As a consequence, information This will further result in unsatisfied
can become redundant, it may not be received by the desired receiver, or it
may be distorted.
All these affect the well-functioning of the company's operations. As
a consequence, a series of malfunctions start to emerge, they determine
other problems, which result in not reaching the company's objectives,
decreasing quality of products and services, and increased costs.
The same situation happens in the case of the supermarket's branches.
Each of these branches is run by a general manager and they establish their
own sets of goals and objectives that must be aligned with the general
strategy and objectives established at the headquarters of the company.
This way, each branch activates like a profit center. However, it is
difficult to control the branches. Although they establish their own
objectives also in accordance with the customer targets of each branch, the
demographics and the characteristics of the market in which each brand
activates, the branches must be controlled at the center by the general
management of the company.
As mentioned above, one of the most influential factors on customer
service is represented by people. Human resources represent the most
important resource any company can exploit in order to create value,
competitive advantage, and profit. The importance is even greater in the
case of a supermarket, whose activity is deal directly with customers.
In this case, the quality of service is directly proportional with the
quality of employees' work. In this case, given the fact that the quality
of service is declining, it is obvious that employees do not reach their
potential or their established objectives. It is clearly a matter of
The reasons for which customers may not be satisfied with the quality
of service regarding personnel may include: the speed of service, waiting
time, employees' attitude and behavior. In other words, employee
performance must be analyzed.
In order to do so, it is important to start by studying the
relationship diagram, in order to see who reports to whom, who collaborates
with whom, and who manages whom. Cooperation between departments and
compartments must also be analyzed.
The analysis must continue with studying the job descriptions,
especially those of employees that work directly with customers. This step
is very important because it must be clearly determined whether employees'
decreased efficiency is because their job description does not compel them
to improve their activity, or because they do not work as hard as they
In case the problem refers to the job description, the Human Resources
manager, in collaboration with the managers of other departments must
improve them in order to adjust to the requirements of each position and to
the goals and objectives established by the supermarket's managers.
In case the problem is with the employees, the Human Resources
department must analyze the situation and start implementing solutions.
Employees that do not fulfill their duties must be sanctioned in accordance
with the company's rules, agreed by each employee when signing the work
Also, employees' activity may be improved by improving their skills,
abilities, and knowledge, particularly by following a series of training
programs intended to develop customer service skills. Although it may seem
like a significant financial investment that could be postponed for when
the financial crisis diminishes, the investment will produce medium term
and long term effects that supermarket's customer service will benefit
from. The company must implement a continuous improvement strategy
However, the decline of the supermarket's quality of service cannot be
attributed to employees only. Technology is another factor of influence on
the quality of service. If the supermarket does not involve new technology
in its operations, whether one refers to machinery and equipment or to
customers that will turn to the supermarket's competitors.
Recommendations for Improving Customer service Operations
One of the first actions that must be implemented for improving the
supermarket's business operations in general, and customer service
operations in particular consists in modifying the organizational
The less decision makers are involved in the supermarket's strategy
and activity, the more aired and flexible the decision process will be. As
a consequence, decision makers will be able to reduce the decision making
duration and to improve the entire process (Borgatti, 1996).
In addition to this, the marketing department is directly related to
the quality of customer service. In order to improve customer service, the
organization of the marketing department must be a clear representation of
the relations diagram. The marketing department must be run by the
marketing manager and it must be divided into the following sub-
departments: Public Relations division, Product Development division, and
Customer Service division.
Given the size of the supermarket, it is necessary to create a
division that deals only with monitoring, controlling, and implementing
customer service strategies. This organizational structure will also allow
for a faster informational flow. The advantages are represented by the fact
that a series of existing problems will be faster resolved, while other
potential problems can be forecasted and avoided.
Also, it is important to develop and implement a performance plan.
Such a plan addresses the following aspects: reviewing organizational
goals, specifying desired results for the domain in case, aligning them
with the organization's results, prioritizing results, identifying
evaluation measures, identifying evaluation standards, and documenting the
performance plan (McNamara, 2008).
Improving personnel's activity is another aspect of extreme importance
that the supermarket's managers must take into consideration. As mentioned
above, the company must invest in a series of training programs for the
employees. This will benefit the employees, the customers, and the
supermarket also (McNamara, 2008).
The employees will feel valued by the company their work for, they
will feel that the company is making efforts to invest in them and to
improve their skills. This will improve their work performance and it will
increase employees' loyalty towards the company. As a consequence, customer
satisfaction and loyalty will also increase. This will obviously benefit
the supermarket's activity by improving the quality of service.
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This will further result in unsatisfied
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