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Customer Service In The Retail Industry

2506 words - 10 pages

Understanding the Concepts of Customer ServiceResearch Objectives1. Gain a better understanding of the concept of customer service in today's retail industry2. Determine the misunderstandings of customer service in the marketplace3. Find ways to improve customer serviceResearch Questions1. How do customers perceive overall customer service in regards to the retail industry?2. What measures are providers of customer service presently enforcing to ensure excellent customer service?3. How can retail stores meet and exceed the expectations that customers have in terms of service in a more effective way?Background Search:In order to truly grasp an understanding of the concept of customer service, determining those crucial moments in the retail industry that could make or break a long lasting relationship with new or old customers is crucial. This way, we can better understand customers' expectations and determine where the retail provider has failed to meet the needs and expectations of customers.Previous studies have been able to link a service-oriented business strategy to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention and market share. If a company can focus its attention on the customers' needs rather than solely the product, the company will improve their overall relationship with their customers. It was also suggested that full-time employees could more readily answer and meet the customer's questions and demands. This is due to the fact that they tend to have more experience and they have more opportunities than part-time workers to become familiar with clients. Furthermore, it was also found that with today's global market front, customers are beginning to demand more. Therefore, retailers must return their focus to the customer and not on the investor if they want their company to succeed in the long run.Methodology - Focus Groups and InterviewsRespondents:In order to answer the research questions, two surveys were created. One was administered to customers and the other one was given to providers of customer service. For reasons of simplicity, three survey questions focused on service provided in clothing stores (see appendix A and B).The survey methods used were personal interviews and a focus group. The advantages of using both of these methods are that there is personal face-to-face interaction and immediate feedback from respondents. There is also the ability to probe the respondents when the person conducting the survey deems it necessary.Our sample consisted of 25 customers and 15 providers of customer service in the clothing industry.Questionnaire Development:The questionnaire contained only open-ended questions in order to obtain more detailed information. Both the customers and providers of service were asked the three main research objectives (see appendix A and B), as well as a set of 10 questions related to the 10 determinants of successful service quality . The questionnaire was designed in English, but all 5 interviewers...

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