In this unit I am going to investigate customer service in two separate businesses, these are Disneyland Paris and Marks & Spencer.
Introduction to Disneyland Paris
History of the Park
Carrying the success of the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, plans to build a European version were set underway in 1975, nine years after Walt Disney himself died. In the running for possible locations for this new park were the UK, France, Spain and Italy; however the UK and Italy were quickly ruled out as potential candidates due to the lack of flat land to expand the park on. The country which seemed the most fitting for this planned new park was Alicante in Spain, which has a similar climate to Florida for the majority of the year, unfortunately the area was prone to high winds. This then only left France who eventually won and the area of Marne-la-Vallée was investigated, due to its closeness to Paris and its position with Western Europe, something which was seen to be crucial to the parks future success in order to attract adequate numbers of visitors. This proposed location for the park was within a 4 hour drive to approximately 68 million people and a 2 hour flight for around another 300 million or so. Michael Eisner signed the first agreement letter with the French government in 1985, then financial contracts drawn by the following spring. Robert Fitzpatrick, a key organiser of the LA Olympics 1984 was selected as the Euro Disney President, soon after the park was quickly becoming visible with construction starting in August 1988. December 1990 saw the opening of Espace Euro Disney ( a information centre) to the public, allowing then to see what the DLRP park would look like. This was followed by the casting centre in September 1991 in which to start the recruitment of the many hundreds of cast member needed to operate and run the parks planned attractions. On the 12th April 1992 Disneyland Paris opened its doors to the public and quickly began to thrive. However the park was then originally named Euro Disney Resort, until 1994 in which the name was then changed to Euro Disneyland Paris. One year later in 1995 it was again changed this time to Disneyland Paris. Just six years on the park owners decided it should be called Disneyland Resort Paris, however in 2009 changed it back to the previous name of Disneyland Paris.
Recent information about DLRP
Disneyland Resort Paris is both a holiday and recreation destination located in Marne-la-Vallée, a town in the eastern suburbs of Paris. The park is approximately 20 miles from Paris city centre. It consists of two parks, the Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studio Park. Inside the Disneyland park resort there are 5 different lands these include Fantasy land, discovery land, Adventure land ECT. There is an endless amount of rides and attractions for all ages, there are big thrills such as Big Thunder Mountain for adults. Little thrills for small children as well, for instance Captain Hook’s Pirate ship. Walt Disney Studio Park is situated right next door to the Disneyland Park. The difference is this park is all about cinema and television. With 4 separate studio lots each with a different element of surprise from spectacular stunts and effects to the simplicity of the history about the animations and character from the begging. The parks opening times vary between 10.00am and 21.00pm depending on the day, month and park. There are 7 Disney hotels in total each with a different theme style to them. There is the Disneyland hotel, hotel New York, Newport bay club, sequoia lodge, hotel Cheyenne, hotel Santa Fe and Davy Crockett Ranch. The Disney village never stops with live entertainment and dancers, shopping, cinemas and dining. With over 15 screens including the spectacular IMAX experience and indoor arcades, it has been named Europe’s most unique entertainment area. There are 70 bars and restaurants throughout the whole of Disneyland Paris. These serve everything you could want, snacks, fish and seafood, American, French, Italian, international and tex-mex cuisine. You could go for bar, buffet service, table service or counter/self service. You are even able to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with the Disney characters themselves. Sports are widely available to do while you stay here, tennis, adventure trails, skating rink, water sports are just a few. The biggest sport they offer is Golf they have a 27 hole course, just a few minutes’ drive away. It’s available for both beginners and the most experienced, there is fun for everyone. Bring your own kit or hire they accommodate for a variety of situations. Disneyland Paris is promoted in several different ways, through DVD’s, television adverts, brochures, reps even a website which is very interactive and educational.
