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Customer Experience in the Age of AI

  • David C. Edelman
  • Mark Abraham

case study harvard customer service

Companies across all industries are putting personalization at the center of their enterprise strategies. For example, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Starbucks, and Nike have publicly announced that personalized and seamless omnichannel experiences are at the core of their corporate strategy. We are now at the point where competitive advantage will be based on the ability to capture, analyze, and utilize personalized customer data at scale and on how a company uses AI to understand, shape, customize, and optimize the customer journey. The obvious winners have been large tech companies, which have embedded these capabilities in their business models. But challenger brands, such as sweetgreen in restaurants and Stitch Fix in apparel, have designed transformative first-party, data-driven experiences as well.

The authors explore how cutting-edge companies use what they call intelligent experience engines to assemble high-quality customer experiences. Although building one can be time-consuming, expensive, and technologically complex, the result allows companies to deliver personalization at a scale that could only have been imagined a decade ago.

The case for building “intelligent experience engines”

Idea in Brief

The reality.

A personalized customer experience has become the basis for competitive advantage.

The Problem

However, providing personalization requires more than just a technological fix.

The Solution

Businesses must design intelligent experience engines, which assemble high-quality, end-to-end customer experiences using AI powered by customer data.

Brinks is a 163-year-old business well-known for its fleet of armored trucks. The company also licenses its brand to a lesser-known, independently operated sister company, Brinks Home. The Dallas-based smart-home-technology business has struggled to gain brand recognition commensurate with the Brinks name. It competes against better-known systems from ADT, Google Nest, and Ring, and although it has earned stellar reviews from industry analysts and customers, its market share is only 2%. But its systems have generated a wealth of product usage information; its call centers have accumulated voluminous historical customer-level transaction data; and its field reps have been gathering competitive data since it began operations, in 1994.

  • David C. Edelman is an executive adviser and a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.
  • Mark Abraham is a managing director and a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group.

case study harvard customer service

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Starbucks: delivering customer service case study analysis & solution, harvard business case studies solutions - assignment help.

Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service is a Harvard Business (HBR) Case Study on Sales & Marketing , Fern Fort University provides HBR case study assignment help for just $11. Our case solution is based on Case Study Method expertise & our global insights.

Sales & Marketing Case Study | Authors :: Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch

Case study description.

The case 'Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service' is accompanied by a Video Short - available only to registered Premium Educators at hbsp.harvard.edu - that can be shown in class or included in a digital coursepack. Instructors should consider the timing of making the video available to students, as it may reveal key case details.Starbucks, the dominant specialty-coffee brand in North America, must respond to recent market research indicating that the company is not meeting customer expectations in terms of service. To increase customer satisfaction, the company is debating a plan that would increase the amount of labor in the stores and theoretically increase speed-of-service. However, the impact of the plan (which would cost $40 million annually) on the company's bottom line is unclear.

Customers, Financial management, Market research

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[10 Steps] Case Study Analysis & Solution

Step 1 - reading up harvard business review fundamentals on the sales & marketing.

Even before you start reading a business case study just make sure that you have brushed up the Harvard Business Review (HBR) fundamentals on the Sales & Marketing. Brushing up HBR fundamentals will provide a strong base for investigative reading. Often readers scan through the business case study without having a clear map in mind. This leads to unstructured learning process resulting in missed details and at worse wrong conclusions. Reading up the HBR fundamentals helps in sketching out business case study analysis and solution roadmap even before you start reading the case study. It also provides starting ideas as fundamentals often provide insight into some of the aspects that may not be covered in the business case study itself.

Step 2 - Reading the Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service HBR Case Study

To write an emphatic case study analysis and provide pragmatic and actionable solutions, you must have a strong grasps of the facts and the central problem of the HBR case study. Begin slowly - underline the details and sketch out the business case study description map. In some cases you will able to find the central problem in the beginning itself while in others it may be in the end in form of questions. Business case study paragraph by paragraph mapping will help you in organizing the information correctly and provide a clear guide to go back to the case study if you need further information. My case study strategy involves -

  • Marking out the protagonist and key players in the case study from the very start.
  • Drawing a motivation chart of the key players and their priorities from the case study description.
  • Refine the central problem the protagonist is facing in the case and how it relates to the HBR fundamentals on the topic.
  • Evaluate each detail in the case study in light of the HBR case study analysis core ideas.

Step 3 - Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Case Study Analysis

Once you are comfortable with the details and objective of the business case study proceed forward to put some details into the analysis template. You can do business case study analysis by following Fern Fort University step by step instructions -

  • Company history is provided in the first half of the case. You can use this history to draw a growth path and illustrate vision, mission and strategic objectives of the organization. Often history is provided in the case not only to provide a background to the problem but also provide the scope of the solution that you can write for the case study.
  • HBR case studies provide anecdotal instances from managers and employees in the organization to give a feel of real situation on the ground. Use these instances and opinions to mark out the organization's culture, its people priorities & inhibitions.
  • Make a time line of the events and issues in the case study. Time line can provide the clue for the next step in organization's journey. Time line also provides an insight into the progressive challenges the company is facing in the case study.

Step 4 - SWOT Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

Once you finished the case analysis, time line of the events and other critical details. Focus on the following -

  • Zero down on the central problem and two to five related problems in the case study.
  • Do the SWOT analysis of the Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service . SWOT analysis is a strategic tool to map out the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats that a firm is facing.
  • SWOT analysis and SWOT Matrix will help you to clearly mark out - Strengths Weakness Opportunities & Threats that the organization or manager is facing in the Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service
  • SWOT analysis will also provide a priority list of problem to be solved.
  • You can also do a weighted SWOT analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service HBR case study.

Step 5 - Porter 5 Forces / Strategic Analysis of Industry Analysis Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

In our live classes we often come across business managers who pinpoint one problem in the case and build a case study analysis and solution around that singular point. Business environments are often complex and require holistic solutions. You should try to understand not only the organization but also the industry which the business operates in. Porter Five Forces is a strategic analysis tool that will help you in understanding the relative powers of the key players in the business case study and what sort of pragmatic and actionable case study solution is viable in the light of given facts.

Step 6 - PESTEL, PEST / STEP Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

Another way of understanding the external environment of the firm in Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service is to do a PESTEL - Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental & Legal analysis of the environment the firm operates in. You should make a list of factors that have significant impact on the organization and factors that drive growth in the industry. You can even identify the source of firm's competitive advantage based on PESTEL analysis and Organization's Core Competencies.

Step 7 - Organizing & Prioritizing the Analysis into Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Case Study Solution

Once you have developed multipronged approach and work out various suggestions based on the strategic tools. The next step is organizing the solution based on the requirement of the case. You can use the following strategy to organize the findings and suggestions.

  • Build a corporate level strategy - organizing your findings and recommendations in a way to answer the larger strategic objective of the firm. It include using the analysis to answer the company's vision, mission and key objectives , and how your suggestions will take the company to next level in achieving those goals.
  • Business Unit Level Solution - The case study may put you in a position of a marketing manager of a small brand. So instead of providing recommendations for overall company you need to specify the marketing objectives of that particular brand. You have to recommend business unit level recommendations. The scope of the recommendations will be limited to the particular unit but you have to take care of the fact that your recommendations are don't directly contradict the company's overall strategy. For example you can recommend a low cost strategy but the company core competency is design differentiation.
  • Case study solutions can also provide recommendation for the business manager or leader described in the business case study.

Step 8 -Implementation Framework

The goal of the business case study is not only to identify problems and recommend solutions but also to provide a framework to implement those case study solutions. Implementation framework differentiates good case study solutions from great case study solutions. If you able to provide a detailed implementation framework then you have successfully achieved the following objectives -

  • Detailed understanding of the case,
  • Clarity of HBR case study fundamentals,
  • Analyzed case details based on those fundamentals and
  • Developed an ability to prioritize recommendations based on probability of their successful implementation.

