Below is a sample assignment that I have found elsewhere on the Internet and I have tweeked and adapted to give you an attempt at what this sort of assignment will demand from you.

Retailing transactions clearly require customers and customer relationships are fundamental to effective retailing.

You are the Customer Services Director at “BeeBank” a local high street bank. You have seen the number of people interested in opening accounts at your branches decline considerably since the recent banking crisis and the number of complaints received from disgruntled customers are at a record high.

In an attempt to reverse the current trends you have decided to investigate the role of sales and customer service in more depth and have spent some time with your counterpart at Santander. This bank has recently been praised for customer service by industry experts on how it has turned around its reputation for customer service and you hope that you might be able to use some their good practice at BeeBank. On returning from your time at Santander you must now write a report for the rest of the Board of Directors outlining your findings

Guidance

Your title should be:- Sales and customer service in the retailing industry

In the report you should ensure that you have three sections that : -

    • Outline how focusing on the customer by providing good customer service is essential to retailing
    • Explain the ways in which sales techniques and customer service have developed at Santander
    • Assess the impact of different sales techniques and customer service at Santander

Headings

TO: BeeBank Board of Directors
FROM: Your name here

DATE: put the submission date

SUBJECT: Sales and customer service in the retailing industry

Part A – see guidance table below

Part B – see guidance table below

Part C – see guidance table below

Structure

Useful Paragraph Starters

Key Terms

Part A - (Pass & Merit Task)

Outline how focusing on the customer by providing good customer service is essential to retailing. Start by defining the term customer service, Follow this with a brief explanation of why customer service is particularly important for retailers.   Listed below are some the topic areas you may wish to discuss in this section, This list is not meant to be prescriptive and is by no means exhaustive: -

  • the need to keep customers satisfied,
  • how retailers use customer information to provide good customer service
  • the use of ICT in communication with customers
  • how retailers manage their relationships with customers
  • How levels of service may differ between retailers of different sizes and scale. E.g. Self service, home delivery, personal shopper etc
  • Customer service pre transaction, transaction, post transaction
  • Identifying needs

 

Customer service and sales activities are a critical element of effective retailing.   Customer service is …..  

Retailing involves ….. therefore it is vitally important that retailers meet and exceed the expectations of their existing and potential customers.

  • Expectations
  • Customer service policies
  • Training
  • Skills
  • Communication
  • Market Research
  • After Sales service
  • Convenience
  • Unique Selling Point
  • Increase profits
  • Increase brand loyalty
  • Negotiation
  • Happy / Satisfied
  • Soft skills
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Expert assistance

Part B – (Merit & Distinction Task)

You should now begin to explain the sales techniques used at Santander. How do they sell things to customers? How has customer service been used at Santander. Why did they decide to make customer service such an important part of their business strategy? What do they do in terms of customer service? How does their approach differ from other Banks on the High street? How do you think sales techniques and customer service in this market might change over the next few years

Santander has been providing banking services for over 20 years. It provides a range of banking services, offering customers products such as………….

Customers access services over the internet or………….

Customer service has been a key factor in helping the bank to differentiate its offer to customers in a competitive market. Santander’s Mission statement is ……

  • Tangible Qualities
  • Intangible Qualities
  • Differentiate
  • Position
  • Call centres
  • Online
  • Benchmarking
  • Expectations
  • Satisfied customers
  • Awards
  • Physical presence
  • Communication

Part C –(Distinction task)

You should now try to weigh up the overall impact that being customer focussed has had on Santander. Have they benefitted from being so customer focussed? In what ways? Think about costs and resources that the company has probably had to invest in …is it worth it? Consider being online versus on the high street?   Are these approaches to customers ones other banks and general retailers should consider, why, why not?

Being customer focussed will have generated many benefits for the business, some being more important than others. For example it has certainly helped to give the bank a good reputation, market research shows that in terms of customer satisfaction, Santander is the UK’s number one bank. Gaining this sort of reputation will ……

  • Long term
  • Short term
  • Financial investment
  • Training
  • Commitment
  • Benefits
  • Improvements
  • Profits
  • Customer satisfaction