Listening to the customer’s voice is a fundamental tool of marketing. Needs and value assessment provides valuable inputs to product development, customer support services, logistics, and marketing communications. Customers will not only tell on what products and services they need, but which aspects of those products and services are most prominent in the supplier selection process and how well the company performs on those attributes relative to the direct competitors (Grigoroudis et al., 2009). With these in mind, the successful company will be the one that enhances consumer’s satisfaction and expectation in the economy. To this end, it focuses on the target consumers in an attempt to decipher the nature of services and products that they need so as to meet their demands, and the mode of delivery for that product or service (Hill, 2007). However, consideration should be given to the shifting of targets by customers and that their expectations have constantly changed. Hence, companies require several opportunities to attend to the customers need, and complaints so as to, effectively, acquire unimpeachable reputation from them. Prior to Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient (RQ) survey, the focus will be on FedEx Express Company, which was ranked first and the Nike Inc. which is undergoing a revival of its previously poor reputation.
FedEx Express Company is the world’s premier provider of the transportation services. The company acknowledges that when it works to make each customer experience outstanding, at each departmental interaction, the customer’s trust would have ultimately been won. Indeed it believes that Reputation is the most vital asset a Company should possess in order to realize its strategic objectives (Ivarsson, 2010). Unlike FedEx, Nike is struggling to achieve its long lost reputation after a drastic change in the economy meant the loss of customer’s trust. However, Nike has always proved the leader in the advertisement sector. Nike’s advertising campaigns are widely recognized by both competitors and investors as successfully implemented. Nike was truly a trendsetter when it came to advertising, not only focused on footwear, but also the overall industrial reputation.
Having a strong customer reputation, FedEx has enhanced its overall performance in the economy. Its profit outlay has increased tremendously over the past decade. The management is currently working with the security agencies in the global perspective so that its global express network will ultimately be secure (Allen, 2008). In addition, its ability to respond quickly and efficiently to disaster and community relief has enhanced the company’s reputation as customers are secured from any disaster during transportation. In contrary, FedEx has long-lasting governance, which is committed to the highest standards of the corporate governance. Currently, FedEx is striving to connect with the external economies in responsible and sustainable ways, helping in meeting the needs of customers and improving its business operations in other territories (Cochran, 2006).
On the other hand, since 1990’s, Nike has been targeted by protesters for quality working condition and discrimination of workers. Students, Unions, and Activists have protested that Nike Inc. is subjecting its workers to unfair and inhumane treatment (Szwarc, 2005). In comparison to other product brands in the same industry—Reebok and Adidas, Nike has received immense attention from activists and protestors (Cochran, 2006). Following many years of protest, the reputation of Nike Inc. became tarnished in 1998 and, as a result, reported a 50% decrease in its net profits as per the financial statements of 1997. Nike responded to the protests claiming that it was a responsible corporate citizen with its main objective being to maximize customer satisfaction. It assured workers that the company will work to improve their lives and working conditions. According to Hill et al. (2006), Nike's relationship with its contract factories has been guided by the company’s Code Leadership Standards and Code of Conduct, a set of health, labor, and environmental standards.
In fostering a new turn of events, the media are currently seeing that Nike’s efforts is starting to bear fruits as labor issues have been improved and the various changes implemented in its policies are achieving a positive effect. Various newspapers have outlined that the labor condition in Nike’s factories has tremendously improved. Following this calamity, Nike has taken caution when dealing with the voices of rebel and aims at according them the maximum attention they deserve. This has resulted to a steady increase in the sales figure after the slump of 1998. Nike is currently focusing on workers needs and aiming at improving their conditions within the factory in both underdeveloped and developing countries, which translates directly to increased sales figures (Hill, 2007).
Finally, for an organization to succeed, customer satisfaction is of importance. The management needs to overt dedication to customer focus as one of its vital values in the organization so as to enhance customer satisfaction (Szwarc, 2005). Initiation of exemplary programs that gathers information on experiences of customers will enhance the management to understand the customer’s perception. In addition, an organization needs to adopt ‘internal customer’ criterion. This will ultimately endear to high performances of the company.