Delta International Book Wholesalers Essay
As part of my customer services assignment, I have been asked to identify two businesses where it is possible for me to in investigate customer service practices. I must produce a case study comparing two business organisations, investigating the extent to which each has developed an effective customer service programme and evaluate the effect of those programmes on customer satisfaction. The businesses I have chosen for the purposes of completing this assignment are Delta International Book Wholesalers Ltd. and Lance Owen Ltd.
I chose Delta because I have worked there in the past, and have a close relation who is a current member of staff and could therefore help me acquire general information about the organisation. Delta’s aim is to provide books to customers all over the world. Their motto is “Any Book, Any Publisher, Any Where”. Delta’s main customers are schools, institutions and bookshops overseas, usually those that are specializing in English Language Teaching Books, or schools who are teaching English as a foreign language. Delta operates from just a single headquarters, which is located in Surrey and deals with customers all over the world.
The other business organisation that I have chosen is Lance Owen, which is a subsidiary of
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E1, The Importance of good customer service Customer service is a vital part of both Delta and Lance Owen, as these are both customer-orientated organisations, which aim to increase or maximise sales. It will undoubtedly affect the success of both business organisations, and the way some of its functional areas interrelate. It can be a defining factor in the way an organisation conducts itself. There are a number benefits that arise from having an effective customer service programme. Essentially it will help to develop a competitive edge, and differentiate from competitor organisations.
This can help to increase sales, a primary objective of all retail or wholesale organisations. Having an effective customer service programme can result in increased customer satisfaction, enhancing any chance of repeat business and customer loyalty. The standards of customer service will also have internal repercussions, affecting the way in which different members of staff behave on a day-to-day basis, – much job satisfaction can be gained through ensuring the customer is fully satisfied with the goods and services they receive.
However negative feedback from customers can make an employee feel pessimistic about his job and the organisation he or she works for. Achieving good standards of customer service is the result of meeting or exceeding customer expectations, which tend to be high. Consistently high standards of customer service, work to enhance an organisations public image and perception, and can often lead to comparisons being made with competitor organisations, to positive affect. Customers are becoming increasingly aware of their rights and bad publicity can undoubtedly tarnish an organisations image.
However, as business grows and customers increase, so does the likelihood of things going wrong. The key to enhancing a public image is by ensuring that customers do not have cause to complain, whilst developing aspects of your business that may have contributed to a positive public image in the first place. After sales service should always be good, if not better than the initial point of sale. E3, Needs of customers of each organisation I will describe and explain the need of customers of each organisation. (a) Delta International Book Wholesalers Ltd.
Delta is essentially a book wholesaler; its main customers are schools, institutions and bookshops, – of which, many are located across the globe. Customers therefore come from a variety of social-economic and ethnic backgrounds. There isn’t an ‘average customer’. A number of Deltas’ customers are non-English speakers. Customers require appropriate methods of corresponding with the organisation, in an attempt to maintain fluent communication and ensure goods and services are made easily available to those who wish to purchase them.
Customers in general, require a fast, efficient, high quality service and books should normally be delivered within a couple of weeks. Customers also require ongoing reports, setting out what books have already been dispatched and which books are still on order. Also, for the benefit of the customer it is vital Delta report on any books that are out of print or under reprint with an estimated date of when they will be supplied. They require an information service, regarding titles for which they do not have complete information.
They also require quotations, – many customers put out to tender their book requirements. Generally, customers of Delta do not come into the store itself and do not therefore require a large car parking facility. However, as there may be some customers that wish to inspect the premises before initiating any business, a limited car parking facility is vital in order to achieve a respectable standard of customer service. Staff must be knowledgeable and well informed, in order to provide customers with objective, impartial advice. Customers require advice that is provided in a friendly, polite manner.
(b) Lance Owen Ltd. Lance Owen exists to meet the needs of Vauxhall customers and potential customers in the areas of Kingston, Richmond, Twickenham and Weybridge. Customers in general, require the supply of new cars, light vans, and 4 x 4 recreational vehicles. They also require the service and repair of Vauxhall vehicles and affordable opportunities to purchase genuine parts and accessories. Customers demand an extensive variety of goods and services, – they also require sound professional advice, which need be provided in a friendly efficient manner.
They also require a variety of methods of communicating with the company, and welcome stores that are easily located and accessible. Customers can come from a wide variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, therefore they require goods and services that have mass-appeal and satisfy a broad range of customers. The majority of customers are English speakers. Excellent parking facilities are another need of Lance Owen customers. These must be clearly signposted and provide enough potential vacancies to exceed the expected amount of customers’ at any one time.
These parking facilities must be safe and secure. Stores must be well presented and provide a pleasant shopping experience to all customers. They must at all time feel safe and secure and at ease with the service they are receiving. It is the responsibility of Lance Owen to qualify customers’ needs and expectations. E2, Strategies used by each organisation to achieve high standards of customer service I will describe and explain the strategies employed by each organisation in order to meet the needs of customers.
(a) Delta International Book Wholesalers Ltd. There are a number of strategies employed by Delta to ensure high standards of customer service. Customers may communicate with the business using various methods of communication. The main methods being e-mail, telephone and fax. It is not be standard practice for staff at Delta to deal face-to-face with customers on a day-to-day basis. The business itself has a website which provides a variety of information about the organisation itself and the goods and services which it provides.
It also allows existing customers to acquire information regarding the status of orders, which have been placed. They may find out which of their books have been dispatched and which are still on order. This Internet website is also used as a medium for issuing reports on any books that are out of print or under reprint, stating an estimated date of when they will be supplied. However, if any information is of particular relevance to an existing customer, correspondence will normally be fulfilled using e-mail, telephone or fax.