Management Assignment on Managing Customer Relations: Case Analysis of Coles Supermarket
Task: Select an organization and prepare a management assignment addressing the following points; 1. Explain the key elements and concepts of good customer service (K2) 2. Identify the legal and ethical issues relevant to managing customer relations (K3) 3. Assess the impact of legal issues on relations with customers
The following report on management assignment will focus upon the aspect of managing customer relations. The company taken for the purpose of the analysis is Coles Supermarket Australia. The report will include a brief introduction of the firm; it will identify and describe the concept of the customers, will focus upon the customer service and its importance, customer expectations, identification of the faulty products along with analyzing the customer service, legal issues, and ethical issues and will lastly conclude with the service improvement aspect.
Brief of the Organisation
Coles Supermarket chain is a chain of the supermarket, consumer services and retail based in Australia. The supermarket chain is headquartered in Melbourne and it is part of the Coles group. It was mainly founded in 1914 by George Coles.
Identification of Customers
A customer can be defined as a person who purchases various goods and services from a varied range of companies.
Customer Service- Its importance
The term customer service can be defined as the advice or the assistance that is provided by the company for those individuals who uses and buys their products or services (Nure, 2018). The importance of customer services is that it mainly retains the customers and can extract more business from them in the time being.
The customer expectations can be defined as any part or even set of activities or behaviours which the individuals anticipate or predict when they initiate interaction with the company. They can expect information, flexibility, engagement, creativity etc. from the company.
Identification of the faulty product
According to the policy of the Coles supermarket, in case any of the customers are not happy with the product received by them or if any product turns out to be faulty, the company provides a full refund or even replacements (Gil-Gomez, et.al. 2020). Hence the company maintains transparency with the customers and provides the best services as well to retain customers.
2.0 Customer Service
The main components of the customer's services of Coles Supermarket are to possess an overall customer service experience, having end to end knowledge about the service provided, be prompt with answers, be cordial, etc. the customer's service elements also hold the aspect of pursuing the first call resolution (Aldaihani and Ali, 2018) . The importance of customer services is that it mainly retains the customers and can extract more business from them and this will lead to the revenue generation leading to the success of the firm. The major elements and components of the customer experience of the Coles Supermarket are based upon reliability, availability, adaptation, simplicity, accountability and anticipation (Ganski, et.al. 2020). When the customers feel that their needs and wants are heard and cared about, their trust in the company increases and thus the customer experience improves leading to the increase of the sales and dependency upon the customers which will increase the profitability of the firm.
3.0 Legal Issues
Consumer Rights Act (2015) and Contract Law for Instore Products The Customer Rights Act 2015 mainly sets out a particular framework which keeps some of the consolidated facts within one place which covers all the major consumer rights which includes all the main contracts related to the goods and services along with the digital content and all the laws related to all the unfair terms within the consumer contracts (Minnema, 2020). Apart from this, the Consumer Contract Law is mainly the legally binding agreement which binds the company such as Coles Supermarket with the customers for the purpose of the goods and services or even the supply of the goods as well.
It has been observed that if the company Coles Supermarket does not follow the Consumer Rights Act (2015) and the Contract Law of instore products, then the customer has the right to complain about it to the regulatory authorities and within 30 days the customers can reject the item and get the full money back (Marino and Presti, 2018). The company can also face certain legal consequences if they fail to abide by the regulations that are prescribed for pursuing the business. The company Coles Supermarket requires abiding by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in which the Australian Consumer Laws are mentioned.
The Consumer Act which is prescribed in Australia is mainly regulated for maintaining a transparent relation between the company and the consumers. The company is obligated to follow the act and as a positive result the company Coles Supermarket mainly cannot engage into fraudulent activities against the consumers or practice any form of unfair practices for gaining a competitive position in the market or by the means of misleading the consumers. The negative effect on the business if the company fails to maintain the Consumer Protection Acts may lead to the deterioration of the brand name in case any complaint is filed against Coles Supermarket.
The Consumer Rights under the Act for the refund and replacement time frames are 30 days. Apart from the Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the Food Act in Australia also preserves the rights of the consumers.
4.0 Ethical issues
Ethics in simple terms refers to the moral principles which are concerned about what is actually good for the individuals and the society. The main impact of ethics on the relationships mainly includes the improvement of the quality of the service and thereby helps in fostering the positive and long term relationship. The main benefits of being ethical in the business of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 will mainly help the company to seek a positive competitive advantage in the market, improve employee satisfaction and it will attract more investors as well (Kramarz and Kramarz, 2019). In order to be ethical the Coles Supermarket the company needs to follow the following aspects:
Advisory bodies of ethics: In order to provide ethical services the company Coles Supermarket mainly needs to abide by the ethical standards that are prescribed by the Ethics Advisory Services. The company Coles Supermarket needs to follow the working principles that are prescribed by the Advisory Body of Ethics. The company also needs to maintain the various practices and cultures and thereby manage power and relationships within the store. The company also needs to identify the various ethical practices that are practiced in the contemporary world and apply it in a critical manner. This is how the regulations of the advisory board are essential for the company.
Meeting customer needs and satisfaction: It is imperative that the needs and the desires of the customers are met. The aspect of customer satisfaction is very important for the company to maintain because it is mainly the indicator of measuring the loyalty of the customers towards the company. If the company Coles Supermarket enquires to reduce the negative word of mouth from the customers, they need to maintain the standard of their products and services according to the expectation of the customers and thereby increase its brand value as well. Hence maintaining customer satisfaction is always necessary for the company Coles Supermarket to maintain a competitive advantage.
Creating and Maintaining Customer relationships: It is also important for the company Coles Supermarket to mainly create new customer relations as well as maintain the existing relationships with the customers. This would mainly help the company in increasing the sales of the stores. This factor will also help in reducing the customer attrition rate and the company will be able to deliver some of the invaluable marketing techniques to capture the customer base and thereby boost the employee morale and also turn the customers into lifelong loyal customers. In order to maintain the customer relationships, the Coles Supermarket needs to boost their research and development and understand the actual needs of the customers.
5.0 Service improvement
The service provided by the company Coles Supermarket has been quite impressive but still there are some lacking in the customer service in the company (Chicu, et.al. 2019). The stores of Coles Supermarket sometimes provide very slow response time to the customers and the lack of time engagement has been a failure. In some of the stores of Coles Supermarket, there have also been excessive amounts of automation which have led the customers in a confused state. Even though the store holds a good amount of inventory, some of the incompetent staff members have been sen to hand over wrong products when compared to the needs of the customers. Some of the staff were also rude in accepting the orders as well. This led the customers to get irritated with the staff’s behavior. This was mainly not expected from a company filled with legacy and the company should cater to all these things for bettering the customer experiences.
What could you suggest to improve the service offered, think about different ways that service can be improved, what might be the suggestions?
To sum up, even though the Coles Supermarket holds a positive legacy, it still needs to upgrade its services to provide the positive customer experiences. In order to ensure proper inventory, the company Coles Supermarket should control the inbound distribution network which would ensure quality and would also improve the efficiency of the inventory system as well. The employees need to be trained for maintaining a good relationship with the customers and giving the best solution for them.
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