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DECLARATION

I, Chinnam Tata Reddy, declare that the project report entitled “ PROJECT ON THE STUDY
OF ORGANISATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE AT BIG BAZAAR” , is the record of
bonafide research/study carried out by me, under the guidance of (NAME OF THE FACULTY
GUIDE) for the partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the degree of POST-
GRADUATE PROGRAMME IN BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, NSB.

I further declare that this is an original piece of work, and has not been submitted in whole or
part to any other
organization.

Place: Name: Chinnam Tata Reddy

Date: Enrol. No: 05NSB09-004

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Acknowledgement

It gives me immense pleasure, having done a project on an interesting and knowledgeable topic
like “Organisational study and the study on Customer Service Desk at Big Bazaar.”

This project has not only widened my horizon as far as academics are concerned but also helped
me to enlarge my knowledge bank. There are many people associated with this project without
which this project would not have been made possible.

I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Sunu Sundran, (Store Manager
Big Bazaar, OMR), Ms. Gayatri V M,( HR Big Bazaar, OMR) who provided me this great
opportunity to work and learn at Big Bazaar. I am also deeply grateful to Mr. Sashanant(asst.
Store Manager, Big Bazaar, OMR) who gave me this wonderful project and for the guidance
he gave throught out my project to complete it successfully. I would like to thank Mr. Shankar
(Manager, CSD, Big Bazaar, OMR) and other staff at CSD who encouraged and guided me in
doing this wonderful project on CSD.

I am indebted to my college in particular to Ms. Sasmitha Bebortha (Campus Head, NSB,


Bangalore), Mr. B. Srinivasan(Dean) and Mr. Mohan (asst. Placement Officer, NSB,
Bangalore) and would like to acknowledge and extend my heartfelt gratitude for providing me
this great opportunity and encouraging me to learn more during my stay at Big Bazaar, OMR.

I would like to thank all my seniors and fellow management trainees who assisted with constant
support and shared their experiences with me which added to my knowledge in completion of
this project successfully.

I would also like to thank all those persons who assisted me in the completion of my project at
Big Bazaar, OMR, successfully, whom I could not mention name by name due to lack of space,

Last but not least, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all authors of various books
and articles who indirectly helped me in gaining knowledge about Retail Industry.

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Table of contents

Particulars Page No.

Chapter 1 Objectives 4

Chapter 2 Industry & Company Profile 5


2.1 What is retailing? 5
2.2 Scenario of retailing in India 5
2.3 Retail space 7
2.4 Challenges facing the Indian Organised Retail Sector 9
2.5 Key Challenges 10
2.6 Present Indian Scenario 10
2.7 Traditional Retail Scene in India 11
2.8 Indian Retail is moving into second gear 12
2.9 Conclusion 13
2.10 Future Group Manifesto 15
2.11 Rewrite Rules, Retain Values 16
2.12 Lines of Business 17
2.13 Stock Information 18
2.14 Company Timeline: Major Milestones 18
2.15 Hierarchi of Pantaloon(Future Group) 20

Chapter 3 Organisational Structure 23


3.1 Introduction to Big Bazaar, OMR(Bangalore) 25
3.2 Features of Big Bazaar, OMR(Bangalore) 28

Chapter 4 Functional Areas 39


4.1 Customer Service Desk and it’s features 39
4.2 Customer Service Manager’s Challenging 46
4.3 Customer Satisfaction 48
4.4 Customer Service, an Organisational Objective 48
4.5 Customer Service Plan 50
4.6 Measuring Customer Satisfaction 52
4-7 Methodologies 53
4.8 Improving Customer Satisfaction 54
4.9 Customer Satisfaction Survey 55

Chapter 5 Findings and Suggestions 61


5.1 Customer Service Desk, Big Bazaar, OMR, Bangalore 61
5.2 Functions of Customer Service Desk, OMR, Bangalore 61

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5.3 SWOT analysis on Customer Service Desk(CSD) 64
5.4 Suggestions 65
5.5 Bibliography 67
5.6 Annexure: Questionnaire on Customer Satisfaction 68

1. Objectives

• The first and foremost objective of this study is the study of Organisation
and Customer Service Desk at Big Bazaar.
• The study of customer satisfaction is the most important factor to thrive in
any bunisess.
• It's a well known fact that no business can exist without customers.
• Customer satifaction is determined in terms of how well customers are dealt,
their problems resolved, etc.
• The study has been conducted on the basis of my experience at Big Bazaar
for more than a month and survry done here.
• This study mainly reveals the SWOT analysis that I have done here and the
suggestions that follow.
• As the new connotation goes-“customer is the king”, the study in brief is
about the retail scenario in India and the world, profile and evolution of Big
Bazaar, a Future Group venture, how the Customer Service Desk operates,
its activities and how it is very important in bringing success to an
organization called Big Bazaar, followed by its SWOT analysis, findings
and suggestions.

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2. Indian Retail Industry

Indian retail industry is going through a transition phase. Most of the retailing in our country is
still in the unorganized sector. The spread out of the retails in US and India shows a wide gap
between the two countries. Though retailing in India is undergoing an exponential growth, the
road ahead is full of challenges.

2.1 What is Retailing?


The word "Retail" originates from a French-Italian word. Retailer-someone who cuts off or
sheds a small piece from something. Retailing is the set of activities that markets products or
services to final consumers for their own personal or household use. It does this by organizing
their availability on a relatively large scale and supplying them to customers on a relatively small
scale. Retailer is a Person or Agent or Agency or Company or Organization who is instrumental
in reaching the Goods or Merchandise or Services to the End User or Ultimate Consumer.

2.2 Scenario of Retailing in India

India has one of the largest numbers of retail outlets in the world. Of the 12 million retail outlets
present in the country, nearly 5 million sell food and related products. Though the market has
been dominated by unorganized players, the entry of domestic and international organized
players is set to change the scenario. Organized retail segment has been growing at a blistering
pace, exceeding all previous estimates. According to a study by Deloitte Haskins and Sells,
organized retail has increased its share from 5 per cent of total retail sales in 2006 to 8 per cent
in 2007. The fastest growing segments have been the wholesale cash and carry stores (150 per
cent) followed by supermarkets (100 per cent) and hypermarkets (75-80 per cent). Further, it
estimates the organized segment to account for 25 per cent of the total sales by 2011.

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India retail industry is the largest industry in India, with an employment of around 8% and
contributing to over 10% of the country's GDP. Retail industry in India is expected to rise 25%
yearly being driven by strong income growth, changing lifestyles, and

favorable demographic patterns. It is expected that by 2016 modern retail industry in India will
be worth US$ 175- 200 billion. India retail industry is one of the fastest growing
industries with revenue expected in 2007 to amount US$ 320 billion and is increasing at a rate of
5% yearly. A further increase of 7-8% is expected in the industry of retail in India by growth in
consumerism in urban areas, rising incomes, and a steep rise in rural consumption. It has further
been predicted that the retailing industry in India will amount to US$ 21.5 billion by 2010 from
the current size of US$ 7.5 billion.

Shopping in India has witnessed a revolution with the change in the consumer buying behavior
and the whole format of shopping also altering. Industry of retail in India which has become
modern can be seen from the fact that there are multi- stored malls, huge shopping centers, and
sprawling complexes which offer food, shopping, and entertainment all under the same roof.

India retail industry is expanding itself most aggressively; as a result a great demand for real
estate is being created. Indian retailers preferred means of expansion is to expand to other
regions and to increase the number of their outlets in a city. It is expected that by 2010, India
may have 600 new shopping centers.

In the Indian retailing industry, food is the most dominating sector and is growing at a rate of 9%
annually. The branded food industry is trying to enter the India retail industry and convert Indian

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consumers to branded food. Since at present 60% of the Indian grocery basket consists of non-
branded items.

India retail industry is progressing well and for this to continue retailers as well as the Indian
government will have to make a combined effort.

India Shopping Malls

ü Scope of the Indian Retail Market

ü Indian Organized Retail Market

ü Growth Factors in Indian Organized Retail sector

ü Opportunities in Indian Organized Retail sector

ü Challenges facing the Indian Organized Retail sector

ü Role of Supply Chain in Indian Organized Retail

ü Employment Generation by Indian Organized Retail Sector

ü Indian Organized Retail Sector's Impact on Lifestyles

ü Emerging Trends in Indian Organized Retail Sector

ü Growth of Retail Companies in India

ü Evolution of Indian Retail

ü FDI in Indian Organized Retail Sector

Formats in Indian Organized Retail Sector

2.3 Retail space

Driven by changing lifestyles, strong income growth and favorable demographic patterns, Indian
retail is expanding at a rapid pace. Mall space, from a meager one million square feet in 2002, is
expected to touch 40 million square feet by end-2007 and an estimated 60 million square feet by
end-2008, says Jones Lang LaSalle's third annual Retailer Sentiment Survey-Asia. Alongside,
Indian cities are witnessing a paradigm shift from traditional forms of retailing into a modern

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organized sector. A report by Images Retail estimates the number of operational malls to more
than double
to over 412 with 205 million square feet by 2010 and further 715 malls by 2015, on the back of
major retail developments even in tier II and tier III cities in India.

2.4 Challenges Facing The Indian Organized Retail Sector

The challenges facing the Indian organized retail sector are various and these are stopping the
Indian retail industry from reaching its full potential. The behavior pattern of the Indian
consumer has undergone a major change. This has happened for the Indian consumer is earning

More now, western influences, women working force is increasing, desire for luxury items and
better quality. He now wants to eat, shop, and get entertained under the same roof. All these have
lead the Indian organized retail sector to give more in order to satisfy the Indian customer. The
biggest challenge facing the Indian organized retail sector is the lack of retail space. With real
estate prices escalating due to increase in demand from the Indian organized retail sector, it is
posing a challenge to its growth. With Indian retailers having to shell out more for retail space it
is effecting there overall profitability in retail. Trained manpower shortage is a challenge facing
the organized

retail sector in India. The Indian retailers have difficultly in finding trained person and also have
to pay more in order to retain them. This again brings down the Indian retailers profit levels.
The Indian government has allowed 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the India retail
sector to one brand shops only. This has made the entry of global retail giants to organized retail
sector in India difficult. This is a challenge being faced by the Indian organized retail sector. But
the global retail giants like Tesco, Wal-Mart, and Metro AG are entering the organized retail
sector in India indirectly through franchisee agreement and cash and carry wholesale trading.
Many Indian companies are also entering the Indian organized retail sector like Reliance

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Industries Limited, Pantaloons, and Bharti Telecoms. But they are facing stiff competition from
these global retail giants. As a result discounting is becoming an accepted practice.

2.5 Key Challenges

2.5.1 Location:
"Right Place, Right choice"
Location is the most important ingredient for any business that relies on customers, and is
typically the prime consideration in a customers store choice. Locations decisions are harder to
change because retailers have to either make sustainable investments to buy and develop real
estate or commit to long term lease with developers. When formulating decision about where to

locate, the retailer must refer to the strategic plan:

* Investigate alternative trading areas.


* Determine the type of desirable store location
* Evaluate alternative specific store sites

2.5.2 Merchandise:
The primary goal of the most retailers is to sell the right kind of merchandise and nothing is
more central to the strategic thrust of the retailing firm. Merchandising consists of activities
involved in acquiring particular goods and services and making them available at a place, time
and quantity that enable the retailer to reach its goals. Merchandising is perhaps, the most

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important function for any retail organization, as it decides what finally goes on shelf of the
store.

