CASE STUDY: TNT COMPANY
Customers’ perception toward a business has essential impact on business reputation and growth. Customers experience on the quality and nature of goods and services offered in a business do not only define the rate of business development but also has essential impacts on business image and reputation (Olson & Dover 2009, p.179). Reliable and effective quality services on customers encourage them to become regular and frequent customers of a business. On the other hand, poor customers’ experiences and beliefs toward business services and products may damage business reputation and future growth. Recent researches have further identified that customers’ development of substantial confidence on business services are vital in facilitating business growth in the modern dynamic economy.
To understand the role and significance of customers on business success, I conducted a research in TNT International Company. TNT Company is known for its effective measures in ensuring that the services satisfy their customers. The business is currently the market leaders in global service market due to its effective operation strategies. TNT operates in the tertiary sector in the United Kingdom’s economy. In my study, I attempted to understand some of the strategies that are used by the company in realizing its current success. In my study, I realised that the company has well organised and realistic strategies that aim at ensuring that all its customers are happy with its services. The company understands the important of satisfying customers in its business operations. Accordingly, the business has assumed radical changes in ensuring that customers are adequately satisfied with their services.
My in-depth study indicated that customers’ satisfaction is not only determined by service delivery, but also on the nature in which services are delivered. As a result, to fit in modern competitive economy, the TNT Company was compelled to adopt strategies for ensuring that all its customers are satisfied by the services that are offered by the company. Due to the new transformation in its operations and activities, the company is currently one of the most successful businesses in United Kingdom in terms of the quality-of-service delivery.
From my evaluation, it was apparent that TNT Company has adopted various means of ensuring that all its customers are satisfied with their services. Ease in the usage of customers’ products and services, personal relationship, appropriate and reliable payments systems, effective complaint process and favourable after sales services are some of the key aspects that facilitate customers’ satisfaction. Based on my research findings, it is factual to state that, customers’ satisfaction is one of the key factors that can encourage customers’ reliance on the company’s or business products and services.
Sources of Information
With an aim of ensuring that I acquire all the relevant information regarding some of the policies adopted by TNT Company in satisfying its customers, I used a variety of primary and secondary sources. At the initial stage of the study, I undertook intensive interview to acquire first hand information from the company’s customers and employees. Questionnaires were therefore vital in this study. On the other hand, I also relied on researches that were conducted by other researchers on the topic under study. In this study, I did not only rely on recent researches, but I also used research findings from ancient scholars. Annual financial and operation results from the company were also vital in enhancing the success of my research.
To get an in-depth knowledge on the role of customers’ perception towards the services and goods that are produced by a business or a company, I also used scholarly journals from numerous academic backgrounds. Online sources were also essential in facilitating the success of my study (Dover 2009, p.89). Online services also facilitated effective interaction with other scholars from diverse cultural and social backgrounds. To improve the quality of my research, I adequately involved scholars whom I believed have adequate information and facts regarding some of the factors that enhance customers’ satisfaction. The chief executive officer and human resources manager in TNT Company also made a significant contribution in enhancing the success of my research.
My research focused on some of the factors that enhance customers’ satisfaction in modern competitive economy. To understand some of the factors that result to customers’ satisfaction, I focused on one of the most successful business in terms of customers’ satisfaction (Rooma & Ramsaran 2007, p.21). Knowledge on some of the strategies applied by TNT will help business students and executive in understanding the needs of satisfying their customers. In supporting our group representation, I focused on some of the key factors that result to improved service delivery to customers. I also presented a cases study that helped in understanding the role of customers’ perception towards goods and services offered by a business or a company.
Key theoretical issues that were covered in the group presentation
In the recent years, the concept of customer satisfaction has attracted considerable level of attraction from various scholars. The understanding of some of the most critical models and theories that defines customer satisfaction is therefore vital in modern global markets. So far, a number of theories have been identified to explain the relationship between customers’ satisfaction and disconfirmation. In the cases under study, the research covered various theoretical issues in understanding factors that result to customer satisfaction.
The assimilation theory states that customers make cognitive comparison between the products performance and the customers’ expectation on a product. As explained in this theory, customers attempt to avoid dissonance by adjusting perceptions on a product in order to be in line with their expectation. Moreover, customers also reduce the tension that emerges from possible discrepancies between the products’ performance and customers’ expectation. This is achieved through reducing the relative significant of disconfirmation experienced or through distorting expectation in order to match with the product’s performance (Peyton, Pitts & Kamery 2009, p.71).
