The general public

Lance Owen has four stores, which it seems provide an effective medium for providing goods and services to customers in the areas of Kingston, Richmond, Twickenham and Rickmansworth. It also has a corporate website which provides not only general information about the company, but also detailed information, explaining the types of goods and services on offer. This is an increasing accessibility to the customer, and delivering promotional messages.

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Internet websites can be looked at from anywhere in the world and demonstrate potential for increasing or maximising sales by enhancing awareness amongst communities other than those in which the company immediately operates. Customers may travel to the store, or communicate via telephone, e-mail and fax. Illustrating the commitment of Lance Owen in making goods and services widely available to potential customers. It is important to recognise that by offering numeral methods of communication, customers can be satisfied in a more efficient manner, causing less inconvenience.

Lance Owen has stated that any messages received from customers, either by telephone, e-mail or fax will be responded to within 3 days. An attempt to demonstrate genuine regard for customers can increase chances of customer loyalty and repeat business. By offering mixed menu prices for a wide range of goods and services, Lance Owen will offer a competitive selection of products. They have also vowed never to undertake work without a customers’ authority, and all products supplied by the organisation are guaranteed for a minimum of 12 months.

This is just another strategy used by the company to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction, and guarantees surely help to maximise sales. Customers feel assured with the service they are receiving and will not hesitate to call again. Lance Owen offer free collection and deliveries for Motability drivers and senior citizens. This will help to enhance the public perception of the organisation, as it is perceived that the company is prepared to offer free services to vulnerable members of society. Lance Owen will always provide advice, estimates and quotes upon request, whilst avoiding hidden extras.

They also aim to provide accurate, itemised invoices and promise to use Vauxhall labour time for preparing invoices and for service and repairs. Customers receive the products they require accompanied by sound professional advice. All employees will be issued with a training and development policy document, which states that the management of the company are fully committed to training and developing staff to their full potential. This ensures that all staff are capable of carrying out their roles safely and effectively and can contribute to the overall objectives of the company.

It also works to ensure that customers receive a fully efficient service, enhancing staff morale. As part of its employees’ code of conduct, Lance Owen state that apart from polite manner and smart appearance, employees’ behaviour should be impeccable at all times. In general employees are required to avoid behaviour that may be perceived as being unprofessional. This can only contribute to achieving high standards of customer service and increasing or maintaining high standards of customer satisfaction. Lance Owen also makes reference to personal appearance as part of its employees’ code of conduct.

Where uniform is prescribed, it should be worn at all times. First impressions are important in any customer-orientated organisation and uniform varies with regard to an employees’ job title and status. By ensuring all customer facing staff wear a specified uniform it help to reinforce the company’s brand image. At all Lance Owen stores, there are parking facilities provided, which exceed the expected number of customers at any one given time. They aim to exceed customer expectations and provide facilities that are excessive let alone practical.

Lance Owen have a delegated presentation manager at each of its four stores, who is responsible for overall presentation, and checking the stores for cleanliness at regular intervals throughout each day. Lance Owen clearly believes that this is an appropriate way of ensuring that a customers’ overall shopping experience is a pleasant one and is demonstrating a willingness to invest into achieving and maintaining satisfaction amongst customers. At all of its facilities are monitored by CCTV cameras, which only help to make customers feel safe and secure when dealing with the company.

E4, How does each organisation monitor and assess the quality of customer of customer service? (a) Delta International Book Wholesalers Ltd. Delta has stated that it does not employ any methods of monitoring and assessing the standards of customer service. It relies heavily on the basis of annual sales figures in assessing the quality of customer service. It operates from a relatively small headquarters and therefore managers are able to effectively observe the way in which members of staff deal with each other and members of the general public.

A very informal method of monitoring and assessing the standards of customer service is present within Delta, whose business is partly based on the strong relationships that are built between customers and customer care assistants. In general, staff are encouraged to take note of comments that are made to them by customers and take any appropriate action necessary, to ensure that they are fully satisfied. (b) Lance Owen Ltd. Customer surveys are an integral part of the way Lance Owen monitors and assesses the standard of its customer service.

Apart from internal surveys, Vauxhall conduct two principal surveys on which the company’s performance is measured: a) Purchase Satisfaction Survey, or PSS. A survey carried out on all new vehicle buyers 3 weeks after delivery. b) Service Satisfaction Survey, or SSS. A survey carried out on all new vehicle buyers 13 months after delivery. This is designed to include the first year ownership experience. The company also uses what are known as ‘mystery shoppers’, in all four of its stores.

