The recent body of literature on management initiatives and customer and employees’ satisfaction is notable for its diversity. There are many theoretical frameworks, as well as the case studies, that concentrate on the connections between these issues. At the same time, the lack of information about the obstacles that may prevent companies from taking proper measures is challenging. Besides, in the context of the particular situation, motivation and quality initiatives management sometimes prove to be different from what is described in academic sources (Pinder, 2014). Finally, modern researchers have started paying attention to IT as an important means of problem-solving, but this sphere needs to be studied in the future.
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It is generally considered that customer-orientedness as one of the core principles of today’s approaches touches not only upon the relationships between companies and clients but also directly influences customers, employees, and their satisfaction. The mutual effects are believed to be psychological, and they pertain to stress and engagement (Zablah, Franke, Brown, & Bartholomew, 2012). While the former group of effects refers to the negative outcomes and dissatisfaction of employees and clients, the latter one is seen as the potential advantage and the trigger of employees’ initiatives who want to provide customers with high-quality products and services.
Stress is also emphasized as the factor influencing labor productivity: the findings demonstrate that both concepts are intertwined with motivation (Khojamli, Habibi, Hossein, & Kazemiyan, 2014). It is believed that a company should decrease stress to raise workers’ motivation, channel it, and raise the level of productivity. The authors explain it by the fact that less stressed staff members apply their knowledge and skills to the actual work while their overloaded peers make an effort to improve the working conditions. However, no measures are put forward by the authors: they do not provide the actual steps that an employer can take to reduce stress.
To address employees’ motivation, the level of stress, and productivity and implicitly make an impact on customer satisfaction, the Four C Performance Model is described as one of the probable solutions. Soyhan and Agar (2014) argue that competence, commitment, congruence, and competence are the basic concepts, and the improvements associated with them are to enhance the overall employees’ satisfaction. This model seems to be advantageous because different aspects of customer-employee relationships are estimated. If the authorities single out a certain area of concern, they can scrutinize it and find appropriate solutions typical of a specific problem.
This approach implies the usage of modern technologies as the means of cost reduction and competence enhancement. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the academic literature encourages their usage. For instance, the literature on the software process improvement initiative usually contains theoretical materials that not only find the evidence of the novelty’s utility but also underline security and reliability as the advantages of the paramount importance (García-Mireles, Moraga, García, & Piattini, 2015).
Besides, microanalysis and forecasting are also included in the list of benefits (Davenport, 2013). At the same time, the authors of the studies admit that their studies are limited since each company is unique, and the development of the businesses demands updates. As a result, the research literature always reflects the past.
While the relationships between customer and employees’ satisfaction, initiatives of different types, and productivity have been considered, potential obstacles, and the ways to deal with them are represented vaguely. Another gap in the present-day research is that the Customs Sector of Dubai has not been studied in detail. Consequently, future research is to bridge the gap between the theoretical frameworks and the actual state of affairs.
To understand the role of quality initiatives, one of them, the Smart Virtual Agent initiative, will be considered. It has been represented as one of the recent innovations, and it is probable to study the changes in customer and employees’ satisfaction before and after the implementation of this novelty (Government of Dubai, 2016). The customers and employees are expected to complete the survey, and the results will be analyzed.
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5 – Strongly agree
4 – Partially agree
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3 – Neither agree nor disagree
2 – Disagree
1 – Strongly disagree
Customer Questionnaire (before and after the Smart Virtual Agent initiative)
|Areas and subareas||Assessment|
|1. Services simplicity|
|1.1. It is easy to understand what customers should do.|| |
|1.2. It is easy to complete the process.|| |
|1.3. It is easy to establish communication.|| |
|2.1. The staff treats customers well.|| |
|2.2. The staff provides customers with the necessary information.|| |
|2.3. The staff provides customers with information about the progress of their requests.|| |
|3. Service Reliability and Speed|
|3.1. The staff provides high-quality and credible information.|| |
|3.2. The time spent on services is acceptable.|| |
|4.1 The reputation of the organization is good.|| |
|4.2. The staff is professional and honest.|| |
|4.3. The customers’ private information and rights are protected.|| |
|5. Comments and recommendations.What are other important issues not mentioned above?|
Employee’s Questionnaire (before and after the Smart Virtual Agent initiative).
|Areas and subareas||Assessment|
|1. Work contents|
|1.1. Task requirements are reasonable.|| |
|1.2. The work environment is favorable.|| |
|1.3. Safety requirements are met.|| |
|2.1. Salaries and fringe benefits are advantageous.|| |
|2.2. The chances of promotion are high.|| |
|3.1. Communication with co-workers is positive.|| |
|3.2. Communication with authorities is positive.|| |
|3.3. Communication with customers is positive.|| |
|4. Work organization|
|4.1. Management and supervision are helpful.|| |
|4.2. Initiatives bring positive results.|| |
|5. Comments and recommendationsWhat are other important issues not mentioned above?|
Davenport, T. H. (2013). Process innovation: Reengineering work through information technology. Brighton, MA: Harvard Business Press.
García-Mireles, G. A., Moraga, M. Á., García, F., & Piattini, M. (2015). Approaches to promote product quality within software process improvement initiatives: A mapping study. Journal of Systems and Software, 103(1), 150-166.
Government of Dubai. (2016). Dubai Customs’ smart virtual agent showcased at Gitex 2016. Web.
Khojamli, M., Habibi, M., Hossein, M., & Kazemiyan, M. (2014). The Relationship Between Work Experience, Motivation, Training and Stress with Labor Productivity. Kuwait Chapter of the Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 3(11), 31-35.
Pinder, C. C. (2014). Work motivation in organizational behavior. Florence, CA: Psychology Press.
Soyhan, N., & Agar, S. (2014). Evaluation of the efficiency of human resources management in businesses with Four C Performance model. Journal of Business, 3(2), 27-32.
Zablah, A. R., Franke, G. R., Brown, T. J., & Bartholomew, D. E. (2012). How and when does customer orientation influence frontline employee job outcomes? A meta-analytic evaluation. Journal of Marketing, 76(3), 21-40.