Customer Service – Monsoon Essay

Monsoon is a retailer of clothes for women and children; it also sells home accessories and jewellery. Monsoon meets the needs and expectations of its customers by providing them with product range such as evening wear, day wears, nightwear, party wears, casual wear, formal wear etc. Choice of colours, different sizes for different age groups, choice of different payment methods and changing facilities etc.

They also provide a safe shopping environment for their customers. The ways that return service is provided in Monsoon is that they make sure that their return service is as quick and effective as possible. The website that Monsoon has setup for its customers ordering service is assured to be safe and well protected against card fraud. Individual service is given the utmost importance as they are given the best service Monsoon has to offer.

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Also when returning a product that is unsatisfactory then gift vouchers can be issued at an equal value of that product. Gift vouchers can also be purchased for money.

One of the primary needs of consumers is that they should be treated in a fair way. Monsoon provides its customers with all the best possible services and treats all its customers fairly and equally. Different consumers of Monsoon have different kinds of needs and expectations for example;

Deaf people would want their staff to use sign language as a mean of communication. Some foreign types of customers could have needs such as important signals being translated in languages other then English such as EXIT.

Disabled people also want Monsoon to provide them with automated doors, assistance, sign language and ramps made available for them. Monsoon provides disabled customers with all the best possible services and always tries its best to improve its services for them.

The ways in which customer requirements are actually met are in many ways. Terms of physical product it is that if a customer is holding an item of stock, a member of staff must always approach and offer assistance. Monsoon also has an after sales service this is the return policy and sales return disclaimer of the company. Within the return policy unwanted goods, which are in the original condition, may be returned for refund or exchanged within 28 days of purchase, subject to production of a receipt. Monsoon claims that they will give refunds to customers with their legal rights, namely where goods are not of satisfactory quality or not as described.

Customer orders are dealt in such a way that the customer details with the details of the product are written down in the branches customer order book. After this the head office provides a list of branches where the item should be located, once the product is found its either sent to the branch where it was ordered from or to the customers house which ever is more convenient for the customer. Monsoon has separate documents for all of these processes like order forms, house delivery forms and a sales disclaimer.

Excellent service is a huge factor in Monsoon Accessorize success and as much it features in every employee’s job profile as a business responsibility. Monsoon tries its best to help every different of customer in all the different possible ways they could.

Monsoon trains its staff to take good care of disabled customers and be kind to them and to interact with them in a polite manner. In every store Monsoon has provided disable people with ramps so that people who are wheel chair prone can access the shop in an easy way. Monsoon also trains its staff to serve all types of customers in a good way and welcome them to the store and stay with them while they are in the store. Monsoon also trains its staff to recommend products to customers and also make a nice general conversation with all customers. The staff is trained to recommend the customers of what type of colours and styles are more appropriate for different occasions for example;

Monsoons staff is trained to recommend dark coloured clothes such as black or navy blue for evening wear.

The main benefits are that if a customer is offered a good service he may spread the word to other people therefore giving the company extra promotion. It would also mean that the customer would keep coming back to buy products of Monsoon this would mean the companies goodwill would increase. If a customer is happy he may become a customer account holder. The benefits to Monsoon of this are;

; Account customers historically spend more

; Customer has an increased ability to spend

; Provides monsoon with customer information

; Customer loyalty

; Monsoon has a direct communication link with their customers through their monthly statements

The main drawbacks to the company of providing customers with good customer service are that it is time consuming to train the staff to provide high standard of customer services and they might have to employ more staff. In general they will have to spend more staff members for example;

Staffs to look after the children while their parents are shopping etc. and they will have to spend money on making card holder accounts and they will also have to employ more staff and train them for using that system. If the customers are not provided with good customer service then they will not recommend other people to buy their clothes and home accessories from Monsoon and once the customer is dissatisfied doesn’t seems to come back. And in this way the firm can loose customers and it gives other competitors to take over Monsoon customers and if the company wishes to attract those customers back they will have to cut down on the prices which will result in less profit margin for Monsoon.

Customer services part – 2

Since monsoon is an upcoming organisation, they have to make sure that all the legal requirements that have been set by the government to protect the customer are not broken. Therefore many of these resources will go into this matter; it is called the

‘Customer service sector’.

Monsoon puts the idea forth that the customer protection is very important. This is because customers are the mainstay of an organisations main source of profit.

Therefore if monsoon were to provide the best service to their customers within the legal requirements consequently it would enable consumer loyalty.

