The customers and potential customers Essay

Task 1 – Introduction

Customer Service is the employee’s of an organisation, giving customers what they want. They need to provide the right products and the right service to all the customers and potential customers.

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The organisation and its individuals provide products and services to meet the expectations of its customers. Customer Service applies to all types of customers, these include; individuals, groups, people from different cultures and people with specific needs.

Customer service is important to the organisation for the following reasons:

Effective customer service promotes:

Customer Satisfaction

Job satisfaction of staff

Repeat Business

Recommendations

Increased Profits

Safe and Secure Environment

Poor Customer Service leads to:

Falling of sales

Customer Complaints

Low Staff morale

Reduced Profits

For this assignment in Customer Service, the organisation I have chosen to study is Hollywood Bowl.

When I first arrived at Hollywood Bowl, my first impressions were that it was situated in a clean, bright area. The main sign was in very bold and bright colours so that it would stand out and give the impression that it was a fun place for the whole family.

Hollywood Bowl is built in a leisure park, known as Teesside Park, this also helps attract more customers as thousands of people visit Teesside Park each day, as there are other activities to do here such as shopping, going to the gym, eating out and the cinema. These other activities attract a wide variety of people, who then often come along to use Hollywood Bowl as an extra activity to enjoy.

Hollywood Bowl was originally owned by Bass PLC, but three years ago it changed hands, and is currently de-merging under two companies, one is Inter continental Hotels and the other is Mitchell’s and Butlers, Hollywood Bowl and all the pub chains come under Mitchell’s and Butler.

There are twenty-two Hollywood Bowl’s situated around the UK, stretching from Glasgow in Scotland to Taunton in the far south. Teesside Park’s Hollywood Bowl is in the top three of most visited throughout the UK, there are many reasons for this such as, Hollywood Bowl is the only Bowling Centre in the area, and most of there customer’s are within a twenty minute radius, this covers Redcar and Cleveland, County Durham, the North York Moor’s and much more.

When we were at Hollywood Bowl all the staff were very helpful, right from the people who greeted us at the door to the staff who attended to our needs at the bowling lanes.

All the staff have a lot of contact with the customers, such as on the day we were at Hollywood Bowl, there was a big school party that were playing bowling blind folded for the RNIB blind awareness week. The staff were taking food and drink orders from all of the children and helped them with any problems that they came across. At the start of their bowling one member of the management staff explained the rules over the microphone to all of the children, many of the management staff were helping out that day as they were slightly short staffed and they were extremely busy.

You are able to identify the staff very easily, team members have yellow t-shirts on, team leaders have purple t-shirts on and management have smart suits on. This helps the customers to recognise them very easily through the crowds of people. But Hollywood Bowl staff don’t only have face-to-face contact with customers, they make regular contact with them over the phone and through letters etc. A lot of customers make booking’s etc, over the phone, this can make it a lot easier and faster for many of the customers and saves them travelling down and booking the booking’s face to face. Although the staff and customers cannot see each other over the phone or through fax etc, it is still paramount that they create a good impression and be happy and polite over the phone as they would in person.

It is important for Hollywood Bowl to keep a high standard of customer service in order to keep their customers coming to the Bowl as this is how they make their profits and retain a high reputation in the market.

Task 2 – Internal and External Customers

In Hollywood Bowl all the staff are internal customers to each other. This means that they all rely on each other to keep the standards high of Hollywood Bowl. They all work in teams and work for points to get an award at the end of the month, if they win they can choose this award from a range of things, such as; vouchers and DVD’s. This monthly award helps them to work at the highest possible standards, keeping all staff happy, and when the staff are happy they create a good impression to all the customers and this is good for the image of Hollywood Bowl.

Hollywood Bowl’s external customers are us, the public; we make Hollywood Bowl what it is, as everything in any organisation boils down to its customers, whether we realise it or not. We pay all their wages; so it is important for staff to make us feel welcome and happy at Hollywood Bowl, but overall ensure that we have a great time.

When I compare how Hollywood Bowl deal with the need of the internal and external customer, I discovered the following; external customers are much more looked after and receive more attention as the external customers are what makes Hollywood Bowl what it is. They pay the wages of the staff and give Hollywood Bowl its reputation, as been a warm friendly place for the whole family to enjoy a great day out.

For example, the external customer’s toilets are checked every two hours, and the staff have to fill in a table to prove that the toilets were checked and everything was clean and tidy. But the staff toilets are only checked twice a day; this is because the External customers are the ones that bring money into the organisation, by using the facilities and buying products within Hollywood Bowl

Another example of how the external customers are a priority is if the message is put over the microphone it says ‘customer waiting’ all staff know that this is an urgent call and they must respond immediately, and if the call does not finish with the words ‘customer waiting’ then they will know that it is not a priority.

Hollywood Bowl has many types of customers, some have special needs, so Hollywood Bowl has to be prepared for this and be sure they have the right facilities for its customers. For example, if a customer is in a wheelchair, there are special ramps and guardrails to roll the ball down, but these are also used by small children who are too little to lift the ball. Also there are many staff that accompany children’s parties and help them with any problems they may come across and deal with their meal orders and make sure there are no special food requirements for children with food allergies.

