Subway SupaCenta Manukau wanted to explore and research about the possible factors that are influencing the customer service satisfaction. The research report included the current trends and circumstances that may or may not affect the performance of the Subway SupaCenta.
The researcher did a pilot study to explore and examine the possible problems and factors that has adverse effects on the overall customer service satisfaction. After a preliminary study some general problems were found like communication among staff members and with the customers, unreliable suppliers, lack of motivation among staff members, cultural differences, wastage of food etc. All these problems lead to poor customer service and ends up with many customer complaints because the customers were not satisfied with the service provided by the staff members.
After a thorough study, author identifies the main problem as lack of motivation in staff members. Author used quantitative as well as qualitative techniques to investigate more about these problems. The author used many methods to research about all the problems. The main techniques used by the author are document analysis, questionnaires, observations, interviews.
Document analysis provides a lot more information about the working schedules, operations manual and sales. The author was able to work on these documents to analyze the current situation. Questionnaires were used to get the information from customers. Interviews were conducted with manager and assistant manager to get more information from top level.
So the overall problem identification research was conducted with the use of various techniques and methods and various management theories were used in the whole process. In the end conclusions were drawn based on the findings and relevant recommendations were provided.
Subway SupaCenta is a fast food restaurant located in SupaCenta in Manukau. Subway is very popular because of the healthy food products. It is growing rapidly in the country and whole world. It is famous for the fresh food products made in front of the customers with a quick and friendly customer service. Subway is in a high demand for health conscious people. At the time of this high demand among people, Subway is struggling because of various internal and external problems that trigger the poor customer service. The author selected this organization to examine the issues and factors that create the problems and affect the overall performance. This investigation examines the administration, management and staff level factors that cause adverse effects on the overall organization performance.
The Business Problem
The business problem is identified as lack of motivation among the staff members which cause the poor customer service. All the other problems like communication, wastage of food, cultural differences are interlinked with the motivation problem and organizational structure. This business problem involves the organization culture, routine work, management etc.
(Poor Customer Service)
Wastage of Food
Shortage of Staff
Figure 1. Factors affecting Customer Service
This research is completed by answering the below given questions. These questions are suitable and relevant to the organization and identified problem. There is a huge opportunity to investigate and find out the possible solutions and recommendations:
What are the organizational factors that influence the performance of the staff members?
What are the process factors which contribute to the customer service?
What are the motivation problems in the Subway SupaCenta?
What people factors influence the customer service at Subway SupaCenta?
The Value of Research
The research is adequate and relevant for the organization to examine and improve the customer service satisfaction. This valuable investigation report presents the current organization procedure and policies, culture, trends and provides the possible recommendations for both internal and external factors. This research will provide the current scenario of the organization which will help the management to put extra efforts where needed. The researcher focused on all the aspects of lack of motivation which could lead to poor customer service. The author provided a clear picture of the aspects affecting the performance using various techniques and analysis. To achieve the organizational goals, management have to deal with these aspects to maximize the productivity and increase the performance. This will bring effectiveness and efficiency in the organization.
The Aim and Purpose
The aim of this research study is to provide the possible recommendations for the problems in Subway SupaCenta that are identified at earlier stage of this research project. The author provided the possible aspects that trigger the poor customer service which is generated by lack of motivation. Lack of motivation covers current culture, system, management, policies and procedures. The purpose of the study is to improve the customer service satisfaction by motivating the staff members. The purpose includes the possible policy implementations to achieve the desired overall performance. To improve the service, achieve the aim and fulfil the purpose, this research study tries to answer some questions:
What are the possible factors affecting the customer service?
Why staff members are unmotivated?
When there is a need for extra efforts?
Who should motivate the staff members?
How the staff members will be motivated?
Figure 2. Customer service in Action
The Author used qualitative as well as quantitative research instruments to investigate thoroughly about the identified business problem. These instruments provide the logical and analytical information about the current situation. In this research report, author used the below given research instruments:
1. Document Analysis
The methodology and research instruments used in this research report are quite relevant to find out the problem factors and other things that influence the customer service satisfaction.
