The main aim of this course is to help students and researchers to understand the customer sociological determinants (especially: decision-making process that consumers go through as they make a purchase in different buying situations, role of customer research, diversity of customers needs etc.) as well as achieving organizational success. Students will also clearly understand psychological, sociological and other economical and non-economical determinants, which affect customer behaviours. Student will learn about cross-culture differences of consumer behaviour in different countries according to globalization of economy. Especially they will get knowledge about specific features of customer’s behaviour in Nigeria, in comparison to customer behaviour in Western Europe and in USA. They will also learn how to use the knowledge about customers and they market behaviours to create successful marketing strategies on global market and to educate customers. Consumers foreseeing any sociological determinant should be able to thrive for organizational success. However certain factors need to be accounted for. The background and data analysis of this research deals extensively on prior consumer sociological determinants like needs and motives, perceptions, attitudes, learning and self concept theory which aids the development of strong customer service organizations in Nigeria. Consumer sociological determinants consist of activities/process followed in making any buying decision of goods as well as a service. In recent time service (holiday, travel, etc.), decisions are forming large part of consumer behaviour. From the available data and findings, we were able to come to the fact that a significant ratio is tie to organizational success and customer’s sociological determinants. One thing needs to be highlighted here is that consumer behaviour does not end with purchase of goods or service, but also post purchase activities are included in consumer behaviour. Three factors are identified as determinants to consumer behaviour namely economic determinants, psychological determinant and sociological determinant.
Companies make investment in understanding consumer sociological determinants and implementing strategies, which will help them, retain customers as well as organizational success. Consumers can be categorized as an individual consumer and organizational/industrial consumers. Understanding their behaviour and buying pattern is important in ultimate survival of companies in the market place. Consumer sociological determinants consist of activities/process followed in making any buying decision of goods as well as a service. In recent time service (holiday, travel, etc.), decisions are forming large part of consumer behaviour. One thing needs to be highlighted here is that consumer behaviour does not end with purchase of goods or service, but also post purchase activities are included in consumer behaviour.
Consumer behaviour and consumption behaviour are two different concepts developed and cannot be used as a substitute. Consumer behaviour deals with the process of an individual or organization in coming to the purchase decision, whereas consumption behaviour is a study focus on consuming unit or service. Furthermore, there is a difference between consumer behaviour and buying behaviour. Consumer behaviour as highlighted before talks about process and actions taken by the final or end users where as buyer behaviour looks at intermediate users (who add value to goods and service) and final users. Understanding of the consumer behaviour begins with study of the consumer buying process. Consumer buying process is five step activities. The starting with need recognition, which leads to information search, once information is obtained from different sources next step, is the evaluation and intent where in consumer evaluates various parameters of the product or service. The next step in five-step activity is the purchase decision where in intent is converted into an actual purchase of the good or the service. The final step is post-purchase reaction where in customer if she is satisfied with goods or services recommends to other prospective customers or repeat the purchase. If the customer is not happy with purchase, a bad word of mouth follows, and she looks for alternative product or service.
