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CustomerService: Wal-Mart’sOutdated Management Style Is Failing Customers
Inthe modern business world, one of the major changing aspects is theway the customers are managed. Today, customers have become anintegral element of every business that focuses on improvement andgrowth. This is the realization that, satisfied customers are one waytowards successful business performance as well as management. Thishas, in turn, led to customer oriented management styles. In a simpledefinition, customer service is referred as the provision of servicesto the customers in a business either before or after making apurchase. The success of customer services is sometimes dependent onemployees, and the management ability to attend to customers’ needsat any given time (Maguire, 238). This essay discusses the issue ofcustomer service with reference to the Wal-Mart’s case, whereby itis argued that the organization outdated style of management isfailing their customers globally.
Regardedas one of the renowned retail corporation among its customers interms of customer service, increased product variety, and spread allover the globe, Wal-Mart has been faced with the backlash from itscustomer. This after the view that the organization`s managementstyle has not been in favor of customer needs, hence failing them.Wal-Mart turned into a world beater in terms of chain stores throughits never ending reputation in numerous aspects. These include largestores, low prices, well-defined logistics as well as hard bargainingtactics (Forbes,2016).These are some of the undertakings that are elevated or contributedto the rapid rise and top performance of Wal-Mart as the largestretailer in the globe. However, despite its tremendous performance,the organization has been seen its business model face challenges indifferent fronts. For example, the limitations of the store size haveprevented its once effective rural investment fail from excelling inurban centers. On the other hand, it’s one and prominent tool oflow pricing was its best tool (in attracting customers), is beingchallenged by the upcoming online markets such as Amazon. To add tothis, there has been scores of reported cases of low/poor quality interms of customer service. Finally, the dwindling performance of theWal-Mart chain stores have been attributed to lack of competentemployees, i.e. their employee lacks proper training on how to handlethe customer (Forbes,2016).
Thegrowing importance of customers in every business has led to theestablishment of customer related management styles. More so, theimportance of customer service has continued to revolutionize the waycustomers are handled or addressed within a business. It is adifficult case for any business to survive without customers. Theservice given to customers is key in the idea that, it provides theonly contact between a business and its customers. This, in turn,brings along one major importance of this initiative (customerservice) which is it is a significant investment for any businessestablishment (Wan et al, 582). Secondly, it (customer service) helpsin giving an organization identification. For example, in the case ofcompetition between businesses customer service is used to identifya business with its customers. Additionally, building a successfulcustomer service unit within an organization helps in building thereputation of an organization, hence keeping the customers to thebusiness. Organization with poor customer services will have anegative impact on their business aspect just like the scenariofacing Wal-Mart. The vice versa holds true that an organization withgood customer service benefits from it in terms of increased sales,which means better profits and improved business performance.Finally, in terms of importance to the organization or a businessentity, customer service helps establish a source of recommendationsand solution to a problem within an organization. I.e., whencustomers complain about a product or service, it is the businessorganization to take on the raised issue and make the service better,hence improving their service and goods delivery (Wan et al, 590).
Today,the business world is experiencing a massive change in terms ofcustomer relation and delivery of customer service. This has been dueto the technological advancement that has been experienced. And theresult of this growth in technology is the adoption of social mediaand online platforms as a medium of offering customer service as wellas collecting feedback from the customers (Maguire, 230). Not onlyhas these changes led to increase customer satisfaction, but alsoensures customer needs are attended at the right time, and correctly.Additionally, the development and the massive adoption of the HumanResource Department in the majority of organizations has led to theadoption of management and leadership styles that focuses on buildinggood customer and employee relations (Dickson, 14). Human Resourcedocket has led to the development of effective employee training andin turn helping to establish a positive working relationship betweenemployees and the customers.
Focusingon the Wal-Mart case, different strategies can be adopted to helpimprove the organization’s, customer service performance in all itsstores. One approach is through the provision of effective employeetraining, product knowledge and customer empathy. The business topmanagement should embark on equipping their employees with customerrelations knowledge, such as how to handle a frustrated or a happycustomer (strengthen the employees customer service skills) (Forbes,2016).This approach not only allows the customer to be satisfied, but alsohelps in building trusts with the organization through the assuranceof good service delivery to the customers. In addition to employeestraining, the organization management should embark on buildinginfrastructure that supports or improves the employees’ servicedelivery. When there are working lines, or strategies on how acustomer can make a complaint or raise an issue, the customersatisfaction level increases (Buttle, 2016).
Oneof the factors that make customer service less effective is a delayin giving a response to a customer’s query. With reference to this,Wal-Mart management should embark on ensuring customer related issuesare solved within the shortest time possible. More so, the issueshould be solved at the first point of contact. This allows customersto get answers any time and when they need them. Finally, theorganization (Wal-Mart) should embark on employee empowerment. Thisgives them the confidence to serve the customers effectively. Othermeasures that can be use dot ensure effective customer service in anorganization is ensure the business delivers on its promises to thecustomers and also ensure there is a way back to the customer. I.e.,identify a reliable way for customers to give feedback (Dickson, 8).
Inconclusion, the increasing demand for better services for thecustomers as well as the growing competition in the market leads tobusiness entities focusing on ways to attract, keep, and maintaincustomers. This has, in turn, led to the growth in terms ofsignificance to the business of customer service. Today, one of thedockets that define the public performance of a business is the wayit handles its customers, hence business organization should ensurethey provide the best customer service, with regard to the Wal-Martdwindling performance and management style, different undertakingscan be adapted to revert the case. These include measures such asproviding effective employee training, change of management to becustomer oriented, and improve service delivery among others asidentified. The customer will continue to define successful andunsuccessful business organization.
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Maguire,Louise. "Capturing Consumption Emotions in ServiceEncounters." InternationalJournal of Market Research 58.2(2016): 227-252. BusinessSource Complete.Web. 18 May 2016.
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