How to measure customer satisfaction? Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business. In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy.
Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting non-customers; measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the organization is at providing products and/or services to the marketplace.
(“Customer Satisfaction,” 2008) The usual measures of customer satisfaction involve a survey with a set of statements using a Likert Technique or scale. Likert Technique is a psychometric response scale often used in questionnaires, and is the most widely used scale in survey research.
The customer is asked to evaluate each statement and in term of their perception and expectation of performance of the organization being measured. (“Customer Satisfaction,” 2008) From the Build –A – Bear workshop case stated that their retailer had implanted an innovative Guest Satisfaction program that is tied to financial rewards for the Workshop managers.
They think that guest satisfaction increase is the best indicator of how truly successful it is. 2. Identify and discuss the role of technology in the service encounter. According to Fitzsimmons, J. A. , & Fitzsimmons, M. J. 2008) the role of technology in the service encounter are technology- free service encounter, technology- assisted service encounter, technology- facilitated service encounter, technology- mediated service encounter and technology- generated service encounter.
Figure 5. 1, (pg4) displays the five modes in detailed. The A mode is called technology- free service encounter, where the customer is in physical proximity to and interacts with a human service provider. This mode represents the traditional high- touch service that we experience at a hairdresser salon or chiropractor in which technology does not play a direct role.
Most personal care service falls into this category, along with some professional service such as law, consulting, and psychiatry. The B mode is called technology-assisted service encounter, because only the service provider has access to the technology to improve the quality of face- to- face service. A health care procedure such as an MRI scan or office visit to an optometrist falls into this mode. Traditionally, airline representatives used a computer terminal to check- in passengers, represented by mode B, but today passengers are encouraged to use check- in kiosks represented by mode E.
The C mode is called technology- facilitated service encounter, because both the customer and service provider have access to the same technology. For example, a financial planner in consultation with a client can refer to a financial model on a personal compute to illustrate projected returns for different risk profiles. The D mode, called technology- mediated service encounter, the customer and human service provider are not physically together and thus the service encounter no longer is the traditional face- to- face contact.
Communication is usually enabled by a telephone call to access service such as making a restaurant reservation or getting technical help from a distant call center. Consider, also, how clever use of remote monitoring using GPS (global positioning satellite) helps keeps track of the movements of parolees. Finally, in mode E, called technology- generated service encounter, the human service provider is replaced entirely with technology that allows the customer to self- service. This mode is becoming more common as firms attempt to reduce the costs of providing service.
Examples are ubiquitous- bank ATMs, checkout scanning, airport kiosks, and Website- based information sources. 3. What is the search attributes? Search attributes are those tangible characteristics that allow customers to determine and evaluate a product before purchasing it. Search attributes can help customers to understand and evaluate what they will receive in return for their money. Besides, the sense of uncertainty and perceived risk of the purchases also can be reduced. Search attributes are such as brand name, price, style, color, texture, taste, and sound.
All these attributes allow potential customers to try out the product like clothes, furniture, electronic equipment, and taste test the foods or even test drive a car before make any purchases. 4. What is the experience attributes? Experience attributes are those attributes that cannot be evaluated before purchase. It can be discerned, evaluated and experienced only after purchase or during consumption. Experience attributes are such as fun, emotion and entertainment value like vacations, live entertainment performances, sporting events, theme parks and restaurants. . What is database? A database is a structured collection of records or data in a computer which relies upon software to organize the storage of data. (Wikipedia, 2008) Database is organized so that it can easily be accessed, managed and updated rapidly for various uses. (SearchSQLServer. com, 2008) Computer databases typically contain aggregations of data records or files, such as sales transaction, product catalogs and inventories, and customer profiles. 6. What does it mean by strictly seasonal?
Strictly seasonal in the case refers to a particular store that offer or provide products and services occurring at or dependent on a particular season. This means those products and services of the store that being provided in this season will not be available in another season. The case mentioned that a toy store tend earn most of the profits only during a certain period such as holiday season. However Build-A-Bear Workshop manages to gain profits throughout the whole year. 7.
