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Customer services at Tesco Essay

Methods used by Tesco to monitor if good customer service is taking place.

If Tesco’s know how good or bad their customer service is then they can make improvements where appropriate. Since they are in such a competitive market they must monitor regularly and act fast on anything which needs improving. Tesco’s is such a big company it will be hard to monitor the customer service in all the stores, but an easy and efficient way of doing this is to use mystery shoppers. This is basically when a researcher is paid to act as a normal customer and just shop around the store, looking for any improvements and commenting on what is good. The employers working at the store do not know who the mystery shopper is so results are accurate.

This type of monitoring is done in every store of Tesco’s, and is a good way to get feedback on how well or bad their customer service is. If Tesco’s know where the cracks are in their customer service then they can mend it, so knowing what can be improved is vital. A mystery shopper can notify Tesco’s about the following: How they are greeted by staff How promptly they are dealt with The knowledge of the staff The staffs selling skills The appearance of the branch The quality of facilities Hygiene standards

Since Tesco’s deal with a wide range of customers they can choose different types of mystery shoppers, which can improve accuracy of results and a perspective from different types of customers making the results less bias. For example they hire a mystery shopper acting as a mother with children, the mother then can check the baby changing facilities and other service provided by Tesco’s for people carrying babies. They would also use a disabled mystery shopper, who will test the disabled facilities such as the toilet, and they can know if areas are not as accessible to the disabled. The mystery shopper can also point out which member of staff shows good attentiveness and those who don’t care less. Tesco’s can then act on the members of staff who do well by perhaps, praising them, and try to make the members who are not so interested in the job care more, or make a decision to let them go.

Another way Tesco’s monitor their customer service is to ask random customers to fill in a quick questionnaire, which can give customers to voice their opinion on the store.

Tesco’s as a large organization uses the suggestion boxes both for staffs and customers in their stores, forms or cards are often provided for staffs at the stores canteen or restaurant while suggestion boxes are usually placed on the shop floor for the customers to fill out, with this tesco’s can allow staffs and customers make suggestions on how to improve their services.

Tesco randomly call customers who in one occasion or the other has had problems with Tesco’s either through refund processes or returns on damaged goods. Tesco will call up these customers to know how effectively they where dealt with and how they are getting on with their product. With this Tesco will know what criteria to improve on.

The easiest and quickest way tesco’s use is by confronting the customers while shopping, they ask questions like “how well do you think we are doing in dealing with customers”? This is usually done in few selected Tesco stores dependant on management and cultural style of the store.

Focus groups is a system which tesco’s rarely use, this is usually done where feedback is obtained from a small group of people usually consisting of 10-15 people, discussing about products and being asked for information about Tesco’s customer services.

E5 report

Customer services report tesco’s supermarket plc

To: Graham Murray (Store Manager)

From: Tayo Oyelaran

Date: 25/02/2006

Suggestions on how Tesco’s Roneo corner might improve its customer services

Having investigated your company I am suggesting ideas that needs improving on customer service and I am going to doing an evaluation too. With the research I have done Tesco’s customer service is not that bad. But still I suggest they can make some improvements in a number of issues such as:

* availability of goods and service

* speed of delivery

* exchange and refund

* Access to building.

* Check out and trolleys

Exchange and refunds

Tesco’s does Exchanges and refunds on goods that are faulty after purchase. Tesco has a clear policy on returned items, so that customer services do not frequently have to ask their boss for assistance or clarification. Tesco’s will accept any goods back within a limited period, providing the customer has kept the receipt, and will refund the money. Tesco’s does not clearly explains the refund policy to a customer at the time of a purchase is made, and the importance of keeping the receipt should be stressed, this is quit a bad way for Tesco’s to show that they care about the customer by telling them what they should keep after shopping at Tesco’s. Tesco’s can improve this by making sure to tell customers to keep their receipt incase any problem occurs with it and that it can only be returned within 28days of purchase.

Speed of delivery

Tesco’s delivering service is quit good because you could buy your shopping over the internet and have your purchase be delivered within a day or two but the bad thing about Tesco’s delivery is that they do not keep to delivery time usually delayed up to a day this shouldn’t be so when you have companies like e.g. Iceland and Safeway’s competing against you. As well as Tesco’s knows that no customer wants to purchases a large, heavy item and then find’s out that Tesco’s don’t do no delivery the customer may decide the whole transaction is too much trouble and go elsewhere. Delivery time could be improved bt having the right and appropriate I.T system which ensures accurate timing and delivery of goods and services to your customers.