Despite being relatively effective in explaining the relationship between customers’ expectation and product performance, the theory has encountered numerous challenges and criticism from modern scholars. First, the assumption between customers’ satisfaction and customers’ expectation does not specify the manner in which expectation disconfirmation can result to either dissatisfaction or satisfaction. On the other hand, the theory is also criticised for assuming that customers are adequately motivated to adjust to their expectation regarding the product performance (Anderson 2009, p. 71). As explained in this theory, customers’ dissatisfaction can never appear unless there is negative customers’ expectation.
Contrast theory was also vital in this study. Contrast theory describes the tendency of magnifying discrepancy between individual perception and attitudes presented by opinion statement. The theory therefore presents an alternative perception on customers’ post-usage evaluation mechanisms and processes. As explained in the theory, discrepancies result to surprises and confusion among customers of products and services offered by business operators and managers. In most instances, discrepancies experiences discourage customers from relying on products and services presented in a specified business or a company (Peyton & Pitts 2012, p.79). If a company exaggerate the quality and state of their products through advertisement and then the customers realises that the products is less effective than promised quality, the products could be rejected by its customers. On the other hand, under-promising in advertisement could also lower customers’ expectation on the advertised products.
Negativity theory was as well essential in the study. The theory suggests that any discrepancies in the performance will develop negative energy. As explained in this theory, when a customer strongly holds a certain expectation, they are likely to respond negatively to emerging disconfirmation. Moreover, dissatisfaction can also emerge if the performance of the products is less than customers’ expectation or in the situation when performance is more that customer’s expectation (Oliver 2010, p. 210).
In understanding the role of customers’ perceptions towards any products, I also relied on Cognitive dissonance theory. The theory explores the uncomfortable feelings that result after holding two conflicting perception and ideas on a product. As explained in the theory, people hold motivational drive to minimise dissonance by altering their beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes (Festinger 2007, p. 91).
Key conclusions of the research
The research on the relationship between customers expectation and product performance is one of the most intricate and challenging study. There are various conflicting theories and models that attempt to defined the relationship between what customer expects from a certain product and the presented productivity of a product. In my study, I noted that customers’ attitude and perception on a product are vital in facilitating the success of an organization. The current reputation of TNT Company can largely be linked to the understanding of the factors that enhance customers’ satisfaction. So far, the company has come up with realistic mechanisms that are intended at ensuring that all its customers are fully satisfied with the services offered by the company (Yoo & Park 2007, p.201).
Despite involving its customers in the organisation decision-making process, the company top management has also established mechanism that enhances personal interaction and engagement. Personal interaction between customers and top management has played a recommendable role in ensuring that the customers understand the needs and demands of its customers. In addition, my study also identified that effective after sale services are essential in enhancing customers’ satisfaction on the services offered by the company’s employees.
My study also helped my group members to understand the importance of effective and reliable payment systems in boosting customers’ satisfaction. Based on my research findings, my group members also understood the significant of understanding the existing customers’ satisfaction theories. Although the existing theories have different description on customer satisfaction, the knowledge on the existing theory is fundamental in reducing possible confusion and conflict between customers and organisation’s management. The research also found out that misleading advertisement is dangerous in business operations (Barsky 2012, p. 51). Advertisement that exaggerates the quality and nature of a product or service may lead to the contradiction between customers’ expectation and the ability of products to satisfy customers’ expectations. In the company under study, the marketing and promotion department ensures that all its advertisement contents are in accordance with the quality and nature of the advertised products.
Prior to the commencement of the research, there was confusion among the group’s members on the relationship between customers’ expectation and the ability of a product or a service to satisfy the identified customers’ expectation. Although there were some group members who understood the relationship between customers’ attitude, perception, and the demand of a product, there were those who did not understand the manner in which the two aspects were inter-linked. As a result, some members were opposed to the idea of undertaking a research on the topic under study (Teas 2010, p.139). However, the research findings found out that there is a close relationship between customers’ expectation and the ability of a product to meet customers’ expectations. In conclusion, the research findings have confirmed that the success of any company is dependent on its ability to meets the customers’ needs and demands. A good number of modern successful organisations and companies have understood the importance of matching customers’ expectation with the services that are offered to their customers.
