As Asda regards the customer as a top consideration in all its areas of business, it is not surprising that the organisation dedicates so much thought, time and effort towards the efficient operation of the Customer Service department. Asda pays much respect and importance towards its customers as it strongly believes that the success or failure of a business lies entirely with its existing and potential customer base.
In order for it to continue as a successful organisation, Asda always views the way it operates from the perspective of its customers and considers what it is that its customers expect to see and hear from the very first moment they step into the supermarket. It is from this perspective that Asda expects its staff to be friendly to all its customers at all times. At larger stores, Asda has a doorman/greeter who greets customers as they enter the building, in order to add that personal welcoming touch.
Asda also appreciate the fact when a customer buys goods or service they do so to satisfy a need and expect goods to be available when they need them. They also have the right to get good value for money. This is one of the reasons why Asda’s business is successful because they know what their customers want and the quality they demand, and offer better value than any of their competitors. Asda pays much importance towards its Customer Service Department. The purpose of the Customer Service department at Asda is to keep their customers happy ands fulfil their expectations by providing a range of services and quality goods at low prices.
When customers are dissatisfied, many problems can arise. For instance if any organisation refuses to give a refund or exchange damaged or faulty goods it is within the customers statutory rights to go to the trading standards under The Trade Descriptions ACT 1968 which is basically designed to prevent the false or misleading description of goods. This would give businesses such as Asda a bad reputation and would possibly prevent customers from coming in future.
This is why Asda tries very hard to provide a range of facilities and services at the Asda customer service counter, which are much greater than those usually found in any other supermarket. For example Asda’s customer service would include:Asda ensure that their staff are trained to recruit only those employees who are not only able to satisfy the job criteria but who also have a friendly personality and would therefore get on well with the customers. However, sometimes mistakes are made and the wrong staff can be recruited.
Recruiting the wrong staff can cause many problems to arise, which could portray the reputation of Asda in a very bad light. This is why Asda try to provide a fast and friendly service, by training their staff to deliver high standards of service with a smile. Their customer service training is based upon their research from customer surveys about good and bad customer service practice. Asda have used the information from such customer surveys to identify what customers expect and consider being good customer service practice and have then adopted these practices in their supermarkets.
These examples of good practice of customer services are described and explained in part 4. a). Staff are also informed of what their customers consider to be bad customer service practice at supermarkets and are trained to avoid adopting any of these bad practices. These bad practices of customer services which could contribute significantly to the potential failure of a supermarket include: Asda try to avoid dissatisfying customers by providing excellent sales and after sales service. However, if Asda was not so committed to customer service and did not consider the customer a priority, major problems would occur.
The main problem would be in giving the organisation a bad name and reputation for bad customer service as dissatisfied customers would stop shopping at Asda and then also tell their family and friends about the organisation which could avoid them from going there too. Eventually, the lack of customers would mean less income for Asda, which in turn would result in cuts in employment, cutbacks on customer facilities, less buying power, less savings for customers, less attraction to the supermarket and eventually ultimate failure to continue as a leading supermarket.
This is why Asda provide the best quality goods around with affordable prices and with the best of service. E5) – THE MANAGEMENT STYLE AND CULTURE AT ASDA As Asda is a large national PLC, which employees thousands of employees across various sectors of its departments, its organisational structure is based hierarchically. The hierarchy in a business is the order or levels of management, from the lowest to the highest rank and shows the chain of command that exists in the organisation.
It employs specific management styles in its operational management across the organisation. In an ever-changing, dynamic world, Asda has realised well in advance that management styles need to be compatible and beneficial to the work culture in modern times, rather than completely autocratic. It essentially employs two management styles, as certain management styles are more relevant and applicable to certain functional areas and departments, depending on their position in their hierarchy.
The primary management styles that Asda employ across their organisation, particularly in the bottom half of their hierarchical structure, is a consultative management style. Consultative managers at Asda seek to consult their employees before making and implementing a decision. This is not to say that shop-floor employees make managerial decisions, but rather that they are consulted for opinions before most major decisions are implemented.
However, there is an element of some mild autocracy that is applied in the management of such staff at the very base of the hierarchy, but they are still given a sense of worth as employees by being consulted and regularly informed of updates via newsletters, ‘daily huddle’ team briefings, in addition to being asked to contribute for suggestions as regards to potential improvements. The consultative management style is also employed at the top half of the hierarchical structure as all departments and functional areas are consulted.
Asda managers are encouraged to employ listening skills and be more approachable to their staff, rather than simply instruct and order. Perhaps more relevant to those departments where there is a need for project-based work, creativity and administrative and managerial organisation, Asda also employs a democratic management style. A democratic management style involves ’empowering’ teams and individuals by being given the responsibility to make decisions, within the confines of given framework. The team is then held responsible for the decisions it desires to make.
