Happy customers stay to be yours and not someone else’s. Many business guru’s and heads of customer care departments of successful companies concur that the most fundamental aspect of a company does not only lie in having a good product, but also the ability to provide clients with a desirable level of service (Garry, 2011). The reason for running a business after all is to make profits and it therefore it makes sense to take care of the customer. Good customer care service is an innovative concept because it is one of the most neglected areas of management.
A company has to provide excellent customer care so that it can distinguish itself from the products and services that its competitors provide. The customers should believe and see that the customer service they are being offered gives them the overt benefit. The Brookshire Brothers can for example say that the instant oatmeal that they sell has cancer- fighting properties as observed in three out four people who took the particular oatmeal that they sell, constantly. Another innovation concept requirement is that the concept should be feasible and hard to reproduce. The power engine of any business is customer care and this is what makes it a priority. All companies have a customer care service but Brookshire Brothers can make their customer service hard to copy by going an extra mile and giving them comfort that cannot be imitated by others. Companies need a regular flow of income to keep them in business and for this reason it is feasible idea and easy to implement. Once the customers are satisfied with the services that they are being given, then the entire organization will have an excellent customer care system. The returns of good customer care exceed its costs because a company that delights in giving good service to its customers retains 6he old customers and attract new ones.
This will in turn create a good image of them in blogs, in the media and in forums, subsequently leading to higher profits. The cost of attracting new customers is much higher than the cost of retaining existing customers. One of the main pointers of a strong value proposition is that it gives itself to being spoken in simple and clear terms, and very briefly. It is important that a business has a unique value proposition, lest they get lost in a sea of other companies with similar value propositions. Customer service is a great way of achieving a value proposition, but it should be stated in a way that it will for example take complete ownership of the problems of their customers and solve them, so that they do not have to worry.an example of a value proposition is “we take complete ownership”. Customer service has the ability to offer a complete value proposition because it touches on all aspects of the business. The customer care service also handles and organizes the many elements that make up an effective customer care structure. They deal with pricing strategies, the human aspect of customers, policies, systems and technology. They especially play a fundamental role in improving the policies and systems to desirable levels of the customers. This is what makes customer care have a complete value proposition (Amato-McCoy, 1999).
No customer is interested in customer service system that has no intrinsic worth, regardless of whether it is the best. A company that goes that extra mile to please and give good service to meet the needs of its customers is hard to imitate because what is seen on the outside is the excellent customer service, but the rigorous procedures that they have used to get there remains unknown. A good example of how good customer care service sells unique is how it solves its problems, frustrations and challenges. The exceptional selling proposition that they give that guarantees to take care of their needs such as pick up their customers therefore saving them trouble of having to hire cabs is unique and hard for other companies to imitate, because if they want to, they will have to go through rigorous processes starting from the administration downwards, for such a proposition to be approved, implemented and be a success.
Company, products and markets
Brookshire brothers , is a company that was established in 1921, but later on split into chains of stores that now deal with a variety of products, which include; food , groceries and tobacco products and the distribution of gas. The Brookshire Brothers Company in Dallas, Texas is widely known for the excellent and friendly services that they offer, clean stores and technological innovation. The company’s mission is to build an all-inclusive equity in the company by making its employees loyal, and these employees will in turn give good service to their customers, thereby improving their public image (Pederson, 2009). Their objective strategy is to provide their customers with a level of service that cannot be found anywhere else in their locales. This Brookshire Brothers Company deals with groceries and therefore runs several grocery stores. The product line of their chain stores includes food and food complimentary items, fresh produce, dairy items. They also handle sea food, bakery goods, frozen foods, canned foods and fresh farm produce. Some of the labels of the food products that they sell are Hy Top and Better Valu.
Their customer care concept of prioritizing the needs of their customers augurs well with the company’s mission and strategic objectives of friendly services, clean stores and at the prime of technological innovations. All these efforts are geared towards ensuring that the customers get the best of the services they can offer because the core of their business is to take care of their customers. They therefore rely on their human capital to fulfill their vision, mission and strategic objectives. These people are trained on strong customer orientation and quality products and services.in doing this, they have successfully guarded against lack of service and courtesy to customers. They value their customers as they know that the value of bringing in new customers is almost five times higher than the value of keeping old ones. So instead of going to look for new customers, they give the best of their services to the older ones and these ones will go and paint a good image of the company and in this way they attract new customers. In the end their mission and vision statements of great customer service makes their sales soar, brings more people, gives them the chance to repeat business with their regular clients, and get value from them.
