Customer Experience at Marks & Spencer: Assignment Sample

Exploring Customer Experience: Marks & Spencer Assignment

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Introduction OfCustomer Experience

The value proposition of the selected organization

British global retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) has been in business for more than 137 years. M&S’s value proposition is focused on providing its clients with high-quality, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective items (Joshi, 2022). M&S’ dedication to quality and customer satisfaction has helped them establish a solid image as a dependable and trustworthy retailer.

The value proposition of M&S includes a strong emphasis on sustainability (Mohd Satar, 2019). M&S has established challenging environmental objectives, such as achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and ensuring that all items are sourced ethically and sustainably by 2025. This dedication to sustainability benefits both the environment and customers who are becoming more conscious of how their purchases affect the environment.

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The quality of M&S's products is a crucial component of their value offer. M&S is known for providing high-quality goods in a variety of areas, including food and drink, clothes, and home goods. The company's sourcing practices, which include stringent criteria for materials and production procedures, which are consistent with its emphasis on quality. This emphasis on quality helps M&S stand out from rival companies and guarantees repeat business.

The long-term value creation objective of (M&S) Marks and Spencer's business strategy is achieved through efficient resource and relationship management (da Costa Fernandes, et.al, 2020). These are handled by its guiding principles of quality service, motivation, innovation, honesty, and touch.

M&S mission statement

An organization’s business and main purposes are reflected in the mission statement. Mark and Spencer’s goal is to open up inspirational qualities to others.

M&S vision statement

A vision facilitates goal-fitting work. It originates both internally and externally. What it achieves is as follows Future-oriented language decision-making and strategy guidance build a platform with the same goal Establish behavior standards Encouraging feeling displays the values the mission of Mark and Spencer is to set the benchmark for others to follow.

Set out how these manifest in how it delivers the customer experience.

The customer experience that M&S provides for its customers reflects the company’s core proposition of sustainability, quality, and affordability. M&S aims to give its consumers a seamless and pleasurable shopping experience through all channels, including online and in-store. Through its product line, M&S satisfies its value promise in one way. In categories like clothes, house goods, and food and drink, the company offers a broad selection of high-quality products that are sourced sustainably. The product labeling, which includes details on the product's sourcing and environmental impact, demonstrates M&S’s dedication to sustainability.

Customer service is another way that M&S lives up to its value promise. M&S is known for having friendly, competent staff both in-person and online, and for offering superior customer service (Riedelsheimer, 2020). The company’s dedication to quality is evident in its customer service, which places a priority on making sure that consumers are happy with their purchases and get the help they require.

To end with, M&S implements its price plan to deliver on its value claim. The organization makes sure there is something for everyone by offering products at various pricing points. Additionally, M&S frequently offers sponsors and discounts, which further reduces the price of its products for consumers.

Set out who are its customers by frequency of use key demographics and how they may relate to 1 and 2.

The consumer base of M&S is diversified and made up of a variety of demographic groupings. Depending on the product category, different key populations utilize products at different rates.

M&S’s consumer base for clothes consists of both men and women of all ages, with a concentration on the 35-54 age range. The frequency of use for apparel varies according to season and fashion, although many consumers visit M&S more than once a year to change their wardrobes for the changing seasons. Customers who are worried about the environmental effects of fast fashion and wish to invest in durable, high-quality clothes find M&S’s emphasis on sustainability and quality to be particularly tempting.

Homeowners and visitors of all ages make up M&S’s consumers for home products, with the 45-64 age range receiving the majority of the company’s attention. Determined by the product, the frequency of use for home goods varies, but many consumers will visit M&S to update their home decor for the season or to make other changes. Consumers who are attracted to setting up a sustainable and environmentally friendly home environment find M&S’s emphasis on quality and sustainability to be particularly appealing. Customers from a variety of demographic categories, with a focus on those between the ages of 35 and 54, make up M&S’s food and beverage consumer base. Conditional on the product, different products are used more frequently or less frequently when it comes to food and drink, although many consumers get their groceries at M&S once a week (Roggeveen, 2022). Customers who wish to buy ecologically friendly and cost-effective food are drawn to M&S’s emphasis on price and sustainability.

