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 POSTGRADUATE 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: Date:

Name: Chinnam Tata Reddy 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
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Objectives Industry & Company Profile 2.1 What is retailing? 2.2 Scenario of retailing in India 2.3 Retail space 2.4 Challenges facing the Indian Organised Retail Sector 2.5 Key Challenges 2.6 Present Indian Scenario 2.7 Traditional Retail Scene in India 2.8 Indian Retail is moving into second gear 2.9 Conclusion 2.10 Future Group Manifesto 2.11 Rewrite Rules, Retain Values 2.12 Lines of Business 2.13 Stock Information 2.14 Company Timeline: Major Milestones 2.15 Hierarchi of Pantaloon(Future Group) Organisational Structure 3.1 Introduction to Big Bazaar, OMR(Bangalore) 3.2 Features of Big Bazaar, OMR(Bangalore) 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4-7 4.8 4.9 Chapter 5 Functional Areas Customer Service Desk and it’s features Customer Service Manager’s Challenging Customer Satisfaction Customer Service, an Organisational Objective Customer Service Plan Measuring Customer Satisfaction Methodologies Improving Customer Satisfaction Customer Satisfaction Survey

Page No.
4 5 5 5 7 9 10 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 18 20 23 25 28 39 39 46 48 48 50 52 53 54 55 61 61 61

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Findings and Suggestions 5.1 Customer Service Desk, Big Bazaar, OMR, Bangalore 5.2 Functions of Customer Service Desk, OMR, Bangalore

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5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6

SWOT analysis on Customer Service Desk(CSD) Suggestions Bibliography Annexure: Questionnaire on Customer Satisfaction

64 65 67 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 nonbranded 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 Big Bazaar OMR (Chinnam Tata Reddy) Page 7

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 USbased 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 1992 1994 Launch of BARE, the Indian Jeans brand. Initial public offer(IPO) was made in the month of May. 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 multibrand retail outlets across the nation. 1995 1997 2001 2002 2004 2005 John Miller – Formal shirt brand launched. Company enters modern retail with the launch of the first 8000 square feet store, Pantaloons in Kolkata. Three Big Bazaar stores launched within a span of 22 days in Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Food Bazaar, the supermarket chain was launched. Central – India’s first seamless mall was launched in Bangalore. 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. Big Bazaar OMR (Chinnam Tata Reddy) Page 19

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 retailled 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. Big Bazaar OMR (Chinnam Tata Reddy) Page 20

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)

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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 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.

Pantaloon Group.    

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. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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

6. 7. ways.

Lifts are there for convenience. Photo section is there on the ground floor where one can take out prints in different

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 o o o o o o o 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 men casuals men formals men denims & tees men nightwear men seasonal wear men accessories men sport wear men occasional 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 costeffective 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 Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities Depository Credit Intermediation Employment services Telephone call centers $15.00 14.51 13.68 11.74 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. Page 49

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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 noncustomers; 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, wordof-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 topbox 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 Big Bazaar OMR (Chinnam Tata Reddy) Page 63

• • • • •

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-changein.html Indian Retail Scenario: http://www.slideshare.net/theRedIndian/india-retail-2008-big-bazaarscenario/ 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:  www.retailbiz.com 
 www.google.com   www.retailyatra.com   www.wikipidea.com   www.timesofindia.com   www.economictimes.com   www.future.com   www.amazon.com   www.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  HARVAD’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 o o o I was taken care of immediately Within 5 minutes 5-10 minutes 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. ……………………………………………………………… Big Bazaar OMR (Chinnam Tata Reddy) Page 73

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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