Why is it important to provide excellent customer service?
In this assignment I will examine how effective customer service contributes to business success. As well as that I will inspect the methods used to improve customer service in business. Customer service refers to the way that companies behave towards their customers, for example how well they treat them. Without customers, there is no business. (Business Book This is very important for an organisation’s success that their customers’ needs, and expectations are met. Customer service involves identifying customer needs to satisfy or fulfil them, providing useful information and appropriate advice. This involves all contact with the customer, face-to-face, or indirect contact, for example dealing with complaints. This may include: providing information, giving advice and assistance, deal with returns, refunds and exchanges, making sure that the product range is available, providing after sale service but most importantly deal with complaints and many more. I will be analysing the customer service delivery in Tesco (retail shop/ biggest supermarket brand) and NHS (public sector organisation).
Tesco is a multinational grocery and one of the biggest supermarket brands, which carries out in 12 countries across Asia and Europe with their market leader in the United Kingdom. They have many useful areas with Tesco such as Human Resources (HR), Finance, Marketing, Production, Administration and most importantly Customer Service which I will be focusing on this assignment. Also, there are many different roles of customer service found in Tesco such as a receptionist which responds to queries, taking payments, dealing with customer complaints and problems. Secondly, they have customer assistants which asks questions, helps customers when help is needed. They also have a checkout operator which provide smooth transactions for goods and services. For online shopping Tesco have a customer delivery driver, which their deliver good to customers home on time and help them load goods in. If any enquires are needs customers may call up to the call centre and they answer calls, emails and web chat, deal with complaints, or with problem like transaction or delivery. They have strengthened the foundation of the UK business and are well placed to continue making their offer even more competitive for customers with sharper prices, improved quality, stronger ranges and better service. There are many types of customer service, one could be ‘face-to-face’ when the customer receives service in front of a member of staff, an example could be a cashier. Another type of customer service could be ‘remote customer service’ this is when Tesco offers customers service by phone or online. When you purchase goods from Tesco you receive a receipt which then has links to questionnaires for customers. This then can monitor their customer service which then they receive opinions on the store experience. As they are a competitive market they must monitor regularly and act fast on anything which needs improving.
The NHS (National Health Service) is a government funded organisation in the United Kingdom which offers health services for any ages to the public. It is a publicly funded national healthcare system for England and one of the four National Health Service for each constituent country of the United Kingdom. It is the largest single-payer healthcare system in the world. As in any other business, this business has different roles for their customer service delivery. For example, all NHS buildings have a receptionist and they deal with any enquires and help patients. Also, they have doctors and nurses as all public health centres do. They help people to deal with their diseases and problems. They also have the ambulance service team and they provide assistance and reassure the patient that its going to be fine, so they do not panic. Also, for the people who are far from facilities. For ladies who are pregnant you have your own personal nurse which called a midwife. They provide all your antenatal care and look after the unborn/born child and the mother. They do not have any online communication web chats but public use the NHS website to answer and ask any enquires. Or they could call up hospital/ doctors’ helpline. Which gives customers good advices.