Implementation framework helps in weeding out non actionable recommendations, resulting in awesome Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study solution.

Step 9 - Take a Break

Once you finished the case study implementation framework. Take a small break, grab a cup of coffee or whatever you like, go for a walk or just shoot some hoops.

Step 10 - Critically Examine Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study solution

After refreshing your mind, read your case study solution critically. When we are writing case study solution we often have details on our screen as well as in our head. This leads to either missing details or poor sentence structures. Once refreshed go through the case solution again - improve sentence structures and grammar, double check the numbers provided in your analysis and question your recommendations. Be very slow with this process as rushing through it leads to missing key details. Once done it is time to hit the attach button.

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Segmentation, targeting, positioning, marketing strategic planning, marketing 5 concepts analysis, swot analysis & matrix, porter five forces analysis, pestel / pest / step analysis, cage distance analysis international marketing analysis leadership, organizational resilience analysis, bcg matrix / growth share matrix analysis, block chain supply chain management, paei management roles, leadership with empathy & compassion, triple bottom line analysis, mckinsey 7s analysis, smart analysis, vuca analysis ai ethics analysis analytics, starbucks: delivering customer service case study solution & analysis / mba resources.

  • Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service
  • Sales & Marketing / MBA Resources

Introduction to case study solution

EMBA Pro case study solution for Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study

At EMBA PRO , we provide corporate level professional case study solution. Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch. The Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service (referred as “Starbucks Customer” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Sales & Marketing. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Customers, Financial management, Market research. Our immersive learning methodology from – case study discussions to simulations tools help MBA and EMBA professionals to - gain new insight, deepen their knowledge of the Sales & Marketing field, and broaden their skill set.

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Case Description of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Case Study

The case 'Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service' is accompanied by a Video Short - available only to registered Premium Educators at hbsp.harvard.edu - that can be shown in class or included in a digital coursepack. Instructors should consider the timing of making the video available to students, as it may reveal key case details.Starbucks, the dominant specialty-coffee brand in North America, must respond to recent market research indicating that the company is not meeting customer expectations in terms of service. To increase customer satisfaction, the company is debating a plan that would increase the amount of labor in the stores and theoretically increase speed-of-service. However, the impact of the plan (which would cost $40 million annually) on the company's bottom line is unclear.

Case Authors : Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch

Topic : sales & marketing, related areas : customers, financial management, market research, what is the case study method how can you use it to write case solution for starbucks: delivering customer service case study.

Almost all of the case studies contain well defined situations. MBA and EMBA professional can take advantage of these situations to - apply theoretical framework, recommend new processes, and use quantitative methods to suggest course of action. Awareness of the common situations can help MBA & EMBA professionals read the case study more efficiently, discuss it more effectively among the team members, narrow down the options, and write cogently.

Case Study Solution Approaches

Three Step Approach to Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Case Study Solution

The three step case study solution approach comprises – Conclusions – MBA & EMBA professionals should state their conclusions at the very start. It helps in communicating the points directly and the direction one took. Reasons – At the second stage provide the reasons for the conclusions. Why you choose one course of action over the other. For example why the change effort failed in the case and what can be done to rectify it. Or how the marketing budget can be better spent using social media rather than traditional media. Evidences – Finally you should provide evidences to support your reasons. It has to come from the data provided within the case study rather than data from outside world. Evidences should be both compelling and consistent. In case study method there is ‘no right’ answer, just how effectively you analyzed the situation based on incomplete information and multiple scenarios.

Case Study Solution of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

We write Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study solution using Harvard Business Review case writing framework & HBR Sales & Marketing learning notes. We try to cover all the bases in the field of Sales & Marketing, Customers, Financial management, Market research and other related areas.

Objectives of using various frameworks in Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study solution

By using the above frameworks for Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study solutions, you can clearly draw conclusions on the following areas – What are the strength and weaknesses of Starbucks Customer (SWOT Analysis) What are external factors that are impacting the business environment (PESTEL Analysis) Should Starbucks Customer enter new market or launch new product (Opportunities & Threats from SWOT Analysis) What will be the expected profitability of the new products or services (Porter Five Forces Analysis) How it can improve the profitability in a given industry (Porter Value Chain Analysis) What are the resources needed to increase profitability (VRIO Analysis) Finally which business to continue, where to invest further and from which to get out (BCG Growth Share Analysis)

SWOT Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

SWOT analysis stands for – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are result of Starbucks Customer internal factors, while opportunities and threats arise from developments in external environment in which Starbucks Customer operates. SWOT analysis will help us in not only getting a better insight into Starbucks Customer present competitive advantage but also help us in how things have to evolve to maintain and consolidate the competitive advantage.

- Experienced and successful leadership team – Starbucks Customer management team has been a success over last decade by successfully predicting trends in the industry.

- Streamlined processes and efficient operation management – Starbucks Customer is one of the most efficient firms in its segment. The credit for the performance goes to successful execution and efficient operations management.

- Little experience of international market – Even though it is a major player in local market, Starbucks Customer has little experience in international market. According to Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch , Starbucks Customer needs international talent to penetrate into developing markets.

- Starbucks Customer business model can be easily replicated by competitors – According to Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch , the business model of Starbucks Customer can be easily replicated by players in the industry.

Opportunities

- E-Commerce and Social Media Oriented Business Models – E-commerce business model can help Starbucks Customer to tie up with local suppliers and logistics provider in international market. Social media growth can help Starbucks Customer to reduce the cost of entering new market and reaching to customers at a significantly lower marketing budget.

- Lucrative Opportunities in International Markets – Globalization has led to opportunities in the international market. Starbucks Customer is in prime position to tap on those opportunities and grow the market share.

- Customers are moving toward mobile first environment which can hamper the growth as Starbucks Customer still hasn’t got a comprehensive mobile strategy.

- Home market marketing technique won’t work in new markets such as India and China where scale is prized over profitability.

Once all the factors mentioned in the Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study are organized based on SWOT analysis, just remove the non essential factors. This will help you in building a weighted SWOT analysis which reflects the real importance of factors rather than just tabulation of all the factors mentioned in the case.

What is PESTEL Analysis

PESTEL /PEST / STEP Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Case Study

PESTEL stands for – Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal factors that impact the macro environment in which Starbucks Customer operates in. Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch provides extensive information about PESTEL factors in Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study.

Political Factors

- Little dangers of armed conflict – Based on the research done by international foreign policy institutions, it is safe to conclude that there is very little probability of country entering into an armed conflict with another state.

- Political and Legal Structure – The political system seems stable and there is consistency in both economic policies and foreign policies.

Economic Factors

- According to Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch . Starbucks Customer should closely monitor consumer disposable income level, household debt level, and level of efficiency of local financial markets.

- Foreign Exchange movement is also an indicator of economic stability. Starbucks Customer should closely consider the forex inflow and outflow. A number of Starbucks Customer competitors have lost money in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela due to volatile forex market.

Social Factors

- Leisure activities, social attitudes & power structures in society - are needed to be analyzed by Starbucks Customer before launching any new products as they will impact the demand of the products.

- Demographic shifts in the economy are also a good social indicator for Starbucks Customer to predict not only overall trend in market but also demand for Starbucks Customer product among its core customer segments.

Technological Factors

- Proliferation of mobile phones has created a generation whose primary tool of entertainment and information consumption is mobile phone. Starbucks Customer needs to adjust its marketing strategy accordingly.

- Artificial intelligence and machine learning will give rise to importance of speed over planning. Starbucks Customer needs to build strategies to operate in such an environment.

Environmental Factors

- Environmental regulations can impact the cost structure of Starbucks Customer. It can further impact the cost of doing business in certain markets.

- Consumer activism is significantly impacting Starbucks Customer branding, marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Legal Factors

- Intellectual property rights are one area where Starbucks Customer can face legal threats in some of the markets it is operating in.

- Health and safety norms in number of markets that Starbucks Customer operates in are lax thus impact the competition playing field.