1. Document Analysis
The author was able to do document analysis of company documents. In document analysis, the author research and examine the company sales figures, company operations manual, rosters, company pamphlets etc. Document analysis is very useful resource to examine the company strengths, weaknesses, and also the opportunities with possible threats. Official documents like sales figures were used to check when the company is making huge sales or when its sales are going down. Rosters were also analyzed to check that who is doing the specific shifts and if there is any biasing in the rosters etc. Operations manual of the company was also analyzed to check if the company is doing good and in the proper way as they described or not.
Questionnaire was used in this research project. Author asked for permission from the store manager of Subway before using this method. After getting the approval from manager author used the questionnaire to collect the qualitative data. Two different questionnaires were prepared for staff and customers. The questionnaire was given to 4 staff members and 8 customers. The researcher especially used this method to collect information from the operational environment. The author uses the technique in a very honest way and didn’t try to alter the information in any form. The questionnaires are given as appendix at the end of the report.
The researcher used this method to explore the natural scene without any biased assumptions. The permission was taken from the manager to perform this action and he approved it. Observation helps to bring the natural activity. It gives the opportunity to examine the whole process at the level of the subject. This method helped the author to achieve a personal experience with high understanding. Observation was very helpful to get information about staff-customer relationships and also the relationships among all the staff members which shows that how they are coordinating with each other to accomplish their duties.
Author used the interview as a technique for this research project. It is very useful to collect qualitative information through formal interviews. The researcher interviewed the manager and assistant manger. In this process, the researcher was very honest and didn’t use any emotive language or biased opinion to influence the interviewee. The unstructured interview is best to use when the researcher has general ideas about the topic. Author asked the permission from the manager and assistant manager to conduct the interview. After the final approval, the author prepared the questions for interview. The author was careful while preparing the interview questions so that there are no suggestive or aggressive questions that may offend some people. Author aims to be natural at the time of interview and not the person with some special role or powers. The interview questions are given as appendix at the end of the report.
Strengths and Limitations of the Study
There are many strengths and limitations to this study. These are given below:
This study helps to analyze the verbal and non-verbal behaviour of staff members and customers to understand the exact situation.
It helps to portray perspectives and pass on the feelings and experiences.
It helps to find out the existing problems with the factors that affect the working environment.
It provides the useful recommendations for the management to improve the customer service in store.
Time frame for the study was limited. It took more time to research and analyze as compared to the schedule.
Qualitative study is often criticised as being biased, time consuming and useless.
Lack of precision is another limitation of this study because in some cases the author may try to use their own views or biasing which could lead to wrong results.
Qualitative also lacks any statistical data values which look more promising and real.
The author used the Fish-bone analysis to examine the problems that causes the customer dissatisfaction. This analysis provides a clear picture of what are the key problems that cause the main big problem. This is very suitable problem solving technique because it covers all the aspects of causes that contribute to the big problem. It is very important to explore all the possible causes before starting to solve the problem. A diagram for the Cause and Effect problem solving technique is given below:
Figure 3. Fish-Bone Analysis
Possible causes as given above in the starting of the report that contribute to the poor customer service are lack of communication, lack of knowledge, wastage of food, lack of power. All these problems arise due to the motivation problem. Employees are not motivated and they don’t feel themselves as a part of the store. So if they are not motivated they will try to avoid their responsibilities and will not like to work effectively.
The given management theory is relevant for the identified business problem of lack of motivation in customer service among staff members. It is reasonably feasible and relevant to the company because the aim of the company is to provide quality food products with great service. If the customer service in the company is not up to the standards, it will affect the productivity and company will loose the profits. Lack of motivation can led to various problems like wastage of food, misbehave with customers, negative work environment etc. So the fish-bone analysis provides a clearer picture of what is actually happening in store. So this method is quite relevant and feasible to the given problem and will provide relevant results to improve the service and productivity of the store.
Results and Discussion
1. Document Analysis
The author used the document analysis technique to find out the reasons of problems related to the poor customer service. Staff was not feeling motivated because there are too many problems in store that lead to poor customer satisfaction. The author used the documents like rosters and Subway operations manual to find out what is main reason behind their low motivation. The author checked the roster of 4 weeks to find out how the staff members are getting hours. The roster was mainly analyzed for 4 staff members on an average to find out the result.
Figure 4. Staff hours for four Weeks
So the above graph shows that there is a huge difference of shifts between staff members. So some staff members getting more hours that the others that affects their performance. Here in this case Aashish is getting more hours than other staff members whereas Wini is doing an average hours but other staff members are getting less hours.
