A PROJECT REPORT ON “A Study of Customer Satisfaction” OF STAPLES AT                       INDIRANAGAR, BANGALORE.SUBMTTED...
CertificateThis is to certify that the report titled ―A Study Of Customer Satisfaction at Staples FuturePvt. Ltd, Indirana...
Student Declaration       I hereby declare that the report/ study titled ―A Study Of Customer Satisfaction atStaples Futur...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThis is to acknowledge my sincere thanks to all those concerned who have contributed to thisproject work.To...
PREFACEKnowledge has two aspects- theoretical and practical and no theoretical concept is completewithout having knowledge...
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:TITLE                      : ―A STUDY OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION‖NAME OF THE COMPANY        : STAPLES FUTU...
As a part of my educational curriculum, I did my TWO months summer training at StaplesFuture Private Limited - Indiranagar...
Phase 2: I tried to understand the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the organizationand for that I talked with the St...
List Of Tables          Table                    Pg no.        CCSR Table                  22  Profile Of Respondents     ...
List Of Pictures                               Pictures                           Pg No.Staples store                     ...
TABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER                                                                                                  ...
CHAPTER-1INTRODUCTION               Page | 1
STAPLES FUTURE PVT. LTD.            THE HISTORY OF STAPLES FUTURE PRIVATE LIMITEDStaples is a joint venture between Staple...
ORIGINStaples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the worlds largestoffice products company....
local markets that the merger would affect. Staples ultimately argued that chains such as Wal-Mart and Circuit City Stores...
general office supplies, chart labels, end-tab folders, ink and toner, furniture, code books,postcards, breakroom supplies...
VISIONStaples Mission / Vision Statement:"Whats Staples Soul?”"Staples Soul” reflects our commitment to corporate responsi...
VALUES OF STAPLESStaples nurture the core values of Care, Initiative, Passion & Trust across the organization inorder to d...
MISSION OF STAPLES To achieves international standards of excellence in all aspects of office   supply and technology bus...
SERVICES OF STAPLESBasic Office SuppliesStaples deals in various products which are very much needed in the day to day off...
Copy & Print CentreIn addition to selling office supplies, business machines, and tech services Staples also offersa copy ...
may vary from store to store depending on its size and volume. Most kiosks take up part ofthe Customer Service desk. Withi...
SWOT ANALYSIS OF STAPLES STRENGTH        Innovative Culture        Size Advantages        Economies of Scale        Cost ...
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:CUSTOMER SATISFACTIONA term frequently used in marketing, is a measure of how products and services s...
How to Measure Customer Satisfaction:Retail-based organizations place a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction, and righ...
2. The customer is an average person. His rating is influenced by some of the factorsmentioned in the first scenario. Let ...
2. On-time deliveryNothing irritates a customer more than not receiving a delivery on the promised date. When adelivery is...
expectation is ―zero defects,‖ but all professionals on quality know that ―zero defects‖ israrely achieved. Sometimes, cus...
the same as the accepted defect density, then this metric will be zero—customer expectationshave been fully met. If the ac...
The formula for computing a delivery rating (DR) for customer satisfaction is as follows:DR = (actual days taken for deliv...
To compute the price rating (PR), use the price agreed to (before taxes) on the originalpurchase order and the final amoun...
The formula for computing IR for customer satisfaction is as follows:IR = (actual ID - standard ID) ÷ standard IDIf the ac...
There is no way to exceed customer expectations in this rating.Composite Customer Satisfaction Rating:Having computed all ...
This formula gives the CCSR on a 5-point scale. It is possible for the CCSR to be greaterthan 5 in some cases. When this h...
REVIEW OF LITERATURECustomerThe word customer is derived from "custom," meaning "habit"; a customer was someone whofrequen...
B) Allies.These are the users of your product or service, not the ultimate decision maker. Thesecustomers usually dont hav...
D) Repeat Customer.They are the jewels of your business. Do the job well the first time and you often getrewarded with ano...
Currently, the United States represents the largest market in the world for most products; it isnot a homogeneous market, ...
Take, for example, cigarettes. Thirty years ago, most cigarette smokers chose from amongthree brands: Camel, Chesterfield,...
Conceptually, the following procedure may be adopted to choose a criterion forsegmentation:1. Identify potential customers...
2. It must be capable of being isolated so that competitive advantage can be preserved.3. It must be valid even though imi...
The existing customers are not having so much of problem but the new customers are facingthe problem. The problem is relat...
CHAPTER 2RESEARCH DESIGN                  Page | 32
OVERVIEW OF THE STUDYAim of the study:The study helps to understand the Present status of Satisfaction among the existing ...
COLLECTION OF DATA:Data Source: Primary data as well as secondary data were collected for the study fromdifferent sources....
Sampling Plan: Keeping in views the objective of the study it was pertinent to administerthe questionnaire only to the wal...
CHAPTER-3PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS                         Page | 36
Profile Of Respondents:-The customers visiting the staples future retail pvt. ltd. were the respondents for this entirepro...
Sl No.         Name           Gender Age      Occupation 24        Mehul S thakkar    Female   52       Gaencologist 25   ...
CHAPTER – 4DATA ANALYSIS                Page | 39
Data Analysis and InterpretationAnalysis of various questions asked to respondents through questionnaires.1. What is your ...
2. How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?Very Likely                                   2Som...
3. Where do you shop office stationary regularly?Retail Stores                                  24E-Commerce              ...
4. Reasons for visiting Staples Store.Better Price                                3Good Quality Products                  ...
Reasons for visiting Staples                                                                   Better Price               ...
5. How Many times you did not get a product due to Stock Unavailability?No, I get my desired Product Every time         11...
6. What kind of services you expect?Fast Billing                                    5Pleasant Ambience                    ...
7. Do you shop at Staples‘s other stores?Yes                                  13No                                   32   ...
CHAPTER 5Findings, Conclusions, Reccomendations                                         Page | 48
FINDINGS Almost 60% of customers showed that they are somewhat satisfied and 18% of   respondents said that they are very...
CONCLUSIONSThe study undertaken at STAPLES FUTURE PVT LTD, Indiranagar on ―Customersatisfaction‖ gave me a lot of knowledg...
SUGGESTIONS    Decrease Stock Taking Time:-Staples must ensure that there should not be any kind       of delay in stock ...
 Enhance In-Store Shopping Experience:-Most of the customers complained about   the bad shopping experience inside the st...
BIBLOGRAPHYLiterature   Philip Kotler & Kevin L Keller (2008), Marketing Management.   Murali Chemuturi (2003), How to M...
ANNEXURE                                     QUESTIONNAIREThank you for being our valued customer. Please help us to impro...
3. How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?  a. Very Likely  b. Somewhat Likely  c. Neither L...
6. Reasons for visiting Staples Retail store:     Please highlight or enter the appropriate number        Index:      1 fo...