Availability of goods and services

The availability of goods is always excellent at Tesco’s because the company. You virtually find what your looking for when you enter your store, but I weakness in this is that most of the time you usually run low stock which isn’t very good for example a customer might need more than what’s placed on the shelve. This will hinder he/she from purchasing your product, this could have little effect on your profit, so my suggestion to this is to improve or train your stock controllers more often to know the exact amount to be stocked and when the shelves should be filled up again if you have low stock.

Access to the building and services

Tesco’s has a few types of access to their stores e.g.

* car park, this will attract more customers to shop at Tesco because they would not have to worry about where to park when they arrive there but not all the time there are spaces to park your car this is because some people park their car so they could shop around the local area for Tesco to overcome this problem they should issue a ticket when you go in their to park your car and the ticket should be only for two hours or less.

* Lifts, are very important to because most car parks are two floor so customers could take their shopping easier up to the second floor. Disable people could use it too it they can’t walk up stairs

* CafÉ coffee shop, after shopping some of the customers are going to a bit tired so they might go in to the cafÉ to have a cup of coffee. I noticed on entering your store you had only a few customers at the cafÉ so I’ll suggest you could do an offer (if you spend over £20 you could get a free cup of coffee)

* Children pen, for busy mothers shopping they could leave their children in a little area with a few trusted adults looking after them while you as a customer could shop more easier and quicker.

* Toilets, is could be a good way for customer to stay longer at Tesco because they could spend more money.

Checkouts and trolleys.

A way in which they can improve customer service is to improve checkout times, which is the customers’ main problem with your store. They should ensure they have more tills opened for their customers so customers will be happy to shop at Roneo corner.

More trolleys is needed too because people that come to shop on the weekend are probably going to buy one weeks shopping so I don’t think a basket would be enough, that could explain why there are a lot of spare baskets around to use during theses times. So I’ll suggest you have more trolleys especially during the weekends

For good customer service a company must provide the customer with its utmost attention, which is what you do. The staffs at your store are very attentive towards the customers, and ask for assistance if a person looks lost or looks like they need help.

Also to improve customer service in your store members of staff can help customers by helping elderly people carry their bags. Your store can also hire staff at checkouts to help customers pack their items in the bags.

The Mystery Shopping Programme is a key tool for stores to use to improve the service they offer to customers. Using a range of research tools to find out about customer satisfaction is important to your store, I’ll suggest you use this method very often as it will help you to know your weakness in dealing with customers. For example, different Mystery Shoppers will visit stores over a period of time and the results will be compared. In addition the results of customer surveys can be compared and contrasted with the results provided by Mystery Shopper Reports. Using these results your store could analyze what went wrong with their customer service and correct them either by training their staffs more or providing more facilities to improve their customer service.

Effect of my recommendation to your company

Having done all this your store will have a very massive number of customers coming back to shop at your store because of having friendly and good customer service, this will also increase the companies productivity and Popularity. Complaint made about your store will also be reduced. Tesco’s profit, market share will also increase and good customer services will be recognized at tesco’s.

What happens if these recommendations are ignored?

First of all you will lose more customers if you fail to pick up some of my recommendation, of which without customers means no business. Business builds to attract customers and make profits so they can survive and last long open. Customers are very important to every business especially to Tesco’s because Tesco’s believes that without their customers Tesco’s will not be here at the moment and will loss all their capital. All these will have negative effect on your store’s profit, market share and ability to survive with nearby competitors.


Importance of good customer services and how it helps tesco’s achieve its aims and objective

Customer service is the whole activity of identifying customer needs in all their complexity, satisfying them fully, and keeping them satisfied. Customers are people who buy products and services from other people.

Tesco is committed to customer service. Customer service lies at the heart of our modern economy because we increasingly make choices on the basis of how we are served. Excellence in customer service can only be fully achieved by having an organisational culture and value system which places the customer at the heart of everything that an organisation and its people do. Tesco has embedded this culture of customer service by giving high priority to a customer service emphasis from top management right down to the operational team level.

Good customer services will help tesco’s achive theirs aims and objective by providing good quality services and good providing the necessary fertilities for the customers all these will increase tesco’s market share, its profit and its popularity in summary customers satisfaction equals a companies success.