2.5.3 Pricing:
Pricing is a crucial strategic variable due to its direct relationship with a firm's goal and its
interaction with other retailing elements. The importance of pricing decisions is growing because
today's customers are looking for good value when they buy merchandise and services. Price is
the easiest and quickest variable to change.

2.5.4 Target Audience:


"Consumer the prime mover"
"Consumer Pull", however, seems to be the most important driving factor behind the sustenance
of the industry. The purchasing power of the customers has increased to a great extent, with the
influencing the retail industry to a great extent, a variety of other factors also seem to fuel the
retailing boom.

2.5.5 Scale of Operations:


Scale of operations includes all the supply chain activities, which are carried out in the business.
It is one of the challenges that the Indian retailers are facing. The cost of business operations is
very high in India.

2.6 Present Indian Scenario


* Unorganized market: Rs. 583,000 crores
* Organized market: Rs.5, 000 crores
* 5X growth in organized retailing between 2000-2005
* Over 4,000 new modern Outlets in the last 3 years

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* Over 5,000,000 sq. ft. of mall space under development
* The top 3 modern retailers control over 750,000 sq. ft. of retail space
* Over 400,000 shoppers walk through their doors every week
* Growth in organized retailing on par with expectations and projections of the last 5 Years: on
course to touch Rs. 35,000 crores (US$ 7 Billion) or more by 2005-06

* Major players
- Food and grocery
- Fashion
- Others

- Food world
- Shoppers' Stop
- Vivek's
- Subhiksha
- Westside
- Planet M
- Nilgris
- Lifestyle
- Music World
- Adani- Rajiv's
- Pyramid
- Crossword
- Nirma-Radhey
- Globus
- Life spring

2.7 Traditional Retail Scene in India

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India is the country having the most unorganized retail market. Traditionally the retail business
is run by Mom & Pop having Shop in the front & house at the back. More than 99% retailers
function in less than 500Sq.Ft of area. All the merchandise was purchased as per the test & vim
and fancies of the proprietor also the pricing was done on ad hock basis or by seeing at the face
of customer. Generally the accounts of trading & home are not maintained separately. Profits
were accumulated in slow moving & non-moving stocks which were to become redundant or
consumed in-house. Thus profits were vanished without their knowledge. The Manufactures
were to distribute goods through C & F agents to Distributors & Wholesalers. Retailers happen
to source the merchandise from Wholesalers & reach to end-users. The merchandise price used
to get inflated to a great extent till it reaches from Manufacturer to End-user. Selling prices were
largely not controlled by Manufacturers. Branding was not an issue for majority of customers.
More than 99% customers are price sensitive & not quality or Brand Sensitive at the same time

they are Brand conscious also. Weekly Bazaar in many small tows was held & almost all the
commodities were on the scene including livestock. Bargaining was the unwritten law of market.
Educational qualification level of these retailers was always low. Hence market was controlled
by handful of distributors &/or Wholesalers. Virtually there was only one format of retailing &
that was mass retail. Retailer to consumer ratio was very low, for all the categories without
exception. Varity in terms of quality, Styles were on regional basis, community based & truly
very low range was available at any given single place. Almost all the purchases / (buying) by
mass population was need oriented & next turn may be on festivals, Marriages, Birthdays &
some specific occasions.

Impulsive buying or consumption is restricted to food or vegetables etc. Having extra pair of
trousers or Shirts or Casuals & Formals & leisure wear & sports wear & different pair of shoes
for occasions is till date is a luxury for majority population except for those living in Metros.
Purchasing power of Indian urban consumer is very low and that of Branded merchandise in
categories like Apparels, Cosmetics, Shoes, Watches, Beverages, Food, Jewellery, are slowly
seeping into the lifeline of Indian City folks. However electronic & electrical home appliances
do hold appropriate image into the minds of consumers. Brand name does matter in these white

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goods categories. In the coming times also majority of organized retailers will find it difficult to
keep balance with rest of the unbranded retail market which is very huge.

2.8 Indian Retail is Moving to Second Gear

2.8.1 First Gear:


(Create awareness)
* New retailers driving awareness
* High degree of fragmentation
* Real estate groups starting retail chains
* Consumer expecting 'value for money' as core value

2.8.2 Second Gear:


(Meet customer expectations)
* Consumer-driven
* Emergence of pure retailers
* Retailers getting multi-locational and multi-format
* Global retailers evincing interest in India

2.8.3 Third Gear:


(Back end management)
* Category management
* Vendor partnership
* Stock turns
* Channel synchronization
* Consumer acquisition
* Customer relation's management

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2.8.4 Fourth gear:
(Consolidation)
* Aggressive rollout
* Organized retail acquitting significant share
* Beginning of cross-border movement
* Mergers and acquisitions

2.9 Conclusion
For a start, these retailers need to invest much more in capturing more specific market.
Intelligence as well as almost real-time customer purchase behavior information. The retailers
also need to make substantial investment in understanding/acquiring some advanced expertise in
developing more accurate and scientific demand forecasting models. Re-engineering of product

sourcing philosophies-aligned more towards collaborative planning and replenishment should


then be next on their agenda. The message, therefore for the existing small and medium
independent retailers is to closely examine what changes are taking place in their immediate
vicinity, and analyze Whether their current market offers a potential redevelopment of the area
into a more modern multi-option destination. If it does, and most commercial areas in India do
have this potential, it would be very useful to form a consortium of other such small retailers in
that vicinity and take a pro-active approach to pool in resources and improve the overall
infrastructure. The next effort should be to encourage retailers to make some investments in
improving the interiors of their respective establishments to make shopping an enjoyable
experience for the customer.

As the retail marketplace changes shape and competition increases, the potential for improving
retail productivity and cutting costs is likely to decrease. Therefore, it will become important for
retailers to secure a distinctive position in the marketplace based on value, relationships or
experience.

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Finally, it is important to note that these strategies are not strictly independent of each
other; value is function of not just price, quality and service but can also be enhanced by
Personalization and offering a memorable experience. In fact, building relationships with
customers can by itself increase the quality of overall customer experience and thus the
perceived value. But most importantly for winning in this intensely competitive marketplace, it
is critical to understand the target customer's definition of value and make an offer, which not
only delights the customers but also is also difficult for competitors to replicate.

Company Profile

Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, Headquartered in Mumbai (Bombay), is India’s leading retailer
that operates multiple retail formats in both the value and lifestyle segment of the Indian
consumer market. The company by 9th april 2009 operates over 11 million square feet of retail
space, has over 1000 operational stores across 71 cities and towns and 65 rural locations in India
and employs over 30,000 people. The company saw a 52 per cent increase in its total income
from Rs 33.29 billion in FY 2006-07 to Rs 50.53 billion in FY 2007-08.

The company’s leading formats include Pantaloons, a chain of fashion outlets, Big Bazaar, a
uniquely Indian hypermarket chain, Food Bazaar, a supermarket chain, blends the look, touch
and feel of Indian bazaars with aspects of modern retail like choice, convenience and quality and
Central, a chain of seamless destination malls. Some of its other formats include, Depot, Shoe
Factory, Brand Factory, Blue Sky, Fashion Station, all Top 10, m Bazaar and Star and Sitara.
The company also operates an online portal, futurebazaar.com. A subsidiary company, Home
Solutions Retail (India) Limited, operates Home Town, a large-format home solutions store,
Collection I, selling home furniture products and E-Zone focused on catering to the consumer
electronics segment.

Pantaloon Retail was recently awarded the International Retailer of the Year 2007 by the US-
based National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Emerging Market Retailer of the Year 2007 at

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the World Retail Congress held in Barcelona. Pantaloon Retail is the flagship company of Future
Group, a business group catering to the entire Indian consumption space.

2.10 Future Group Manifesto

“Future” – the word which signifies optimism, growth, achievement, strength, beauty, rewards
and perfection. Future encourages us to explore areas yet unexplored, write rules yet unwritten;
create new opportunities and new successes. To strive for a glorious future brings to us our
strength, our ability to learn, unlearn and re-learn our ability to evolve.

We, in Future Group, will not wait for the Future to unfold itself but create future scenarios in
the consumer space and facilitate consumption because consumption is development. Thereby,
we will effect socio-economic development for our customers, employees, shareholders,
associates and partners.

Our customers will not just get what they need, but also get them where, how and when they
need.

We will not just post satisfactory results, we will write success stories.

We will not just operate efficiently in the Indian economy, we will evolve it.

We will not just spot trends; we will set trends by marrying our understanding of the Indian
consumer to their needs of tomorrow. It is this understanding that has helped us succeed. And it
is this that will help us succeed in the Future. We shall keep relearning. And in this process, do
just one thing.

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2.11Rewrite Rules and Retain Values

Group Vision:

Future Group shall deliver Everything, Everywhere, Every time for Every Indian Consumer in
the most profitable manner.

Group Mission:
We share the vision and belief that our customers and stakeholders shall be served only by
creating and executing future scenarios in the consumption space leading to economic
development.

We will be the trendsetters in evolving delivery formats, creating retail realty, making
consumption affordable for all customer segments – for classes and for masses.

We shall infuse Indian brands with confidence and renewed ambition. We shall be efficient,
cost- conscious and committed to quality in whatever we do.

We shall ensure that our positive attitude, sincerity, humility and united determination shall be
the driving force to make us successful.

Core Values:
• Indianness: confidence in ourselves.
• Leadership: to be a leader, both in thought and business.
• Respect & Humility: to respect every individual and be humble in our conduct.
• Introspection: leading to purposeful thinking.
• Openness: to be open and receptive to new ideas, knowledge and information.
• Valuing and Nurturing Relationships: to build long term relationships.

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• Simplicity & Positivity: Simplicity and positivity in our thought, business and action.
• Adaptability: to be flexible and adaptable, to meet challenges.
• Flow: to respect and understand the universal laws of nature.

2.12 Lines of Business


The company is present across several lines of business which have various formats (stores)
lywood,The Dollar Store(JV)

 Fashion - Pantaloons, Central, aLL, Brand Factory, Blue


 Sky, Top 10, Fashion Station, Big Bazaar, Lee Cooper
(JV).
 General Merchandise - Big Bazaar, Shoe Factory, Navras,
Electronics Bazaar, Furniture Bazaar, KB'S FAIR PRICE
 Electronics - eZone, Electronic Bazzaar, STAPLES(JV)
 Home Improvement - Home Town
 Furniture - Collection i, Furniture Bazaar, Home Bazaar
 E-tailing (Online Shopping) - www.futurebazaar.com
 Books & Music - Depot
 Leisure & Entertainment - Bowling Co., F123
 Wellness - Star & Sitara, Tulsi
 Telecom & IT - Gen M, M Bazaar, M-Port, ConvergeM,
Future Axiom
 Consumer Durables - Koryo, Sensei ,IPAQ
 Service - E Care , H Care
 Malls - Central (Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai,
Vadodara, Gurgaon, Indore)
 Investment & Savings - Insurance: ULIP, Pension,
Endowment etc.

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2.13 Stock Information

 Listed on: Bombay Stock Exchange


 Stock Code: BOM:523574

2.14 Company Timeline

Major Milestones
1987 Company incorporated as Manz wear Private Limited. Launch of Pantaloons, India’s first
formal trouser brand.

