Thursday 12 March 2015

P3 Explain how focussing on the customer by providing good customer service is essential to retailing

P3 is asking you to collect some PRIMARY and SECONDARY research about consumer shopping choices.
  • Why do some people prefer to shop at Waitrose, John Lewis to shop for their groceries?
  • Why is shopping at Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges such a different experience?
  • How can Ralph Slater's Menswear sell designer suits for men at £100 each?
  • Why are Apple retail shops so amazing ?
  • What is a customer focus and how does it help you compete in any business?
BTEC assessment CRITERIA
  • For P3, learners will demonstrate how retailers relate to their customers. Customer service is highly formalised and demanding in some organisations, while others have a lower standard of service. Learners should identify organisational customer service policies and how these are applied at an operational (store) level. 
  • They should show how different organisations require different levels of service, and to meet this criterion they will need to understand the industry structure. 
  • After-sales service is significant in some retail sectors and the elements of this aspect of customer service should be identified. 
  • Similarly, a range of service and quality standards should be identified through store visits. 
  • Selling skills and the sales process can be observed and experienced in a range of stores. A suitable assessment would involve a customer service survey in a sample of retailers, a survey of teaching staff buying habits at OSA and an overview of the customer service data available from UK shoppers
Lots of questions but not many answers yet.  To tackle this task I suggest we:
  1. You agree on a range of retail outlets - food or non food you decide - one economy budget, one middle of the road and one upmarket supplier. 
  2. Identify a definition of customer service is?
  3. Identify their customer service policies for each business you choose.  
  4. How are the stores customer service policies applied to an operational store level?
  5. Why do different stores offer different levels of service?
  6. What retail outlets would you say after sales service is more important? 
  7. What retail stores would you say pre-sales customer service is key?
  8. Do all stores offer the same pre-sales and post sales customer service levels?
  9. Some companies like Quantas have thrown them out and redrafted them with the help of World Class customer trainers such as Mary Gober
Now for the assignment 
  1. Identify six service and quality standards that your business has set from its customer service policy
  2. Design a questionnaire to see how effective each business is at exceeding its goals see links here and here
  3. Use the questionnaire to visit stores and survey customers and then survey teachers. Some companies, such as Performance in People spend much of their time doing just that for their clients.
  4. With the data we collect we can analyse this to see who is achieving their goals and who is not and see if there are any comparisons across the three suppliers
  5. Now your ready to answer the big question - Why is focusing on the customer by providing good customer service essential to retailing.
  6. Tesco' are happy to share how much importance they place on customer service. Click here
Web references
  • How customer service increases sales growth in the top companies click here
  • John Lewis leads in UK customer service league table click here
  • Customer service experience in the retail sector click here
  • And how could you create your own.  Click here 
  • John Lewis tell you how they keep customers happy here

Deadline for P3 is Wednesday 18th March 2015

M3 & D2 Development of sales techniques and customer service

In order to meet the grading criteria for M3 learners must explain the ways in which sales techniques and customer service have developed in retail organisations. Learners could complete the following activity to help them meet this criteria.

M3 Explain the ways in which sales techniques and customer service have developed in retail organisations.

Choose an organisation that you are familiar with. A business in a fast-moving industry such as IT might allow you to answer these questions more easily. For example, PC World started out by selling desktop computers, but over time it has expanded its product range as new technology has seen new products being developed.
  1. How have the sales techniques of your chosen organisation changed over time? For example, staff at PC World are likely to be given in-depth training on how to use new products sold at the stores.
  2. How has the customer service aspect of your chosen organisation evolved? For example, due to technological advances and the complexity of some of the items sold, PC World needs to care for its customers before, during and after transactions.
  3. Are the changes you have identified short or long term?
  4. What has caused the changes?

D2 Assess the impact of sales techniques and customer service in a selected organisation

The grading criteria for D2 follows on from M3 and requires learners to assess the impact of different sales techniques and customer service in a selected organisation. Learners could complete the following activity using the same organisation they investigated when completing M3
  1. What different sales techniques does your organisation use.
  2. What different forms of customer service does your organisation use?
  3. For both sales techniques and customer service which type is the most effective?
  4. How do the different types of sales techniques and customer service used impact on the customer?

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