Tesco is a multinational retailing company that deals with groceries and general merchandise. It is a British company the headquarters of which are located in Chestnut, the United Kingdom. It is one of the largest retailers in the world, both in terms of profits, i.e. the second largest one, and in terms of revenues, i.e. the third largest company. Its vast size comes from its numerous branches located in fourteen different countries across Europe, Asia and North America. Its founder is Jack Cohen, a British entrepreneur, who founded it in 1919. Its original focus was on the grocery retailing in the UK. However, with the growth and market expansion, it has increased its business and diversified into books retailing, electronics, software, petrol, clothing, furniture, financial services, DVD rentals, music downloads, telecoms and internal services. This has enabled Tesco to appeal to people from all social groups, both to rich and poor. Nonetheless, it is still a market leader of groceries in Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland and in Thailand. This has made Tesco realize the wealth maximization and it has listed its shares on London stock exchange.
In January 2012, it had 24.4 billion Euros’ turnover of market capitalization, making it among the largest companies, i.e. the fifteenth one on the stock exchange with a primary listing (Fernie 2009). As a multinational retail company, Tesco uses its vast resources to take over new markets, attract and retain new customers, and still realize great yields as the returns on investment through its profit maximization strategies (Fujioka & Umemura 2012). The company has a motto designed by its founder that states, ”Pile It High and Sell It Cheap”. This means that a buyer can purchase in bulk at Tesco stores but only spend the minimal amounts that are affordable to account for its goods. Another motto that works internally in order to motivate its sales force is “YCDBSOYA – You Can’t Do Business Sitting on Your Ass“. These two mottos propel the staff at Tesco to work even harder to ensure the customer satisfaction and market relevance. Hence, they remain a great force to reckon with globally. Tesco has a brand image that helps it to sell in foreign markets. This image makes consumers feel at home while they shop at any of its branches in other countries. Since this brand sells, Tesco engages into takeovers and acquisitions of competing firms in the market system.
The Kenyan flag carrier is The Kenya Airways Limited, also commonly referred to as Kenya Airways. Kenya Airways’ brand name and acronyms is KQ. It has a brand image, a brand logo, a brand color, i.e. red, which is the official company dress code. There is a presumption that the inspiration to use red as the brand color for the KQ has originated from the red khangas adorned by the Maasai Morans found in Kenya and Tanzania. This is in line with its localized promotional strategy of using the cultural heritage, especially the Maasai tribe cultural practices in its advertisements, i.e. their dress code, hairdressing styles, ornaments, songs and dances. This makes KQ unique and easy to identify with. KQ began its operations in 1977, after the dissolution of the East African Airways.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Kenya’s largest and busiest international airport located in Embakai, Nairobi city, is a hub of KQ. This is where its head office also is. The Kenyan government had been a sole owner of KQ until April 1995, before a successful privatization program in 1996. This was the first of its kind in Africa. Currently, KQ is under a private-public ownership, with the Kenyan government and KLM as the largest shareholders. Other private owners are holding the rest of shares. These shares trade in the three East African countries through the Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya, the Uganda Securities Exchange, and the Dares Salaam Stock Exchange in Tanzania. KQ is a leading operator in the Sub-Saharan region, with a full Sky Team membership since June 2010, and the African Airlines Association membership since 1977. The company employs about 5,000 workers that strive to make KQ as”The Pride of Africa” as it slogan dictates. This is achievable through its flyer program known as ”Flying Blue” and its subsidiaries in the African Cargo Handling Limited, Precision Air, and Kenya Airfreight Handling Limited.
KQ promotes major businesses in the country; for instance, flying in tourists coming to see Kenyan wildlife and practice ecotourism (Weaver 2001). It markets Kenya as a tourist attraction and targets to transport these tourists from their home countries to Kenya to sample a taste of Kenya natural lifestyle and then return to their home countries. It also uses some scenes from geographic captions of the Kenyan wildlife such as the wildebeests’ migration to the Maasai Mara National Park in July; the Jumbo elephants found in Tsavo National Park, and the remainder of the big five wild animals found in Kenya, i.e. the lions, the cheaters, the leopards and the buffalos. Eventually, this helps KQ to keep its airplanes full and its flight schedule busy throughout the year (Silber & Kearny 2009).
