Enhancing customer service
An Automobile Association (AA) case study

Page 1: Introduction

Customer service can be used to achieve a personal relationship by focusing on meeting needs and requirements. The term can be used to describe the personal relationship that develops between the customer and the company. This relationship will only be achieved by taking the time and the effort to research the customers to find out exactly what their requirements are and then satisfying those...
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Page 2: Achieving a mission

Modern organisations develop mission statements which are designed to provide a clarification of purpose, in order to generate commitment throughout the business. The group mission statement of the AA is encapsulated in the following consumer statement: “I instinctively turn to the AA - you are always there, easy to reach and ready to help. You have standards I can trust and you impress...
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Page 3: Core benefits

The core benefit of the AA is the security and service provided to motorists by solving problems at the roadside. Breaking down on a motorway at night, or when a child is waiting to be collected from school, is a serious matter; the motorist is in an emergency situation. The effectiveness and reliability of the AA in these situations has led to it being seen as “The 4th Emergency...
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Page 4: Managing change

Organisations will only be successful if they place the customer at the heart of their business. The AA exemplifies this customer orientation since it has built up a personal bond with individual customers through relationship marketing. The student can see how this has occurred by examining stages in the cycle of continuous improvement at the AA. This improvement can be divided into three main...
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Page 5: De-layering

In common with other major UK companies in the mid 1990s, the AA has set out to create a more responsive organisation, cutting out waste and bureaucracy. This has involved removing layers of surplus management - a process known as “delayering”.In modern business organisations, the emphasis has increasingly been on empowering front-line employees - i.e. those who deal directly with...
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Page 6: Conclusion

The AA has effectively differentiated its services from 40 other companies in the market through the emphasis it has placed on delivering relationship marketing. The AA’s latest and largest customer needs analysis revealed that motorists who have broken down want a very personal service. They want to be treated as individuals, not as a registration number. So the prime purpose of the AA is...
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