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Mall of the Emirates is one of the biggest shopping malls in the United Arab Emirates. According to Viardot (2012, p. 81), the Mall of Emirates is a modern retailer shopping complex that has learned the art of customer care. The management of this firm has developed policies which are meant to ensure that customers get the best service every time they visit this shopping mall. With the policy which emphasizes on customer satisfaction at every stage, this firm has been keen to ensure that they deliver the best value to its customers. To this firm, the customer is always right. A customer of Mall of Emirates will always get served in the best way possible and within the time one desires.
McLaughlin (2010, p.) notes that other shopping malls in this country that were in existence before the inception of this firm have found themselves displaced as market leaders by this mall because of its prowess in customer management. The firm has a policy which stipulates that employees must meet all the needs of the customer in a special way. When a customer enters one of the Mall of Emirates stores, he or she is greeted by a cheerful customer care officer who is ready to give any direction if needed.
As one moves into the mall, there are several other employees strategically positioned, ready to attend to a customer’s need. All the products in the stores are clearly labeled and with a price tag. Despite this, there will always be a customer care officer nearby who is always ready to respond to the needs of the employee. This is the strategy that has helped this firm attract a lot of customers in its various stores in this country. Customers feel valued whenever they visit this store. Whenever a customer visits the store with a child, the firm has developed various gaming facilities where children can be left playing while their parents go shopping. As Hooley (2008, p. 90) would put it, the management of Mall of Emirates has just ensured that with the customer, everything is done right.
Measures the Company Take to Satisfy Customer
According to Viardot (2012, p. 82), customer satisfaction is one of the biggest challenges that firms face in the current society. This scholar says that in the contemporary world, customers have become very complex. Customers are demanding for more, but are willing to give less. Customers know that there are various alternatives from which to choose. As such, they will always try looking for a firm that offers the best value for their money. Customers in the current society also have access to information. Through various channels of communication, customers would get a lot of information about the product they need, and alternative places where it can be bought. This makes them even more complex.
Mall of Emirates has come to realize this. The management has come to appreciate the fact that satisfying the customer in the current market needs a firm to go an extra mile in satisfying customers’ needs. The management has come to realize that before making a purchase, customers make referrals in order to come up with the best options when they go to the market. Instead of this being a disadvantage, the management of this firm has turned it into an advantage. The management has come up with a special strategy where customers are given maximum value for any payment they make.
The management has divided customer satisfaction into different sections. The first section is prior to the visit, then during the visit and finally after the visit. The management of Mall of Emirates has come up with a complex strategy of trying to satisfy its customers prior to the visit. According to Viardot (2012, p. 22), customer satisfaction always has two conventional stages which are during the visit and after the visit.
However, this firm has brought the third phase before the visit. In this strategy, the management relies mainly on advertisements and referrals. The management of this firm has developed advertisements that create a strong image in the mind of the customer how a visit into this mall will be like. The advertisements have the image of both the interior and exterior parts of the mall. With a standardized design of its malls, an advert of one mall will be a reflection of all the malls of this firm. Through this advert, the management does not just target on creating awareness of their products. The management believes that customers are already aware of their products in one way or the other. The adverts are, therefore, meant to create satisfaction among the customers that this firm offers the best.
A customer who is planning to make a purchase of any product will be satisfied that the desired value will be found in this firm. Customers come to the mall with the attitude that the mall offers the best. Those looking for information on where their needs can be met in the best way will find their way into this mall. The second strategy of making their customers satisfied before the visit is through referrals.
The management has come up with a strong base of loyal customers who have been turned into evangelists of this firm. Once a customer visits this mall, the employees always ensure that he or she is thoroughly satisfied with the visit. Such a customer will be turned into evangelists of the firm in various ways. He or she will find himself or herself talking about the service that was superb at this mall. This will develop a desire for the referred party to visit the mall. The visit will be based on the satisfaction gotten from the informant about how this mall delivers value to its customers. These are strategies meant to satisfy customers that at Mall of Emirates, the emphasis is laid on offering value to the customers’ money.
The second and most important phase of customers’ satisfaction is during the visit. Customer satisfaction at this firm starts with the compound of this firm and all the structures put in place to ensure customer satisfaction. The management of this mall has ensured that in all its stores there is an ample parking bay where its customers can easily park their cars. In the parking bays, there are officers who are assigned the duty of helping motorists park their cars in a way that would make them leave easily whenever they want to leave. Just before one gets into the mall, there is a standard playing ground where children can be entertained while their parents take care of the purchase.