What is the meaning of the sentence ‘They also peak inventory at a different time from the traditional toy store’? The above sentence stated that Build-A-Bear Workshop is unlike other traditional toy stores in achieving the greatest demand of the guests. Usually, the highest level of sales attainable by a toy store is during the holiday season, but Build-A-Bear Workshop achieved their highest sales all over the year. This is because they did not provide products and services on a strictly seasonal basis; in fact they treat everyday as holidays. 8. What is demographic information?
Demographic refers to selected population characteristics as that used in government, marketing and opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research. demographic information that commonly used are such as race, age, income, disabilities, mobility, educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and location. (Wikipedia, 2008) 9. How important is store’s visual environment? Visual environment is the visual effect that aims to create a positive image for the retail store through the store design, for examples, lighting, and colors.
More and more retailer realizes the importance of store’s visual environment; as the competition of retail grow, a good design of visual environment not only provide comfortable environments to the customer, we also want to impress our customer as they entered the store, and create an atmosphere that customer will want to come again and again. Build-A-Bear Workshop highly visual environment which filled with teddy bear theme, is aim to let the guest build a lasting memory with their friends and family in this wonderful and fantasy special place. 10.
What is retail experience? A retail experience is the result of all of the touch points a retailer has with their customer including staff interaction, merchandise, product selection, signage, in-store marketing, branding, music, smells, and other elements. Focusing on the customer experience is the best opportunity for many retailers to create a point of differentiation and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. Customers who receive above average experiences are more likely to purchase, be a loyal customer, and recommend the retailer to family and friends.
Retailers have increasingly turned their attention to creating memorable retail experiences, For example, in 2001 Apple changed direction and initiated the retailing of experience offer through the Apple Store Experience. With the aim of switching customers to Apple (as well as enhancing the relationship with current consumers), the themed stores allow customers to interact, learn and experience the values of the brand through in-store design features and staff service. More importantly, rather than having products arranged via category (i. e. rinters, software, digital camera, iPods, monitors, cases, etc. ), merchandise is combined and arranged according to how consumers might use the equipment in their everyday life, thus seeking to locate the brand in realistic consumer settings. The aim of such experiential retail stores is to create outlets that capture and represent the brand’s essence, while balancing both the functional components of the product (what it does) with its emotional goals (how it makes me feel) (Pine & Gilmore 1999; Schmitt 2003). 11. What is experiential blueprint?
A blueprint is a photographic which is reproduced in white on a blue background, as of architectural or engineering plans. It also can be any exact or detailed plan or outline. When designing a blueprint, we need to have an experience on what a customer actually sees, smells, tastes, touches, and hears from their perspective. Experiential blueprint is one of the methods that we use for understanding the customer’s experiential perspective. According to Metters, Metters, & Pullman (2006), a basic process design tool from service blueprinting can be modified to evaluate experience design.
We can look at every experiential aspects or clues of the process and evaluate it for conformance to key themes, sensory impact, resource requirements, and improvement. For example, an experiential blueprint for a tourist arrival at a hotel would start with the airport transportation and proceed through all the steps until he is settled in his room. This type of blueprinting and clue design form is useful for designing new experiences so that the managers are aware of the importance of simple things such as lighting the candles in the lobby at night and changing the music to convey a different mood. 2. What is tracking system? A tracking system is a generally a system that renders virtual space to a human observer while tracking the observer’s body coordinates. A tracking system is to determine the location or direction of a target on a near to continuous basis. (Tracking Systems, n. d. ) An ideal tracking system keeps contact and updates the target’s bearing, range and elevation constantly. The output of the tracking system will be sent to a fire control system that stores the information and derives the target’s motion and its future position.
Furthermore, tracking systems not only provide an automatic target following feature but also determine the target’s position sufficiently and accurately. There are various type technologies being implemented within the tracking systems such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) which depending on how often the data is refreshed, bar-code systems which require a person to scan items, automatic identification (RFID auto-id), and so forth. 13. What is Customer Experience? Customer Experience can be defined as “the quality of the experience as apprehended by a customer resulting from direct or indirect contact with any touch point of a company”.
Customer experience is also the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. It can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction; the distinction is usually clear in context. In other words, the customer experience is the impression created on the customer as the results of contact with a company through any touch point, whether through marketing, branding, customer service, support, in-store experience, usage of a product, service or Web site, etc.