1991 Launch of BARE, the Indian Jeans brand.


1992 Initial public offer(IPO) was made in the month of May.
1994 The Pantaloon Shoppe – an exclusive men’s wear store in franchise format launched
across the nation.The company starts the distribution of branded garments through multi-
brand retail outlets across the nation.
1995 John Miller – Formal shirt brand launched.
1997 Company enters modern retail with the launch of the first 8000 square feet store,
Pantaloons in Kolkata.
2001 Three Big Bazaar stores launched within a span of 22 days in Kolkata, Bangalore and
Hyderabad.
2002 Food Bazaar, the supermarket chain was launched.
2004 Central – India’s first seamless mall was launched in Bangalore.
2005 Group moves beyond retail, acquires stakes in Galaxy Entertainment, Indus League
Clothing and Planet Retail.
Sets up India’s first real estate investment fund Kshitij to build a chain of shopping malls.
2006 Future Capital Holdings, the company’s financial is formed to manage over $ 1.5 billion
in real estate, private equity and retail infrastructure funds. Plans forays into retaining of
consumer finance products.

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Home Town, a home building and improvement products retail chain was launched along
with consumer durables format, Ezone and furniture chain, Furniture Bazaar.
Furure group enters into joint venture agreements to launch insurance products with
Italian insurance major, Generali.
Forms joint ventures with US office stationery retailer, staples.
2007 Future Group crosses $1billion mark.
Specialised companies in retail media, logistics, IPR, and brand development and retail-
led technology services become operational.
Pantaloon retail wins the International retailer of the year at US- based National Retail
Federation convention in New york and Emerging Retailer of the year award at the
World Retain Congress held in Barcelona.
Futurebazaar.com becomes India’s most popular shopping portal.

2008 Future Capital Holdings becomes the second group company to make a successful Initial
Public Offering in the Indian capital markets.
Big Bazaar crosses the 100 store mark, marking one of the fastest ever expansion of a
hypermarket anywhere in the world.
Total operational retail space crosses 10 million square feet mark.
Future Group acquires rural retail chain, Aadhar present in 65 rural locations.

2.15 Hierarchy of Pantaloon (Future Group)

Mr. Kishore Biyani, Managing Director


Kishore Biyani is the Managing Director of Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited and the Group
Chief Executive Officer of Future Group.

Mr. Gopikishan Biyani, Wholetime Director


Gopikishan Biyani, is a commerce graduate and has more than twenty years of experience in the
textile business.

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Mr. Rakesh Biyani, Wholetime Director
Rakesh Biyani, is a commerce graduate and has been actively involved in category management;
retail stores operations, IT and exports. He has been instrumental in the implementation of the
various new retail formats.

Mr. Vijay Kumar Chopra, Independent Director


V.K.Chopra is a fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) by
profession and is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB). His banking
career spans over 31 years and he has served senior management positions in Central Bank of
India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, SIDBI, Corporation Bank and SEBI.

Mr. Shailesh Haribhakti, Independent Director


Shri Shailesh Haribhakti, is a Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, and a Certified Internal
Auditor. He is the Deputy Managing Partner of Haribhakti & Co., Chartered Accountants and
past president of Indian merchant Chambers. He is on the Board of several Public Limited
Companies, including Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd., Ambuja Cement Eastern Ltd. etc.
He is on the Board of Company since June 1, 1999.

Mr. S Doreswamy, Independent Director


S. Doreswamy, is a former Chairman and Managing Director of Central Bank of India and
serves on the board of DSP Merrill Lynch Trustee Co and Ceat Limited among others.

Dr. D O Koshy, Independent Director


D. O. Koshy, holds a doctorate from IIT, Delhi and is the Director of National Institute of
Design (NID), Ahmedabad. He has over 24 years of rich experience in the textiles and garment
industry and was instrumental in the setting up of NIFT centres in Delhi, Chennai and

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Bangalore. He is a renowned consultant specializing in international marketing and apparel retail
management.

Ms. Bala Deshpande, Independent Director


Bala Deshpande, is Independent Director, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd. and also serves on the
boards of Deccan Aviation, Nagarjuna Construction, Welspun India and Indus League Clothing
Ltd, among others.

Mr. Anil Harish, Independent Director


Anil Harish, is the partner of DM Harish & Co. Associates & Solicitors and an LLM from
University of Miami. He also serves on the board of Mahindra Gesco, Unitech, IndusInd Bank
and Hinduja TMT, among others.

Rakesh Biyani CEO - Retail


Anshuman Singh CEO - Value Fashion

Damodar Mall CEO - Incubation & Innovation


Hans Udeshi CEO - General Merchandising
Hemchandra Javeri CEO - Home Solutions Retail (India) Ltd.
Kailash Bhatia CEO - Integrated Merchandising Group
Madhumati Lele CEO - Services
Rajan Malhotra CEO - Big Bazaar
Sadashiv Nayak CEO - Food Bazaar
Sanjeev Aggarwal CEO - Pantaloons
Vishnu Prasad CEO - Central & Brand Factory
Kruben Moodliar President- Operations (Value Retailing)
Mayur Toshniwal Head - Operations (North Zone)
Rajesh Joshi Head - Operations (West Zone)
Rohit Malhotra Head - Operations (South Zone)

Big Bazaar OMR (Chinnam Tata Reddy) Page 22


Sandeep Marwaha Head - Operations (East Zone)
Sanjay Jog Head - Human Resources
Ushir Bhatt Executive Board Member
Atul Takle Head - Corporate Communications
Prashant Desai Head - Group IR & New Ventures (PE)
Vinay Shroff Head - Supply Chain Management

3. Intoduction To Big Bazaar

Big Bazaar is the flagship hypermarket retail chain from Future Group, having 116 stores across
the country by 11th August 2009. With its motto of 'Is se sasta aur accha kahin nahin',Big Bazaar
ensures that all the products are of good quality and offered at the lowest prices. Promising 'more
for less', Big Bazaar, offers 1.6-lakh mass-market product ranges that are sought by a majority of
Indian consumers. It also offers a host of value-added services. The special discounts and

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promotional offers, which are available at regular intervals, makes the format very unique and
distinct. The consumer experiences a new level of standard in price, convenience, comfort,
quality and store service levels.

The first store of Big Bazaar was opened in Calcutta in 2001, on VIP Road, in the ground floor
of a residential building. This was the first departmental store that offered regulated parking
services, apparel, steel vessels and electronics under one roof, and all at the most competitive
prices! The format got bigger and better with the introduction of fresh food and vegetables –
Food Bazaar, introduced as a shop in shop concept, which then went on to become a very
successful standalone store around India. A super quick roll out of stores across India followed
with this format becoming a huge hit with the middle and lower middle class – a huge client
base. Of course, now the Future Group is about many more brands and formats like Pantaloons,
Central, HomeTown, eZone, Depot, LootMart, Brand Factory, Scullers, Urbana, Indigo Nation,
One Mobile, Staples, Etam, Lee Cooper Sports Bar, Copper Chimney and F123.

The next watershed for brand Big Bazaar was the introduction of the “Sabse Sasta Din” in
January 2005, when the Indian Republic Day holiday was utilized to make sure that hordes of
consumers descended on all Big Bazaars across the country to buy all kinds of household items –
cheap. There were scenes of customers actually vigorously fighting over items in-store, long
queues and this was followed by another unique initiative – the “Juna do aur naya lo” where
customers were encouraged to bring in their old clothes, utensils, furniture and electronics, sell

them at a predetermined price and receive coupons that enabled them to receive a discount on
goods in store. Even with preconditions like ‘the customer has to buy four times the value of the
coupon, the coupon is valid only for seven days’, the mounds of old clothes and items outside
these collection centers were testimony to the success of this gambit. Big Bazaar was also the
first to designate Wednesday as the ‘hafte ka sabse sasta din’ – with extra special discounts
offered to lure the customer into the store midweek – with the usual result, a crowded store! This
naturally has been copied by every retailer in the same bandwidth, pronto.

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Kishore Biyani is reported to have said that the word ‘bazaar’ was mandatory for the name as
they wanted to replicate the Indian mandi or market feel, and ‘big’ came about because this was
a much larger concept than just a regular market. The clarity of ideas is evidenced by the fact
that they had frozen the punch line “Isse Se Sasta Aur Achha Kahi Nahi” much before any
meeting with creatives to design the final logo of Big Bazaar. It was intentional then and has
been kept up to date as the stores reflect India and Indianness by keeping tabs on the local
culture, diversity and customs to grow with society rather than as a separate entity.

Of course the experience in each store varies as individual stores are treated like a small family
with its own head of the family – Karta – the store manager. This is sometimes a negative thing
if the influence of the head or karta cannot be perceived or counted upon and leads to vastly
varied customer interactions, where one store scores over the other, within the same locality, a
very confusing thing for the customer. The standardization that one expects with a multi city and
store operation is somewhat lacking – whether in terms of merchandise stocked, service offered
or even just the overall intangible feel of vibrancy that exists in some stores and is completely
absent in others. This in spite of Kishore Biyani inculcating the habit of ‘observing and
understanding customers’ behavior in every employee of the group.

But this is definitely sidelined by the continuing success story of this store, where even a
recession has not dented their customer base – probably because they are perceived as being ‘on
the customer’s side’.

3.1 Introduction To Big Bazaar, Old Madras Road (Bangaluru)

In India when a customer needs something for home, a typical thought is to seek it from the
bazaar. A bazaar is a place where a complete range of product is always available to the
consumer. This is true all over India. As the store would offer a large mix of

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products at a discounted price, the name big bazaar was finalized. That is how the store design
was finalized. The store should on one hand provide the customer the look and feel of a bazaar
and on the other hand should provide them a shopping experience.

The store design and layout tells a customer what the store is all about. It is a very strong tool in
the hands of the retailer for communicating and creating the image of the store in mind of the
customer. The design and layout of the store are a means of communicating the image of the
retail store. The primary consideration that a retailer takes into account while choosing the look
of his store is his target audience, their need and their buying behavior, secondly the
merchandise that he is going to sell.

OMR big bazaar (super center and hypermarket) is a 7floor building comprising of 13 home line
of business, 4 joint venture with (Lee cooper, Loot mart, Dollar store, Navras gold jewelry,
sports) and few shop in shop. OMR big bazaar is the India’s biggest big bazaar with a 12000 per
sq. feet sales. It comprises of built up area of 126655 sq. feet and retail area of 65043 sq feet
with average footfalls of 7000 customers per day. Big bazaar is coming up of with more shop in
shop so that they can cater to the needs of diverse culture of customers coming to the store.
Customer coming to big bazaar can shop, eat and entertain themselves under one roof.

There are many promotional activities done in the store to promote the in house brands. These
activities are usually performed on big days in the week like Sundays, Saturday and Wednesday.
The activities done are fashion show to promote fashion @ big bazaar. Fashion show was
conducted in the exterior of the store by models that performed on the ramp wearing big bazaar
clothing. Other activities are small games such as quiz contest, fashion show, etc. are been
played to entertain customers and on the same front promote their products. Wednesday bazaar
is

mostly targeted at house wife handling low budgets for the week. Impulse bins are kept in areas
where there are heavy footfalls and cash counters to make customers buy the products.

