Monday, August 3, 2009

Understanding the Customer Orientation

For an organization to be focused on building relationship with customer in striving toward customer satisfaction, McDaniel, Lamb, Hair (2008) employee’s attitudes and actions must be customer oriented. An employee may be the only contact a particular customer has with the firm. In that customer’s eyes, the employee is the firm. Any person, department, or division that is not customer oriented weakens the positive image of the entire organization.

According to the Longman Dictionary Of Contemporary English, attitude means the opinions and feelings that people usually have about something. While the Oxford Fajar define attitude as way of thinking or behaving. By looking on the two definitions, we can conclude that attitude is comprising of opinion, feeling and behavior toward something. In order to elaborate more about an attitude, McDaniel, Lamb, Hair (2008) defined an attitude as a learned tendency to respond consistently toward a given object. They also emphasized that an attitude rest on an individual’s value system, which represents personal standards of good and bad, right and wrong , and so forth therefore atitudes tend to be more enduring and complex.

“Customer orientation” has been defined in various ways (Kohli and Jaworski, 1990;Narver and Slater, 1990; Webster, 1988). It is usually associated with other terminologies, such as “market orientation”, “customer focus”, “customer-driven”, and “customer-centred”. According to the definition of Webster (1994), “customer orientation” is the business of putting the customer first in everything the company does, and organizing all activities around the basic objective of delivering superior value.

Chi – Kuang Cheng et al (2004) found that through his literature review, the importance of fostering an organizational culture was neglected in developing a customer oriented service system. He also added that to achieve successful change, employee commitment is necessary. Dissatisfied employees imply dissatisfied customers. It is therefore, essential that employees understand how the enhancement of customer-oriented service activities can benefit all stakeholders.

What ``customer focus'' means should be self evident. Companies and institutions must fulfill the customers' needs. Any product or service must satisfy the ``customer'', as the customer is the most important person. In order for the customers to be satisfied the first step is to identify their real needs.

1 comment:

  1. So..customer orientation one of the key element in acquiring competitive advantages...