Staples Summer Internship
Staples Summer Internship
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Staples Summer Internship

  1. 1. A PROJECT REPORT ON “A Study of Customer Satisfaction” OF STAPLES AT INDIRANAGAR, BANGALORE.SUBMTTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE COURSE REQUIREMENT OF POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MANAGEMENTSubmitted by: Internal Guide: External Guide:RAJNISH DEO Prof. R.K.Vijayasarathy Mr. Ramnganing K.PGDM A1139 Director, DSBS Department Manager Staples, Indiranagar. MAY-JUNE 2012 DAYANANDA SAGAR BUSINESS SCHOOL, SHAVIGE MALLESWARA HILLS, KUMARSWAMY LAYOUT BANGALORE – 560078
  2. 2. CertificateThis is to certify that the report titled ―A Study Of Customer Satisfaction at Staples FuturePvt. Ltd, Indiranagar, Bangalore‖ has been prepared under my guidance and supervision.The report is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of PostGraduate Diploma in Management (Approved by AICTE) by Rajnish Deo, PGDM A1139and this report / study has not formed a basis for the award of any degree or diploma in anyuniversity / institution.Prof. R.K. Vijayasarathy RAMNGANING KDirector Of Dayananda Sagar Business School Department Manager Staples Future Pvt Ltd., Indiranagar.Place: BangaloreDate: ……………... Page | i
  3. 3. Student Declaration I hereby declare that the report/ study titled ―A Study Of Customer Satisfaction atStaples Future Pvt. Ltd, Indiranagar, Bangalore‖ prepared under the guidance of Mr.Ramnganing K. and my internal guide Prof. R.K. Vijayasarathy submitted in partialfulfillment of the requirement for the award of Post Graduates Diploma in Management(AICTE) in Dayananda Sagar Business School is my original work and has not beensubmitted for the award of any other degree/ diploma in any university / institution.Place: Bangalore Rajnish DeoDate (Signature) Page | ii
  4. 4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThis is to acknowledge my sincere thanks to all those concerned who have contributed to thisproject work.To begin with, I wish to acknowledge and express my gratitude to Mr. Avinash, SeniorManager, Training and Development, who gave me this opportunity to work in this reputedorganization.I am very grateful to my organizational guide Mr. Ramnganing K, Department Manager(Basic Office Supply), Indiranagar, Bangalore, for his continuous guidance and advice whichhas enabled the successful completion of my project.I express my sincere thanks to all the respondents who have spared their valuable time andprovided me with the required information for this project study.And finally, I am thankful to my internal guide Prof (Dr.) R.K.Vijayasarathy, Director,Dayananda Sagar Business School, Bangalore for giving me the ample opportunity in gainingpractical knowledge in my area of specialization.Dated: Rajnish DeoPlace: Page | iii
  5. 5. PREFACEKnowledge has two aspects- theoretical and practical and no theoretical concept is completewithout having knowledge of its practical application. An organization to be successful needsvarious factors. The most important factors are Capital, Materials, Machineries and HumanResources as the success or failure of any organization depends on the effective combinationof these factors.A 8 weeks professional internship programme was introduced as part of curriculum ofPGDM. This summer internship programme proves beneficial to the future managers as theyare confronted with the problems of actual work environment during their training period.In a professional course like PGDM, the students are equipped with strong theoreticalknowledge about the business operations and the time- tested methods of running asuccessful business. To make this theoretical knowledge stronger, the students are assignedcertain projects in various organizations to get an idea of the practical working styles.It is easy to maintain other factors in an organization like material, capital, machineries etc.but it little bit difficult to maintain human resources compared to others. As all the factors aremaintained by human resources compared to train them in an effective manner so that theresources are utilized in an optimal level and get the desired output so as to reach theorganizational goal.As per the curriculum required, I did two months training at Staples, Indiranagar, Bangalore.Working in such a big concern, no matter for a very short period was really a matter of pride.In order to make the data and findings easily understandable, efforts have been made topresent the information in simplified, lucid and organized whenever possible. So mylearning‘s during the training at Staples, a report on the customer satisfaction is beingpresented in the following pages. Page | iv
  6. 6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:TITLE : ―A STUDY OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION‖NAME OF THE COMPANY : STAPLES FUTURE PVT LTD. INDIRANAGAR, BANGALORENAME OF THE TRAINEE : RAJNISH DEO (PGDM A1139)NAME OF EXTERNAL GUIDE : Mr. RAMNGANING KASHUNGDURATION OF THE PROJECT : 58 DAYS (02/05/12 – 28/06/12)OFFICE TIMINGS : 12.30 PM – 8.30 PM Page | v
  7. 7. As a part of my educational curriculum, I did my TWO months summer training at StaplesFuture Private Limited - Indiranagar, Bangalore. The project carried out during the trainingwas ―Study of Customer Satisfaction at Staples‖ prevailing in the organization.The main objective of this study was to know the Level of satisfaction among the customersof staples, and to evaluate and find new suggestions so that any new changes can beimplemented which is beneficial for the customers as well as the organization. This projectwas structured into the following phases:Phase 1: In this phase, an extensive study was done about determinants & reasons ofcustomer satisfaction. For this, I had a few interactive sessions with my guide Mr.Ramnganing Kashung regarding the same. I also studied various literatures representing thecustomer satisfaction in retail stores, which helped me throughout my project work.To know the perception of the customers regarding the Service process of Staples, I giveweight age to the Back To School (BTS) Program. There are 30 employees (permanent) outof 10 are dedicated to back to school program at basic office supply department in staples.The BTS program is a seasonal promotional program during months of May-June every year,during this time the main focus is given to the school stationary supplies needed by the schoolgoing students for the new session. This BTS program is very crucial for the store as it is themain revenue generating program attracting more number of customers due to various offersand wide range of stationary supplies. By keeping in views all the things I decided to takesample size of 50 numbers of the customers visiting Staples, Indiranagar.On preparing the Questionnaire the main emphasis given on the perception of the customersregarding the Service provided by the project associates and overall experience of customersduring their visit to the store and according to it questionnaire is formed in simple andsystematic manner so that respondent can understand the question easily. The entire questionsin the questionnaire are related to Customer‘s satisfaction mapping. To prepare thesequestionnaires I discussed with my guide and where ever needed modification is done beforefinalizing the questionnaire. Page | vi
  8. 8. Phase 2: I tried to understand the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the organizationand for that I talked with the Store manager Mr. Sachin Muthappa as well as all respectiveProject associates in each departments of the store.Phase 3: Analysis was done on the basis of responses to the questionnaire and thesuggestions made by them.Phase 4: After the analysis was complete, I gave suggestions for the improvement in thesatisfaction level in customers on the basis of the findings.Phase 5: After the suggestion phase was over, the whole drafting of the project was done andit was finalised after a review with the guide.Thus the study conducted on the Customer Satisfaction at Staples, Indiranagar, Bangaloregave me a lot of valuable information regarding service procedure followed in theorganisation and its impact on the customers. Page | vii
  9. 9. List Of Tables Table Pg no. CCSR Table 22 Profile Of Respondents 37 Overall Satisfaction 40 Recommendation 41 Shopping Preference 42Reasons For Visiting Staples 43 Stock Availability 45 Expected Services 46 Store Visit 47 Page | viii
  10. 10. List Of Pictures Pictures Pg No.Staples store 2Basic Office Supply 9Copy And print centre 10Easy Tech 11Overall Satisfaction 40Recommendation 41Shopping Preference 42Reasons For Visiting Staples 43Stock Availability 45Expected Services 46Store Visit 47 Page | ix
  11. 11. TABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER PAGEGuide Certificate ................................................................................................................................ iStudent Declaration ........................................................................................................................... iiAcknowledgement ............................................................................................................................ iiiPreface.. ........................................................................................................................................... ivExecutive Summery ............................................................................................................................vList of Tables .................................................................................................................................. viiiList of Figures ................................................................................................................................... ixCHAPTERSCHAPTER 1 – Introduction.............................................................................................................1CHAPTER 2 – Research Design...................................................................................................... 32CHAPTER 3 – Profiles of Respondents ........................................................................................... 36CHAPTER 4 – Data Analysis.......................................................................................................... 39CHAPTER 5 – Findings, Conclusion, Recommendation ............................................................... 48 BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................................................................................................. 53Appendix Questionnaire ................................................................................................................... 54
  12. 12. CHAPTER-1INTRODUCTION Page | 1
  13. 13. STAPLES FUTURE PVT. LTD. THE HISTORY OF STAPLES FUTURE PRIVATE LIMITEDStaples is a joint venture between Staples Inc., the world‘s largest office products companyand Future Group, which owns Pantaloon Retail, India‘s largest retail company. StaplesOffices Products aims to be the largest office products company in India across Retail,Delivery and Online channel. With a presence in over 9 cities in India, It would like tobecome the single source provider of all office products including Technology, Supplies,Promotional Gifting and Furniture products to large & small companies, professionals andstudents.The Staples ‗Delivery‘ business is aimed at large Indian businesses, spanning multiplelocations, requiring seamless ordering & fulfilment and savings through consolidated buying& improved consumption information. The Staples ‗Retail‘ business is a chain of officesuperstores providing the entire gamut of office products under one roof at everyday lowprices small businesses, professionals, students and consumers. Page | 2