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3.1.1 Exterior store design:
Many a times it is the exterior look of the store that draws the customers to the store. The factors
that are considered in designing the exterior of the store are:
• Site it.
• Facilities like parking and ease of access.
• The architecture of the building.
• The display space.
The health and safety measures i.e. the security guards.
Exterior of the store is attractive and inviting. It highlights the seasonal attraction of different
sections with the help of huge hoardings.
Parking is design according to the convenience of the customer as customers have entries close
to the Parking spaces for both Two and Four Wheelers.
Customers have proper places to put their luggage while entering the store, proper security
feature are provided to give them a feeling of safety and wellbeing. Small eateries and Snacks
shop are there for the customers in wait and for those who wants to pass their time.

3.1.2 Interior store design:

Interior store design is a function of the aesthetic within the store, the merchandise sold within
and the space used for the same and the overall layout of the store. The factors that affect the
interior store design are:

Space planning i.e. location of various departments, location of various products in the
department (plan gram), relation of space to profitability.
Fixtures that are used for storing and displaying merchandise.

Lighting scheme has to be decided on the product that is displayed.

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Graphics and signage in the store provide information about the product, location, facilities etc.
in the store.

Overall format of the store, look, feel, colure scheme are decided to give a Bazaar look where
the Target Customer can have a feeling of having convenient and valued shopping Experience.

For the convenient movement of the customers in the store there are escalators and lifts. The
store layout is such that when one reaches at a particular level he /she can get an overall picture
of the floor in a single view. Proper spacing is provided for fixtures, walking area and Highlights
like Boards and Signage’s are provided in each section.

Every section is arranged in accordance to a preplanned theme for each Season and Shopping
Festival. These themes have a same kind of patter or look such that different sections are
connected in accordance with the buying behavior of the customer.
The floor arrangements are planned to suit the buying need and convenience of the customers
like grocery, food and FMCG products (daily necessities) are kept on the ground floor as no
customer will go to the 5th floor to buy vegetables. Thus the store designs are according to this
plan.

Comfortable ambience is created with the help soothing music. Proper ventilation and lights add
to the shopping experience at OMR big bazaar. Attractive schemes and discounts on different
products on different levels are announced at regular intervals at every floor to attract customers.

Proper fixtures are used to store and display the merchandise. The fixtures used are flexible
enough that its size can be changed or can be shifted inside the store as per convenience.

Big Bazaar is not just another hypermarket. It caters to every need of your family. Where Big
Bazaar scores over other stores is its value for money proposition for the Indian customers.

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At Big Bazaar, you will definitely get the best products at the best prices - that’s what we
guarantee. With the ever increasing array of private labels, it has opened the doors into the
world of fashion and general merchandise including home furnishings, utensils, crockery,
cutlery, sports goods and much more at prices that will surprise you. And this is just the
beginning. Big Bazaar plans to add much more to complete your shopping experience.

 It is chain of shopping malls in India currently with 31 outlet owned by Kishore Biyani’s
Pantaloon Group.
 Big bazaar is not just another hypermarket.
 It provides the best products at the best price.
 It reflects the look and feel of Indian bazaars at their modern outlets .
 All over India, Big Bazaar attracts a few thousand customers on any regular day.

3.1.3 Target Audience:

 Big Bazaar targets higher and middle class customers .


 The large and growing young working population is a preferred customer segment.
 Big Bazaar specifically targets working women and home makers who are the primary
decision makers.

3.2 Features of Big Bazaar, OMR, Bangalore

In Big Bazaar, OMR following features are there:

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1. OMR outlet focuses on all classes.
2. It is a one-stop shop, anything and everything which is in the market is present here.
3. Gaming section F.123 is there which cannot be found in all outlets
4. Unisex salon Star N Sitara is there.
5. The food court is there where one can have refreshments and relax.

6. Lifts are there for convenience.


7. Photo section is there on the ground floor where one can take out prints in different
ways.

3.2.1 Ground Floor:

The ground floor comprises of food and non- food items. In short there are products which are
included in the daily necessities check list of the customers. When we enter in the store we see
vegetables and fruits on the right side and food items, personal care product on the left. This
floor mainly is known as food bazaar. It consists of following department such as:
1. food items

o chill zone
o chip zone
o hungry kya

2. non- food items

o personal care

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o home care
o fabricleen

3. staples:

o basic staples
o cooking mediums

4. fruits and vegetables


5. photo shop
6. live kitchens
7. medical
8. dollar store
9. liquor shop

Sales

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• The Contribution of Food Bazaar to the total sales for the year 2008-09 of the store
was 31% .
• The space occupied by the Food Bazaar is 8076 Sq. feet out of 65043 of the total
retail space i.e 12% of the total Store retail space.
• The per sq feet sales of Food Bazaar is Rs 2862.

3.2.2 1st Floor:


The first floor accommodates apparel department (men & ladies). Ladies and men mannequins
dressed in updated trends on cubes & platforms looks attractive. Secondly the heavy discounts

entice the customer to buy the products. One gets everything he/she needs in apparels. The
categories are:
1. Men wear
o men casuals
o men formals
o men denims & tees

o men nightwear
o men seasonal wear
o men accessories
o men sport wear
o men occasional wear
2. Ladies wear
o ladies accessories
o ladies nightwear
o ladies ethnic(dress materials, sari, kurtas etc)
o ladies western
o ladies western formals
o ladies western party wear

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o ladies seasonal wear
o ladies sportswear
3. Jewelry
4. Loot mart

5. Cosmetics
6. Customer Service Desk

Sales of Apparels:

• The Contribution of Apparels Segment to the total sales for the year 2008-09 of the store
was 15%.
• The space occupied by the Apparels segment is is 8076 Sq. feet out of 65043 of the total
retail space i.e 15% of the total Store retail space.
• The per sq feet sales of Food Bazaar is Rs 1129.

3.2.3 2nd Floor:

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This floor comprises of plastic, utensils and crockery this section is located on the 2 nd floor to
push the crowd in upward direction and secondly the products kept here are
planned purchase products. It also comprises of few impulse buying products such as ladies hand
bags and foot wears this also helps in pushing the customer upwards in the store. Thus 2 nd floor
comprises of the following categories:

1. kids wear

o girls wear
o boys wear
o toddlers
o kids accessories
2. kids games & toys
3. soft toys
4. sports equipments
5. footwear
6. luggage
7. ladies handbags(jute cottage is a shop in shop
8. Hardware & auto accessories.
9. PUC (plastic, utensils & crockery)
10. cookware
11. Navras gold jewelry(shop in shop)

Sales Of 2008-2009 Financial Year:

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• The Contribution of to the total sales for the year 2008-09 Financial year are:

1. Childrens wear & accessories is 4%


2. Luggage is 2.34%
3. Footwear 2.5%
4. Sports goods 0.72%
5. Toys 1.1%
6. PUC is 7.94%

• The per sq feet sales are:

1. Childrens wear & accessories 17600 Rs.


2. Luggage is 12794 Rs.
3. Footwear 17043 Rs.
4. Sports goods and toys 15119 Rs.
5. PUC is 16560 Rs.

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3.2.4 3rd Floor:

The floor is all about making your house look good. Yes, this floor is known as home bazaar.
Good quality with heavy discounts is what attracts customers to this floor modular kitchens, bed
rooms, living room, kids room are designed in different ways to give customers the idea of how
the colure schemes changes the look of the product. Co-ordinate presentation is an effective way
of display.

There are architect service been provide so that the customers can take the advise of the architect
and plan for the purchase. Customers can even customize the product. This floor consists of the
following:

1. modular kitchens

2. modular bed rooms


3. modular living rooms
4. kids room
5. grab n go
6. office furniture
7. mattress
8. home fashion

o bed sheets
o curtains
o carpets
o pillows
9. home décor
10. home lights
11. home accessories

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Sales for the financial year 2008-09 in lacks:

3.2.5 4th Floor:


This floor is known as electronic bazaar. Customers who are gadgets lovers will enjoy moving
around this floor. This floor comprises of demo rooms where in the customer can see the demo
of different gadgets they would like to purchase. It also consists of part of home bazaar. There is
future money which provides installment payment system for customers. Categories on this floor
are:
1. home improvements
o floorings
o lockers & handles

o mirrors
o bathroom sets
2. staples(SIS)
3. depot

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4. Electronic bazaar.
o white goods
o small appliances
o my things
o AC & geysers
o LCD
o audio
5. future money

Sales for the financial year 2008-09:

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• The Contribution of Electronics & Depot Segment to the total sales for the year 2008-09
of the store was 9.88% and 1.10% respectively.
• The space occupied by these segments is 6527 and 2514 Sq. feet resp. out of 65043 of the
total retail space i.e 10.03% and 3.86% respectively of the total Store retail space.

• The per sq feet sales :-

1. Electronics is 11228 Rs.


2. Depot is 3257.75 Rs.

3.2.6 5th Floor:


Here is where customers can eat, play and relax themselves after shopping. The restaurant at
OMR big bazaar have diverse food for customer from every culture Punjabi, chat, rolls, juices,
south Indian food, ice creams, Chinese etc. when the customer enters the 5 th floor the first and
foremost thing that he/ she sees is the display of the food dishes at the everyday low prices.

There are buffet dinners and lunch on the main days of the week such as Sunday, Saturday. Just
along with the restaurant there is a game parlor wherein kids can enjoy themselves buy just
putting a coin inside the machine. On the other side of the floor is a beauty salon called star $
sitara with quality service at reasonable prices that suits the big bazaar tag line “Isse sasta aur
acha kahi nahi”.
1. Food court (restaurant)
2. game zone
3. beauty salon star $ sitara

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4. Functional Areas

4.0 Customer Service Desk


Customer Service Desk is a platform where in Customer service representatives are employed by
many different types of companies to serve as a direct point of contact for customers. They are
responsible for ensuring that their company’s customers receive an adequate level of service or
help with their questions and concerns. These customers may be individual consumers or other
companies, and their service needs can vary considerably.

4.1 Features of Customer Service desk

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4.1.1 Functions:
All customer service representatives interact with customers to provide information in response
to inquiries about products or services and to handle and resolve complaints. They communicate
with customers through a variety of means—by telephone; by e-mail, fax, regular mail; or in
person. Some customer service representatives handle general questions and complaints,
whereas others specialize in a particular area.

Many customer inquiries involve routine questions and requests. For example, customer service
representatives may be asked to provide a customer with their credit card balance, or to check on
the status of an order. However, other questions are more involved, and may require additional
research or further explanation on the part of the customer service representative. In handling
customers’ complaints, they must attempt to resolve the problem according to guidelines
established by the company. These procedures may involve asking questions to determine the
validity of a complaint; offering possible solutions; or providing customers with refunds,
exchanges, or other offers, like discounts or coupons. In some cases, customer service
representatives are required to follow up with an individual customer until a question is
answered or an issue is resolved.

Some customer service representatives help people decide what types of products or services
would best suit their needs. They may even aid customers in completing purchases or
transactions. Although the primary function of customer service representatives is not sales,
some may spend time encouraging customers to purchase additional products or services.
Customer service representatives also may make changes or updates to a customer’s profile or
account information. They may keep records of transactions and update and maintain databases
of information.
Most customer service representatives use computers and telephones extensively in their work.
Customer service representatives frequently enter information into a computer as they are

speaking to customers. Often, companies have large amounts of data, such as account
information, that is pulled up on a computer screen while the representative is talking to a
customer so he or she can answer specific questions.

Customer service representatives also usually have answers to the most common customer
questions, or guidelines for dealing with complaints. In the event that they encounter a question
or situation to which they do not know how to respond, representatives consult with a supervisor
to determine the best course of action. They generally use multiline telephone systems, which
may route calls directly to the most appropriate representative. However, at times, they must
transfer calls to someone who may be better able to respond to the customer’s needs.