Introduction to Marks & Spencer’s
In 1884 Michael Marks, an immigrant from Minsk opened a stall in Leeds Kirkgate market, called penny bazaars before developing and expanding. On this stall he sold products such as screws, nails, soap, wooden spoons etc, all for just 1p each. The stalls site was given a commemorative clock in which to celebrate the company’s centenary in 1984. In 1894 Michal Marks had then obtained 12 premises therefore deciding he needed a partner, he asked a man called Thomas Spencer who agreed and invested £300 into the business and on the 28th September 1884, Michael Marks and Tom Spencer went into partnership. The company took shape due to 5 key principles, quality, value, service, innovation and trust. Thomas was an excellent book keeper and brought new skills and contacts amongst manufacturers into the business. By 1901 Marks and Spencer’s built a warehouse in Manchester. It was their first built to their own specifications and became the businesses first registered address and headquarters. 1903 saw Marks and Spencer Ltd registered as a company with a capital of 30,000 £1 shares, these shares were split equally between Michael and Thomas. Sadly Thomas Spencer died just two years after Marks and Spencer’s became a registered company on the 25th July 1905 having retired two years prior. William Chapman an executor to the board of directors was selected to represent the Spencer family’s interests. 31st December 1907 saw the death of Michael Marks himself, his son Simon was left to represent the family. However William Chapman had already gained full leadership of the Marks and Spencer chain but, following a lengthy legal battle Simon was appointed chairman of the company aged just 28 and lead the business for a further 56
It is a multi – chain store and has over 300 stores internationally in over 40 different territories including the Middle and Far East and even India. With plans to expand further in some of the world’s most dynamic emerging economies. As well as this Marks & Spencer have over 600 stores located throughout the UK, there largest store is located at Marble Arch on London's Oxford Street.
The products which Marks & Spencer offer/sell are, Clothes, they sell clothes for women, men and children, shoes, home and furniture, technology such as TV’s and iPods ect, food and wine and flowers and gifts such as cards.
M & S uses a website and a magazine to promote there business even further, you can even order online, so it’s more convenient.
Importance of Customer Service
Customer service is important because if you do not deliver the right products that customers demand, then they are going to look for it else were. This is the same for the service provided, they expect the best. Good customer service will earn repeat custom, a good reputation and give a good impression overall. Customer service is the role of identifying and then satisfying the customer’s needs and wants. Many goods and services are referred to as market oriented, this means products need to be matched correctly with what the customer wants. Customers will also be expecting even demand a high quality customer service system, these type of product tend to be ones which are highly competitive such as food, clothes and cars. Competition from other company’s/ businesses put pressure to provide the best, so there isn’t any room for slip up’s. Having a customer service counter in a shop allows you to gain access to information and reduces any delay time at the checkout by not having to queue to have this service. Also with customer service you are more likely to gain feedback, this is good because you will find out what areas need improving. Product oriented goods and services are when they are so unique, necessary or just excellent that no matter what they will always want to purchase what they offer. This is why customer service is essential to these services. Example of product oriented goods and services would be major domestic services such as electric, water, gas and telephones.
Old and new customers
Providing good customer service is not only important for existing customers but also new customers. Meaning it is vital for businesses to attract new customers but equally as important to keep their old customers to gain customer loyalty. However to ensure businesses are not shown to favour the new customers over their existing they should offer the same high quality standard of customer service to all customers in order to increase sales and revenue. This is not the case with every business, as some treat them differently. The reasons for this include;
- New customers are not aware of the business or product, so extra care and attention will be needed in order to encourage them to try it out or make a purchase.
- Existing long term customers recognise the business or product and the service it provides and their reputation, therefore are more likely to continue making purchases even with a poorer customer service.
- Existing long term customers may be entitled to extra loyalty benefits, such as higher discounts.
- This difference in how they are treated can also be towards the businesses employees.
- Loyal employees may be given higher pay rates or longer holidays.
- New employees may be needed when there are shortages and could be offered a higher staring salary also known as a golden hello.
