Local suppliers eye international designs
Courts Guyana Inc. is throwing its employees into the frontline of a major customer service initiative as the company seeks to mount a response to what Country Manager Lester Alvis believes will be a tight year for consumer spending.
Asserting that Courts is already the market leader in terms of customer service in the local furniture and home appliance sector, Alvis told Stabroek Business that a new training-driven “service action plan” is being “rolled out” with a view to further increasing Courts’ lead in the sector. “What we are seeking to do is to raise the bar even higher in terms of the quality of our service to customers,” Alvis told Stabroek Business.
According to Alvis the new service action plan includes a significant investment in training and development” aimed at further enhancing the levels of employee competence to meet customer service requirements. He said that Courts will also be undertaking “customer surveys” as well as “recognition initiatives” designed to identify and acknowledge the very high achievers within the company.
“We believe that this year our customers will increasingly notice the difference that our new service plan will make,” he said.
During an extended interview both Alvis and Courts Marketing Executive Molly Hassan focused on the link between the company’s new service action plan and enhancing Courts’ customer appeal. “Cash is not as readily available as it was and, increasingly, customers are having to think long and hard about where they shop and I believe that Courts fits the bill as far as that is concerned,” Alvis said.
And according to Alvis, Courts will also be seeking to increase support for local suppliers as part of its strategy for enhancing demand for its products. Alvis told Stabroek Business that more than half of the furniture items currently available in Courts outlets are supplied by local producers. “What we aim to do is create a balance of local and international products in order to create as wide a choice as possible for our consumers,” he added.
Alvis said that Courts will also be working with local suppliers in an effort to produce international designs. “We will be working with our suppliers to produce those international designs and if we can produce those designs locally and bring them very close to the international product we can offer these to our consumers at a lower price and still create a situation in which the supplier can make a bigger margin,” Alvis said.
Alvis told Stabroek Business that even as Courts moves to increase the volume of its local purchases the company will also be paying attention to quality control.
“The quality of goods that has come to us from local suppliers has varied. One of the things that we are very stringent about is quality control.
We have people in our business whose only job is quality control. If the goods that we receive are not of the quality that our customers demand we send them back.” He said that the quality of the goods available had “varied” from the quality of goods to Courts from local manufacturers.
Meanwhile according to the Country Manager Courts will also be seeking to tap its “distinct advantage over our competitors” in terms of its international sourcing facilities throughout the Group. “We have people all over the world constantly looking for the best products at very affordable prices which we can then use to provide better deals for our customers,” he added.