What are Porter Five Forces

Porter Five Forces Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

Competition among existing players, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, threat of new entrants, and threat of substitutes.

What is VRIO Analysis

VRIO Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

VRIO stands for – Value of the resource that Starbucks Customer possess, Rareness of those resource, Imitation Risk that competitors pose, and Organizational Competence of Starbucks Customer. VRIO and VRIN analysis can help the firm.

What is Porter Value Chain

Porter Value Chain Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

As the name suggests Value Chain framework is developed by Michael Porter in 1980’s and it is primarily used for analyzing Starbucks Customer relative cost and value structure. Managers can use Porter Value Chain framework to disaggregate various processes and their relative costs in the Starbucks Customer. This will help in answering – the related costs and various sources of competitive advantages of Starbucks Customer in the markets it operates in. The process can also be done to competitors to understand their competitive advantages and competitive strategies. According to Michael Porter – Competitive Advantage is a relative term and has to be understood in the context of rivalry within an industry. So Value Chain competitive benchmarking should be done based on industry structure and bottlenecks.

What is BCG Growth Share Matrix

BCG Growth Share Matrix of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

BCG Growth Share Matrix is very valuable tool to analyze Starbucks Customer strategic positioning in various sectors that it operates in and strategic options that are available to it. Product Market segmentation in BCG Growth Share matrix should be done with great care as there can be a scenario where Starbucks Customer can be market leader in the industry without being a dominant player or segment leader in any of the segment. BCG analysis should comprise not only growth share of industry & Starbucks Customer business unit but also Starbucks Customer - overall profitability, level of debt, debt paying capacity, growth potential, expansion expertise, dividend requirements from shareholders, and overall competitive strength. Two key considerations while using BCG Growth Share Matrix for Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service case study solution - How to calculate Weighted Average Market Share using BCG Growth Share Matrix Relative Weighted Average Market Share Vs Largest Competitor

5C Marketing Analysis of Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

4p marketing analysis of starbucks: delivering customer service, porter five forces analysis and solution of starbucks: delivering customer service, porter value chain analysis and solution of starbucks: delivering customer service, case memo & recommendation memo of starbucks: delivering customer service, blue ocean analysis and solution of starbucks: delivering customer service, marketing strategy and analysis starbucks: delivering customer service, vrio /vrin analysis & solution of starbucks: delivering customer service, pestel / step / pest analysis of starbucks: delivering customer service, swot analysis and solution of starbucks: delivering customer service, references & further readings.

Youngme Moon, John A. Quelch (2018) , "Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.

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Deconstructing 'Customer Experience'

Legendary Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt warned his students and industry executives against “marketing myopia”—that is, adopting an insular marketing approach where the business puts its own needs ahead of the customers’.

Over the last decade, Levitt’s thinking has evolved to the concept of the “customer experience,” essentially the ability to capture customer loyalty and promote evangelism by offering top-notch service and a delightful experience at every interaction , from browsing products on a retailer's website to returning a product to the store. Back in 2010, according to market researcher Gartner , 36 percent of businesses said they competed mostly on the basis of customer experience. By 2016, that number had risen to 89 percent.

Here are insights and research created at Harvard Business School for improving the customer experienced and what happens when you don’t.

A Good Place to Start

Terror at the Taj Under terrorist attack, employees of the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower bravely stayed at their posts to help guests. A multimedia case study looks at the hotel's customer-centered culture and value system.

How to Design a Better Customer Experience With the help of LEGO bricks, business executives discover how design principles can serve as building blocks to create a great customer experience.

How Independent Bookstores Have Thrived in Spite of Amazon.com Indy booksellers have survived brutal competition by developing personal relationships with customers.

Fix This! Why is it so Painful to Buy a New Car? Car-buying sends shivers up the backbones of American consumers, so why hasn’t the industry stepped up to create a better experience?

Amazon vs. Whole Foods: When Cultures Collide Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods seemed a Wall Street dream come true. But then Amazon's data-driven efficiency met the customer-driven culture at Whole Foods—and the shelves began to empty.

How an Order Views Your Company Managers should imagine the customer is watching as their order moves through the company.

Customers at the Back of the Line Are Anxious—Can You Keep Them from Leaving? The irrational anxiety associated with being last in line can lead to unhappy customers, but there are ways to make them happier while they wait.

The Outside-In Approach to Customer Service How companies can evolve through four levels to become more customer-centric.

Thinking Twice About Supply-Chain Layoffs Cutting the wrong employees can be counterproductive for retailers, One suggestion: Pay special attention to staff who handle mundane tasks such as stocking and labeling. Your customers do.

Starbucks’ Lessons for Premium Brands When Starbuck's encountered growing pains in 2007, founder Howard Schultz realized its unique customer experience was broken.

The State of Customer Service Leadership The economic future of the country is largely in the hands of those who lead our service organizations, which create more employment and GDP growth than any other sector.

Break Your Addiction to Service Heroes It's possible for organizations to reduce costs while dramatically enhancing customer service. The key? Don't try to be good at everything.

Research Papers

Mitigating the Negative Effects of Customer Anxiety through Access to Human Contact The impact of customer anxiety on service relationships is neither well understood, nor consistently factored into service design.

How Do Incumbents Fare in the Face of Increased Service Competition? When does increased service quality competition lead to customer defection, and which customers are most likely to defect?

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Harvard Business Case Studies Solutions – Assignment Help

In most courses studied at Harvard Business schools, students are provided with a case study. Major HBR cases concerns on a whole industry, a whole organization or some part of organization; profitable or non-profitable organizations. Student’s role is to analyze the case and diagnose the situation, identify the problem and then give appropriate recommendations and steps to be taken.

To make a detailed case analysis, student should follow these steps:

STEP 1: Reading Up Harvard Case Study Method Guide:

Case study method guide is provided to students which determine the aspects of problem needed to be considered while analyzing a case study. It is very important to have a thorough reading and understanding of guidelines provided. However, poor guide reading will lead to misunderstanding of case and failure of analyses. It is recommended to read guidelines before and after reading the case to understand what is asked and how the questions are to be answered. Therefore, in-depth understanding f case guidelines is very important.

Harvard Case Study Solutions

porter's five forces model

porter’s five forces model

STEP 2: Reading The Customer Relations Harvard Case Study:

To have a complete understanding of the case, one should focus on case reading. It is said that case should be read two times. Initially, fast reading without taking notes and underlines should be done. Initial reading is to get a rough idea of what information is provided for the analyses. Then, a very careful reading should be done at second time reading of the case. This time, highlighting the important point and mark the necessary information provided in the case. In addition, the quantitative data in case, and its relations with other quantitative or qualitative variables should be given more importance. Also, manipulating different data and combining with other information available will give a new insight. However, all of the information provided is not reliable and relevant.

When having a fast reading, following points should be noted:

  • Nature of organization
  • Nature if industry in which organization operates.
  • External environment that is effecting organization
  • Problems being faced by management
  • Identification of communication strategies.
  • Any relevant strategy that can be added.
  • Control and out-of-control situations.

When reading the case for second time, following points should be considered:

  • Decisions needed to be made and the responsible Person to make decision.
  • Objectives of the organization and key players in this case.
  • The compatibility of objectives. if not, their reconciliations and necessary redefinition.
  • Sources and constraints of organization from meeting its objectives.

After reading the case and guidelines thoroughly, reader should go forward and start the analyses of the case.

STEP 3: Doing The Case Analysis Of Customer Relations:

To make an appropriate case analyses, firstly, reader should mark the important problems that are happening in the organization. There may be multiple problems that can be faced by any organization. Secondly, after identifying problems in the company, identify the most concerned and important problem that needed to be focused.

Firstly, the introduction is written. After having a clear idea of what is defined in the case, we deliver it to the reader. It is better to start the introduction from any historical or social context. The challenging diagnosis for Customer Relations and the management of information is needed to be provided. However, introduction should not be longer than 6-7 lines in a paragraph. As the most important objective is to convey the most important message for to the reader.

