Improving Service Quality For Coles Supermarket In Australia
Service-Related Issues Faced by Coles Supermarket
The report is prepared to focus on the different aspects of the services marketing concerning the business organisation Coles Supermarket in Australia. The topic will illustrate the various service processes and present those in map for ensuring proper business functioning. The company has been facing issues related to the delivery of services, which has deteriorated the company’s reputation and resulted in decline of sales. The service failure is one of the major causes leading to customer dissatisfaction and even due to the poor quality services and products delivered (Coles.com.au 2018). To improve the consumers’ experience and promote better loyalty of customers, a service process map has been created and suitable recommendations have been provided too for overcoming the service failures with ease.
Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd is one of the supermarket, retail and consumer services chain located in Australia, which has its headquarters in Melbourne and is considered as a subsidiary of Westfarmers. The company sells mainly food products, fruits and vegetables along with household items, health and beauty products, etc. The topic highlights the importance of maintaining quality in term of services delivered and satisfaction of the customers. The company presently faced several service related issues, which resulted in failure to satisfy the customers and maintenance of good quality for the products and services. This could not only enhance the purchasing behaviors of the consumers but would also create a sense of trust and loyalty among the customers (Wilson et al. 2016). One of the major service delivery failures was the cutting down of wide variety of products and services at Coles. The wide range of products was reduced to 15 percent for the independent retailers, which created risks of delisting for the suppliers. According to various articles and news, it was found that Coles had been criticized largely for failing to deliver the right kinds of services online. The customers pt their complaints on the social networking websites stating that several major products were found missing from the company’s online shopping website from the Christmas delivery orders (Adil, Al Ghaswyneh and Albkour 2013).
Few products that were not present included the Christmas hams and turkeys and the products were below the quality standards too. Due to the substandard products and services delivered, the customers were not satisfied at all and this even damaged the reputation of the company largely, furthermore declining the sales and profit level for Coles. The company was found to sell chicken portions as substitutes to roasted hams and passion fruit for pavlova. Other services’ delivery failures included lack of timely delivery, i.e., the products purchased online were not delivered within the expected time and no messages or calls were forwarded to the customers regarding the late services’ delivery as well. Thus, the poor quality, untimely delivery and lesser number of products found on the online shopping website added to the services’ failure for Coles Supermarket in Australia (Fisk, Grove and John 2013). Orders were placed though within few days only, the products were not delivered and the key elements of the orders were out of stock. The customers’ services were not good enough to gain the trust and loyalty of the customers, which further created negative mindset among the customers.
Importance of Service Quality for Coles Supermarket
ACSI model is used to assess the various factors and to check whether the expectations of the customers can meet the anticipated level of quality that has been expected from the organisation. The model is used for identifying the expectations of the consumers and how it has impacted directly on the level of satisfaction of the customers. The perceived quality if the measurement of service related interactions made by the customers with the organization. The perceived value means whether the products delivered by Coles have met the quality standards or not and whether the prices paid for the products are appropriate or not (Aghaei et al. 2014). The customers provide complaints because they are not satisfied with the kinds of products and services delivered by the company and thus the customer satisfaction is negatively related to the complaints made by the consumers.
The contrast theory is another customer satisfaction theory, which presents that dissatisfaction of customer tends to arise when the overall performance of the product falls behind the expectations of the customers. This makes the customers overstate the disparity and dissatisfaction for the services delivery and the company has suffered due to that (Nasution et al. 2014). The theory also stated that the performances of the products below the expectations should be rated as poor services’ quality. Thus, the contrast theory assumed that when the outcomes do not match the actual expectations, then there would be a bad experience for the customers, just as it happened with the Coles’ customers. This would further result n poor product evaluation and the positive feedbacks, opinions regarding the products would make it praised by everyone, and the company could gain a positive brand image too (Wirtz and Lovelock 2016).
The SERVQUAL or Service quality theory is used to assess the perceptions of the customers regarding the quality of services within the retail sector. The theory divides the service quality into five major components including the tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. The tangibles include the physical facilities, appearances of staffs and equipments used for the production of products and services. The reliability of the service quality represents the quality of service and whether it can perform appropriately or not. The responsiveness is also considered as a major factor, because it makes the company respond to the needs and changing demands of customers and Coles has failed to do so (McGuire 2012). There was lack of confidence among the staffs to, because of which, the products were not delivered to the customers timely, which further created dissatisfaction among them. This theory also compares the expectations of service quality of the customers and their perceptions regarding the product or service delivered. When the perception of the customers is positive, then it could mean that the customers are satisfied and they would make purchases from the company consistently (Coles.com.au 2018).
The improvement of Service quality is one of the major aspects for gaining a competitive edge over its competitors in business. Coles Supermarket is recommended to conduct market researches for identifying the needs and requirements of the customers and enhance the level of interaction between the top level management and the customers. This would facilitate the communication process as well as develop positive relationships among them, furthermore ensure trust and loyalty among the customers. The employees should be provided with proper training and developmental sessions for making them achieve the relevant skills, knowledge and expertise to perform to their potential. Service goals and standards should be set as well for making the top management level committed to the improvement of quality of services and ensure customer satisfaction (Anitsal, Girard and Anitsal 2012). The products’ qualities were also not up to the mark, there was eve lack of wide variety of products, which left the customers unsatisfied, and this deteriorated the brand name and image.
It is also recommended to enhance the willingness and interest among the workers by performing to their potential and enhance the profit level for the company. Their needs and requirements should be taken care of and they must know about the time management properly to promote effective teamwork and reduce the chances of conflicts, which might deteriorate the services’ quality. It is also recommended to create a sustainable culture for contributing to the excellence of services and allow the customers to regain the trust on the company (Al-Dmour, Zu’bi and Kakeesh 2013). It was also found that the young customers are more dissatisfied with the kinds of services delivered than the other customers, so Coles should put efforts to serve them firstly. The customers should be divided into different market segments based on the needs and requirements of services, furthermore would allow the company to respond to the changes in each of these market segments with ease and effectiveness. To overcome the issue regarding lack of product variety, Coles must innovate its products and make the basic products available to make sure that the needs and requirements of the customer were fulfilled (Amin et al. 2013).
The report was prepared to focus on the services marketing considering the case study of the business organisation named Coles Supermarket in Australia. The company was facing several issues regarding the quality of services delivered and dissatisfaction among the customers. Due to this, the customers made complaints regarding the poor quality of services and this even deteriorated the brand image and name, furthermore resulted in sales decline and lesser profit level achieved. The service process map showed how Coles could enhance the customers services and maintain consistency in the quality of services for promoting customer satisfaction. The contrast theory and SERVQUAL theory could be used to understand how the expectations of the customers could be met through delivery of better quality services. Few recommendations for overcoming these issues were also provided, which could help in maintaining trust and loyalty among the customers, furthermore make the company gain competitive advantage in business.
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