1. How to measure customer satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business. In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting non-customers; measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the organization is at providing products and/or services to the marketplace. ("Customer Satisfaction," 2008)
The usual measures of customer satisfaction involve a survey with a set of statements using a Likert Technique or scale. Likert Technique is a psychometric response scale often used in questionnaires, and is the most widely used scale in survey research. The customer is asked to evaluate each statement and in term of their perception and expectation of performance of the organization being measured. ("Customer Satisfaction," 2008)
From the Build -A - Bear workshop case stated that their retailer had implanted an innovative Guest Satisfaction program that is tied to financial rewards for the Workshop managers. They think that guest satisfaction increase is the best indicator of how truly successful it is.
2. Identify and discuss the role of technology in the service encounter.
According to Fitzsimmons, J.A., & Fitzsimmons, M.J. (2008) the role of technology in the service encounter are technology- free service encounter, technology- assisted service encounter, technology- facilitated service encounter, technology- mediated service encounter and technology- generated service encounter. Figure 5.1, (pg4) displays the five modes in detailed.
The A mode is called technology- free service encounter, where the customer is in physical proximity to and interacts with a human service provider. This mode represents the traditional high- touch service that we experience at a hairdresser salon or chiropractor in which technology does not play a direct role. Most personal care service falls into this category, along with some professional service such as law, consulting, and psychiatry.
The B mode is called technology-assisted service encounter, because only the service provider has access to the technology to improve the quality of face- to- face service. A health care procedure such as an MRI scan or office visit to an optometrist falls into this mode. Traditionally, airline representatives used a computer terminal to check- in passengers, represented by mode B, but today passengers are encouraged to use check- in kiosks represented by mode E.
The C mode is called technology- facilitated service encounter, because both the customer and service provider have access to the same technology. For example, a financial planner in consultation with a client can refer to a financial model on a personal compute to illustrate projected returns for different risk profiles.
The D mode, called technology- mediated service encounter, the customer and human service provider are not physically together and thus the service encounter no longer is the traditional face- to- face contact. Communication is usually enabled by a telephone call to access service such as making a restaurant reservation or getting technical help from a distant call center. Consider, also, how clever use of remote monitoring using GPS (global positioning satellite) helps keeps track of the movements of parolees.
Finally, in mode E, called technology- generated service encounter, the human service provider is replaced entirely with technology that allows the customer to self- service. This mode is becoming more common as firms attempt to reduce the costs of providing service. Examples are ubiquitous- bank ATMs, checkout scanning, airport kiosks, and Website- based information sources.
3. What is the search attributes?
Search attributes are those tangible characteristics that allow customers to determine and evaluate a product before purchasing it. Search attributes can help customers to understand and evaluate what they will receive in return for their money. Besides, the sense of uncertainty and perceived risk of the purchases also can be reduced. Search attributes are such as brand name, price, style, color, texture, taste, and sound. All these attributes allow potential customers to try out the product like clothes, furniture, electronic equipment, and taste test the foods or even test drive a car before make any purchases.
4. What is the experience attributes?
Experience attributes are those attributes that cannot be evaluated before purchase. It can be discerned, evaluated and experienced only after purchase or during consumption. Experience attributes are such as fun, emotion and entertainment value like vacations, live entertainment performances, sporting events, theme parks and restaurants.
5. What is database?
A database is a structured collection of records or data in a computer which relies upon software to organize the storage of data. (Wikipedia, 2008) Database is organized so that it can easily be accessed, managed and updated rapidly for various uses. (SearchSQLServer.com, 2008) Computer databases typically contain aggregations of data records or files, such as sales transaction, product catalogs and inventories, and customer profiles.
6. What does it mean by strictly seasonal?
Strictly seasonal in the case refers to a particular store that offer or provide products and services occurring at or dependent on a particular season. This means those products and services of the store that being provided in this season will not be available in another season. The case mentioned that a toy store tend earn most of the profits only during a certain period such as holiday season. However Build-A-Bear Workshop manages to gain profits throughout the whole year.
7. What is the meaning of the sentence 'They also peak inventory at a different time from the traditional toy store'?
The above sentence stated that Build-A-Bear Workshop is unlike other traditional toy stores in achieving the greatest demand of the guests. Usually, the highest level of sales attainable by a toy store is during the holiday season, but Build-A-Bear Workshop achieved their highest sales all over the year. This is because they did not provide products and services on a strictly seasonal basis; in fact they treat everyday as holidays.
8. What is demographic information?
Demographic refers to selected population characteristics as that used in government, marketing and opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research. demographic information that commonly used are such as race, age, income, disabilities, mobility, educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and location. (Wikipedia, 2008)
9. How important is store's visual environment?
Visual environment is the visual effect that aims to create a positive image for the retail store through the store design, for examples, lighting, and colors. More and more retailer realizes the importance of store's visual environment; as the competition of retail grow, a good design of visual environment not only provide comfortable environments to the customer, we also want to impress our customer as they entered the store, and create an atmosphere that customer will want to come again and again.
Build-A-Bear Workshop highly visual environment which filled with teddy bear theme, is aim to let the guest build a lasting memory with their friends and family in this wonderful and fantasy special place.
10. What is retail experience?
A retail experience is the result of all of the touch points a retailer has with their customer including staff interaction, merchandise, product selection, signage, in-store marketing, branding, music, smells, and other elements. Focusing on the customer experience is the best opportunity for many retailers to create a point of differentiation and succeed in today's competitive marketplace. Customers who receive above average experiences are more likely to purchase, be a loyal customer, and recommend the retailer to family and friends.
