INTRODUCTION Domoral A. E. is a carpet dealer with stores in Thessaloniki and Athens. Eleftherios Eleftheriades founded the company in 1922 when he moved his family and business from Asia Minor to Thessaloniki.
At that time Mr. Eleftheriades brought over 100 looms with him and set up a carpet factory. The carpets were sold primarily wholesale to clients in North America and Northern Europe. The export business flourished until the early 1980's when inflation and inappropriate government fiscal policies led to the dramatic increase in costs that drove the Greek carpet manufacturing industry out of the market. By that time Eleftherios's on John assumed management of the company and began to import hand made carpets from Iran. By the early 1990's, John had established Domoral as one of the leading wholesale carpet distributors in Greece.
In 1996 he opened a new store in Athens where he hoped to establish Domoral as one of the leading retail carpet distributors in Greece. Although for the first 3 or 4 years retail sales steadily increased, over the last 5 years the Athens store has been suffering declining sales. There are various contributing factors but one of the most crucial factors is the relatively poor customer service provided. This can be justified by virtue of the fact that Mr. Eleftheriades and his staff were always more in tuned with servicing wholesale clients rather than retail customers.
ANALYSIS OF THE QUALITY OF SERVICE Selling to wholesale customers is completely different to that of retail. Wholesale customers are business-oriented individuals who buy in bulk and their main concern in order to maintain a healthy business arrangement is good quality of products and low prices. Retail on the other hand has to provide the same criteria but a lot more. A retail customer has needs, such as, he needs to feel that he is respected and in control of what he is going to buy, especially when dealing with carpets which are products of high price and value. Domoral store in Athens suffers dramatically in its quality of services when dealing with retail customers.
They have a sale staff composed of two Iranians and one Greek. The Iranians have difficulty with the Greek language, which causes problems when dealing with customers who have numerous amounts of questions. This phenomenon causes lack of trust towards the company from the customer. The quality of the products is of upstanding value but there are many times that a carpet will be left unattended for a while thus collecting dust which in the customers eyes shows low hygiene and bad quality of the product sold.
The prices on the other hand are relatively high. In recent years sales have dropped so in order to stabilize the deficit the company rose its prices to a 4% increase. The stores decoration is quite simple and plain. It gives off a cold feeling to the customer a feeling which does nothing to gain the customers trust. Relatively the store is in dire need of a good renovation. Carpets are products that we put in our homes thus we want them to be clean and healthy.
Our children will crawl and play on them. When a customer sees dust and dirt on a carpet that is on display he will disregard not only the carpet but the store that it is being sold in. The lack of proper hygiene in a store that sells household products discredits its own merchandise and credibility. In terms of competition with other stores Domoral finds itself to be in a difficult situation in the retail industry. It lacks proper advertisement and its high prices compared to its competitor's hurts it the most. In general, Domoral creates no competitive risk to its competitors.
PROPOSALS ON QUALITY OF SERVICES.