Essay: English for Business and Economics

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1. Data Analysis

Business Studies
Unit 3: Marketing, chapter 19: Globalisation and international marketing
chapter 14: What is marketing? (Market share)
1.1. Data

Source: IOCA

1.2. Relevance
When Belgians are thinking of big automobile companies or popular motorbike brands, names as Ducati, Audi, Honda, Ford, Husqvarna come up and also BMW is brought forth. But what if we put it beyond the scope of national thinking and examine a company on a larger scale, namely their market share in the whole world? Then, not many people have an idea of how important a market like BMW’s is in the whole world.

In this line graph, it is interesting to see the evolution over thirteen years and not only a short period. The graph is very clear: the colours are well chosen, so the line is the most remarkable. In addition the axes are labelled like it’s supposed to be, namely in equal parts, clearly ordered.

Further, the market shares are based on the number of cars produced. Not everyone had an idea of how many cars precisely are produced. And even less people can estimate at a global level. Just because it is so difficult to do an assessment of the market share of a company who produces different cars and motorcycles on a world scale. Therefore, I chose to pick this graph, because it could be interesting for me to examine and for readers to recognize something or to learn from.

1.3. Data analysis worksheet

1.3.1. Orientation
Type
Line graph Snapshot – Movie
Title
BMW’s global market share from 2000 to 2013, based on number of cars produced.
Source
Primary source: OICA

Secondary source: Statista
Labels
The blue line is the connection between the individual market shares, which are represented for dots at each year.
Unit of measurement
The periods of time are shown horizontally. These are years from 2000 to 2013. Vertically are the percentages, divided from 1.75 to 3.5%.
Definitions
Market share is the percentage of sales in the total market sold by one business. This is calculated like: firms sales in time period divided to total market sales in time period. The whole formula has to be multiplied by 100 to become a percentage.

The organization BMW is a German producer of cars like BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini as well as a maker of motorcycles, named as BMW Motorrad. BMW is enormously globalised through the years. In 2000 BMW stopped producing Rover and sold this brand.

1.3.2. Generalisation
Extremes

1. Between 2000 and 2013 BMWs global market share moved from 2.04% to 2.92%.
2. The market share hit his lowest level in the beginning, namely the year 2000.
3. Between 2010 and 2012 there is a sharp increase of 0.82% remarkable in market share.
4. Apparently, in the past decade BMW obtained their best result in 2012. In this year the market share peaked at 3.27%.

In-betweens

5. Between 2000 and 2005 this market share almost rose constantly from 2.04% to a percentage of 2.89. Only in 2002 the growth was a little bit less steep.
6. In 2005 BMWs market share started to fall but then, in 2006, it went up again.
7. But then, between 2007 and 2010 BMWs market share sank year after year.
8. After the peak in 2012, the market share felt dramatically to 2.92% in 2013.

1.3.3. Explanation
Statement 1:
E: A worldwide crisis came up after the housing bubble and effected many markets. BMW stood almost always above the 2.25%, however the economy fell dramatically. Therefore, their market share in total grew only about one percentage.
C: The greatest economies in the world were damaged by the crisis, so BMW saw some changings in their popularity too, so their production had to follow.
S: People were afraid to buy something extra in periods of crisis, while after the crisis, hope came back and people started to buy BMWs, Minis or Rolls Royces.
P: Also the environment was involved, because of their support to some banks that went bankrupt. So even the environment was damaged. Otherwise, in other times, even politics drove around in BMWs.

Statement2
E: Rover was incurring huge losses and BMW decided to sell that part of their organisation. But since we don’t see any data of 1999, we can’t remark if the 2.04% is a growth in market share or not. But since in the 1990s the world economy was hit by a series of deep crises with so many consequences BMW could be damaged too. Because of that it may be that their market share had to recover as shown in the beginning of this graph.
C: ?
S: Because of the various crises people became unemployed and don’t wanted to buy luxurious cars. In stead they consumed mainly convenience goods.
P: ?

Statement 3 and 4:
E: The economy started to develop a bit. So people again believed in the economy and started to buy more luxurious cars.
C: As BMW sales cars to different continents, they always have a certainty that not every part in the whole world is in an economic depression.
S: In June 2012 BMW got the title ‘world’s most reputable company for 2012’, presented by forbes.com. So this shows that people were willing to buy and recommend a model of BMW.
P: ?