All organisations must provide high quality products and service to meet the expectation and satisfaction for customers. Therefore, the achievement of customer satisfaction must be a major objective in all organisations. Many restaurants, takeaways and other businesses shop their materials in supermarket, not only is Tesco used for daily essentials but they can be customers from other businesses buying products from Tesco. So, everyone is a customer of Tesco. Different customers have different needs and expectations that Tesco will need to meet to make their business stand out from everyone’s. Tesco customers have their own individual needs and also each different individual likes to be provided with different services to make them self-feel more comfortable and happier. Many customers have asked Tesco that they would want clear aisles for them to find products easily. After getting feedbacks about aisles to be clearer, they have now added bigger and bond aisles boards. This shows how that the customers feedback has been voiced and done. This now has satisfied their customers s they have been answered, if Tesco didn’t look into this they could have lost most of their customer as it was what they have requested. Tesco have a code of conduct, they make sure ever rule is followed. To make sure they followed the law, they developed policies and blueprints on each key risk issue.Code of Business Conduct,. There are two types of important customers that businesses/companies have to deal with. They are called internal and external customer. An external customer is when they purchase goods or products from stores. An internal customers in Tesco business are the people who work for Tesco. No matter what departments you are in you are still an internal customer as they are working for a business. Customers expect to experience the same high levels of service every time. So, this is why all employees need to be well trained. Both internal and external customers make up the team and all rely on each other to ensure business success. (booklet301). Tesco will need to ask questions and take surveys for their external customers for what are important to them buying purchasing specific item . For example a customer is only allowed to have certain food as they are ‘vegan’. As we all know vegan people are not allowed to eat meat and fish as it is one of the rules. Tesco will need to figure out what they can provide this vegan customer and what can be an alternative for them also they can research different food brands that are vegan. No matter what situation they need to be respectful for the customers choice. Tesco staff members may ask polity for them to fill in and complete the customer service questionnaire. This is because when customers are unhappy or have any problems with anything, the staff need to know how they can deal with the situation again next time. They must always follow the law as it sits at the ‘heart of customer trust in Tesco’. One way that Tesco meet the expectations and satisfaction of their customers is that they offer 24 hours service. As they can get anything whenever from tesco. For example, for the people that work all day and haven’t had the time to get any groceries or needs they are able to get the products at night time. All customer relies on to receive reliable information to all businesses about the product or service. This is why reliable information or service is very important as it reflects back at your business. In able to meet their customer expectation and satisfaction they should remember to respond to their customer needs. Its shows that your business do care what customers think and increase the amount of customers. The benefit of building consumer relationships are that the business Tesco will know what their next move is to do to provide better customer service to meet the expectation and satisfaction. A complaining customer needs time to get the problem ‘off their chest’. By listening, you are also showing empathy with the customer. Businesses need to listen and respond to their customers. (booklet 306). It is important to build a good relationship with your customers as it most likely for them to return. By building positive customer relationships, employees are rewarded with greater job satisfaction. (booklet 308). If a customer has had a very good service with one of the staff members, they either leave a feedback or can speak to the employees manager about the customer service he/she has received. This then can help the employee get a better job in the future or even move them up to a different job. Customers service is controlled by legislation and regulations to protect businesses and, most importantly, their customers. There are many consumer protection legislations in Tesco for example like: Sales of Good Acts 1979 and under this act products sold must be undamaged and in good working order/ condition. If the customers think the product doesn’t meet their needs or requirements they easily reject them and ask for their money back or to request for a repair or replacement/ claim compensations.
One method that Tesco can use to make improvements to the customer service provision are that they could have any store members/staff that can help elderly or disable people carry their bags. Or hire staffs to help them pack their items in the bag, this is because it could be difficult for them to place item in their bags and many other reasons. Not only would it look good to the employee but it will reflect back to the business how caring and full of manner they are. Employees should ask for assistance if a customer looks lost or look like they are in need. If these recommendations from the customers are ignored Tesco may lose customers weeks by weeks. Showing a good example good customer service. Another way in which they can improve customer service is to improve the checkout times. Even though there are self-checkouts these days in stores. Checkout times are always the main problem in Tesco supermarket. They tend to me very busy especially off-peak times. They should make sure that more tills are opened for their customers. This will make them happy and want to shop more in Tesco and bring more customers in the business. Tesco will need to figure out if their customer service is good or bad so they can make improvements if appropriate. Tesco is an competitive market which they need to regularly act very fast if anything needs improving because it will reflect back on their customer service. Also because Tesco is huge company it will be very hard to monitor customer service on a daily basis but one way which is very easy and efficient is to doing a method called ‘mystery shoppers’. This method will help Tesco on customer service and give them ideas on what improvements are needed. This is basically when a certain researcher gets paid to act like a normal customer and shops around Tesco. They will look around the store for any improvements which are needed and comment on what is good so far however none of the employers working in Tesco do not know who this ‘mystery shopper’ is. So the results are accurate and fair. Not only will it help knowing what’s good and bad at customer service but the ‘mystery shopper’ can point out which members of staff in Tesco showing good attentiveness and those who don’t care less. It will give them ideas of how the workers are at Tesco and they can praise the ones who do well and make decision who do not work well. This then will help you and the employers in Tesco what needs sorting out and what is missing in their customer service, they can mend it so knowing what can be improved because this is vital as they are here to make the customer happy. The ‘mystery shopper’ can then sit with the manager and notify Tesco how well they have done and question them about certain situations. Also Tesco have a variety range of customers like dads, mums, teachers and many more. They can choose different types of mystery shoppers, which can improve even more and give Tesco accuracy of results and a good perspective from different types of customers making the test less bias. An example is they can hire a mystery shopper acting as a single father with children. The father can check on the baby facilities for example like baby food, clothing and accessorises. This gives us different impressions with different types of people. In most businesses you are asked to complete ‘satisfactions survey’. This gives customers to voice their opinion on the store.
