The major effects of poor customer service are mainly that visitors, who experienced the poor service will go and tell their friends (potential customers) how bad the business is and turning away new business. The positive publicity of consistently good customer service will encourage customers to increase revenue and income from visitors who received good customer service and told their friends who will also return back to the business. Customer Service Skills
There are numerous skills needed in order to offer effective and efficient customer service including skills like communication, interpersonal skills, and product knowledge. In order for an employee to provide excellent customer service they ought to have the following qualities like friendliness, helpfulness, effective use of body language, excellent product knowledge as there is no point in selling a product that you are not fully aware of, listening skills, courtesy and effective complaint handling skills. Communication Skills Communication is paramount to maintain effective customer service.
Some methods of communication can be verbal, written, visual, and electronic. Face-to-face, communication involves people talking square on to one another. This type of communication can take place in formal meetings, coffee room/ staff room, one-on-one coaching and job interviews, face-to-face communication mainly involves eye contact, often face to face communication is not possible for various reasons that could be that they do not have the finance to travel across the country, or the language ability to comprehend maybe minimal.
The staff will have to deal with angry customers, or speaking to a large group of people, even trying to get the attention of a high level/ authority. Face to face, communication can be done through Chester Zoo’s visitor services because it is where the customers can communicate with the staff. In addition, complaints are part of face-to-face communication because the customers can tell the staff or manager what the problem is and how they could go about solving it.
Finally, presentations are given by using face-to-face communication as staff have a chance to talk to their visitors and tell them about Chester Zoo, their products and services. Chester Zoo uses face-to-face communication to their advantage as the majority of their visitors prefer to speak to the staff face on, as this can help visitors to understand how the staff react by analysing their body language towards them, which cannot be done over the phone or by an email.
Written Communication In most business written communication is commonly used, some methods are memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, manuals etc. Chester Zoo use memos within the organisation to pass any notices across departments informing other employees about recent updates within the zoo. Written communication tends to persuade the customers whilst using letter, proposals, faxes, adverts, press releases.
Written communication can be a strength for Chester Zoo because when using written communication in businesses are mainly that written messages do not have to be sent off within a second, instead can be edited or revised many times before it is actually sent off. In addition, written communication provides a permanent record of any messages sent and can be stored over any length of time. With this form of communication, it enables the reader to re-read the letter or report etc as many times to clarify, providing the appropriate feedback.
Written communication may also enhance customer satisfaction, improves the businesses efficiency, and also enhances the image of the business with the community and the industry. However, written communication can also prove to be a weakness for Chester Zoo because in comparison with verbal communication the sender would be normally get instant feedback but however, it is not the case with written communication, it may take a day or two at least to receive a response, slowing down business activity.
Written messages also take a long time to produce and gather the appropriate. However, Chester Zoo also may need to take into consideration any employees who may struggle to access the written message they may need to provide an alternative for those members of staff, or even enrolling those employees on writing courses etc. These written forms can often be misplaced/ lost either in the post or within the organisation. There may also be no guarantee that the message was obtained unless feedback is received.
Chester Zoo may use written communication not only to communicate to their external customers but also to their internal customers. Their external customers may receive letters, leaflets, or emails with new and upcoming events taking place at the zoo as part of advertising. Letters may also be sent out to follow up any complaints or queries that customers may have had at the zoo. Chester Zoo’s internal customers may receive newsletters or reports sent via written communication informing them about anything that may concern them about the organisation.
Visual Communication Visual communication E. g. OHP’s, posters, flyers, films etc. These forms of visual communication are useful to translate a message to a vast number of people at once, overcoming such barriers that may inhibit effective or environmental problems. It is unlikely in a large organisation like Chester Zoo that the sender or receiver would ever receive personal feedback. Visual Communication tends to be more effective it if is supported with written communication. Visual Communication is mainly strength for Chester Zoo.
Chester Zoo’s main visual communication is there signs; they have many signs directing their visitors to animals and other facilities. Chester Zoo also have numerous aids that help the disabled people to enjoy the experience of the zoo much more by having Braille for the blind or headphones for them too so they can enjoy the experience by enhancing their ability to hear and read as they increase their understanding of the animals. In addition, they have their hearing loop that also enables the deaf to enjoy the experience much better too.
Chester Zoo has a number of signs all around the zoo guiding visitors to where they want to go and this could be to see other animals or to stop and have something to eat or even to the nearest toilets. Other than guidance signs the zoo may also have signs of caution such as not going to close to the railings or getting to close to the animals etc. The signage is very clear and visible which is very helpful to the public as if the signs were not readable then this would mean that they would not be able to get around the zoo efficiently and without having to try to find a member of staff for directions.