Monsoon has to make sure that any product they vend meets customer satisfaction or at the least is of satisfactory quality, if Monsoon fails to do this then they will either have to return or exchange, or if a customer wants a refund for that product, they must provide the customer a refund.

Monsoon looks after its customers; they abide to all legal requirements, which they must abide by. If products are not up to standard they provide a refund.

Monsoon also makes certain that the Sales of Goods Act 1979, The Supply of Goods Act 1973, Data Protection Act 1984, Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 Part-2 and Sales and Supply of Goods Act 1994 are not broken.

Monsoon deals with The Sales of Goods Act 1979 by making sure that if there is a breach that includes a product being sold which is either not as described, faulty or of poor quality or is not fit for the purpose then they either give a customer a refund or if the buyer wants to exchange it then they simply give the buyer a new product. We will describer all these different aspects in the following examples.

The government has set these rules and regulations to protect customers. Nowadays every organisation will tend to have a lot of staff to deal in this sector.

The law states that any goods sold to customers should meet three requirements that are as follows:

All goods should be of reasonable quality; they should not have any sort of flaws or problems with them. For example they Monsoon sells ladies party dresses and which have to be free of faults such as the buttons or the zips should be stitched up properly etc.

The product that is sold should be fit for its purpose. For example the dress shouldn’t have any defects on it. But if there is a problem like that then it means that the product is not fit for the purpose so the customer is then entitled for an exchange or a full refund.

Any product bought should fit its description on the tag that it is sold upon for example Monsoon sells rainproof jacket for ladies which is indicated on the label as part of description. However when it starts to rain the jacket is not able to protect the customer from the rain as the rain pours through the jacket. Or if a customer buys some clothes and on the label it says that it is suitable of ironing and once the customer irons its clothes and it burns or stains the item of clothing in such a situation the customer is entitled to full refund or if he/she wants they can ask for an exchange.

Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 PART 2 of the act and the implications of different terms in contracts for services, i.e. reasonable care and skills, reasonable time, reasonable price. For example there is a limit as to how much? Monsoon can’t charge customers a very high price on clothes should charge price, which covers the expenses, and enable them to make them a profit on clothes.

The Sales And supply of goods Act 1994 follows The Sales of Goods Act 1979 and The Supply of Goods And Services Act 1982 which is in favour of the consumer. A simple example of this is when a customer orders a dress over the internet for a party which is in two weeks time and is promised to be delivered in ten days after payment, but is actually received after sixteen days. If this happens then the customer is entitled to full refund but the party was missed so the customer, for next time will wish to take their business elsewhere. This can also be taken to small claims court to sue that organisation for the promise that they made but did not actually keep.

This could also be in case of, if the customer does receives the good in the promised time but happens to be faulty or of the wrong size, they could also send a different product. If Monsoon were not to comply with these legislations then it could be sued.

If these sorts of problems are not dealt with quickly and properly then this could be very bad for Monsoon, as to the media these matters are very interesting but it would actually be very bad publicity for Monsoon and they could possibly not afford to have such bad promotion. This could in turn loose Monsoon a lot of business and therefore could drive the company into bankruptcy.

DATA PROTECTION ACT 1984: –

As Monsoon has got account card service they keep their customers details such as:

* Name

* Address

* Phone number

* Bank account details

Therefore its their duty to use the data only for the purpose for which it is collected and its their duty to protect the data from getting into wrong hands, and they are also suppose to keep that data up to date otherwise the customer can take Monsoon to Court for not protecting the data and may be for not it for other purposes. This act states that data must be used only for the purpose for which it is collected and it should be kept up to date and should not be passed on to other firms or any other person.

For this reason Monsoon has made many security measures to protect the data and the data is only access able by certain number of staff members.

There are three main bodies such as The Office of Fair Trading, Competition Commission and Trading Standards Office that have their own particular role in these laws.

The role of The Office of Fair Trading is to refer the cases to MMC for investigation under the director general of Fair Trading (DGFT), this office has been given all the responsibilities for overseeing all the policies which relate to competition and consumer protection. They will also examine the local and the national monopolies. The secretary of state for trade and industry could also refer monopolies in the area of labour practices to the MMC.

Office of Fair-Trading has been given the power to investigate any anticompetitive behaviour by firms such anticompetitive behaviour may come in the form of high levels of spending on promotions. This will raise costs within an entire industry and will therefore as a barrier to prevent any other firms from entering the market.

