Customer service, employees, business, Internet, Gala Group, expectations, external customers, integrating, management, satisfaction.
When customers buy a product or service they are increasingly aware that they are also buying an element of service that goes with it. This service element can be decisive when people are considering where to obtain the product itself e.g. at which cinema to see a film or with which Internet service provider to sign up.
Customers like to deal with organisations they can trust and with businesses that demonstrate that they value their customers and are looking to develop a positive, ongoing relationship with them.
Customers also like to deal with staff who give the impression that they feel valued and part of a worthwhile organisation.
In a competitive environment, organisations need ways of attracting and retaining customers. One of the best ways to achieve this is to exceed customers' expectations, no matter how high those expectations might be.
Understanding, retaining and developing a relationship with customers by exceeding their expectations through first class Customer Service does not come cheap. However, for the business it is best seen, not simply as a cost, but as an investment that can yield high returns, because it helps an organisation to improve its competitive position by rising above its rivals.
This case study examines the development of Gala Group's Customer Service Strategy as a total business concept. It illustrates how developing and integrating a Customer Service Strategy across the business is helping Gala to position itself for further growth.
The Gala Group was formed by a management buy-in from Bass in 1997, and is the fastest growing retail gaming company in the UK, and a market leader.
With 166 bingo clubs across the UK, and 33 million admissions every year, Gala Bingo leads with a 40% share of the market.
In 2000, Gala acquired Ladbrokes Casinos, one of the largest casino operators in the UK.
Customer Service that exceeds expectations gives customers a sense of satisfaction and creates a feeling of goodwill towards an organisation.
When developing Customer Service as a total business strategy, however, it is important to realise that it begins with how employees relate to each other and the customers within the business.
As a result of carefully reading this case study, students should be able to:
- understand the importance of Customer Service
- distinguish between internal and external customers
- appreciate how an integrated approach to Customer Service benefits both internal and external customers
- appreciate how a strategy is implemented across an organisation
- understand the role of training in helping to deliver a Customer Service Strategy.