Page 1: Introduction
Just think about how goods and services today are provided for our every need. In the 70s and 80s, who would have forecast that banks and building societies would become financial supermarkets? It would have been inconceivable to think of the vast shopping area developments on the edges of towns or that we would soon be using the television as a form of shopping media. All of these developments reflect a movement towards the needs of the consumer. Organisations in the modern business environment realise that they cannot compete on the basis of their products and prices alone. Satisfying customer needs through customer service has become a major strategy for organisations competing in the rapidly changing markets of the 90s.
For all organisations, customers are the most important people. They are the natural resource upon which the success of an organisation depends. One estimate is that it costs five times as much to attract new customers as it does to keep an existing one. The relationship between the organisation and the customer is critical for success. Here are some fundamental points about this relationship:
Focusing on customers involves providing them with what they want, when and how they want it. Customer requirements are constantly changing and it is therefore necessary to understand customer fashions and needs in order to design and deliver products which exceed customer expectations. Intelligent organisations have therefore developed a strategy of providing superior customer care to differentiate their products and services. By doing this organisations can meet their objectives, grow more quickly than their rivals and benefit from increased market share.
This case study focusses upon the customer care aspects of the MFI organisation and upon how the needs and requirements of customers are at the centre of the production process.