E-commerce is a new baby of globalization. Many multinationals employ it to keep at pace with the rapid changes of tides in the business world. This encompasses the use of the latest technologies and applications to enhance the business performance and facilitate the growth. Tesco has incorporated e-commerce into its operations; and the results are the tremendous growth and expansion. It applies some creativity and innovation in its operations to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency. For example, it was one of the first stores to use self-service tills and cameras in order to reduce the queues at their stores. Here, shoppers spend lesser time while purchasing their products, thus, they get free time to engage into other meaningful activities.
Tesco also hosts a website that is accessible from any corner of the globe via the internet. Customers can access the information on products and services, their prices and points of sale, which the company posts on the website. This enables them to make an informed purchase. Tesco also conducts an online shopping program. Under this program, shoppers can purchase their desired products online, i.e. window shops, select, purchase and pay through the internet without necessarily having to physically visit the store. The stores then task themselves on a speedy delivery of all the orders made from their stock by online buyers to their doorsteps or the preferred premises (Khosrow 2002).
Tesco draws vast revenues from its numerous and diverse holdings. These holdings include Petrol Stations, Telecoms, Photo Shops, Tesco Tech Support, Gold Exchange, Technika, Record Label, Filmmaking, Video-On-Demand, Tesco Tyres and Your Beauty Salon. All these holdings are in both their local home market of the United Kingdom and in their foreign branches like the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and the USA. This variety of services located in different parts of the world helps the company to swim through the waves of globalization. The technology has enabled automation of all these holdings; thus, the access is free and worldwide. The headquarters can monitor and evaluate the performance of these stores easily. To this line, Tesco launched a range of Tesco Venture Brands in the year 2011. Subsequently, in the following year of 2012, it re-launched as Tesco everyday Value. This came along with new recipes and packaging. This has helped Tesco to rebrand itself and stamp its relevance in the market. It has developed new stores, that is: the Tesco Stores Ltd, which was a subsidiary of the Tesco PLC in the UK. This subsidiary has six divisions differentiated in size and range of the products sold. They include Tesco Extra, Tesco Superstores, Tesco Metro, Tesco Express, Tesco One Stop, Tesco Home plus and Tesco Dobbies. This captures and retains customers at Tesco (Varley 2006), making Tesco a leading player in the market and staying ahead of any competition.
The government of Kenya usually influences on the operations and day-to-day undertakings at KQ. This is because KQ is a national carrier in Kenya, and, thus, carries the good image and pride of Kenya to all corners of the continent through the sky. The most recent government intervention into the affairs of KQ was when the company had adapted a retrenchment orientation strategy and laid off about 600 of its union sable workers in an effort to cut down the cost of operations. They hiked by the increasing fuel costs and dwindling returns on investments. The Kenyan parliamentary committee on transport and the judicial courts have intervened in the matter and compelled the KQ to return workers to their positions.
However, this move did not go down well with its investors, shareholders and other company stakeholders, since it diminished their returns on investment. Even the Kenyan Association of Manufacturers (KAM) backed KQ’s move to lay off the workers in order to reduce its operational costs and work out a private compensation mode of its settlement instead of returning them to their posts. KQ has strategized a plan in a drive to keep both parties contended and meet all their demands, to improve its services, increase its number of fleet aircrafts from 39 to 130, and increase its flight destinations. This is an effort to increase its revenues and counter the high operational costs. KQ targets to become a leading airline in Africa. This is through its ”10 - Years Project Mawingu strategic plan” (Amason 2011).
Due to the huge nature of this investment, private investors and other interested stakeholders have got an invitation to invest and be part of the airline dream through the rights’ issue and investors’ guide. By increasing their fleet, the company seeks to increase the number of flight destinations and cancel those routes that are less profitable. It will be able then to meet all the demands of its stakeholders, its employees, shareholders, the government, the investors and the passengers. It will also enable KQ to stay ahead of competition, both locally and internationally. Local competition comes from the Jet Link and Fly 540 airlines, while international competition comes from the British Airways, Fly Emirates, Qatar Airlines and the neighboring Ugandan Air.