  14. 14. ORIGINStaples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the worlds largestoffice products company. With 69,000 talented associates, the company is committed tomaking it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology,furniture, and business services. With 2010 project of ~$38 billion, Staples serves consumersand businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 27countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside ofBoston, Staples operates 2200 office superstores and also serves its customers through mailorder catalogue, e-commerce and contract businesses.Staples was co-founded by Leo Kahn and Thomas G. Stemberg, who were former rivals inthe New England retail supermarket industry.The idea for Staples was created in 1985, while founder Thomas G. Stemberg was workingon a proposal for a different business. He needed a ribbon for his printer, but was unable toobtain one because his local dealer was closed for the Independence Day holiday. Afrustration with the reliance on small stores for critical supplies combined with Stembergsbackground in the grocery business led to a vision for an office supply superstore. The firststore was opened in the Brighton neighbourhood of Boston in 1986. This first store is nolonger in its original location. It has since moved next door.In 1991, Staples founded its Canadian subsidiary, The Business Depot, and began openingstores under that name, though over a decade later, all stores were renamed as "Staples". Thefirst store opened in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada north of Toronto. The following year, Staplesbegan expanding into Europe, and opened its first store in Swansea, United Kingdom.During its 10th anniversary in 1996, Staples became one of the Fortune 500 companies assales surpass $3 billion. Staples acquired the naming rights for the Staples Centre in LosAngeles during its construction in 1998. The 500th store was opened in Vero Beach, Floridaand its 1000th store was opened in Duluth, Georgia.On September 4, 1996, Staples and Office Depot announced plans to merge. The FederalTrade Commission decided that the superpower would unfairly increase office supply pricesdespite competition from OfficeMax, because OfficeMax did not have stores in many of the Page | 3
  15. 15. local markets that the merger would affect. Staples ultimately argued that chains such as Wal-Mart and Circuit City Stores represented significant competition, but this argument did littleto sway the FTC. Following the denial of the merger by the FTC, a rivalry has formedbetween the two companies.Between 1999 and 2001, unsuccessful attempts to enter the telecommunications businesswere made as Staples created Staples Communications after the purchase of Canada-basedCompany, Claricom, from an investment group. The company was later sold to PlatinumEquities and renamed NextiraOne.By 2001, Staples integrated its e-commerce website to all of its subsidiaries across the world.In 2002, Staples launched Staples Foundation for Learning and acquires Medical Arts Press,which became part of Quill Corporation. By 2004, Staples expanded to Austria and Denmarkand in 2007 Staples opened its first store in India. In 2008, Staples acquired Dutch officesupplies company Corporate Express, one of the largest office supply wholesalers in theworld. Staples also launched 11 concept stores in the New England area featuring a largefocus on small business and technology related services.Principal competitor:- Office Depot, Office Max and Best Buy.Acquisitions:-1991: OfficeLand, Inc, under great controversy Staples purchased Officeland‘s 23 storefranchise chain.1998: Quill Corporation, the largest mail-order office supply retailer in the United States withrevenues of $1.3B per year and EBITDA of over 20%.[1] Currently headquartered inLincolnshire, Illinois, Quill offers more than 200,000 products including school and officesupplies, office machines, furniture, technology, cleaning and break room, custom-printedand promotional products. Over 70% of Quills sales are conducted online2002: Medical Arts Press, a leading supplier in the United States of front-office and exam-room products for healthcare facilities, including medical, dental, chiropractic, veterinary,podiatric and eye care practices. Medical Arts Press carries over 18,000 products, including Page | 4
  16. 16. general office supplies, chart labels, end-tab folders, ink and toner, furniture, code books,postcards, breakroom supplies, and appointment books. It is Quill Corporations mostprofitable business unit. Medical Arts Press has over $150M in annual revenues and is led byTerry Schwarting.2006: Chiswick, distributes industrial and retail packaging, shipping and warehouse productsto thousands of small and mid–sized manufacturers, distributors and retailers throughout theUS and Canada. The company offers over 7,500 industrial and retail packaging and shippingproducts, and their product line includes a wide variety of polyethylene bags, corrugatedboxes, tape, labels, protective packaging, mailers, retail shopping bags and related packagingsupplies. Project channels include Catalogue/Direct Mail, the Internet and Outside Project. Itis now branded as Staples Industrial.2007: Thrive Networks, an IT services company that provides IT support to small and mid–level businesses.2007: American Identity, one of the largest global distributors of corporate brandedmerchandise. American Identity has since been re-branded as Staples Promotional Products.2008: Corporate Express, a Dutch company that supplies office products to businesses andinstitutions. The firm was known as Buhrmann prior to April 20, 2007, when it changed itstrading name to that of its best known brand, taken from the United States-based Corporationit acquired in 1999. The company was acquired by Staples Inc. in August 2008 and has beenintegrated into the Staples Advantage brand. Page | 5
  17. 17. VISIONStaples Mission / Vision Statement:"Whats Staples Soul?”"Staples Soul” reflects our commitment to corporate responsibility. Its a holistic approach tobusiness that recognizes the close connection between our financial success and our desire tomake a positive impact on our associates, communities, and the planet by joining together thefollowing areas: diversity, the environment, our community, and ethics. Its how we dobusiness—thats Staples Soul."Diversity” Reflecting the face of our customers is embedded in our culture. Our associatesand customers are diverse, which helps us ensure that our workplace is one of inclusion andacceptance. Our commitment goes beyond race and gender to include developing a diversityof thought and experience. It also extends to sourcing office supply products and servicesfrom diverse minority and women–owned businesses."Environment” We seek environmental excellence, by developing and sourcingenvironmental products, providing easy recycling services for our customers and associates,supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy, and educating stakeholders aboutenvironmental issues.“Community" Staples reaches out to the communities where our customers and associateslive and work through the Staples Foundation for Learning®, our alliances with U.S. andinternational charitable organizations, cause marketing initiatives, and local giving programs.“Ethics" Staples strives to be a model of corporate governance and ethical businesspractices. Our commitment to integrity is embodied in our Code of Ethics, which allassociates are expected to follow. We also seek to work with suppliers who share our values,as reflected in our Supplier Code of Conduct. Page | 6
  18. 18. VALUES OF STAPLESStaples nurture the core values of Care, Initiative, Passion & Trust across the organization inorder to deliver value to its customers and stakeholders.These values of STAPLES stands for different meaning, they are:-Care Stands for Customers Associates Results EasyInnovation Stands for Creativity Ability to learn Flexibility ChangePassion Stands for Commitment Dedication Pride Inspiration Ownership Zeal & ZestTrust Stands for Delivered promises Reliability Dependability Page | 7
  19. 19. MISSION OF STAPLES To achieves international standards of excellence in all aspects of office supply and technology business with focus on customer delight through value of products and services and cost reduction. To maximize creation of wealth, values and satisfaction for the stakeholder. To attain leadership in developing adopting and assimilating state of the art technology for competitive advantage. To provide technology and services through sustained low cost price structure. To foster a culture of participation and innovation for employee growth and contribution. To cultivate high standard of business ethics and total quality management for strong corporate identity and brand equity. Page | 8
  20. 20. SERVICES OF STAPLESBasic Office SuppliesStaples deals in various products which are very much needed in the day to day officeoperations like files and binders, notebooks and stationary, housekeeping products, staplersand punching devices, boards and easels, markers and dusters, paper and paper products andso on. All the office supplies are either manufactured by staples or they are assorted frommanufacturers across the world. Staples is the market leader in office supplies as most of theoffices are associated with staples for their supply needs as well as there are ample number ofretail store which ensures easy availability of the office supply products. Page | 9
  21. 21. Copy & Print CentreIn addition to selling office supplies, business machines, and tech services Staples also offersa copy and print centre for photocopies, digital printing, faxing, custom business cards,custom rubber stamps, promotional products, binding, lamination, folding, cutting andengraved products. In India, most web submission jobs and larger orders, including businesscards, posters and books are produced in central production facility in each region. Theproduction facilities operate 24-hours and orders are shipped to most of the stores within itsregions within 1 day. The Copy & Print Centre is also the first Print Centre to offer custombusiness cards printed in store. Known as Instant Business Cards customers are able to havecustom business cards in a matter of hours.EasyTechSome stores also feature Staples EasyTech, an in-store and on-site service for PC repair, PCupgrades, home and office networking setup, and PC tutorials.Beginning in early 2006, Staples also launched the "Easy Resident Tech" program,employing one to two resident computer repair technicians to do in-store repair duringnormal business hours.Beginning January 30, 2007, Staples launched Staples EasyTech. The launch rebranded the"Easy Mobile Tech" name with plans to install an 11 x 17 kiosk in every store. The kiosk Page | 10