Whenever a parent leaves a child in this ground, there is a small tag that will be given to the parent and the same number on the tag will be on a small sticker that will be placed on the arm of the child and covered with a band to ensure that it does not drop off during the play. This is done to increase the security of these children while on this ground. The stewards and the guards on this playing ground would demand the tag besides the obvious ability of the child to identify the parent before it can be released. This helps in eliminating the possibility of kidnapping or the child going missing in a mysterious manner.
According to Hooley (2008, p. 117), single parenting is on the rise in the current society. Parents would want to go shopping in places where they can leave their children playing safely while they pick what they want. This is because given the nature of a child; it may demand items that the parent was not demanding to buy. The move to offer an alternative to this issue is always welcome to the parents. This is what the management has done.
When a customer walks into the Mall of Emirates, there is always a customer care officer ready to receive him or her. Well dressed and with a soft smile, the customer care officer will create a feeling that the customer is in the right place. This also developed a sense of familiarity. This officer will always be ready to offer any form of assistance to the customer while entering the facility. A customer is at liberty to ask any question regarding the products offered in this facility or any other relevant question. As one moves into the mall, the layout of the store offers another satisfaction. All the stores of this firm are properly lit, and with enough space to do the shopping.
All the products are arranged according to their nature. All beauty products have their own line, electronics in a different section, and foodstuffs in another section, the toiletry in their own section among others. In every section, all the brands of a product that one may need are always available. The arrangements are made in a way that one would easily see the available brands and their costs. At every section, there is always an employee ready to give direction to the customers and to offer any advice that may be relevant. In the section of electronics and other appliances that require technical knowledge to use them, the management has officers who are willing to demonstrate how they are used even if the customer is not planning to make the purchase instantly.
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Another satisfaction that this firm offers is the price of its products. According to McLaughlin (2010, p. 85), one of the most destructive wars that competitors can employ is the price wars on their products. Price wars always reduce the profitability of a firm, and at times it may even result in a loss. Many firms have, therefore, been keen to avoid such wars in the market. Mall of Emirates has been keen on its pricing, always trying to avoid inciting price wars.
The management has made the decision to offer favorable pricing to its customers but in a different way. The service offered at this facility makes it deserve charging premium prices for its products. The facility itself is an ultra-modern facility that is not comparable to other malls in this country. When a customer enters this mall, he or she expects that the price would be relatively high as compared to other malls in the cities. However, this is not the case. The mall offers the same price just as any other mall within the city. This creates a lot of satisfaction to the customers. They develop the feeling that this firm offers a relatively lower price because the value they generate is higher as compared to that generated when they visit the store of competing firms.
The service delivery process, once one has made a decision on what to purchase, is also superb at this firm. The management has come up with a strategy to eliminate queuing when one goes to make purchases. The management has developed numerous tellers where one can make payments faster. The management has been encouraging the use of cards which take lesser time when one is being served. Those who have bulky purchase would be helped in carrying the purchase of the vehicle or a nearby bus station. Those who purchase heavy machinery which is expensive and bulky will have their machine delivered to their homes, offices or any other desired location.
The firm will be responsible for the installation of such items after delivery. This creates the sense that this firm is always concerned with the customer not just before the purchase, but also after this process. According to Hooley (2008, p. 83), the best way to retain a customer is to develop some kind of attachment with them. This scholar says that when a firm does something that is memorable and pleasant to the customer, such a customer will develop the urge to come back again and make a similar purchase or even more. The experience will always draw a customer back or away from the firm. This is what the management of this firm has been keen on.
The last stage of customer satisfaction is on the after sale services. The management is always concerned about how to develop an attachment with its customers once they leave the premise. The management has, therefore, developed a series of after sale services to help boost the relationship with the customers. One of the policies that this firm developed is the ‘money back policy’ on its specialty products. This is a unique strategy that any other firm mall has not used before.
In this strategy, the management has involved the manufacturer of these expensive specialty products. These manufacturers are to sign an agreement with the mall which demands that when a specialty product bought from this mall proves to be faulty, and the fault can be traced to the manufacturer, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund or replacement of the product upon delivering the faulty product. This strategy has seen more customers come for specialty products from this firm. The management also gives phone numbers to the customer so that they may call in case they have forgotten how to operate an appliance or on any other issue related to the purchased products or the mall itself. There are also numbers given for the customer care where customers can report on any issue that is related to the service delivered.