Customer experience in this broader sense also includes “User Experience”, which as the name suggests, is concerned with, and limited to, direct usage of a product. The quality of the customer experience at any touch point individually can affect the overall relationship a customer has with a company. For example, a customer with a very high opinion of a company and its products may have a complete turn-around after a negative post-sales service customer experience.
Or a company with an otherwise fine track record at many customer touch-points may create a negative experience through a poorly executed marketing communication piece or practice. 14. What are eight fun bear-making stations? Eight fun bear-making stations are Build-A-Bear Workshop’s stuffed animal-making assembly line; it concluded eight processes which are Choose Me, Stuff Me, Hear Me, Stitch Me, Fluff Me, Name Me, Dress Me, and Take Me Home. The entire process takes approximately 20 minutes; each station required guest to participate in order to create their furry friends, they will proceed to next stations after complete one and another.
Choose MeGuests are introduced to all the furry characters in the store and soon will become their new furry friends. Depending on seasons, there are 30-35 varieties of stuffed animals including bear, bunnies, dogs, cows, and even Beary limited™ edition collectible bear. Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffed animal price are affordable, ranging in price from $10-$25. Hear MeGuest can personalized their new furry friend from selecting several sounds and song, and placed inside their stuffed animal. Build-A-Sound, a recorded-your-own message sound chip is inserted during the stuffing process.
The pre-recorded sounds included giggles, yawns, bark, or other animal sounds, and messages like “I love you”, or song like” Let me call you sweetheart”. Stuff MeWith the help of Master Bear Builders, guest can give their bear a right amount of stuffing and give their bear a hug test. A very special process which is the Heart Stuff, each guest select their small satin bear’s heart, warm it in their palm or hands, make a special wish, and place the heart into the bear, it is a melting experience to everyone regardless their ages or gender, and the bond between the owner and the bear is secured.
Stitch MeThe last seam is neatly pulled shut in this process, before the closing, the Master Bear Builder associate insert a barcode, allowing it united with its owner if ever lost or return to Build-A-Bear Workshop. Thousands of furry friends have been united through Find-A-Bear ID tracking systems. Fluff MeGuest will give their furry friends an air bath, and brush the fur. It adds more fun to the process as the guests creating the final look for their bear, and to make their friends well groomed and perfectly huggable.
Name MeA computer will asked the guest a series of questions of their new friends, such as the bear name, and birth date, and prints a short storybook or birth certificate. Through its proprietary computerized naming system, Builds-A-Bear workshop has built a huge database and the extensive demographic information helps the retailer to serve its customer better. Dress MeGuest may dress their bear in the beary latest furry fashions. The bear apparel boutique features clothes and accessories for all occasions, clothing includes casual wear, formal wear, costumes, guest even can dress their bear like Batman.
There even have Pawsonal shoppers which will assist the guest to select the perfect outfits and accessories for their new friends. Build-A-Bear Workshop even has their own fashion experts Pawlette Courfur Fashion Advisor to the furry famous. Take Me HomeGuest concludes their bear-making process in this station, where they are given their customized birth certificates and a special But Stuff Club card to apply towards future purchases. Each new furry friend is then placed in their very own Cub Condo carrying case, which is designed as a handy travel carrier, also as a new home for their friend.
The Cub Condo has also become collectible. 2. 0 Current Scenario Build-A-Bear Workshop is an interactive entertainment stuffed animal retailers that marketing “make your own” stuffed animal especially teddy bear. With its unique and exceptional approach, teddy bear theme carried throughout the store, guest build memory with their friends and family in the highly visual environment store by sharing experience with the store employee in the each phase of bear-making process.
Build-A-Bear Workshop different from traditional toy store; its tradition is to introduce a New Limited item on the day after every holiday; customer is attracted to the store because of the newness and isn’t driven by discount. Guest participates in the bear-making process which consist 8 stations. At Choose Me, guest chooses their new furry friends. Proceed to Hear Me; guest personalized their bear with prerecorded sounds. At Stuff Me, employee help the guest to fill in right amount of stuffing, and give a hug test. It also consist a special process which is Heart Stuff. Stitch Me finalizes the technical part.