Intended Target Market and Competition
The company has a number of small and large markets like the population around Dallas. They also have formal markets for example the large supermarkets in Dallas which provide a reliable market for their products (Chain Store Age Executive, 1991). Moreover, they sell their merchandise to individuals through their retail and supermarket stores in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. They also do it through e-commerce websites. The company offers excellent customer service and their products are suited to the needs of their customers. They have banked on this because other companies do not give such quality service and a wider range of products to their customers; neither do they give priority to the desires of their clients.
Product, Service and Process
Some of their unique products are French, Indian and Mediterranean delicacies, products that other groceries do not stock or hardly ever have. They for example stock Hispanic delicacies and have even published these foods in magazines, to cater for the growing Hispanic population in Texas. They also beat the price listings of their competitors, giving customers value for their money. One such service is that they have incorporated into their customer care service the concept of self-service, such that instead of having the customers place their orders to the clerks to fill them, they can walk in and chose what they need. This encourages their customers to have a look at all that they have, then made informed choices. This has helped them cut on expenses and has helped build a stronger customer base. They also have belts that transport the goods bought, so that the customers find them packed .very efficient indeed. Such a concept has yet to be adopted by similar stores and this is their selling point.
They also deal with a wider variety of groceries, larger volumes and at lower prices. They ensure that their customer care representatives give friendly greetings to all their customers when they check in to the store and heartfelt greetings from the employees they encounter as they shop, from the stockers to those at the counter. The company does not only benefit, but the customers do as well. By offering a wider range of groceries, the customers are now able to comfortably choose what goes well with them. Furthermore, their customers also save some money as the prices on goods are cut. The good customer care gives them a big lead against their competitors (Lehbar, 1963).
The customer care service that Brookshire Brothers Company offers is different from the competitive offerings of other companies because these companies do not give the attention to the quality of services they give. Many managers and executives always pin down customer services to a particular standard that cannot be easily changed. However, such services should be made variable because good customer care is a relationship building tool. This is what the Brookshire Brothers Company realized and has used it to their advantage. They have been able to connect emotionally with their customers and this is what has given them edge over their competitors. They have used the concept of under- promising and over- delivering.
Their customers have therefore realized that the level of service that they are being given is higher than what they expected. Their friendly customer service has earned them sustainable competitive advantage and subsequently, their performance has improved. They have also cut on their costs and the speed at which they offer their services is effective. Their customers are satisfied by the way they are handled they rarely take their businesses elsewhere (Doherty, 2003). This has earned them a growing number of customers because they have made customer satisfaction a major factor in the decisions that they make concerning their products.
Critical Risks and Limitations
Despite all the benefits that the Brookshire Brothers Company has earned, they should not overlook it as it has risks as well. Today’s environment has its challenges. Customer care service must cater for the needs of all its customers, from the casual observer to its senior most clients. This poses a challenge because the customers are so many and they all want their needs to be well catered for and the company may not be able to keep such a relationship consistent at all times. One disgruntled customer may ruin their image and this will cost them business. The aspect of customer service also covers a very wide range of activities. It involves listening to the needs of clients carefully, giving them feedback as soon as possible, give priority to their views, look into their complaints, have interpersonal relationships with them and ensure a happy existence at all times. This is very demanding and the company might end up eating into their profits to satisfy their customers, yet the business does not return the money spent.
It also requires human resource which is quite a task to find especially representatives who can deliver. The other challenge is delivering customer value. Some customers give very unique and specific desires that sometimes overwhelm the service providers as they have to make big sacrifices. Brookshire brothers also find it quite a challenge to giving possession utility. Moreover, the concept of the marketing versus the selling concept is a challenge for them because they have products that are not selling and so they have to adopt measures that will make the product sell. Such measures include cutting the prices or more advertising. They therefore should balance between the efforts that they make to give them an appeal to their customers taking care not to concentrate much on one aspect like customer care. They should for example have consistent branding and product quality (Garry, 2011).
Brookshire Brothers Company has experienced such a steady growth since it was started. This is because it sought to beat its competitors by having strong base and friendly customer care service. Their aggressive hospitality has put them at the top of their league and in return they have realized great profits. It has however taken them more than friendly customer care service to get where they are today, because they had to diversify their operations to counter the emerging competition. They have given priority to innovations especially regarding customer care which was very important if they had to increase its image especially because they are facing a greater number of competitors.
Their business has not been without challenges though; they have run into losses trying to satisfy the specific needs of their clients. Because they deal with perishables, their products have gone bad leading to losses. Their prices of their dairy products sometimes hit rock bottom yet they have to be deft enough to explore other opportunities. Despite all this, they have managed to remain at the top.