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In some organizations, customer service representatives spend their entire day on the telephone.
In others, they may spend part of their day answering e-mails and the remainder of the day
taking calls. For some, most of their contact with the customer is face to face. Customer service
representatives need to remain aware of the amount of time spent with each customer so that
they can fairly distribute their time among the people who require their assistance. This is
particularly important for those whose primary activities are answering telephone calls and
whose conversations are required to be kept within a set time limit. For those working in call
centers, there is usually very little time between telephone calls. When working in call centers,
customer service representatives are likely to be under close supervision. Telephone calls may be
taped and reviewed by supervisors to ensure that company policies and procedures are being
followed.

Job responsibilities also can differ, depending on the industry in which a customer service
representative is employed. For example, those working in the branch office of a bank may
assume the responsibilities of other workers, such as teller or new account clerk, as needed. In
insurance agencies, a customer service representative interacts with agents, insurance companies,
and policyholders. These workers handle much of the paperwork related to insurance policies,
such as policy applications and changes and renewals to existing policies. They answer questions
regarding policy coverage, help with reporting claims, and do anything else that may need to be
done. Although they must have similar credentials and knowledge of insurance products as
insurance agents, the duties of a customer service representative differ from those of an agent as
they are not responsible for seeking potential customers. Customer service representatives
employed by utilities and communications companies assist individuals interested in opening
accounts for various utilities such as electricity and gas, or for communication services such as
cable television and telephone. They explain various options and receive orders for services to be
installed, turned on, turned off, or changed. They also may look into and resolve complaints
about billing and other service.

4.1.2Work environment:

Although customer service representatives work in a variety of settings, most work in areas that
are clean and well lit. Many work in call or customer contact centers where workers generally
have their own workstation or cubicle space equipped with a telephone, headset, and computer.
Because many call centers are open extended hours, beyond the traditional work day, or are
staffed around the clock, these positions may require workers to take on early morning, evening,
or late night shifts. Weekend or holiday work also may be necessary. As a result, the occupation
is well suited to flexible work schedules. About 17 percent of customer service representatives
work part time. The occupation also offers the opportunity for seasonal work in certain
industries, often through temporary help agencies.

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Call centers may be crowded and noisy, and work may be repetitious and stressful, with little
time between calls. Workers usually must attempt to minimize the length of each call, while still
providing excellent service. To ensure that these procedures are followed, conversations may be
monitored by supervisors, which be stressful. Also, long periods spent sitting, typing, or looking
at a computer screen may cause eye and muscle strain, backaches, headaches, and repetitive
motion injuries.

Customer service representatives working outside of a call center environment may interact with
customers through several different means. For example, workers employed by an insurance
agency or in a grocery store may have customers approach them in person or contact them by
telephone, computer, mail, or fax. Many of these customer service representatives work a
standard 40-hour week; however, their hours generally depend on their employer’s hours of
operation. Work environments outside of a call center also vary accordingly. Most customer
service representatives work either in an office or at a service or help desk.

Customer service representatives may have to deal with difficult or irate customers, which can
be challenging. However, the ability to resolve customers’ problems has the potential to be very
rewarding.

4.1.3 Training, Other Qualifications And Advancements:


Most jobs require at least a high school diploma. However, employers are increasingly seeking
candidates with some college education. Most employers provide training to workers before they
begin serving customers.

4.1.4 Education and training:

Most customer service representative jobs require only a high school diploma. However, because
employers are demanding a higher skilled workforce, many customer service jobs now require
an associate or bachelor’s degree. High school and college level courses in computers, English,
or business are helpful in preparing for a job in customer service.

Training requirements vary by industry. Almost all customer service representatives are
provided with some training prior to beginning work. This training generally includes customer

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service and phone skills; information on products and services; information about common
customer problems; the use of the telephone and computer systems; and company policies and
regulations. Length of training varies, but usually lasts at least several weeks. Because of a
constant need to update skills and knowledge, most customer service representatives continue to
receive training throughout their career. This is particularly true of workers in industries such as
banking, in which regulations and products are continually changing.

4.1.5 Other qualifications:

Because customer service representatives constantly interact with the public, good
communication and problem-solving skills are a must. Verbal communication and listening
skills are especially important. For workers who communicate through e-mail, good typing,
spelling, and writing skills are necessary. Basic to intermediate computer knowledge and good
interpersonal skills also are important qualities for people who wish to be successful in the field.
Customer service representatives play a critical role in providing an interface between customers
and companies. As a result, employers seek out people who are friendly and possess a
professional manner. The ability to deal patiently with problems and complaints and to remain
courteous when faced with difficult or angry people is very important. Also, a customer service
representative needs to be able to work independently within specified time constraints. Workers
should have a clear and pleasant speaking voice and be fluent in English. However, the ability to
speak a foreign language is becoming increasingly necessary.

Although some positions may require previous industry, office, or customer service experience,
many customer service jobs are entry level. However, within insurance agencies and brokerages,
these jobs usually are not entry-level positions. Workers must have previous experience in
insurance and often are required by State regulations to be licensed like insurance sales agents. A
variety of designations are available to demonstrate that a candidate has sufficient knowledge
and skill, and continuing education courses and training often are offered through the employer.

4.1.6 Advancement:
Customer service jobs are often good introductory positions into a company or an industry. In
some cases, experienced workers can move up within the company into supervisory or
managerial positions or they may move into areas such as product development, in which they
can use their knowledge to improve products and services. As they gain more knowledge of

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industry products and services, customer service representatives in insurance may advance to
other, higher level positions, such as insurance sales agent.

4.1.7 Employment:
Customer service representatives held about 2.2 million jobs in 2006. Although they were found
in a variety of industries, about 23 percent of customer service representatives worked in finance
and insurance. The largest numbers were employed by insurance carriers, insurance agencies and
brokerages, and banks and credit unions.

About 14 percent of customer service representatives were employed in administrative and


support services. These workers were concentrated in the business support services industry
(which includes telephone call centers) and employment services (which includes temporary
help services and employment placement agencies). Another 11 percent of customer service
representatives were employed in retail trade establishments such as general merchandise stores
and food and beverage stores. Other industries that employ significant numbers of customer
service representatives include information, particularly the telecommunications industry;
manufacturing, such as printing and related support activities; and wholesale trade.

4.1.8 Job Outlook:


Customer service representatives are expected to experience growth that is much faster than the
average for all occupations through the projection period. Furthermore, job prospects should
excellent as workers who leave the occupation will need to be replaced.

4.1.9 Employment Change:

Employment of customer service representatives is expected to increase 25 percent from 2006 to


2016, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will have one
of the largest numbers of new jobs arise, about 545,000 over the 2006-16 projection period.
Beyond growth stemming from expansion of the industries in which customer service
representatives are employed, a need for additional customer service representatives is likely to
result from heightened reliance on these workers. Customer service is very important to the
success of any organization that deals with customers, and strong customer service can build
sales, visibility, and loyalty as companies try to distinguish themselves from competitors. In
many industries, gaining a competitive edge and retaining customers will be increasingly

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important over the next decade. This is particularly true in industries such as financial services,
communications, and utilities, which already employ numerous customer service representatives.
As the trend towards consolidation in industries

continues, centralized call centers will provide an effective method for delivering a high level of
customer service. As a result, employment of customer service representatives may grow at a
faster rate in call centers than in other areas. However, this growth may be tempered by a variety
of factors such as technological improvements that make it increasingly feasible and cost-
effective for call centers to be built or relocated outside of the United States.

Technology is affecting the occupation in many ways. The Internet and automated teller
machines have provided customers with means of obtaining information and conducting
transactions that do not entail interacting with another person. Technology also allows for
greater streamlining of processes, while at the same time increasing the productivity of workers.
The use of computer software to filter e-mails, generating automatic responses or directing
messages to the appropriate representative, and the use of similar systems to answer or route
telephone inquiries are likely to become more prevalent in the future. Also, with rapidly
improving telecommunications, some organizations have begun to position their call centers
overseas.

Despite such developments, the need for customer service representatives is expected to remain
strong. In many ways, technology has heightened consumers’ expectations for information and
services, and the availability of information online seems to have generated more need for
customer service representatives, particularly to respond to e-mail. Also, technology cannot
replace human skills. As more sophisticated technologies are able to resolve many customers’
questions and concerns, the nature of the inquiries handled by customer service representatives is
likely to become increasingly complex.

Furthermore, the job responsibilities of customer service representatives are expanding. As


companies downsize or take other measures to increase profitability, workers are being trained to
perform additional duties such as opening bank accounts or cross-selling products. As a result,
employers increasingly may prefer customer service representatives who have education beyond
high school, such as some college or even a college degree.

While jobs in some industries—such as retail trade—may be affected by economic downturns,


the customer service occupation generally is resistant to major fluctuations in employment.

4.1.10 Job prospects:

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Prospects for obtaining a job in this field are expected to be excellent, with more job openings
than jobseekers. Bilingual jobseekers, in particular, may enjoy favorable job prospects. In
addition, numerous job openings will result from the need to replace experienced customer
service representatives who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Replacement
needs are expected to be significant

in this large occupation because many young people work as customer service representatives
before switching to other jobs.
This occupation is well suited to flexible work schedules, and many opportunities for part-time
work will continue to be available, particularly as organizations attempt to cut labor costs by
hiring more temporary workers.

4.1.11 Earnings:
In May 2006, median hourly earnings for wage and salary customer service representatives were
$13.62. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.73 and $17.40. The lowest 10 percent earned
less than $8.71 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $22.11.

Earnings for customer service representatives vary according to level of skill required,
experience, training, location, and size of firm. Median hourly earnings in the industries
employing the largest numbers of these workers in May 2006 were:

Insurance carriers $15.00


Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities 14.51
Depository Credit Intermediation 13.68
Employment services 11.74
Telephone call centers 10.29

In addition to receiving an hourly wage, full-time customer service representatives who work
evenings, nights, weekends, or holidays may receive shift differential pay. Also, because call
centers are often open during extended hours, or even 24 hours a day, some customer service
representatives have the benefit of being able to work a schedule that does not conform to the
traditional workweek. Other benefits can include life and health insurance, pensions, bonuses,
employer-provided training, and discounts on the products and services the company offers.

For the latest wage information:

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The above wage data are from the OCCUPATIONAL EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS (OES)
SURVEY PROGRAM.

4.1.12 Related Occupations:


Customer service representatives interact with customers to provide information in response to
inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints. Other occupations in
which workers have similar dealings with customers and the public are Information and Record
Clerks; Financial Clerks such as Tellers and New Account Clerks; Insurance Sales
Agents; Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents; Retail
Salespersons; Computer Support Specialists; and Gaming Services Workers.

4.2 The Customer Service Manager's Challenge:

Leveraging the "Squeeze Play"

Most customer service managers are acutely aware of being


caught in the middle. We feel the pressure from upper
management and their goals, plans, and decisions. We also
feel pressure from our department -- the needs of our
employees for support, information, resources, and often for
explanation.

(What was management thinking?) If you've ever felt the


pressure from both sides and wondered how to cope, read on
for definition and awareness of your role plus some ideas to
help cope productively with the "squeeze play."