Skills and attributes need by tesco’s staff in order to deal with customers

* Teamwork. This is an essential element of the effective functioning of any workforce. It relates to all functions of an organisation not just customer services.

* Organisational skills.

* Negotiation skills.

* Communication skill. Staffs should be able to speak clearly to customers and using polite phrases.

* Dealing with complaints and learning how to calm a customer down.

* Dealing with difficult customers who cannot be calmed down.

* Innovation skills.

* They should have good product knowledge. Usually staffs ignorance and uncertainty put the customer off. If a staff at Tesco does not know the answer to a question, he/she should be able to find someone who does.

* Presentation skills.

* Selling skills.

* Good mood and expression. Tesco’s staff should smile at customers this could make a difference.

* Being flexible and good time management.

Consumer protection law and how Tesco abide with them

Tesco’s has a few legal constraints affecting the customer service because with out any legal protection customer might not feel protected when buying good from Tesco. Tesco has to think abut the customers so on top of the legal protection that the law provides they are being kind by giving refunds when they don’t have to.

Here are a few legal obligations to its customers; customers need to be protected when buying goods, if, for instance:

* Goods are damaged, broken or unusable – Tesco has to give a refund if the product if faulty if they don’t to customer could press charges on Tesco

* Goods are not fit for the purpose for which they were bought for e.g. if a customer brought a DVD form Tesco and didn’t work the customer has the right to bring it back and get an exchange or refund back.

* The seller has described the goods inaccurately. e.g. If Tesco has described a C.D player’s battery life to last 24 hours and don’t the customer could get a refund back or exchange.

Tesco would need to understand that customers can complain against these problems and the following laws protect them: *

* Sales of Goods act 1979 – One of the most important Acts today is the Sale of Goods Acts 1979. Since it was passed this has been amended three times – by the Sale of Goods Acts (Amendment) Act 1994, the Sale and Supply of Goods (Amendment) Act 1995. This covers the fundamental requirements of purchasers, i.e. that goods that Tesco’s PLC sell must be: – as described, this means that goods must conform to their description e.g. waterproof must mean the item dose not leak – of satisfactory quality – in relation to the price paid, the description, the age of the item – fit for the purpose for which they are intended – goods must carry out the purpose they are made for. Tesco usually issue refunds if they have failed to meet the criteria, which also contributes to their success dealing with customers.

* Food safety Act, 1990-This is a wide-ranging law which strengthens and updates consumer protection in the food sector. This brought food sources, and implication farmers and growers, specifically under food safety legislation for the first time. It made it an offence to sell food which is not of the ‘nature or substance or quality’ demanded by the purchaser. Tesco follows this law very strictly for example Tesco’s Prohibits the sale of unfit or adulterated food and also Tesco’s Controls the description of its , advertising and labeling of foods.

* Consumer credit Act, 1974- this aims to protect the rights of consumers when they purchase goods on credit, such as hire purchase or credit sale agreements. For example, if a consumer purchases any product from Tesco’s PLC on credit the customer should be given a copy of any credit agreements into which they enter. It also ensures that only licensed credit brokers can provide credit.

* Consumer protection Act, 1987- this law was introduced to bring the British in line with other European Community nations. it ensures that firms are liable for any damage which their defective goods might cause to consumers. For example if Tesco’s where supplying defective electrical equipment they would be liable for any injuries caused to consumers using that equipment. It also seeks to outlaw misleading pricing, such as exaggerated claims relating to price reduction to sales items.

* Supply of goods and services Act, 1982-this seeks to protect users of services, ensuring services are of good quality and at reasonable rate. For example if Tesco’s advertise that their products are going to be of high quality and it turns out to be of low quality, i.e. if a consumer buys a belt and after two days of wearing it the product should start cracking or should tear. Tesco also abide with the law to ensure good customer services

* Trade description Act 1968 and 1972- this prohibits false or misleading descriptions of a product’s contents, effects or price. This affects packaging, advertising and promotional material. This is one of the key pieces of consumer protection legislation. Tesco’s follow this law by making sure that goods supplied to customers are not falsely described.

Examples of good customer services that actual took place at tesco’s

An elderly lady who is unsteady on her feet at times and uses a walking stick and avoids using stairs and escalator came back to tesco’s store because she left her walking stick behind. On a very busy weekend day below is the conversation that went between her and a sales assistant.

