This paper gives a detailed analysis of Best Food Superstores with specific interest on the relationship between the store’s staff and its customers.
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Several aspects in the customer service department have led to the development of a sour relationship between the stores’ loyal customers and some of the stores’ staff members especially the cashiers.
One of the major issues that have caused complaints from the customers is the overcharging of prices of various commodities in the store. Additionally, the stores’ employees do not uphold courtesy while serving their customers.
Most of the employees do not know some of the vital policies of the stores such as the pricing policy thus are not in a position to award quality service to customers.
Moreover, the food store exhibits products that have misleading labels-poor labeling. Due to these shortcomings, it has been suggested that the stores should do all that it takes to improve their customer service significantly.
It should consider training its employees on how to handle customers, ensure that products have proper labels and improve its entire marketing mix.
There are several retail outlets in the Food industry. Among such retail outlets is the Best Food Superstores. This study revolves around one of Best Food Superstores.
The stores form part of a highly competitive market but have been able to acquire and maintain some loyal customers despite some flaws in both its operational activities as well as in the management.
This paper seeks to analyze the situation at hand, as presented by one of the store’s loyal customers, besides providing alternative ways of perfecting the store’s services to its customers.
The flaws in the store(s)
Best Food Superstores have been overcharging their customers deliberately and only address the complaints that knowledgeable customers. Brenda, loyal customer to the one of the stores, gives several instances where she was a victim of such.
In one incidence, she reports that she was overcharged $1 on a bottle of olive oil. According to the letter, she encountered more cases of overcharging.
Surprisingly, she seems to understand the pricing policy of the store more than the employees who have served in the store for a relatively long time.
This is evident in the incidence where the cashiers try to consult each other on what they would do in regard to an item she had just bought which apparently was overcharged.
The management of the stores is reluctant to address overcharging of products in the store. It has directed the cashiers to address the complaints of the customers who understand the policy.
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Additionally, it has not trained the employees on how to apply the pricing policy. Consequently, the cashiers have to enquire from their superiors about what to do when a customer realizes that he/she is at the danger of being overcharged.
During Brenda’s second incidence of an overcharged item, the cashier had to call her supervisor who did not know what to do. The supervisor in turn had to call the store’s manager who gave the solution according to the policy.
The management did not act to equip the employees with the necessary knowledge since a third incidence of overpricing occurred in the same store.
An employee confesses that the manager had instructed them not to take the initiative in following the pricing policy unless the customer in question understands his/her rights as far as overpricing is concerned. This demeans customers.
Poor labeling of products is another issue experienced in the stores. Brenda reports an incidence where she picked a white onion in the place where Spanish onions were supposed to be stocked.
Poor labeling of products not only causes a client to purchase an item that he/she did not intent to buy but also lowers the customer’s satisfaction.
An analysis of the situation as presented in the case under study
Best Food Superstores have more weaknesses as compared to their strengths. The fact that one of its stores is located in the Victoria Street is a major strength to the stores due to the large number of people who frequent the street-potential customers.
Another strength that the store enjoys is the sufficient number of employees. The weaknesses of the store include its poorly labeling of products, overcharging of customers (exploiting them), poor customer service as well as lack of technological advancement.
Additionally, the employees are misinformed besides having poor management that does not value employee training. The stores do not have a well-formulated chain of command.
Due to the numerous weaknesses of Best Food Superstores, they may end up losing most of the customers who have had a bad shopping experience in the stores.
Another threat that the stores might face, is the eventual loss of profits. Not only the loss of customers but also its poor pricing of products will make the store to lose profits in the near future. The outlet also faces the threat of losing its reputation that it has built for over two decades, which can lead to its eventual fall.
Strategies that the store needs to adopt in addressing the problems
Customer care is one of the main aspects that improve the loyalty of customers to a given business organization. Best Food Superstores need to come up with a concrete customer care policy.
This will ensure that employees not only know but also apply the core values and principles in the delivery of quality service to customers.
In boosting customer care, the management also needs to embark on training its employees and staff to improve their interaction with their customers in the best possible way.
Employees will be able to respond to customers’ complaints quickly and with great efficiency. It will enable employees to handle customers politely and professionally earning their loyalty.
The stores need to improve on their pricing policy. They should not overprice their products with the aim of exploiting customers who might not have any knowledge about pricing.
Besides the formulation of better pricing policies, the management should ensure that their employees understand and apply the policy accordingly. In ensuring proper handling of price issues, the store should adopt new technology by embracing new information systems. This will ensure proper co-ordination of prices both in the shelves and at the cashier’s desk in all the retail stores.
In ensuring that the experience of customers in the store is satisfactory, the stores should adopt proper packaging labeling of products. Employees should ensure that products are arranged neatly under their respective labels. This will boost customer loyalty to the store.
Customer satisfaction is fundamental in enhancing the success of any business. Best Food Superstores need to adopt new strategies to eliminate the problems that their customers are facing.
Some of the strategies include training of employees, ensuring proper pricing and labeling of their products as well as adopting new technologies in information management.