After introduction, problem statement is defined. In the problem statement, the company’s most important problem and constraints to solve these problems should be define clearly. However, the problem should be concisely define in no more than a paragraph. After defining the problems and constraints, analysis of the case study is begin.

STEP 4: SWOT Analysis of the Customer Relations HBR Case Solution:

Pest analysis

  • Pest analysis

SWOT analysis helps the business to identify its strengths and weaknesses, as well as understanding of opportunity that can be availed and the threat that the company is facing. SWOT for Customer Relations is a powerful tool of analysis as it provide a thought to uncover and exploit the opportunities that can be used to increase and enhance company’s operations. In addition, it also identifies the weaknesses of the organization that will help to be eliminated and manage the threats that would catch the attention of the management.

This strategy helps the company to make any strategy that would differentiate the company from competitors, so that the organization can compete successfully in the industry. The strengths and weaknesses are obtained from internal organization. Whereas, the opportunities and threats are generally related from external environment of organization. Moreover, it is also called Internal-External Analysis.

In the strengths, management should identify the following points exists in the organization:

  • Advantages of the organization
  • Activities of the company better than competitors.
  • Unique resources and low cost resources company have.
  • Activities and resources market sees as the company’s strength.
  • Unique selling proposition of the company.

WEAKNESSES:

  • Improvement that could be done.
  • Activities that can be avoided for Customer Relations.
  • Activities that can be determined as your weakness in the market.
  • Factors that can reduce the sales.
  • Competitor’s activities that can be seen as your weakness.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Good opportunities that can be spotted.
  • Interesting trends of industry.
  • Change in technology and market strategies
  • Government policy changes that is related to the company’s field
  • Changes in social patterns and lifestyles.
  • Local events.

Following points can be identified as a threat to company:

  • Company’s facing obstacles.
  • Activities of competitors.
  • Product and services quality standards
  • Threat from changing technologies
  • Financial/cash flow problems
  • Weakness that threaten the business.

Following points should be considered when applying SWOT to the analysis:

  • Precise and verifiable phrases should be sued.
  • Prioritize the points under each head, so that management can identify which step has to be taken first.
  • Apply the analyses at proposed level. Clear yourself first that on what basis you have to apply SWOT matrix.
  • Make sure that points identified should carry itself with strategy formulation process.
  • Use particular terms (like USP, Core Competencies Analyses etc.) to get a comprehensive picture of analyses.

STEP 5: PESTEL/ PEST Analysis of Customer Relations Case Solution:

rp_hbr-case-study-solutions-analyses-300x232.png

Pest analyses is a widely used tool to analyze the Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological, Environmental and legal situations which can provide great and new opportunities to the company as well as these factors can also threat the company, to be dangerous in future.

Pest analysis is very important and informative.  It is used for the purpose of identifying business opportunities and advance threat warning. Moreover, it also helps to the extent to which change is useful for the company and also guide the direction for the change. In addition, it also helps to avoid activities and actions that will be harmful for the company in future, including projects and strategies.

To analyze the business objective and its opportunities and threats, following steps should be followed:

  • Brainstorm and assumption the changes that should be made to organization. Answer the necessary questions that are related to specific needs of organization
  • Analyze the opportunities that would be happen due to the change.
  • Analyze the threats and issues that would be caused due to change.
  • Perform cost benefit analyses and take the appropriate action.

PEST FACTORS:

  • Next political elections and changes that will happen in the country due to these elections
  • Strong and powerful political person, his point of view on business policies and their effect on the organization.
  • Strength of property rights and law rules. And its ratio with corruption and organized crimes. Changes in these situation and its effects.
  • Change in Legislation and taxation effects on the company
  • Trend of regulations and deregulations. Effects of change in business regulations
  • Timescale of legislative change.
  • Other political factors likely to change for Customer Relations.

ECONOMICAL:

  • Position and current economy trend i.e. growing, stagnant or declining.
  • Exchange rates fluctuations and its relation with company.
  • Change in Level of customer’s disposable income and its effect.
  • Fluctuation in unemployment rate and its effect on hiring of skilled employees
  • Access to credit and loans. And its effects on company
  • Effect of globalization on economic environment
  • Considerations on other economic factors

SOCIO-CULTURAL:

  • Change in population growth rate and age factors, and its impacts on organization.
  • Effect on organization due to Change in attitudes and generational shifts.
  • Standards of health, education and social mobility levels. Its changes and effects on company.
  • Employment patterns, job market trend and attitude towards work according to different age groups.

case study solutions

  • Social attitudes and social trends, change in socio culture an dits effects.
  • Religious believers and life styles and its effects on organization
  • Other socio culture factors and its impacts.

TECHNOLOGICAL:

  • Any new technology that company is using
  • Any new technology in market that could affect the work, organization or industry
  • Access of competitors to the new technologies and its impact on their product development/better services.
  • Research areas of government and education institutes in which the company can make any efforts
  • Changes in infra-structure and its effects on work flow
  • Existing technology that can facilitate the company
  • Other technological factors and their impacts on company and industry

These headings and analyses would help the company to consider these factors and make a “big picture” of company’s characteristics. This will help the manager to take the decision and drawing conclusion about the forces that would create a big impact on company and its resources.

STEP 6: Porter’s Five Forces/ Strategic Analysis Of The Customer Relations Case Study:

To analyze the structure of a company and its corporate strategy, Porter’s five forces model is used. In this model, five forces have been identified which play an important part in shaping the market and industry. These forces are used to measure competition intensity and profitability of an industry and market.

porter’s five forces model

These forces refers to micro environment and the company ability to serve its customers and make a profit. These five forces includes three forces from horizontal competition and two forces from vertical competition. The five forces are discussed below:

  • THREAT OF NEW ENTRANTS:
  • as the industry have high profits, many new entrants will try to enter into the market. However, the new entrants will eventually cause decrease in overall industry profits. Therefore, it is necessary to block the new entrants in the industry. following factors is describing the level of threat to new entrants:
  • Barriers to entry that includes copy rights and patents.
  • High capital requirement
  • Government restricted policies
  • Switching cost
  • Access to suppliers and distributions
  • Customer loyalty to established brands.
  • THREAT OF SUBSTITUTES:
  • this describes the threat to company. If the goods and services are not up to the standard, consumers can use substitutes and alternatives that do not need any extra effort and do not make a major difference. For example, using Aquafina in substitution of tap water, Pepsi in alternative of Coca Cola. The potential factors that made customer shift to substitutes are as follows:
  • Price performance of substitute
  • Switching costs of buyer
  • Products substitute available in the market
  • Reduction of quality
  • Close substitution are available
  • DEGREE OF INDUSTRY RIVALRY:
  • the lesser money and resources are required to enter into any industry, the higher there will be new competitors and be an effective competitor. It will also weaken the company’s position. Following are the potential factors that will influence the company’s competition:
  • Competitive advantage
  • Continuous innovation
  • Sustainable position in competitive advantage
  • Level of advertising
  • Competitive strategy
  • BARGAINING POWER OF BUYERS:
  • it deals with the ability of customers to take down the prices. It mainly consists the importance of a customer and the level of cost if a customer will switch from one product to another. The buyer power is high if there are too many alternatives available. And the buyer power is low if there are lesser options of alternatives and switching. Following factors will influence the buying power of customers:
  • Bargaining leverage
  • Switching cost of a buyer
  • Buyer price sensitivity
  • Competitive advantage of company’s product
  • BARGAINING POWER OF SUPPLIERS:
  • this refers to the supplier’s ability of increasing and decreasing prices. If there are few alternatives o supplier available, this will threat the company and it would have to purchase its raw material in supplier’s terms. However, if there are many suppliers alternative, suppliers have low bargaining power and company do not have to face high switching cost. The potential factors that effects bargaining power of suppliers are the following:
  • Input differentiation
  • Impact of cost on differentiation
  • Strength of distribution centers
  • Input substitute’s availability.