  22. 22. may vary from store to store depending on its size and volume. Most kiosks take up part ofthe Customer Service desk. Within the kiosk, Easy Resident Techs offered repair service aswell as sold products. These technicians wore gray "Easy Tech" polo shirts to distinguishthem from regular Staples workers. While there was typically one tech per store, a secondtech may have been employed for high-volume stores.Beginning July 2008, Staples launched a new program labelling all technology workers as"EasyTechs". Under the new guidelines all technology workers are required to have the skillsnecessary to perform basic services such as memory installation and PC configuration. Inaddition, all technology workers wear black polo shirts with green "EasyTech" emblems toset them apart from other store workers. The change was due to the companys new focus onservices, allowing more customers to be assisted in less time. Most stores will still have amain "EasyTech" who performs most of the more complex tasks.EasyTech and project workers are referred to as "Tech Advisors" and "Solutions Advisors".The concept stores carry many more technology related products such as digital signage,small business servers, NAS (Network Attached Storage), and business networking. Staplesalso partnered with an on-demand IT service provider, with such services as networkmonitoring, advanced network configurations, and server setup. Page | 11
  23. 23. SWOT ANALYSIS OF STAPLES STRENGTH Innovative Culture Size Advantages Economies of Scale Cost Advantage Technology at Staples Brand Name WEAKNESS High Staff Turnovers Weak Supply Chain Supplier Problem OPPORTUNITIES Office Depot International Expansion Extended Producer Responsibility High Margin Paper Products THREATS Intense Competition Officemax Page | 12
  24. 24. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:CUSTOMER SATISFACTIONA term frequently used in marketing, is a measure of how products and services supplied by acompany meet or surpass customer expectation. Customer satisfaction is defined as "thenumber of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with afirm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals."It is seen as a key performance indicator within business and is often part of a BalancedScorecard. In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customersatisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element ofbusiness strategy.Within organizations, customer satisfaction ratings can have powerful effects. They focusemployees on the importance of fulfilling customers‘ expectations. Furthermore, when theseratings dip, they warn of problems that can affect project and profitability. These metricsquantify an important dynamic. When a brand has loyal customers, it gains positive word-of-mouth marketing, which is both free and highly effective.Therefore, it is essential for businesses to effectively manage customer satisfaction. To beable do this, firms need reliable and representative measures of satisfaction.In researching satisfaction, firms generally ask customers whether their product or service hasmet or exceeded expectations. Thus, expectations are a key factor behind satisfaction. Whencustomers have high expectations and the reality falls short, they will be disappointed andwill likely rate their experience as less than satisfying. For this reason, a luxury resort, forexample, might receive a lower satisfaction rating than a budget motel—even though itsfacilities and service would be deemed superior in ―absolute‖ terms. Page | 13
  25. 25. How to Measure Customer Satisfaction:Retail-based organizations place a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction, and rightly so, ascustomer satisfaction is the key for improving these companies‘ internal processes. Acustomer satisfaction rating (CSR) is often obtained through a questionnaire—the customersatisfaction survey (CSS). This method, however, suffers from the drawback of customerslikely being emotionally influenced while filling out these questionnaires.Naomi Karten, an expert on the subject of customer satisfaction, states in her seminar Talesof Whoa and the Psychology of Customer Satisfaction: ―People tend to rate service higherwhen delivered by people they like than by people they don‘t like.‖ Karten also goes on todescribe what one can do to be ―likable.‖ More often than not, Karten contends, the CSSrating received from the customer represents perceived feedback rather than impartialfeedback.This is not to say that companies do not get any value from customer-filled CSR forms. Butthey must recognize that responses can be emotionally based, and that the customer is not oneperson, but an organization—meaning multiple people. While so, only one person representsthe organization and fills out the survey. Would this person consult all concerned beforefilling it out? Ideally, he or she should, but often, he or she will not.This gives rise to the need for a way to compute a CSR based on internal data—data that isfree from bias and that gives a realistic metric on customer satisfaction.Why Should We Measure Customer Satisfaction with Internal Data?Consider the following three scenarios:1. The customer is pragmatic and not swayed by influences like the recency factor and theone-incident factor, prejudices of any kind, poor judgment, or personal stake. Thiscustomer keeps meticulous records of the project execution and is expert at data analysis.While it may be rare to have such a customer, his rating is likely a true reflection of thevendor‘s performance. Page | 14
  26. 26. 2. The customer is an average person. His rating is influenced by some of the factorsmentioned in the first scenario. Let us assume that he rates the vendor‘s performance as poor.If this low rating (which is biased) were accepted, the personnel involved in theproject execution would also receive low ratings in the organization as a result. Theymight, in turn, receive lower hikes (salary increases) and bonuses, if any at all. Thiswould de-motivate these workers, as it is possible that they in fact did a fairly good job andmerit a better rating.3. The customer is an average person. His rating is influenced by some of the factorsmentioned in the first scenario. Let us assume that he rates the vendor‘s performance as high.As a result, the personnel involved in the project execution might receive betterhikes and bonuses. Such a situation would further de-motivate the personnel from thesecond scenario.Scenarios two and three give rise to the phenomenon known as ―rewarding the under-performers and punishing the better performers‖—a disastrous situation for any organization.An impact even more disastrous is that the organization does not have a realistic picture ofhow satisfied its customers really are. In such a situation, any efforts to improve customersatisfaction would be taken in the wrong direction.Aspects Critical to Customer SatisfactionI have been using the following method to compute a customer satisfaction metric, based oninternal data, through reverse-engineering of the vendor-rating metric that manufacturers useto rate their suppliers. The method is based on the five following parameters I believe arecritical to customer satisfaction, which are tangible aspects that can be measured objectively.1. QualityQuality comes first. The dictum ―customers forget the delays but not the quality‖ aptly statesthe value of quality. Furthermore, customers forget everything else if—and only if—thequality delivered is superb. Page | 15
  27. 27. 2. On-time deliveryNothing irritates a customer more than not receiving a delivery on the promised date. When adelivery is late, plans at the customer‘s end have to be redrawn, resource allocation has to beshifted, and all subsequent actions have to be rescheduled, causing the customer a lot ofinconvenience.3. MoneyThis refers to money the customer is paying. It is not uncommon for escalation clauses to bebuilt in to contracts. When the vendor chooses to apply an escalation clause and to bill moremoney, it greatly inconveniences the customer. The customer must obtain sanctions andapprovals for the extra payout, as well as answer quite a few questions in the process. Inshort, price escalations irritate customers.4. Issue factorMost project have issue resolution mechanisms (methods to solve problems). Some vendors,in their eagerness to always interpret the specs accurately (and in their fear that they might infact misinterpret specs), raise more issues. When valid issues are raised, the customer isusually more than happy to resolve them. But when the issues raised are trivial, the customerbecomes annoyed.5. Accommodation and cooperationFew sales are ever completed without changes having been requested by the customer. Whenthe customer requests a change, the vendor should accommodate and cooperate with thecustomer, and implement the change without postponing the delivery and without increasingthe price.Quality RatingNo sales are ever perfect, and most times, defects may not be detectable immediately upondelivery. If defects are detected during the warranty period, the customer is happy. However,what is important is whether the defects fall into an acceptable range. Usually, the customer‘s Page | 16
  28. 28. expectation is ―zero defects,‖ but all professionals on quality know that ―zero defects‖ israrely achieved. Sometimes, customers specify what is an acceptable defect density (numberof defects per number of opportunities for error); other times, the defect density is implicit.Customers select vendors based on their certifications or market reputation. But reputationalone does not lend itself for measurement. Using six-sigma philosophy, we can measure andspecify the expected defects based on the ―sigma level‖ of the vendor organization.If an organization is at 6-sigma level, then the expected defects from that organization totalthree defects for every million opportunities. If the organization is at 5-sigma level, theexpected defects total three defects for every 100,000 opportunities. At 4-sigma level, threedefects for every 10,000 opportunities. At 3-sigma level, three defects for every 1,000opportunities.The expected number of defects delivered should be contrasted against the actual number ofdefects delivered. Defects begin to be counted during the acceptance testing stage becausethey can be discovered by the customer just as they can be in pilot-runs, during live orproduction runs, throughout the warranty period, and afterward.Normally, defects are classified as one of three categories: critical, major, and minor. I useonly the critical and major defects, since minor defects can sometimes merely be a differencein perception—the customer may perceive as a defect what the vendor may not consider adefect. The defect density is computed as defects per unit size, or conversely, as units ofproduct per one defect. The size is usually measured as lines of code (LOC), function points(FPs), or any other size measure used in the organization. What is important is to select onesize and use it for all measurements.Here is the formula to compute a quality rating (QR) for customer satisfaction:QR = (actual defect density - accepted defect density) ÷ accepted defect densityIf the actual defect density is less than the accepted defect density, then this metric will benegative, meaning customer expectations have been exceeded. If the actual defect density is Page | 17