Competition Commission: –

The Competition Commission replaced the MMC on the first of April 1999.this commission is split into two sites, which are as follows:

* The supporting site book for the former MMC role, which is to report and analyse on the matters such as weather or not a particular monopoly, proposed merger or anticompetitive practice is for the publics up most interest.

* The second half of this is the appeal side that hears appeals against decisions made under prohibition provisions of the new Competition Acts 1998.

Customer Service Part-3

Every organisation has its own way of communicating with its customers. They do this by using the Internet, telephone, letters, one to ones and the accounts.

When an organisation sets up a web site and e-mail service so that orders could be processed upon it. On the website clients can also find out product information and store information. They will also be able to write off complaints. This is new and up coming way of communicating with the customers and therefore it is very important that staff treat this accordingly. This will also show the customer if dealt with properly and thoroughly that the company is keeping up with modern technology. The staff that will be handling with this communication scheme will need to be thoroughly changed and computer skills on a certain level of presentation.

Monsoon has managed to do exactly this. Monsoon has managed to cover every aspect of this communication skill. Monsoon has thought hard and thoroughly that by setting up this new technology it will satisfy customer needs and make them reachable 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Monsoon has also set-up a telephone service; this is a way of communicating with customers. Using this sort of service means that customers can find any information, to ask any queries and for any complaints to be made. They have also set-up a help line for the working hours of 9-5.

As this will be direct customer services the staff will have to make sure that they answer calls within maximum three bells, they need to make sure that they have thorough product and company knowledge, they will also need to have high levels of communication skills.

When the staff will be talking to the customer he/she will not be speaking on his/her behalf but on behalf of the whole organisation. They will also be trained to answer calls in a standard way. The quicker they will answer the calls the higher the customer will picture the company as being well structured and organised.

Monsoon uses letters as another form of communication to send information packs to students enquiring upon their business. The customer could also send those queries and letters through this same system. In this sort of communication it is vital for organisations to reply as soon as possible to the customer for these concerning matters.

The reason of this is because the quicker the speed of reply is to customers then the more loyal he/she is likely to become given time, taking into account the treatment he/she received vice versa.

Monsoon also has a one to one communication set-up, which is actually one of the most important ways of communicating with customers. Any staffs that are set to do this job will need to have high levels of communication skills. As this staffs are talking to the customer they talk on behalf of the entire organisation, so they literally draw a picture to the customer of how the entire organisation handles their customers.

Staff could also be dealing with any queries that the customer might have, listen to customer complaints and give the customer any information they need. They will also need to assist customers with choosing a product that would suit them the most; this will also require great product knowledge.

Part – 4

Monsoon Accessorize retail service policy consists of ten service standards. These are in place to ensure that they provide a consistently high level of service in all their branches. They are as follows: –

> Every customer should be acknowledged within two minutes of entering the branch.

> Every branch will have a three-hour window (customer service time).

> If a customer is holding an item of stock, a member of staff must always approach and offer assistance.

> When there is a customer trying on an item of stock, a member of staff must always be actively working with them.

> Every customer you are actively working with must be offered a secondary product.

> The telephone should not be answered when serving a customer, except if no one else is free and you excuse yourself first.

> If an item is out of stock you find an alternative item or offer a solution, e.g. phone another branch/ mail order.

> Every purchasing customer in Monsoon must have account card mentioned to them at the till point.

> A positive comment must be made to all customers at the till point; where possible this should be a feature or benefit.

> Always thank the customer and smile on the completion of the sale.

Monsoon has a customer service award scheme for its staff the way they have set this up is by having things such as employee of the month award. They could also have a pay rise, which involves them receiving up to 1% above the inflation rate. They could also have performance related pay meaning an extra 10% discount that would be more then the other workers. This could actually make them work more efficiently producing better results.

The training techniques that can be used are: –

1. Practical

2. Theory

3. Role play

Practical: –

This is where a trainer will observe a real life seen. When a trainer stands over a real situation and makes notes.

Theory: –

This is when an employee trainee will go through manual books and read through all the policies that the store holds. Theory is used as a part of training course for employees, in understanding the correct way of reacting that is according to the customer’s perspective.

Role Play: –

This is where trainees will be given roles to be acted to see what their reaction should be. (In a customer based environment all policies are held to description. This is based upon the main reason of the customer always being right).

Role-play is used as a part of training course for employees. This training course is done on the induction day. Role-play is used for training employees, in understanding a situation through a customer’s perspective. They practice situations such as angry customers, to see how employees find a solution to a problem. It is also used to build employees confidence in the work place and improves customer service.