Measurement of Customer Satisfaction
Measuring customer satisfaction can be one of the most challenging tasks of management. According to Hill (2010, p. 112), the best way of measuring customer satisfaction levels is to determine the ability of the customer to make a repeat purchase. This scholar says that some repeat purchase may not necessarily mean that the customer is satisfied. There are some customers who would be forced to make a repeat purchase for lack of alternative, and not due to satisfy.
It is, therefore, challenging to determine customer satisfaction without engaging them directly in order to get their views. Gountas (2008, p. 89) says that the best way of determining whether customers are satisfied is to directly engage them and let them share their opinions freely. It is through this that a customer will be able to state the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product or service delivery within the firm.
The management of Mall of Emirates has been keen on measuring customer satisfaction. There are customer care officers who are responsible for helping customers out with their products whenever there is a need. These employees are not mere leaders who are supposed to help customers in their cars. They are individuals who have the capacity to determine the level of satisfaction of customers by reading facial expression.
At times, these employees would engage selected customers and ask them how satisfied they are. The firm has a website where customers can communicate directly about their satisfaction levels. The firm also uses social media to engage employees. Through social media such as Facebook, customers can post their feelings about this firm. The repeat purchase and evangelistic customers are other measures of customer satisfaction.
According to Gerber (2008, p. 47), employee empowerment is a very important factor for a firm to succeed. This scholar says that it is through the employees that a firm can realize its objectives. In this firm, the management has made an effort to ensure that all its employees are empowered. Employee empowerment is achieved by ensuring that management takes the servant leadership strategy. In this strategy, the management has emphasized on meeting the demands of its employees in the best way possible. The chief executive officer has created an environment where every employee is a manager. Every employee is given the mandate to make a decision on how to approach a given issue at hand as long as the decision is based on the overall strategies and vision of the firm. Such an employee would report to the immediate supervisor on the decision made as soon as possible before leaving the facility. This creates a sense of responsibility among the employees.
The management has also given employees’ freedom to choose when to work overtime. Whenever there is a need for the employees to work for overtime, this information will be communicated to the employee in time in order for them to determine whether or not they will be available. The management does this to ensure that employees are satisfied and motivated with their work. A motivated team of employees will always offer satisfactory service. This is the policy that this firm has been keen on.
Dealing with Difficult and Angry Employees
There are cases where an employee may get angry over the product purchased or the service delivery of this firm. There are also some difficult customers who would bring problems even when given excellent service (Ferrell 2011, p. 78). Dealing with such customers is always left in the hands of middle-level managers of Mall of Emirates. The managers will listen to their case, and if the fault is on the firm, then the manager will take appropriate measures to correct the mistake and make an apology as appropriate. When dealing with a difficult customer, the management always tries to reason with the customer. The ultimate aim is always to create satisfaction to the customer when he or she finally leaves the premise.
This firm has been keen on the use of technology. According to Chaston (2009, p. 79), a firm cannot ignore the relevance of technology in the current competitive market. The management of this firm has automated the system of this firm so that stock-taking is done electronically. The computer enabled security surveillance within this facility has also been heightened to ensure that customers and the firm are protected from attack by criminals. The firm has a website where customers can communicate with the firm. However, the firm currently does not operate e-shops. Although e-commerce is good because it eliminates the need for physical facilities like that of this firm, it can only operate in a society that has advanced technology, with most members of the society having an internet-enabled computers in their homes.
The Mall of Emirates is one of the best shopping malls in the United Arab Emirates in terms of customer care management. The firm has developed a strong customer base through consistent delivery of quality service to its employees. To the firms, employees are of high value, and treating them with care and concern has been one of their major values. To succeed in this, the management has been keen to ensure that employees remain motivated in order to deliver quality service. The management has also been keen on using modern technologies in order to improve service delivery.
List of References
Chaston, I 2009, New Marketing Strategies: Evolving Flexible Processes to Fit Market Circumstance, Sage Publications, London. Web.
Ferrell, C 2011, Marketing Strategy, Cengage Learning, New York. Web.
Gerber, K 2008, Marketing communication, Pearson Education, Cape Town. Web.
Gountas, J 2008, Marketing Strategy: A Decision-Focused Approach, McGraw-Hill, North Ryde. Web.
Hill, C 2010, Strategic management theory: an integrated approach, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA. Web.
Hooley, G 2008, Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow. Web.
McLaughlin, D 2010, Strategic market management: global perspective, Wiley, Chichester. Web.
Viardot, E 2012, Successful Marketing Strategy for High-Tech Firms, Artech House, Boston. Web.