STEP 7: VRIO Analysis of Customer Relations:

case study solutions

Vrio analysis for Customer Relations case study identified the four main attributes which helps the organization to gain a competitive advantages. The author of this theory suggests that firm must be valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable and perfectly non sustainable. Therefore there must be some resources and capabilities in an organization that can facilitate the competitive advantage to company. The four components of VRIO analysis are described below: VALUABLE: the company must have some resources or strategies that can exploit opportunities and defend the company from major threats. If the company holds some value then answer is yes. Resources are also valuable if they provide customer satisfaction and increase customer value. This value may create by increasing differentiation in existing product or decrease its price. Is these conditions are not met, company may lead to competitive disadvantage. Therefore, it is necessary to continually review the Customer Relations company’s activities and resources values. RARE: the resources of the Customer Relations company that are not used by any other company are known as rare. Rare and valuable resources grant much competitive advantages to the firm. However, when more than one few companies uses the same resources and provide competitive parity are also known as rare resources. Even, the competitive parity is not desired position, but the company should not lose its valuable resources, even they are common. COSTLY TO IMITATE: the resources are costly to imitate, if other organizations cannot imitate it. However, imitation is done in two ways. One is duplicating that is direct imitation and the other one is substituting that is indirect imitation. Any firm who has valuable and rare resources, and these resources are costly to imitate, have achieved their competitive advantage. However, resources should also be perfectly non sustainable. The reasons that resource imitation is costly are historical conditions, casual ambiguity and social complexity. ORGANIZED TO CAPTURE VALUE: resources, itself, cannot provide advantages to organization until it is organized and exploit to do so. A firm (like Customer Relations)  must organize its management systems, processes, policies and strategies to fully utilize the resource’s potential to be valuable, rare and costly to imitate.

STEP 8: Generating Alternatives For Customer Relations Case Solution:

After completing the analyses of the company, its opportunities and threats, it is important to generate a solution of the problem and the alternatives a company can apply in order to solve its problems. To generate the alternative of problem, following things must to be kept in mind:

  • Realistic solution should be identified that can be operated in the company, with all its constraints and opportunities.
  • as the problem and its solution cannot occur at the same time, it should be described as mutually exclusive
  • it is not possible for a company to not to take any action, therefore, the alternative of doing nothing is not viable.
  • Student should provide more than one decent solution. Providing two undesirable alternatives to make the other one attractive is not acceptable.

Once the alternatives have been generated, student should evaluate the options and select the appropriate and viable solution for the company.

STEP 9: Selection Of Alternatives For Customer Relations Case Solution:

It is very important to select the alternatives and then evaluate the best one as the company have limited choices and constraints. Therefore to select the best alternative, there are many factors that is needed to be kept in mind. The criteria’s on which business decisions are to be selected areas under:

  • Improve profitability
  • Increase sales, market shares, return on investments
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Brand image
  • Corporate mission, vision and strategy
  • Resources and capabilities

Alternatives should be measures that which alternative will perform better than other one and the valid reasons. In addition, alternatives should be related to the problem statements and issues described in the case study.

STEP 10: Evaluation Of Alternatives For Customer Relations Case Solution:

If the selected alternative is fulfilling the above criteria, the decision should be taken straightforwardly. Best alternative should be selected must be the best when evaluating it on the decision criteria. Another method used to evaluate the alternatives are the list of pros and cons of each alternative and one who has more pros than cons and can be workable under organizational constraints.

STEP 11: Recommendations For Customer Relations Case Study (Solution):

There should be only one recommendation to enhance the company’s operations and its growth or solving its problems. The decision that is being taken should be justified and viable for solving the problems.

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Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service – Case Solution

Starbucks is a major specialty-coffee brand in the North. Recent market research has indicated that the service level of the company is currently not meeting the expectations of customers. Thus, the company is discussing a plan to increase customer satisfaction by increasing the amount of labor in each coffee store and, as a consequence, increasing the speed of service. However, the plan would result in additional costs of $40 million per annum while the impact on the profitability of the company is unclear.

​Youngme Moon; John A. Quelch Harvard Business Review ( 504016-PDF-ENG ) July 31, 2003

Case questions answered:

  • What factors accounted for the extraordinary success of Starbucks in the early 1990s? What was so compelling about the Starbucks value proposition? What brand image did the company develop during this period?
  • Why has Starbucks’ customer satisfaction score declined? Has the company’s service declined, or is it simply measuring satisfaction the wrong way?
  • How does the Starbucks of 2002 differ from the Starbucks of 1992?
  • Describe the ideal Starbucks customer from a profitable standpoint. What would it take to ensure that this customer is highly satisfied? How valuable is a highly satisfied customer for the company?
  • Should Starbucks make the $40 million investment in labor in the stores? What’s the goal of this investment? Is it profitable for a megabrand to deliver customer intimacy?
  • Please summarize the case study “Starbucks – Delivering Customer Service.”
  • Please identify the key challenges of the company.

Not the questions you were looking for? Submit your own questions & get answers .

Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Case Answers

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Company Background – Starbucks: Love Coffee, Love People

Starbucks was founded in 1971. Later, Howard Shultz took over. Its vision and mission are to “Make America’s third place, Establish as the most recognized brand.”

The company specializes in selling whole coffee beans and premium coffee beverages. Its target customers are the affluent, well-educated segment of the market. It has achieved immense success and has spent almost nothing on advertising.

The company’s experiential branding strategy has three components:

This branding strategy is based on the human spirit, a sense of community, and the need for people to come together.

Challenges Faced

One of the core issues the company is facing is that its services are not meeting customer expectations. It is mainly due to changes in target customers, decreasing age and income groups, and customers’ poor perception of the company. Most people reviewed the company as follows:

  • Starbucks cares primarily about making money – Up from 53% in 2000 to 61% in 2001
  • Starbucks cares primarily about building more stores – Up from 48% to 55%.

There is also the lack of a strategic marketing group – no chief marketing officer, as accepted by Day herself that ‘they were good at collecting market data but not disciplined in using this data.’

The company is challenged on how to link customer satisfaction to an increase in sales and profitability. Should the company roll out a $40 million plan to add 20 hours of labor a week? And how should the company differentiate itself from competitors?

Q1. What factors accounted for the extraordinary success of Starbucks in the early 1990s? What was so compelling about the Starbucks value proposition? What brand image did Starbucks develop during this period?

  • To set up an expresso bar inspired by Milan’s coffee culture.
  • The aim is to make it to America’s “third place.”
  • They created an experience around the consumption of coffee.
  • Employees were called partners. The company offered benefits, which resulted in the company’s partner satisfaction rate in the 80% -90% range.
  • Stable prices and new products were launched regularly. The company also conducted R&D, in-store experiments, and market tests.

Compelling reasons for Starbucks’ value proposition and the brand image the company has developed

  • They offered the highest quality coffee beans sourced from Africa, Central and South America, and Asia-Pacific regions.
  • The company worked directly with growers.
  • The company developed good customer intimacy.
  • The ambiance makes customers stay.
  • The company’s outlets are located in high-traffic and high-visibility settings.
  • Brand strategy, “live coffee” mantra.

Q2. Why has Starbucks’ customer satisfaction score declined? Has the company’s service declined, or is it simply measuring satisfaction the wrong way?

  • The current way of measurement does not capture the correct consumer profile.
  • The decline in service level – trained only to please the affluent customers.
  • Diluting value proposition
  • The rising perception is that the primary motive is making money and building more stores.
  • Very little image or product differentiation between Starbucks and smaller coffee chains
  • The company has hundreds of combinations of coffee, leading to a larger service time and lower customer satisfaction.

Q3. How does the Starbucks of 2002 differ from the Starbucks of 1992?

Starbucks

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What is a Case Research Method?