Set out what is The Six Pillars of Customer Experience Model

A framework known as the “Six Pillars of Customer Experience Model” delineates the essential components that go into creating a satisfying customer experience. The six pillars are discussed below:

Integrity- The cornerstone of integrity is a company's ability to consistently act in a trustworthy manner. Organizations and their employees can organize occasions and moments that foster trust, which contributes to greater honesty. From the perspective of the client, organizations with integrity are those that can keep their commitments. Trust and integrity are found in an organization's sense of purpose and how it fulfills this goal in a social, moral, and ethical manner.

Resolution- It's critical to win back dissatisfied clients. Even with excellent protocols and processes, mistakes can still occur. The best businesses have procedures that can quickly return customers to where they should have been (Dahle, et.al, 2020). This remarkable recovery reminds us that it is no longer sufficient to merely address the issues; the customer also needs to be satisfied with the service recovery process. A sincere apology and swift action to right the wrongs are two components of a successful resolution.

Expectations- High standards are set by the top brands. Therefore, it is common for customers to have high expectations about how their needs can be met given the standards in place. Top companies are aware that their interactions and brand promise set customer expectations, which they must meet or, in some situations, even surpass.

Empathy- Empathy is closely related to the ability to comprehend another person's (your customer's) emotional experience. Empathy-fostering behaviors can help you build solid relationships with your customers. By demonstrating that they understand their customers' feelings, firms may subsequently offer solutions.

Personalization- Understanding client preferences, previous contacts, providing individualized attention, and using names all contribute to an experience that seems personal. After an interaction, a customer who receives excellent personalization feels more in control, appreciated, and important.

Time and effort- Due to their shortage of free time today, customers are seeking fast gratification. The key to increasing loyalty is to remove barriers that cause consumers' decision-making to lag and to make it simple for them to accomplish their goals (Khan, 2020). As long as other pillars are not sacrificed, businesses can leverage time as a competitive advantage because it can reduce expenses.

Critically apply this model to the selected organization.

When Marks and Spencer (M&S) is examined using the Six Pillars of Customer Experience Model, it is clear that the business has made a purposeful effort to give priority to customer experience over each of these pillars.

Integrity- Throughout its lengthy history, M&S has established a solid reputation for integrity, placing a major emphasis on sustainable development, ethical sourcing, and fair labor practices (Gul, et.al, 2021). The firm's dedication to these values is demonstrated in the goods, services, and communications it has with consumers, fostering loyalty and trust.

Resolution- To handle customer complaints and rapidly and efficiently address concerns, M&S has established processes and protocols. The business has made a significant investment in training its staff to handle customer contacts with empathy and care. The company places a high value on customer service.

Expectations- Because M&S is a leading brand in the retail sector, people have high expectations of the business. The business understands how critical it is to fulfill and surpass these standards, with a special emphasis on quality, accessibility, and sustainability in all of its goods and services.

Empathy- M&S places a high priority on empathy in all of its contacts with customers, with a particular emphasis on comprehending their emotional experiences. The business has invested in training its staff so that they can listen to and carefully address the demands of customers.

Personalization- M&S has worked to make the consumer experience more unique, especially with the help of its loyalty program, Sparks. Customers can accrue points through the program and receive tailored offers and discounts depending on their purchase habits, which helps them feel valued and appreciated.

Time and Effort- M&S understands how crucial it is to reduce customer effort and make it simple for them to accomplish their goals swiftly and effectively. To cut down on wait times and increase consumer comfort, the organization has made investments in digital channels and self-service solutions.

By applying each of the six pillars of the consumer experience model M&S has proven to be strongly committed to providing a satisfying and dependable customer experience. However, there is always room for improvement, especially in areas like digital innovation and personalization, just like with any business (Busalim, 2022). M&S can continue to cultivate trust and loyalty among its consumers and maintain its position as a leading brand in the retail sector by continuing to put a high priority on the customer experience and investing in the appropriate resources and processes.