Retailers have increasingly turned their attention to creating memorable retail experiences, For example, in 2001 Apple changed direction and initiated the retailing of experience offer through the Apple Store Experience. With the aim of switching customers to Apple (as well as enhancing the relationship with current consumers), the themed stores allow customers to interact, learn and experience the values of the brand through in-store design features and staff service. More importantly, rather than having products arranged via category (i.e. printers, software, digital camera, iPods, monitors, cases, etc.), merchandise is combined and arranged according to how consumers might use the equipment in their everyday life, thus seeking to locate the brand in realistic consumer settings. The aim of such experiential retail stores is to create outlets that capture and represent the brand's essence, while balancing both the functional components of the product (what it does) with its emotional goals (how it makes me feel) (Pine & Gilmore 1999; Schmitt 2003).
11. What is experiential blueprint?
A blueprint is a photographic which is reproduced in white on a blue background, as of architectural or engineering plans. It also can be any exact or detailed plan or outline. When designing a blueprint, we need to have an experience on what a customer actually sees, smells, tastes, touches, and hears from their perspective.
Experiential blueprint is one of the methods that we use for understanding the customer's experiential perspective. According to Metters, Metters, & Pullman (2006), a basic process design tool from service blueprinting can be modified to evaluate experience design.
We can look at every experiential aspects or clues of the process and evaluate it for conformance to key themes, sensory impact, resource requirements, and improvement. For example, an experiential blueprint for a tourist arrival at a hotel would start with the airport transportation and proceed through all the steps until he is settled in his room.
This type of blueprinting and clue design form is useful for designing new experiences so that the managers are aware of the importance of simple things such as lighting the candles in the lobby at night and changing the music to convey a different mood.
12. What is tracking system?
A tracking system is a generally a system that renders virtual space to a human observer while tracking the observer's body coordinates.
A tracking system is to determine the location or direction of a target on a near to continuous basis. (Tracking Systems, n.d.) An ideal tracking system keeps contact and updates the target's bearing, range and elevation constantly.
The output of the tracking system will be sent to a fire control system that stores the information and derives the target's motion and its future position. Furthermore, tracking systems not only provide an automatic target following feature but also determine the target's position sufficiently and accurately.
There are various type technologies being implemented within the tracking systems such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) which depending on how often the data is refreshed, bar-code systems which require a person to scan items, automatic identification (RFID auto-id), and so forth.
13. What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience can be defined as "the quality of the experience as apprehended by a customer resulting from direct or indirect contact with any touch point of a company".
Customer experience is also the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. It can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction; the distinction is usually clear in context.
In other words, the customer experience is the impression created on the customer as the results of contact with a company through any touch point, whether through marketing, branding, customer service, support, in-store experience, usage of a product, service or Web site, etc. Customer experience in this broader sense also includes "User Experience", which as the name suggests, is concerned with, and limited to, direct usage of a product. The quality of the customer experience at any touch point individually can affect the overall relationship a customer has with a company. For example, a customer with a very high opinion of a company and its products may have a complete turn-around after a negative post-sales service customer experience. Or a company with an otherwise fine track record at many customer touch-points may create a negative experience through a poorly executed marketing communication piece or practice.
14. What are eight fun bear-making stations?
Eight fun bear-making stations are Build-A-Bear Workshop's stuffed animal-making assembly line; it concluded eight processes which are Choose Me, Stuff Me, Hear Me, Stitch Me, Fluff Me, Name Me, Dress Me, and Take Me Home. The entire process takes approximately 20 minutes; each station required guest to participate in order to create their furry friends, they will proceed to next stations after complete one and another.
Guests are introduced to all the furry characters in the store and soon will become their new furry friends. Depending on seasons, there are 30-35 varieties of stuffed animals including bear, bunnies, dogs, cows, and even Beary limited(tm) edition collectible bear. Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffed animal price are affordable, ranging in price from $10-$25.
Guest can personalized their new furry friend from selecting several sounds and song, and placed inside their stuffed animal. Build-A-Sound, a recorded-your-own message sound chip is inserted during the stuffing process. The pre-recorded sounds included giggles, yawns, bark, or other animal sounds, and messages like "I love you", or song like" Let me call you sweetheart".
With the help of Master Bear Builders, guest can give their bear a right amount of stuffing and give their bear a hug test. A very special process which is the Heart Stuff, each guest select their small satin bear's heart, warm it in their palm or hands, make a special wish, and place the heart into the bear, it is a melting experience to everyone regardless their ages or gender, and the bond between the owner and the bear is secured.
The last seam is neatly pulled shut in this process, before the closing, the Master Bear Builder associate insert a barcode, allowing it united with its owner if ever lost or return to Build-A-Bear Workshop. Thousands of furry friends have been united through Find-A-Bear ID tracking systems.
Guest will give their furry friends an air bath, and brush the fur. It adds more fun to the process as the guests creating the final look for their bear, and to make their friends well groomed and perfectly huggable.
A computer will asked the guest a series of questions of their new friends, such as the bear name, and birth date, and prints a short storybook or birth certificate. Through its proprietary computerized naming system, Builds-A-Bear workshop has built a huge database and the extensive demographic information helps the retailer to serve its customer better.
Guest may dress their bear in the beary latest furry fashions. The bear apparel boutique features clothes and accessories for all occasions, clothing includes casual wear, formal wear, costumes, guest even can dress their bear like Batman. There even have Pawsonal shoppers which will assist the guest to select the perfect outfits and accessories for their new friends. Build-A-Bear Workshop even has their own fashion experts Pawlette Courfur Fashion Advisor to the furry famous.
Take Me Home
Guest concludes their bear-making process in this station, where they are given their customized birth certificates and a special But Stuff Club card to apply towards future purchases. Each new furry friend is then placed in their very own Cub Condo carrying case, which is designed as a handy travel carrier, also as a new home for their friend. The Cub Condo has also become collectible.