Case Research Method

  • 1. Explanatory case based research method
  • 2. Descriptive case based research method
  • 3. Exploratory case based research method

Explanatory Case Based Research Method:

Descriptive case based research method:, exploratory case based research method:, types of case based research methods:.

  • 1. Qualitative case based research method
  • 2. Quantitative case based research method

Qualitative Case Based Research Method:

Pitfalls for qualitative research methods:.

  • Without any calculations or presence of numerical data, respondents might provide inaccurate and false information which might mislead the conclusion and results from the study.
  • While considering the ethics factor in the researched based case study, the respondents might avoid providing correct information due to some security reasons. Here, the researcher should be kept in mind that the research information should not be used for any other purpose and this statement should be clearly written on the survey form or to be spoken while interviewing.

Available Sources to Collect Qualitative Data:

  • Focus groups
  • Secondary data
  • Observations

Quantitative Case Based Research Method:

Available sources to collect quantitative data:.

  • Surveys (open end and close end)

Limitations of Case based research methods:

How to solve case study.

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Objective of Case Study

Significance of solving case study, the steps of solving case study, read and examine the case thoroughly:, define the central issue:, gathering information:, take a brief introduction:, understand the organizational goal:, research various aspects of the organization related to case study:, identify the other related constraints:, identify all the relevant alternatives:, evaluating alternatives:, select the best alternative:, develop an implementation plan:, case study assignment help.

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How CEOs can win the new service game

In the AI-powered care ecosystem, around 65 percent of tasks and 50 to 70 percent of contacts are automated, creating a true omnichannel experience that provides a consistent and seamless experience across interactions. In this way, the potential of contact centers could be unlocked to become loyalty-building revenue generators through greater solutioning and sales excellence.

Putting priorities into practice

CX is fast becoming a key competitive area. Companies that don’t prioritize their strategy and digital transformation journeys are likely to face continued customer dissatisfaction, as well as talent attrition—thus threatening their brand and market competitiveness.

Getting customer care right depends on prioritizing and investing across the people, operations, and tech aspects of the customer care strategy. Companies can consider the following key steps as they look to build out their capabilities and invest in their digital care ecosystems:

  • Start by setting out the vision for the customer care organization, capturing what excellence looks like.
  • Conduct a rapid but thorough due-diligence-style assessment of people, processes, and capabilities, looking at the customer care operation in a new light to identify not just incremental changes but a reimagined, large-scale transformation.
  • Path one follows a traditional design approach, which may take longer but prove less risky, as the entire transformation is considered at the outset.
  • Path two involves an interactive and agile design, test, and iterate methodology, which may lead to new solutions quickly.
  • Leverage the full suite of available technologies and analytical approaches that are driving successful outcomes in customer care, including natural language processing (NLP) and AI in frontline operations to match work to workers, together with cognitive AI assistance for resolving simpler customer queries.

Personalized digital interaction nowadays is an expectation rather than a luxury or an added perk, and customer care is the issue at the heart of this digital first environment—companies can’t afford to stumble at this juncture. If done well, however, customer care presents a great opportunity to build loyalty and long-term relationships with customers, creating organizational resilience for the future.

Jeff Berg is a partner in McKinsey’s Southern California office; Eric Buesing is a partner in the Stamford, Connecticut, office; Paul Hurst is a consultant in the Charlotte, North Carolina, office, Vivian Lai is a consultant in the New York office, and Subhrajyoti Mukhopadhyay is an expert in the Chicago office.

The authors wish to thank Karunesh Ahuja and Charles-Michael Berg for their contributions to this article.

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33 Case Study Questions for Customer and Client Interviews

case study harvard customer service

When selling your product or service to prospective customers, you make a stronger case when you can show concrete results. This is where a case study comes in. A case study strengthens your sales pitch by showing firsthand results. You can boost your case studies by interviewing previous customers and asking them to share how they benefited from your business. Interview your loyal customers using the following questions to build strong case studies you can share with new prospective clients.

two women speaking at a table near a large window

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a detailed report that showcases how your product has benefited previous clients. It is a way to show firsthand how your product or service can benefit potential new clients. Case studies help you build trust with new clients — 88% of whom trust online customer reviews and ratings. Conversely, only 14% of customers trust advertisements.

Asking the right types of questions to your previous customers will help you better craft your final case study. Since you will be writing these studies with new clients in mind, drafting your questions beforehand will give you the right information to highlight how you have previously solved similar client issues in the past.

How to Write Case Study Questions

This section offers an outline of sections that should be included in your final case study and sample questions to ask of your clients.

Start With the Backstory

Before writing your case study questions, determine why you are writing it. Outline the major problems you intend to highlight and create questions that will allow you to articulate how you solved them. The following section includes case study question examples you can use to conduct your client interviews, but you can modify them based on your goals.

When interviewing your previous clients, first introduce them to your audience by including some background information on their company. Next, set up the case study by presenting the initial problem.

  • Tell me a little bit about your business and its history.
  • Who are your target customers?
  • Describe your role at the company.
  • What are some common challenges faced by businesses in your industry?
  • What problems or challenges were you facing that led you to seek out our product/service?
  • Why was this specific challenge a priority?
  • How was this problem impacting your business?
  • What other potential solutions had you tried before, and why weren’t they working?

Establish Your Relationship

After setting up the problem and why it was significant to your customers, ask them to define their relationship with your brand. If you are interviewing repeat customers, ask them how they discovered your business, why you were their chosen solution, and what's kept them coming back. If you are interviewing a first-time client, ask what drew them to your business over another.

Some questions can include:

  • How long have you been a customer with us?
  • How did you first hear about our business?
  • What made you choose our company over competitors?
  • How did you envision using our product or service to drive your solution?

Have Them Demonstrate Your Product

Once you have set up the initial problem and delved into how your client chose you to solve it, you can get into the details of the actual case study. Ask specific questions about how your client used your product or service.

Be detailed. These answers will help you draft a case study that resonates with prospective buyers who are facing the same issue.

  • How did you use our product or service to create your solution?
  • Which features of the product did you find most beneficial?
  • Was this product a replacement for a similar tool you had used in the past?
  • How many people at your company use our product?
  • What are the advantages of using our product over another similar one?
  • How was the setup and implementation process?
  • Did you contact the customer service team any time during the process?
  • If so, how was your customer service experience?
  • How was the rollout process?
  • What types of feedback have you received from employees about our product?

Outline the Product’s Benefits

This section of your interview will delve into the actual solution and its results. Use this section to ask about specific outcomes and metrics the company used to track successes.

  • How did our product address your specific challenges?
  • What kinds of measurable results did you see?
  • Which key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics did you measure to determine whether our product successfully solved your problem?
  • How has your business changed since you deployed our product or service?
  • How is your initial problem currently impacting your business? Is it still an issue, or has it been resolved?
  • How would you recommend other customers use our product to get the best results?

Wrap Up the Interview

At the end of the interview, ask some general business case study questions relating to customer satisfaction and relationship management. You can use these to conclude the case study. This section of the interview is also likely to generate some potential customer quotes you can use in your marketing materials .

  • Have you referred us to your friends or clients?
  • How likely are you to work with us again?
  • How can we improve our product to best meet your future needs?
  • In which other instances can you see our product providing a viable solution?
  • Is there anyone else I can talk to for more information?

How to Ask Your Clients for an Interview

If you have been in business for a while, you probably know your best advocates. Think about your top customers, and start by asking those who are the most likely to promote your business. If you know a client who often refers customers to you, ask them for a specific example of how your company helped them solve a problem.

You might draw a blank when asked to identify your best advocates. In this case, talk to your sales team or your project managers to see if they know of any potential customers who would be happy to share their success stories.

Consider your customers’ time. Don’t approach them for an interview in the middle of a busy season or if they have had a recent issue with your company. Get familiar with your selected clients and how they intended to use your product so you have some background information before starting the interview.

Finally, write a personalized request. Don’t send out a form email requesting case studies. Make your requests relevant to each potential interviewee so they know they are valued customers.