Service is an intangible economic activity; thus, it cannot result to ownership, neither is it storable. The consumption or the use of any service occurs at the point of sale. Services form one-half of the two key economics’ components, with the goods being the other half. The types of services include a transfer of goods, for example, delivering the mail through the postal service and use the experience and expertise as for doctors, nurses, teachers and pilots. The service concept is what defines what and the how of the service design and helps in mediating between the organization’s strategic intent and customer needs.
The service concept helps to enhance a variety of processes in service design such as the service recovery design and service design planning processes. This also helps to achieve the goals and objectives of the service definition. The process of service definition is a key in service management as it enables both the service provider and the consumer to know what not to expect and what to expect from the service. This clear definition of services enables customers to have a better understanding of service offerings, including what each service does not or does include some service limitations, eligibility, the costs, how to get help, and how to request services.
A service identifies the internal processes that are necessary in providing and supporting the service when defined properly. All consumer-facing services must have a high-level definition, i.e. what the service is and how to get it. How do you use the service? How do you get help? How much the services cost, i.e. the service pricing and costing. Consumer services need to exceed their expectations by creating a sense of satisfaction and a feeling of goodwill towards the organization. This, in return, encourages them to develop some positive perceptions and to return to the company for more services, i.e. creating the customer loyalty, as they gain confidence and develop trust into the brand (Halder, Kapoor & Paul 2011).
The service concept at Tesco is to provide the quality retail services to their customers at the point that is most convenient to them. Retail business is very tricky in that a consumer only decides to shop at a particular store because of the satisfaction they have derived from the said store. Thus, Tesco strives to satisfy their customers properly and even go an extra way to make them feel at home while shopping at their stores and retail outlets. This is by developing numerous branches around consumers where they can easily access their services, operating in a 24-hours’ economy schedule (Londhe 2006).
Therefore, creating the convenience for shoppers, especially those spending their entire day at their places of work, thus, do not have the time to shop during a day. Providing a variety of goods and services under one roof, making it a one-stop shopping complex whereby shoppers can get all the products they need at one place. It makes this all even more attractive to customers. Diversification of its services and products makes it as a major provider of consumer needs and wants, thus, a wider market for them.
Apart from retail, Tesco is also into banking, petrol stations, telecoms, and groceries. This helps it to serve consumers in a wider range, thus, developing a good impression among them. The quality of goods and services offered at Tesco also attracts loads of customers to their store, especially the quality of their groceries. They achieve this by employing the best distribution channels within the countries in which they operate to ensure their groceries are being fresh, in a good condition, and of the best quality. The automation of Tesco’s services goes a long way in developing its service concept. Tesco has a website where it can conduct online advertising, e-marketing, e-commerce, and video conferencing. This all happens thanks to automation of its services. Shoppers can now log into their websites and search for the products they need within Tesco stores and even purchase them through the online shopping. Automation introduces efficiency and safety in a service delivery at Tesco stores and outlets. This was done through security cameras to watch out for shoplifters, self-service at the point of sales and online billing. Thus, by clearly defining its services and developing an effective service design, Tesco now scales the heights of retail marketing with the branches and shops located in over 14 countries all over the world.
KQ’s service concept is a leading airline services provider in Africa. This is by providing the most affordable, reliable, and convenient air transport services for both passengers and cargo throughout the globe. KQ seeks to achieve this by increasing its flight traffic through the increase in the number of aircrafts and an increase in flight destinations. This alone, however, will not work to KQ’s advantage, since the phrase ”Build It and They Will Come Maxim” does not always hold (Drejer 2002). Therefore, KQ plans to improve its in-flight service delivery so that it can satisfy maximally all the desires of its customers before the flight, during the flight, and after the flight. This will make them trust the airline and build loyalty towards it, thus, continued the use of the airline’s services. Some of the support services that KQ offers to its passengers are the medical insurance from a contracted medical insurance company, a travel insurance, for example, the Heritage Insurance Company, chauffer driven limousines for executive clients and taxi booking for ordinary clients, hotel bookings and flight meals and drinks.
KQ runs a pilot training program where it trains its own pilots so that they can handle the increased fleet of aircrafts and subsequently the increased number of flights. It also has a ”Pride Center” where it trains airhostesses in the best ways to attend to its passengers, while being on a board. It makes sure it has an elite team of cabin crews attending to its passengers at all cost.