  29. 29. the same as the accepted defect density, then this metric will be zero—customer expectationshave been fully met. If the actual defect density is more than the accepted defect density, thenthis metric will be positive, and it means customer expectations have not been fully met.Delivery Schedule RatingNothing is more frustrating than not receiving a delivery on an agreed-upon day. Thisfrustration may be eased if somebody calls to tell you that the delivery is going to be delayed,but the frustration is there just the same. The funny part is, even if a delay is the result of achange that the customer requested, late delivery still frustrates the customer. It is as if thecustomer is thinking, ―Can‘t they accommodate this teeny-weeny change without postponingthe delivery date? Vendors always take any opportunity to delay delivery!‖Oftentimes, vendors prefer to compromise on quality than to delay delivery. The philosophyis this: it will take some time for the customer to unearth the defect, but it takes no time forthe customer to come down heavily if delivery is not on time. Excuses like ―Sorry for thedefect; here is the corrected version‖ or ―In our fervent efforts to deliver on time, this defectcrept in‖ can be quite convincing.Customers might forget delayed deliveries, but they seldom forget poor quality. When askedfor references, they normally highlight the quality a vendor provides over on-time delivery.That is the reason I place this aspect as second in importance when determining customersatisfaction.To compute this metric, we contrast accepted delivery with actual delivery. But which dateshould you use as the accepted delivery date? To compute the highest rating possible, take thelatest accepted delivery date. To derive a true customer satisfaction rating, then take the datethat is on the purchase order. Some organizations use both—one for internal purposes andone for the external purposes. Page | 18
  30. 30. The formula for computing a delivery rating (DR) for customer satisfaction is as follows:DR = (actual days taken for delivery - accepted days for delivery) ÷ accepted days fordeliveryTo determine actual days taken for delivery, use the number of calendar days between thedate of the purchase order and the date on which delivery was actually affected. To determinethe accepted days for delivery, use the number of calendar days between the date of thepurchase order and the date of delivery specified on the purchase order.If actual delivery was made before the accepted delivery date, then this metric will benegative, meaning customer expectations have been exceeded. If actual delivery was made onthe accepted delivery date, then this metric will be zero—customer expectations have beenfully met. If actual delivery was made later than the accepted delivery date, then this metricwill be positive, and it means customer expectations have not been fully met.Price RatingObviously, no vendor can bill the customer for an amount that was not agreed to by thecustomer—that is if the vendor expects his invoice to be respected in full and without issue.Why this is an important factor? Because sometimes contracts are drawn up using an hourlyrate with a maximum amount, allowing some variance on either side. In such cases, the finalbilled amount can either be lower or higher than the specified amount.When a price escalation clause is implemented or an additional payment is requested againsta change, some negotiating usually occurs before the customer accepts the escalation; theamount accepted might not be the same as requested by the vendor. The fact that extra moneyis being requested and the resultant negotiations can certainly frustrate the customer.Whenever the customer has to pay more than the purchase order value, the customer isdissatisfied. Needless to say, the customer is certainly pleased when the vendor charges lessmoney than the amount specified on the purchase order. Page | 19
  31. 31. To compute the price rating (PR), use the price agreed to (before taxes) on the originalpurchase order and the final amount billed. Here is the formula for computing customersatisfaction in this area:PR = (actual amount billed - amount on the purchase order) ÷ amount on the purchaseorderIf the actual amount billed was less than the purchase order amount, then this metric will benegative, meaning customer expectations have been exceeded. If the actual amount billed wasequal to the purchase order price, then this metric will be zero—customer expectations havebeen fully met. If the actual amount billed was more than the purchase order price, then thismetric will be positive, and it means customer expectations have not been fully met.Issue RatingIssues crop up during project execution mainly because of unclear specifications or a lack ofunderstanding the specs. Issues may also occur because of a conflict or an error in therequirements. When the vendor raises an issue whose origin is attributable to the customer,the customer‘s satisfaction is not usually affected. However, the customer‘s satisfaction doesbecome affected if the issues raised are due to the vendor‘s improper understanding of therequirements. Customers expect any shortfall in exhaustive requirements specifications to bebridged by the vendor. Failure to meet these expectations causes dissatisfaction in customers.To compute an issue rating (IR), use the issue density (ID). While we can easily computeactual ID, there is no accepted measure for an acceptable ID. We also use software size forcomputing ID. While issues can directly relate to requirements, we cannot use the number ofrequirements, as the method for defining requirements can vary the number significantly.Thus, the ID is computed as follows:ID = number of issues raised ÷ software sizeSoftware size can be any software size measure, such as LOC or FP. Since there is nouniversally acceptable ID, an organizational standard should be defined and continuouslyimproved. Page | 20
  32. 32. The formula for computing IR for customer satisfaction is as follows:IR = (actual ID - standard ID) ÷ standard IDIf the actual ID was less than the standard ID, then this metric will be negative, meaningcustomer expectations have been exceeded. If the actual ID was the same than the standardID, then this metric will be zero—customer expectations have been fully met. If the actual IDwas more than the standard ID, then this metric will be positive, and it means customerexpectations have not been fully met.Cooperation RatingMost sales would not be complete without a few change requests from the customer—software maintenance project run on these. But since change requests are commonlyimplemented before delivery, how then do they give rise to customer dissatisfaction?Change requests cause additional work for the vendor, and their impact is felt in two ways:Revised delivery schedule and higher cost. In some cases, the vendor absorbs both, and inothers, the vendor absorbs the impact on price only and passes the impact on deliveryschedule on to the customer. Still in other cases, the vendor absorbs impact on deliveryschedule and passes on the impact on price to the customer. In the remaining cases, thechanges are rejected.Of course, the customer is happy when change requests are accepted without impacting theprice or the delivery schedule. But since this does not always happen, that is why we computea cooperation rating (CR), the formula of which is the following:CR = (no. of change requests received - no. of change requests implemented withoutaffecting delivery date or price) ÷ no. of change requests receivedIf the number of change requests received were the same as the number of change requestsimplemented without affecting either delivery schedule or price, then this metric will be zero,meaning customer expectations have been fully met. If the number of change requestsreceived were greater than the number of change requests implemented without affectingeither delivery schedule or price, then this metric will be positive, and it means customerexpectations have not been fully met. Page | 21
  33. 33. There is no way to exceed customer expectations in this rating.Composite Customer Satisfaction Rating:Having computed all five ratings critical to achieving customer satisfaction, we are ready tocompute the composite customer satisfaction rating (CCSR). Obviously, all five ratings donot carry the same importance in achieving customer satisfaction. These ratings can also varyfrom organization to organization, and from customer to customer. Some customers mayperceive quality as being the most important aspect of a product or a service, while some mayperceive delivery as the most important aspect. Still for others, the highest of importancemight be placed on price. Given these differences in customer‘s perceptions and preferences,it is necessary to assign weights to each of the five ratings in order to arrive at a reasonablyaccurate CCSR.The sum of all the weights must equal 1.00 in order to calculate a meaningful CCSR. Table 1shows an example of how weights can be distributed. Serial Number Rating Weight 1 Quality Rating (QR) w1 = 0.30 2 Delivery Rating (DR) w2 = 0.30 3 Price Rating (PR) w3 = 0.30 4 Issue Rating (IR) w4 = 0.05 5 Cooperation Rating (CR) w5 = 0.05 Total Weight = 1.00Table 1. Example of apportioned weights among the five ratings.The formula to compute CCSR is this:CCSR = 5 - (QR*w1 + DR*w2 + PR*w3 + IR*w4 + CR*w5) Page | 22
  34. 34. This formula gives the CCSR on a 5-point scale. It is possible for the CCSR to be greaterthan 5 in some cases. When this happens, it means that customer expectations have beenexceeded.Use of CCSRWhile I do not advocate doing away with CSSs altogether (ultimately, what the customerperceives is also important), consider these facts: Only one person in a customer organizationfills out CSSs, despite the fact that many people in the organization may use the product. Thisone person‘s expectations can be managed, making it possible to calculate an accurate rating.But the other users (some of whom could be decision makers) can certainly still unearth thedefects in the product. This is to say that perception-based ratings alone cannot be reliedupon. Contrasting CSS ratings with CCSR allows organizations to improve their processes.Suppose that the internal CCSR is in agreement with a CSS rating. This means that thecustomer‘s perception is in sync with reality, and that customer expectations are beingmanaged as they should be. The organization‘s strengths are equal in service and expectationmanagement, giving a realistic picture to management. In this case, the organization needs totake corrective action based on the rating should it be poor.Suppose that the internal CCSR is way below the CSS rating. This means that the customer‘sperception of an organization‘s service is better than the service is in reality. This is not ofany benefit to the organization, because if it continues to praise itself based on the customer‘sperception that its level of service is high, then the organization will head toward decay.Resources will continue to place emphasis on expectation management rather than on service,thus never improving services. In this case, resources need to be trained in order to improveservice.Now suppose that the internal CCSR is way above the CSS rating. In such a case, thecustomer‘s perception of an organization‘s service is poorer than the service is in reality. Thisshows that the organization is concentrating on service without any concern for expectationmanagement. Interpersonal relations and communication with the customer are beingneglected. Here, resources need to be trained in expectation management. There is scope inthe CCSR method for organization-based adaptation. Some of the five ratings may bedropped or substituted, or new ones may be added to suit the specific organization. Page | 23