How to Write the Case Study

Instead of taking notes during the interview, take a recording on your phone or a portable recording device and transcribe it when you’re done. You can take minor notes as you go along, to help when you go back to transcribe. This way you can be more engaged in the interview and follow up on interesting information that might pop up. Be sure to check that your recording hardware or software is working ahead of time, to ensure you don't lose valuable information during the interview.

The case study questions listed above are arranged as an outline of a typical case study. Start by introducing the company and the problem they were trying to solve when they sought out your business. Next, explain the process of how they used your product to solve their problem.

End the case study with numbers and statistics demonstrating how you helped the business successfully solve its problem. Make sure you get specific numbers and figures to illustrate your clients’ successes. If you don’t get them during the initial interview, follow up with a phone call or email.

Sample Case Study Questions and Answers

These sample case study questions and answers demonstrate how to extract information from your interview and turn it into an engaging business case study that is interesting and informative.

This case study from Switch, a digital marketing agency, details how the company was able to help a client improve its return on investment (ROI) on search and Facebook ad campaigns by moving them from their in-house marketing team.

The case study starts with an impressive statistic — the company improved its ROI on search ads from 1.2x to 19x in a short time period. The case study breaks this statistic down for potential leads who might not be familiar with marketing terminology, indicating that its client was able to increase sales without spending more on search engine ads.

While the actual case study interview is not published, a sample question and answer that would have generated this data could be:

  • Q: How did shifting the development of search engine ad campaigns to Switch impact ad performance?
  • A: The Switch team was able to change our approach. Before, we used a single strategy on our search and Facebook ads. Their team was able to create split campaigns targeted to different audiences and run A/B tests to refine the messages. In a couple of months, our ROI on search ads went from 1.2x to 19x.”

This case study goes into detail about how Switch worked with its clients to refine the Facebook and search ad strategy, ending with impressive results.

Rogers Communications

Rogers Communications featured this case study detailing how its client Brampton Caledon Community Living (BCCL) used the company’s cloud-based mobile phone system to better service clients. This case study is simple, laid out with headings like “Challenge” and “Solution.”

Rogers Communications pulled relevant quotes from the client and included them in text boxes throughout the study to break up the text. Rogers also included direct quotes from personnel at BCCL, making a strong case for its product. While it doesn’t offer hard numbers like the previous example, it does include a quote detailing how the cloud-based system has improved the work environment.

Again, the interview for this case study is not included in the example, but it does include the answers as client quotes.

  • Q: What led you to switch over to the RogersUnison cloud-based platform?
  • A: “We had been using more laptops and mobile phones for work outside the office and Rogers Unison was essential to this transition.”

Best Practices for Conducting A Business Case Study Interview

When you’ve found client advocates who are willing to talk to you about how your company led them to success, draft your interview questions. Keep these best practices in mind.

Be Prepared

Being well-prepared for your interview is the best way to ensure its success. Before meeting with your client, learn what you can about the client so you can flesh out the case study. Conduct a mock interview to prepare. Talk to your sales team or the client’s specific project manager for details to better understand the client and what they were facing when they hired your company or purchased a product.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Structure your questions so the interviewee has to give detailed answers. If you limit your interview to "yes" or "no" questions, it can be hard to gather enough information to write your case study. Open-ended questions let your client get into the specifics surrounding the study.

Do a Deep Dive

One reason you should record your interviews and transcribe them later is so you can focus on the client’s answers. Often, information will come up in an answer to one question that will prompt you to ask a follow-up question. Recording your interview lets you deviate from your prepared questions to get a more robust analysis of the case.

Getting Started on Your Case Study

Case studies are a great marketing tool for building credibility. They give prospective clients a better understanding of how you work and how you can provide alternative solutions for key issues. But the key to writing a good case study is to start with a quality interview.

You have the tools needed to draft powerful questions. So start the process by looking through your list of past clients and determining who would be the best to interview. Develop a thorough understanding of their situation and their history with your company, and then conduct your interview.

After your first few case studies, you'll be confident on how to best structure questions and refine your interviews to get the best information. Soon, you will be crafting detailed and engaging case studies to best market your business.

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Big Brands That Lost Customers' Satisfaction in 2023 [Where CX Went Wrong + Data]

Justina Thompson

Published: October 23, 2023

In an era where customer expectations are higher than ever before, the role of customer experience (UX) in customer retention cannot be understated.

companies that lost customers represented by a sad face and money flying away

From the initial interaction to the final purchase in the customer journey, a satisfying CX ensures that customers have a frictionless and enjoyable experience with your brand.

Download Now: Free Customer Journey Map Templates

In this post, we’ll discover exceptional CX secrets and strategies by dissecting customer service mishaps of big businesses, plus extract key solutions for customer success that are guaranteed to deliver outstanding results for your brand.

Table of Contents

Understanding Customer Experience (CX)

Case study #1: comcast, case study #2: dollar tree, case study #3: balenciaga, keeping customers through cx.

As a quick refresher, CX refers to the overall experience a customer has when interacting with a company, its products, or its services.

It plays a critical role in shaping customer satisfaction , as a positive customer experience results in customer delight , while a negative experience leads to frustration, customer churn , and potential customer loss .

Customers have a plethora of options to choose from, making it essential for big businesses to stand out and establish their unique value propositions.

Providing remarkable CX at every step of the customer’s journey is the most effective approach to standing out and fostering long-term loyalty .

By going beyond functional products or services and focusing on, companies can:

  • Understand customer wants and needs
  • Analyze current pain points, anticipate future needs
  • Create delightful interactions

Investing in user experience is not just about keeping customers satisfied, but also about driving business growth and maintaining a competitive advantage.

As reported by the 2023 Axios Harris Poll 100 , Comcast is rated no. 87 out of 100 on the list of most visible (and reputable) businesses in America.

From Meta to Capital One Financial Corporation, the Axios Harris Poll assesses and ranks companies based on 16,310 American customers’ experiences with a business, its practices, products and services.

Comcast’s low rank on the Axios Harris poll aligns with data from The American Customer Satisfaction Index. Recently, ASCI reported that:

  • In 2022, Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile ranked 76th out of 100
  • This year, it ranked 74th, which represents a 3% decrease in American customers’ satisfaction

In 2018, Vice also revealed that on that year’s ASCI, Comcast dropped 3% , to an ASCI score of 62. And just eight months ago, it removed Xfinity customers’ access to Peacock , the company’s streaming service.

Evidently, the company’s long history of customer dissatisfaction echoes. But what can customer experience professionals learn from this? Here’s a couple of “small change, big difference” CX takeaways that you can implement in your customer retention strategy:

Pro Tip #1: Developing Customer-Centric Culture

Foster a customer-centric mindset within your company. To effectively empower customer service pros to go above and beyond to resolve customer issues, provide them ongoing training on effective customer service techniques. Make customer-centricity a core value that guides decision-making across departments.

Pro Tip #2: Proactive Issue Resolution

Anticipate customer needs and proactively address potential issues before they arise. Implement proactive monitoring systems to identify any service disruptions or inconveniences and reach out to customers to offer a solution or preventive measures.

On the 2023 Axios Harris Poll 100 , Dollar Tree is rated 89 out of 100 of the most reputable businesses in America.

On the ASCI survey side, it ranks 18 on a list of 20 general merchandise retailers. In 2022, ASCI assigned Dollar Tree a score of 72. In 2023, this ranking dropped by 4%, to a 71.

Additionally, this past June, Dollar Tree has increased its “dollar deals” following inflation , shocking customers nationwide.

The FDA also recalled several categories of Dollar Tree products in various states due to potential contamination.

Every company has to have its series of learning moments but here are a few CX pro tips to keep in mind while assessing how to avoid similar mistakes:

Pro Tip #1: Product Quality and Safety

Collaborate closely with product teams to ensure rigorous quality control measures are in place. Communicate any safety concerns or recalls promptly and transparently to customers, prioritizing their well-being.