Managers at Asda will feel comfortable with this management style as it encourages teamwork and creates a better workforce as well as giving the mangers a little more freedom. However it is vital that the manager has a clear overall understanding of the decisions taking place. The managers would be confident that individuals given the responsibility will use their time and efforts wisely. The managers at Asda will regularly communicate with the employees at the organisation in terms of talking to them if they are having any problems or a change in job role if they are finding the work hard or a promotion if they have the ability to do better.
Asda believe that this helps keep a good management style, as this way all the employees are kept happy and better results are achieved. The managers will often provide promotion schemes for employees. This also helps to keep an effective management style as it encourages employees to work with their full potential. The mangers at Asda will often use MIS (Management Information System). This helps mangers to view trends from the past, areas which need improvement and furthermore the level at which their employees are working.
MIS also helps change the management style of the business as it helps identify areas of concern etc. Asda believe that a friendly, open and efficient management style it is vital for the staff to feel comfortable and enjoy their work. Good management is vital to the success of Asda as Asda firmly believe that friendly, caring mangers who posses’ good leadership, communication and teamwork skills create a happier workforce. In turn the workforce provide a much more efficient and friendlier service to customers who then ultimately feel satisfied with their shopping experience.
As mentioned previously it is the aim of Asda to make sure the management make the company the most enjoyable place to work, where all the employees are able to work together in harmony. This is vital for Asda, as Asda believe that the attitude of the staff reflects back on the customers. Asda believe that good management and employees are a vital aspect of a business as they have direct contact with the customers. For the third year running Asda has been featured in the top 10 companies to work for with flexible working.
For Asda this is a measure of success to see how well the company is actually doing. Regular internal and external meetings are an excellent means of communicating effectively in order to achieve targets and goals. Meetings are often held by Asda to ensure targets are set and achieved, company news is passed on, updates are received and problems are aired and solutions are made. One of Asda’s aims is: ‘To ensure complete customer satisfaction and minimise any complaints about their products or prices’.
This aim can only be completed through communication, as it is necessary for the staff to communicate with the customers by providing them with relevant information if required and helping them out with any problems in order to meet this aim. Without communication it is impossible for any business to succeed. This is why communication is very important to Asda as it is needed for the business to succeed and meet its aims. Asda have a daily meeting across all their branches which they refer to as a daily huddle.
At this meeting the staff get a chance to discuss any problems and get clarification on matters they are not sure about. This helps the staff at Asda to overcome their differences and provide new effective ways in which to meet their aims. This ‘Daily Huddle’ also ensures that staff are kept happy and feel their thoughts, feelings and suggestions are valued by management. Such means of communication ensure that problems are dealt with very early on as opposed to being allowed to gradually build into a situation which could potentially be disastrous or cause much upset later.
Better and clear lines of communication mean happier, satisfied staff who feel their opinions are valued, which inevitably results in much more efficient and productive operations towards achieving aims and objectives. Asda has a chain of communication in which staff within each department have regular meetings to discuss issues concerning work conditions and operations, in addition to receiving objectives, results and news. The team leaders from within each department then have regular team leader meetings to communicate what news, problems and requests their team members have stated in previous team meetings.
Again, this information is then passed onto senior management who have the authority to deal with the more serious issues and problems. Once a solution has been reached or when senior management feel that that Asda staff need to be kept informed of the latest company news, this information is then passed back down the chain to the team leaders, who then eventually pass it back down to the team staff. If a link in this chain ‘broke’ away, the lines of communications would fail as there would be some departments and teams who would not have received any important information.
This no doubt would eventually result in much upset with the excluded teams and therefore perhaps cause problems later down the line. As further management strategies, Asda encourage better performance and raise motivation by encouraging staff at all levels, to strive for promotion prospects within the company. It is useful to Asda to know how many employees have the skills and aptitude for promotion to more demanding roles. In addition it is useful to know how many employees have the potential, with suitable training, for promotion.
Asda also provides its employees with cheap share packages, staff discounts, subsidised canteens and regularly have fun charity events in order to make Asda a better work environment. In order to get results, management will often identify potential problems and conflicts and look at areas of concern and areas which could be improved. Furthermore, management will often talk with employees who are having problems and employees who need help in terms of not meeting expectations. Asda believe that all employees have the potential of being a good manager.
Asda has reaped the rewards of employing management styles such as those discussed above as there has been a significant improvement in staff morale, higher productivity and efficiency and greater staff loyalty to the business. A better staff productivity rate and higher staff morale has resulted in happier customers and therefore a much better performance rate. Asda management also ensure that they strictly adhere to various employment legislation, in order to ensure they treat their staff fairly and equally. Some of these employment legislations which management must abide by are discussed below.