However, for Chester Zoo it is a strength because the signs are visible, easy to read and most of all have the correct guidance. Adverts that the zoo uses also comes under their use of signs and there are a number of opportunities when the zoo could put up adverts and they have picked up on these opportunities, hence the reason for having adverts up in restaurants, gift shops, the toilets, back of doors and around the zoo as the visitors are walking around.
There are adverts for up and coming events or memberships etc. These are all in aid of promoting the zoo without having to invest more money into television ads and the zoo can easily do these adverts themselves. Most of Chester Zoo’s adverts are bright and colourful mainly as they try to appeal to young children and a good use of a mixture of colours and the layout of the advert can make a big difference in who the ad will attract.
The language used mainly in these types of ads are very persuasive and informative as this would entice their visitors and make them think that whatever they are advertising is worth going to see. Therefore, Chester Zoo do not let an opportunity to advertise themselves go to waste, which is a big strength for an organisation like Chester Zoo. This is because the more money they can save on advertising the more money they can spend on other aspects of the zoo, as they are a charity funded organisation and don’t have as much money to spend as private organisations’ do.
Electronic Communication People today tend to communicate mainly via emails, online chat, and Instant messenger etc. Due to the increase of interaction over the internet, there is a general decline in face-to-face communication, as it does not take place as frequently compared to previous years. The larger organisations may use certain methods such as interactive software, Visual Display Units, maps, shared conversations, fax, email, video conferencing etc.
The amount of face-to-face and verbal communication in and around offices may also decrease due to the incline of computer based videos, telephones etc. Electronic communication can be a strength for Chester Zoo as it allows questions to be asked without waiting to take turns when in conversation, non-English speakers have extra time to read through the message. However, electronic communication can also be a weakness for Chester Zoo mainly due to the lack of communication taking place through written messages.
Hence staff who lack experience or knowledge in their writing abilities are at a disadvantage Also the way the speaker used their facial expressions, intonation, gestures etc may not be perceived by the receiver in the same way, expect through capital letters, bold or italics etc. The context of the messages may be unclear and therefore misunderstood. One method that may be a strength to Chester Zoo would be video conferencing. This is an interactive tool allowing people from different locations to meet face-to-face and perform most of the meeting activities as they would if they were actually in the same room.
Chester Zoo use electronic communication with their internal and external customers. Their internal customers often would email current issues regarding Chester Zoo or any general notices about new procedures coming into place that they might need to be aware of. External customers may be emailed for different reasons and these may be due to a member’s expiry and if they wanted to renew a membership or an adoption scheme, keeping their visitors fully informed about changes or updates that may be of a concern to them.
Overall Chester Zoo uses their electronic communication to their advantage and has in return become a strength to the organisation as they pick up on any opportunities to contact their customers informing them about new products or events being launched. Interpersonal Skills An interpersonal skill refers to people interacting with each other effectively. It is vital that staff portray the correct interpersonal skills when dealing face-to-face with customers feel comfortable around them and they are being provided with what they need and expect.
This image must be presented to the customers. The customers would expect the staff to be dressed smartly and appropriately hence looking tidy and hygienic. However businesses without an office dress code changes the entire working atmosphere having a more relaxed attitude which can lead to a relaxed performance, increase in absences and early departures, and inappropriate conversations there has also been a decrease in polite behaviour, productivity and performance, company loyalty and commitment declines.
There are three main types of dress codes professional, business causal and uniform. Chester Zoo opted for the uniform method for many reasons firstly because it is an easier solution and is consistent helping the visitors to easily identify the staff if they needed any assistance and easier administration. Uniform companies can supply the organisation with quality clothing at a reasonable price considering that they are bulk buying.
Chester Zoo’s uniform is a green pullover with the zoo’s logo on it at the same height as their name badge; the uniform also includes boots and green trousers. The staff at Chester Zoo projects an efficient and friendly image of the zoo. It is important, that Chester Zoo consider different types of uniforms for individual departments within the organisation. For example, a zookeeper would not be seen wearing a suit for their type of job that tends to be clearing out the animals, feeding them, and cleaning up etc.
As this type of uniform would be better suited in the admin department and the type of uniform the zoo have provided for the zookeepers is appropriate to their job role in Chester Zoo. Chester Zoo’s restaurant staff need to create a huge impression on their visitors as it is important that when their customers walk in, that the cafe looks hygienic and the food is freshly cooked and appetising. Otherwise, the visitors will end up walking out and returning their business within that cafe and go to maybe another cafe where they will find better service.
