GOOD CUSTOMER / CLIENT SERVICE - FUNCTIONAL AREA OF BUSINESS ORGANIZATION / COGNATE



In a technical sense, two words that have a common origin are cognates. Most often, cognates are words in two languages that have a common etymology and thus are similar or identical. For example, the English "kiosk" and the Spanish quiosco are cognates because they both come from the Turkish kosk.

Cognates often have a similar meaning, but in some cases the meaning has changed over the centuries in one language or another. An example of such a change is the English word "arena," which usually refers to a sports facility, and the Spanish arena, which usually means "sand." They both come from the Latin harena, which originally meant "sand" and came in time to also refer to an area of a Roman amphitheater that was covered with sand. Spanish retained the meaning of "sand" (although the word can sometimes refer to a sports arena), but English expanded the word's meaning to include facilities something like the Roman amphitheater.
In a popular and less technical sense, the term "cognate" also is used to refer to words in two languages that are similar but have no common origin, such as the Spanish sopa (meaning "soup") and the English "soap."
Also in a popular and not technical sense, the phrase "false cognate" is used to refer to cognates that have different meanings, such as the Spanish parar (to stop) and the English "pare" (to trim). A more precise term to use for such word pairs is "false friends."
Also known as: palabra afín, palabra relacionada or palabra cognada in Spanish
Examples: Cognate pairs with similar meanings number in the thousands and include "azure"/azul, "committee"/comité and "morphine"/morfina. Spanish cognates that are false friends include asistir (which usually means "to attend," not "to assist"), contestar (which usually means "to answer," not "to contest") and sano (which usually means "healthy" rather than "sane").
WHO SHOULD USE COGNATE: Everyone who has a trademark that has not been federally registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Even people who are thinking about using a mark in the near future can register that name under an “intent to use” application. Everyone who is hoping to start a business, or exploring different business names should conduct a search on Cognate. We have hundreds of thousands of names that are not in the USPTO database.
HOW DOES COGNATE BUSINESS WORK: Easy. First create an account on Cognate website: https://cognate.com/signup. Creating an account is free and fast (just name, email address, password). Then, register your business name. You will fill out a registration form similar to those used by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and individual states for business name registration. Your business name is then entered into our database alongside hundreds of thousands of other names, including federal, state, and common law trademarks. Most importantly this creates a public record in a centralized, specialized database that you claim ownership of trademark rights in your company name or mark – literally for the whole world to see. It also gives your business an increased online presence, and a SEO boost.
WHAT AREA DOES COGNATE REGISTRATION WORK: Assuming your Cognate registration accurately reflects your common law rights, it is limited to the geographic region in which you use your mark, similar to a state trademark registration?
IF I HAVE A WEBSITE CAN CONGNATE BUSINESS WORK: Yes. Registering your business name on Cognate will improve your chances of being found in trademark searches, while putting potential infringers on notice that you claim rights to your mark. Having a website helps in this regard, but you are passively hoping to be found in trademark searches, and likely won’t be found at all unless someone knows of your company or is searching for your exact mark. Take a more active approach by registering on Cognate, which puts your name into our centralized, easily accessible database alongside over a million of other federal, state, and common law marks. Not to mention creating another online presence for your brand, giving it more authority, and boosting your SEO efforts.

The functional areas of business organizations are:
Examples of functional areas include:
1.         Client services
2.         Operations
3.         Finance
Human Resources
4.         Marketing
Administration and IT Support.

Functional areas within the business

Organisations are structured in radically different ways ranging from relatively fixed structures with positions, rules, and established chains of communication to dynamic structures in which people belong to teams that are continually being formed and reformed for the duration of a project.

Typical ways of organizing people are:
1. By function - dividing the organization up into groups with similar specialisms e.g. marketing, finance and accounts, human resources, etc.
2. By product - grouping people together according to the product they make. For example, BIC has three main divisions - pens, lighters, and razors.
3. By process - grouping people together according to the processes that they are carrying out. For example retailing organizations like Argos, Dixons, and Travis Perkins will group employees according to whether they are involved in packing and display or customer service.

4. By geographical area - most large companies are widely dispersed. Companies like BIC, Gillette, Kellogg's, etc have European and North American divisions.

A further way of organizing organizations, which is very popular today, is in a matrix pattern. A matrix is often two dimensional but can have more dimensions. In a matrix system an employee can be in two or more structures at the same time - e.g. a team in lighter production, and a team in marketing at the same time. Matrix structures allow considerable flexibility because employees can shift to different teams within the overall matrix structure.
Organizations can also be highly centralized or largely decentralized. In a highly centralized structure control will be tight from the centre or Head Office of the organization. In contrast, in a decentralized organization power will be passed down to the various project managers and teams. Organization and control
People are organized in different ways in different organizations depending on factors such as:
  • the size of the organization
  • culture of the organisation (typical pattern of doing things in the organisation)
  • nature of the industry
  • managers preferred structures etc.