Three factors are identified as determinants to consumer behaviour namely economic determinants, psychological determinant and sociological determinant. Economic Determinants are personal income (individual’s purchasing power), family income (total purchasing power of the family), the future income expectations (expected increase or decrease in availability of disposable income), availability of liquid asset (asset, which can be converted to cash), consumer market credit (if market conditions are good credit easily available) and social class (effluent class, upper-middle class, middle class, etc.). In compare the industrial buying process is much more formal process done according to pre-defined policy and norms. The key features of organization buying are it’s a formal and standardized process, it is done in large quantities and may be done at periodic intervals of time, and decision-making process usually involves more than one individual. As there are determinants for consumer behaviour, similar industrial buying behaviour has its own set of determinants, which are overall objectives of the organization, technological capabilities of the organization which consist of information systems and network capabilities and finally organization structure, which includes its capital and number of employees. From above it can be comprehended that consumer behaviour is important factor in determining marketing policies. The ultimate aim of any organization is not only to achieve profit by to attain organizational success in all areas of their business endeavours. In determining the price effects goods and services would have on a consumer, the sociological factors need to come into account. We may also include other determinants which maybe psychological, emotional and seasonal determinants
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Considering the time the various customer services organizations were formed in the country one would have expected a proper management policy and implementation guide or policy in place, but available records shows that the level and number of customer service organizations is still in an all time low in Nigeria. the personal determinants of consumer sociological determinants includes the following ;needs and motives, perceptions, attitudes, learning and self concept theory which must be taken into consideration by the customer service organizations in Nigeria. Consumer sociological determinant factors centered on the demand and supply forces of market policies and guidelines adopted. We could see from available statistical data that seasonal factors or determinants play key role in determining customers’ behaviours to the market forces of demand and supply. Certain principles and practices need to be attained, in order to reach certain mark or standards set for any organizational success to be reached. Recent management philosophy has shown an increasing realization of the importance of customer focus and customer satisfaction in any business. These are leading indicators: if customers are not satisfied, they will eventually find other suppliers that will meet their needs. Poor performance from this perspective is thus a leading indicator of future decline, even though the current financial picture may look good.
In developing metrics for satisfaction, customers should be analyzed in terms of kinds of customers and the kinds of processes for which we are providing a product or service to those customer groups. Performance measures relating to consumer sociological determinants and organizational success can be grouped into two basic types: those that relate to results (outputs or outcomes such as competitiveness or financial performance) and those that focus on the determinants of the results (inputs such as quality, flexibility, resource utilization, and innovation). This suggests that performance measurement frameworks can be built around the concepts of results and determinants.
Measures of performance of a business or organizational success, usually embrace five fundamental, but interlinking areas:
*Money, usually measured as profit
*Output/input relationships or productivity
*Customer emphasis such as quality
*Innovation and adaptation to change
Within the operations area, standard individual successes could be productivity measures, quality measures, inventory measures, lead-time measures, preventive maintenance, performance to schedule, and utilization. Specific measures could include:
*Cost of quality: measured as budgeted versus actual.
*Variances: measured as standard absorbed cost versus actual expenses.
*Period expenses: measured as budgeted versus actual expenses.
*Safety: measured on some common scale such as number of hours without an accident.
*Profit contribution: measured in dollars or some common scale.
*Inventory turnover: measured as actual versus budgeted turnover.
While financial measures of performance are often used to gauge organizational performance and success, some firms have experienced negative consequences from relying solely on these measures. Traditional financial measures are better at measuring the consequences of yesterday’s actions than at projecting tomorrow’s performance. Therefore, it is better that managers not rely on one set of measures to provide a clear performance target. Many firms still rely on measures of cost and efficiency, when at times such indicators as time, quality, and service would be more appropriate measures. To be effective, performance yardsticks should continuously evolve in order to properly assess performance and focus resources on continuous improvement and motivating personnel. In order to incorporate various types of performance measures some firm’s develop performance measurement frameworks. These frameworks appear in the literature and vary from Kaplan and Norton’s balanced scorecard to Fitzgerald’s framework of results and determinants. However the statement of the problem relays soles on finding the relationship between consumer sociological determinant and how it may affect or impede organizational success.
The following research questions were adopted for this study;
1. What is the relationship between consumer determinants and organizational success?
2. Is their any significant corelationship existing between consumer’s sociological factors and organizational success?
Ho. There is no statistical relationship between consumer determinants and the customer in Nigeria as well as customer service organizations.
Hi. There is a statistical relationship between consumer determinants and the customer in Nigeria as well as customer service organizations.
REVIEWS OF LITERATURE
Economic analysis has recognized the role of key variables in determining demand and consumption. In practice, the distinction between demand (as a schedule of quantities as a function of price, other factors held constant) and consumption as an equilibrium quantity at a given price, is frequently ignored. The development of “gap” type models illustrate the common approach of projecting ‘demand’ as a fixed quantity independent of price.