At Fluff Me, guest takes part in creating the final look of their bear. At Name Me, a computer will ask the guest to give their bear a name and date of birth, and all the bear entered the Find-A-Bear tracking system, and has build a huge extensive database. At Dress Me, guest chooses the apparel and accessories for their bear. Finally at Take ME Home, guests are given their bear customized birth certificates, and a Cub Condo as a carrying case. www. buildable. com is an online version of the store with interactive activities, it allow Build-A-Bear Workshop stay connected with their guests and communicate with them through email.
Build-A-Bear Workshop had implanted an innovative Guest Satisfaction program that rewards managers based on the satisfaction of customers. A store does not qualify for a sales bonus unless it reaches a minimum predetermined Guest Satisfaction scores which are reported weekly, it aim to increase the guest satisfaction. 3. 0 Answer to Questions 3. 1 Question 1. Utilizing the customer experience model of Pullman and Gross (2002), provide your comments pertaining to the guest experience at Build-A-Bear Workshop. Illustrate your answers with relevant examples.
Customer Experience model are divided into 3 components: engagement, context and time. In the engagement level of the experience Build-A-Bear Workshop uses Edutainment. Edutainment is a combination of playing and learning. Engagement component including get guests to stay/ return, make the experience to be fun, connect emotionally with customers, and increase thrill, surprise, or delight. Context refers to place where the customer consumes the service and everything that the customer interacts with in that setting. A Provider should design a setting in which the meaning of the experience is created in favorable way for individual customer.
Context is defined by six dominant elements: theme, learnable and usable, mutable, layout, sensory, and social interaction. Good experiences are hard to be copied and discourage switching. If all activities within the time frame of the experience are carefully orchestrated, they stay in the customer’s memory, but the customer must also discover ways to build on his or her experience with the organization. Management needs to consider three keys elements in relation to time: memorabilia, continuity, and dynamic. Engagement: Education and Entertainment Get guest to stay / return
The company currently operates more than 375 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including 321 company-owned stores in U. S. , Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. And 53 franchised retail stores in International locations – Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan and Thailand. Build-A-Bear Workshop are continually evaluating additional retail opportunities and expect to continue their expansion into other concepts and product lines in the future.
For example, in 2006, Build-A-Bear Workshop has opened their first store within a third-party restaurant concept, Build-A-Dino store under a licensing agreement with T-REX Cafe (owned by Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. ). In 2007, The Company added the Build-A- Dino concept to Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in two highly trafficked tourist locations, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and their flagship store in New York City. Also in 2007, the company has opened three Build-A-Bear Workshop stores within Rainforest Cafe restaurants, under a licensing agreement with Landry’s Restaurants, Inc.
As there are more Build-A-Bear Workshop outlets open in the market, guest always can easily go back to the store to purchase item. Make experience fun Build-A-Bear is one of the largest companies to offer an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. In Build-A-Bear Workshop’s stuffed animal-making assembly line, guest participate in the bear-making process with the Bear Builder associates, guests will select the furry animal they want to make, choose the sound the creature will utter and then stuff, stitch, fluff, name, and dress their new friends. The entire process takes approximately 20 minutes.
By building their own stuffed animal bears, kids can be creative, play, and experience joy and fun. Build-A-Bear Workshop offers a Build-A-Party program. This exclusive service allows Guests to plan and customize their own party with pre-selected animals, clothes and accessories. For birthday parties of six or more, the Guest of Honor receives a free gift, and all party Guests receive a party favor. Connect emotionally with customer Since the introduction of Build-A-Bear workshop On Tour in 2005, it has traveled more than 10,000 miles to reach Guests at various sporting and family entertainment venues across the country.
Build-A-Bear Workshop On Tour allows Guests to participate in the same bear-making process that can be found at any of the mall-based store locations. Like those stores, Guests of all ages will enjoy the highly visual environment, the cheerful sounds and the fantasy of Build-A-Bear Workshop, while creating memories with their family and friends throughout their entire experience. Through the tour, Build-A-Bear Workshop are connected to the guest in more initiative way. Increase thrill, surprise, delight
Build-A-Bear Workshop offers a Build-A-Party® program. This exclusive service allows Guests to plan and customize their own party with pre-selected animals, clothes and accessories. Context: Theme The teddy bear theme is carried throughout the store with original teddy bear fixtures, murals and artwork. Every guest who visit to Build-A-Bear Workshop stores enter a teddy bear themed environment that consisting of eight stuffed animal making stations: Choose Me, Hear Me, Stuff Me, Stitch Me, Fluff Me, Dress Me, Name Me, and Take Me Home.
