An Analysis on the Factors Influencing the Customer Satisfaction of Easy Jet, UK

Abstract

As airline is the most preferred and safest transport mode, its customers prefer to be facilitated by optimum service care delivery as well low priced products. While studying the factors that impact customer satisfaction level within the airlines industry (with special focus on EasyJet), the researcher choose to segregate the entire study into five chapters: introduction, literature review, methodology, findings and analysis and conclusion. In the introductory chapter, the researcher has briefed the study besides framing the research aim and objectives. In the literature review, the researcher has studied the theories presented by past authors on the current subject. Price and staff are few of the factors that impact the choice of travel by a preferred airline brand. In the methodology section, the author has highlighted the paradigms that have been considered for the study. Primary responses have been gathered from the employees and the managers of travel agencies who could best respond to customer satisfaction in airline industry. Positivism philosophy, deductive research approach and deductive design have been followed for in-depth analysis of the study.

In the fourth chapter, the researcher has presented the quantitative and qualitative responses accumulated from the chosen respondents in pictorial format. From the collected data it could be inferred that price and layout are few of the factors impacting the customer satisfaction and travel choice by preferred airline brand. In the concluding chapter, the researcher arrived at an inference that although Easy Jet follows strategic customer satisfaction policies, it is being affected by poor pricing policy or not enough inn-flight facilities. Thus, the researcher recommended the brand to follow effective pricing policies or offer advanced services to meet its travelers’ desires.

 

 

Acknowledgement

Conducting the current study is one of most preferable experience of my life. It has helped me in enhancing my knowledge and analytical skills. I was capable addressing the challenges that I have faced while conducting the dissertation with the help of what I have learnt. However, all this have been possible with guidance and support of many persons.

First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor _________________ for a consistent support and guidance throughout the study. I am also liable to thank my academic guides to share views and experiences to encourage me while facing different challenges during the research. I would like to thank my parents and friends to provide consistent moral as well as financial support to collect suitable information required for the study. Finally, I would like to thank the organisation personnel to participate in survey and share personal views based on experiences and knowledge.

Thanking You All,

 

Yours Sincerely


 

Chapter 1

Introduction:

1.0 Introduction:

The airline industry has been provided reliable mode of transport for the people with no comparable alternative for both long and short distance travel. The advancement of the technology has improved performance of the aircrafts and engines to make them more fuel efficient and safe to travel from one corner to another corner of the world. There are many airline companies in the world. Therefore, the airline industry is very competitive and challenging business in the world at present. Every airline company has to provide excellent customer service to the travellers to retain competitive and profitable in the market for long time. According to Warhurst (1995), the aviation industry has been competitive due to globalisation and strong relationship between the countries that facilitates the business process of the airline companies across the boundaries of countries. Customer satisfaction is the most important aspects to be achieved by the airline companies to be successful but achievement of the customer satisfaction is very difficult and time consuming process.

This paper has been prepared in relation to customer satisfaction of EasyJet therefore author has analysed, evaluated and investigated some areas about the present circumstances of the customer satisfaction of the company. In recent years, EasyJet has been criticised for different causes that results to the low customer satisfaction in the both UK and European market. Author has accomplished a survey with a number of questions in relation to customer satisfaction among 225 customers and 2 managers of the travel agencies which sell airline tickets to travellers. Survey was carried on the travellers who use airlines for their different purposes to fly different destinations with by different airline companies. If a company can gain high customer satisfaction it can gain highest profit in the market therefore the analysis and evaluation of the profit of different airline companies have been presented in the report for greater understanding. According to the contemporary condition of EasyJet after the survey analysis and results, author has provided some recommendations to the company to be market leader.  

1.1 Rationale for the research:

In aviation industry, lengths are defined as the time airborne during a flight (Appendix 01). According to the flight duration, EasyJet has two kinds of the flights which are short-haul flights and medium-haul flights. EasyJet operates the flights in all the European countries and some countries of Asia for example Egypt, Jordan etc. There are many customers who negatively provide their review in the customer review sections of EasyJet’s website and other websites which work with the customer review of different industries. In this research, all the negative comments have been analysed with the discussion of the managers who were asked to provide their opinion and suggestions about the organisation.

EasyJet has the objectives and integrated ambition to be market leader of European low-cost aviation industry but it has been criticised some many actions recently. The actions which are responsible to down the reputation will be analysed in this research. The foremost responsibility of the company is to ensure safety of the customers first but during Olympic 2012, it was criticised for refusal of boarding a disable Olympian for the safety concern that has been also discussed in the research to avoid future occurrence. There is little doubt that by continuing to act in a responsible manner this will help Easyjet to achieve our ambition of becoming Europe’s preferred short-haul airline by making travel easy and affordable and ensuring we generate market leading returns.

On the other hand, the performance of employees, high price of foods, poor response, slow refund policy, luggage management etc have been criticised by many customers and travel agencies that lead to poor customer satisfaction in the industry. In the competitive world, holding success and remaining competitive in the market entirely depends on the level of customer satisfaction therefore Easyjet has to take immediate action to develop present customer satisfaction position.

1.2 Background of the research:

The airline companies of a country like UK have to compete with both local and international companies.  The companies have to provide unique services at a competitive price especially for the low cost companies like EasyJet has to compete to set and offer lowest price to retain present and attract new customers (Hide, 2013). There are many alternative modes of transports which have been developed recently by the improved technological amalgamation therefore the competition of aircraft companies is not limited to aviation industry but also with substitute modes of transports.