Good service delivery alone does not guarantee the brand loyalty, especially if the flight frequencies and flight timings are not reliable. Thus, KQ struggles to stick to its departure and arrival times of its flights, adhere to its stated destinations and routes in order to keep the customers satisfied and in time with the engagements unless under unavoidable circumstances. In this case, it makes sure it informs the concerned parties of changes or delays beforehand to eliminate any grapples and dissatisfaction. The IT further has enhanced the service delivery at KQ whereby passengers can now book tickets online and pay for them via their VISA cards or mobile money transfer services available in Kenya. They include such as M-pesa from Safaricom, Airtel Money from Airtel, Orange Money from Orange Telkom, and YuCash from Yu. This makes KQ a very reliable and trustworthy transport partner that the customers can bank upon their travel solutions.
Customer experience describes the relationship that a customer has with a given business. It refers to all the experiences that the customer has with the business, based on thoughts about it and on all their interactions. This is an integral part of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM). It is also important to businesses since customers with the positive experience towards the company are more likely to become their loyal customers through repeat visits. This being the sum in total of all experiences a customer has with the supplier of services and goods. It, therefore, entails advocacy, cultivation, use, purchase, interaction, attraction, discovery and awareness over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. For the company to create a superior customer experience it has to understand the customers’ point of view, for instance, what is really like to be your customer? What is the day-in, day-out customer experience your company is delivering? How does it feel to wait and hold on the phone? The strategy of the Customer Experience Management focuses on the processes and operations of the business around the individual customer needs.
Companies now focus on this since price differentiation is no longer sustainable with the commoditization of products. As such, consumers demand more from companies. This is why, for example, communication service providers such as wireless, wire line, satellite and broadband are now focusing on the superior customer experience delivery. However, this is a very complex and costly process. Building superior customer experiences involves a strategy formulation, orchestrating business modes, the integration of technology, the CEO commitment and brand management. For example, between 1087 and 1998, Starbucks had spent US $ 10 million on advertising. This had grown its customer clientele positively. It had to build over 200 new stores to accommodate the growth in sales. Its popularity based on customer experience and drove them to recommend Starbucks highly to their friends and families.
To understand the customer experience, the company has to recognize from the start that it provides the customer experience whether consciously or unconsciously. However, companies cannot fully control customer experience since experience inevitably involves emotions, perceptions and unexpected behavior from customers. It is, therefore, not magic for the company to provide the great customer experience. It can begin in a systematic procedure to build up an understanding of existing customer experience and identifying the ways in which to improve it. These steps include a customer journey, touch points and ecosystems. The customer journey is a fundamental knowledge piece that the company has to understand thoroughly as the customers take the journey with your company. Touch points include websites, products, call centers and advertising. Ecosystems open up new possibilities for customer journeys and experiences better than isolated touch points, especially the integrated ecosystems of software, products and services (DuJulius 2011).
Tesco’s consumer experience bases on its new move to replace the automation with workers by employing about 20,000 employees in the service-marketing department in order to boost their customers’ service delivery. This, in turn, boosts its reputation as it creates the employment for many unemployed youths in the United Kingdom. Customer experience also goes a notch higher as they get some personalized services from customer service attendants who are friendly and willing to assist them. Their previous lack of customer focus by emphasizing on automation as a cost cutting measure has caused it a massive drop in its profits. Therefore, this new move comes with wide expectations and hopes to improve its sales. The development and advances made in touch point has enabled customers to interact easily in the digital world. This is with the aid of smart phones whereby they can tweet, send emails, watch video, post photos to Pinterest and use the Facebook.
Tesco utilizes the avenue to create a positive customer experience by making it products and services easily accessible through online applications, social networks and social media marketing. They also provide a feedback system whereby customers ask questions about Tesco, about their goods and services they offer, and they get the answers immediately. This fast response to customers’ concerns makes them develop trust and confidence in their brand (Smith & Wheeler 2002). Tesco had a bid to become the number one retail store without necessarily increasing its number of stores made it develop smart touch points. This is because the today’s consumers have become smart and time-starved. Hence, they require what they want, when they want it, and where they want it. Thus, Tesco has launched a radical but simple innovation that aimed at bringing the store closer to people. It has set up virtual grocery stores in metro stations and subways. This has enabled shoppers to literally shop for groceries while waiting for their train, without paying a visit to the brick-and-mortar store. These virtual grocery stores feature larger-than-life photos of stocked grocery shelves with popular household staples and products organized similarly to a traditional grocery store. Shoppers simply scan the codes for the items they want using their smart phones and dropping them into a virtual shopping cart for the delivery to their doorsteps shortly after they have arrived home. These virtual stores save Tesco customers’ valuable time.
