The current state of the American economy has businesses across the country scrambling to find new ways to gain competitive advantages and improve their chances of survival. Companies large and small are facing tough times, and Grocery America is no exception. This large and well-known chain of retail grocery stores has been in business for nearly 25 years but now finds itself struggling to stay afloat. Currently the number five grocery retailer in the country, the company will have to find a way to climb to the lead position in its market to remain in business. By identifying the main problem for the company and preparing a plan for answering some basic research questions, Grocery America can begin its ascent toward reaching its goals through research and results analysis. Problem Statement
Grocery America competes in an industry where customers have many stores to choose from. A variety of factors draw customers in or deter them from shopping at a particular store and the goal of Grocery America is to determine what factor it can strengthen in order to gain the highest competitive advantage. The company has decided to focus on the competitive factor of customer service ratings, and now it faces the problem of deciding what areas of its customer service need improvement. Once these areas have been identified, the company will be on the road to making the changes needed in order to influence potential customers to choose Grocery America over all other options. Being the best at serving its customers is of highest importance to the company because it believes that excellent customer service will often take precedence over other competitive factor such as slight price difference, location, and selection. Having the best customer service will give Grocery America the competitive advantage it needs to survive in these hard economic times because the company believes that customer service is the prime deciding factor when a customer chooses their grocer. As evidence of the problem at hand past customer surveys, comments, and the input of employees (since each employee is also a customer of retail grocery), have been used to support Grocery America’s decision to focus on customer service. Stakeholders affected by the problem at hand do not just include the company itself, but also its employees, stockholders, customers, other grocers, and the community in general. Employees fear for their jobs during these times as Grocery America continues to struggle and unemployment rates rise. Not only do they fear their organization will fail, they fear not being able to find another job at all. Stockholders fear for the money they have invested in Grocery America and can only hope they recover some of what they have already lost. Customers have a vested interest in Grocery America’s survival as they would reap the benefits of the positive changes that are to be made. Conversely, other grocers hope for Grocery America to continue in its decline as it would lessen the competition and increase their market share. Lastly, the community is positively affected by the economic push retail grocery competition provides by stimulating growth. Research Questions
In order to solve the problem at hand Grocery America must conduct research that will help answer the following questions: 1.How do customers feel about the company’s current state of customer service? 2.What aspects of customer service can be improved in order to help make Grocery America the customer’s number one choice for grocery shopping? 3.Is Grocery America correct in assuming that customer service is the most influential factor in choosing a grocer? 4.What do customers appreciate about Grocery America that they do not find in other grocery stores? Primary and secondary data
Secondary data will be gathered from several sources and types. To start with, feedback will be requested from the employees at the store. In order to see what...