What are the implications of digital disruption to the delivery of the customer experience for this organization?

For companies like Marks and Spencer (M&S), the rise of digital disruption has significantly affected how the customer experience is delivered. Customers now anticipate a seamless and integrated experience across all touchpoints, whether online or in-store, as a result of the growing use of digital channels and technology (Harba, 2019). To stay competitive in the digital age, this has put pressure on companies like M&S to adapt and evolve their customer experience strategy.

The necessity to invest in digital innovation and technology is one of the main effects of the digital disruption for M&S. This includes developing new technology and solutions that can enhance the in-store experience in addition to enhancing the company's online shopping capabilities. In some of its stores, M&S, for instance, has installed mobile point-of-sale technology that enables customers to purchase items quickly and conveniently from any location in the store. To let clients envision furniture and home décor in their own houses before making a purchase, the company has also developed augmented reality technology.

For M&S, digital disruption also means that data and analytics must take precedence in customer experience planning. Organizations have the chance to learn more about customer behavior and preferences thanks to the growing amount of customer data made available through digital channels. To better understand the requirements and interests of its customers, M&S has adopted a data-driven approach to customer service. The business has also made investments in personalization tools and methods to provide clients with customised experiences.

The growth of digital channels has also boosted M&S’s awareness of the value of customer experience strategy integration. Customers increasingly demand a smooth experience across all touchpoints, whether online or in-person, and businesses that don't meet this demand run the risk of losing clients to rivals. M&S has put a lot of work into integrating its online and offline channels. This includes enabling in-store pickup for online orders as well as consistent pricing and product information across all channels.

The impact of digital disruption has also been felt by M&S’s support and customer care departments. Organizations must be ready to respond quickly and effectively to customer questions and concerns across a variety of channels given the growing use of social media and other digital platforms for customer engagement (Thorisdottir, 2020). M&S has put in place a multichannel customer service strategy, which includes monitoring and responding to social media posts, to make sure that clients can get the assistance they require promptly and easily.

According to this, the impact of digital disruption on how M&S delivers its customer experience is considerable. To address these issues, the company has prioritized data and analytics, integrated its online and offline platforms, and adopted a multichannel customer support strategy. These initiatives have helped M&S create a great and consistent customer experience across all touch points, while also helping the company stay competitive in the digital age, even if there is always space for improvement.

Recommendation

The customer experience for customers of this organization, to benefit them and the organization itself

Invest in digital change- To improve both the online and offline consumer experience, M&S must make investments in digital transformation (Blümel, 2023). This might entail creating a mobile app that provides tailored product recommendations, enabling users to make purchases from their phones and laptops, and offering in-store pickup options for online sales. The user experience can be enhanced by updating the website and adding simple checkout procedures.

Emphasize consumer service training- To guarantee that clients have a consistent and excellent experience across all touch points; M&S should emphasize consumer service training for employees. Regular training sessions on effective communication, handling conflicts, and product expertise might be part of it. Every employee, including those who administer the online store, operates in the call center, and in-store associates, should receive training.

Use consumer data for personalization- To personalize the shopping experience for each customer, Marks, and Spencer should use customer data. This could involve analyzing client data to learn more about their preferences, past purchases, and behavior. Based on this information, M&S can provide clients with tailored offers, targeted marketing, and product suggestions. This could promote a deeper connection between the client and the brand and boost client loyalty.

Execute a loyalty program- To encourage repeat business and recognize brand advocates, Marks and Spencer should develop a loyalty program (Daffy, 2019). To improve the customer experience, the loyalty program could provide exclusive discounts, early access to deals, free shipping, and other benefits. By rewarding patron loyalty, M&S may promote repeat business, which can result in higher sales and a more devoted clientele.