- Age can determine employees wages especially the younger staff members.
An internal customer is a part or person of the business which through its participation, directly contributes to the businesses production. An internal customer can be a manager, employees and shareholders and businesses need to consider their needs, wants and expectations as if they don’t meet these, it could have a big impact on the business. Internal customers are very important to a business because they are the people who make the business run smoothly and successfully. Businesses need to treat them right because if they don’t, they will loose there internal customers therefore, the business will not be able to provide what’s expected to the external customers. Also, a business would not run smoothly without internal customers and loosing them could be damaging as they would need to find new ones to replace them. However, it might not be as big of a problem but still have a big affect as employees will become de-motivated therefore, they won’t treat external customers the way they are expected to be treat. This will affect the businesses reputation as people will think negatively and not want to go back. In some cases, internal customers might not have a choice other than to go on strike or leave if they feel they are not being treated correctly. Their basic need is fair payment and payment on time, this is important because it motivates employees therefore they work more efficiently. Another basic need is good physical working conditions and this is important because it helps social interaction with other staff and provides motivation. Employees need an attractive package of benefits such as reasonable holidays and this is a need because it will make them work more efficiently as they know they are receiving benefits for working therefore they enjoy it more. The internal customers will include different areas such as:
Internal service providers
These are departments or employees in a business which then provide services to other areas of the business. Their main role in a business is to supply the business, employees and departments with services they would provide for customers. This is to help the store run successfully. Internal service providers do not communicate with customers as they aren’t employed by a specific business because they are in charge of making sure the business as a whole is running smoothly. They have certain expectations and their main ones are:
- Ensuring all rooms and corridors are regularly cleaned
- A canteen is provided for employees
- Managing the security of the building
- Running reception
- Providing communication links with external customers through a telephone and postal system
The manager’s role within a business is to make key decisions about the welfare and future aims and objectives of the business. Managers must be constantly checking the business aims and objectives and ensure they are being met within the set time frame, leading to the businesses future success. If they do not regularly check the aims and objectives the business will not be running as smoothly or to its full potential. Poor management is frequently the cause of the failing or the business doing badly. Therefore Managers need their needs and expectations to be met so that they can work more efficiently and operate more effectively and to the best of their ability. A managers basic needs are:
- Respect for all the employees they manage, as it will make them feel appreciated and valued, therefore work more efficiently
- A good rate of pay and extra benefits that reflects their added responsibility of being a manager
- The power and authority to make key decisions which will be backed ensuring employees enforce the decisions.
Shareholders are the responsibility that a business has to its owners and therefore the level of customer service it provides and usually varies largely on the type of business. Shareholders only usually hold shares and have little control to do with the running of the business when dealing with public companies. Whereas with small private companies, sole traders and partnerships, the owners are fully involved in the control of the day to day running of the business and are basically the managers. Shareholders need a suitable customer service that fits in with their specific needs and expectations, some of these include:
- Involvement in any key business decisions
- Good returns on their invested money into the business
- An efficiently run business that will provide protection in their investment and increase its capital value in the future
Most large businesses are split into different departments each with a different function. Some of these departments include; Human resources, Finance, Marketing, Administration, Production, etc. These different departments however don’t operate individually; therefore activities in one department may affect another within the business. If there is insufficient communication between businesses’s departments it is more likely to run less efficiently as each department will be competing for resources. A good example of how the different department could work together would be if the marketing department planned to run a promotional campaign then the finance department would need to set a budget to fund for it, also the human resources department may need to recruit more employees and the administration department could contact television or newspaper companies.
The majority of employees in a business have direct contact with external customers. If an employee is well motivated they tend to work more efficiently increasing the productivity and successfulness of a business. However an unmotivated employee will drag the business down and become unsuccessful as the workforce is unable to carry out the set workload. In the worst of cases employees may go on strike, leave the business or persuade external customers not to use the business. The basic needs and expectation in order for employees to work efficiently include: