Employee commitment to customer service in South Africa
Retailing no longer involves just growth or expansion into new product, consumer segments or geographic areas. Organisations are now learning to shift their emphasis to managing under conditions of modest, zero or for some organisations, under negative growth. This is to a large extend has been the result of changing consumer behaviour, the emergence of new competitors, global economic recession, and rapid technological advances in the retailing industries. These pressures of business today make many people think that the only thing that counts is financial success, i.e. being the investor of choice. In successful organisations everyone's energy is focused on the "Triple bottom line" as the target. That is, if the organisation has been built the right way, it will be the Provider of Choice, Employer of Choice, and Investor of Choice. The leaders of these organisations believe that people, their customers and business partners are as important as their bottom line. These companies realise that profit is the applause you get for taking care of your customers and creating a motivated environment for your people. Despite its importance, this topic has been given little attention in the academic literature. In the case of retailing, services are designed more to augment the core offering or add value rather than represent the core offering itself? The limited and fragmented research on retail services focuses on specific areas such as quality issues and store image. Thus given this void in the literature, the bases of the study would be to approach retail services as a strategic perspective by focusing on the service orientation of a retailer's business strategy. If a retailer decides to strategically augment its products with services, it is essential that the retailer make this change systematically with a long-term orientation. The study would involve examining one level of service orientation, i.e. individual level. In this research stream, a service orientation is treated as a personality measure whereby certain people are more service orientated than others.
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