According to Klein, small business startups may only relay on their levels of reputation in order to retain their customers (par. 1). In other words, the ability of a small or upcoming business enterprise to compete favorably with giant companies is largely determined by the loyalty of customers who frequent such businesses. When customers fail to return, it spells doom for young business units. This implies that service managers have the responsibility of making sure that the expectations of customers are exceeded at any given time. Customers often require staunch reasons why they should buy from a particular business enterprise. The author emphasizes that a business owner or service manager ought to be service oriented, honest and friendly towards customers. Prompt service provision is also part and parcel of strategy to retain customers and enhance their loyalty. Additional methods of improving the loyalty of customers include efficient service delivery, being a people person, offering expeditious solution to problems, avoiding overselling, and keeping in touch with customers (Klein par. 5).
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The article by Klein relates to a number of key concepts examined in the course unit. For instance, the article highlights the noble role of service managers in business organizations. The author critically scrutinizes the importance of service in marketing. Part 2 of the course unit focused on the customer. Some of the key issues addressed in this chapter include the expectation of customers in regards to services being offered and the perception of customers. These are vividly some of the issues hinted out in this article. As a matter of fact, the loyalty level of customers is largely driven by their individual opinions and the overall quality of services. Besides, reputation of any business unit relies on the experience of customers across the board. It is the responsibility of marketing practitioners to understand and implement the needs of customers so that their respective organizations can remain relevant and profitable.
Although the author has restrictively addressed the above concerns in regards to small businesses, the same issues also apply to large business enterprises. From the course unit, the management of services is a crucial undertaking in both small startups and well-established units. Integrated service marketing is not only confined to startups. The only difference is witnessed in the scale of service provision bearing in mind that giant organizations undertake multiple marketing operations simultaneously. Moreover, the ability of service managers to comprehend the diverse requirements of customers is a necessary ingredient in promoting customers’ loyalty. Even in the case of large business organizations, effective service recovery may be a necessity on a regular basis depending on the changing tastes and preferences of consumers.
In the second article by Lidow, the author explores the consequences of premature marketing especially among the upcoming businesses (par. 1). It may be a fatal mistake to engage in rigorous marketing when a business entity is still in its infancy stage. The author observes that all startups must successfully go through three key stages of development before marketing can begin. Fixating on marketing is a common managerial weakness among several business organizations that often start ambitiously. Scaling, proposition validation and customer validation are the three main levels of growth that all startups should pass through before marketing operations can begin.
Lidow notes that the first authentic customers should be captured in the first stage (par. 4). Product design cannot be executed well through marketing. It is advisable to only engage customers who are considered to be potential so that positive results can be gained. When value proposition is validated at the second stage, a business unit may as well be regarded to have entered the near-maturity stage.
In part 4 of the course material, service innovation and design were discussed at length. From this section, it is evident that marketing standards and service design must be aligned from the early stages of a business unit. In other words, business managers are supposed to prioritize and align the needs of a business with those of the targeted market (customers). The service landscape and physical evidence from the point of production to consumption should be clearly defined. Therefore, the scale of preference is a perquisite for business organizations that wish to excel in competitive marketplace. Second, the demand and capacity of production ought to be put into consideration before the process of marketing is initiated. For example, marketing managers ought to inquire the needs of the market, the most appealing advertising messages and the ability to produce adequate goods and services that can meet the current demand level.
In spite of the importance of adhering to the three-stage rule, it is also vital to mention that there are a number of hybrid businesses that do not necessarily need to stick to the aforementioned marketing procedures. The focus should not be entirely on the customer. Both customers and employees play unique roles in the process of production. Besides, it is possible for a small business outfit to skip one of the stages highlighted above and still engage in successful marketing.
Klein, Karen. How to Earn Customer Loyalty. 2014. Web.
Lidow, Derek. Derek Lidow: Premature Marketing Can Mean Premature Death for Startups. 2014. Web.