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The Customer Service At Supermarket | Analysis

2911 words (12 pages) Essay in Marketing

10/05/17 Marketing Reference this

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This proposal relates to customer satisfaction at Friends Supermarket in Riviere Du Rempart. It will assess the level of service that is delivered to all customers. Furthermore, it will help in improving customer satisfaction particularly in areas where they need improvement like better quality of service.

Without an understanding of the marketplace and customer needs and wants, it is impossible to capture value from customers in order to create profits and customer quality. Today customers are more demanding than before and businesses that don’t deliver customer satisfaction will be crowded out of the marketplace. That why Friends Supermarket will carry a research.

A survey method will be used where information will be collected from a target population. The use of questionnaire will be taken into consideration which will be administered through personal interviews. Besides, in order to get to the root of the situation, a focus group will also be carried out with the employees and the targeted ones.

Last but not least, SPSS 13.0, i.e, Statistical Software will be used for inputting data. With that, recommendations will be made and the report will certainly help to assist in improving performance at work that is how to improve customer satisfaction. As far as it concerns the validation of the hypotheses, future research can be done later.

Recently Friends Supermarket has had renovation because there were not much space for people to move freely. As it plays an important role in serving the nearby villages, it is important to construct a marketing program that delivers superior value and that ultimately helps in building profitable relationships and creating customer delight.

Friends Supermarket is in existence for quite a long time and nowadays other businesses are expanding rapidly such as WINNERS. In other words, Friends Supermarket operated in a very dynamic environment and it becomes important to deliver good quality service to all customers. Consumers have become very demanding and they want value for money. They opt to so their daily, weekly and monthly shopping at that Supermarket itself as it is very near and they can also save on travel expenses in some way. They have a broad array of products that do satisfy them. But due to some criticisms, it is being heard that some customers are dissatisfied with the quality of services being offered.

PROBLEM DEFINITION

The problem that will be analysed will be based upon the level of customer satisfaction that Friends Supermarket delivers to its customers. As stated above, there have been criticisms and complaints from, say, various customers that they do not like the services being offered and they have had bad experiences.

BACKGROUND

Customer value and customer satisfaction are key building blocks for developing and managing customer relationships. If Friends Supermarket wants to improve a customer service policy, it must make changes through training programs and others in order to win and retain its customers.

Customer service can affect the value of a business in several ways. From the perspective of customer retention and profitability, the value of customer service should be ignored. The old stage- that it costs far less to keep a customer than to find a new one is very true. So, in order to stay competitive, Friends Supermarket must understand the value of customers in order to succeed.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Customer Service

Today customer service places itself in a much broader context as a multi-dimensional issue with an impact on relationships with specific target groups across a broad range of a company’s activities. The source of quality and customer service will also undergo review.

Quality Creates true Customers

Excellent service pays off because it creates true customers. True customers are like annuities- they keep pumping revenue into the firm’s coffers.

Delight the Customer

Deming has used the phrase ‘delight customer’ to describe quality going beyond the expected. Part of the ‘delight’ is reliability, something that works and is consistent over time, which we call ‘fitness in use’. Through quality management, we can find a structure for planning, improving and controlling the kinds of internal activities that will keep customers happy. Knowing what the customer expects is central to quality planning. Knowing what compensatory changes to make and how to do is quality improvement.

Understanding service quality dimensions

Reference will be made to Berry, Parasuraman and Zeithaml. Berry and his colleagues captured the important influences on customers’ expectations and perceptions of delivered service:

Reliability – ability to perform the promised service dependably, accurately and consistently. This means doing it right, over a period of time.

Responsiveness – prompt service and willingness to help customers. Speed and flexibility are involved here.

Assurance – knowledge and courtesy of staff and their ability to inspire trust and confidence.

Empathy – caring, individualized attention to customers

Tangibles – Physical facilities, equipment, staff appearance, physical evidence of the service that conveys both functional and symbolic meaning

Clearly some of these dimensions relate directly to human performance and staff contact with customers.

Complaints Handling

It is equally important to handle complaints. A major challenge is to adopt a positive approach to complaints so they are seen as opportunities for the organization to grow and not as attacks that must be fought off. If corrective action is subjugated to “finger pointing” and “blame allocating” then, problems become worse and organizations enter into a spiral of poor customer service and dissatisfaction.