However, most of Chester Zoo’s cafes are hygienic and the food looks fresh which is also a strength for the zoo as this helps them to know that having set standards of hygiene is important as it makes a big difference to whether the customer buys their food from that cafe or not. Visitors of Chester Zoo expect the staff to know the products/ services the zoo offers. They may need advice from staff about directions to the animals, toilets, or restaurants etc. They may also want to know what different animals eat or where the disabled facilities.
Where they can purchase tickets for the event. They may also want to know certain questions like the times of feeding and shows, they could even ask where they can complain about any dissatisfaction. Employees that have to deal with certain animals have specific training. By having good product knowledge you can build customer loyalty with Chester Zoos products and services. The zoo would hope that their visitors would spread the word about their products and services available.
Product knowledge is a strength for Chester Zoo because they offer general training for all staff and then those members of staff that come into contact with the animals have to have special training about the certain animals they are having to care for. By receiving this special training, they can provide better care for the animals. When visiting the zoo the woman who gave the presentation had good product knowledge and this is essential especially in an organisation like Chester Zoo as it doesn’t look very professional if her own staff don’t know much about the zoo.
To create a good impression on the zoo’s visitors it is essential to be able to give the visitor useful and informative information they may require. Customer Service and the needs of the organisation A stakeholder is someone who has an interest in the organisation. You can have internal and external stakeholders or both. Some of Chester Zoo’s internal stakeholders are the managers or staff etc. Chester Zoo’s external stakeholders are their customers, suppliers, local community and the government. Other stakeholders of the zoo could be lenders, press, trade associations, interest groups etc.
It is also important that stakeholders be prioritised from high power; interested people these people must be kept fully interacted and kept satisfied. E. g. senior executives. Next are the high-powered, less interested people e. g. suppliers. Low power interested people e. g. family, friends, finally low powered, less interested people e. g. the public. Internal and external stakeholders are the members of Chester Zoo like managers who make the decisions, organise plan and control who are also accountable to the high authority figure.
The employees will need to carry out its activities, they are contracted to work a set number of hours in return for a salary calculated per annum. Levels of pay will vary due to skills, qualifications, age, location, experience etc. Customers buy the products/services produced by the zoo. Chester Zoo must understand and meet the needs of their customers otherwise; they will notice a fall in profits. Suppliers depend on Chester Zoo and vice versa. Chester Zoo receives the resources they need to produce products/ services from their suppliers.
In order for the zoo to offer quality resources at a reasonable price, they would need to have an effective relationship with their suppliers. Chester Zoo provides a service that is part of the local community and at times, the local community may feel aggravated with certain issues that Chester Zoo may choose to do. The government’s economic policies will affect Chester Zoo’s costs like an increase or decrease in inflation and interest rates. Chester Zoo creates wealth and employment within the local community.
The benefits of these Stakeholders the opinions of powerful stakeholders can be used to shape the products and services at an early stage, improving the quality of the project with an increase in support. Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help Chester Zoo to have more resources. Handling complaints, keeping record and re-medical measures The most challenging aspect of customer service comes when staff has to deal with a difficult customer. This often occurs when customers have found something wrong with the goods/ services they have purchased.
When there is a complaint about goods or services that have been provided, staff must apologise, record the complaint, and have a set of their personal details. Improvements can be made if more customers keep complaining about the same product/ service. The most challenging aspect of customer service is when a member of staff has to deal with a difficult and irate customer. The staff should remain calm and handle the complaint fairly, helpfully, and efficiently.
Chester Zoo should also ensure that the complaints procedure is easy for their visitors; they should be treated seriously whether it is made in writing by letter, fax, and email or over the phone. In the response, an apology if the zoo was at fault, with an explanation of what the problem was and why it occurred then finally informing the customer of what the zoo have done about and they may include compensation for their troubles. Chester Zoo has a very well thought out internal complaints procedure that would ensure that their customers are not upset even more as what they say is right even if they are not.
To Chester Zoo their internal complaints procedure is a strength to their organisation. Overall, Chester Zoo’s customer service was very good and their staff were helpful, the staff were also fully aware of their products and services offered by the zoo. Chester Zoo could improve on their communication skills with their internal customers, in order to make fewer errors when dealing with their external customers; this would therefore mean fewer complaints and a decrease in the amount of customers who don’t return due to a bad experience.