Factors contributing to quality of customer service in Nakumatt supermarket in east Africa
Today, companies arc faced with rapidly changing marketing environment. They make efforts to adopt themselves to some control changes in the external environment that has implications to marketing. In particular, customer expectations are increasing in relation to marketing knowledge, speed of response, breadth and depth of communication, customization of information and product/servicc offerings. Despite the wealth of research on the elements of customer service, the definition of customer service still remains blurred. Managers and academics have thus become more concerned about customer service with respect to its contribution towards service quality. Several studies have been carried out on service quality in different areas. However, none of the studies has touched on the factors contributing to quality of customer services in Kenyan supermarkets. This study therefore seeks to find out the elements of customer service in supermarkets in terms of their contribution towards service quality. The researchers adopted the case study design for this study with Nakumatt chain of supermarkets being the case of analysis. The study was limited to the Nakumatt stores within the Nairobi CBD. The data was collected using an interview schedules that was administrated personally by the researchers. The study gathered both quantitative and qualitative data from which a descriptive analysis was done. This study found that the keystone to Nakumatt marketing strategy is grouping customers into segments with common sets of needs, Outsourcing of services. Building long-term partnerships with all stakeholders, well trained personnel, strategic positioning of the stores, sensitivity of the pricing to the market price changes, availability of a variety of products as depicted by “If you need it we have it" slogan and a greater customer focus in tracking complaints and implementing service standards based on customer requirements and expectations. However, the researchers noted the supermarket depends largely on the manufacturers promotions and has very few product promotions. This makes the supermarket not any different from its competitors. The researchers therefore recommend that the management of Nakumatt keenly look into promotional strategies in order to cultivate a competitive advantage over its competitors.
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