Bloomingdales International Customer Service Essay, Research Paper
Bloomingdales International Customer Service
“AT BLOOMINGDALE’S, WE’RE ALWAYS AT YOUR SERVICE”
Bloomingdale s is successful because they have positioned themselves in the retailing market, by offering unique merchandise from around the world, targeting a affluent, educated group of patrons aged between 35-55 years, and focusing on “Customer Service”. This marketing strategy has been the back bone of their success.
Advertisement campaigns of Bloomingdale s has portrayed the focus of “Customer Service”, with slogans such as “At Bloomingdale’s, we’re always at your service” and “You are like no one else in the world, Bloomingdale’s is like no other store in the world. .”
Bloomingdale s is like no other store in the world, offering a unique retailing experience. It has been referred to as the “retailing theatre” in some of the worlds most influential magazines. Thus Bloomingdale s has gathered a international reputation for their unique merchandise and services; becoming a hot tourist destination.
The International Customer will have unique needs, that will have to be catered too in order to achieve return business and new clientele.
World wide there is over 200 different languages spoken. Thus, there are vast differences among nations as to the languages commonly spoken. Even within nations, there is often diversity as to the languages spoken. For example, Canada (English and French), India ( Hindi and English) Japan ( Japanese, English and Korean) have two or more official languages. However , the obvious language barrier, is not the only concern. Words have a variety of meaning within diverse countries.
To overcome this issue, Bloomingdale s has available “Personal Shopping Assistant” Service. This is can be obtained at the International Service Desk, here they arrange for Associate that speaks the clients native language to assist. The signs in the store a mainly written in English, however there is a Store Directory is available in most languages.
CUSTOM LAWS (i.e.: Stamp Duties and Taxes)
Each country has their own Custom Laws and Taxation Law. Therefore it is imperative that the international clients are able to understand the specific conditions relating to the countries’ taxes, particularly when purchasing merchandise or services.
This was again is overcome with a booklet about Custom Laws in a variety of languages available to all clients at the International Service Desk. As well as the booklet, the Associates are expected to have knowledge in relation to these.
If more information is required there is a International Delivery Service available.
A Culture consist of a group of people sharing a distinctive heritage. It teaches behaviour standards, language, lifestyles, and goals; it is passed down from generation to generation and is not something that is easily changed. Almost every country has a different culture; continental difference exist as well. Some goods and services are unacceptable to some cultures.
In some ways this issue has been addressed with the establishment of the International Service Desk, here the arrangement for an Associate who not only speaks the clients native language, but has a basic understanding of the culture to assist them in achieving their desired shopping experience can be achieved.
Cultural awareness can be improved by employing foreign personnel in positions that will have direct contact with these clients and educating staff members on the cultural differences, thus allowing for a client to be comfortable during their shopping experience.
The international market is defined as “Involving the marketing of goods or services outside on organisation s country, whether in one or several markets.”
An organisation usually enters this international market when the population base within they country becomes stagnant. However the technology advances are easing the growth of the international marketing, with automatic teller machines, international transfers, computerisation of retailing registers and Internet connect of most stores, communication, and productivity. This means the International market is becoming the norm, instead of the next course after population stagnation.
The International customer is an attractive Market to pursue. As we reach the millennium and technology is increasing triple fold daily the world is becoming smaller, and the markets are becoming larger. With the Internet and other resources the ability to reach a larger market pool is becoming more obtainable and cost efficient.
All countries will have differences in their consumer needs, this is due to the varied customs, languages, of most nationalities. It will also include the diversity in the meanings of colours, symbols, gestures and body language.
The examples following were determined by looking at a range of products that have been marketed in the international markets, and the reason they failed or succeeded.
Customs and Languages:-
1. The product Pepsodent failed in Southeast Asia when it promised white teeth to a culture where black or yellow teeth are symbols of prestige.
2. In Mexico, a U.s. airline meant to advertise that passengers could sit in comfortable leather seats; but, the phrase in its Spanish translation “sentando en cuero” meant to “sit naked”.
3. African men were upset by a commercial for men s deodorant that showed a happy male being chased by women. They thought the deodorant would make them weak and overrun by women.
4. In Quebec, a canned fish manufacturer promoted a product by showing a woman dressed in shorts, golfing with her husband, and planning to serve canned fish for dinner. These activities violated cultural norms.
In China, the colour red indicates happiness. While Black elicits a positive response because it denotes power and trustworthiness.
To the Nigerians the colour green, denotes health and happiness. This is why the Nigerian Brewery, uses green bottles. Any company trying to enter this market would have to beware of the Nigerians belief that “good beer only comes in green bottles”.
Bloomindales can make their international services more attractive to the internal market, by having a multi-cultural staff to deal with the special needs and wants of ethnic groups. As these staff members will be particularly sensitive to the needs of the specific international customer. The changing of their Advertising and promotion techniques with the times, not only in the fashion and but in the cultural changes occurring within communities. The use of technology to keep them up to date with the events of the store. For example:- Usage of the Internet, and E-mail services to supply up to date information, issuing of invitations to special events, holiday discounts, and ordering of merchandise via their web site.
As the end of the millennium approaches, and retailing changes focus, Bloomingdale’s is committed to being at the forefront of the “new” department
stores. Personal service for customers, alternative shopping venues, redesigned interiors, the opening of more stores in more areas of the country, exclusive
merchandise, and meaningful values are just part of what will make Bloomingdale s
a leader into the 21st century.