Customer service is regulated by legislation and regulations to protect businesses and most importantly, their customers. To ensure that businesses comply with legislation, they must have policies and procedures in place. When Tesco sell a product to a customer, the customer are entering an agreement or contract with them. For example, a consumer buys a TV from Tesco. Any customer has the legal rights to return the TV if it doesn’t meet the contract, (also mean if there’s faulty). Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, such as serious injury, death and major fines or imprisonment for the manager or employer. It will make it easier for customers to claim their money back when a product is faulty. Tesco can then either give the customer a refund or exchange leaving the business and customer less hassle. Food Safety Act – this act includes things that food must comply with food safety requirements, like must be of the nature, substance and quality demanded. Also it must be correctly described (labelled). In every product it has a refund policy expect certain items like earrings as it is for hygienic problems. It has an huge impact as it allows the customer to change and receive payments that they are not happy about in any purchases. They are committed to uphold human rights and support in full the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization Core Conventions on labour standards, working hours and health and safety for workers.( https://www.tescoplc.com/reports-and-policies/human-rights-policy/). This implies that Tesco agree to holding any situations that they have course and give back to their customer. Also this could even convey that they do not want to lose their customer and this the reason why they are doing the best and working so many hours to get it fixed. The implication of Tesco not meeting all legal regulatory requirements can be costly and lead to failure of the business.
Customer service is a critical link,which leads to repeat purchasing and continued residual income to the business. Monitoring your businesses customer service can get an idea of what customers like about products or their preferences by what they buy and do not buy. (booklet312). This is because to make their customer service better and to have competitors to get to your business level you will need to know what is best and what your consumer wants. Also monitoring customer service means ensuring the positive attitude of service staff, the effectiveness of resolutions and the ultimate satisfaction of the customer. It is used to make improvements in customer because it makes sure that customer service is up to a high standard. This is then when you can see what mistakes the business is making and use this information in their performance review. Companies that do well in monitoring in their customer service tend to deliver great customer satisfaction. It improves workplace operation, for a business to be successful. Regular process monitoring provides information that can be used in improving workflow that provides consistent and reliable service which end results is an improved customer service. It also gives a good reputation to the businesses as it sets benchmark goals in customer service. It enhances your business reputation and encourages more customers. Tesco should know their customers characteristic so they can use this information to build a ‘customer profile’ which then can include customers characteristics like gender, or ages groups. (booklet312). For example, baby foods and nappies they are essentials for babies and toddlers. This is because they will need to figure out what type of products that mothers and babies prefer the most. Giving them an ideas of what they should have in the business. Sometimes they can do questionnaires to the people who mostly buy baby products and ask them which brand/ company they prefer. Giving them a data information that they could add on to make their market better in the future. All these details are then analysed and the evaluations provide valuable sources of information to businesses. (booklet312). For NHS they have two sectors in the building one for the children and one for adults. This helps NHS and the customers around them feel safer and more comfortable as they are in a place where they are taken good care of. In the waiting rooms in every NHS building hey have a board which shows the waiting time/ hours and which doctors or nurses is available. This lets the patience know how long they will need to wait to get checked. They have different nurses and doctor for different ages groups this is why it is divided into two different groups. Customers’ characteristics help inform businesses about their specialist needs as well as general needs. Tesco and other large businesses collect customer data by offering them a loyalty card called club-card. (booklet 313). They received a key rings and a card through post after signing up online, which they can scan after ever purchase. It can tell them what they like as an individual and give offers and good deals in the future. They can then target groups or individuals with information, offers, vouchers and other enticements to encourage spending/ visits to the store. (booklet313). In the NHS waiting rooms around the display boards or on the way the out they have boxes and stands for the patience to leave feedback on their service they have received or any questions. This helps the people who work for NHS find out what you want to know. Invitations for customers to provide data can appear in different form such as; questionnaires, compliments, suggestions, complaints boxes and many more. (booklet313). With these feedbacks the staff members can discuss what they can do to make improvements.
Why is it important to provide excellent customer service?