Pro Tip #2: Pricing Strategy Alignment

Collaborate with pricing teams to align pricing strategies with customer expectations and market realities. Price adjustments should be communicated clearly, with value-oriented messaging that justifies any changes.

Pro Tip #3: Co-creation Opportunities

Explore opportunities for co-creation with customers, such as allowing them to contribute ideas for new product lines or store layout improvements. By involving customers in the creative process, CX pros gain valuable insights but also establish a stronger emotional connection and loyalty with their customer base.

Lastly, Balenciaga is rated #91 out of 100 of the most reputable businesses in America on the Axois Harris Poll.

Just last year, Balenciaga was scrutinized for a plethora of company controversies, including its product price points and representation of brand identity/values .

What CX insights can be gleaned from Balenciaga’s reputation? Check out our takeaways:

Pro Tip #1: Provide Product Education

To address the scrutiny over product price points , suggest providing detailed product information to explicitly highlight any features that could justify prices . This can be done through informative blog posts or dedicated product pages on your company’s website.

Pro Tip #2: Align Brand Values with Customer Expectations

From the very beginning, companies should invest in campaigns and initiatives that clearly communicate the brand's values and ensure they align with customer expectations. This can help build a stronger emotional connection and trust with customers.

Customer experience plays a crucial role in customer retention, and there are an assortment of significant factors that contribute to businesses losing customers, such as:

  • Company ethics
  • Product quality/performance
  • Market trends

By recognizing that customer service is just one piece of the puzzle, businesses can ensure they address potential customer loss factors.

Through embracing customer-centricity and collaboration, along with product and sales strategy, CX professionals can develop an effortlessly holistic approach to customer attrition, building a solid foundation for sustainable growth.

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Top 5 Factors to Select a Case Study Writing Service

  • Post author By Ahmed Mohamed
  • Post date October 31, 2023

Students at any educational level get a lot of written assignments daily. It is easy to get lost amidst all those essays, term papers, research papers, case study papers, capstone projects, lab reports, and a whole lot more of other types of tasks. Each of them has its own standards and requirements that must be followed in the letter.

Perhaps one of the most challenging assignments students get acquainted with after short essays and simple narrative or descriptive papers are case studies. Indeed, they require not mere reflection or discussion of the issue but also decent research and analytical skills along with critical thinking and composition mastery. Thus, case study writing may seem quite challenging when you get such a task for the first time in your life. Although it gets better with practice, some assistance may still be needed.

In addition to the complexity of the written assignment, students have other tasks and projects to complete, lectures to attend, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, as well as personal agendas like meetings with friends, socialization, gym, hobbies, dinners with families, and what not. Therefore, it is always good to get someone who can assist with this rather demanding assignment.

case study harvard customer service

Diagram from Case Study Format

Fortunately, there are quite many online writing services nowadays that can offer useful tips on writing this or that kind of assignment, advice about capstone project structure or case study paper format, as well as customized papers written from scratch by a professional writer. They are a perfect option for students overwhelmed with classes, tasks, tests, and exams, who still need to maintain some work-life balance and devote some time to their personal needs as well.

However, the main question students will always ask is: How to select a really reliable case study writing service? Well, the answer will most probably depend on your specific needs. Of course, you would wish to have a work of high quality, written at a corresponding level, for an affordable price, and with the guarantees of your confidentiality. Define what are the most important issues for you, and we will try to offer some tips on selecting the best writing service.

case study harvard customer service

Top 5 Factors for Selecting a Writing Service

We have already mentioned that there are loads of online writing services ready to offer you their help. Unfortunately, not all of them can be equally trusted. If you are new to the entire deal, it is easy to get lost among a myriad of search engine results and make the wrong choice of a case study helper. Here are the factors that should be considered in the first place while making such an important decision.

1. Type of Services

Some writing help websites offer only a limited package of services. They may deal only with a select number of disciplines or provide only a few types of written assignments, for example. Others offer pre-written papers on some particular topics without considering specific clients’ requirements and instructions. Besides, not all of them can boast of editing, proofreading, and revision services. While you need high-quality case study papers and the full value for your money, you should search for a team of responsible professionals who care for their customers and meet all their needs, offering a full package of writing services.

Here are issues and special services to consider during your search:

  • A team of professional writers should be able to cope with any type of written assignment, any discipline, and any topic.
  • They do not only write a paper but also edit and proofread it to make sure that everything is in order.
  • In case you find any inconsistency in the final work, they can revise it for free as many times as needed.
  • Customer-centered writing service gives money-back guarantees. They will never neglect the customer’s dissatisfaction and will offer a partial or full refund in extreme cases.
  • Professional writers can work on a tight schedule and produce urgent orders within several hours. However, it may cost extra.
  • Really good writing services are available 24/7 and offer an open line of communication.

case study harvard customer service

Infographics on Types of Services

2. Customer Feedback

When you are planning to order case study help, you want to make sure that the company is reliable. So, the first thing to check is the reviews and rankings from the customers. Make sure to look for them on reliable resources. Customers’ feedback on the company’s website should be treated reasonably though. You should be suspicious about all the positive reviews with high praise and exaggerated gratitude. There is a high chance that these feedbacks are moderated and the negative ones are immediately removed to create an all-positive impression, or they may be crafted by the staff members to deceive the new customers. On the other hand, reliable writing services preserve and post even negative feedback, often replying to them and expressing their regrets in regard to the client’s dissatisfaction.

3. Security and Privacy

The advent of up-to-date digital technologies and millions of amateur specialists in the IT field made it possible for any enthusiast to build a website from scratch and claim to offer high-quality writing services. To make sure that the service you choose is credible, reliable, and legitimate, you need to check its SSL certificate. Its URL should start with HTTPS (S signifies the presence of the certificate). By clicking on a padlock icon situated on the address bar, you can view all the details related to this certificate.

At the same time, you would want to ensure your privacy and get some guarantees that the facts about the help you are asking from them will not be disclosed. For a reliable online writing service, the anonymity and privacy of their clients are the first priority. They do not require any contact or other personal details not related to the order you are placing. The contact information that you provide to the support team is not passed to the writer who will work on your assignment. Finally, they ensure the security of all payments and other transactions.

case study harvard customer service

4. Affordability

Students are not very financially stable in most cases, so the affordability of writing services may be the very first criterion to consider when choosing one. A worthy company takes into consideration such issues and does not charge too high for its services, taking care of the customers’ paying capacity. Besides, they offer the flexibility of prices that would most probably depend on the required word count, academic level, difficulty of the topic or assignment, and urgency. Thus, you are sure to find a reliable and affordable option. However, do not get tempted by too low prices. This may be a sign of a proportionally low quality of services they provide.

5. Writers’ Credentials

Of course, you need a high-quality paper that will secure you the highest grade. A really reliable writing service genuinely cares about its customers, their satisfaction, and their success in academics. It is possible to achieve this with a team of highly qualified and experienced writers, experts in a variety of disciplines and subjects, able to deal with any kind of task. Reputable companies are very scrupulous in their hiring process, selecting only passionate and experienced professionals with advanced educational degrees and rich portfolios.

Finding case study help online can be really challenging due to the existence of fraudulent and unethical websites. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to fall victim to their deceitful promises of the best services available. Nevertheless, you can find a lot of legal and reputable companies that can guarantee the best help in your academic career. Consider the writers’ qualifications, customers’ feedback, services’ affordability, website security, and guarantees of privacy while looking for a reliable online writing service. Of course, the risks are inevitable. But just a small effort will help you to locate the assistant you will want to return to.

References:

  • Dr. Brian Budgell, DC, PhD. Guidelines to the writing of case studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2597880/
  • Wikipedia. Critical thinking. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking
  • iSchoolConnect. Case study format-Make the most of your research. https://ischoolconnect.com/blog/case-study-format-make-the-most-of-your-research/

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