To attract their target guests, Build-A-Bear Workshop have designed their stores to provide a “theme park” destination in the mall that is open and inviting with an entryway that spans the majority of their storefront and highly visual and colorful teddy bear themes and displays Guest will feel like enter a stuffed animal kingdom, and feel more enjoyable in the store. Learnable and usable Build-A-Bear Workshop has established their store as a place where children can have a hands-on experience, express their creativity and use heir imagination. Build-A-Bear Workshop offer an extensive and coordinated selection of merchandise including approximately 30 to 35 varieties of animals to be stuffed, as well as a wide variety of other clothing and accessory items for the animals. All the clothing is inspired by human fashion and includes authentic details such as functional buttons, working pockets, belt loops and zippers and has child friendly, easy-to-dress details such as an opening for the stuffed animal’s tail and adjustable closures to help fit any size animal.
All Build-A-Bear Workshop store managers receive comprehensive training through their Bear University program, which is designed to promote a friendly and personable environment in their stores and a consistent experience across the stores. The first moment guests walk in the door, they will greeted by a Bear Builder associate who will guides the guests through all the bear making. Mutable Build-A-Bear Workshop’s service can give a lot of customer experience to their guest by involving them in the bear-making process.
In the bear-making process, guest can create their furry friends according to their preference, or even asking help from employee. For an example, in the Dress Me, guest can either chooses apparel for their bear, or even ask Pawsonal Shoppers for advice to select perfect outfits and accessories for their bear. Service are provided differently according the request of guest, and the Bear Builder associates will assist them in the process. Layout Build-A-Bear Workshop stores average approximately 2,750 square feet in size and have a highly visual and colorful appearance, including custom designed fixtures featuring teddy bears.
Build-A-Bear Workshop offer an extensive and coordinated selection of merchandise, including over 30 different styles of animals to be stuffed and a wide variety of clothing, shoes and accessories for the stuffed animals. In early 2005 the company introduced Build-A-Bear Workshop On Tour, a 53-foot tractor trailer that opens into a complete 800 square foot Build-A-Bear Workshop store. This bright yellow and bear-covered mobile store brings the Build-A-Bear Workshop brand and experience to places outside the mall where families go to have fun.
Sensory Guest are immerse in an experience of creating their furry friend, which is a memorable experience in their life. When they came in to the store, from the highly visual environment, teddy bear theme all over the store with teddy bear fixtures, murals and artwork, guests are fully enjoying this wonderful place with their friends and family. In the process of bear-making, customers can touch the bear at Stuff Me to have a hug test whether it is comfort to be hugged. Social interaction
Build-A-Bear Workshop has implanted Guest Satisfaction program, which reward the manager based on the performance of the employee, by evaluating the effort of satisfying customer. The goal of Build-A-Bear Workplace is to make the guest smile, so the employees are enthusiastic to provide excellence service to their guest. Time: Memorabilia Guest who visits a Build-A-Bear Workshop store enters a lighthearted teddy-bear-themed environment consisting of fun bear-making stations. Instead of ready-to-buy merchandise, guests are offered the opportunity to make their own customized, plush friends.
With guidance from specially trained Bear Builder™ associates, young visitors and their parents select a bear or other stuffed animal friend, proceed to an interactive stuffing station, then choose from a huge array of clothing and accessories, including merchandise manufactured under license from the major sports leagues and fashion partners. At the Name Me station guests register their new stuffed animal in the unique Find-A-Bear ID system, which allows lost friends to be scanned and returned to their owners.
There’s even a signature Cub Condo carrying package that protects the new friend on its trip home while reinforcing the brand. The whole process is an engaging interactive experience that not only turns toys into treasures; it also turns guests into customers for life. The full-featured, 600-square-foot mobile store is an 18- wheeled transport with a 53-foot trailer that pops down in front and expands at the sides. It contains all the elements found in a Build-A-Bear Workshop mall-based store, from the stuffer to the apparel and naming stations, plus a photo booth where guests can have their picture taken with their new furry friends.
