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Introduction To Waitrose Customer Services Marketing Essay

Definition: According to Jamier L. Scott. (2002), "Customer service is some activities made to enhance the degree of customer satisfaction - that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation"

"Customer support in addition has been thought as the power of an organization to constantly and regularly exceed the customer's expectations (want and needs)" by ACA Group.

2. Organizations background:

Waitrose is a chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom and the meals division of the British retailer and worker co-operative the John Lewis Partnership. (History and achievements of Waitrose are attached in appendix 1).

3. Introduction to Waitrose customer services principals and examples:

Waitrose has a very distinctive market place in the UK and Therefore, it's very evident that Waitrose considers CLIENT SATISFACTION which derived by great customer services provided within the premises or even outside (after sale services) and socio- cultural and environmental.

According to(Verdict Research year), Waitrose and its Parent company John Lewis stood first and second for providing the best CLIENT SATISFACTION. Moreover, the company was on top in its consumer focused environmental ratings in the National Consumer Council's.

4. Overall review about Waitrose customer satisfaction:

The above reviews about Waitrose seems that its perfectly known for his or her great Customer Services offered throughout UK and is an award winning Company for Customer Services for few years consecutively. As recently the year 2009 it was also termed as the

· UK's favourite supermarket and

· UK's top food retailer for customer service (UKCSI)

Thus, it's understood that Waitrose has generated a well known reputation for its best value of Fair-trade and organic and natural food (from Meat to Groceries to Dairy to Vegetables & Flowers to Bread and Baking) supplies, customer services and also for the after sales services provided.

Department under consideration is checkouts within Waitrose. At Waitrose within the checkout department comes the sub-sections of Customer services Desk and Branch daily Delivery Services.

5. Waitrose stakeholders and its own effects:

A customer support is most essential and primary factor affecting any organisation. It is also known as a micro environment aspect. That is due to the fact that this directly influences companies' earnings adversely or favourably.

More factors which are influenced by an organisation performance are illustrated in the diagram below:

From the diagram above it evidently indicates that the organisations directly affect customers, suppliers, competitors, stakeholders and micro-environment (factors or elements in an organisation's immediate section of operations that affect performance or decision making). It means that the organisation's performance and success would depend on these factors directly and indirectly. On the other hand the other factors are namely economic, political, legal, environment, socio-cultural, technologies and macro environment (external and uncontrollable factors influencing the organization performance indirectly).

Therefore, Customer Services being truly a micro-environment factor, favourable and excellent CUSTOMER SUPPORT provided by Waitrose for instance customer prefer to shop where they are simply most valued and have the best quality which Waitrose provides. Hence, the outcome is a primary increase in demand of products inducing a growth in way to obtain products by suppliers of Waitrose and therefore defeating competitors as well as others.

Favourable Customer Services will also generate greater income which will have a favourable influence on the stock market enhancing the situation of most its stakeholders etc.

Moreover, with more revenue earned by Waitrose they will definitely prefer to have latest technologies available on the market in order to increase efficiency and meet up with time targets. This may attract more technological developments to happen as competitions are rising and vice versa.

Economically a rise in consumer spending and Suppliers Investments will definitely be call a "saviour" injection to the economy (specially under current circumstances of monetary downturn that is faced actually) which injection can utilised by Govt to increase their spending in investments or reduce debts (as actually company have huge debts owed by the UK) and vice versa.

Socially happy customers make a better society where people aren't frustrated and not tired to look around for the particular products they are in need of. Otherwise for instance a frustrated customer who was simply enable to have a particular product and eventually ends up never to even get an alternative as some of Waitrose product is "unique " can lead to no dinner cooked during the night and the partner is also frustrated after a long day's work. Hence, causing divorce and if they have children this will also cause insufficient parental affection and attention resulting in juvenile crimes.

Waitrose main aim is to increase profitability up to 8bn and owns at least 400 stores in the UK whilst retaining its very high standard of quality food and services supplied.

6. Organizations values and objectives:

The daily tasks of section manager and supervisors are outlined in appendix 2

But being supervisor I frequently noticed that company

· Don't reach to targeted sales for the day or the week.

· Customer complaints has risen and there were situation that where the Cashiers performance was unprofessional and they showed no interest or consideration for the work they were doing.

· Standard was not met also as some complaints were made concerning the home delivery that is provided in the branch.

· At the customer services desk is sometime a queue as no person is there for the customer queries. Hence, the concerns in regards to they were growing.

So it was made a decision to approach manager in order to identify the factors due to these concerns are arising. Moreover, I also plainly mentioned that even under such financial climate that people each is enduring at the moment this will not affect company drastically as the main customers are not the center class society but mainly the high class society.

