Customer Service in the Western Cruise Liners Company

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Introduction

The Western Cruise Liners Company is a recently founded hospitality business organization, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Being in the hospitality industry, the organization specializes in the provision of voyage trips, accommodations and beverages for tourists in the entire European region, as well as other parts of the world. Having two years of operation in a very competitive business environment, the Western Cruise Liners Company has grown very rapidly, as it has established four other agencies in Rome, London, Paris and New York. This is a clear indication that, the company targets both internal and external customers in Netherlands. Throughout the period of its operations in both local and international markets, the company has realized significant achievements, as it has become one of the most popular providers of voyage trips, accommodation, and beverages among tourists in the entire western region. According to Snow (17), the ability of a business to satisfy its customers forms a basis for its overall success. It is the speed at which the company has grown at, which has triggered it to be selected for this study.

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More specifically, the company’s growth rate has been extraordinary, as compared to the normal growth rate of businesses, especially during the first few years of its entry in the market. Being in the market for about two years, the Western Cruise Liners Company’s operating capital has grown over seven times its initial investment. As reflected in its financial statements, the company has realized 57% growth rate of its sales volume annually; depicting the cordial relationship it has with its customers. The basic indicator of the customer service satisfaction in the Western Cruise Liners is that, about 90% of the customers who buy from this company return for more purchases. Generally, the company’s has been successful in enhancing its reliability among tourists who are the main target customers by availing comfortable and secure marine tours, comfortable accommodation as well as having a wide variety of satisfying beverages for its clients. Ford (27) outlines this strategy as being responsible to make a business organization credible among its various customers; facilitating its overall rapid growth and development.

Company’s General Philosophy and Mission Statement

In the currently competitive business environment, the business has outlined five basic needs of customers which form the basis for cordial relationship between the customers and the business. The first need of the customers, as outlined by the company, is the provision of quality and more satisfying voyages, accommodations and beverages for its customers. Secondly the company has considered fair prices for its services and products as a fundamental need of its customers. Thirdly, uniqueness and safety of the services and products offered by the company was also found to be a very important need of the customers. Fourthly, courtesy and friendly customer-business relationship was identified as a useful factor in retention of customers in the company. Lastly, punctuality in the services and product provision to customers was also revealed to be an important need of the customers. Having full aware of the repercussions and consequences of failing to fulfill the needs and expectations of the customers, the Western Cruise Liners has been fully devoted to satisfy its customers. Fisk (57) considers this strategy as being the ultimate foundation for successful provision of services in the hospitality industry.

The Western Cruise Liners Company’s mission is to provide its customers with highly satisfying services through a highly reliable support team. On this basis, the ultimate success of the company lies on its subsequent commitment to fulfill its customers’ needs. Significantly, the company has very strong philosophy of ensuring the satisfaction of its customers by offering them with the modest services and products, capable of satisfying its customers sufficiently. Further, with the established rating of customer satisfaction per every transaction with the company, it has been easier for the company to identify its weaknesses and correct them in advance. With reference to Snow (29), it becomes easier to understand the trend of the business when the customers’ level of satisfaction is known.

Challenges of Customer Service in the Western Cruise Liners Company

Considering the currently competitive business environment, the Western Cruise Liners has been facing a number of challenges to excellent customer services. For instance, the company’s strategy of using e-business in its operations costs lot money. It is through this strategy that the company has been widely known by pulling of markets, as well as retaining its already existing customers, since the new products and services are attractively portrayed in its website. The maintenance of the website has been costing the company huge sums of money. On this basis therefore, the company has adversely faced the challenge of maintaining its websites, though they form the realm of its success up to the current state.

Another barrier facing the Western Cruise Liners Company is the maintenance of modesty of its services and products. The company has a well established network of sale-agents which help in researching the most current preferences of services and products, capable of enticing its customers. This has been a great challenge for the company since it has been incurring high service/product-research costs, in pursuit of maintaining its image to the customers. Though this has been one of the key strategies to its credibility, it has been a great challenge for the company to maintain modesty of its services and products. With the massive increase in e-commerce, the company has been planning to establish online transactions, by making all money transactions purely electronic. Though this strategy may be costly to establish and maintain, Fisk (66) supports it as has positive impact on the overall performance of businesses.

Company’s Customer Retention and Measurement of Satisfaction

In order to ensure that the company retained its customers, the Western Cruise Liners Company has developed customer-retention program. In this program, the company has established customer-relations policies which facilitate its cordial relationship with the customers. Specifically, all the company’s workers are required to address and accord all the customers with courtesy and respect Ford (47). More so, honesty and faithfulness are the core values required in each company representative in order to capture customers’ trust and confidence in the company. In this case, the company’s devotion to retain its customers entirely lies on its customer hospitality treatment by its support team.

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In measuring the level of satisfaction of the customers from the company’s services products, various measures have been put in place. For instance, the company’s website has a panel for customers’ feedback, where each customer is required to respond to the satisfaction level acquired from the services and products offered by the company. In this case, the main tools used to analyze the data are z-score ranges and Cooper Stress Index Tool, specifically the Norwegian version. Through the use of these tools, the data collected is evaluated with regard to the level of satisfaction of the customers, and necessary adjustments made.

Company’s Communication and Customer Service

Communication is an interactive relationship between two or more people. In a business setting, communication refers to the continuous sharing of information between the business and its clients. Communication may occur through face-to-face, telephones, written messages and over the internet among others. As depicted by Snow (97), communication in business is a very important aspect to consider for that business to succeed. Perhaps, communication plays a very crucial role in enticing customers to remain loyal to the business or to go away. As it has been revealed, the Western Cruise Liners Company has good relationship with its customers as a result of the positive image created by its customers through the courtesy of its workers.

