Customer Management in Car Mechanical Services Industry

Introduction

Car mechanical service industry is at an interesting stage in its development, and it is critical to investigate the factors that affect the decision-making process of its customers. Currently, this business faces some challenges. It is being disrupted by modern technologies that many companies in this industry still refuse to adapt because of different reasons. Customers are often not satisfied with the service because numerous repairs are not done in time, and many shops still use outdated equipment. The point of this literature review is to investigate the impact of customer satisfaction and customer relationship management on the decisions of customers.

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Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is commonly used to assess if a particular service meets or even exceeds the expectations of a client. There are different factors that influence the satisfaction level of a customer in the car mechanical service industry. First of all, it is the quality of the provided services. Every customer expects the job to be done in a timely manner. Also, mechanics should be extremely careful not to damage the property of a client. Many customers are currently not satisfied with the offered services because they feel like they lack control of the process. Outdated technologies may also be a cause of dissatisfaction from the side of clients. Great communication is appreciated by every customer, and it plays a huge part in satisfying an individual. Customers would like to have access to information regarding the status of the service and how soon it would be completed. Knowledge about progress is the most important for the clients, and they would like to break this gap. Customer dissatisfaction may occur in a case customer is not happy with the quality of provided services, an incident happened, or a mistake was made on behalf of a company. Alireza, Hussain, and Chang have studied the way customer dissatisfaction should be handled, and they claim that “complaints can be seen as beneficial as they can inform changes or planning within a company” (34).

In other words, negative responses can be quite useful if analyzed to find out about possible weaknesses of the enterprise. There is a close connection between the price of a service and the level of customer satisfaction. McDougall and Levesque have researched the way customer satisfaction is dependent on the quality of the offered service, and they state that “consumers are mindful of the costs of obtaining the service and costs matter in relation to satisfaction, a concept that is consistent with rational economic behavior” (403). Differently put, managers need to find the right balance between the cost of the service and the quality. Modern technologies have changed the way a company communicates with its clients. There are different ways in which customers can express their dissatisfaction with the services. They may use a chat application directly on the website of a company, send an e-mail, contact a call center, or visit the nearest mechanical shop to consult with customer service. Support Specialist will try to provide customers with the best service. Customer dissatisfaction also can be expressed on the social media pages of a company.

Figuring out if a firm is at fault is crucial, and all possible measures should be taken to prevent any potential losses. It is essential to beat other companies on customer satisfaction polls that are becoming increasingly more popular. Every single company should be focused on providing customers with a service that will meet their expectations and satisfy them. The SERVQUAL scale that was developed in the United States is often used to measure the satisfaction level of clients. It focuses on the service sector and consists of quality dimensions. Hoffman and Bateson discuss different ways in which marketing strategies may be assessed, and they state that “the five dimensions include tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy, and they provide a basic “skeleton” underlying service quality” (328). In other words, different aspects of the customer’s perception of quality are examined to measure their levels of satisfaction. Past experiences and expectations play an enormous role, just like the opinions of other clients. The goal of every firm is to analyze the received data to find the cause of dissatisfaction among customers.

There are some pre-consumptions constructs, such as bias. A client may be skeptical about an offered service at first, and it is necessary for a company to take the necessary measures to break this barrier. Post-visit constructs are those based on their own experiences, and a customer is able to analyze the quality of the service. The service will often be compared with the ones offered by other firms, and it is necessary to provide additional benefits for a client. Some companies are able to convert satisfied individuals into loyal customers. This is done through various methods such as an exceptionally high quality and the high value of service from the point of view of a client. Payne and Frow have investigated how customer satisfaction is impacted by valuable offers. Such propositions are highly necessary because “a carefully developed value offer has a significant role as it represents an offering of value aimed at engaging and building long-term customer relationships” (Payne and Frow 223). Differently put, it is necessary to create a high value for customers to satisfy their needs. Overall, the satisfaction of the customers should be considered at every stage of the service.