The above graph represents that there is a case of biasing in giving staff hours among staff members. The staff members that are getting more hours will be more motivated than other staff members. The employee that gets less hours will feel dissatisfied and will not like to work honestly, efficiently and up-to his best possible efforts. They will not feel valued and will try to avoid their responsibilities which could lead to poor communication, poor customer service and overall poor performance.
The author also used the Subway operations manual which discusses about the motivation among staff members. It describes that management should motivate staff members as much as possible to get the best out of them. If the employees are motivated they will feel valued and will work honestly and effectively to get the best results which will increase their productivity and service performance.
The author used the questionnaires to collect the qualitative information from the customers and staff members to find out the possible reasons and factors that affect the performance of the employees. The author provided two different questionnaires for staff and customers.
Staff Questionnaire Answer
Figure 5. Questionnaire response from Staff
The results of the questionnaire shows that the employees are not satisfied with their job. They don’t like the management, the salary or fairness towards all the staff members. It shows that they are not motivated and feels unhappy when performing their jobs. This whole process affects their performance which in turn decreases the productivity and customer satisfaction.
Figure 6. Questionnaire Response from Customers
The customer questionnaire shows that there is big percentage of customers that are not dissatisfied with the customer service of the store. They feel de-motivated and don’t like to visit the store again. Store is doing well in terms of sales because of its location but the service performance level is going down which is a big problem for the business.
The author used observation technique to collect the qualitative data. The results of observation provide a quite big picture which shows the problem factors. This technique provides enough information about the contributing factors and their percentage. To observe the current situation of the store, the author visited the store 4 times in 2 weeks to get the multiple results. For two days author visited the store in the lunch time and for other two days he visited the store in evening just before the dinner time.
Figure 7. Observation Results.
So the above graph represents that there are too many problems in store that contribute to the poor customer service. Employees lacks in communication. They try to avoid customers which bring the negative feedback from customer. Employees are not trained properly and they have less knowledge about the nutritional facts of the sandwiches which is another big problem. If some customer asked for some information, the staff members are unable to provide the up to date information to that related topic. So the above graph shows that communication is the biggest problem in this store. They need to improve the communication skills to improve the overall productivity of the staff. According to the Subway operations manual, the staff members should be aware of everything that they selling so proper training is needed to improve the service
All the above given factors are a result of the lack of motivation. These factors are influenced by the motivation factor. If the staff members are not motivated then they will not show willingness to learn new things and get the training about the proper policy and procedures.
The author conducted two different interviews with store manager and assistant manager. Formal permission was taken from the manager before interview. The interview shows that the manager has the full control over the store management and employees. He likes the authoritarian approach in store. The interview questions and answers are provided in the appendices. The results of the interview with the manager represent him as an autocratic leader which makes it difficult for other employees to talk to him if they need. The results are shown as a chart below:
Figure 8. Interview Results from Manager.
After conducting the interview with store manager author also conducted a second interview with assistant manager. The interview statistics shows that the assistant manager is very democratic person. He loves to talk to employees and get their comments to improve the service. But he got fewer powers than store manager so in some cases he feels helpless to do some specific activity.
Figure 9. Interview results from Assistant Manager.
So the above graph represents that he is a democratic leader which loves to talk to employees to solve problem, improve performance and improve the overall productivity and efficiency.
A List of Possible Solutions and their Consequences
There are a lot of possible solutions that are useful to solve the problems of this store. A list of possible solutions and consequences is given below in a table format.
More training to staff members.
Management need to spend more money.
Delegation of Powers.
Management need to divide authority powers & should provide more responsibilities and power to assistant manager.
Benefits and Allowances.
Management need to spend more money
Management should set the standard to provide a fair opportunity for everyone. So everyone should be treated equally and should get equal opportunities.
Management should provide education about customer service and provide courses through Subway University.
Table 1. A List of Possible Solutions and their Consequences
McGregor’s XY Management Theory
The author used the McGregor’s XY Theory of management to examine and analyze the problems in Subway SupaCenta store. McGregor’s XY theory helps to improve the organizational cultural and development. McGregor provide fundamental approach to manage the people and businesses. This theory provides two sub theories X and Y. Some managers use theory X which is mainly authoritarian management style and some manager use theory Y which is more democratic and participative kind of management style.
