1-Why is human resource management more important in retailing than in manufacturing firms?
2-Some retailers have specific employees (merchandise assistants) assigned to restock the shelves and maintain the appearance of the store. Other retailers have sales associates perform these tasks. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?
3-How can national retailers like Best Buy and Victoria’s Secret, which both use a centralized buying system, make sure that their buyers are aware of the local differences in consumer needs?
4-Assume that you’re starting a new restaurant that caters to college students and plan to use college students as servers. What human resource management problems would you expect to have? How would you build a strong organization culture in your restaurant to provide outstanding customer service?
5-What HR trends are helping meet employees’ needs, increase job satisfaction, and lower turnover?
6-What is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program? Describe one CRM that you have participated in as a customer.
7- Why do retailers want to determine the lifetime value of their customers? How does past customer behavior help retailers anticipate future customer retention?
8-Why are most frequent-shopper programs ineffective in terms of building loyalty? What can be done to make them more effective?
9- What are the different approaches retailers can use to identify customers by their transactions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?
10-How do on-the-job, Internet training, and classroom training differ? What are the benefits and limitations of each approach?
11-Many large department stores and specialty stores are changing their salespeople’s reward system from a traditional salary to a commission-based system. What problems can commission based systems cause? How can department managers avoid these problems?
12-Discuss how retailers can reduce shrinkage from shoplifting and employee theft.
13-Drugstore retailers, such as CVS, place diabetic test strips and perfume behind locked glass cabinets and nearly all over-the-counter medicines behind Plexiglas panels. These efforts are designed to deter theft. How do these security measures impact honest customers.
14-For each of these services, give an example of a retailer for which providing the service is critical to its success, then give an example of a retailer for which providing the service is not critical: (a) personal shoppers, (b) home delivery, (c) money-back guarantees, and (d) credit.
15-Review Retailing 18.2 about customer service at Zappos. How does Zappos create such a positive culture among its service personnel?
16- Consider a situation in which you received poor customer service in a retail store or from a customer service provider. Did you make the store’s management aware of your experience? Whom did you relay this experience to? Have you returned to this retailer? For each of these questions, explain why you did what you did.
17-How can retailers provide high quality personalized service? Use an ophthalmologist’s office that also sells eye glass frames and fills prescriptions for contact lenses as your example. How does this compare with the service provided with 1-800 CONTACTS online or in-store with their bricks and mortar partner, Walmart?