From upper management's perspective, the customer service department is sometimes viewed as

the "complaint department" -- an organizational reform school for transforming angry customers
into quiet customers. Sometimes our department is seen as a lower priority "step-child" behind
Sales, Marketing, R + D, and other departments vying for attention and resources. As customer
service managers, our primary role is to represent the value of the customer service function. The
customer service department is the vanguard of our company's customer service reputation. Our
department is a powerful insurance policy in maintaining a loyal customer base. Studies estimate

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it costs 5 to 17 times more to generate a new customer than to keep the ones we have. Effective
problem resolution is a powerful way to generate customer loyalty and positive word of mouth.
Most people have either heard a positive customer service story from Nordstrom, or have a
personal experience of their own to share. These shared stories are the most effective source of
advertising. Our company's reputation depends on positive customer relations. As our
department's function is no less important than the sales or advertising department, we represent
it thus. We negotiate from a position of priority for resources (budget, training, tools,
recognition, etc.)

We also represent the best interests of our department in management decisions. Most top
managers have never had direct customer service management experience, and don't know what
makes the department thrive. We are responsible for representing the customer service function
and its needs. The needs might include budget, tools, personnel, training, recognition, and
especially supportive organizational policies and structures. On behalf of our employees and our
department, we represent their best interests to upper management and affirm their value to the
organization.

Just as we serve as an ombudsman for our employees to upper management, we are also
responsible for interpreting upper management's perspective to our people. Often management
decisions make sense only when viewed from a larger perspective. We have access to the "big
picture." In sharing our interpretation we help people understand the company and the
importance of their contribution. They become more knowledgeable about their role in the
company. They gain a sense of purpose and commitment. Customer service managers strengthen
the role of the department by implementing ten key actions:

• Circulate results of customer satisfaction surveys.

• Publish customer service victories.

• Reinforce value by researching how much company spends to acquire a new customer.

• Document cases of "valued customers/business saved" and estimate dollar savings to the
company.

• Promote alliances with other departments and champion interdepartmental


communication.

• Document potential career paths for Customer Service Representatives so the job won't
be perceived as "dead end" or "low end".

• Manage positively and develop "esprit de corps." Make your department the "in" place to
work.

• Read current industry and customer service publications to stay informed and motivated.

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• Encourage employees to develop visibility and professionalism.

• Train people thoroughly. If training budget is limited, train them yourself.

4.3 Customer Satisfaction


Customer Satisfaction, a business term, is a measure of how products and services supplied by a
company meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within
business and is part of the four perspectives of a Balanced Scorecard.

In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is


seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy.
There is a substantial body of empirical literature that establishes the benefits of customer
satisfaction for firms.

4.4 Customer Service: An Organizational Objective


It is often said and widely accepted that customer service is the keystone to all service-oriented
business. Yet the words and concept are often not fully comprehended by many within the
service industries. Comptrollership is multifaceted, but in all respects, it is a service-oriented
business.

Assuredly, the dynamics of customer service guarantee that sooner or later the level of service
we give and receive will affect all of us, both personally and professionally. Customer service,
good or bad, doesn't just happen. Therefore, it is important that we absolutely commit to
effective customer service, understand its significance, and promote a plan to accomplish our
goals and objectives.
What Is Customer Service and Why Is It Important?

Broadly defined, customer service is an activity on behalf of a person, organization, or cause that
meets a need or requirement. This might be a simple exchange of information, but often action
or corrective measures are required. The ever-increasing complexity of our society dictates the
methods and levels of customer service that we give and receive.

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For example, electronic devices and systems have changed the communication process--we
become ever more accustomed to pressing numbers on a telephone keypad, hearing electronic
voices, and holding for the "next available associate."

Identifying areas of concern and initiating timely actions become the responsibilities of every
person involved in financial management. Timely resolution of issues is especially important in
managing federally appropriated funds that have specific parameters for availability and usage.

As customer service providers, we must consider our role as an opportunity to gain skills and
knowledge critical to success in our profession. Most of us are entrusted with and responsible for
the proper use of organizational resources. In a resource-dependent society, we communicate
and effect necessary actions that impact various organizations; and customer service is an
integral part of our stewardship responsibilities. Consequently, our personal goals must include
reliable and timely customer service through proactive professional behavior.

Time constraints are further complicated by the performance of interrelated functions by


agencies in various locations. Since each of us depends extensively on the efforts of others, it is
essential that everyone in the process understand the necessity of efficient customer service and
mutual cooperation to that end. Customer service, the customer, and ultimately the entire
organization are affected for better or worse in direct proportion to our success or lack thereof.

Within the last couple of decades, computer capabilities that generate large volumes of data have
enabled us to manage in a way never before possible. Automation greatly enhances our ability to
recognize, review, and evaluate potential problems, all to the benefit of the customer. We now
have the tools to recognize inconsistencies quickly and initiate corrective actions; but again, we
are dependent on the assistance of others.

Whether we assist others or require their assistance, the quality of customer service is directly
impacted by our mutual commitment to that service. We as individuals are responsible for pro
viding the quality of customer service that reflects favorably on our organizations and ourselves.

The responsibility of management is to fully commit to effective customer service and to instill
that commitment in their subordinates. Naturally, good managers provide a framework for
achieving the goals and objectives of the organization; this is accomplished through a customer
service plan.

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4.5 Customer Service Plan
Maintaining an effective customer service program is one of the biggest challenges facing
managers in the current environment. Today, managers are faced with cutbacks in personnel,
workforce reshaping, and lack of funds for adequate training. These constraints, although
serious, must not be allowed to compromise customer service. Developing an effective customer
service plan and instilling a commitment to it within the organization are key to the management
process.

Once developed and implemented, the plan helps to overcome other obstacles. Success breeds
success, and in the service business there is no greater success than a satisfied customer.
Therefore, managers should always consider the impact of how an effective customer service
plan can help them to meet their goals.

Enlightened managers fully recognize the relationship between a sense of ownership and
positive results. Organizations may vary greatly in their methods to establish and maintain a
customer service plan, but individual loyalty to the concept and personal effort ensure its
success. This requires the enthusiastic involvement and support of top management, as well as
the active solicitation and input of ideas from all members of the organization.

Once in place, the plan becomes a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of the organization to
meet customer needs and provides a standard for recognizing individual performance. It should
be tailored to meet the goals and objectives of the organization and should identify a way to
measure and evaluate results.

Clearly defined objectives provide the parameters and are essential for evaluating performance.
For example, measuring planned against actual accomplishments indicates whether objectives
are met and provides information on the validity of the process.

Feedback from customers provides a valuable tool for measuring customer satisfaction relative
to the professionalism of the provider and the relevance and timeliness of the service.

As with any plan, be realistic, periodically review, and make adjustments when necessary. Think
of the plan as being cyclical: define, schedule, allocate, oversee, measure, and modify or change.
Define objectives, schedule times, allocate resources, oversee the process, define a means to

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measure and evaluate, and finally, modify or change. The objective is not to achieve perfection
at the outset, but to provide a framework for building and improving as you progress toward a
realistic and workable plan.

Starting out with a simple plan is easier to implement and allows for more flexibility; details can
be added later. The validity of the plan to reach the objectives should be reviewed during various
stages. Consider lessons learned, and don't hesitate to incorporate changes based on findings
from milestone reviews.

As a customer service plan develops, it will no doubt encounter challenges. We plan to succeed
when outlining a strategy to implement our goals, and we must include within that strategy a
plan to overcome obstacles. A lack of funds for training is a significant challenge for managers
today, but most will agree that training is an integral part of performance. So a strategy to
overcome this obstacle might include looking within our own organizations for answers.

There are individuals within most organizations who have a depth of institutional knowledge as
well as organizational expertise. These individuals will no doubt be very familiar with the
organization's goals and objectives and will be instrumental in developing the customer service
plan. As these experienced individuals train and mentor less experienced members, many of the
organizational training objectives are accomplished in-house. As with other objectives, the
results of measuring and evaluating the training plan provide a basis to recognize and reward
motivation and promote success.

Implemented correctly, an effective customer service plan leads to a more effective and efficient
workforce. Invaluable knowledge and skills are gained by search--problem solving is a natural
result. Likewise, we gain a greater understanding of what we do and how it impacts others.
Inherent in the process, we learn what others need from us and how we can support them in their
efforts to improve customer service.

The ultimate reward for management is customer satisfaction provided by a skilled and
committed workforce able to solve problems and understand the importance of effective
customer service. Time invested initially results in time saved in the future.

Summary:

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There should be no question that we are all customers who rely on each other in performing our
duties. As we consider customer service, we examine the roles of individuals and organizations
and how customer service impacts our ability to perform our jobs and the ability of organizations
to perform their missions. For this reason, it is important that organizational goals and objectives
are clearly defined and mirrored in a customer service plan.

A successful plan is developed and owned by all members of the organization and has the
enthusiastic support of management. Measuring and evaluating actual performance in relation to
objectives provides a "report card" with vital information and leads to opportunities for
management to recognize and reward excellent performance.

Developing a strategy to overcome obstacles such as lack of training funds and time constraints
leads to positive results in efficiency and motivation. The successful manager turns obstacles
into opportunities by capitalizing on the expertise and commitment to service of those within
their organization.

In conclusion, the understanding of and commitment to customer service has far-reaching


implications, and we as individuals have the ability to make a difference. Let us accept and focus
on individual responsibility as we empower ourselves to make that difference.

A federal service employee of 19 years, Ramona Butler currently works for the Space and
Missile Defense Command, Kwajalein Support Directorate, Huntsville, Alabama. She is
responsible for the customer reimbursable pro gram for the Reagan Test Site. Working
exclusively with customer funds contributed to her particular interest in this year's essay topic,
"What Is Customer Service?" She holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration
and has completed courses toward a master's degree in business administration. A former
Wiregrass Chapter vice president and president, Ms. Butler is now a member of the
Redstone/Huntsville Chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. This is her
second ASMC essay award, having placed second for her ASMC essay titled "The Ideal Work
Environment."

4.6 Measuring Customer Satisfaction

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Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting non-
customers; measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the
organization is at providing products and/or services to the marketplace.

Customer satisfaction is an ambiguous and abstract concept and the actual manifestation of the
state of satisfaction will vary from person to person and product/service to product/service. The
state of satisfaction depends on a number of both psychological and physical variables which
correlate with satisfaction behaviors such as return and recommend rate. The level of satisfaction
can also vary depending on other options the customer may have and other products against
which the customer can compare the organization's products.

Because satisfaction is basically a psychological state, care should be taken in the effort of
quantitative measurement, although a large quantity of research in this area has recently been
developed. Work done by Berry (Bart Allen) and Brodeur between 1990 and 1998 defined ten
'Quality Values' which influence satisfaction behavior, further expanded by Berry in 2002 and
known as the ten domains of satisfaction. These ten domains of satisfaction include: Quality,
Value, Timeliness, Efficiency, Ease of Access, Environment, Inter-departmental Teamwork,
Front line Service Behaviors, Commitment to the Customer and Innovation. These factors are
emphasized for continuous improvement and organizational change measurement and are most
often utilized to develop the architecture for satisfaction measurement as an integrated model.
Work done by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (Leonard L) between 1985 and 1988 provides
the basis for the measurement of customer satisfaction with a service by using the gap between
the customer's expectation of performance and their perceived experience of performance. This
provides the measurer with a satisfaction "gap" which is objective and quantitative in nature.
Work done by Cronin and Taylor propose the "confirmation/disconfirmation" theory of

combining the "gap" described by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry as two different measures
(perception and expectation of performance) into a single measurement of performance
according to expectation. According to Garbrand, customer satisfaction equals perception of
performance divided by expectation of performance.

