In the contemporary business environment, customer relations management plays a particularly important role because the extent, to which a company manages to develop positive relations with its customers, shape customers’ positive experience and enhance their loyalty to the company’s products and services, defines the overall marketing success of the company (Breneman & Taylor, 1996). In such a situation, many companies attempt to improve their customer relations management and introduce customer-friendly policies to attract customers and promote customer loyalty. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the experience of Petco, a chain of retail stores that offers pet supplies and services, including grooming and dog training (Petco, 2008). The company is currently taking the leading position in the industry and widely implements customer-centered strategies in order to improve the quality of services and increase the customer satisfaction.
In fact, the leading position of Petco is determined by its effective marketing polices and attention to customers. In this respect, it is important to underline the fact that the company provides customers with an opportunity to make a complaint in case of their dissatisfaction with the quality of services or products they have ordered at the company.
The company attempts to react on complaints of customers immediately to minimize the negative effect of the poor quality of a service or product on the level of the customer’s satisfaction. For instance, the company prefers to change a product which does not meet standards or which does not work and give some compensation to customers, which may be another product or service of the company delivered to the customer free of charge.
At the same time, the company constantly introduces new products and services, which are promoted to draw the attention of potential customers. Petco pays a lot of attention to its advertising campaigns and along with the promotion of its brand the company advertises specific products or services which have been recently introduced by the company. In such a way, the company emphasizes its superiority compared to its major rivals since by means of introduction innovations, Petco attempts to outpace its rivals and take the dominant position in the market (Gwynn, 2004).
The quality of services of the company is constantly improving too. For instance, today, customers can make online orders and the company provides the shipping of the ordered product to customer. However, at the moment, the company has problems with tracking the order. To put it more precisely, customers ordering products or services online cannot always track the shipping of their order that creates inconveniences for customers who become uncertain of the delivery of the ordered product or service on time. At the same time, customers do not have ample opportunities to send their feedback to the company since, even though they can send their feedback via Internet, there is still the problem of processing of information and feedback the company receives from customers (Gwynn, 2004). The problem is that the company cannot adequately evaluate all the information they receive from customers and the assessment of customers’ feedback is quite superficial and selective.
On analyzing the policies of Petco, it is possible to estimate that the company has managed to develop an effective promotion and advertising system, which supports the introduction of new products and services. The company attempts to demonstrate that it takes care of its customers through the fast and customer-friendly reaction on customers’ complaints. On the other hand, the company has under-developed tracking system, which may be explained by the fact that the company has not introduced new information system which can facilitate tracking. In addition, the company cannot process effectively the feedback they receive from customers. At this point, it should be said that customer do have an opportunity to send their feedback to the company, but the company cannot always respond or analyze this feedback in order to improve the quality of its services and products en mass.
In such a situation, it is possible to recommend the company to introduce new, more efficient information system.
The new information system will not only allow the company to process more effectively the information it receives from customer and improve the tracking process, but it will also help to secure online transactions and protect customers’ private information. The latter is particularly important today, when the emergence of e-commerce exposes customers to new risks and threats of being deceived. In fact, information breaches can lead to the financial losses from the part of the company as well as its customers.
In addition, the company needs to stimulate customers’ loyalty and encourage them to buy new products. In this respect, the company can develop a system of special discounts for loyal customers, especially if they want to buy new products the company offers. For instance, it is loyal customers who should receive first and at the lower price the product or service the company has just introduce or is about to start its mass production. In such a way, the company can maintain its competitive position and retain customers.