The photos can be downloaded later from www. buildabear. com with a unique, assigned password. Not only bear-making memories, Build-A-Bear Workshop store has launch The new Build-A-Bear Workshop virtual world – buildabearville. com – which enable guests to start a new friendship adventure with their furry friends when they get home. Here, guest can bring their new furry friend to life online to play together, create their own online character, play games and earn points to buy cool virtual stuff, chat with friends and more.
Build-A-Bear Workshop store helps and ensure their guests always enjoy the fun and relive the bear-making memories. Continuity Build-A-Bear Workshop will have their customers profile stored in their database. When there is a new product released, they will send catalogue to customers by email. Besides that, they also can create customers awareness through TV and radio commercials, printed and online advertising as well as features specific new product introduction and promotion as a call to action to visit their store.
The high quality customer services from the store employees gives good impression to customers and lead them visit to the store again. For example, the experience that children have during the eight bear making process will give a great fun for them and create their intention to visit the store again next time. Dynamic Among many the many stages of the bear-making process, there a climax among them, the Heart Stuff. It is a heart melting experience which requires the guest to select their small satin bear’s heart, warm it in the palms of their hands, make a special wish, and place the heart into the bear.
It was a very special event, guest will remember this moment forever which strengthen the bond of guest and the bear. 3. 2 Question 2. Based on Maxine Clark’s statement of “With each child that enters our store, we have an opportunity to build a lasting memory,” she says. “Any business can think that way, whether you’re selling a screw, a bar of soap, or a bear. ” Justify her emphasis on the significance of providing experience attributes rather than relying merely on search attributes to satisfy and retain the guests of Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Maxine Clark’s emphasis on the importance of providing experience attributes rather than relying merely on search attributes to satisfy and retain the guests of Build-A-Bear Workshop can be clearly shown based on the store’s concept and its offering. Build-A-Bear Workshop offered interactive entertainment experience to the guests especially during the bear-making process, and this entertainment value could not be evaluated before purchase and experience it. Guests might have no idea and unable to evaluate the product before purchase from the store through search attributes.
They can only feel and experience the bear-making process to know what they are getting after the purchase. That is why Build-A-Bear Workshop is differentiating themselves among the retailers. They are not just purely selling teddy bears to the customers, in fact the store associates are involved together and sharing the bear-making experience with the guests at each phase of the process. Maxine Clark prefers encouraging her guests to participate and enjoy the experience in the store. So from here we can see her effort in creating an entertainment tore that uses underlying goods and services as props with the goal of engaging the guests in a way that builds a lasting, unique and memorable experience with the store. Besides Maxine Clark’s emphasis on providing guests the experience attributes can be shown through the eight fun bear-making stations: Choose me, Stuff me, Hear me, Stitch me, Fluff me, Name me, Dress me, and Take Me Home. All these bear-making stations have their unique features which able to stimulate guests’ senses and create a higher level of emotional connection.
For example Heart stuff, it is one of the special processes at Stuff me station. Each guest has the opportunity to place a small satin bear’s heart into the bear after select, warm it in the palms of their hands, and make a special wish. That is how the guest will go through the heart melting experience and creates a special bond between the guest and the bear. This is an experience that cannot be gained from the search attributes. There is no way of obtaining such experience and making any evaluation on how might it feels before purchase and involved in the bear-making process.
Maxine Clark had designed an interactive entertainment retail store that allow families and kids to buy, use, participate, engage, or join together to have fun and build a lasting memorable experience. Although this is all about bear-making experience but it somehow will have a significant life changing impact on the customer perception. That is why providing experience attributes is better than search attributes in terms of satisfy and retain the guests of Build-A-Bear Workshop. 3. 3 Question 3 Discuss the role of technology in the customer encounter with www. buildabear. com.