Customer Relationship Management

Relationship marketing is a form of business strategy that is used to keep valuable clients. Customer relationship management is extremely complex, especially for companies in this business. Jamali et al. have researched the way new technologies have impacted the industry, and they state that “we have witnessed the emergence of a new concept known as customer relationship management aimed to return to personal marketing era” (120). This means that customer relationship management is a relatively new term. However, it is already crucial for the success of a company, and it should be highly necessary for the whole business strategy of any company in this industry. Any company seeks to gain the most value out of a client. Customer lifetime value is a prognosis of the profit that may be obtained from one client during their whole lifespan. It is relatively hard to calculate CLV in this market because the data is not static, and it is hard to predict how often a customer will be in need of the service.

There are various methods of relationship management that would benefit the car servicing industry. For example, some companies could treat top tier customers differently, and such a strategy should be extremely useful if a firm specializes in luxury cars. A company may offer a particular loyalty program that allows customers to collect individual points that can be exchanged for discounts, which is an excellent way to keep customers. Xu, Jiexun, and Yuxia have conducted research on how social media can be used to gain information about potential clients. Some people on the Internet have a huge influence on other users (Xu, Jiexun, and Song 13010). This means that it is important to satisfy every single customer because negative reviews spread very quickly in the era of the Internet. Various social media campaigns may generate a lot of “buzz” if a company is being extremely creative. A company may run separate Facebook pages for their services to provide its customers with the best experience. These pages could be used for advertisement and to make a connection with customers. A website where customers can quickly access the needed information would be appreciated by clients. Also, there should be a support page that the company should use to give different valuable tips about while promoting services at the same time. Support Specialists will provide answers to all the questions that are related to auto repair services.

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The development of numerous applications for modern gadgets should also be considered. Such an application could have a broad range of functions, and help a company to gain an advantage over competitors. Analytics is also extremely crucial to assess the need for customer relationship management. Nowadays, there are some barriers that prevent companies in this business from fully incorporating this approach. Many think that these kinds of technologies are disruptive to the industry. Also, some firms are just too small and do not have sufficient funds to start using modern technologies. However, social media can be used to promote the company with no need for additional expenses. Customer relationship management is also used to collect data about clients (Jamali et al. 121). All of these technologies should significantly increase the satisfaction levels of customers and are a part of a relationship management strategy. Buttle and Maklan have thoroughly researched customer relationship management, and they state that “strategic CRM is focused on the development of a customer-centric business culture dedicated to winning and keeping customers by creating and delivering value better than competitors” (5). Differently put, the goal of customer relationship management is not only to keep but also to attract clients.

Conclusion

In conclusion, during my research, I was able to find numerous sources that offer explanations of customer satisfaction and customer relationship management and how they affect the decision-making process of clients. As a result of my research, I am able to state that these terms are closely connected and that they indeed have a tremendous impact on the decisions of customers. However, these sources did not fully explain how the companies in the car mechanical service industry may break the barriers that prevent them from implementing CRM. The industry is lagging behind because most of the firms are still not able to utilize new technologies and knowledge to gain an advantage over competitors. Many processes may be automated. Social media should be used to promote the services and to communicate with customers, and it should increase their overall satisfaction levels. Nevertheless, the industry is developing at acceptable rates, and modern technologies are going to be widely used incredibly soon.

Works Cited

Alireza, Faed, Hussain Omar, and Elizabeth Chang. “A Methodology to Map Customer Complaints and Measure Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty.” Service Oriented Computing and Applications 8.1 (2014): 33-53.

Buttle, Francis and Stan Maklan. Customer Relationship Management. 3rd ed. 2015 London, United Kingdom: Routledge. Print.

Hoffman, K. Douglas and John Bateson. Services Marketing: Concepts, Strategies, & Cases, Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.

Jamali, Reza, Asghar Moshabaki, Hajar Aramoon, and Akbar Alimohammadi. “Customer Relationship Management in Electronic Environment.” The Electronic Library 31.1 (2013): 119-130.

McDougall, Gordon H.G., and Terrence Levesque. “Customer Satisfaction With Services: Putting Perceived Value Into The Equation.” Journal of Services Marketing 14.5 (2000): 392-410.

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Payne, Adrian, and Pennie Frow. “Developing Superior Value Propositions: a Strategic Marketing Imperative.” Journal of Service Management 25.2 (2014): 213-227.

Xu, Kaiquan, Jiexun Li, and Yuxia Song. “Identifying Valuable Customers on Social Networking Sites for Profit Maximization.” Expert Systems with Applications 39.17 (2012): 13009-13018.

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