4.7 Methodologies

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The University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a scientific
standard of customer satisfaction. Academic research has shown that the national ACSI score is
a strong predictor of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, and an even stronger predictor
of Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) growth. On the microeconomic level, research has
shown that ACSI data predicts stock market performance, both for market indices and for
individually traded companies. Increasing ACSI scores has been shown to predict loyalty, word-
of-mouth recommendations, and purchase behavior. The ACSI measures customer satisfaction
annually for more than 200 companies in 43 industries and 10 economic sectors. In addition to
quarterly reports, the ACSI methodology can be applied to private sector companies and
government agencies in order to improve loyalty and purchase intent. Two companies have been
licensed to apply the methodology of the ACSI for both the private and public sector: CFI
Group, Inc.applies the methodology of the ACSI offline, and Foresee Results applies the ACSI
to websites and other online initiatives

The Kano model is a theory of product development and customer satisfaction developed in the
1980s by Professor Noriaki Kano that classifies customer preferences into five categories:
Attractive, One-Dimensional, Must-Be, Indifferent, Reverse. The Kano model offers some
insight into the product attributes which are perceived to be important to customers. Kano also
produced a methodology for mapping consumer responses to questionnaires onto his model.

SERVQUAL or RATER is a service-quality framework that has been incorporated into


customer-satisfaction surveys (e.g., the revised Norwegian Customer Satisfaction Barometer[5])
to indicate the gap between customer expectations and experience.

J.D. Power and Associates provides another measure of customer satisfaction, known for its top-
box approach and automotive industry rankings. J.D. Power and Associates' marketing research
consists primarily of consumer surveys and is publicly known for the value of its product
awards.

Other research and consulting firms have customer satisfaction solutions as well. These include
A.T. Kearney's Customer Satisfaction Audit process, which incorporates the Stages of

Excellence framework and which helps define a company’s status against eight critically
identified dimensions.

4.8 Improving Customer Satisfaction

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Published standards exist to help organizations develop their current levels of customer
satisfaction. The International Customer Service Institute(TICSI) has released The International
Customer Service Standard (TICSS). TICSS enables organizations to focus their attention on
delivering excellence in the management of customer service, whilst at the same time providing
recognition of success through a 3rd Party registration scheme. TICSS focuses an organization’s
attention on delivering increased customer satisfaction by helping the organization through a
Service Quality Model.

TICSS Service Quality Model uses the 5 P's - Policy, Processes, People, Premises,
Product/Services, as well as performance measurement. The implementation of a customer
service standard should lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction, which in turn
influences customer retention and customer loyalty.

4.9 Customer Satisfaction Survey

We all know customer satisfaction is essential to the survival of our businesses. How do we find
out whether our customers are satisfied? The best way to find out whether your customers are
satisfied is to ask them.

When you conduct a customer satisfaction survey, what you ask the customers is important.
How, when , and how often you ask these questions are also important. However, the most
important thing about conducting a customer satisfaction survey is what you do with their
answers.

4.9.1 How You Ask Whether Customers Are Satisfied:

There are many ways to ask your customers whether or not they are satisfied with your
company, your products, and the service they received.

You can ask them:

• Face-to-face
As they are about to walk out of your store or office, ask them.

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• Call them on the phone
If you have their phone number, and their permission, you can call them after their visit and
ask how satisfied they are.
• Mail them a questionnaire
This technique has been used for a long time. The results are predictable.
• Email them a customer satisfaction survey
Be careful to not violate Spam laws
• Email them an invitation to take a customer satisfaction survey

4.9.2 When to Conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

The best time to conduct a customer satisfaction survey is when the experience is fresh in their
minds. If you wait to conduct a survey, the customer's response may be less accurate. She may
have forgotten some of the details. She may answer about a later event. She may color her
answers because of confusion with other visits. She may confuse you with some other company.

4.9.3 What to Ask in a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

There is a school of thought that you only need to ask a single question in a customer satisfaction
survey. That question is, "will you buy from me again?" While it is tempting to reduce your
customer satisfaction survey to this supposed "essence", you miss a lot of valuable information
and you can be easily misled.

It is too easy for a customer to answer yes to the "will you buy from me again?", whether they
mean it or not. You want to ask other questions in a customer satisfaction survey to get closer to
the expected behavior and to collect information about what to change and what to keep doing.

By all means ask the basic customer satisfaction questions:

• How satisfied are you with the purchase you made (of a product or service)
• How satisfied are you with the service you received?
• How satisfied are you with our company overall?
And ask the customer loyalty questions"
• How likely are you to buy from us again?

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• How likely are you to recommend our product/service to others
• How likely are you to recommend our company to others.

Also ask what the customer liked and didn't like about the product, your service, and your
company.

4.9.4 How Often Should You Conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

The best answer is "often enough to get the most information, but not so often as to upset the
customer". In real terms, the frequency with which you conduct a customer satisfaction survey

depends on the frequency with which you interact with your customers. My state renews drivers
licenses for five-year periods. It would be silly for them to ask me each year what I thought of
my last renewal experience. Conversely, if I survey the commuters on my rapid transit system
once a year, I will miss important changes in their attitudes that may be driven by seasonal
events.

4.9.5 What to Do with Answers from a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

Regardless of how I ask my customers for their feedback, what I ask them in the customer
satisfaction survey, and when I survey them, the most important part of the customer satisfaction
survey is what I do with their answers.

Yes, I need to compile the answers from different customers. I need to look for trends. I should
look for differences by region and/or product. However, I most need to act on the information I
get from my customers through the survey. I need to fix the things the customers have
complained about. I need to investigate their suggestions. I need to improve my company and
product in those areas that mean the most to the most of my customers. I need not change those
things that they like. Most importantly I need to give them feedback that their answers were

appreciated and are being acted upon. That feedback can be individual responses to the
customers if appropriate, or it can simply be fixing the things that they tell you need to be fixed.

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4.9.6 What's Next in Customer Satisfaction Surveys?

So how do you know what's important? How do you know what really matters to them? More
importantly, how do you know which things to focus your limited resources on first in order to
have the biggest impact on improving customer satisfaction?

There are many things you would like to improve about your organization aren't there? The
problem is that you don't have the resources to tackle all of them right now, right? Since it is
unlikely that you are going to suddenly get more resources, the challenge to you as a manager is
to use your limited resources where they will do the most good. So how do you know where they
will do the most good? Where can you "get the most bang for your buck?" One way to figure it
out is a key driver analysis.

A key driver analysis, sometimes known as an importance - performance analysis, is a study of


the relationships among many factors to identify the most important ones. A key driver analysis

can be used in many applications. One of the most common, and a good example for us to use, is
in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4.9.7 Finding Key Drivers of Customer Satisfaction:

Acme Rocket Company (ARC) operates 12 call centers and upper management has to set
benchmarks for each center for number of calls per agent per hour and number of cases resolved
on the first call. You know that those are conflicting goals. The harder you push your agents to
increase their calls per hour, the fewer calls they will resolve on the first attempt. How do you
show your boss that these aren't the right goals? Better yet, how do you learn what the best
metrics really are? You do a key driver analysis. You prepare the key driver chart and show that
to your boss to prove to him that agent product knowledge is more important, for example, than
how many times the phone rings before an agent answers it.

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4.9.8 Agent Performance:

There are many metrics you can measure about agent performance in a call center that may have
some bearing on customer satisfaction. Some of these include
• Agent technical knowledge
• Agent courtesy and friendliness
• speed with which the call was answered
• number of calls required to get a problem solved
• Agent's language skill
• Agent's patience
You can conduct a customer satisfaction survey and ask your customers how they felt about each
of these qualities of the agent with whom they dealt. At the same time, you ask them how
satisfied they were with the experience.

4.9.9 Importance Performance Maps:

The beauty of a key driver analysis is that it can help you understand what your customers feel is
important to them having a good experience with your call center. By doing an analysis of their
answers and correlating their satisfaction level answer to their rating of each agent performance
metric you can derive which factors have the greatest impact on the customer's perceived level
of satisfaction. You can then plot this data in a scatter diagram called a key driver chart or an
importance performance map.

4.9.10 Key Driver Chart:

A key driver chart plots the results of a key driver analysis in a graphical format that can be
quickly read and easily understood. Each agent metric from above is plotted on the graph by
its importance to the customers' satisfaction (on the x-axis) and your performance in that area
on the y-axis.

This generates four quadrants. The most important is the lower right quadrant. The items plotted
here have high importance to your customers, but your performance in those areas is low. These
are the areas where your action will have the biggest impact and generate the greatest
improvement in customer satisfaction for the effort expended.

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4.9.11 Action Planning from Key Drivers Analysis:

The lower right quadrant is the most important area of the key driver chart. It identifies the key
drivers of customer satisfaction. The key driver chart helps you plan the action you need to take
to improve, but it also tells you what not to change. The factors that plot in the upper right
quadrant are those that are important to your customers' satisfaction and are areas in which you
are currently performing well. Any changes you make to fix problems in the lower right
quadrant must not disturb the factors in the upper right quadrant.

For example, if agent product knowledge is a factor in the lower right quadrant that you need to
improve, you could send your agents to class for one hour per day to learn more about the
product. However, if speed with which the calls are answered is in the upper right quadrant, you
don't want the extra agent training time to reduce the speed with which calls are answered, so it
may be necessary to work overtime for awhile or bring in some temporary additional staff.

The factors in the upper and lower left quadrants are of lower importance to your clients. How
well you perform in these areas will have less impact on your customers' satisfaction. Don't
waste your resources on them.

4.9.12 Manage This Issue:

Ask your customer how satisfied they are with the factors involved with their experience and
with the experience overall. Do the key driver analysis. Plot the results in a key driver chart and
get to work fixing the items in the lower right quadrant. That will focus your limited resources
on the really important things.

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5. Findings and Suggestions

5.1 Customer Service Desk, Big Bazaar, OMR

Customer Service Desk (CSD) is situated on the first floor. As the name defined, CSD is meant
for assisting and resolving the complaints of the customers. Since CSD is a department which
does not involve in any sales or promotional activities, but is indirectly

linked with all other departments of the store right from Food Bazaar on ground floor to Star and
Sitara on fifth floor.

5.2 Functions of Customer Service Desk(CSD), Big Bazaar, OMR

Customer Srvice Desk does many functions. The primary functions at CSD include taking care
of the customers at-
• CSD
• Cash Counters

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• Baggage Counter
• packagings.
• Exchange Counter
• Alterations and
• Security

Customer service is the motto of the CSD at all the times and at all the departments. The
following lines describe how various functions are carried out at CSD:

5.2.1 Customer Service Desk(CSD):

It is the place where exactly the manager of Customer Service Desk is available. He at Customer
Service Desk entrusts work to all the representatives of this department, across various counters
as described above. Representatives across various counters attend customers. If there are any
problems or issues which they themselves can not deal at respective counters, they are politely
asked to consult the representatives at CSD on first floor. Customer Service Representatives are
answerable for the acts of the employees at primary level. The ascts of the employees bind the
people at CSD. So, the representatitives must learn how to tackle various situations effectively.
Paging is done at CSD; to have a smooth communication within the employees of the store

across various departments and to guide the customers. Credit notes are given to the customers
who approach the CSD for various reasons viz., wrong billings, exchanges, etc.