Online shopping has increased in Tesco stores and other retail outlets by 130%. This has propelled Tesco to be the number one online solutions retail store. This has closed the offline gap with E-mart dramatically. This is Tesco’s journey in to m-commerce, m standing for a mobile. This makes Tesco make a major turnaround to increase its sales and consolidate its markets. Other processes that enabled it to create a positive perspective among customers is by ensuring the consistency across multiple channels, evaluating the customers’ journey to improve their experiences and leveraging the customer feedback to drive operational improvements.
Kenya Airways is the leading airline in Africa and the first to undergo the successful privatization in the continent. It had been serving to 25 cities in three different continents by 2005. This, however, did not evolve its on-board brand experience in line with its growth. Thus, it has failed to capture truly the quality and the spirit of the service. Thus, to create the positive customer experience and improve on its service delivery, KQ tasked itself with the concept of creating a revitalized passenger experience. This included staff uniforms, cabin interiors, and all on-board packaging and communication. KQ has developed its existing identity and created a richer and more engaging customer journeys, inspire by the rich natural heritage and culture in Kenya and based on the idea of authenticity. KQ as ”The Pride of Africa” has focused on the mind, body and soul of passengers during travel to ensure they had they had the same feeling, appropriate for the airline from the country with the rich cultural and historical setting. It has established the livery and built equity on existing logo to define clearly and distinctively the direction for the entire customer experience. It has developed a strategy of using the African produce and ingredients in its authentic food offer. This, in turn, reinforced and extended the Kenyan experience to a wider audience. The quality of catering offered in both the first and second class reflected their sophisticated menus and packaging. They have made customers feel comfortable while being on-board by designing a new amenity kit that was complete with the elegant packaging for the high quality African products. This was based on the idea of well-being and health and reflected on the unique culture of Kenya and the airline.
Time well spent by a passenger while being on board revitalized by the new in-flight magazines, which encapsulated the core brand proposition of ‘mind, body and soul’. Meanwhile, at the same time, it has promoted the contemporary African culture. KQ has an outline offer through its website, which usually is the first contact a passenger has with the airline. Thus, the online experience is as important as the on-board experience. A captive audience for passengers while on-board helps them to grow their confidence to the airline. The environment and items around passengers are very important due to the restricted space within an aircraft. Thus, KQ has designed a contemporary on-board experience. They have used some tactile materials to emphasize the natural heritage of Kenya. They also have used stylish uniforms for their employees, which empowered and helped them to communicate to passengers the pride within Kenya Airways (Dahlen, Lauge & Smith 2010). This is what puts Kenya Airways on the map of leading airline services in Africa and the world, at large, commanding the market share and influence across all corners of the globe
Service delivery systems are the new tools that support a new and more balanced approach to the service delivery. The service delivery system is a method of bridging what was the missing link between the inside-out approach with design of efficient processes, operational environments, and outside-in approach with design of service experiences. The company can measure its service delivery system using seven dimensions. These dimensions are new services and products, customer participation, company operations layout, levels of standardization, push/pull orientation, human resource specialization, and the use of the Information Technology (IT). Thus, companies have to manage the service delivery systems so that they ensure they are offering the best and satisfactory services to their customers, thereby developing their trust and brand loyalty.
The benefits accruing from proper management of service delivery systems are the creation and implementation of winning business development strategies tailored to the service sectors. The company also acquires an internationally leading service organization managerial toolbox. It delivers differentiated value propositions, which reduce the costs by investing in services truly valued by customers. It creates the understanding of what it takes to cultivate and manage a high value relationship. By creating the understanding of the true nature of products’ service delivery, the company discovers what is scalable and what is not. Thus, they revisit the design of the organization and choose the intensity of client interaction. Management of service delivery systems brings relevance to the service industry by being sector specific. It also leads to insight by offering internationally leading service faculty, cases and peers. Finally, it creates a deep impact by delivering what likely is the deepest kind of a real-life sponsor of the company’s projects and participation learning (Birley, Rosenberg &Spinelli 2004).