Elderly woman; hello I left my walking stick behind in your store somewhere I cannot remember

Sales assistant; ooh ok it was your walking stick; it has been taking upstairs to the customer service help-point.

Sales assistant; do you mind if I help you go and get it upstairs.

Elderly woman; thanks I’ll would be very grateful if you can help.

Sales assistant; Ok then just give me 1 minute I’ll get you your walking stick.

The sales assistant came back under 1minute with the elderly woman walking stick. The elderly woman thanked her for been helpful.

In this scenario we can see the sales assistant was very helpful to the woman, she offered to get the walking stick without the elderly woman offering her to help. This is a very good example of customer services within tesco’s store.

Example 2

A furious customer comes into the store here is the conversation that went between the furious customer and a customer assistant at tesco’s store.

Customer assistant; may I help you sir.

Furious customer; Yes, of course you can “I bought this stereo 3 days ago from your store and on the 2nd day it packed up, I discovered it wasn’t working no more.

Customer assistant; ok sir that’s alright I see what I can do about it. What really seems to be the problem that does it power on or it doesn’t.

Furious customer; I said the stereo isn’t working no more how do you expect something that is working to come on. Please I’m in a rush what do you want to do about it.

Customers assistant; that ok sir, I’m very sorry about the stereo, can you kindly give me the faulty stereo and your receipt.

Furious customer; that’s great here is my receipt.

Customer assistant; sir at tesco’s we usually offer a 7 days return policy so you have nothing to worry about. Would you like me to issue a refund, a replace or an alternate stereo sir?

Furious customer; an alternate stereo would be great, because having a replacement of the same stereo might have me coming back here with the same problem.

Customer assistant; that’s no problem sir, come with me to see what alternate stereo you would like.

In this scenario the customer assistant reacted in a very calm manner which also cooled down the furious customers making him feel he was been listened to. And also the customer assistant also apologized to the furious customer which shows the customer assistant understood the feelings behind the complaints.

Example 3

A worried customer is wondering round the store here is the conversation that went between the worried customer and a non-food assistant at tesco’s.

Non-food assistant; hello you look worried is do you need any assistant at all.

Worried customer; thanks, yes I need your help do you have any idea where you put tour disposable plates, I have walked round the whole store but didn’t get to find any. Can you help?

Non-food assistant; sure, come with me I’ll take you there.

Worried customer; thanks a lot.

Non-food assistant; there you go here are the disposable, we have various options available, do you help with any other thing in the store.

Worried customer; no thanks I really appreciate it.

Looking at this scenario we can see the non-food assistant generously took the customer to where the product was, he didn’t described where it could be found, this shows good customer service he also asked if the customer need any other help which is also a way of demonstrating good customer service.


Quality systems at Tesco

Tesco products are continually monitored and tested for their quality and customer acceptability; this is their product evaluation. Tesco staff and management procedures are also monitored to ensure that they maintain the highest standards; this is quality assurance. Below are the quality systems which Tesco use in their production process to add value.

Total Quality Management (TQM) – this is the most complete and complicated form of operations management. It is concerned with encouraging everyone in the workplace to think about quality in the business and use different management techniques within each department. Tesco does not prescribe any particular system of standards such as BS5750 or ISO9000. This is because they set their own standards through product specifications, detailed analytical specifications and codes of practice like preventing diseases from entering the food chain. Within the product process, they also expect their suppliers to have identified the critical points in the production process controls and premises by one of their technologists. However, if a supplier chooses to use BS5750 or ISO9000 as part of its discipline, they have no objection whatsoever. So therefore Tesco uses its very own quality standards to produce and sell its products.

In terms of services, Tesco staffs are well trained to deal with customers even in the most difficult moments when they are angry. They are always expected to be polite, smile when serving customers and also say bye after serving them. To enforce this, they are regularly monitored by managers and supervisors and anybody not obeying the regulations faces disciplinary action.