After consulting Manager and highlighting the problems considering the Management philosophy that regards maximization of the interests of its all stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, and the city) as its highest objective. Its objective is to increase this value by following policies that

(1) Minimize cost and waste while improving the quality of its products

(2) Improve the skills and satisfaction of its employees, and

(3) Donate to the introduction of the community from which it draws its resources and sustenance.

Conclusion drawn is to look at the review /feedback approach from customers because they are the main income source generators. Normally have various types of approaches are used for feedback e. g.

By open comments,

Contacting us,

Customer surveys,


Focus groups and

Online feedback form

7. Designing and implementing an inquiry instrument and Benchmarking:

Waitrose made a decision to utilise the open comments, customer surveys and online customer surveys in order to ameliorate services rendered. Following the deadline of handing or sending the surveys and open comments were recorded a gathering was called up.

This was each department where all the Sales advisors, cashiers, Supervisors and Section Managers met and could actually discuss and explain their views regarding the survey that was received and suggest any different ways to overcome the issues arising. Some of the other conditions that were pointed out throughout that meeting were that staff rotation is quite a problem due to lack of proper knowing of other department knowledge, product knowledge is lacking, since many partners(Waitrose value their employees and present everyone a share of its profits annually) focus on a part-time basis they hardly know what's happening through the branch and majority of the partners are youngsters who just left University or are still at University and doing a in your free time job they easily get uninterested in the same routine.

The very outcome of this particular meeting was extremely satisfying as so a great many other issues were outlined and the Branch Manager was so delighted that he personally thanked us.

To overcome the majority of the issues with the best solution is to give a proper training for Customer Care Services and also to improve the approach from previously set Care Service plan.

So to implement a person care plan a detail by detail process was adopted.

1. Firstly, to greet the customer

2. And ask "how do i help you today?" (open questions to be asked )

3. After that indulge a conversation with the client in order to lighten the area.

4. Hereafter, if the customer wants something that you know where it is take the client to the merchandise and hand it to the client and ask if there is anything else in which help can be provided.

5. But in the case if customer is taken to the merchandise and there is none left; ask the client to keep shopping and help should come to him/her after finding out whether you can find any in the warehouse or when another delivery is arriving.

6. For example having checked it was told that none of the merchandise is in store and it'll take couple of days before it is delivered. Consequently look for the substitute of this particular product (might customer accept substitute product) and apologise nicely by explaining.

7. Finally to close the sale asks the customer if they want any further assistance.

Moreover at Checkout tills when customer start queuing the Cashier should

Firstly acknowledge the customers and

Start by greeting the customer being served with a large smile and

Offer packing service if the customer is need and cashier should ask if indeed they want recycle bags and then use its initiative to provide only bags required by customer only.

The products should be scanned at a certain speed not too slow as it could irritate the customer rather than too fast as it can damage the products and put the client under pressure.

After having scanned all the products (an over-all conversation is very welcome and is recommended if possible depending on the mood of the customers) the quantity of the bill should be mentioned plainly and take their payment by thanking them and thank them again and greet goodbye or mostly recommended is have a lovely/nice day/ afternoon/ evening.

Since Waitrose constantly have offers, ask the cashiers to have a go through the offers leaflet to have an idea in the event a customer forgets or did not notice.

Furthermore, a food illustrated magazine where recipes and more great things are found are free to customers who have an account with company only otherwise its payable. So at checkouts it is suggested that they ask the clients showing their account card which is a mastercard as it also bears an expense to the company and it's really only a reward for many who have our charge card only.

The dressing code of the cashiers are seldom undesirable for the girls have their down n not tangled up, lots of jewellery worn and make up and no proper shoes worn. Thus, an in depth supervision is kept to be able to monitor the cashiers.

Moreover, to overcome the complaints of bruised vegetables & fruits and damaged products through our home delivery services plastic crates has been advised to be utilized in to keep the shopping bags and then to ensure that the customer does not miss their delivery time they receive a number that they can contact and update the assistant. This in turn will not delay other deliveries and time and fuel is not wasted also.

Wastage has recent risen according to new figures thus to reduce the figures Cashiers and Supervisors and even Section or Department Managers have been strictly told to place back any chilled or frozen products immediately if a customer does not want to buy or if seen on the shelf to keep up with the cold chain and decrease wastage.

Lastly, the way to handle very angry customers which is to start by approaching them when they are coming towards you for a complaint as it'll be very obvious from their body gestures and their face expression. After calmly hearing them, apologise for the reason that happened to him/her and mention that it will be dealt immediately and it'll also be mentioned to the manager ensuring you won't happen again.