Dealing with Unsatisfied customers

Studies show that the vast majority of unsatisfied customers will never come right out and tell you they are unsatisfied. They simply leave quietly, later telling everyone they know not to do business or buy from you. So when a customer complains, do not think of it as a nuisance- think of it as a global opportunity to change that customer’s mind and retain his or her business.

Here is how to handle them for positive results:

Never argue with a customer

Let them vent their feelings

Share your point of view as politely as you can

Initiate responsibility for the problem. Do not make excuses.

Empower the front-line employees to be flexible in resolving complaints. Give employees some leeway in deciding when to bend the rules.

Immediately take action to remedy the situation.

JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS RESEARCH

5.1 Why this topic?

Customers are truly King! This everyone knows. They are becoming more demanding and they want satisfaction and value for money for what they are paying. There are so many supermarkets in Mauritius and the topic Customer Satisfaction seems to be an interesting one. That’s why I choose the nearest supermarket to my place and decided to do the research survey.

5.2 Aim of the study

The main aim is to find out which areas need to be reviewed and improved. The research will help in improving and enhancing the way Friends Supermarket can deliver service to its customers.

5.3 Research Objectives

This study tries to assess the level of service that is offered to customers by Friends Supermarket.

The research will demonstrate the factors that affect the level of customer service there. It will also identify and analyse the specific needs of customers, their perception on the level of service that they get and the extent to which the staff are committed and well trained and adapted to deliver such as service to the customers.

5.4 Research hypothesis

A research hypothesis has been formulated to describe whether there is a relationship between the quality of customer service offered and the employee commitment to deliver such a service. A second one has been formulated to know whether there is a relationship between customer satisfaction and the service offered the supermarket because it may happen that consumers are not satisfied even though a quality service is offered to them, implying that there are other factors to be considered.

The hypothesis is as follows:

H0 – there is no relationship between the commitment of the employees and the quality of customer service provided by the supermarket

H1: there is a relationship between the commitment of the employees and the quality of customer service provided by the supermarket.

H0 – there is no relationship between customer satisfaction and the quality of customer service delivered by the supermarket

H2: there is a relationship between customer satisfaction and the quality of customer service delivered by the supermarket.

METHODOLOGY

6.1 Introduction

According to the Market Research Society, research is defined as:

“The collection and analysis of data from a sample of individuals or organizations relating to their characteristics, behaviours, attitudes, opinions or possessions. It includes all forms of marketing and social research such as consumer and industrial surveys, psychological investigations, observational and panel studies” (MRS,1994)

Many customers opt to go that supermaket as its easier for them. Yet they expect good quality service in return. Friends supermarket provides them with variety of products and as many go to work, reach home late, some have transport problems, they have no choice than to go there and buy. Finding out what customers expect from Friends supermarket is crucial to offer quality service and market research is the main medium for understanding customer expectations. It also helps in understanding its customers much better.

This chapter explains how the study will be conducted to fulfill its objectives. It shows the methodology to be used and the statistical techniques to be used to analyse the data. The limitations will also be taken into consideration.

6.2 Research Design

The research design includes a clear and technical description of the research type such as primary data, secondary data, qualitative and quantitative. It also includes details on the choice of the method of acquiring the data such as personal interview, focus group and survey and so on.

6.2.1 Primary data

This refers to research that has not previously been carried out and involves the collection of data for the collection of data for specific purpose. It includes letters, memos, speeches, laws, regulations, court decisions or some standards, census and so on. These data are important and the information given has not been filtered or interpreted by others. Here, information available will be the inventory results, personal records and others.

6.2.2 Secondary data

Nearly all reference materials fall into this category. Internally, sales analysis summaries and an annual report would be examples of secondary sources as they are compiled from a variety of primary sources.

Hence, both types of data will be used for the study. Secondary sources will be obtained internally within the organization whereas primary sources will be collected through personal interviews among others.

6.2.3 Quantitative / Qualitative

Qualitative research will include studies done on smaller groups of people at the preliminary stages. The focus group will be of help in order to know the exact factors affecting customer service at Friends Supermarket.

Quantitative research will include studies done that result in a large amount of data-like surveys to obtain responses to predetermined and standardized questions. It is also valid and can be used to make predictions. Thus, questionnaires will be designed and administered to the target population in order to get information needed.