By being friendly and continuously sharing information about the newly offered services and products to its customers, the Western Cruise Liners Company has acquired its customers’ trust and confidence. This has been facilitated by the establishment of a website for the company, where all feedbacks and orders are made by the customers. By having courtesy among the support team, the company has created positive relationship with its customers. As reflected in Fisk (71), the company has been quite successful in winning the confidence of its customers through a continuous and cordial communication facilitated by a highly reliable staff.

Company’s Problem Solving Strategies for Customer Service

Having full understanding of the delicate nature of the industry in terms of customer-retention, the Western Cruise Liners Company has a well established system of solving customers’ problems. In case of any complains from the customers concerning the services offered by the company, there is a set support team which deals with such cases. In this case, all conflicting issues between the customers and the company are fully considered with an aim of ensuring satisfactory solutions of the issues involved. Through a well established problem solving system in an organization, Snow (75) considers this as an efficient customer retention strategy, since customers are satisfactorily served in cases of any complains. In the Western Cruise Liners Company, the system established for solving customer complains has been quite efficient, since none of the complains made by the customers have contributed to customers loss due to improper resolution.

The strategies employed in the company to solve various problems have been efficient, as the customers’ satisfaction is an important priority. In this case, the main strategies are the problem identification, analyzing the problem and then generation of possible solutions is made with regard to the set goals. As it has been revealed, the management team in the company has very strong efficient negotiation skills, capable of ensuring productive solutions for the problems identified. As Ford (53) argues, this strategy enables companies to retain its customers for long, as indicated by the high rate of customer returns in the Western Cruise Liners Company.

Company’s Alcohol Management

Being focused on provision of quality services to its customers, the Western Cruise Liners Company has very strong alcohol policies. More specifically, the company has established and implemented ServSafe program to ensure the provision of highly refined alcohol beverages. This is geared to ensure the highest satisfaction of the customers from consuming the alcohol beverages offered by the company. Having laid strong policies on quality services provision to its customers, the Western Cruise Liners Company has ensured the provision of highly refined alcohol drinks to its customers. In order to take care of customers’ satisfaction and safety various alcohol operations in the company have been put in place (Ford 84). Such operations include, having patrons to serve customers who get drunk too much beyond their control, preventing patrons from bringing in other beverages in the company, and selling of limited amount of alcohol to customers. These have been very effective alcohol management strategies, which have helped to retain customers in the company for long.

Technology in Customer Service

Following the increasing IT across the world, new forms of technology have been found to form competitive advantage for business performance among various organizations. Certainly, the introduction internet strategy in various operations has impacted a lot on its overall performance. More specifically, customers have been able to book services in the company in advance, using the internet. In this case, the company’s website has a panel for customer booking, and then make part of payments for the services anticipated. More so, the strategy of the company to use internet strategy to maintain customer service relations has enhanced the building of customer loyalty and trust Fisk (96). This has increased the reliability of the services offered by the company, since customers have been able to transact with the company virtually.

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Strategy for Formulating Customer Service Plan

The main strategy involved in the Western Cruise Liners Company to enhance customer satisfaction is by having a highly skilled and reliable support team, capable of providing the customers with quality services. Being a customer-oriented company, the Western Cruise Liners Company has the culture of maintaining cordial relationship with its clients, through a highly reliable support team. By having highly sophisticated infrastructure, the company focuses on satisfying its clients with quality and fairly priced services. It is important to note that, the company empowers its customers in terms of deciding what is best for them. More specifically, the customers are entrusted with the power to suggest the best strategies to be incorporated in the company at for their optimum satisfaction. Through customer empowerment, Snow (104) considers this strategy as being able to create a favorable customer-business relationship; contributing to remarkable business performance.

Conclusion

As it has been revealed, success of businesses in the hospitality industry is determined the degree of devotion towards customer satisfaction. Considering the current competition in international markets, strategic management techniques are quite important, with regard to the needs of the customers as a priority. Basically, customer attributes are entirely the key determinants of success for businesses in the hospitality industry. Being a very delicate industry in terms of customer retention, there is need for businesses in the industry to be focused on providing customers with satisfying services and products. Through good communication with its customers, a business organization in the hospitality industry makes it possible to capture and retain its customers greatly. One of the main strategies capable of retaining customers in a hospitality company is the development of customer retention-program. In this program, business organizations are required to identify and define the specific requirements by their customers, and then develop a framework of satisfying such customer needs.

As evidenced in the Western Cruise Liners company, efficient problem solving techniques in businesses in the hospitality industry forms a basis for success in such businesses. This is facilitated by having support team in the company, capable of negotiating skillfully with customers in cases of problems. More so, companies in the hospitality industry ought to have good alcohol management techniques in order to retain the customers. Further, the use of new technologies in hospitality businesses has been found to impact positively in the overall business performance. This is clearly evidenced in the Western Cruise Liners Company, where customers are able to male orders over the internet. Lastly, sophisticated infrastructure and equipments plays a very important role in attracting and retaining customers.

Works cited

Fisk, Raymond. Interactive Services Marketing. Sydney: South-Western College Publishers, 2007.

Ford, Lisa. Exceptional Customer Service: Exceed Customer Expectations to Build Loyalty and Boost Profits. New York: Adams Media Press, 2009.

Snow, Dennis. Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service. San Francisco: Wiley Publishers, 2009.

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BusinessEssay. (2021) 'Customer Service in the Western Cruise Liners Company'. 24 December.

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BusinessEssay. 2021. "Customer Service in the Western Cruise Liners Company." December 24, 2021. https://business-essay.com/customer-service-in-the-western-cruise-liners-company/.

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BusinessEssay. "Customer Service in the Western Cruise Liners Company." December 24, 2021. https://business-essay.com/customer-service-in-the-western-cruise-liners-company/.