Personal observations and individual point of view
Based on my experience on the research, adopting effective means that could help in ensuring that customers are satisfied with the services offered by a company or organisation is vital in boosting the success of an organisation. The TNT Company current success can largely be attributed to the measures that are applied by the company to ensure that all its customers are satisfied with their services. I have also observed that misleading promotions and advertisement can result to poor performance of a product. Exaggerating the quality and nature of a product can result to confusion between customers’ expectations and ability of a product to satisfy its customer.
Intensive interaction between customers and organisation top leadership is also critical in enhancing the success of an organisation. The introduction of systematic and effective communication channels helps the TNT Company management in unearthing customers’ needs and expectation on its product. Feedback from customers also plays a central role in enhancing the production of quality and reliable products. For instance, the company under study has established online services where customers get an opportunity of presenting their suggestions on the quality and nature of their services. Business leadership also have a responsibility of fulfilling all the promises that are make to their potential and existing customers. Making a realistic promises and commitments do not only advance the organisation reputation but also increase the number of royal customers to the company’s products.
Training organisation’s employees on the importance of respecting the needs and demands of its customers is also imperative in boosting business success in modern competitive economy. Employees should also have adequate training on the most effective means of giving after sales services to its customers in order to advance the nature and quality of the services offered by the companies. My experience in the study has also helped me to understand the significant of modern customers’ satisfaction theories in boosting business success in the modern economy. The accessible customers’ satisfaction theories describe the relationship between customers’ expectation and the ability of a product or service to meet the customers’ expectation. In an ideal situation, the core aim of any business is to maximise profit through meeting its customers’ needs. An organisation that does not have the required ability to satisfy its customer’s needs lacks the ability to maximise its profit. Therefore, to prosper in the modern market, business executives have a role of ensuring that all its customers are adequately satisfied with their products and services
This group research has played an essential role in boosting my knowledge on customer satisfaction. Through this study, I have understood the role of customers’ attitude, belief, and perception in facilitating the success of an organisation of a business. After successful completion of the study, I have also learnt the most effective means of integrating theoretical aspects into real life situation. In TNT Company, the managers have successfully integrated the existing theory in their strategies and policies. On the other hand, through this study, I have also acknowledged the role of modern theories in boosting the organisation efficiency and productivity. It is also through participating in this study that I have understood the significant of undertaking intensive and continuous researches to unveil customer’s needs and demands.
Moreover, being honesty in promotion and in an advertisement is one of the key factors that help in the improvement of customers’ satisfaction. The research has also helped me in understanding the significant of continuous customers’ feedback on the nature and quality of services offered by the company. In general, the study has not only been helpful in developing my personal and professional knowledge on customers’ needs but has also helped me in understanding my role as a customer
The teamwork outcome
Largely, the exercise was successful. Although there were some challenges that interfered with the effectiveness of the action, group members made the necessary rectification to facilitate the success of the research. All members played their role as describe in our guidelines. After the successful completion of the research, group members understood the importance of teamwork in enhancing the success of complicated programme. At its initial stages, the initiative proved to be a challenging and almost unattainable process. However, after deliberating on how we will go about the research, the study turned to be easy and enjoyable. Group members understood some of the factors that result to the success of the most productive organisation and companies in the global market. Furthermore, group members had an opportunity of acknowledging the role and importance of customers in supporting the success of a business. Group members also got an opportunity of putting the theoretical knowledge in to practice. As an individual, I have learnt the significant of understanding and planning in accordance to the needs and expectations of the existing and potential customers.
Impact of individual contribution
My individual contribution was critical in facilitating the success of the research. My role in the group was to identify some of the factors that result to customers’ satisfaction and some of the most profitable theories that describe customers’ satisfaction. Through my experience in researches, I successful identified some of the key factors that result to customers’ satisfaction and various theories that define customers’ satisfaction. In the study, I managed to come up with five main factors that result to customers’ satisfaction that include, ease use of organisation products, the significant of interpersonal interaction, the adoption of the most appropriate payment system, the provision of after sale services and the adoption and execution of reliable and efficient complaints process. Furthermore, I managed to come up with four theories that describe customers satisfaction, assimilation theory, Contrast theory, Negativity theory and Cognitive dissonance theory.
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