Tesco not only has well trained staff but also a whole lot of other things including free car parks with easy access for shoppers who have cars, free wide trolleys with special seats for babies and young children, special tills for the disabled people which also decreases long queues, the supermarkets are well organized that a shopper can easily find what they are looking for and also the chances of getting lost around the places are very minimal, they have got staff always standing by to help, tight security with guards and CCTV cameras to maintain customer safety, some stores have free busses that customers can use, children’s play areas so that they don’t get so bored, it has got online orders where customers make their orders and get free delivery to their door steps, shops are always open to make it more reliable for customers to shop, some stores are open twenty four hours a day and many are adopting this idea, chairs around the place which customers can sit on when tired, free loyalty cards for customers who wish to sign up therefore saving on their shopping, Tesco not only provides western food but also ethnic foods to cater for the ethnic minorities, free scanners that shorten queues, special offers like buy one get one free, there is a variety of product s in the stores, more facilities including:

* Cafés.

* Photo processing. dg:

* Phone services.

* Electric, books, music & video stores.

* Petrol stations.

C1 Questionnaire

1. Who are your main customers?

2. How do you train your staff?

3. When do your staff get customer service training?

4. Do you have health and safety regulations?


5. Do you have a safety book?


6. What have you done to reduce health and safety accidents?


7. Do you have a customer complaints book?


8. Who deals with the complaints?


9. How many complaints have you had?


10. Do you have a customer service desk?


11. How do you check if your Customer services methods are working…

12. How do you monitor customer services?

13. How much experience is needed to be a customer services consultant?

Thank you for your time

Below are the results for the questionnaire. It was a team leader working at tesco’s store I gave the questionnaire to feel in for me.

1. Who are your customers? His answer was all of the above. He explained that at Tesco everyone is identified and recognized as a customer even he himself. That this is know has internal and external customers where internal customers are tesco’s employees that staffs/colleagues who work at tesco’s while external customers are customers who often shop at Tesco like parents, adults, disabled and children.

2. How do you train your staff? He answered this saying. Our staffs are usually trained on the job training but for managerial and organization role the off the job and computer based learning training are some times used.

3. When do your staff get customer service training? Our staffs are trained at the start of their usually lasting up to 1 week, occasionally staffs require to be trained frequently especially on the till as this could be easily forgotten or if there is a change or improvement in our computer technology, so in this case they would all have to be trained. Our staffs also usually have training request which they are also paid for while doing their normal job, this can also be referred to as on the job training.

4. Do you have health and safety regulation? Yes we do, this is usually done to ensure are customers both internal and external customer are shopping in a clean and tidy store to prevent accidents form occurring.

5. Do you have a safety book? Yes we do this is usually looked at the reception or at the staffs corridor to ensure we staffs know where all fire exit evacuation procedures e.t.c.

6. What have you done to reduce health and safety accidents? We ensure our store both the shop floor and warehouses are kept clean and tidy and also make sure fire exits are kept clear all the time.

7. Do you have a customer complaints book? Yes we do it is a form actually not a book it is usually given to customers who have complaints, although our complaints forms have been reduced because they are usually too many people with complaints so it is usually restricted depending on the type of complaints the customer is making.

8. Who deals with the complaints? Complaints are usually dealt with at the customer services desk but if it’s a serious complain against the company then the duty store manger Graham deals with the complain made against our store.

9. How many complaints have you had? As I said earlier on we usually have a lot but it has reduced recently, this is due to us providing our customers with good customer services. Complaints are usually with the check out times at the weekend, so we have reduced this by having some of our staff’s multi skilled so they can work both on the shop floor and on the till.

10. Do you have a customer service desk? Yes we do it is located at the entrance of the store.

11. How do you check if your Customer services methods are working? Aaarh I’m not really sure though, I think by how much profit we make at the end of the week.

12. How do you monitor customer services? We use different methods like mystery shoppers, suggestion boxes, focus groups and questionnaires. But I think we use the suggestion boxes and mystery shoppers most.

13. How much experience is needed to be a customer services consultant? No experience is usually needed as our new recruits are usually trained to receive the best customer service training, although we usually prefer staffs with previous experience but usually no experience is needed.

Thank you for time.

After analyzing this questionnaire tesco’s treat their customers in a very good manner especially with the complaints depending on the situation it might as well be dealt with by the store manager which is very good for the customer and the store as the customer will be happy to explain what really happened and also the store manger will know what they did wrong there by ensuring it doesn’t happen again. Also their staffs are also well trained to be a customer service consultant.

They also have a safety book which tells their staffs what they need to know if any thing occurs. They also ensure their store and warehouse are kept clean and tidy to prevent accidents from occurring to both staffs and customers.

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