Page 4: Sustaining a customer focus
When developing a relationship with customers, an organisation has to take into account how its relationship with customers is managed. This is part of what is known as relationship marketing. This means that an organisation has to develop its activities in a way which takes into account how its activities affect its relationships with customers. For example, order times, reputation, goods exchange or refund provision, dealing with faults, customer waiting times and the overall efficiency of the organisation. For MFI it is important that it appreciates the views and experiences of customers.
As part of its customer care profile MFI goes to considerable lengths to discover customer opinion from:
- Customer Forums (Clinics)
- Service Evaluation
- Mystery Shopping
- Exit Interviews
- Suggestion scheme
- Branch specific questionnaires
- Internal attitude survey
- Internal Improvement groups and teams
Customers are invited to invest in furniture and not just buy it. In the environment of the MFI Store, lots of subtle arrangements are made to ensure customer satisfaction. For example, customers are always welcomed to the store and then deliberately left alone until they begin to show an interest.
When developing a strategy based around customer service, it is important to ensure that the process is continuous. MFI preaches the philosophy 'If it doesn't benefit the customer - we don't do it.' This approach helps to keep alive its focus upon customer service. In doing so it helps to review progress of their programmes and systems, and ensures that customer satisfaction is achieved.