Complaint Management and Internal Marketing

Complaint Management and Internal Marketing

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Inhaltsangabe:Introduction: The first chapter gives a introduction into the topic and explains how the whole work is structured before the key subjects in chapter two will be discussed. Okay Sir, I will put you through to someone else . Does this sound familiar? Trying to switch to a different contract with a cell phone operator, but nobody seems to be qualified to handle a request. Dissatisfaction arises and the customer would like to report his problem. On the one hand the customer experiences a breakdown in service and on the other hand a second disappointment may follow if a service provider fails to handle the grievance after it is stated. The question arises as to why complaint handling is important nowadays. Complaint handling is not as selfless an act by a company as it may seem. A complaint is the cheapest, most honest and most qualitative form of management consulting there is, according to market research into sales force by Pawlik Sales Consultants AG. Companies should not be afraid to face feedback and complaints. According to the Treasury Board of Canada: Research suggests that relatively few dissatisfied clients bother to complain. As a result, every complaint received may provide a window into a much larger pool of dissatisfaction. By dealing with the causes of complaints, the organization can further reduce both the number of complaints and dissatisfaction with its program delivery or service. Complaint management is a tool to prevent the migration of customers to competitors, and more and more companies understand that simply recruiting new customers is not sufficient. As a consequence, intensification of defensive marketing, in contrast to offensive marketing actions, becomes more interesting to a company. The aim of defensive marketing should be the development of long-lasting customer relations. For example, Volvo/Saab, the Swedish automobile manufacturer, estimates that the cost of generating new customers is three times the cost of retaining an existing customer. Satisfactory complaint management can create satisfied customers. The key figure mediating between a company and a customer with a complaint is, of course, the employee of the service organization. The role and performance of the employee will determine the success of a complaint handling process and the adequate service recovery. In order to be able to fulfil this goal, employees need to undergo training. Furthermore the management needs to develop a corporate culture that empowers employees and which communicates a clear internal marketing strategy. Companies depend on their customers and not vice versa. In times of increasing competition, a service provider needs to create a competitive advantage in order to stay in the market. Even in Germany, which is not renowned for its levels of customer service, an increasing number of complaint handling mechanisms are being implemented and the need for skilled human resources in this field is growing constantly. The aim of this study is to introduce the basic theory concepts and to present the trends in this area. Outline and Methodology: At the beginning of this paper, in the second chapter, an overview of the main buzzwords of the field is presented. The recurrent theme in the following two chapters will be the importance of Internal Marketing in processes and the conceptual frameworks of CCM. These terms will be chaperoned in terms of the development of psycho sociological competence in interdependence in IM. After consideration of the basic structure, Chapter three will discuss the organizational aspects of a complaint management procedure. This chapter will give an overview of how to organize a complaint management process and the role of HR. Basic concepts and models denoting the process of CCM will be demonstrated and discussed in detail. Chapter four explains the objectives of a complaint management process within an organization and explains the fundamental steps which have to be implemented within the direct and indirect complaint management process. In addition, the importance of Human Resource Management and Internal Marketing will be emphasized in each process stage. On the basis of chapters three and four, a general outline of Human Resource management will provide a deeper insight into the topic. Therefore, chapter five shows the role of internal marketing in HRM in order to be effective in handling grievances. Following on from the theoretical chapters mentioned above, the focuses in chapter sixth will be on the empirical research which is included in this thesis. Hence, chapter six explains how the empirical study is conduced in terms of methodology and research tools. The research hypothesis will be stated and explained. In addition, it will present and discuss the findings from In depth interviews carried out among 30 companies. Finally, the seventh and final chapter will present conclusions and recommendations. This includes advice for further investigations and research in this field. Inhaltsverzeichnis:Table of Contents: LIST OF TABLESIII LIST OF ABBREVIATIONSIII LIST OF FIGURESIII ABSTRACTIV ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSV DECLARATION OF AUTHENTICITY -VI 1.INTRODUCTION1 1.1OUTLINE AND METHODOLOGY2 2DEFINITIONS3 2.1COMPLAINT AND CCM3 2.2INTERNAL MARKETING a HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT3 3.ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS OF COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT4 3.1THE IMPORTANCE OF PROCESSES AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT4 3.2DECENTRALIZED COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT5 3.3CENTRAL COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT5 3.4DUAL COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT6 4.BASICS OF COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT6 4.1PROCESS OF COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT6 4.1.1DIRECT COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT7 STIMULATION7 ACCEPTANCE8 PROCESSING AND THE ROLE OF IM AND HRM9 CONCEPT OF COMPLAINT OWNERSHIP11 REACTION11 4.1.2INDIRECT COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT11 ANALYSIS AND THE ROLE OF HR IN PROCESS IMPROVEMENT11 MANAGEMENT CONTROLLING13 REPORTING a COMPLAINT INFORMATION UTILIZATION14 5.THE ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND TQM15 5.1IMPORTANCE a QUALIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES IN COMPLAINT CONTACT15 5.2THE ROLE OF INTERNAL MARKETING15 5.2.2EMPLOYEE BRANDING16 5.2.3MOTIVATION a REWARDS, RECOGNITION AND APPRAISAL SYSTEMS16 5.2.4EMPOWERMENT17 5.2.6BENCHMARKING20 5.2.7HOW TO AVOID BURN OUT - EFFECT21 5.2.8MECHANISM TO INCREASE CUSTOMER FOCUS23 5.2.9COMMUNICATION23 MANAGEMENT25 MANAGEMENT26 6.EMPIRICAL STUDY30 6.1EMPIRICAL RESEARCH30 6.2RESEARCH METHODS31 6.3RESEARCH OBJECTIVES32 6.4DATA COLLECTION34 6.5LIST OF PARTICIPANTS36 6.6CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS36 6.7RESULTS AND THEORY-BASED DATA EVALUATION38 7.RECOMMENDATIONS a CONCLUSION56 7.1CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION56 7.2FUTURE RESEARCH60 REFERENCES61 APPENDIX67 Textprobe:Text Sample: Chapter 5.2.5, Training: Implementing Empowerment as an IM tool entails training everyone in the organization about concept and terminology in corporate culture from an IM perspective. The training includes three objectives for two target groups. The two target groups include on the one hand the service employees and on the other the organization s leaders. The first stage is to prepare the employees to identify with the organization (mission statement, values, and rules). Once this foundation is laid, the training can focus on the practical skills, which should include the fostering of the so called psycho- social skills, especially in CCM. Interpersonal abilities shall be acquired, which prepares employees for real life situations. This simplifies the complaint handling for both the customer- care employees and the complainant. These soft skills will determine the success of the process in the final analysis. Last but not least, practical skills have to be developed, which could include training on how to solve the complaint itself. The emphasis within the service personnel training is to point out the importance of sophisticated communication skills, which prevent the occurrence of avoidable stress, and to offer a formula for handling complaints. Even if each complaint is stated in a different manner, the company must see to it that the general guidelines on employee behavior are implemented. Furthermore, the employee should bear in mind that training sessions are a valuable opportunity provided by the management, which will enrich the daily work of the staff. Supervisors in empowered work environments can participate as consultants and coaches in the training sessions. Companies can make use of a variety of communication channels as training tools in order to achieve the learning goal. These may include written and electronic training material. In addition, real life situations can be simulated in role plays and instruction given in the workplace by a coach. It is advisable to promote the idea of a mentorship program, meaning that an experienced employee serves as a sponsor by training and passing forward his or her acquired knowledge to a new employee. Not only do service personnel have to be trained, but even the management will be confronted with the challenges of CCM. These challenges may include the need to admit to their own mistakes, learning time management skills when solving complaints and appropriate communication with subordinates. Supervisors have to be trained not only to control the performance of the staff, but they also function as coach and as catalyst for interpersonal conflicts. These problems could include conflicts with customers, problems with oneself (e.g. stress a burn out), or interdepartmental conflicts (e.g. front vs. back office). A high level of capacity of understanding, empathy, judgment and discernment has to be developed by leader s through training. This includes tact and sensitivity as a requirement for implementing empowerment. Benchmarking: Benchmarking is a commonly used tool in TQM and it involves the gathering of ideas and information about best practices from other companies. IM mangers study the process and actions of other organization. In this way improvement potential can be realized by comparing outside practices with those of one s own organization and thus suggestions for improvement can be adopted. It is intended