Figure 1: Front stage and backstage activities flowchart
Significance of the service encounter
The backstage and front stage activities are important for any business organization. These activities need to be taken up and completed diligently, in order to ensure that organizational goals are met. In this assignment, the company Coles have been chosen. Coles is one of the famous supermarket chains of Australia. The company specialises in selling fresh fruits, grocery, daily food items as well as liquor. Coles is one of the major market players in the Australian industry (Ahsan and Rahman 2016). Being an employee of the company, I need to ensure that I am able to maintain the customer service level, and ensure successful working of the company. It is important that I ensure to give a good shopping experience to the customers. I being an employee of Coles, need to see that the customers are assisted in case of any difficulty they face. Guidance to the employees is an essential part of the customer services. Coles, along with in-store assistance, provides online assistance as well. The elderly customers are given physical assistance, along with helping them in choosing from a variety of products.
Many of the loyal customers of Coles engage in online buying of the products. As a customer service executive, it is important that assistance to the online customers are also given. The products that the customers buy online might not always match with the expectations of the customers, or might not match with the one, displayed. In such cases, assistance to the customers are essential. In case of the online customers, online payment is also a major issue, where they need assistance. However, it is true that the service encounter is not limited to the customer services only or just assisting the customers. It could be defined as the transactional interaction that takes place between the customers of Coles and the customer service executives or the other employees. It is essential that I am successful in establishing a positive relation with the customers, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the customer services. The interactions have a key role to play in ensuring the successful establishment of the positive relation with the customers. This moment is often known as the decisive moment or the “moment of truth”. However, it is in this moment, that the customers decide whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied. However, the service encounters does not include only the satisfied customers. They also include the dissatisfied customers. The recovery of the services of the dissatisfied customers and ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty is an essential part of service encounters. The significance of the administration experience lies in the way that it significantly affects the quality impression of the clients of Coles. In the event that the clients are glad and happy with the administrations gave by the client benefit employees, at that point the level of fulfillment of the clients increments. While the clients have a negative ordeal with respect to the client associations, at that point they are deflected from the organization (Hollensen 2015). As a worker of Coles I have to guarantee that the association with the customers are good and the level of consumer loyalty is accomplished. Fulfilling every client is a key to progress for any association. In Coles, each client is given significance and the client cooperation are critical. The characteristics of the administrations that are given to the clients are prevalent and guarantee that the clients could be held effectively. The unwavering clients are given unwaveringness reward and extraordinary rebates with the end goal that the organization can hold the clients effectively. However, as an employee, the inability to assure customer satisfaction needs to be mitigated successfully. Consequently, the service encounters have a major role to play in ensuing customer satisfaction and customer retention.
Managerial implications and its analysis
Managerial implications are defined as the practical utilization of the information that is collected about the customers and their choices. The information that is used is usually collected from various practical scenario, customer survey as well as decisions (Lovelock and Patterson 2015). The managerial implications shed light upon the collected information and its use to understand, whether the decisions that are made by the manager are appropriate and feasible in the given scenario or not. In context of Coles, the managerial implications highlight the inclusion of the backstage activities. These activities are essential, in order to ensure the effective front end activities. The backstage activities ensure that supply chain management is done on time. Delay in the supply chain, will result in the delay of the entire operations of Coles. This will result in the loss of the satisfaction of the customers. As a manager, I need to check and ensure that the back stage performances are given equal priority are completed successfully, without delay. I have to ensure that the availability of the products in the store are assured along with keeping a track of the demand and the supply. Moreover, it is essential that I place an order to the suppliers according to the demand and supply. It is important to monitor the supply chain management activities for the timely delivery of the fresh fruits and groceries. The cooperation of the suppliers and their coordination are essential to ensure timely delivery (Batt 2014). Other backstage activities include quality assurance, proper packaging, arranging and deploying to the customer areas. These activities need to be monitored by me, as a manger, in order to ensure that the best of the products are delivered to the customers. The in-store customers as well as the customers who placed their products online, has to be treated with equal importance and sincerity, ensuing their satisfaction (Fernie and Sparks 2014).
The backstage activities and processes ensure that the front-end activities are taken up and completed successfully. One of the most important backstage activities is the supply chain management. If there is delay in the supply chain management, then the products will not reach the stores on time. This will result in the delay the overall process. This might result in the customers failing to get the products of their choice on time. As a result, the sale will be reduced, resulting in the loss of competitive advantages of Coles. This will also result in the dissatisfaction of the customers (Armstrong et al. 2014). The managerial implications thus are essential for the effective operations in Coles. The assurance of the backstage activities ensures the customer satisfaction of the loyal customers of Coles. I need to take regular feedback from the dissatisfied customers. This will highlight the gap in the working of the managers and the satisfaction of the customers. Moreover, the gap will also be reduced, thus ensuring customer satisfaction. With efficiency in both the front end and the back end operations, Coles will be successful in retaining its position as the leader of the Australian market. According to the given in the flowchart, the backend activities depends on a variety of factors. These include the suppliers, logistics and the contractors. Thus, as a manager, I need to ensure the co-ordination of all the activities. This will ensure effective management and hence will ensure achievement of customer satisfaction (Ryan 2016). The CSR activities are also essential to be included, such that the customer satisfaction is achieved.
Ahsan, K. and Rahman, S., 2016. An investigation into critical service determinants of customer to business (C2B) type product returns in retail firms. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 46(6/7), pp.606-633.
Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S. and Kotler, P., 2014. Principles of marketing. Pearson Australia.
Batt, P.J., 2014. How do consumers differentiate between fresh food stores. In XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): XVII 1103 (pp. 61-68).
Fernie, J. and Sparks, L., 2014. Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain. Kogan page publishers.
Hollensen, S., 2015. Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.
Lovelock, C. and Patterson, P., 2015. Services marketing. Pearson Australia.
Ryan, D., 2016. Understanding digital marketing: marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation. Kogan Page Publishers.