Organisations structure

A basic distinction can be made between tall hierarchical organisations, and flatter teamwork structured organisations. A tall organisation will have several layers of command. In contrast team structures will be based on cells of team members working together, often belonging to several project teams which form and reform as projects start and finish. The term span of control is the number of people that an individual manages or controls. In tall hierarchical organisations an individual employee may have a wide span of control. In contrast in a teamwork structure the span of control may be narrow or may not exist at all.

Four Functional areas of a Business organization

There are four functional areas in a business organization – marketing, production, finance and personnel. Production is the basic activity of all industrial units. All other activities revolve around this activity. The end product of the production activity is the creation of goods and services for the satisfaction of human wants. The production activity is nothing but the step-by-step conversion of one form of materials into another either chemically or mechanically. This is done in factories which house manufacturing processes. The basic inputs of the production processes are men, machines, plant, services and methods. The products of the mine, farm, sea and forest are used as raw materials on which the processing is done to create or enhance the form utility. It should be noted that the finished product of one manufacturing unit does not always furnish a readymade product for the ultimate consumption. In a chain of manufacturing activities, the finished product of the processor sometimes becomes the raw material (or component) for the other manufacturing firms falling next in the sequence.
Meaning: The meaning of the term “Production” and “Production management” should be noted carefully.
Production involves the step by step conversion of one form of materials into another through chemical or mechanical processing to create or enhance the utility of the products or services. According to economists, production is an activity through which the form utility is either created or enhanced e.g. a piece of wood has no doubt, some utility. However, when it is converted into a chair with some mechanical processing, the utility of the material (i.e. a piece of wood) would enhance substantially. According to E S Buffa, production is a process by which goods and services are created.
These days therefore both manufacturing and service organizations fall into the scope of production management. Thus production management which was formerly considered as manufacturing management only, now after inclusion of services into its services into its scope, is broadly known as operations management. Many non- manufacturing organizations providing services like hospitals, banks, transportation, farming, warehousing etc are now covered by operations management.
‘Operations’ by formal definition is a process of changing inputs into outputs, with the creation or adding of value to some entity. The process of alternation or transportation or storage or inspection or any combination thereof to add value to an entity is rightly called operations. The growth of service industry has brought with it the term operations management. It is a general term these days.
‘Operations’ in the services organizations has some unique features, different from those which has manufacturing base. These are:
1.         Non-inventoriable output of service, since generally no stock is produced.
2.         Variable demand
3.         Labor intensive operations mostly.
4.         Location of service is dictated by the location of the users.
The word production management arrived first with the emergence of manufacturing industry and the necessity to manage it as such. The meaning of the term production management is clarified in the following definitions:
Production management is the process of planning, organizing directing and controlling the activities of the production function. Production function is the conversion of raw materials into finished products.
The objectives of production management: Production is an organized activity in a manufacturing organization. Each organized activity must spell out its objectives so that its existence can be justified on the basis of the degree of they attainment of these objectives. Moreover, such identification of the objectives increases the consciousness of the personnel working in the respective organizations in checking their efforts by verifying whether they are in conformity with the stated objective of the organization. The objectives of the production function are classified as under: (1) Ultimate objectives, (2) Intermediate objectives.
Ultimate objectives: The primary responsibility of the manufacturing activity is to produce a product or products at (1) pre-established cost, (2) according to the specified quality, and (3) within the stipulated time schedule.
Thus the ultimate objectives can be sub classified as under: (1) Manufacturing costs, (2) Product quality, and (3) Manufacturing time schedule.
Manufacturing costs: The unit cost of the product should be estimated carefully and every effort should be made to stick to the cost standards. For this purpose, the efforts should be made to segregate the costs into two direct costs and variable costs.

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. According to Turban et al. (2002),[1] "Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation."
The importance of customer service may vary by product or service, industry and customer. The perception of success of such interactions will be dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest,"[2] according to Micah Solomon. Customer service can also refer to the culture of the organization - the priority the organization assigns to customer service relative to other components, such as product innovation or low price. In this sense, an organization that values good customer service may spend more money in training employees than average organization, or proactively interview customers for feedback.
From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization's ability to generate income and revenue.[3] From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. A customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer has of the organization.
Customer service may be provided by a person (e.g., sales and service representative), or by automated means. Examples of automated means are Internet sites. An advantage with automated means is an increased ability to provide service 24-hours a day, which can, at least, be a complement to customer service by persons.[5]
Another example of automated customer service is by touch-tone phone, which usually involves a main menu, and the use of the keypad as options (i.e. "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish", etc.)
However, in the Internet era, a challenge has been to maintain and/or enhance the personal experience while making use of the efficiencies of online commerce. "Online customers are literally invisible to you (and you to them), so it's easy to shortchange them emotionally. But this lack of visual and tactile presence makes it even more crucial to create a sense of personal, human-to-human connection in the online arena."[6]
Automated means can be based entirely on self service, but may also be based on service by more or less means of artificial intelligence.

