Customer service is very important in any business as it determines the success of the business. It refers to the various services and support provided to the customers before they make a purchase decision, while they are buying products and after the purchase has been made (Zemke, 2006).
However, customer service recognizes that the two types of customers can be grouped into internal customers and external customers. Internal customers include the employees within the organization who can also buy the products while external customers are the outsiders who buy from the organization.
In starting up a new coffee shop that is Wi-Fi accessible, it enables managers to transfer data from one location to the other branches. Given that there are 3 locations within a 50-mile radius, it may be difficult for the managers to travel from one point to the other in order to perform their activities. To do this effectively, the management model to be adopted for the coffee shop is the participative approach to decision making. The customers should be treated well in order for them to continue buying coffee from the shop.
A participative management approach refers to the process of management that involves the employees to participate in the decision making process of the organization. It is the best approach to be used in this situation because customer service is more important to the business.
The employees do not need to be left behind in the decisions made, because they are the ones who serve the customers and therefore can greatly contribute ideas in the decision making process. For example, they know the tastes and preferences of customers, the customer needs and some of the complaints made by customers on the products and services provided. The management may not have any idea on such crucial matters.
The way employees are being treated will be reflected in the way they also serve the customers. The participative approach allows the employees to accept all decisions made by the management as they were involved in the making of the decisions. It is very rare to find any kind of resistance on decisions made. This enables them to be motivated in serving the customers (Maslow, 1954).
Once the employees feel that they are valued as they participate in the decision making process, they also work hard to maintain their jobs and serve the customers in a good way. Empowerment enables the employees to make some necessary decisions by themselves in the various problems that customers may be facing. For example, a customer may request for a small discount and the employee can decide to offer the discount.
Given the various locations of the business, the management can allow the employees from the various locations to always communicate through the Wi-Fi before making any important decisions (Hamel, 2009). Once the management acknowledges their suggestions, it can use the Wi-Fi to inform them on what to do next.
Every store requires about 10 employees. This may be very costly for the coffee shop if managers for every store were to be employed. Inputs and feedbacks can be provided over the Wi-Fi on any requirements for additions in the store as long as the Wi-Fi is accessible to all locations. The information exchanged can then be used to make decisions which should be communicated to the employees.
However, the participative approach may not encourage some employees who may feel that their views have not been considered. For the coffee shop, a participative approach can reduce the controlling costs and also ensure excellent customers service, which is the main objective of the new business.
Hamel, G. (2009).The future of management. Washington, DC: Harvard University Press.
Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York, NY: Harper.
Zemke, R. (2006). Best practices in customer service. New York, NY: Pearson.