5.2.2 Cash Counters:

The following is a list of tasks that a typical cashier is expected to do:

• Receive payment by cash, check, credit cards, vouchers, or automatic debits.


• Issue receipts, refunds, credits, or change due to customers.
• Count money in cash drawers at the beginning of shifts to ensure that amounts are correct
and that there is adequate change.
• Greet customers entering establishments.
• Maintain clean and orderly checkout areas.
• Establish or identify prices of goods, services or admission, and tabulate bills using
calculators, cash registers, or optical price scanners.
• Issue trading stamps, and redeem food stamps and coupons.
• Resolve customer complaints.
• Answer customers' questions, and provide information on procedures or policies.
• Cash checks for customers.

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5.2.3 Baggage Counter:

Baggage Counter is a place where customers leave their belongings before entering into store.
Baggage handlers take care of the belongings deposited by the customers until they leave the
store. All the bags are attached with tags indicating a code or a number of which one is given to
the customer and the other is attached to the bag for easy identification .

5.2.4 Packagings:

Packings are made to serve the customers. Gift wrapings are made as a free
service to customers on all the week days. Separate gift packs viz.; rice, sugar etc.,
are made on global offers for the sake of serving the customers at ease.

5.2.5Exchange Counter:

All exchanges are primarily dealt at exchange counters. The person at exchange counter verifies
whether any exchange can be done and attaches with a tag, then the customer is asked to go to
CSD where actual exchange is done.

5.2.6 Alterations:

Alterations take place once the goods(clothes) are sold and only if they are found to be unfit for
the customers. They are altered and adjusted according to the specifications of customers.

5.2.7 Security:

Customer service representatives are answerable for the acts of Security guards across the store.

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The following are the functions perfomed by the security guards:

• Monitor and authorize entrance and departure of employees, visitors, and other persons
to guard against theft and maintain security of premises.
• Write reports of daily activities and irregularities such as equipment or property damage,
theft, presence of unauthorized persons, or unusual occurrences.
• Call police or fire departments in cases of emergency, such as fire or presence of
unauthorized persons.
• Answer alarms and investigate disturbances.
• Circulate among visitors, patrons, or employees to preserve order and protect property.
• Patrol industrial or commercial premises to prevent and detect signs of intrusion and
ensure security of doors, windows, and gates.
• Escort or drive motor vehicle to transport individuals to specified locations or to provide
personal protection.
• Operate detecting devices to screen individuals and prevent passage of prohibited articles
into restricted areas.
• Answer telephone calls to take messages, answer questions, and provide information
during non-business hours or when switchboard is closed.
• Warn persons of rule infractions or violations, and apprehend or evict violators from
premises, using force when necessary.

5.3 SWOT Analysis of CSD, Big Bazaar, OMR, Bangalore

Customer Service Desk

Strengths:

• Helpfulness/ Assistance to customers


• Provides an opportunity for the customers to lodge their complaints.
• Exchanges are done within 15 days of purchasing, if the customers are not satisfied with
the product purchased.
• Tracking of credit notes.
• Answering customers’ queries.
• Maintaining the data of the customers to let the customers know about future offers.

Weakness:

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• Poor complaints resolution. The complaints lodged at CSD are rarely resolved.
• Customers dissatisfaction with respect to the availability of stock of Global Offers.
• Wrong billings, which kills the time of both the customers and the employees and leads
to frustrations.
• There is no track on the calls made at CSD.
• Employees at cash counters are not adequately trained.
• There is no concrete track on the issue and store of excess stock of offer gifts at the
baggage counter.
• Lack of proper coordination between employees at cash counters and the employees at
baggage counters.
• Lack of proper coordination between cashiers and sales executives across various
departments.
• Alterations are made late and some times they are not done at all by the respective
people.

Opportunities:

• To assure there is enough stock to dispatch before the offers is announced.


• To show an interest in customers’ opinions and feelings.
• To have company policies that work for customers and not against them.
• To have a concrete track on the issue of the free gifts at the baggage counter.
• Computerise the baggage counter; there by the burden of executives and also the amount
spent on employing new executives is saved.

• To make use of the excess stock kept idle at the baggage counter.
• To resolve customers’ complaints as soon as possible.
• Customers are keen to know about the ‘Global Offers’ that are offered on special
occasions, make use of the data of the customers( for further business) judiciously, which
is alredy available.
• Employ one person exclusively for the purpose of wrapping gifts, so that the customers
do not think of turning to another mall just for the sake of getting the gifts wrapped.
• To have department wise track on the complaints received; there by the burden at CSD is
reduced and the complaints are resolved faster.

Threats:

• Lack of track on the number of complaints which are not lodged with the complaints
register, affects goodwill of the organisation.
• Ther e is no department wise track on the complaints.

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• There is no track on how many complaints related to each departments are resolved per
day, week, or month, etc.
• Clubbing of bill is not accepted at the time of issuing Global offer, even though the
billing is done at the same time across various counters.
• There is no variation in issuing Global offer, even though the bill bears high amount.
• There is no proper information to the customers that gift wrappings are not done on
Saturdays and Sundays.

5.4 Suggestions

The following suggestions have been given after care full observation and the survey done at Bib
Bazaar-

To be implemented at Customer Service Desk-

• Have a sepate e-mail for Customer Service Desk to assist the customers.
• Encourage customers to send their complaints or suggestion via e-mails besides
telephone calls and direct contact.
• Encourage customers to express their views with regards to customer Service.
• Maintain a suggestion box at Customer Service Desk to drop in customers’ suggestions.
• If any of the suggestions dropped in by the customers are considered, acknowledge with
thanx next to the suggestion box.

To be implemented at Cash counters-

• Cashiers must be given adequate training before the job is entrusted to them.
• They must be attentive while billing in order to avoid wrong billings, entering wrong bar
codes, illegible printings, etc.
• Cashiers should make the customers know about the slab offers if there, before the billing
is done; so that more sales will be done and the customer will also be satisfied with the
service provided.

To be implemented at Baggage counter-

• Computerise the baggage counter and train the executives how to work on the system.
• Give a printed sheet to the executives at baggage counter about the offers on specific
products and update it from time to time.

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• When the free items are sent to baggage counter, make sure that the executives at
baggage counter are aware of the items sent and where the items were kept.
• Paste a sheet of complete list of free items on specific products at respective departments
besides placing at the products placed for sale; so that the customers and other executives
will have a better idea about the gifts on various items.
• Allow the customers to get the bill split and get free gifts as many as they are supposed to
get accordingly, if the bill bears huge amount.
• Allow customers to club the bill and issue them global offers.

To be implemented for Packagings-

• Employ a person exclusively for wrapping the gifts.


• Employ a person exclusively for packing global offer gifts viz., rice and suger, etc.
• Assure that the packer does not mis-utilise the time sitting idle when there is no crowd. It
is the duty of the packer to see that the packs are readily available whenever there is
need.
• Make sure the gift packs are readily available before the offers are announced.
• Get the gift packs ready for at least 3 days and never give a chance for out of stock.
• Make packs in better polythene covers and store them safe in case of excess stock.

5.5 Bibliography

References:
Buyer Behavior: http://buyerbehaviour.blogspot.com/2008/01/big-bazaar-freedom-sale-change-
in.html
Indian Retail Scenario: http://www.slideshare.net/theRedIndian/india-retail-2008-big-bazaar-
scenario/
Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org
"IT Happened in India" by Kishore Biyani
Kunde Model: http://www.kunde-co.com/Default.aspx?ID=325
Economic Times: www.economicstimes.com

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Websites:
 w ww.retailbiz.com
 w
 ww.google.com

 w
 ww.retailyatra.com

 w
 ww.wikipidea.com

 w
 ww.timesofindia.com

 w
 ww.economictimes.com

 w
 ww.future.com

 w
 ww.amazon.com

 w
 ww.futurebazaar.com

Books And Magazines:


 Retail management book by Chetan Bhagat

 Book “RETAILING” by Patrick M. Dunne

 Retail Management Book by Suja Nair

 ICFAI’s Journals.

 BUSINESS TODAY

 H
 ARVAD’S Journals

 ”MARKETING MANAGEMENT” BY Philip Kotler

 “IT HAPPENED ONLY IN INDIA” by Kishore Biyani.

 An article by Donna Earl(Specialist in Customer Service)

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5.6 Annexure

Questionnaire on Customer Service Satisfaction:

Big Bazaar
Nobody sells cheaper and better

Dear Customer:

As a management trainee at Big Bazaar, OMR, I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity
to serve you. Please help me serve you better by taking a couple of minutes to tell me about the
service that you have received so far.

Sincerely,

[Chinnam Tata Reddy]

Management Trainee,
Big Bazaar, OMR,
Bangalore.

1. Name:
(if you please)…………………………………………..
Contact No: …………………………………………….
Email Id: ………………………………………………..

2. In your most recent customer service experience, how did you contact the
representive?
o In person
o By telephone
o Internet
o Other

3. Suffiicient information was available on the internet to solve my problem.


o Strongly agree
o Agree
o Neutral
o Disagree
o Strongly disagree

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4. About how long did you have to wait before speaking to a representative?

o I was taken care of immediately


o Within 5 minutes
o 5-10 minutes
o More than 10 minutes

5. Did our representative …(Select all that apply)


o Quickly identify the problem
o Appear knowledgeable and compent
o Help you understand the cause and the solution to the problem
o Handle issues with courtesy and professionalism

6. How many times did you have to contact customer service before the problem
was corrected?
o Once
o Twice
o Thrice
o More than 3 times

7. To what extent were your complaints resolved at Big Bazaar?


o Well
o Very well
o Can’t say
o Bad
o Very bad

8. Are you comfortable with the polocies of the Big Bazaar?


o Yes
o No

9. Are you satisfied with the billing system at Big bazaar?


o Yes
o No
o okay
If no, give reasons…
a. …………………………………………………………………..
b. …………………………………………………………………..
c. …………………………………………………………………..

10. Are you satisfied with alterations made at Big Bazaar?


o Yes

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o No
o Okay
If no, give reasons…
a. ………………………………………………………………….
b. ………………………………………………………………….

c. ………………………………………………………………….

11. Are you keen about the offers given on special occasions at Big Bazaar?
o Yes
o No

12. Are you satisfied with the way gift wrapings are done at Baggage Counter?
o Yes
o No
If no, give reasons…
a. …………………………………………………………………
b. …………………………………………………………………

c. …………………………………………………………………

13. How do the security guards behave with the customers?


o Politely
o Impolitely

14. Are you satisfied with the way paging is done at CSD?
o Yes
o No
If no, give suggestions…
a. …………………………………………………………………
b. …………………………………………………………………
c. …………………………………………………………………

15. Overall, how satisfied are you with the customer service experience?
o Very satisfied
o Some what satisfied
o Neutral
o Some what dissatisfied
o Very dissatisfied

16. If you were less than totally satisfied, what could have been done to serve you
better?
a. ………………………………………………………………
b. ………………………………………………………………

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c. ………………………………………………………………

Thank you for your feedback. We sincerely appreciate your honest opinion and will take your
input into consideration while providing products and services in the future.

If you have any comments or concerns about this survey please contact:

Chinnam Tata Reddy


1st semester, MBA(NIILM School of Business)
19, Brunton Road, Off M.G. Road, Bangalore-25
Ph: 91-9739457829

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