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Customer relationship marketing is key to any business. Whether a customer comes back or not is dependent on the experience they had with the service providers. The growth of any business is dependent on the customer relationship marketing.
Customer relationship marketing (CRM) is a business process in which client relationships, customer loyalty and brand value are built through marketing strategies and activities. Managing customer relationships effectively and efficiently boosts customer satisfaction and retention rates. However, CRM has a long term aim, which is to enhance the quality and to improve the interface with the customers which leads towards customer satisfaction.
Studies have shown that service providers generally have the greatest influence in reducing customer defection, and their success vis-à-vis customers largely determines the effectiveness of CRM implementations.
Food is also important to the survival of the human race. Food is not just biological, but also cultural and social. Food is beyond edible, it brings people together. Food strengthens ties, it’s a form of sustaining collectivity. According to Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs, food is a physiological need, a need that cannot be overlooked or neglected. It is necessary for maintenance. Food can be eaten at home or outside, at eateries, but for this research, we shall only be looking at the customer relationship marketing on the customers who go there to patronize these eateries. Staying in Ile-Ife for about six years, I have witnessed some customer relationship marketing. As a student who has to attend classes, sometimes very early, time isn’t always my friend, so the necessity of earing outside my home comes in. Fatigue also can be a factor to why I eat outside my home.
The motivation for this study was birth out of personal experiences. Over the years I have seen a trend in eateries, which aren’t satisfying or pleasing. I have had the opportunity of going to eat at eateries due to fatigue and the reception I got wasn’t encouraging. I went with the intention of getting to eat at a place where I could just eat, relax and see what is going on in the news in the television. Getting to the counter, my hopes were dashed.
I will give a case scenario, this happened not too long ago, sometimes in May, 2017. “I went to eat at ABC eateries, waited for so long for someone to attend to me, not only was I attended to late, but she was also defensive when I tried to express my dissatisfaction”. Never did anyone apologize at these eateries. Studies has also shown that having the right culture may be a competitive advantage for an organizing, having the wrong culture may also lead to performance difficulties, maybe responsible for organizational failure, and may act as a barrier preventing the organization from changing and taking risks. The customer relationship, good or bad can have effect on the customers, the sales and productivity of the eatery. However, an organization which supports the organizational structure and vice versa can be very powerful.
I also had the opportunity of eating outside again and this was any different from my previous experience. “I went to eat at XY eatery and I ordered for swallow, the lady attending to me already added soup to the food without taking my orders. Unfortunately for her, I didn’t like the soup she added, because I don’t take it on a normal day. I tried explaining to her that I didn’t want that soup and that I was going to tell her the one I wanted, before she already served it”. The lady just went defensive on me, raising her voice, saying that I should have mentioned it earlier and I was just numb. She finally changed the soup and dropped my food so hard on the table that it almost poured.” After all that happened, I lost my appetite instantly. I suddenly became full and left the eatery. I have not lived on this earth for too long, but I have lived long enough to know that customer satisfaction is key for all businesses. The phrase “customers are always right” is true for every business, but not every service provider understands this. I believe that if people go out of their ways to spend that much, no matter how little it is, to eat at eateries, then they also should be given a proper reception. For myself, I know very well that, I cannot revisit those eateries. I also have noticed that there is a link between the experience had with the service provider and the food; experience with the service provider also affects how you receive a food or how sweet or bitter the food will taste in your mouth when served. The experience with the service providers, whether good or bad, affects the food.
Statement of Research Problem
Food is beautiful; in appearance, the taste, the filling capacity and its ability to bring people together. This research work also aims at investigating the customer relationship marketing on customers in eateries in Ile-Ife, its effect on the productivity of these eateries, its effect on its customers and the general public at large. Customer relationship marketing involves the management of an organization’s interactions with its customers through analysis of customer history data, with the aim of enhancing business relationships with organizational client in order to improve customer retention rate. Over the years, there has been a trend, a pattern of sort, which is the unimaginable and poor reception from the service provider to their customers and this is present in a lot of eateries today, in Ile-Ife, to be specific.
The way customers are being attended to at an eatery is as important as the food to be eaten. The whole process involved in eating out is also important; from the entrance to taking of orders, to serving of the food and also to the taste of the food, are all important key factors. It’s saddening to have to eat at an eatery not because you are comfortable with the food, as well as the customer service, but because you need to have something in your stomach. I have had to eat at eateries that I ordinarily wouldn’t eat because I had no choice and I was too hungry to go somewhere further, I had to settle for less. There are so many people in this regard also, but this is not supposed to be so. Customers are supposed to be seen as assets. This service provider responds to their customers like they don’t have their best interest at heart. Customers are prevented from expressing their opinion, all complaints are swallowed up, all in the name of not trying to exchange words and letting peace reign. The need to investigate this problem is necessary, otherwise, the purpose of eating together, either as couples, family or friends at eateries would be lost or gradually diminish. I also want to believe that the vision of an eatery, at the very least, is to please or bring satisfaction to the customers, but this hasn’t been the case so far.
If appropriate attention isn’t given to the problem of customer relationship marketing, in Ile-Ife, food then would most likely be just more of satisfying than socialization and sustaining collectivity, customers would be lost, the loyalty of the customers wouldn’t be lost also. If we allow this problem to fly, it would gradually creep into the eateries outside Ile-Ife and finally to the country as a whole, this then means we would be having problems our shoulders. The excitement, the joy, socialization, bond that comes with eating out/eating at eateries would be lost and in return have a negative effect on the sales and productivity of the eatery, hereby having their goals jeopardized.
Studies have shown that the main objective of this research is to understand food in its entirety, to understanding the representation of food, to understand the social and economic context of eating in eateries and investigate the customer relationship marketing on customers. To understand what eatery represents in our current day and time, within Ile-Ife. This research work aims at investigating the factors behind poor customer relationship in eateries in Ile-Ife and its effect on the customers and satisfaction of food.
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