This is where an unknown person attempts to buy a specific product and records the quality of customer service that is received. Observation is also a way that Lance Owen aims to monitor and assess the quality of customer service. Managers will monitor the way members of staff treat each other and members of the general public. C4, How effectively does each organisation monitor and assess the quality of customer service? (a) Delta International Book Wholesalers Delta has stated that it does not employ any formal methods of monitoring and assessing the quality of customer service.

It relies heavily on the basis of sales figures to monitor and assess the quality of customer service. As it operates from a small headquarters, managers can effectively observe the way members of staff treat each other and different members of the public. Staff are also encouraged to take note of comments made by customers, and take any appropriate action necessary. Not having any formal methods of monitoring and assessing the quality of customer service means that it is not possible for the company to achieve a clear perception of the company’s customer service standards.

It also means that it is likely that the company is slow to respond to changing customer requirements and does not employ a methodical strategy of adapting to rapidly changing customer needs. However, as it operates from a relatively small headquarters, it demonstrates that management has full confidence in its workforce, and is willing to employ a certain degree of trust. It is likely that staff will respond positively to this, resulting in increased enthusiasm and motivation amongst the workforce, although it could lead to a slack attitude being adopted by staff that take less pride in their work.

Again, general comments made by customers to different members of staff form a vital part of adapting and responding to changing customer needs. This again allows the employees a large amount of responsibility, which can be either positive or negative. (b) Lance Owen Ltd. Customer surveys form an integral part of Lance Owens commitment to monitoring and assessing the quality of customer service. This is a formal method and has certain advantages and disadvantages, when compared to other less formal methods.

Essentially, it ensures that the company has an ongoing perception of its standards of customer service, – they can easily establish whether standards are improving or getting worse. It allows the company to make annual comparisons and decide on and evaluate strategies employed by the organisation in an attempt to better the quality of customer service. It also ensures that all employees are aware that standards of customer service are constantly being monitored and must always be kept to as high a standard as possible.

Mystery shoppers are also another method employed by the company. These are effective because they ensure that all employees provide customer service to a very high standard in an attempt to avoid being singled out for providing poor standards of service to a mystery shopper. Mystery shoppers are effective, as they can highlight any employees that demonstrate a particular disregard for customer service and result in action being taken to improve standards of customer service. Observation by managers is present in Lance Owen as it is in most organisations.

It ensures that managers have an idea of the type of service, which is provided by existing employees. It is an inexpensive, informal method of monitoring and assessing the standards of customer service and can often prove more effective as the basis for assessment is made upon practical examples, rather than data retrieved from surveys or questionnaires. E5, How are customer enquiries, complaints and suggestion handled by each organisation? (a) Delta International Book Wholesalers Ltd

The Customer Care Assistant allocated to the account of the particular customer who is making the enquiry should normally deal with all possible customer enquiries. This person is also responsible for noting comments made by customers and deals with any complaints, which a customer may happen to have. However, if this person feels that they cannot satisfy the enquiry, suggestion, or complaint, the customer should be passed on to General Manager who will take full responsibility for the objective resolution of any problems that a customer may have.

Above, I have used a flow chart to illustrate the way in which customer enquiries, complaints and suggestions are handled. Enquiries will normally be dealt with by the customer care assistant allocated the customers account. Complaints will be noted in writing by the particular Customer Care Assistant allocated to the account, and will then pass them on to the General Manager at the end of the day who will aim to respond to complaints within 24 hours. He will apologise for any inconvenience caused and state the appropriate action, which is being taken in response to the complaint.

Suggestions are also recorded in writing and then passed onto the general manager. If there are any suggestions that are consistent with more than one customer, they are posted on the company’s website, stating the action which has been taken in response to that suggestion, in particular. (b) Lance Owen Ltd. General enquiries into the company, with regard to damaged of defected goods and services received or just general information on the company itself will be handled by the members of the Customer Care Team who make up the Customer Care Department.

If they are unable to deal with the enquiry, then it will be forwarded to the Customer Care Manager who will take responsibility for handling that particular enquiry. If a customer has a more specific enquiry into goods and services offered by the company, then it should be diverted to the relevant sales department, where more specialist information about the products on offer should be available, for example, if a customer wanted to find out how much it would cost to have a repair in his or her car, then the enquiry should be handled by members of the Service and Parts Department.

Lance Owen also has an Internet website that provides information on the company itself. This may resolve any general enquiries, which individuals may have. Below, I have used flowcharts to illustrate the procedures for dealing with general enquiries, and more specific enquiries into goods and services offered by the company.