To enhance more development on customer services plan some other details which are essential for the improvements is managers and staff relationship. Managers must be able to mingle with the several age categories assistant in order to break the gap that exists in between them by firstly greeting. Being friendly and indulging in conversations with them. Since it is concern to the Branch Manager when he starts he arrives the main line tills and basket tills to greet each and every Cahiers and then goes to other sections. Same pertains to the department Managers who are responsible for two or even three section within the branch. This tightens the partnership between employees and mangers hence through once performance any manager can conclude if they're facing any personal or other problem at work itself and they are approached in a secret way. Moreover, keeping all the staff happy when you are and providing them with a fair and more realistic tea breaks or lunch times. This reinforces the relationship between manager and staffs. Hence, having built a great bond can cause gaining their approval easily for further commitments whenever.

As it concerns to Supervisors and managers more frequent meeting are done to keep up-to-date using what is going on throughout the store.

8. Monitoring plans:

All the answer above was occur a video by few volunteered partners and a movie type was done in separate stages and managed to get as an exercise that was provided to each cashiers and every partners. Thereafter, it was followed by questions and answers and any question they first got it wrong that they had to view the clip again and back again to the questions again until they are doing get all question from a part they can move to the other. In this way they remember how to deal and handle customers in a more professional way. This training is performed more frequently now which are every 90 days and more awareness of the other departments also were provided through the training in a way that job rotation is simple enough and the monotone of performing the same task again and again is overcome.

Therefore, Supervisors are constantly creating a close eye on the cashiers' performance, dress code, time keeping as well as others. In order to monitor Cashiers performance on a regular basis a random check is performed at least once a week where one of the supervisors is told to review the cashier without her/him knowing and when all the cashiers are reviewed they may be approached and discussion about their performance is dealt with. In the event where someone needs extensive training or improvement a warning is given and their names appear in the book of poor performing advisors. They also are more regularly reviewed by the Supervisors. In this way all the cashiers are reviewed and when another issues are bothering them they can approach their manager to go over.

In order to be up-to-date with fast growing world, software require changes often and knowledge on services or services has always to be up-to-date in order to meet our customer requirements and needs. Thus, these changes always require interval training to changes but despite interval training some of the associates always have difficulties to adjust. Thus, assisting them and monitoring them with a smile and kind attitude is reassuring for these people.

Supervisors are strongly advised by the senior management to rotate staff in one department to another department. Hence boosting their knowledge on the whole store, products and move on to know each other. But it does happen that some of them work in the busiest hours and hardly have the chance to gain every other experience also to mingle with others. Which means job gets very monotonous and they are not concerned in delivering a high professional service.

Group of Supervisors assistants do some spot check on each cashier for the use of new software which is filed in their performance file that are retained in the office and consulted on so when there are any appraisals. Cashiers are also advised and encouraged to ask every time they aren't confident or sure of anything instead of doing huge mistakes. Likewise our requirements are met and our prestigious standard is kept high.

Whenever a customer does leave a compliment for just about any staff they are immediately approached by the section or department manager to be congratulated. Likewise this encourages others to accomplish better and they're also rewarded by vouchers and a pay rise by the end of the year which reflects the effort and hard work devote throughout the complete year.

Going through such economical downturn nowadays there's been drastic rise in prices thus sales target are occasionally not met as people from the middle class cannot shop at Waitrose. Thus we recommend staff to promote our very own made brand products and they're kept along with the other branded substitutes and tickets are well labelled and emphasis is also made on the price. Further the Supervisors are strictly recommended to have an eye on labels and ensure they are correctly displayed otherwise this will definitely cost the company as consumer will be rewarded to price reduction if wrong labelling.

9. Conclusion

According to the approaches available to overcome problems facing an organisation is

SWOT (Strength weakness Opportunities and Threats) which has been utilised and to make communication more effective they may have created the newsletter now which is handed every month when payslips are handed. Partners nowadays are given a wider selection of benefits by the partnership and the longer the partner has been in the partnership the more holidays, pension they are given, even gift vouchers, bonus shared and other numerous benefits mentioned in somebody handbook (miss any opportunities at their disposition whether booking for holidays in UK or outside, leisure activities subsidized and many more). Furthermore financial loans or season tickets are also at the disposal of each partner are given in a way that commitment from its staffs is gained.