Can Build- A – Bear Workshop create a memorable online encounter with its guests as compared to its physical store? How? Q3 (i) Discuss the role of technology in the customer encounter with www. buildabear. com. The role of the technology in the customer encounter with www. buildabear. com is technology- generated service encounter. Technology- generated service encounter is the human service provider is replaced entirely with technology that allows the customer to self-serve. It is becoming more common as firms attempt to reduce the cost of providing service. ( Fitzsimmons,J. A. , & Fitzsimmons, M.
J. ,2008). Based on the case, Build –A- Bear website replaced Build- A- Bear physical store to allow the customer shop online, play online games, printable greeting cards online, invitations to parties online and even can communicate with the guest through email. It’s another easy and economical way to interact and engage guests. Q3(ii). Can Build- A- Bear Workshop create a memorable online encounter with its guests as compared to its physical store? How? Yes, I agree that Build- A- Bear Workshop can create a memorable online encounter with its guests as compared to its physical store.
In Build- A- Bear online store, it’s provided a huge selection of their products such as Quick Gifts, Bears and Furry Friends and many more that are inclusive in the physical store. We can order the products, search the information about the products and view the image clearly and also make a purchase that we preferred anytime and everywhere without driven to the physical store. It was more convenient, fast and easy. Although Build- A- Bear Workshop are not available in Malaysia but we still can buy the products through the Build- A- Bear website that let us encounter the different experiences.
Other than that, Build-A- Bear website is an online version of the store with interactive games such as Build-A-Bearville! It can take your real-life furry friend into the virtual world. You can go on quests and play games with your furry friend and other users through the website without additional fees or hidden sign up costs. Because of the online chat can be a touchy subject so they have worked with parents and industry experts to develop a safe system where we are in control of setting chat options for the users especially child. And the site is monitored for safe socialization.
In this games, we will be challenged with educational quests and adventures, learn lessons about being responsible citizens of the world and have good real world behaviors reinforced, all in a beary fun new way. Beside that, Build- A- Bear website allow users to print and design their own greeting cards to send to their family and friends to stay connected with each others So it is another way to let someone know that you care them rather than send letter or send instant messages. Another way which Build-A- Bear Workshop creates a memorable online encounter with its guests is enables the retailers communicate by email.
If the consumer faced a problem or need additional information about the products and services, they can communicate through email rather than contact the company. On the other hand, we can send email from the Build- A- Bear website to tell a friend about an item you found on the site. It’s another easy and economical way to build a good relationship with the customers. Build- A- Bear website not only has used technology to personalize the customer experience, but it also has designed its site with customer in mind.
The pages are easy to use and its graphics are colorful that are consistent with the theme of their store and easy to understand. Besides, a powerful search engine is another feature of the website. For instance, if you are having trouble finding an item on the site use the beary helpful site search feature found in the upper right corner of the screen. Enter a keyword, item number or a brief description of the item you are looking for and you will receive a search results page with all items that match the criteria you entered. You can then refine your search using the advanced search features.
The ‘Wish List’ is another memorable service that Build-A-Bear online store offer. A ‘Wish List’ lets us keep track of all the wonderful stuff we would like to have from the store. We simply shop as we normally would; only instead of adding items to our ‘Basket’ we add them to our ‘Wish List’. Our ‘Wish List’ is then saved under our account and we can access it and add to it whenever we want. We can even send it to our friends and family so they know exactly what we want for our birthday or other special occasion! Due to the changing world, the internet is a no longer a niche technology. It is a mass media.
Almost no aspect of our life remains untouched by online media. As our life become more fractured and cluttered, it isn’t surprising that consumer now- a- day’s turn to the Internet when it comes to buying products. Consequently, buildabear. com should builds customer relationships by customizing its service and involving its website visitors in the service to create more memorable online encounter with its guests. I recommend that buildabear. com should focus on customer need and want to develop customer loyalty. For instance, design orders as gifts. Most of the Build- A- Bear customer purchases the products as a gift to someone.
In this advanced service, users can order the gift online and directly send it to the recipients. In the process, Build –A- Bear Company should not include the price of the items on the packing slip included with the order and help the consumer to wrap the gift and the buyer can add the gift message as they like. Other than that, buildabear. com should not only wait for customers to come to its site to provide its service. If a customer doesn’t visit the site in a certain length of time or the special day such as Mother Day, Father Day, Teacher Day or even is the customer’s birthday, buildabear. om should sends an email encouraging or remind them to visit buildabear. com. Beside that, builabear. com can send some information about the new products and events that are related to the company. This is an economical way to let the consumer remember the store and increase customer loyalty. Online shopping is inherently more environmentally friendly than traditional retailing, and at buildabear. com, they can constantly looking for ways to further reduce the environmental impact. According to H. Scott Matthews and Chris T.