Statement 5:
E: BMW started producing new vehicles like the 3 Series Compact, E36, which were successful. Only in 2002 it came to a standstill, so more new models had to be created in 2003.
C: ?
S: People were pleased by the comfort of BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce whereby they purchased more cars of the BMW Group.
P: ?

Statement 6:
E: BMW’s stock got smaller in 2005 (BMW annual report, 2005), so they could have produced fewer cars in order to sell a part of their supplies so it would be reduced. Also 20% less Rolls Royces were produced.
C: BMW had a big success in Asia, America and other markets, but in Europe, sales went down in 2006 and 2007. Therefore, sales went down in 2006, but rose again in 2007 due to their success.
S: BMW was manufacturing their first series of hydrogen-fuelled cars. People wanted an environmentally friendly car so they bought a BMW.
P: ?

Statement 7:
E: Because of the crisis BMW’s sales declined so their production had to be reduced also. Chairman Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW, even said that BMW would adjust production if necessary and that 40000 cars originally destined for the US market would be redirected to other markets or just not produced (Just-auto, 2008).
C: Car plants had to be closed, like one in Cowley, United Kingdom, whereby many people became unemployed..
S: People are getting anxious to consume and instead save their money when it is an economic crisis. As a result organisations sold less, their turnover and profit sank, they had to close some plants, etc. So that everything just kept on getting worse and people kept on getting poorer.
P: ?

Statement 8:
E: ?
C: In America big automakers like Chevrolet, Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan sold more cars in comparison with 2012. An obvious reason can be because of their lower price than BMW or cheaper components of vehicles.
S: ?
P: Since 2012 a new law was introduced in some countries, namely that commercial vehicles are taxed more than before. This is based on their CO2 emission and the catalogued price. So less big cars were sold.

1.3.4. Exploration
I wasn’t aware that in general BMW’s market share was rather low, as I expected that it would be over 5%, since BMW in my opinion is a popular brand of cars. In addition I could not guess to see such an expansion in the period of 2000-2005, because of my lack of knowledge of the intern functioning or production of BMW group, I think. Furthermore I thought it was obvious that their market share fell in 2008 due to the economic crisis, but I was a little shocked when I saw that it already increased in 2011, because I thought that their suffering of the crisis would last longer.

2. Scholarly articles
The business
Unit 2: chapter 4: handling complaints

2.1. Citation Pages
‘ First article

Title: Handling customer complaints effectively: A comparison of the value maps of female and male complainants

Authors:
Thorsten Gruber (Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Isabelle Szmigin (Birmingham Business School, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Roediger Voss (Center for Strategic Management, HWZ University of Applied Sciences of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)

DOI:
http://dx.doi.org.kuleuven.ezproxy.kuleuven.be/10.1108/09604520911005044

ISSN: 0960-4529

Abstract:
Purpose
This paper seeks to explore the nature of complaint satisfaction with particular emphasis on the qualities and behaviours that male and female customers value during personal complaint’handling service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach
A semi’standardized qualitative technique called laddering was used to reveal the cognitive structures of complaining female and male customers. In total, 40 laddering interviews with 21 female and 19 male respondents with complaining experience were conducted.

Findings
The research indicates that being taken seriously in the complaint encounter together with the employee’s competence, friendliness and active listening skills are particularly important for both male and female complainants. Females were more able than male respondents to develop strong associations on the highest level of abstraction and linked desired employee behaviours with several values. Female customers tended to be more emotionally involved than male customers as they wanted employees to apologize for the problem and sometimes needed time to calm down and relax. By contrast, male complainants were mainly interested in a quick complaint solution.

Research limitations/implications
Owing to the exploratory nature of the study in general and the scope and size of its sample in particular, the findings are tentative in nature. As the study involved students from one university, the results cannot be generalized beyond this group, even though in this case the student sample is likely to represent the general buying public.

Practical implications
If companies know what female and male customers expect, contact employees may be trained to adapt their behaviour to their customers’ underlying expectations, which should have a positive impact on customer satisfaction. For this purpose, the paper offers several suggestions to managers to improve active complaint management.

Originality/value
The findings enrich the existing limited stock of knowledge on complaint management by developing a deeper understanding of the attributes that complaining male and female customers expect from customer contact employees, as well as the underlying logic for these expectations.

