1. Physical layout - in the days when manufacturing dominated the UK economy the physical layout of production units such as factories was not very important to the end consumer because they never went inside the factory. However, today consumers typically come into contact with products in retail units - and they expect a high level of presentation in modern shops - e.g. record stores, clothes shops etc. Not only do they need to easily find their way around the store, but they also often expect a good standard or presentation. The importance of quality physical layout is important in a range of service providers, including: * Students going to college or university have far higher expectations about the quality of their accommodation and learning environment than in the past. As a result colleges and universities pay far more attention to creating attractive learning environments, student accommodation, shops, bars and other facilities.
* Air passengers expect attractive and stimulating environments, such as interesting departure lounges, with activities for young children etc.
* Hair dressing salons are expected to provide pleasant waiting areas, with attractive reading materials, access to coffee for customers, etc.
* Physical layout is not only relevant to stores, which we visit, but also to the layout and structure of virtual stores, and websites.
2. Provision of customer service - customer service lies at the heart of modern service industries. Customers are likely to be loyal to organisations that serve them well - from the way in which a telephone query is handled, to direct face-to-face interactions. Although the 'have a nice day' approach is a bit corny, it is certainly better than a couldn't care less approach to customer relations. Call centre staff and customer interfacing personnel are the front line troops of any organisation and therefore need to be thoroughly familiar with good customer relation's practice. 3....
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