Improve the multichannel experience- To enable customers to smoothly switch between online and offline channels, M&S should enhance the multichannel experience (Çakiro?lu, 2020). This could involve allowing customers to verify product availability online before visiting the store, offering in-store pickup alternatives for online purchases, and offering a uniform shopping experience across all channels. Marks and Spencer may enhance the multichannel experience to offer a more seamless consumer experience and raise customer satisfaction.

Enhance clearness and sustainability- To appeal to the growing number of customers that give sustainability and ethical practices a top priority in their purchasing decisions, Marks and Spencer should boost transparency around sustainability activities. This might involve sharing knowledge regarding the source of products, cutting waste, and enhancing employee working conditions (Signori, et.al, 2019). Marks and Spencer can develop deeper connections with customers and set it apart from rivals by showcasing a dedication to sustainability.

References

  • Blümel, J.H. and Jha, G., 2023. Designing a conversational AI agent: Framework combining customer experience management, personalization, and AI in service techniques.
  • Busalim, A., Fox, G. and Lynn, T., 2022. Consumer behavior in sustainable fashion: A systematic literature review and future research agenda.International Journal of Consumer Studies,46(5), pp.1804-1828.
  • Çakiro?lu, K.I. and Çengel, Ö., 2020. Customer experience management in omnichannel retailing. InManaging Customer Experiences in an Omnichannel World: Melody of Online and Offline Environments in the Customer Journey(pp. 97-113). Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • da Costa Fernandes, S., Pigosso, D.C., McAloone, T.C. and Rozenfeld, H., 2020. Towards product-service system oriented to circular economy: A systematic review of value proposition design approaches.Journal of Cleaner Production,257, p.120507.
  • Daffy, C., 2019.Creating customer loyalty: build lasting loyalty using customer experience management. Kogan Page Publishers.
  • Dahle, Y., Nguyen-Duc, A., Steinert, M. and Reuther, K., 2020. Six pillars of modern entrepreneurial theory and how to use them.Fundamentals of Software Startups: Essential Engineering and Business Aspects, pp.3-25.
  • Gul, R.F., Liu, D., Jamil, K., Hussain, Z., Awan, F.H., Anwar, A. and Qin, G., 2021. Causal relationship of market orientation and customer-based performance of fashion apparel brands.Fibres & Textiles in Eastern Europe, (6 (150).
  • Harba, J.N., 2019. New approaches to customer experience: where disruptive technological innovation meets luxury fashion. InProceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence(Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 740-758).
  • Joshi, N., Gabhane, D. and Somashekhar, C., 2022. How Social Media Marketing is Helping in Customer Retention and Customer Engagement: A Case of Marks and Spencer.ECS Transactions,107(1), p.17027.
  • Khan, S. and Iqbal, M., 2020, June. AI-Powered Customer Service: Does it Optimize Customer Experience?. In2020 8th International Conference on Reliability, Infocom Technologies and Optimization (Trends and Future Directions)(ICRITO)(pp. 590-594). IEEE.
  • marksandspencer.com, 2023. Marks & Spencer, (online). <https://www.marksandspencer.com > accessed on 05.05.2023.
  • Mohd Satar, N.S., Dastane, D.O. and Ma’arif, M.Y., 2019. Customer value proposition for E-Commerce: A case study approach.International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications (IJACSA),10(2), pp.454-458.
  • Riedelsheimer, T., Dorfhuber, L. and Stark, R., 2020. User centered development of a Digital Twin concept with focus on sustainability in the clothing industry.Procedia CIRP,90, pp.660-665.
  • Roggeveen, A.L. and Rosengren, S., 2022. From customer experience to human experience: Uses of systematized and non-systematized knowledge.Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services,67, p.102967.
  • Signori, P., Gozzo, I., Flint, D.J., Milfeld, T. and Satinover Nichols, B., 2019. Sustainable customer experience: Bridging theory and practice.The Synergy of Business Theory and Practice: Advancing the practical application of scholarly research, pp.131-174.
  • Thorisdottir, T.S. and Johannsdottir, L., 2020. Corporate social responsibility influencing sustainability within the fashion industry. A systematic review.Sustainability,12(21), p.9167.
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