Hendrickson (2001), the sale of the products on the Internet is beneficial to the environment. For example, emission from vehicles driven to shopping malls can be avoided, retail space can be reduced, and inventories and waste can be reduced. To reduce the environmental impact, buildabear. com can made significant progress to reduce excess packaging in its shipments to customers and introduced additional types of recyclable packing materials to protect items while in transit. Beside that, they can introduce paper packing materials that are 100% recyclable.
This may increase the competitive advantages and the consumer can have a unique experience while shopping online. To help the online consumers keep up-to-date on the latest popular products, buildabear. com can offer Bestsellers, Hot New Releases, and Movers & Shakers lists. These can updated hourly just like the lists on the website. The online consumers can subscribe to these by navigating to the list page that they interested in. 3. 4 Question 4 Using the experiential blueprint method, recommend how Build- A- Bear Workshop can enhance the customer experience. Clue Description: Build-A-Bear Workshop
Intended Experience or Emotion Connection from this Clue: enduring love and friendship, build memory, enhance customer experience Senses Impact(high, medium, low)Resources needed to maintain Clue($, time, logistics) Who is responsible? How does the clue align or not align with above metaphor or descriptive words? What can the business do to change or improve this clue for better alignment? TasteNone The store is well aligned with a sense of enduring love and friendship. It builds a lasting memory by inviting customers’ participation in the process of bear making.
It also makes the customers smile based on the concept of retailing as entertainment and the store as a theater. 1)The store employees should provide high quality of customer service. 2)Emphasize on the bear themed in the store. 3)Let customers to design the apparels and accessories they prefer. TouchHigh $: Labor, stuffing materials Resp. : Front liner, Master Bear Builder associates SmellNone SightHigh$: Materials, bear apparel and accessories Resp. : Front liner, Master Bear Builder associates Hearing Medium $: Labor, sound chip Resp. : Master Bear Builder associates Figure 1: Clue Design for Build-A-Bear Workshop
According to the table above, the sense of touch will have a high impact on customer experience. At Stuff Me, the Master Bear Builders help customers to fill their bear with the ideal amount of stuffing and let the customers give their bear a hug test. Each customer selects a small satin’s heart, which is the trademark of Build-A-Bear Workshop then make a wish and place into their new friend. Proceeding to Fluff Me, customers give their new friend an air bath and brush its fur to create its final look as well as to make sure that it is perfectly huggable. Furthermore, the sense of sight will also have a high impact on customer experience.
Build-A-Bear Workshop store has a lighthearted teddy-bear environment which consists of eight bear-making stations: Choose Me, Stuff Me, Hear Me, Stitch Me, Fluff Me, Name Me, Dress Me, and Take Me Home. At the entry of the store, there will have two animated bear’s sentries to greet the customers. At Choose Me, customers are introduced to all the furry characters and choose one that they like the most to become their new friend. At Dress Me, customers can put the latest furry fashions on their new friend as there are feature clothes and accessories are available at the bear apparel boutique.
Besides that, the sense of hearing has a medium impact on customer experience. At Hear Me, customers can choose a sound or song to place inside their new friend in order to make it special or unique. In addition, Build-A-Sound, a voice recording chip, helps customers to insert their own message sound clip inside the bear. Finally, we have some recommendations for Build-A-Bear Workshop to enhance the customer experience. The store employees should provide high quality of customer service to enhance the customer experience as well the customer satisfaction.
The store employees should be nice and friendly to serve their customers. For example, the store employees should greet customers politely when they enter the store. Moreover, the store environment should be enhanced by emphasizing the theme of the store which is bear themed so that customers can see bears everywhere in the store. Finally, the store can let customers to design the apparels and accessories they prefer in stead of providing apparels and accessories for customers to choose for their bear. For example, they can let customers to design the size of the bear, pattern for the apparels and accessories.