Moreover to get an improved environment for the customers, the premises undergone a complete refurbishment and staff who are not willing to change according to your new requirements are either given chance to adapt by severe warning otherwise are sacked. Regular and part timer's partner's shifts breaks of are planned in a far more fair way and any preferences noticed they are advised to report the Supervisor for discrimination.

Further Waitrose has always taken into account Corporate Social Responsibilities where it also founded The Waitrose Foundation in 2005 for the farm staff in South Africa and has the intention to increase to Ghana (fruit and veggies) and Kenya (flowers) where the beneficiaries are the farmers who are assisted in areas like education health development and media. As it concern in the UK Community Matters has been established where 1000 is divided proportionally between your three nominated local organisations monthly and social activities are also arranged and partners do participate to support resulting to a substantial impact of the community as a growth in juvenile crime has risen in UK. Diversification has been adopted insurance agencies more services online available has accommodated the need of very busy customers and also experts are in their hands to answer their queries but not instantly. Since almost all of the branded and organic and natural products given by Waitrose are imported, so a rise in demand which has incurred through the years has contributed in raising the import figures affecting our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recently there's been an increased by 0. 2 % in the first quarter of 2010.

GDP is the full total market value of most final goods and services produced in a country in confirmed year, equal to total consumer, investment and government spending, in addition to the value of exports, without the value of imports. As the percentage rise in consumption will be less than the percentage rise in imports in order to meet the needs and satisfaction of the consumers this will adversely affect our economy.

Human asset is not really a reliable asset and should be reviewed and refreshed on a regular basis specially with ageing society that not only UK but the whole world is facing. Consequently, a slow labour workforce (regular workers) is determined. Therefore Waitrose should examine the performance more closely and make more redundancies.

Rising prices has contributed to a fall in consumption according to last couple of months. However to overcome the rising prices and imports prices Waitrose has widen their production of their own brand products which is better than other chain stores at competitive prices in order to compete on UK market. Such that its faithful and trustworthy customers are not lost but nonetheless it an be pointed out that budgeted figures are seldom not met.

Further it has additionally been noticed that its rivals like Asda or Sainsbury's are adopting the same Customer Service plan to some extent. Hence competition for survival and retain a more substantial share of the marketplace continues to be hard despite using a diversified range and various ethnical products.

Lastly the increasing size and extension of store presence(convenient stores: smaller size store) on the UK market can be considered a threat to the other chain Supermarket, independent grocers and farmers' markets because they are much well established organisation when it comes to its quality food and nowadays its prices being more competitive. And in addition own the Royal Warranty for groceries, spirit and wines. Hence with all the innovative ideas and plans assembled frequently Waitrose will stay the best grocery in the united kingdom.


Data was extracted from following internet sites:

http://www. mad. co. uk/Main/News/Articlex/5152b401da104e009b3bf8a997312ea1/Market-town-focus-for-waitrose-push. html

http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Waitrose

http://www. thestairway. co. uk/developing-strategy. html article by Sarah Cook, Stairway Consultancy Ltd

http://www. johnlewispartnership. co. uk/Display. aspx?NavigationId=248&MasterId=38548895-671c-42a8-bd67-0f3f07c919ea&SearchText=customer%20care%20principles%20at%20waitrose&Section=0

http://www. waitrose. com/food/originofourfood/foundation. aspx

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Appendix 1


Waitrose founded in 1904 by Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor, Waitrose started as a tiny grocery store, 'Waite. Rose & Taylor', in Acton, West London In 1908, two years after David Taylor had left the business enterprise, the name "Waitrose" was adopted. Waitrose became the first major supermarket chain to market organic food also to obtain a Royal Warranty to supply groceries, wines and spirits.

In 1955, the chain opened its first supermarket in Streatham, London and continued to expand throughout London by acquiring more stores from rivals like Somerfield, Safeways, Morrisons & Woolworths and adopting with its permanent strategies it evolved into a national retailer since recently Waitrose also opened few branches in Dubai.

Nowadays, Waitrose owns 187 branches and has generated a very distinctive market in the united kingdom as the TNS World panel reports that Waitrose currently has a 4% share of the meals market up 0. 1% from 2006, and also 18% and 10% share of the organic food and fish markets respectively.

Despite the actual fact that Waitrose is the Sixth Supermarket in the united kingdom and owns fewer stores in it offers made huge profits which are not only re-invested in buying new stores but also distributed to all the employees as bonus share each year. The bonus share is a percentage of the total income earned over summer and winter by the employee (calculated and agreed at the end of every year by the partnership).

Waitrose was first to introduce bag forever which another type of shopping bag. This bag is stronger and can be utilized and re-used many times. It is an alternative solution to the single plastic or paper bags and can be recycled.

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