Free «Amazon Case Study Analysis» UK Essay Paper
Table of Contents
- Customer Service Challenge
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- Hindrances to Solving the Customer Service Challenge
- Poor Communication
- Poorly Trained IT Customer Care Staff
- Lack of Employee Empowerment
- Course of Action in Solving Customer Service Challenge
- Solving Communication and Poorly Trained Employees Problems
- Empowering the Customer Support Team
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Customer service delivery is one of the most significant areas in a corporation’s successful implementation of its goals and in meeting its specific objectives. The business environment in today’s world indicates that inevitable rapid changes are being witnessed. The changes majorly manifest in businesses that deal in E-commerce. In this case, Amazon Inc., being the business of focus, especially when considering its efforts in adapting to the fast growing business environment, has a problem with customer service. Customer service in Amazon is not satisfactory, and it is explained by the non-existence of plans that help in the development of its ventures. In the case analysis, a close examination of the customer service challenges is conducted, as well as the review of the factors that hinder Amazon from solving the problem fully, and an insight into the best cause of action is suggested.
Customer Service Challenge
Amazon.com is a company that is known all over the world for its E-commerce services that focus on the Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Customer (B2C) models. A close examination of the operations of Amazon Company reveals that the company has a long way to go when it comes to customer service. In this case, many loyal and prospective customers reach out to the company seeking assistance on issues of product delivery and making inquiries regarding the company’s services (Klaus, 2013 pg. 445). The fast growing business environment can be managed by using the technological advances in E-commerce business. However, for Amazon Company, the integration of information technologies in its customer service teams has remained a challenge.
The manner in which customer care staff respond to inquiries and issues that customers face when handling merchandise purchased from Amazon Company raises questions regarding their competence. Much as digital channels of communicating and attending to loyal and prospective customers are in place in Amazon Company, the service delivery of the staff is questionable. In this way, Amazon Company has continued to lose contact with its customers who opt to register their complaints, many of which remain unresolved. The situation becomes even more complicated because of the presence of rival businesses and new entrants into the E-commerce business. Many customers have registered their frustrations concerning the incompetence of the IT customer care staff, who fail to understand the customers’ complaints, and in return, no solutions are offered (Klaus, 2013 pg. 452). Apparently, complaints regarding the orders handled by Amazon Company have remained unsolved because of the inconsistency and failure of the customer care staff to address the problems after recording them through the calls made by the customers. The staff sometimes behaves unprofessionally since they do not possess the basic language skills for communication — calls in English of the customers who seek to have order delivery are not dealt with appropriately.
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Hindrances to Solving the Customer Service Challenge
Primarily, customer satisfaction is an achievement in business that results from the excellent customer service teams in business. In the case of Amazon Company, poor customer service is attributable to different factors in play within the organization. Poor communication, poorly trained IT customer care staff, and the lack of employee empowerment are the main factors that contribute to poor customer service in Amazon (Ritala, Golnam & Wegmann, 2014, pg. 238). Amazon Company has been operating for a long time, enjoying the diverse and large customer-base that uses online shopping as the primary and effective channel of meeting their needs. Since the customer base has remained big, the problems with managing the company’s service delivery started to appear, especially in customer care.
The encounters of Amazon’s products and service consumers with the support teams are unpleasant. Thousands of customers have come forward voluntarily to express their disappointment in the manner in which Amazon handles their complaints and the customers themselves. The communication barrier between the complaining customers and customer support staff is evident in the manner in which the staff imposes delays in responding to the inquiries. Additionally, customers that use the toll-free customer support number to make calls for inquiries, as well as when seeking to solve their delivery and product problems, are discontented (Ritala, et al., 2014, pg. 242). The lack of satisfaction arises from the fact that the calls that the customers make are not answered, and if they are answered, there are long delays in giving responses — because of this, the customers are often disconnected. Therefore, the poor communication issues have been in existence for a considerable period now.
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Poorly Trained IT Customer Care Staff
The problem of poor communication within an organization — in this case, in Amazon, is attributable to one major factor — the lack of IT and customer care staff. Evidently, with the increase in the customer base, Amazon Company has faced a challenge of hiring extra IT and customer support representatives. Apparently, hiring the new staff was not enough since Amazon management team and human resource department understood that hiring extra staff to attend to customer service delivery would mean the increased costs. While the culture of the company dictates that both the newly-hired staff and the old staff members should undergo training and development programs so their skills would be sharpened and aligned to meet the needs of the customers, the system is not efficient (Vinerean, Cetină, Dumitrescu & Țichindelean, 2013 pg. 24). The management of Amazon Company does little to evaluate the competence of their employees in the customer service delivery. The company seeks to cut costs, and addressing the poorly trained customer support team remains a small concern that has escalated the poor customer service challenge.
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Lack of Employee Empowerment
Owing to the fact that Amazon is a business entity that has a large customer base, it is evident that there is a lot of pressure on the employees to increase their efforts in meeting the customers’ needs (Kindström & Kowalkowski, 2014, pg. 105). The high-pressure line of work of the employees of Amazon increases the stress levels because they are expected to keep quality service delivery, but the company’s management does not care about their health and well-being. In fact, the employees work for numerous long hours, being subjected to high levels of stress and pressure because of working conditions, with the aim to meet the unimaginable demands from the customers. Furthermore, the competition coming from the new E-commerce organizations deteriorates situation, making customer support ineffective (Vinerean, et al., 2013 pg. 29). The fact that the management does little to engage its employees in decision-making process so their reservations could be addressed makes the staff continue delivering low-quality customer service as compared to that of a number of years ago, when Amazon was the favorite E-commerce Company.
