- Research Highlight
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Skepticism about the motivation behind corporate social responsibility initiatives can undercut their effectiveness.
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Delivering quality to customers in a competitive marketplace dictates the need to continually enhance a customer’s experience and satisfaction. However, evidence indicates that satisfying customers is not enough to retain them because even satisfied customers defect at a high rate in many industries.
Effective service recovery is vital to maintaining customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty, which contribute significantly to a company’s revenues and profitability. Yet most customers are dissatisfied with the way companies resolve their complaints, and most companies do not take advantage of the learning opportunities afforded by service failures. The authors provide a research-based approach for helping managers develop a comprehensive service recovery system.
The contention that loyal customers are always more profitable is a gross simplification, according to the authors. They posit that such schemes do not fundamentally alter market structure and, instead, increase market expenditures without really creating any extra brand loyalty. Dowling and Uncles suggest ways to design an effective program.
How can a company successfully attack an established market leader? How can it find new ways to compete that everyone else has missed? By breaking the rules of the game in its industry to find new sources of innovation, says this author. In a study of thirty successful attackers, he identified five ways that they think about and develop a new game plan.
To improve service, companies must use multiple research approaches among different customer groups to ensure that they are hearing what customers are saying and responding to their suggestions.
In an overview of the future role of the IT organization, the authors examine the business and technological changes that are effecting change in many IT units. They cite eight imperatives in which IT organizations must excel in order to succeed. Additionally, they examine the evolving key of IT managers: ensuring that all line managers understand the potential of IT and how it can be used to implement business strategies effectively.
To shift toward high-quality service strategies, managers must adopt training and recruiting policies that compensate for institutional barriers to human resource investment.
Positioning products in a complex market is one of a company’s hardest decisions. In determining whether to combine or maintain separate product lines, Hewlett-Packard used strategic market modeling (SMM) to design “what if” scenarios and run simulations forecasting market behavior. SMM combines demographics, user needs and competitive-perception data into a database for testing alternative positioning strategies. The author describes SMM’s development and the lessons learned.
In the mid-1980s, I purchased my first car (a Honda Civic) and my first personal computer (an IBM PC AT) at about the same time and for about the same price ($6,000 to $7,000; the price of the computer included a monitor and a printer).
Throughout the 1990s, interest in private label brands in the U.S. grocery industry has increased. Store brands currently account for slightly less than 15 percent of total dollar sales.
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