Demand, as the relationship between price and quantity, is subject to change over time due to changes in the underlying factors held constant by the static notion of demand. Changes in demand “shifters” are often included in economic estimation of demand representing anticipated dynamics in these determinants.
Levels of income
A key determinant of demand is the level of income evident in the appropriate country or region under analysis. As a generality, the higher the level of aggregate and/or personal income the higher the demand for a typical commodity, including forest products. More of a good or service will be chosen at a given price where income is higher. Thus determinants of demand normally utilize some form of income measure, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Population is of course a key determinant of demand. Although all forest products do not necessarily enter final consumer markets, the actual markets are largely presumed to be functionally related to population. Growing populations are positively correlated to timber demands in the aggregate, as well as specifically to individual forest products. Frequently, population and income estimators are combined, as in the case of the use of Gross Domestic Product per capita.
End market indicators
The use of end market indicators as determinants of demand is frequently incorporated into demand analysis. For example, much of the final use of forest products is linked to construction (residential and total). Indicators and trends related to construction activities, or which are determinants of construction, provide indirect estimates of the influence of these activities as the source of derived demand for wood. Housing starts, public investments, interest rates, etc. can be highly correlated to timber demand.
Availability and price of substitute goods
Consumption choices related to timber are also influenced by the alternative options facing users in the relevant marketplace. The availability of potential substitute products, and their prices, weighs heavily in determining the elasticity of demand, both in the short run (static) sense and over time (long run). Fuelwood, as a dominant use of timber in the Asia Pacific Region, reflects conditions of very limited options for energy sources at ‘reasonable’ prices. Rural low income or subsistence populations simply do not have ‘options’ regarding energy – they use wood or go without. Demand, at this basic level, in almost perfectly inelastic. The cost (if only implicit in terms of gathering time) does not materially affect consumption quantity.
Suitability of alternative goods and services is, in part, a question of knowledge as well as availability. Market information regarding alternative products, quality, convenience, and dependability all influence choices. Under conditions of increased scarcity and rising prices for tropical hardwood panels, for example, users have a positive incentive to search for and investigate the suitability of alternatives that were previously overlooked or ignored.
Tastes and preferences
All markets are shaped by collective and individual tastes and preferences. These patterns are partly shaped by culture and partly implanted by information and knowledge of products and services (including the influence of advertising). Different societies use forest products differently because of these differences in taste and preferences. For example, markets for wood products in Japan are commonly recognized as requiring very high product quality standards, the importance of visual attributes of wood, and other preferences not commonly found in many other markets.
For any organization or business to succeed, it has to all it takes to ensure that it is continually achieving set goals which are linked directly to the vision of the founder. In this article I share with you what I would brand “Beyond the Marketing Mix.” We explore some of the pillars that will position your business for greatness. These are a must for any up-coming or even established entrepreneur. Having studied business and also having started my own business ventures, I know I have a mandate to set others up for success. I can not claim to be successful due to the amount of money on my bank statement but by those people who will achieve success through my writings and teachings.
Below are a few essential tools for your organizational success
PRODUCT (Quality of Service delivery). There are so many people providing the services that you provide. What will keep people coming in your direction is your product quality. When the customers eventually get to the point where they expect consistency in quality then you know you have them hooked.
PEOPLE (Attitude) – I have mentioned this one before that your employee’s attitude will easily set the Altitude on which your business stands. Attitude towards work, towards each other, towards customers and of course towards the vision carrier.
PURPOSE (VISION, Mission, and Values etc.) – When a business is not clear why it exists then perpetual success is not inevitable. Clearly distill and zero in on why the business exists. I have seen enough business wander and eventually stagnate because people now know them for being “jacks of all trades”. Be known for that one product line. When you hear Microsoft you instantly think software, when you hear Toyota you do not think of airbuses but automobiles…. the list goes on.
PROFITABILITY (Pricing policy, viability, accounting) – Failure to carefully plot your pricing makes you lose in the face of competition. You have to price to a point where you remain competitive whilst still having profit. After all, your business has to be profitable if it is to grow and maintain its existence.