Keywords:
Complaints, Gender, Customers, Customer satisfaction

Type:
Peer-reviewed journal

Publisher:
Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09604520911005044

Database:
Limo

‘ Second article
Title: Ontology-based reasoning for the intelligent handling of customer complaints

Authors: Lee, Ching-Hung ; Wang, Yu-Hui ; Trappey, Amy J.C.

Abstract:
While responding to customer complaints and solving customer problems effectively contributes to high service quality, a customer complaint can also be regarded as a critical source of information for improving the firms’ products and services. Handling complaints successfully can resolve crises and help maintain customer loyalty. Hence, from a customer relationship management (CRM) perspective, it is well worth collecting and analysing complaint-related knowledge. Constructing ontology of customer complaints is the first crucial step in CRM. Web Ontology Language (OWL) is a formal tool for defining ontology, providing a complete description of the domain knowledge. The ontological schema of complaint handling serves as the basis for case-based reasoning (CBR) mechanism, which includes retrieving cases, using case indexing, and similarity matrixes procedures. Thus, this research presents an interoperable ontology and case-based reasoning for intelligent complaint handling. The solution offers enterprises an informative and knowledge-based methodology to resolve customer complaints systematically with self-learning feature.

Subjects: Customer Complaint ; Ontology Construction ; Case-Based Reasoning

Type: Peer-reviewed journal

ISSN: 0360-8352

DOI: 10.1016/j.cie.2014.11.019

Publisher:
ScienceDirect (Elsevier B.V.)

Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cie.2014.11.019

Database:
Limo

2.2. Critical Comparison

I have chosen two articles about how to deal with complaining customers. This sector is related to unit two, chapter four in our textbook The Business, which handles ‘dealing with customers’. The first thing I am going to do is compare them to show the differences between the two of them. After this treatment, a comparison of similarities will follow.

The title of the first article is ‘Handling customer complaints effectively: A comparison of the value maps of female and male complainants’. This article is about how customers want their complaints to be handled. The authors of the article did an exploratory research study in order to achieve data of the answers of forty respondents to the question: ‘Given that a service or product failure has occurred, what qualities should customer contact employees possess and what behaviours should they exhibit to create complaint satisfaction during personal complaint handling service encounters’? In addition they divided women and men’s opinions and used the laddering technique to examine this. So they concluded that both groups want contact employees to be competent, friendly and active listeners.

The second article is named ‘Ontology-based reasoning for the intelligent handling of customer complaints’. This one handles about the same topic, namely how customer complaints should be handled, but uses a different research method. Their research is based on different ontologies and systems, like customer-complaint ontology, the e-CCH system, web-ontology language, and so on. Figure number one in the article (page 4) is how they see a perfect research method to analyse complaints. Another difference compared to the first article is that they are more focused on to ‘person-to-person’ customer-service oriented service industries, while the first one is more general, and divided between men and women complainers.

Except from the conclusion of the first article, namely how a contact employee should act or deal with the complaint, both articles roughly agree in their final judgements.
First of all, they both mention the impact of complaints on the organisation. A proper managing of complaints is important for not involving the enterprise in negative moods and to improve the product or specific service.
Secondly, they mention how the organisations should handle complaints. They can come towards the complainers by cash compensation or an improvement of the service or they can just apologize or talk with the customer. In addition, different research methods are possible to find out what problems there really are. Nevertheless, the organisations ought to recruit decent customer contact employees, which have to adopt an adequate handling. Many options of handling a compliant successfully are possible, still most of enterprises just don’t give enough attention how to deal with complaints. For all that they might lose an opportunity to get critical knowledge and maintain their customers fidelity.

2.3. Textual Principles
The first, second and third principle are found in the first article, while the fourth and the fifth are derived from the second one.

1. Comparison ‘ similarly (page 649)
‘Similarly, Mattila and Enz (2002) found a large gap between customer and employee perceptions regarding service quality expectations.’

2. Generalisation & Example ‘ for example (page 638)
‘For example, observable characteristics such as gender may be used to adjust the complaint handling process to customers’ expectations and needs.’

3. Cause and Effect ‘ therefore (page 638)
‘In general, customers make their complaints in person to contact employees (Lovelock and Wirtz, 2007; Brown, 2000) and therefore these employees play a crucial role in creating complaint satisfaction.’

4. Time Order ‘ after (page 3)
‘After selecting the most similar solution from the case base, the solution is adapted to meet the current needs and situation.’

5. Contrast ‘ however (page 1)
‘However, highly relying on experienced staffs has its limitation when facing the new and severe complaints that they never dealt with.’

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