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Business at work

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ICT systems used by Customer Service Centre.
The centre provides a central customer service operation for the company; it handles requests for information and customer enquiries. It also handles the management and administration of Tesco Clubcard, and the processing of orders for the Baby Catalogue and the Home Shopping service.
The scale of the operation, and the efficient organisation of staff to provide exceptional customer service, requires the extensive use of IT both in telephone and information systems.
To give you an idea of the scale of company operation, Tesco employs over
400 staff, both full and part-time. The Clubcard loyalty scheme has over 10 million customers. In a typical week Tesco get 100,000 telephone calls,
5,000 letters, and 1,500 e-mails from customers, and company generates
7,000 outbound letters to customers.
Tesco uses IT to manage 100,000 calls a week, both to organise the calls efficiently and to provide information on the timing and length of calls for planning and monitoring purposes. Among the systems Tesco uses are:
ACD - Automatic call distribution (Meridian)

This system manages the way calls get routed to Customer Service Centre staff. Calls into the centre are distributed to ensure that call queues are managed effectively. Real time monitoring facilities provide information on service levels.
Call forecasting and scheduling system (QMax)

The distribution of calls varies significantly throughout the week. This system is used for forecasting when calls are likely to be made. The information is then used to schedule staff availability so that they are there to take the calls.
IVR - Interactive voice response

This is a menuing system on the telephone to filter out those calls that can be handled without an operator. The customer selects various options so that calls can be transferred directly to the appropriate service or person.
There are many ways in which IT provides and organises information for
Tesco. For example :
Customer services have systems to assist in logging customer enquiries, handling responses and tracking progress on outstanding issues.
Tesco has an addressing system, based on the Post Office Address File, that enables accurate addresses to be captured quickly.
Tesco has a knowledge base on an intranet to help staff deal with customer queries. This contains frequently asked information about the company's stores, products, services and policies, as well as general information about nutrition and healthy eating.
Management reporting is used extensively to provide information to the business on customer concerns. Tesco is now looking at new technology as a way of pro-actively reporting on any serious issues that emerge requiring close, urgent attention.
Orders from Home Shopping customers may be received over the telephone, by fax or via the Internet. These are collated by store and go through a delivery scheduling system which plans the most efficient delivery route, and are then transmitted to the stores for packing and delivery.
The Clubcard system enables staff to deal with customer queries related to the service. This involves managing a large number of routine calls with regard to changes of address, lost cards, and so on. IVR systems are used to intercept these routine calls so that they can be handled automatically.

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Alternative approaches which might enable the business to better meet its objectives.
The retail grocery market is intensely competitive today and no serious contender can afford to rest on its past achievements. This should encourage Tesco to pioneer many new ideas. By listening and responding to customer needs, Tesco will continue to bring in new ideas and services. Its latest venture, with the Royal Bank of Scotland, launched in November 1997, is to offer customers competitive financial services through its stores. It is fifty years since Jack Cohen opened his first self-service shop, and we expect Tesco stores in fifty years' time to be as different from those we know today as Tesco's current stores are to the stores of fifty years ago.
Non-food retailing is a major part of Tesco strategy. Tesco is increasing competition and offering customers real value and choice in all areas from sportswear to software, electricals to spectacles. By introducing these ranges to more of company's stores Tesco also offer customers the convenience of shopping for great value non-food along with their food and household goods.
More choice in-store includes many new lines for the home and garden, motoring and leisure, fashion and cosmetics. Opticians, mobile phones and health and beauty are examples of departments that have been expanded to meet customer demand. Tesco relaunched its clothing range to offer better value, quality and choice.
In this year Tesco should continue to bring its customers big names at competitive prices. Last year, for example, Tesco sold 14-inch Bush TVs and
Vodafone, Orange, One 2 One and Cellnet mobile phones at record low prices.
Film and batteries came down by 30% and cuts of between 15% and 50% are being made on stationery, pet accessories, video tapes, CDs and DVDs and many other popular products.
The convenience of shopping for non-food alongside food is what Tesco should offer customers. At the start of the year Tesco already had 90 stores trading with full non-food offer in the UK. During the year Tesco should increase this as much as possible through extensions, refits and new store development programmes.
Through these programmes Tesco will have more Tesco Extra stores including its newest at Newcastle upon Tyne. It is Tesco's first UK store to be designed and built to hypermarket blueprint, using many of the elements which Tesco has found to be successful in European and Asian stores. It has given to the company the opportunity to introduce a much wider range of non-food products to the UK, giving its customers even more choice when they shop at Tesco.

Through innovating and investing for its customers Tesco is leading the way in new forms of retailing. Tesco is the largest on-line grocer in the world, and through the rapid development of its e-business Tesco is now offering customers real choice and value on the internet.
Tesco is new 100% subsidiary company that runs company's e-commerce business, which is an important part of company's future strategy. Tesco should ensure that it has a real focus, the relevant resources and can move quickly.
Grocery home shopping business offers customers shopping on-line choice, value and convenience. Hundreds of new customers are registering every day and Tesco has the capacity to grow this business at a significant rate.
On the internet Tesco is not constrained by space as the store can be as large as you like. Company's Internet customers now have an exciting range of non-food offers beyond food shopping - just a few clicks away. Tesco's new book store offers a choice of 1.2 million titles, with 50% off top lines and Tesco has an entertainment store selling over 300,000 CD, video and DVD titles.

Tesco's European business is focused on the Republic of Ireland and the four Central European countries of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia accessing a population of 68 million people. In Ireland the business is progressing well as Tesco near completion of rebranding programme. And in Central Europe Tesco continue its rapid hypermarket roll-out opening 11 stores and 1.3 million square feet in the year.
Regional focus and market leadership is a key objective of Tesco's strategy in Central Europe. Tesco is the only retailer in all four countries -
Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Company's portfolio now includes 19 hypermarkets totalling two million square feet of retail space.
Tesco is meeting and stimulating demand in these markets as customers begin to recognise the better choice, quality and value that Tesco offers.
Tesco is pursuing an active programme of store openings which will take the company to 69 hypermarkets by the end of 2002,

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