  35. 35. REVIEW OF LITERATURECustomerThe word customer is derived from "custom," meaning "habit"; a customer was someone whofrequented a particular shop, who made it a habit to purchase goods of the sort the shop soldrather than elsewhere, and with whom the shopkeeper had to maintain a relationship to keephis or her "custom," meaning expected purchases in the future.However, "customer" also has a more generalized meaning as in customer service and a lesscommercialized meaning in not-for-profit areas. To avoid unwanted implications in someareas such as government services, community services, and education, the term "customer"is sometimes substituted by words such as "constituent" or "stakeholder".This is done to address concerns that the word "customer" implies a narrowly commercialrelationship involving the purchase of products and services. However, some managers in thisenvironment, in which the emphasis is on being helpful to the people one is dealing withrather than on commercial project, comfortably use the word "customer" to both internal andexternal customers.Types of customer:There are six types of customers.A) External Customer.These are the people and organizations who have a need for your product or service. Theypurchase your stuff in exchange for money. They have a budget and will give you some of itin exchange for a solution that meets their needs and expectations. Given that, I affectionatelyrefer to external customers as ones with the bag of money. They have the financial autonomyto decide where and how they will spend their budget the bag of money. The question is whogets the bag of money, you or your competitor? Who has earned the confidence and trust ofthe customer? You and your competitor are vying for a piece of their budget the best solutionwins. Know this: Customers vote with their money and complain with their feet. Page | 24
  36. 36. B) Allies.These are the users of your product or service, not the ultimate decision maker. Thesecustomers usually dont have a bag of money but they play a vital role in your success. Theydo not make the final decision but they may have tremendous impact on the outcome. Theyare often closely connected to the bag of money and positioning them as an ally to your causeis critical for your success.However, allies can be a tremendous wealth of information. Pick their brains and learn howyou can differentiate yourself from the competition. Customers buy differences, notsimilarities. It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain who the bag of money is and who theallies are. Ask questions early in the call to determine whos who in the zoo. Shrink yourproject cycle by understanding the players within your accounts. Simply ask them who elsemay be involved with decisions.C) Internal Customer.These are fellow employees and managers within your place of business. They support youand make you look good to your external customers. Appreciate them and treat them withrespect. Unfortunately, they are often the victims of the blame fest. Poor internal relationshipscan have fatal consequences for your external customers. I recently saw an anonymous quotethat supports my point. "We have less to fear from outside competition than from insideconflict, inefficiencies, discourtesy, and bad service." So true.They want to fix the problem. Its up to you to quarterback all of the companys resources toresolve their problem. When you work in harmony with your internal customers, externalcustomers become the beneficiary of your internal relationships.Be aware too of your own personal internal customers, such as family, spouse, and parents.View your kids, spouse, or significant other as your personal internal customers. They alsodeserve respectful treatment. Page | 25
  37. 37. D) Repeat Customer.They are the jewels of your business. Do the job well the first time and you often getrewarded with another opportunity to serve them. And guess what? They give you moremoney! You may have heard that it costs up to five times as much to replace a customer as itdoes to keep one. So, keep them happy. Under promise and over deliver.E) Born-Again Customer.These are previous customers who no longer do business with you. For some reason theyhave forgotten about you or they are still upset with you. Dig up their file, give them a call,and settle any outstanding grievance. Put your ego aside and offer restitution to satisfy thecustomer. They often become loyal customers provided you resolve the problem to theirsatisfaction. As you work with your customers, you will find the Sequential Model isapplicable to all six types.F) Bag of Wind.You guessed it; these people have little or no impact on the decision. They are often an easypoint of entry into an account but they seldom contribute to the project process. In fact theydo more harm than good by creating a false sense of authority. There is nothing worse thanwasting valuable selling hours on people who cannot help advance the sale. They may alsoprovide clarity as to who the allies are and who the bag of money is.Knowing these people can prove to be a huge advantage; knowledge is power.Customer SegmentationIn the snowmobile example, the served market consisted of one segment but conceivably, theserved market could be much broader in scope. For example, the company could decide toserve all industrial customers (large, medium, small) by offering diesel-driven snowmobilesfor delivery use. The broader´ served market, however, must be segmented because themarket is not homogeneous; that is, it cannot be served by one type of product/serviceoffering. Page | 26
  38. 38. Currently, the United States represents the largest market in the world for most products; it isnot a homogeneous market, however. Not all customers want the same thing. Particularly inwell-supplied markets, customers generally prefer products or services that are tailored totheir needs. Differences can be expressed in terms of product or service features, servicelevels, quail levels, or something else.In other words, the large market has a variety of submarkets, or segments, that varysubstantially. One of the crucial elements of marketing strategy is to choose the segment orsegments that are to be served. This, however, is not always easy because different methodsfor dissecting a market may be employed and deciding which method to use may pose aproblem. Virtually all strategists segment their markets.Typically, they use SIC codes, annual purchase volume, age, and income as differentiatingvariables. Categories based on these variables, however, may not suffice as far as thedevelopment of strategy is concerned. RCA, for example, initially classified potentialcustomers for color television sets according to age, income, and social class. The companysoon realized that these segments were not crucial for continued growth because potentialbuyers were not confined to those groups.Later analysis discovered that there were innovators´ and followers´ in each of the abovegroups. This finding led the company to tailor its marketing strategy to various segmentsaccording to their innovativeness. Mass acceptance of color television might have beendelayed substantially if RCA had followed a more traditional approach. An American foodprocessor achieved rap success in the French market after discovering that modernityFrenchwomen liked processed foods while traditional French house wives looked upon themas a threat.A leading industrial manufacturer discovered that its critical variable was the amount ofannual usage per item, not per order or per any other conventional variable. This proved to becritical since heavy users can be expected to be more sensitive to price and may be moreaware of and responsive to promotional perspectives.Segmentation aims at increasing the scope of business by closely aligning a product or brandwith an identifiable customer group. Page | 27
  39. 39. Take, for example, cigarettes. Thirty years ago, most cigarette smokers chose from amongthree brands: Camel, Chesterfield, and Lucky Strike. Today more than 160 brands adornretail shelves. In order to sell more cigarettes, tobacco companies have been dividing thesmoking public into relatively tiny sociological groups and then aiming one or more brands ateach group. Vantage and Merit, for example, are aimed at young women; Camel and Winstonare aimed mostly at rural smokers. Cigarette marketing success hinges on how effectively acompany can design a brand to appeal to a particular type of smoker and then on how well itcan reach that smoker with sharply focused packaging, product design, and advertising.What is true of cigarettes applies to many, many products; it applies even to services. Banks,for example, have been vying with one another for important customers by offeringinnovative services that set each bank apart from its competition. These illustrationsunderscore not only the significance of segmenting the market but also the importance ofcarefully choosing segmentation criteria.Segmentation criteriaSegmentation criteria vary depending on the nature of the market. In consumer goodsmarketing, one may use simple demographic and socioeconomic variables, personality andlifestyle variables, or situation specific- events (such as use intensity, brand loyalty, andattitudes) as the bases of segmentation.In industrials marketing, segmentation is achieved by forming end use segments, productsegments, geographic segments, common buying factor segments, and customer sizesegments. For a detailed account, however, reference may be made to a textbook onmarketing management. In addition to these criteria, creative analysts may well identifyothers. For example, a shipbuilding company dissects its tanker market into large, medium,and small markets; similarly, its cargo ship market is classified into high-, medium-, and low-grade markets.A forklift manufacturer divides its market on the basis of product performance requirements.Many consumer- goods companies, General Foods, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola amongthem, base their segments on lifestyle analysis. Data for forming customer segments may beanalyzed with the use of simple statistical techniques (e.g., averages) or multivariate methods. Page | 28
  40. 40. Conceptually, the following procedure may be adopted to choose a criterion forsegmentation:1. Identify potential customers and the nature of their needs.2. Segment all customers into groups having  Common requirements.  The same value system with respect to the importance of these requirements.3. Determine the theoretically most efficient means of serving each market segment, makingsure that the distribution system selected differentiates each segment with respect to cost andprice.4. Adjust this ideal system to the constraints of the real world: existing commitments, legalrestrictions, practicality, and so forth. A market can also be segmented by level of customerservice, stage of production, price/performance characteristics, credit arrangements withcustomers, location of plants, characteristics of manufacturing equipment, channels ofdistribution, and financial policies.The key is to choose a variable or variables that so divide the market that customers in asegment respond similarly to some aspect of the marketer‘s strategy. The variable should bemeasurable; that is, it should represent an objective value, such as income, rate ofconsumption, or frequency of buying, not simply a qualitative viewpoint, such as the degreeof customer happiness.Also, the variable should create segments that may be accessible through promotion. Even ifit is feasible to measure happiness, segments based on the happiness variable cannot bereached by a specific promotional medium. Finally, segments should be substantial in size;that is, they should be sufficiently large to warrant a separate marketing effort.Once segments have been formed, the next strategic issue is deciding which segment shouldbe selected. The selected segment should comply with the following conditions:1. It should be one in which the maximum differential in competitive strategy can bedeveloped. Page | 29
  41. 41. 2. It must be capable of being isolated so that competitive advantage can be preserved.3. It must be valid even though imitated.Customer serviceCustomer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.According to Turban et al. (2002), Customer service is a series of activities designed toenhance the level of customer satisfaction that is, the feeling that a product or service has metthe customer expectation." Its importance varies by products, industry and customer;defective or broken merchandise can be exchanged, often only with a receipt and within aspecified time frame.Retail stores will often have a desk or counter devoted to dealing with returns, exchanges andcomplaints, or will perform related functions at the point of sale; the perceived success ofsuch interactions being dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to thepersonality of the guest".From the point of view of an overall project process engineering effort, customer serviceplays an important role in an organizations ability to generate income and revenue. From thatperspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematicimprovement.A customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer has of theorganization. Some have argued that the quality and level of customer service has decreasedin recent years, and that this can be attributed to a lack of support or understanding at theexecutive and middle management levels of a corporation and/or a customer service policy.To address this argument, many organizations have employed a variety of methods toimprove their customer satisfaction levels.PROBLEM FORMULATING STAGEDuring the research the survey of the market in Bangalore has been done and then result wasfound that company and its owners are doing their job more efficiently but still the companyis lacking to make its customer fully satisfied. Page | 30
  42. 42. The existing customers are not having so much of problem but the new customers are facingthe problem. The problem is related to Higher price rate, lack of expert knowledge, stockavailability etc.LITERATURE RESEARCHIt has been found that if company want to expand its market share and to increase thecustomer then it should have to focus on product and services promotion apart from brandpromotion.The company will have to satisfy its customer in an appropriate way so that they will becomeloyal customer and they will also help to increase to increase the number of customer throughtheir valuable references. The company should launch some good schemes, offers &discount. Page | 31
  43. 43. CHAPTER 2RESEARCH DESIGN Page | 32
  44. 44. OVERVIEW OF THE STUDYAim of the study:The study helps to understand the Present status of Satisfaction among the existing group ofCustomers as well as the End Users and the Walk-ins in the Indiranagar Staples Future Inc.and effort made by Managers and Associates to bring the expected response.Objectives:  To understand the existing level of customers satisfaction and its influencers.  To ascertain the future prospects of enhancing customers satisfaction.  To learn the factors and influencers leading to customers satisfaction.  To map and analyse the competitor‘s customers satisfaction level.Research Methodology used in study:RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:In order to ascertain the satisfaction level of customers & their perception regarding theservice process of project associates, a set of questionnaire was administrated to thecustomers of different backgrounds at Staples store Indiranagar.RESEARCH DESIGN: The study is descriptive in nature & except for a few instanceswhere statistical analysis of considerable vigour were used and tried to present the findings ina simple format. Page | 33
  45. 45. COLLECTION OF DATA:Data Source: Primary data as well as secondary data were collected for the study fromdifferent sources.Collection of Primary Data: A survey was carried on through objective orientedquestionnaires administered to the customers.Collection of Secondary Data: Secondary Data were collected through Observation &discussion with the guide and various literatures, books and website of Staples.QUESTIONNAIRE:The questionnaire developed has two parts; namely, open ended and close ended and theresponse has been collected using Semantic differential Scale having the respondents to statethe extent to which each of these statements was true to their organisation using the five pointscale: 1. Very Dissatisfied, 2. Somewhat dissatisfied, 3. Neither satisfied Nor Dissatisfied,4. Somewhat Satisfied, 5. Very Satisfied. There were 10 statements in the Questionnaire to beanswered by the respondents.The questions in the questionnaire were selected carefully considering the pros & cons ofdesigning a questionnaire. The language of the questions was very simple and lucid.Utmost care has been taken while phrasing & sequencing the questions so that respondent‘sattitude & opinion are not influenced.Research Approach: The selection of ―Survey Method‖ has been preferred over othermethods as the objective of the study warranted the need to cover the respondents and elicittheir responses, which would be fairly representative of whole target customers. The surveywas conducted at Staples, Indiranagar store. Page | 34
  46. 46. Sampling Plan: Keeping in views the objective of the study it was pertinent to administerthe questionnaire only to the walk-ins customers of Back To School Program. Thus theuniverse of the study was specified to only customers visiting the store for BTS Purchase.Sampling Size: The sample size 50 was taken into consideration for customers.Given the study objective, time requirement, and analysis plan etc, the Random Samplingmethod was used to collect the required dataAnalysis Techniques: The data collected during the survey has been analysed using simpleanalytical tools like table and pie diagram to arrive at the conclusions.Limitation of the Study:  The study is limited to the target customers of Indiranagar Staples store and hence may not hold good for Staples stores situated at other locations.  The employees from the other department i.e. EasyTech, CPC are excluded.  The bias of the respondents may deviate results.  Convenient sampling has been used in case of respondents which may always have its limitations.  The busy schedule of the customers is a severe limitation for the survey. Page | 35
  47. 47. CHAPTER-3PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS Page | 36
  48. 48. Profile Of Respondents:-The customers visiting the staples future retail pvt. ltd. were the respondents for this entireproject. Most of the walk-ins were questioned for their satisfaction rating for the staples storeand they spend their valuable time to complete the survey and gave unbiased response. Theprofile of the respondents is given below in a tabular format for further reference:-Sl No. Name Gender Age Occupation 1 Vaishali Samrat Female 37 Home maker 2 Chetan C Shetty Male 43 Lead Engg. 3 Kishan srikanth Male 28 IT Professional 4 Raghvendra K. Male 61 Retd. Army man 5 Luis Bunuel Male 39 German Embassy 6 K S Rangappa Male 36 Entrepreneur 7 Jyoti A Female 23 Student 8 Javed Pasha Male 46 Business 9 E Krishnappa Male 57 Govt. Employee 10 Venkata Subba Rao Male 41 Business 11 G Mallikarjun Male 56 Sr. Manager, Otis 12 Ankur Navathe Male 19 Student 13 Prithvi G Female 31 Sr. Developer, IBM 14 Sanjeevni Athangle Female 23 BPO 15 Sanjeev Nanda Male 37 Personal Banker,Axis 16 H P Murali Male 35 Software Analyst 17 V S Ganeshan Male 49 Business 18 Nirmala G S Female 32 HR Exec. ITC LTD 19 Sapna R K Female 21 Student 20 Dr Tushar guha Male 49 Docter 21 Krupa Zubin Female 29 Fashion Photographer 22 Aruna Rathod Female 41 Editor, TOI 23 Pratibha Nandkumar Female 48 Lecturer Page | 37
  49. 49. Sl No. Name Gender Age Occupation 24 Mehul S thakkar Female 52 Gaencologist 25 Pradeep M R Male 38 Artist 26 Karan Anshuman Male 28 Business 27 K S Shyam Male 41 Teacher 28 Rohit Ravi Male 32 BDE, Marvell Inc. 29 K Mungappa Male 48 BEML Employee 30 Satish kumar Male 38 Self- Employed 31 Ranjana Mohapatra Female 29 Asst. HR, OLX India 32 Dr. S N Tripathy Male 53 Doctor 33 G Shivprakash Male 68 Businessman 34 Dhakshayani P Female 33 Home-Maker 35 M A Khan Male 38 Entrepreneur 36 R V Venketesh Male 47 Advocate 37 M Nagendra Female 35 Business Analyst,E&Y 39 Ranganath Rao Male 51 Businessman 40 Sherin Mary Mathew Female 21 Student 41 H D Govindaraj Male 46 Govt Employee 42 B T Nanjamma Reddy Female 65 Housewife 43 Rajeev Sharan Male 36 Networking Engg 44 Dr. Ujwala Raut Female 41 Orthopaedic Surgeon 45 Shaheen Shaikh Female 19 Student Page | 38
  50. 50. CHAPTER – 4DATA ANALYSIS Page | 39
  51. 51. Data Analysis and InterpretationAnalysis of various questions asked to respondents through questionnaires.1. What is your overall satisfaction rating with Staples ?Very Satisfied 8Somewhat Satisfied 27Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied 5Somewhat Dissatisfied 5Very Dissatisfied 0 Overall Satisfaction 0% 11% Very Satisfied 18% 11% Somewhat Satisfied Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied 60% Very DissatisfiedInterpretation : When respondents were asked about the overall satisfaction level aboutStaples almost 60% of them showed that they are somewhat satisfied and 18% of respondentssaid that they are very satisfied by the services provided by Staples. Eventually 11 % of therespondents were either somewhat dissatisfied or remained neutral on the overall satisfactionrating about Staples store. Page | 40
  52. 52. 2. How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?Very Likely 2Somewhat Likely 18Neither Likely Nor Unlikely 14Somewhat Unlikely 11Very Unlikely 0 Recommendation 3% 20% 32% Very Likely Somewhat Likely 20% Neither Likely Nor Unlikely Somewhat Unlikely 25% Very UnlikelyInterpretation: When customers are asked about whether they like to recommend Staples store to their colleagues or friends, 32% of them showed that they are somewhat likely to recommend the store to their friends and 25% of the respondents stayed neutral upon this question while almost 40% of the respondents told that they do not like to recommend the store to their colleagues. Page | 41
  53. 53. 3. Where do you shop office stationary regularly?Retail Stores 24E-Commerce 7Others 14 Shopping Prefrence 31% 53% Retail Stores E-Commerce 16% OthersInterpretation: When the customers asked about their shopping preference for office supplies almost 53% of them preferred to shop in retail stores while 16% of them showed interest in internet shopping due to less time consuming and free home delivery and 31% of the customers said that they rather prefer small stationary stores due to shopping restriction like in staples they have to purchase items in packs or bulk. Page | 42
  54. 54. 4. Reasons for visiting Staples Store.Better Price 3Good Quality Products 10Variety Of Products 4Parking Facilities 8Convenience/Opening hours 0Professionalism of Associates 5Store comfortable to shop-in 5Stock Availability 2Offers and Promotional Discounts 8 Page | 43
  55. 55. Reasons for visiting Staples Better Price Good quality products 5% 8% Variety of products 5% 13% 26% Parking Facilities 13% Convenience 10% 20% Professionalism of associates 0% Store comfortable to shop-in Stock Availability Offers and Promotional DiscountsInterpretation: When customers are asked about their reason for visiting staples store almost26% of the respondents said that good quality of products attracts them to visit Staples while20% of the customers indicated that variety of products is the reason for them to visit Staplesstore where as 13% of the customers said that professionalism of associates are the mainfactor behind their visit to Staples. Surprisingly as a common belief the factors like betterprice, offers and discounts and stock availability are no longer luscious for the customers theyrather prefer comfortable shopping experience and better ambience for their visit to retailstores. Page | 44
