customer experience- The agent of change in telecommunications, 2010). It has been observed in the context of organizations in India that the customer service department is most often not considered a part of the organization. But it is very important that employees are managed properly in order to bring about an improvement in overall customer services. The companies have to understand the fact that it is important to retain the new customers rather than acquiring the new ones because a satisfied customer will automatically bring new customer to the organization and for this, it is necessary that there is a relationship of trust between the customer and organization and ultimately it will be the customer service team who will be a link between the company and the customer. Thus, the way company manages its customer service team will have its direct implications on the way the employee deals with the customer.
On the other hand, customer service in USA is highly structured and the companies have employed latest technologies and updated strategies in order to effectively manage their customers. There is effective management of the customer service team and this department has close links with all the other departments who have a direct or indirect link to customer service (Peppers and Rogers, 2010). Also, there exist strict laws in the country which requires the companies to meet the expectations of the customers and match up to their demands. As stated previously, there are a large number of players in the telecom sector and it is very important for them to maintain their market share as customers have wide choices and if they are not satisfied with a service provider they can easily switch to other companies. There is a constant refinement and updating of services in order to effectively manage the expectations of the customers.
A comparison of both the countries gives an idea that American companies have adopted a management style and has such strategies in place that they are able to develop their employees and this has a positive impact on the way employees deal with the customers. Whereas, in India, both the customer service team and customer services on a whole are given the least attention. There is always high attention given to other processes in the organization. The laws and regulation in India are also not stringent as compared to America. All these factors can be accounted for the laid back attitude of the customer service providers. Thus, it can be said that companies need to maintain a strong base of satisfied customers as an unsatisfied customer will switch to other organizations and hence, it will get difficult for the organization to reverse the process.
The research aims to explore the different management styles adopted by the organizations in India and USA for their customer services, particularly in the telecom industry. The research also aims to study the factors which are responsible for different management styles adopted by the organization and its effect on the employees’ approach to customer service.
In order to achieve the above stated aim, certain objectives are set which are as follows:
The research question helps in providing a proper direction to the research so that the entire process stays on the right track and the efforts and resources are also directed towards the ultimate goal of the research. It defines a path for the achievement of the research aims and objectives. In the present report, the research questions are as follows:
Research methodology can be defined as a systematic approach to solve the research problem. Research methodology determines the most appropriate techniques for conducting the research and also identifies the logic behind using those techniques (Dawson, 2002). Research methodology addresses a number of activities which are important for the successful completion of the research like what the activity of the research is, how to progress further, how the progress would be measured and what constitutes success.
For the present study, both primary and secondary research will be done. Primary research will be done by using the survey method which will be further conducted by questionnaire method. The researcher will also conduct an interview with the respondents which will be conducted simultaneously with the questionnaire. A sample of 300 respondents will be chosen randomly. Responses will be collected from participants in both the countries and there will be two set of questionnaires of which one will be for the employees of the company who are involved in customer service and one will be for the customers who have experienced customer services of the companies at any point of time.
For secondary research, various articles, books and journals related to the research problem will be accessed. The research is primarily about the impact of management style on employees and its further effect on approaches of customer service, so it will be necessary to understand and analyze the experience of the customer. Thus, various customer forums related to telecom industry will be accessed so that the researcher will have a clear idea about the entire process of customer service from beginning to end. The research will be conducted by strictly keeping the allotted time in mind and the researcher will take care that the ethical standards are kept in mind while undertaking the research. Care shall be taken that the information collected is kept confidential and shall not be disclosed even after the completion of the research.
A research is basically conducted to add to the existing knowledge base and is an objective investigation in to the facts about a certain topic. The present research is a study of the customer services which is supposed to be the most important aspect for any organization but is generally overlooked or neglected. The way the customers are dealt with is to a large extent the reflection of the management style that is being used in the organization. Customer service team is generally ignored in the modern organizations but it should be kept in mind that these are the people who are a link between the company and its customers and if they fail to meet the expectations of the customers, it will ultimately harm the image of the company.
The research will be useful in the present context because it will explore the reasons for the customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The research will try to uncover the relationship between how the customer service team is managed and how the team then deals with customers. The study deals with India and USA and there are strikingly opposite levels of customer services that are observed in both these countries. The study will also highlight as to where the loopholes are in the system which is having its repercussions on the employees and ultimately on the customers. In tough and highly competitive market, the companies cannot afford to lose even an iota of their market share to the competitors because it will be very difficult to bring the customer back to the company. This study will be useful in the sense that it will provide some recommendations on the basis of the findings that how can efficient management within the company bring about positive changes in the overall customer satisfaction and how can the organizations have long term benefits as a result of having highly satisfied customer base.
For conducting the research in a proper manner, it is very important that a systematic and step-by-step procedure is followed. It is important to move further with the research in a chronological order. It is also important that the report is prepared in a proper format so that the reader is able to understand how the research is being conducted and what procedure has been followed.
The series of chapters in this report will be as follows:
Customers are referred to as the king most of the times and thus, it is very important for modern organizations to keep the customers satisfied and happy. It is very important that their problems are solved and complaints are addressed because once the customers abandons his relation with the company, it will be very difficult to bring them back to the company as there are wide choices available for them in the market. Talking about India and USA, there are lot of differences between the level of customer services provided in both these countries and it is an effect of the management style that is followed in the company which is having its direct impact on the approach of the employees in dealing with the customers.
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