Having been around since 1964, Topshop Clothing Store has expanded to over 20 countries world wide. The clothing store that mostly deals with women's wear, has stores in Australia, Ireland, Ukraine, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, United States, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Poland, Philippines, Spain, Albania, Israel, Turkey, Bahrain and the United Kingdom where its headquarters are among other countries. The stores perform so well that the recent economic crisis did not have much impact as it had on other businesses. A store opened in New Zealand sold most of its sales before it was even opened (www.topshop.com).
This business deals with thousands of customers on a daily basis who are need of different services depending on the individual. The business is also involved in a lot of transactions even with other businesses and all these if not carefully handled, can cost a customer or worse still, customers.
The main aims of a business are to make profits, grow and invest. This is mostly achieved through the customers and so the customer is a very important person in a business (Hatch, 2007: p 18). Good customer service has majorly contributed to the growth of this business from a single store which was then known as Peter Robinson Top Shop in Sheffield to the now multiple stores distributed all over the world .
The London based store on Oxford Street is a very busy one. In fact, it is the world's largest store. It has a one hour tailoring service, salon candy/ sandwich bar and a nail bar. There are very many employees who ensure that all the customers in the store are catered so as to ensure customer satisfaction. The store also offers a one hour delivery service of ones goods as long up they have signed up and are also within the delivery radius. This has encouraged many customers to purchase at the stores especially for those who have other things to do apart from just shopping.
Though the store deals with many customers in a day (approximately 30,000 customers), I saw that it tries as much as possible to fasten the process of serving a customer. The clerks at the pay points are first and the other workers who are available really assist where a customer feels that they need help or they are unsure.
There is also a customer service department available where one enquires if they are not specifically buying anything so that the ones buying can be independently assisted. Though each business has its own flaws, the business has a better service process than most of the businesses in existence today and with fewer customers. This may be one of the many reasons that have kept the customers to be in such large numbers and to increase even more (Kiran 2010: p 270)
In terms of the services process, life at the store has been made easier as almost any worker (even the cleaners) can help one in areas that one can only be helped by specific people in some stores or businesses. A cleaner can tell one if a specific outfit suits well or not, not because it is something one can see, but because they go out of their way to ensure that all customers get what they deserve.
The store mostly deals with women's wear as mentioned earlier. This is mostly because women are known to be more fashion sensitive than the men and are more likely to spend more on clothes, shoes and accessories more than the men. The stores have the women's wear starting from the head down to the toes. For this reason, it has become a kind of a one stop shop where one gets in and comes out having completed all the shopping needed in terms of body wear. A nail bar, snack bar and a salon act as compliments to the products offered.
Women are known to wear more clothes than their counterparts the men but this has not become a challenge. The store offers from coats, sweaters and pullovers, jackets, dresses, skirts blouses, suits both trouser and skirt to inner wear and lingerie. Accessories such as belts, ribbons, scarves, bands, just to mention but a few, are also available. The product caters for people of all sizes and people with all kinds of tastes. The clothes are also stocked depending on the seasons. A tailoring service is also available so that any adjustments needed are made within an hour of ones request.
The prices of the products vary depending on the product and the quality. Most people can afford what is being sold although like in many cases, the higher earning people have their prices different from the middle and the lower earning people (Reid, 2010: p 50)
In addition, the products have been made by some of the top designers including Kate Moss, Stella Vine, Shiatzy Chen and many others. The collections in this store include designer wear from Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Topman, just to mention but a few. All these are done to ensure that the business gives its customers the best.
Steps taken to improve the service quality
A number of steps have been taken in order to improve the services delivered. Many extra workers are employed during the peak seasons especially during the change of a weather season, and the festive seasons e.g. Christmas. This is to ensure that the large numbers of customers are catered for and they go away satisfied (Kurtz, MacKenzie & Snow, 2009, pp. 295). The delivery services are also offered having more workers in that department in order to cater for the large number of orders. A customer care department/ desk have been put in place in order to cater for the enquiries. This has helped as not any worker is asked a question like in some smaller stores (Hernon, Whitman, 2001, pp. 10).
Their website (www.topshop.com) and their customer care numbers aide one in getting any required information including the products available, the ones on sale, latest arrivals and so on. These cater for very many people and avoid the rather long queues that might be found at the enquiries desk.
Each and every business has its own flaws and so this particular one is not an exception. Due to the large number of customers, the workers try to handle as many customers as possible which sometimes lead to the neglect of others. There are situations where one has to take more time before they are catered for which becomes annoying. This can be remedied by employing more permanent workers so as to comfortably cater for all the workers (Inghillerri, Solomon & Shilze, 2010, pp. 56)
The lines can be very busy at times so that one is always told that the number is busy. There are times when the number is simply not working. This can be very annoying especially when one is need of some urgent information. The best way to rectify these problems is by employing more customer care agents, instilling more lines and having regular checks so that the recorded numbers available go through (Cook, 2008, pp. 44)
The prices should be lowered a little so that more people can afford the products offered. Though men's wear available is also available, more of this wear should be stocked so that all gender can be catered for thus targeting more customers (Snow, Yenotvich, 2010, pp. 125).