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Business Studies - Marketing Mix

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Introduction

Business Studies - The Marketing Mix - Questions 5-9 All businesses offer some form of service as part of the product that they supply to customers. This is true of businesses supplying manufactured goods, as well as those that only supply services. By meeting (or exceeding) customers' expectations, businesses can improve their image and establish a reputation for supplying products with high -quality characteristics. The features of quality service include: * Making sure the customer is safe - This is crucial for a high profile business like IKEA otherwise the media will be straight on to them issuing bad press against them, potentially giving IKEA a bad name, furthermore the customer may wish to take legal action if he/she feels mistreated by IKEA. Again causing problems for IKEA. * Delivering good customer service - Decisive for IKEA to maintain the good name they have, customers in this day and age will not accept poor service, otherwise it's likely they will look elsewhere. * Improving the quality of the product - Its important IKEA continue improving the quality of there products otherwise customers will begin to lose interest in the company due to its lack of creation and continued progress; customers want to see new/improved products on each visit they make to IKEA. * Making sure the customer is not kept waiting - If IKEA let customers wait for there service, its likely they will simply leave the store and go else where, so its important there staff are motivated and wanting to give IKEA a good name. * Demonstrating good after sales care - Once the sale is done its easy to take the money and that's it, but with IKEA if a problem arises they will want to help the customer in any way possible. It's vital for them to retain customers and not lose them to a competitor, and clearly IKEA are doing a good job at this as there profits continue to increase meaning the customers are happy with how they are treated both before and after sales. ...read more.

Middle

Larger organisations have their own PR staff. Ikea engage in a variety of PR activity including: * Making donations to charities - IKEA support unicef to help young children in less fortunate countries around the world. * Sponsoring sporting and cultural activates, and IKEA support the local community by donating products to schools which don't sell in stores, this is very popular in the community, and keeps the public happy, which creates good press for IKEA. * Allowing the public to visit the business - Makes the customer feel more welcome, and at home with IKEA if they feel involved by learning more about the company. Public relations can be a very expensive form of promotion, and it can be difficult for businesses to assess the effect of public relations on sales. Catalogues are a huge part of advertisement for IKEA, it's relatively cheap when compared to TV adverts, and its fairly easy to get to the customer, IKEA print 131 million copies of there catalogue making it the most widely distributed commercial publication in the world. Having picked up a couple of the latest IKEA catalogues and handbooks, it's clear that IKEA thrive on simplicity. The IKEA text is the same font on all brochures, with the traditional blue and yellow logo on the bottom hand side of the page this creates continuity which means people recognise it straight away when they see it again, the traditional yellow and blue logo is based on the colours of there home country Sweden. The background images are warm, cosy, family pictures, one containing a large sofa with numerous pillows, the other an aqua blue kitchen. This gets the message across to the reader that there is a large range of products available, furthermore on the front cover they get the message about there prices, "Pay less, enjoy more" and "your 100 page guide to making an affordable, inspired choice". ...read more.

Conclusion

* Management had to confirm all operators are equal to the work imposed on them and holidays, celebrations and disputes did not affect any of the quality levels. * Inspections and tests were carried out, and all components and materials, bought in or otherwise, conformed to the specifications, and the measuring equipment was accurate, this is the responsibility of the QA/QC department. * Any complaints received from the customers were timorously and satisfactorily dealt with. This will help keep IKEA a favourites with the customers. To conclude, the above forms the basis from which the philosophy of Quality Assurance has evolved, and the achievement of quality or the "fitness-for-purpose" is "Quality Awareness" throughout the company. IKEA hire highly trained quality control workmen, to check that the products in the warehouse are looked after sensiblely and that they are delivered to the customer effeciantly. Quality control is to check that there product meets customer demands and possibly look for ways to improve it. Its important for a business like IKEA to have regulary quality control checks to make sure that the products they sell are always up to standards, making sure the high IKEA standards don't drop without them being aware. To make sure of this IKEA have a test lab in Almhult which tests both textiles and furniture, around 50,000 tests are carried out in accordance with current standards each year. For several years in succession the IKEA Test Lab has been accredited for it quality system and test methods in accordance with the international standards. All these tests have been developed to correspond to many years of regular use in a domestic enviroment in the areas for which the product is intended. IKEA not only test products during development, but also selects random samples from among the products on sale in the stores. As IKEA say "It is our customers that we want to come back - not our products" This makes sure that IKEA's customers get there full value for money and a long lasting product. 1 Alex Kaczmarek ...read more.

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