PLANNING (Preparation) – We have discussed this before but I will mention that it is tragic that we spend a lot of energy trying to execute without a clear plan and the results are obvious to all. So much time, energy, space is wasted just because we did not spend enough time planning. You will realize that the more time you spend planning, the less time you spend in execution.
POSITIONING – In what way do we compare with others on the market. In order of rank, where is our organization. What is the niche we are targeting? Are we positioned for pole position or as number 2 contender? Our business does not exist in a vacuum or space of its own.
PRINCIPLE based leadership – The success of any organization rests on the way the leadership adheres to best practice in leadership and direction of the organization’s processes. When you run your business in chaotic fashion, your outcome is predictable, chaotic results. Adhere to such principles as rewarding high performers, manage by observation and walk-about not by remote control. Absentee leadership syndrome is a phenomenon that is common in modern commerce and industry. In the quest to make extra money, most leaders run sideline businesses which compromise the progress of organizations.
The diagram for organisational success (and confusion, anxiety, gradual change, frustration, and false starts)
The diagram below offers a clear explanation for every organisational situation you have ever found yourself. As a leader in your organisation, the good news is that you now know what to focus on to change your situation.
I would be surprised if you did not identify with more than one of the situations below in your organization right now. Don’t beat yourself up. Use the opportunity is to focus on what you can do to improve the situation.
All the pieces are there. You have a strong vision, the skills to carry it out, proper incentives to maintain momentum, adequate resources to apply to the strategy, all operationalised through a practical action plan. Now just be sure to keep all the pieces in place.
Confusion (lacking vision)
You have skills, incentives, resources and an action plan, but no direction. You give in to whichever environmental pressures are the strongest, or you allow the internal stakeholders to move to the path of least resistance at a cost of operational effectiveness.
Solution: Step up and lead! Dig deep and find something you and your team will live for, and possibly something to die for.
Anxiety (lacking skills)
You have a strong vision, proper incentives, enough resources, and a solid action plan, but you are lacking the skills. You are always concerned if you are doing it right, and your staff feels insecure and inadequate.
Solution: Either hire or acquire the skill sets or invest in training for you and your staff.
Gradual Change (lacking incentive)
You know where you are going, you have the skills, resources and action plan, but no one is motivated to get anything done. You are on a slow road to somewhere, but you may lose your inclination by the time you get there.
Solution: Find a way to make the vision real to those who will carry it out. Empower your people to be something more than they are.
Frustration (lacking resources)
You have vision, skills, incentives and an action plan, but you lack the financial, material or human resources to make it happen. You would change the world if not for cash flow issues, tight labour markets, or supply chain issues.
Solution: Get your resource management right. Attract and retain the right staff, get your accounts receivable in order, define your procurement processes.
False Starts (lacking an action plan)
Your vision is solid and you have the skills, incentives, and resources ready to go, but no one knows what to do next. The strength of the vision will prompt people to do something, but it is often not the right thing. Enough false starts and you will lose all the other components.
Solution: Stop! Take a step back from being busy, write down that action plan, and stick to it for at least a day. Can’t focus? Find someone who can or who will free you up so you can get it done.
This research chapter describes the methods and procedures followed in carrying out this work. In this study, both dependent and independent variables were taken into consideration. Also primary and secondary data were used in data collection based on the case study of the research.
NATURE AND SOURCE OF DATA
Data for this research was collected from two major sources. They are primary and secondary data.
Primary data in a research is very important. The tools used for the collection of the primary data include a survey carried out on customer services organizations. Other type is the oral interview with heads of customer services organizations.
Secondary data collected includes reports of official records from the services organizations in Nigeria, research and academic journals. Interviews and questionnaires were also carried out with various customer services organizations in Nigeria.
METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
The data analysis of the case study made use of a variety of descriptive statistical techniques such as graphs, tables and charts. The information obtain from the various data collected were statistically analyzed.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The consumer’s perspective is considered essential for a comprehensive understanding of outcome2,,3 and, for this reason, implementation of routine outcome measurement typically includes several instruments, one of which is a consumer self-rating measure.4 However, whereas the completion of measures by sociologist can be made an operational requirement,5 completion of a measure by a consumer is necessarily entirely voluntary.
It has long been recognized that some of the obstacles to completion of measures by consumers relate to the consumers themselves. ‘Clients with acute psychosis or intoxicated clients might be unable to respond appropriately to the questions. Clients who have difficulty reading might not be able to complete the questionnaire independently.’6 Weissman and Bothwell also implicated reading difficulty and reality testing impairments as limiting the applicability or validity of self-reports.7
Trauer and Callaly found that approximately two-thirds of consumers declined or did not return self-rating forms, and that they were significantly more likely to have involuntary legal status than those consumers who did complete the form.8
The service and market forces are two further factors that may affect consumer self-rating completion rates, but they are much less studied or understood. Advice and training offered to clinicians emphasize involvement and feedback. As examples of good practice in the use of consumer self-rating measures, the following aspects have been noted:9
Inviting the consumer to self-rate their own health status and being genuinely interested in the responses that the consumer gives;
Following up the self-rating with an invitation to the consumer to discuss their answers, elaborating on how they feel and discussing how it might impact on their individual treatment plan;
Identifying any discrepancies between consumer and clinician ratings and using this information to reassess perceptions; and
Sharing the knowledge gained from both single and multiple ratings with the consumers themselves and integrating the results into the individual treatment plan.
A number of suggestions have been offered by various experts on the subject of designing performance measurement systems. Below is a list of suggestions derived from a number of these experts. Some of these apply to all measures and some apply to a limited number of a firm’s measures. A firm’s performance measures should:
Be simple and easy to use.
Have a clear purpose.
Provide fast feedback.
Cover all the appropriate elements (internal, external, financial and non financial).
Relate to performance improvement, not just monitoring.
Reinforce the firm’s strategy.
Relate to both long-term and short-term objectives of the organization.
Match the firm’s organization culture.
Not conflict with one another.
Be integrated both horizontally and vertically in the corporate structure.
Be consistent with the firm’s existing recognition and reward system.
Focus on what is important to customers.
Focus on what the competition is doing.
Lead to identification and elimination of waste.
Help accelerate organizational learning.
Help build a consensus for change when customer expectations shift or strategies and priorities call for the organization to behave differently.
Evaluate groups not individuals for performance to schedule.
Establish specific numeric standards for most goals.
Be available for constant review.
Other recommendations for organizations that are developing performance measures include:
Data collection and methods of calculating the performance measure must be clearly defined.
Objective performance criteria are preferable to subjective ones.
Recognize that measures may vary between locations; avoid a “one size fits all” mentality.
Wisner and Fawcett provide a nine-step process for developing a performance measurement system:
Clearly define the firm’s mission statement.
Identify the firm’s strategic objectives using the mission statement as a guide (profitability, market share, quality, cost, flexibility, dependability, and innovation).
Develop an understanding of each functional area’s role in achieving the various strategic objectives.
For each functional area, develop global performance measures capable of defining the firm’s overall competitive position to top management.
Communicate strategic objectives and performance goals to lower levels in the organization. Establish more specific performance criteria at each level.
Assure consistency with strategic objectives among the performance criteria used at each level.
Assure the compatibility of performance measures used in all functional areas.
Use the performance measurement system to identify competition, locate problem areas, assist the firm in updating strategic objectives and making tactical decisions to achieve these objectives, and supply feedback after the decisions are implemented.
Periodically reevaluate the appropriateness of the established performance measurement system in view of the current competitive environment.
Finally, it is important that the performance measurement systems used by managers be continually reviewed and revised as the environment and economy changes. Failure to make the necessary modifications can inhibit the ability of the organization to be an effective and efficient global competitor.
By C Lilleker – 1969
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