6.2.4 Sampling

A sample of the population will be enough as targeting the whole population is time-consuming and costly.

For this research study, sampling will be used for the administering of the questionnaires since it has many advantages and it is convenient too. The sampling plans may be grouped into probability techniques and non-probability techniques. In probability sampling, every element in the population has a known non-zero probability of selection. In non-probability sampling, the probability of any particular member of the population being chosen is unknown. The selection of sampling units in non-probability sampling is quite arbitrary, as researchers rely heavily on personal judgment. Some of the examples of probability sampling method are simple random, systemic sample, cluster and stratified sampling. Examples of non-probability sampling are convenience, judgment sampling, snowball and quota sampling.

6.2.4.1 Sampling Size

A good sample size is one which is representative of the whole population. Since the study covers a relatively large population, a sample size of 100 participants is chosen for the study out of convenience. The sample has been allocated to the strata in proportion with their sizes.

6.2.4.2 Sampling Method

Since the target population of the study, the sampling method that will be used is the cluster sampling method. The supermarket serves mainly nearly villages like L’Amitie, Des Jardins, Belle Vue, Plaines des Roches, Roches Noires and Rempart itself. So it can be found that it is divided into 6 areas. Hence, a sample is to be taken from each of the 6 strata. A sample of 100 respondents is sought for the study.

6.2.5 Data Collection

This part includes the fieldwork and the collection of the required information or data. It is at this stage that the questionnaires are administered and focus group sessions conducted.

6.2.5.1 Questionnaire

A questionnaire will be designed to generate the data necessary for accomplishing the research objectives. The questions are standardized in terms of wordings and sequence in order that each component is asked to provide information exactly in the same manner. This is important in order to ensure the validity of any comparisons to be made between different respondents, as well as to provide data in a form that can be easily analyzed. It is also sequenced in order to allow respondents to maintain their train of thoughts on one topic before moving to another, and to go in line with the event sequence. The questionnaire is divided into two sessions: Section A on the general option of the target population and section B on the demographics of the respondents.

6.2.5.2 Pilot Testing

This is an essential step before the final questionnaire is ready to be administered for the survey. The questionnaire will be pre-tested with a sample of 5 respondents taken from the target population, in order to look for design errors and flaws and correct them before undertaking the survey. Some suggestions about the appropriate headings, rephrasing some questions using simpler words, sequencing of the questions and about some clarifications on certain questions was performed and an amended questionnaire was re-designed to cater for these changes.

6.2.5.2.1 Surveys

They are a type of quantitative primary research that aim to collect specific data from a sample audience. Surveys can be administered via email, snail mail or phone, and usually target customers or potential customers.

The four steps to follow are: identifying your audience, writing the survey, conducting the survey, and analyzing the data collected. When writing the survey, the questions should be kept simple. Here, we will make use of personal interview.

6.2.5.3 Personal Interviews

This is a two-way conservation initiated by an interviewer to obtain information from a participant. The differences in the roles of interviewer and participant are pronounced. Both do not know each other well. The consequences here are usually insignificant for the participant.

6.2.5.3.1 Focus Groups

They are typically composed of about 10 pre-screened people that meet specified criteria. They are assembled in one room to discuss and react to a specific topic relevant to the research topic. I myself I will act as the moderator for this study. A focus group here will include 3 staff workers and 7 other people, i.e. customers.

6.2.6 Data Analysis

When all data have been collected, they will be inputted into the SPSS 13.0 software for the purpose of analysis whereby the results obtained from the survey have been edited, coded, tabulated and cross tabulated. The data have been interpreted and presented in tables, pie charts and bar charts to make the analysis much easy to understand and for proper and smarter presentations. Mean, Mode, Median cluster analysis etc can be calculated.

6.2.7 Limitations of the study

It is time-consuming and demanding

It is costly also

Some respondents might be cautious and hesitant to answer properly.

Some might not be willing to cooperate.

It is not always the all questionnaires will be valid.

Conclusion

This research is of significant importance to Friends Supermarket. Given the literature review that will be taken into account, it will be possible to match the findings with the literature review. The study will help to know how customers perceive the level of service that they obtain with the supermarket. After analysis of data, recommendations will be made in order to improve their service they offer to their customers. The limitations have also been taken into consideration. Finally, at the very start, a time plan has been drafted to prepare the study accordingly and to respect the deadline set.

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