Customer service

I hope to help you understand the current issues and problems f the Lodge Bistro Chain. The obvious problems affecting the business are: high staff turnover, growing competition, external environment due to the current economic climate, inconsistency in the approach of management, a dated concept, reduced spending by customers, disagreement between managers and company standards lowering Part (a) Identifying the problem The current staffing problems with the company is affecting the business in many different ways, both the internal and external environment.

The staffing problem, more specifically the higher than normal staff turnover, is having a major effect on the expenditure of the company. The constant training programme could influence current staff morale with the additional workload during peak times. The customer service will also fail in quality and consistency due to this problem. Having both inexperienced and overworked staff will affect the quality of service given, resulting in the possibility of damage to reputation and brand image which may discourage future potential customers.

Part (b) Concepts applied to issues identified I have chosen is a SWOT Analysis (Wikipedia) which is a process that will give the Lodge Bistro Chain an overview of its position within the internal and external environment. The Strengths and Weaknesses, which relate to the internal factors of the business, as well as Opportunities and Threats, which relate to the external factors will help eliminate these through the SWOT Analysis tool.

Strengths are qualities that help to achieve the core principles and objectives set by the business as well as helping the company achieve its full potential. The Weaknesses of the business, are the functions that prevent the accomplishment of the core principles and objectives, and prevent the business achieving its full potential. Opportunities are circumstances that can be advantageous to the business, to become more competitive and, or profitable.

In order to resolve the outlined problems and put the business back the road to recovery, the following measures should be introduced: • A complete reorganisation of Management Structure as outlined below; • An introduction of a Human Resources Manager to oversee staff and manager training; • Introduce a reward scheme for all employees which will help reduce high staff turnover, encourage productivity and increase staff morale; • A complete makeover for all Bistros to help attract younger customers; • Introduce a robust marketing and advertising programme outlining the new re-branding;

Introduce healthier options and low cost snacks, which will attract younger customers; • Re- introduce a monthly audit and Manager ‘Brainstorming’ sessions; • Re-introduce the distinguishing characteristics that made the business so successful; The above measures will not only decrease waste and increase profitability, but they will introduce a structured work ethic within staff at all levels and therefore raise productivity. The outlined threats and weaknesses need to be “managed before the opportunities (outlined) can be pursued” (Capon 2004) [WORDS = nnn] Part II: Contribution & Understanding – TGF Summary of discussion xx. …….

What I learned from this discussion: In TGF 1. 1, several differing ideas were put forward as to what makes a good business. Some students stated valid reasons such as ‘customer service’ or ‘out perform the competition’. However, most students agreed that it is essential for a good business to have a clear strategy, clear aims and strong business plan. In addition to these, an effective management structure, clearly defined roles within the business for all employees is vital for the business to operate effectively on a day-to- day basis. In one point, it was agreed that ‘innovation is the key to competitive success’.

It was clear from the 1. discussions that a good business must be flexible and be able to adapt to external market conditions/requirements of the consumer. It is also vital for the business to have a robust training regime in place to ensure a high quality of customer service. I also learned that the position of the ‘Stakeholder’ is vital to the business success and that a reciprocal arrangement of staff/stakeholder feedback on a regular basis is essential.

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