Course of Action in Solving Customer Service Challenge
Despite the continued escalation of customer service problems in Amazon, it is significant to acknowledge that certain measures can be put in place in order to offer amicable solutions. Firstly, Amazon is a company that has always based its operations on the customer-centric theory in achieving its goals and objectives. Exploiting the advantage of the already-devised customer-centric approach to its service delivery would be the beginning of clearing the bad experiences of its customer care representatives with the company’s customers. Secondly, the company needs to employ the technological competencies it has at its disposal to maintain its customer service at high quality standards (Rossman, 2016, n.p). Investing in technological competence means that the customer support team needs to be exposed to the new technological tools and trained through regular training and development workshops. The technological tools will be used to increase the efficiency of communication between the customers and the customer care staff. Additionally, valuing the employee contribution and engagement in decision-making will help the customer support team create value in regard to the customers by offering them services of high quality.
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Solving Communication and Poorly Trained Employees Problems
Communication is the key to the successful management of human personnel and customers in business. Therefore, the three components are interconnected, so communication could become effective in meeting the goals and needs of each component. Owing to the fact that the communication problems arise from the incompetence of the customer support team, it is significant to acknowledge that Amazon needs to engage the employees through encouraging them to attend the regular training and development workshops (Rossman, 2016, n.p). Apparently, the competence theory advocates that training and development programs increase the competence levels of the employees, especially the customer service-delivery teams. Amazon Company is among the profit-oriented organizations that seek to keep their current customers satisfied while attracting new clients. For Amazon Company’s customers to be satisfied, it is important to acknowledge that the company should return to its old habits of pleasing these customers.
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Through the training and development programs, the company should orient its customer support employees toward the procedures of using the new technology the company has installed in order to serve the customers. It is advisable that the company programs have a framework that teaches the employees to:
- Analyze, seek an understanding, and interpret the inquiries and complaints presented by the customer.
- Inform the customer profoundly by alleviating his or her tension and providing an action-based plan as a solution to the issue at hand.
- Use the new technology such as the Kindle Fire HDX, informe the customers about the tool and its abilities, and offer support where necessary through a comprehensive interaction and connection exercise with the customers.
- An aspect of great significance in improving customer service is the observation of clarity and brevity in communication with the customers (Rossman, 2016, n.p). In this case, delays should be avoided, as well as incorrect interpretations.
- The fact that Amazon employees are not perfect and are prone to committing mistakes, it is important for the customer support team to learn to admit and apologize for their mistakes.
The observation of the above tenets of communication, customer support, and customer interaction serves as a sure way of improving the quality of customer service in Amazon. Apart from the training on how to handle customers and their reservations, it is important for the whole employee fraternity to acquire knowledge in order to use it as a strategic advantage in reducing the number of complaints from the customers. The reduction in the number of complaints from the customers begins with the confirmation of the customer’s specifications for the ordered items, delivering within the time stipulated, and contacting the customer to ensure that the right items and quality of the services were offered (Rossman, 2016, n.p). Therefore, the advocacy, in this case, is the need for a feedback system. The feedback system serves as a measure for the quality customer service and customer satisfaction levels.
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Empowering the Customer Support Team
One of the most challenging tasks for business entities is the provision of amicable solutions to the complaints and other issues presented by the customers. To achieve the customer-centric goals and objectives of Amazon Company, there is a need to create and maintain a culture in which the employees mirror the company’s competence in customer service delivery. The course of action recommended at this point is the empowerment of the employees with information through training and development programs. In addition, the customer support employees should be granted the opportunity to offer innovative suggestions regarding service delivery and complaint management to the customers (Vinerean, et al., 2013 pg. 31). One such way is using the rapid innovation nature of the E-commerce business to help customer support offer quick, accurate responses and solutions to the customers.
To be successful, Amazon needs to be innovative in terms of technology. Technology is a tool that is created by computer programmer, and it performs similar functions. Technology keeps improving, and in order to keep abreast with its business, Amazon needs to adopt the latest technology trends such as one click system and filter technologies (Liu & Mattila, 2015 pg. 217). The one click system is a technology that enables the customers to purchase their products with one click. The technique is possible since all customers’ details, such as credit card, addresses, and shipping preferences are stored in the company’s database, hence enabling the checking process. The filter technology gives the customer an option of comparing products in regard to other customers’ preferences.
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Devising a specific schedule for the customer support staff is a necessity for Amazon Company because it could help to alleviate the high levels of pressure and stress the employees face. The schedule should include a customer support team that handles issues and the teams that track orders and shipments, review the delivery timelines, and cancel the unshipped items (Liu & Mattila, 2015 pg. 219). The teams will have members working different shifts, so the number of complaints recorded by the customers would be minimal. In this way, the employees will feel a sense of belonging, seeing themselves as valued members of the Amazon Company community.
Evidently, customer service can be improved through the improved communication channels and employee empowerment method, as well as by the process of scheduling. The fact that the employees are empowered through training, have the opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process, and are allowed to have a flexible working schedule will reduce the rates of turnover. Low turnover indicates that the customer service delivery is improved and customer-oriented. Additionally, the employees will be ready and happy to serve the customers, and this, in turn, will increase customer satisfaction and result in fewer employees’ complaints.
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