Figure 10. McGregor’s Theory X & Y
The management theory used in this research project is very relevant to analyze the situations in Subway. This provides the information about current management style in store and the effects of the particular management style. This theory recommends that the people can perform better if they are motivated properly by the top management. Encouraging the participation brings the motivation in employees. This theory explains that the people are not lazy by nature but if they get a right amount of motivation then they can bring the best out of them. Theory Y encourages team work, removing obstacles, providing the guidance to increase the productivity and growth. These techniques will help the organization to match the goal of the employees with organizational goals. Theory X and Theory Y are quite different from each other. Theory X is more conservative, authoritarian, rigid and static but theory Y is more flexible, dynamic and progressive with a feeling of optimism. This theory encourages self-direction and integration of goals.
The given management XY management theory is quite relevant to the business problem. Theory X is related to more autocratic style of leadership and Theory Y is more related to democratic style. So it is quite helpful for the above given problems. It will help to find the problems and provide the relevant solutions.
Evidence of Original Research
The whole research process was original and personally performed by the author. He conducted interviews, provide questionnaires and observe the situation in store personally. For the evidence, there are questionnaires, interview questions and answers are given in the appendices.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Conclusions: In the conclusion author provides the results of the whole research report. The author found out various problems in the Subway SupaCenta and was discussed in the first assignment. Out of all the problems, the author chooses one big problem as lack of motivation. These problems have further small problems that affect the overall performance. The results helped the author to get the conclusion of this report. In the conclusion, the author explains that the problem lack of motivation was the biggest problem in store. The employees are not motivated to work in the store which is the biggest problem. If the employees are not motivated they are not in a mood to listen what the manager is saying or what the customer wants. There are too many problems that affect the staff performance and overall customer service. The author used the qualitative techniques such as observation, interviews to find out the personal views of managers and customers and to observe the staff performance in store at various times. So in the end author defined the big problem (Lack of Motivation) with various sub-problems.
Lack of Fairness
Lack of Communication
Lack of Knowledge
Lack of Training
Conclusions are based on the original research conducted by the author. For the evidence, the author provided interview questions and customer satisfaction survey forms in the appendices.
The Henri Fayol’s Management Theory
The author used the Henri Fayol’s management theory to discuss the results, conclusions. Fayol’s provide 14 management principles which help the author to draw the conclusions and recommendations. These principles are given below:
Division of Work – Staff should be divided into department to increase the output.
Authority – Managers should use their powers with responsibility.
Discipline – Discipline is very important in the organization.
Unity of Command – Employees should have only one direct supervisor.
Unity of Direction – Employees with the similar objective should be working under one manager. This will increase the coordination.
Subordination of Individual Interests to the General Interest – The personal interests should be second and company’s interests should be first.
Remuneration – Employees should get a good remuneration for their performance.
Centralization – The employees should be close enough to the result-making authorities.
Scalar Chain – Staff members should be aware of their place in the company.
Order – Management should provide safe and clean working environment.
Equity – Managers should treat all the employees equally.
Stability of Tenure of Personnel – Managers needs to work on the employee turn over to increase the productivity at the same time increasing the performance.
Initiative – Employees should be able to perform some tasks by their own. This will increase their confidence. So managers should be using laissez-faire style for some level.
Esprit de Corps – Organizations should work hard to promote the team work and unity.
Recommendations: In the end, the author provides some recommendations to the management so that they work on it to improve the staff performance to overall increase the productivity. Recommendations are relevant, feasible and practical. Some of the recommendations are given below:
Training: Management should provide more training to the staff members to get the best out of them. Training will improve their knowledge.
Fairness: Staff should be treated equally with fairness. This will help them to feel attached to the company.
Improve Communication: The Communication problem was the biggest problem among employees. This will help them to be confident and they will be more friendly with the customers.
Delegation: Delegation of powers is another main factor that will help to divide the powers among employees. This will help them to feel more motivated and valued for the company.
Benefits to employees: Benefits are the biggest motivators for everyone. Management should set a standard that if the employees are working up to that standard then they will get some extra benefits and allowances.
Bigger Store: The management should try to get a bigger place for the store because some customers had given the feedback about that. So that will help to increase the sales.
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