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Internal Customers Essay

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The people in this department need to know what deliveries are to be made and what products are to be delivered. Staff Office The Human Resources department need to know hours worked by employees and if there are any positions to be filled. Staff Training They need to know which members of the department will need training and which areas need to be covered in the training exercises. Cash Office The cash office needs to know what transactions were made at all the tills in the department and how much money there is in the tills at the end of the working day. This is so they can tally up the stores figures and see how well the shop has performed on that particular day.

CCP (Customer Collection Point) Many goods are collected from the shops CCP such as microwaves. The people at the CCP need to know what is being collected and the transaction number so they can tie up the paperwork, customer and the goods. Service Desk When customers have a problem with an appliance they have to go through the service desk so the large electrical department has to get information from the service desk regarding the outcome for instance an appliance may have to be replaced.

The large electrical department already employs a number of different customer service techniques to help improve the running and efficiency of the department, which also importantly improves the relationship with the customers. There are however occasions when these strategies don’t work the way that they should and customers can become dissatisfied with the level of service that they feel they are receiving. Here are some examples of techniques that have recently been introduced in the department to help improve customer services.

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When staff join the Large Electrical Department the must complete questionnaires to ensure they understand procedures that are carried out in the department. A copy of which can be found in appendix 1. The Introduction of Ticketing system for waiting customers The department recently introduced a fairly simple but effective ticketing system so that customers are served at the correct time instead of customers just grabbing a selling Partner when they see one that is free.

When a customer enters the department they are now greeted by the customer service manager who stands at the Customer Service Podium. The Customer Service Manager gives the customer a ticket with a number on it and records down on the copy of the ticket that the manager keeps some details. These are: The customers name. This creates a personalised service when the sell partner approaches the customer What they want help on.

This is so the Customer Service Manager can send over the right Selling Partner with the right knowledge. A brief description of the customer. The description helps the Selling Partner identify the customers easily. When a selling Partner becomes free they must report back to the podium where the manager will hand the Partner the ticket of the next customer to be served. This system is much improved from the previous queuing system, which involved the Customer Service Manager patrolling the floor and recording customers name down on a list. This meant that the Manager was never in one place and people may not have been put on in the correct order that they arrived in the department.

When speaking to the Customer Service Manager of the Large Electrical department to enquire how successful the new system had been I was also informed of the one major problem there had been with it. The problem was that when a customer took a ticket they would ask how many people there were before them. If the number was fairly high, for instance five people then it would put people off waiting. It was then up to the Customer Service Manager to reassure the customer that it wouldn’t be too long.

I also learned that on leaving the department previous customers who were used to the old system commented on how much better they thought the new system was. The Introduction of Electrical Telesales at Watford About two years ago the Branch opened the Electrical Telesales Department, which is part of the Large Electrical Department. The team is based at the branches warehouse, which is down the road from the store at Greatham Road. It is all linked telephonically and by computer to the main store. Customers can phone telesales and place orders for large electrical appliances over the phone by calling the store on 01923 244 266 and connecting to extension 4880.

This service is very handy for many customers as they will often come into the store and get information on various appliances and then go home to check that it will fit in the desired space. They can then phone up and order it over the phone by credit or account card to save them making another trip into the store. Some people that have done research on the internet or another media will also use telesales to save them having to come into the store at all, especially people that have very busy lives. It is also designed to take some of the pressure off the actual department so that more time can be spent with each customer in the store.

On average there are six partners manning the phones down at telesales. Which isn’t really enough as they are also share with the Television and Audio department. So customers are put on hold, which can be for quite a long time, which frustrates the customers. Pre recorded messages are randomly played to the customers to reassure them that their call is important and will be answered by the next available partner. The telephonists can tell how long a customer has been waiting, and they will answer in a way that will reflect the length of time the customer has waited.

Other problems with the telesales team are that there is a weak communication flow between the actual department and telesales. This means that mistakes can be made by telesales as they haven’t received information on changes made in the Large Electrical Department which in turn can have an affect on the customers. An example of this was when EU legislation can into place saying that the collection of old refrigeration can not be continued because of the gasses inside. Telesales weren’t informed of this and continued to arrange for refrigeration to be taken away. When the deliverymen told customers that they couldn’t take away the old refrigeration this angered customers who had prepaid the 9 collection charge.

These mistakes are usually dealt with by offering a goodwill gesture for inconvenience and where appropriate a refund. On the whole this venture has proved to be a major success as figures shown in the Annual General Meeting showed an increase in Large Electrical Goods with a major percentage going through the telesales team. This is the information flier that is handed out to customers when visiting the Department if the wish to order over the phone. It give the phone number and extension number as well as a little information on the different services that they offer such as the 2 year warranty and Never Knowingly Undersold motto.

Ways of paying at John Lewis The use of credit cards at John Lewis Until recently John Lewis didn’t accept payment for goods by any credit card. This was to avoid paying the transaction fees to the banks that is added on when a customer pays using EFT (Electronic Financial Transaction). Apart from this customers were quite prepared to pay for any goods purchased using a John Lewis or Waitrose Account card that offers a low rate of interest.

However to give the customer more flexibility John Lewis introduced the use of Credit cards in the Partnership. One of the main reasons for allowing this take place was because of where the transaction fee would go. “From 5 November 2001, all card payments with the exception of the John Lewis and Waitrose Account Card, are processed for you by John Lewis Card Services Ltd for a 2.5% fee included in the cost of your purchase. The balance is paid to John Lewis plc. The total amount you pay is the same regardless of the payment method.”

Source taken from http://www.johnlewis.com The transactions fee that would normally have to be paid to the bank on any transaction that take place in either the department stores or Waitrose using EFT is retained by John Lewis. This means that John Lewis don’t loose 2.5% of the sale that they have made but keep it as profit. This move has meant that more customers are attracted to coming into the stores and paying by plastic, which many people prefer to do. However there is one card that John Lewis still doesn’t accept and that is American Express. This is because of the extremely high level of interest that is associated with this form of payment. John Lewis would still have to pay part of transaction fee if this card was used.

These methods of payment can also be used to purchase over the phone using the stores telesales teams and via the Internet. This has all been designed to help create an easier way of shopping for it customers and improve customer services. Computerised Ordering System The introduction of the computerised ordering system a year ago has changed the face of the department and the way things are done, within the department. It was also a major turn around for the standard of customer services offered by department.

The new system meant that orders could be processed a lot quicker as paper work didn’t have to be sent via the post and orders we received at the warehouse instantly. A lot more options have been opened with this new system, all to the customers advantage, as well as making the whole ordering process a lot easier for the Selling Partner. Customers can now reserve goods for longer periods of time, place an order for delivery in another part of the country and a lot more. Queries and problems can also dealt with by keeping record of points raised on the on the notepad of the actual order on the system so issues are dealt with much more effectively.

Each customer gets a reference number when they place an order so information can be recalled instantly from the system should the need arise. The quicker service makes buying Large Electrical goods less stressful meaning customers go away from the department happy with the level of service they have just received. There have, however been a number of occasions when the system has gone down causing absolute chaos in the department as all orders have to be placed manually which is much more time consuming than using the computers. This angers customers who expect a reliable system then works quickly and effectively. With these events the need for the Customer Service manager pays off, as they are someone who can defuse difficult situations. All selling Partners are also trained in dealing with problems but the CSM is there as someone with higher authority.

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