Hollywood Bowl also accommodates other parties or gatherings for things such as, get together’s, Christmas celebrations, day’s out, school and college trips and much more. These can be sold to the customer in packages, for example, a set price per child/person that includes food, a certain number of games, lanes used and a few other things, but extras can be added for an extra cost, this way it is Hollywood Bowl that has to organise the whole party, but it is a lot easier for the person booking the party to organise.

Food can be brought to the lanes for such parties, so disruption is not occurred during the game. If the customer feels that the food is not up to standard then it will be replaced, free of charge, without any hesitation. If a lane brakes down while a game is in motion, then free games will be given, plus vouchers for future use. This keeps the customers happy and provides a good image and reputation for Hollywood Bowl and its staff, which keeps the customers coming back time and time again.

Hollywood Bowl meets the needs of other types of customers in the following ways:

Special needs groups – For special needs groups, all staff are trained in helping special needs people. A discount is also offered for say time bookings.

School Parties – For school groups educational talks are offered along with bowling games at a reasonable rate, advice is also given on all areas of Hollywood Bowl.

Bowling league – For the Bowling League there are different facilities available for different clubs or different types of Bowling Leagues.

Business Groups – Business groups can hire facilities, of which they may need.

All staff in Hollywood Bowl are trained to offer the highest possible customer service to all customers.

Staff are fully aware of how they look, how they greet and treat customers and generally how they behave in attitude and person towards all the customers that step foot inside Hollywood Bowl.

Task 3 – Complaints

Hollywood Bowl has a different complaint’s procedure depending on the level of complaint, and what the complaint actually is.

The lowest level of complaint Is the Local level, this is usually very simple things such as; a breakdown of a lane and there are no other lanes available at this time, so Hollywood Bowl will give the customer a free game and vouchers for future use. A customer could also receive a dirty glass or cold food, then the staff will offer to replace the food/glass or give a full refund and maybe even a voucher, this lets the customer know that they are in the right and Hollywood Bowl care enough to do something about it.

If a complaint is made about a member of staff then either the team leader, supervisor of manager will deal with this sort of complaint in their own way, this could be as serious as suspension. If the complaint is about a Manager the head office will be involved.

All complaints within Hollywood Bowl are fully investigated. If a member of staff is found guilty in any complaint made against them, action will be taken by management. This is very rare, as all members of staff are happy to offer the best possible customer service they can give, along with a good image and polite, cheerful manners.

The mystery customer is also another way of seeing if there are any customer complaint’s, even though the customer would be unidentified, any complaints made through this would still be fully investigated.

It is paramount for Hollywood Bowl to take every complaint seriously, if they didn’t then they would not recognise the things they needed to improve. This could end in loosing many customers, so for the company’s sake every complaint is thoroughly investigated and dealt with.

Hollywood Bowl are aware that there are laws in place to cover customer rights and that if the service or products do not meet the standards set down by laws, then Hollywood Bowl could face prosecution. Examples of these laws are health and safety and sales of goods act, etc.

Task 4 – Customer Records

All of Hollywood Bowl’s customer records should be kept accurate and up to date, including all the relevant information. They should also be kept confidential and stored in a place were fellow members of staff or any other person can retrieve any information off them, such as bookings. All information should be used for the reason it has been collected.

The information that is received on booking forms are things such as;

Name of the party

Total amount of people attending

Date/time

Deposit total

Special dietary requirements

Number of lanes using

Total cost

This type of information is kept on a computer system also known as ‘Wallop system’; this is a new database, which has only currently been introduced. Every database is backed up with filing system to prevent loss of customer records and other confidential information. This is also important, because when another member of staff takes over the front desk, they can easily see what lanes have been booked and at what time. Other examples of customer records that are kept are:

Accident/incident book- This must be available by law and accurate information collected if there is an accident or incident.

Customer comments/complaints- Where customers can say that they felt about their experience at Hollywood Bowl and what could be improved.

Daily booking sheets- To avoid double bookings taking place

Task 5 – Evaluation

For Task 5, iam going to evaluate all areas of Customer Service within Hollywood Bowl.

When I first arrived at Hollywood Bowl I thought that the Customer Service was very good, all members of staff seemed very happy with their work and willing to help anyone in need. They had a very neat and tidy appearance and a polite positive attitude towards their work and all their customers.

Hollywood Bowl has a very clean and vibrant atmosphere, the customer toilets are checked regularly, there is a timetable fixed onto the toilet’s door or wall, so when they have been checked they are signed to prove that they were actually checked and any necessary cleaning took place. The lanes and floor are also checked very often, to make sure no food or drink has been spilt near the lanes as this can cause accidents. The fire alarms are also regularly checked, when they do this they put out a message over the tannoy to ensure all the customers know what is happening and no un-necessary disruption is occurred.

My overall Impression of Hollywood Bowl is that it is a very well run and organised business. All members of staff seem to know what they are doing and seem very happy and polite, which is good for the whole image of Hollywood Bowl. The bright and vibrant colours and the enthusiastic atmosphere created by the members of staff also makes you feel very welcome within Hollywood Bowl, from the moment you step through the door to the moment you step back out again.

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