SCMS-COCHIN student, Stafan Alex, knows the importance of gaining real-world experience, particularly in today’s competitive marketplace. With this knowledge, Stafan has taken steps to qualify and undertake an internship with Reliance Fresh, a division of Reliance Retail Limited. The three-month internship, located in Mylapore, Chennai, is going to prove to be a challenge for Stafan but is one that he is eager to accept.
Rather than simply working at Reliance Fresh, Stafan is developing a specific project plan that, upon completion, will have immediate benefits for the company. “My topic is customer retention and loyalty. This is one of the integral strategies used by many businesses. As far as retail stores are concerned, they sometimes use these strategies by which regular customers are enrolled into the company‘s customer database. These customers are provided various offers and incentives in order to retain them. My project aims at studying the actual scenarios in a retail store and how Reliance is using customer retention strategies in their business.”
Stafan has divided his project into four phases to learn about the customer retention strategies that have been adopted by Reliance Fresh. Additionally, Stafan will be studying the model used for differentiating profitable and non-profitable customers, the factors making a customer loyal to a store and then developing a modifies customer service model for Reliance that uses all of these results and consumer buying behavior. Through this internship, Stafan hopes to gain deeper insight into the area of customer retention in retailing. He prepares for the project by with objective of looking at the shoppers and customers at the store and based on the study develop a model which can help the Reliance Fresh convert the shoppers also into life-long customers.
Stafan anticipates challenges in data collection process as people visiting such stores would be in a hurry and may not be willing to answer a long questionnaire, thus he intends to collect data by using a questionnaire, personal interviews and by observation. -. All this has to be done when the store is open without disturbing the flow of customers in the store hence the Cooperation from the Reliance Fresh management will be very crucial for the project, he understands.
For Stafan, at the moment its literature review time as he prepares to understand the theories that are converted in to working models by researchers and he will be carrying a measuring instrument which could be best suited for a store like this one, conduct a pilot study, check the measurement instrument for reliability and then proceed for the data collection and analysis. He plans getting to know the store operations by being a part of it. He feels it serves as an excellent chance for him to learn more about consumer behavior. This, in turn, the project should prove to be useful towards his specialization in Retail and Merchandising. “Through this project, I aim to develop a customer service model that incorporates the learning I had in my courses. If the model after the test run proves worthy, it can be implemented.”
Given the commitment and drive that Stafan exhibits, he is well on his way to seeing this to realization.