to enable organizations to learn, but not necessarily copy, from each other to avoid reinventing the same programs and techniques that others have already designed and tested.Not copying but learning from the best, describes the process of benchmarking. IM mangers investigate how other companies solve complaints and how they involve employees in the process. Making use of the someone else s experiences saves money and enables mangement to avoid repeating certain mistakes. The complaint management consultant Uli Gmachl-Fischer warns in this context that benchmarking has limits. Not all companies can be compared with each other. Only trends can be compared. This is due to the fact that CCM is difiend and organised different in each organisation. How to avoid Burn out effect: In 1936, Dr. Hans Selye, the father of modern stress theory, defined stress as the non-specific response of the body to any demand made upon it. He describes this demand as a threat, a new challenge or any other kind of change that one has to face and to which an employee has to physically adapt. This adaptation process can cause physical and psychological reactions. Scholars differentiate between positive stress, called eustress, and negative stress, called distress. Stress can be caused by three factors: internal, external and the occupational. IM management has direct influence on the handling and treatment of external and occupational factors, the way in which the work environment and the work itself are designed, for example. IM can also offer additional programs to help employees to deal with internal factors. Employees who have to deal with complaints directly face a heightened risk of burnout due to the level of emotional labour in CCM. According to Seidel, these employees: tend to perceive the customer relationship more anonymously and to find fault for most of the problems with the customers themselves. In order to avoid these serious consequences, management must proceed in an active and preventative manner. The prevention of stress has to go hand in hand with the diagnosis of stress within the workforce. To diagnose stress and burn out at an early stage, it is necessary for the employee and management to be able to identify the first signals and symptoms. Recognizing these symptoms at an early stage is very important to prevent damage to the employee s health, which could lead to long-term sickness and absenteeism. First of all, it needs to be understood that individuals react to stress in different ways. One employee may display changed behaviour, while another employee may display actual physical symptoms. Indicators of excessive stress could include: listlessness, insomnia, problems with concentration, increasing insecurity and obliviousness. Many employees are afraid to admit to symptoms of stress. One tool for identifying stress could be to conduct a survey for the whole workforce. Various possibilities exist for solving stress on an individual basis, for example yoga, sport, diets and psychological training. This approach is limited in that it treats the symptoms only; it does not act on the root of the problem. This can be achieved by better design of the working environment (empowerment, feedback, job rotation etc.) Furthermore, cognitive behavioural therapy can help to get to the root of various problems. Mechanism to Increase customer Focus: Unhappy customers do their talking with their feet they don t complain they just don t buy from you again. Customer focus is one of the most critical factors in ensuring success in today s business marketplace. During the employee training phase the company vision needs to be properly imparted and this should be a vision that focuses on the customer. A service mentality has to be adopted. Shep Hyken points out some key elements when it comes to instilling customer focus in an employee: - Train the employees to understand their role in the company s customer service strategy and understand how their department and individual responsibilities impact the customer. - Train the employees to recognize the many opportunities to make positive impressions with both your outside and internal customers within the moment of truth. - Train the employees to enhance the experience that both customers and fellow employees have with your company. - Train your employees to develop a mindset that will help solve problems for both outside and internal customers that turn complaints into satisfaction. Increasing customer focus means much more than reducing the number of defects. Langewin defines it as follows: The underlying premise for Customer Focus is that quality is judged by customers and must take into account all product and service feature that contribute value to customers and lead to customer satisfaction and retention. It requires constant sensitivity to changing and emerging customer and market requirements. IM needs to be aware of the need to nurture the right attitude in employees. In doing so a foundation is laid that ensures successful complaint handling.Not all companies can be compared with each other. Only trends can be compared. This is due to the fact that CCM is difiend and organised different in each organisation.

Title:Complaint Management and Internal Marketing
Author:Malte Kempen - 2009-01-04


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