The service delivery employed by Tesco is online and allows customers to shop for Tesco goods online. They can access Tesco’s website, choose the items that they want to buy, and then pay for them. They also specify their addresses. Then, the retail store delivers the goods to their doorsteps within a timeframe suitable to them. This is advantageous to both Tesco and their customers because it is more efficient for the customers. It reduces the overheads of the organization such as staff and wages. This has reduced cost means the reduced prices for customers in a long run. Furthermore, customers can browse easily the entire store’ goods in a short time. To eliminate any delays in the delivery of customers’ orders made through the e-grocery system, Tesco has developed a new system called Master. Master, which is now trailing in London, enables Tesco to identify the high traffic volumes along the routes taken to customers’ premises or homes and then informs them if their deliveries run late (Dennis & Harris 2008). Kenya Airways ranks as a three star airline in the product and service quality. This means it provides top-notch services for both passengers and cargo. KQ’s cargo handling has the excellent ground handling services and provides the modern, secure and spacious warehousing options to its customers. Its cargo center operates two air cargo-handling facilities at JKIA. These facilities assure the customers of their cargo’s security, efficiency in handling, advanced automation and proper document handling. Apart from the cargo handling, their passengers get a VIP treatment as they are a key to the airline’s success (Plunkett 2009).
Tesco currently has 4331 stores across 14 countries in the world; 2033 of them are being in the United Kingdom. These stores provide a large amount of food products, especially groceries and non-food products as well as retail services. It uses two main strategies to achieve its purposes, i.e. ”How Tesco Sells for Less” and the ”Steering Wheel”. The first one Tesco achieves it through selling more volumes though a wide range of products and services. It creates the economies of scale created by massive sales and mass production. Hence, it can reduce the prices and still competes for markets globally. The second one covers its four main areas, which are customers, finances, people and customers. Customers are very important to Tesco through their loyalty and trust. The employees create a friendly working team environment. Operations at Tesco compared to other stores like Walmart are cheaper. Its financial goal is to increase its sales and develop profits (Belda 2006). Through this, we discover that the significant operations at Tesco are the customer service delivery and satisfaction.
On the other hand, Kenya Airways strives to provide a positive travelling experience to its customers, i.e. passengers and cargo. For the passengers, they enjoy a friendly treatment, accommodation and understanding from the staff at KQ, right from the moment they book their tickets to the time they arrive at their destinations. This homely customer service makes them trust and build confidence towards the airline, thereby creating the brand loyalty. For the cargo, the efficient automated cargo handling services that ensure no cargo disappears while on transit, or spoils, or breaks, also develops confidence and trust in customers. These two generally boost the revenues of the company as the customers keep returning to the airline for its services (Kachru 2009).
Kenya Airways sells its quality services to customers at competitive global prices (Farole & Reis 2012). This stars from the online booking, to their call centers to their reception at the airport, their on-board service and a final departure. It also provides the passenger refunds if they are unable to make their flights according to the stipulated times. The use of the IT in operating and handling its business also helped KQ to boost the quality of its service delivery. On the other hand, Tesco ensures the quality of products it offers to their customers. With the launching of m-commerce, customers expect to receive their goods in time and in the right conditions as they were in the store, i.e. not stale, broken, or damaged while a delivery (Brown & Remenyl 2012).
The key similarity between Kenya Airways service delivery and that of Tesco retail stores is the use of the Information Technology. With the use of IT, both companies have automated their services and now provided their customers with the latest and most advanced quality services, for example, m-commerce by Tesco. This supports their virtual grocery, and online ticketing by Kenya Airways. This move saves their customers’ time, improves on their efficiency in a service delivery, creates the convenience to them and develops their trust in the company brands. The main difference between these two companies service delivery is the extent to which they automate their services. Tesco fully has automated its services to the extent of developing e-grocery and master for a faster goods delivery. However, Kenya Airways still maintains the use of qualified personnel to provide the personalized attention to their customers, for instance, the pilots, the airhostesses and the customer care.
This text is written by Nina Wong who is a writing editor at https://superbessay.com/