  56. 56. 5. How Many times you did not get a product due to Stock Unavailability?No, I get my desired Product Every time 11Sometimes 20Most of The Time 14 Stock availability 31% 25% No, I get my desired Product Every time Sometimes 44% Most of the timeInterpretation: When asked about the easy stock availability 44% of the respondentsindicated that there are times when they returned from the store bare handed because theirdesired product was out of stock while 31% of the respondents told that it often happens thatstaples is out of stock of their required product. Only 25% of the customers told that theyalways get their product in the store. Page | 45
  57. 57. 6. What kind of services you expect?Fast Billing 5Pleasant Ambience 27Ample parking 8Home delivery 3Public Rest Room & Drinking Water 2 Expected services Fast Billing 7% 4% 11% 18% Pleasant Ambience Ample parking 60% Home delivery Public Rest Room & Drinking WaterInterpretation: When the respondents were asked about what kind of services they mostprefer almost 60% of them indicated that pleasant ambience inside the store is much neededwhile 18% of the respondents showed interest in ample parking facilities whereas 11% of thecustomers preferred fast billing as their desired service. 7% of the respondents indicated thathome delivery is also a necessary service for them while 4 % of the respondents preferredpublic restroom and drinking water facility. Page | 46
  58. 58. 7. Do you shop at Staples‘s other stores?Yes 13No 32 Store Visit 26% Yes No 74%Interpretation: When the respondents were asked whether they visit any other staples storealmost 74% of them told that they never visit any other staples store while 26% ofrespondents accepted that they do visit staples stores other than Indiranagar store. Page | 47
  59. 59. CHAPTER 5Findings, Conclusions, Reccomendations Page | 48
  60. 60. FINDINGS Almost 60% of customers showed that they are somewhat satisfied and 18% of respondents said that they are very satisfied by the services provided by Staples. Eventually 11 % of the respondents were either somewhat dissatisfied or remained neutral on the overall satisfaction rating about Staples store. 32% of customers showed that they are somewhat likely to recommend the store to their friends and 25% of the respondents stayed neutral upon this question while almost 40% of the respondents told that they do not like to recommend the store to their colleagues. 53% of respondents preferred to shop in retail stores while 16% of them showed interest in internet shopping due to less time consuming and free home delivery and 31% of the customers said that they rather prefer small stationary stores due to shopping restriction like in staples they have to purchase items in packs or bulk. Almost 26% of the respondents said that good quality of products attracts them to visit Staples while 20% of the customers indicated that variety of products is the reason for them to visit Staples store where as 13% of the customers said that professionalism of associates are the main factor behind their visit to Staples. Surprisingly as a common belief the factors like better price, offers and discounts and stock availability are no longer luscious for the customers, they rather prefer comfortable shopping experience and better ambience for their visit to retail stores. About 44% of the respondents indicated that there are times when they returned from the store bare handed because their desired product was out of stock while 31% of the respondents told that it often happens that staples is out of stock of their required product. Only 25% of the customers told that they always get their product in the store. Almost 60% of respondents indicated that pleasant ambience inside the store is much needed while 18% of the respondents showed interest in ample parking facilities whereas 11% of the customers preferred fast billing as their desired service. 7% of the respondents indicated that home delivery is also a necessary service for them while 4 % of the respondents preferred public restroom and drinking water facility. Page | 49
  61. 61. CONCLUSIONSThe study undertaken at STAPLES FUTURE PVT LTD, Indiranagar on ―Customersatisfaction‖ gave me a lot of knowledge and exposure about the perception of the customerstowards Staples retail store.Throughout the study, I analyzed whether the customers are satisfied with the presentoperating procedures adopted by Staples retail store and what new changes have beenimplemented so that a greater level of satisfaction among the customers can be achieved.I have also come to the conclusion that there are still some areas where the store must take upimmediate measures as much as possible like the store must increase their stock taking timeas most of the customers indicated that non availability of products is the most frustratingmoment for them inside the store. Also some customers indicated that the store environmentmust be neat and pleasant enough to shop-in, while some of the customers blamed that theyhave to forcefully buy items in bulk as Staples does not deal in individual or single product.But while taking the overall satisfaction rating among the customers it seems that most ofthem are quite satisfied with current scenario of the services at Staples Retail store. Staplesmust ensure that the quality they are providing in their product and services must not degradeas it will eventually lead in dissatisfaction among the customers.I have given my best effort for the project with the cooperation of all the employees of thestore. Page | 50
  62. 62. SUGGESTIONS  Decrease Stock Taking Time:-Staples must ensure that there should not be any kind of delay in stock taking and the respective Department Managers timely check the Fast Moving Products and send their requirement to the Category as soon as possible so that none of customer return due to unavailability of product. For further instance I suggest Staples to do a proper FSN Analysis of their inventory so as the movement of stocks can‘t be affected.FSN CLASSIFICATIONClassification done on the basis on the movement of the items in the storehouse is known asFSN, where the items are classified as fast moving (F),slow moving(S) and non-moving(N),items .This classification is done on the basis of consumption pattern of the itemsunder analysis. This analysis is useful in case of obsolete items. Previous year issues is aguiding factor for FSN analysis previous two years issues are taken into consideration for adecision whether the items stocked in storehouse are fast moving ,slow moving or nonmoving.Fast moving:- Items being issued more than 15 times a year may be placed in ‗F‘ category.Certainly such analysis and limits of issue vary from one organization to anotherorganization.Slow moving:- Items up to a certain limit say 10-15 issues in a year may be classified as ‗S‘items.Non-moving:- If there is no issues of a particular item during the past few years, naturallythey will be classified as ‗Zero issue items‘ and under this method of analysis these items willbe classified as ‗N‘ items.In Staples items, under FSN categorizing should be done on the following criteria:-Fast moving: - The items which are very frequently moved in one quarter year are includedin the fast moving category. Examples: Paper & Paper Products, Stationary Items, BasicOffice Supplies, etc.Slow moving: - The items which are moved from stores for a period of a half year.Examples: Furniture, Premium Pens, Leather & Travel Accessories, etc.Non-moving:- The items which are not issued from stores for more than one years.Examples: Housekeeping Items, Water Bottles & Lunch Boxes, Handmade Paper Products,etc. Page | 51
  63. 63.  Enhance In-Store Shopping Experience:-Most of the customers complained about the bad shopping experience inside the store, according to them there was lack of cleanliness in the store, products were covered in dust and the music which is played inside the store was louder which was irritating for them. Management must ensure the proper ambience inside the store and also lack of housekeeping staff posing problem for cleanliness, currently there is only one housekeeping staff for both the store which is not enough for both the floors. Also there should be proper cleaning equipment used for cleaning like vacuum cleaners and air fresheners so that there is pleasant environment is ensured inside the store. Ensure Fast Billing:- During billing process the delays are caused mostly due to missing barcodes which is irritating for both the customers as well as the cashier as he has to call an associate to check the barcode on other similar product. This consumes a lot of precious time of customer and the counter became engaged for some time of no use. The associates must ensure that the products which come from inventory room must have barcodes before putting it on self to avoid later delay in billing. Increase Product Value Rather than Brand Value:-Most of customers who purchased staples manufactured product complained about inferior quality which seldom happens, but staples must ensure that only good quality products are kept on self as even I found many of the Staples products are more than 3 year ago manufactured and they lack in quality as compared to any other brand. Nowadays people are ready to pay higher price for the quality products. Page | 52
  64. 64. BIBLOGRAPHYLiterature  Philip Kotler & Kevin L Keller (2008), Marketing Management.  Murali Chemuturi (2003), How to Measure Customer satisfaction.  Mack Hanan and Peter Karp, (New York: American Management Association, 1989) Customer Satisfaction: How to Maximize, Measure, and Market Your Company‘s ―Ultimate Product‖ .  Nick Wreden (2001) What‘s Better Than Customer Satisfaction?Internet Websites  www.staplesfuture.com  www.staples.com/unitedstates  http://www.tdmktg.com/newsletter.html Page | 53
  65. 65. ANNEXURE QUESTIONNAIREThank you for being our valued customer. Please help us to improve our product and ourservice to you by completing this survey.The entire survey will take approximately 5 minutes to completeName:-Address:-Contact No./ email id :-1. What is your overall satisfaction rating with Staples ? a. Very Satisfied b. Somewhat Satisfied c. Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied d. Somewhat Dissatisfied e. Very Dissatisfied 2. Please tell us why you feel that way. Page | 54
  66. 66. 3. How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague? a. Very Likely b. Somewhat Likely c. Neither Likely Nor Unlikely d. Somewhat Unlikely e. Very Unlikely4. Please tell us why you feel that way.5. Where do you shop office stationary regularly?1. Retail Stores 2. E-Commerce 3. Others Others, Pls. Specify _________________________________ Page | 55
  67. 67. 6. Reasons for visiting Staples Retail store: Please highlight or enter the appropriate number Index: 1 for Very Poor and 5 for Very good Very Poor Very Good 1-5 Better Price 1 2 3 4 5 Good Quality of Products 1 2 3 4 5 Variety of products to choose 1 2 3 4 5 Parking Facilities 1 2 3 4 5 Convenience/Opening hours 1 2 3 4 5 Professionalism of Associates 1 2 3 4 5 Store comfortable to shop-in 1 2 3 4 5 Stock Availability 1 2 3 4 5 Offers and Promotional 1 2 3 4 5 Discounts Page | 56

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