An automated online assistant with avatar providing automated customer service on a web page.
Examples of customer service by artificial means are automated online assistants that can be seen as avatars on websites.[5] It can avail for enterprises to reduce their operating and training cost.[5] These are driven by chatterbots, and a major underlying technology to such systems is natural language processing.

Functions of cliet server
Recently, many organizations have implemented feedback loops that allow them to capture feedback at the point of experience. For example, National Express has invited passengers to send text messages whilst riding the bus. This has been shown to be useful, as it allows companies to improve their customer service before the customer defects, thus making it far more likely that the customer will return next time.[7] Technology has made it increasingly easier for companies to obtain feedback from their customers. Community blogs and forums give customers the ability to give detailed explanations of both negative as well as positive experiences with a company/organization.
A challenge in working with customer service, is to ensure that you have focused your attention on the right key areas, measured by the right Key Performance Indicator. There is no challenge to come up with a lot of meaningful KPIs, but the challenge is to select a few which reflects your overall strategy. In addition to reflecting your strategy it should also enable staff to limit their focus to the areas that really matter. The focus must be of those KPIs, which will deliver the most value to the overall objective, e.g. cost saving, service improving etc. It must also be done in such a way that staff sincerely believe that they can make a difference with the effort.
One of the most important aspects of a customer service KPI is that of what is often referred to as the "Feel Good Factor." Basically the goal is to not only help the customer have a good experience, but to offer them an experience that exceeds their expectations. Several key points are listed as follows:
  1. Know your product – Know what products/service you are offering back to front. In other words, be an information expert. It is okay to say "I don't know," but it should always be followed up by "but let me find out" or possibly "but my friend knows!" Whatever the situation may be, make sure that you don't leave your customer with an unanswered question.
  2. Body Language/Communication – Most of the communication that we relay to others is done through body language. If we have a negative body language when we interact with others, it shows that we don't care. Two of the most important aspects of positive body language are smiling and eye contact. Make sure to look your customers in the eye. It shows that we are listening to them and hearing what they are saying. And of course smiling is more inviting than a blank look or frown.
  3. Anticipate Guest Needs – Nothing surprises your customer more than an employee going the extra mile to help them. Always look for ways to go above and beyond the expectations of your customer. In doing so, it helps them to know that you care and it will leave them with a "Feel Good Factor" that we are searching for.

 How do I Define Good Client Service?

Learn ways to provide good customer service in your business.

Businesses function when they have customers or clients, and businesses survive and expand when they have good client service. Good client, or customer, service is a hallmark of respected businesses, to the extent that several organizations, including the Customer Service Institute of America, give annual awards to companies that provide excellent service to the people who keep their business going. Defining good client service is largely a matter of placing the customer first and making business decisions that allow the company to respond to market changes and provide customers with the best service possible.

Step 1
Provide customers with the best service you can in a timely manner. Bear in mind that your clients do not want to be kept waiting. If you promise a product or service within a certain amount of time, be sure to provide it within that time, or offer the customer something to apologize for the time extension. The word will spread about a business that keeps its promise to deliver on time.

Step 2
Place the customer needs first by listening to what the customer needs. Companies that listen to their customers are more likely to hear what the customer wants and thus be able to respond effectively. Listen to the client’s needs, and respect any requests or recommendations of the client. Doing so will show the client that his needs are your first priority.

Step 3
Include a guarantee with the product or service that you sell. Show your customers that you stand by your product or service, and that you are willing to guarantee its quality. Be willing to provide corrections or replacements if the product or service is not what the customer wants. Doing so can actually bring you further business, when the word spreads that you work hard to please your customers.

Step 4
Add new technology where appropriate. The latest and greatest technological advances are not necessary for every business. But some elements of technology can prove to be very useful in providing excellent client service. For instance, specialized software can help you keep track of customer orders better and locate products from your inventory that customers need. Apply technology where it will help you service your customers better.

Step 5
Respond immediately to client questions and comments. Provide a stated turnaround time for all client communication; for example, promise that your business will respond within 24 hours. Although some wait time might be necessary, be sure to keep the wait time as short as possible to demonstrate to clients that you take their communication seriously.

Step 6
Let your customers know that you appreciate their business. Send thank-you notes, or keep a client address list to send out cards at the holidays or birthdays. Doing so places a human face on your business and creates a family atmosphere for the company.
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