In Monsoon they use role-play and theory only and they portray the practical as being unnecessary.

Customer service levels are most important to Monsoon. To regularly monitor customer service levels Monsoon has customer satisfaction forms that are readily available from all stores nation wide. They store all the compliments and complaint made by the customers to monitor the level of complaints and refunds given. By these Monsoon obtains vital information in the real time pace. This then helps and shows them what they need to improve on in terms of customer service. These complaints and compliment forms are then brought to the meeting that is held after every few months to monitor the level of customer service and customer satisfaction.

General surveys are carried out on a general basis to help Monsoon understand each customer’s need; this also helps the company move in a positive direction. Monitoring sales can give a good indication if a store is providing what the customers want?

The mission statement of Monsoon states:

; Increase profit

; Expand number of stores

; To ensure customer loyalty

; To ensure customer satisfaction

; To gain more customers

; To become the leading retailer

In order to achieve their mission statement they would satisfy the customers in ways such as;

1. Quality goods

2. Train staff annually

3. Give refunds to satisfy dissatisfied customers

They maintain quality of goods to maintain an efficient and high-level standard in retailing. This could mean clothes of good value for their price and of high levels of material used in the manufacturing of the clothes.

Training staff at an annual rate to ensure quality service to ensure higher levels of customer satisfaction. In this retailing era customers expect higher levels of service given to them and therefore Monsoon is required to keep up with the levels of expectations of customers in order to guarantee a lifetime loyalty.

In order to please dissatisfied customers Monsoon offers a full refund or is happily willing to exchange the unsatisfactory good for a good of the same value which meets their full levels of expectations.

I would suggest Monsoon in order to satisfy their customers they should be able to provide them with new products at a quicker pace. Also to make easier for the customers to get refunds or exchange goods easily and at the same time making sure that the company is not loosing profits.

Monsoon should also have a catalogue delivered to people houses so they can order goods and items from home, then those products that have been ordered will be delivered to their homes within seven days.

Other ways in which customer services can be improved is by improving data sourcing this would mean a customer complaining about Monsoon’s customer service not fully satisfying their needs. Then it is up to Monsoon to find out why and how it did not fully satisfy customer needs. They will also need to realize how this problem will need to be resolved. They can also improve customer service by training the staff every six months rather then every year. This will make employees more confident and feel more part of the company.

PART-5

Monsoon operates two types of quality checks these are benchmarking and quality circles. Benchmarking is actually called best practise benchmarking (BPB). BPB is a method that Monsoon uses to discover the best methods of process available and using them within their own workforce. Monsoon sometimes can benchmark the best practice within their own organisation or by looking externally at other organisations. Monsoon sets itself the objective of becoming the benchmark of the industry.

Best practice benchmarking that operates in Monsoon is first what customers consider an excellent practice to be setting standards for business processes based upon that practice? And by finding out how the best companies create best practices?

The first step in this process is to define exactly what organisation wishes to benchmark e.g. human resources, management process and production methods etc…

In the second step of this process Monsoon will then decide whom they are going to benchmark against? Whether is going to be internal or external. In the third step of this process Monsoon will gather helpful data for the benchmarking exercise e.g. through Internet sources, journals, visiting other organisations, by employing consultants etc…

In the fourth step Monsoon analyses the information using a wide range of technique including number crunching and other forms of systematic analyses. After this Monsoon will establish new internal standards to communicate these standards across the whole organisation and therefore to create a whole new benchmark for the entire industry.

Monsoon also makes sure that all clothes are set in one particular fashion, particular number of rows and in corresponding styles. They also do a quality check on clothes before they are put out on the shop floor to check if they are faulty or they might not meet customer satisfaction. They also monitor the performance of the staff by using customer complaint forms. When buying from its suppliers all products are checked and assured to be full satisfaction for the customer.

They would also check at the arrival of the delivery to check if the right amounts have been received and of the standards they are required to be. Then information is passed on to the shop from where it is then sent to head office to be further assured. When head office understands that their products meet satisfaction, and then they hire an independent researcher to certify their authentic of their quality of clothes, this is then put on the shop floor so customers can clearly see that they are buying clothes of high standard.

They could cut down the time it takes for them to access their information so that they could quickly, thoroughly improve the problems that they already have. The head office can also take information from suppliers so that if the problem is a supplier itself then this can be dealt with much more quickly and efficiently then having to wait at the end of the chain. This would save money, time and resources so that the company can use this to better services.

Monsoon should also use quality circles to determine the level of quality so that they can improve the quality of their service.

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