Organisations across the globe have different service cultures which determine their strategy for delivering services to customers. Irrespective of the size and scope of their operations, organisations tend to exercise a particular service culture as a way of ensuring competitive advantage, proper positioning, and expanding the targeted markets. This paper discusses the good and bad service cultures of Coca-Cola and Samsung companies, respectively. The paper discusses the factors which make a company to either have a good service culture or bad service culture.
Coca-Cola (Good Service Culture)
The Coca-Cola is a multinational company that trades in soft drinks. It has presence in over 200 countries. The company’s revenues are embedded in a number of strategic strengths such as effective advertisements, diversity of products, and consistency in the rate of production (Gelder 2005). The global market is currently well served by the centralised system of product development, advertisement, and different consumer segments. To survive the competition, the company has embraced localisation strategies because the company’s markets have different needs, which should be met without compromising central market expansion strategies from the company’s headquarters. Specifically, the Coca-Cola has addressed the unique customer requirements demands in Saudi Arabia through its unique brand, while remaining the profitable business which cares for the needs of other stakeholders.
Factors contributing to shaping the good service culture
Localisation strategy involves giving more monotony to production, distribution, and marketing units of the Coca-Cola Company operating in the Saudi market. Through localisation, the elements of customer loyalty and meeting specific needs in different regions are met by the company (Birdsall & Johnston 2010). The previous decision to revert back to the global standardisation strategies in the late 1990s gave the company an opportunity to customise its soft drinks to meet the demands of the local Saudi market. In the recent past, in order to diversify market operations, the company has created multiple products from the same product with different coloration, sizes, packaging, prices, and the difference in quality in the localisation strategy to meet these varying demands in Saudi Arabia (Gelder 2005).
The localisation strategy contributed most to the Coca-Cola Company’s good service culture. In order to move the Coca-Cola brand forward, the company adopted the localisation strategy that directly appeals to different target markets within the Saudi Market. The Coca-Cola Company has remained an organisation that has localised its means of production and marketing which appeals to different customer bases. The localisation strategy has helped in triangulation of the “how”, “where”, and “what” of service culture strategies since it focuses on a specific market (Verma 2007). It involves the identification of the customer needs, examining and deploying potential enablers in new converging innovative technologies, and identifying capabilities to ensure that the needs are met within the expectation of the local markets.
The Coca-Cola Company’s advertisements have remained specific to different geographical regions that appeal directly to the target consumers. In achieving these objectives, the strategic blend maps possible competition, positioning strategy, consumer and market analysis, and geographical regions of operation to minimise the risk of product rejection (Gelder, 2005). Generally, the localisation strategy at the Coca-Cola Company was redesigned to be flexible to market dynamics and embrace alterations, where necessary for each target market.
Samsung (Bad Service Culture)
Samsung Company has been in operation for the last eight decades. Founded in 1938, this electronics giant company has penetrated major markets of the world and became the largest maker of phones in the world in 2012. The company has its headquarters in Samsung town in Seoul. Over the years, the company has adopted different expansion strategies that include unique marketing techniques, remodelling of designs, market research, and proactive management to penetrate the competitive communication industry characterised by consumer preference and competitive pricing (Frow, Ngo & Payne 2014). However, the company has a poor service culture as evidenced by its weak customer services and distribution network, especially in the Saudi market.
Factors contributing to shaping the bad service culture
Samsung Company has a weak vertical integration into its industrial organisation. From a single location, the company controls its designing, manufacturing, distribution, customer service, and marketing process for its products via the product focused innovation team. Apparently, the company cannot keep up with the demand in Saudi market despite continuous production since it has not completely decentralised its manufacturing firms in most of the continents of the world (Gill, Sharma, Mathur, & Bhutani 2012). Thus, most of its products originate from only one region despite having a global presence. As a result, it is not easy for the company to create marketing strategies and products that are unique to the Saudi market.
Samsung Company is not proactive in negotiating the expectations from potential customers. The management of the company has only focused on increasing their presence across the world, with little efforts directed to customer service. The marketing team at the Samsung Company has not been keen to ensure that the decisions made by the company do not impact on the community negatively, since the company does not seek to build a strong relationship with the customers. Further, the management passively responds to customer needs and expectations across the world. These expectations are not incorporated during product development and in the supply chain (Lovelock &Wirtz 2011).Despite its magnitude, Samsung has been able to open an average of only 3stores per year across the expansive Saudi market since 2003. This is a clear indicator that the growth of the company’s market share is very slow due to poor customer service approach.
The Samsung Company’s internationalisation strategy contributed highest to its poor service culture in the Saudi market. It does not embrace the unique culture of the Saudis, since the product is similar in the highly stratified Saudi market. The Samsung products remain the same across all regions, despite different languages, demands, and needs of customers in the Saudi market. As a result of the lack of an incorporated distribution agency, control in the Saudi market and marketing of the products targeting this region does not suit some of its consumers. In effect, the prevailing service marketing trend does not determine an organisation’s functions and the context within which it operates (Lovelock & Wirtz 2011).
Apparently, different factors contributed to either good or bad service cultures the Coca-Cola and Samsung companies. Due to strategies such as proactive customer care and localisation, the Coca-Cola Company has developed a very good service culture. However, Samsung Company has developed a bad service culture since customer service, product customisation,and centralised service marketing management strategies are poorly integrated into its mobile service business within the Saudi market.
Birdsall, C & Johnston, N 2010, “Achieving brand-driven business success”, Design Management Review, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 67-74.
Frow, F, Ngo, V & Payne, A, 2014, “Diagnosing the supplementary services model: Empirical validation, advancement and implementation”, Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 138-171.
Gelder, V 2005, Global brand strategy: Unlocking Branding Potential across Countries, Cultures, and Markets, Kogan Page Publishers, London, UK.
Gill, A, Sharma, S, Mathur, N & Bhutani, S 2012, “The effects of job satisfaction and work experience on employee-desire for empowerment: A comparative study in Canada and India”, International Journal of Management, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 190-200.
Lovelock, H & Wirtz, J 2011, Services marketing: People, technology, strategy, Pearson Prentice-Hill, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Verma, E 2007, Services marketing: Text and cases, Pearson Education, New Delhi, India.