According to the customer reviews in different websites and feedback of the customers about provided services of EasyJet according to its price, the customers are not very much satisfied (Roberts, 2012). On the other hand, the company has been criticised for some negative actions in recent years for example refusal to the disable people for example a boy in 2012 was refused by EasyJet to carry for the electric wheelchair therefore EasyJet was found guilty by a court of French. During the Olympic in China in 2008; the Para-Olympians were also not carried by the EasyJet that creates a negative impact among the customers.

There are many customers who provide negative review in the different review websites for the high price of the snacks and other foods or things which are available during board (Chintagunta et al. 1991). The sloth response to the customers’ queries is also responsible for the poor customer satisfaction of the company. On the other hand, personal attack by the employees of the company to the customers is also very important factor for the poor customer satisfaction. For example, a customer law lecturer, columnist was refused to serve by the EasyJet for his slightly negative tweet about the EasyJet after his flight was delayed (EasyJet PLC., 2013). There are some other problems which cause poor customer satisfaction of EasyJet will be analysed and evaluated in the report to make it strong, formative and comprehensive.

1.3 Research objectives:

The objectives of the research are the statements which direct the particular researcher to analyse and solve efficiently identified problems in a particular field (McDaniel & Gates). Moreover, the research objectives contribute to the researcher to reach in the goals of the research in a systematic approach (Aaker et al. 2004). There are some specific objectives of this research in relation to customer satisfaction of EasyJet, UK. The objectives of the research have been outlined:

  • To identify the problems which create barrier to the satisfaction of the customers,
  • To investigate the problems in the existing approached of EasyJet in satisfying the customers,
  • To analyse the factors which effect on the customer in the competitive aviation industry particularly in low cost airline services,
  • To analyse the processes for the effective solution to identified problems in the acquisition of the customer satisfaction,
  • To provide some specific recommendations for the development of the level of customer satisfaction.

1.4 Research question:

How EasyJet can improve the satisfaction level of customers who are not happy to organisation in the competitive and dynamic aviation industry of Europe?

1.5 Investigative questions of the research:

To scrutinize various and significant aspects which can enhance level of customer satisfaction of EasyJet, some specific questions have been used in the survey on 225 customers and 2 managers of travel agencies. The main questions have been outlined below:

  1. What are the main factors which negatively impact on the customer service?
  2. What are the problems you find from employees servicing in board?
  3. What are your recommendations for the development of the customer satisfaction of EasyJet?
  4. Are you happy on the service systems of EasyJet?
  5. Are you happy on the quality of foods and service of EasyJet?
  6. Are you satisfied on the refund policies of EasyJet?
  7. Are you satisfied on the promotions and discounts offered by EasyJet comparing with competitors?
  8. Is the price of foods and other products available in EasyJet reasonable for customers?
  9. Have been provided information about the flight delay or cancellation?
  • How would you describe the services of EasyJet?
  • How would you describe the services of Ryanair?
  • Which low cost airline company has better customer satisfaction measurement or management?
  • Which airline company advertisement do you see frequently?
  • Which among following low-cost airline companies is better in European market?
  • Which of the low-cost airline companies provide better discounts and offers to customers?
  • Which among following airline companies you are aware of?
  • How important is the price of foods in aircraft to improve customer satisfaction?


 

Chapter 2

Literature Review

2.0 Introduction:

Making customers satisfied and happy through the products and service is the first requirement for an organisation not only for the achievement of the profit but also for the sustainable survive in the industry (Kotler, 2003). There are many factors which impact on the customer satisfaction according to differences of the industry, business, location, products (Kotler, 2003). The conceptual clarification of the related literature will determine reader about the main themes and areas of the research which has been undertaken and carried. It has included the analysis and findings of others about the factors which impact on customer satisfaction in relation to EasyJet, UK.

The lever of saturation within low cast airline industry is placing huge pressures and difficulties on the business of airline companies which are operating their flights in the industry (Shaw, 2007). Focusing on the customer satisfaction for the airline companies in low cost airline industry is highly significant purpose for the achievement of different corporate goals. According to Anderson and Mittal (2000), if a particular airline company in this strongly service-oriented industry requires certain experiences and knowledge of main antecedents from the perspective of different types of the customers. In the present competitive and dynamic aviation industry, achieving competitive advantage for long time is not only difficult but also for the challenging for many factors for example competitive environment, changing demands of travellers, changing rules, high price of the airline tickets, differences of the services etc (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2004). Without these factors there also many other factors that created huge negative impacts on the achievement of customer satisfaction of the customers by the low cost airline companies.

2.1 Topic 1- Layout of Commercial Aircrafts:

According to Columbia Edu (2012), the layout a commercial aircraft’s passenger cabin can impact on the level of the customer satisfaction because a customer will not be happy when he or she is not feeling comfortable by sitting in the chairs and cabins during their flights. On the other hand, congested seats of the aircrafts also impact on the customer satisfaction of the airline industry for example a customer who is travelling for 6 hours or more than that he or she will be upset sitting on the congested seats (Belobaba, 1987). In this respect, Getty and Thompson (1994), also provided same opinion that a customer never comes back to travel in same company when he or she experienced that the seats are not comfortable for travel. According to Gallego and van Ryzen (1997), the companies which had congested seats can’t remain competitive in the airline industry and popular among customers or travellers for long time therefore the organisations must give careful attention to make the seats big enough for the customers for the greater level of customer satisfaction. On the other hand, the airbus producing companies are also responsible in lower customer satisfaction therefore the airline organisations should ensure that the produced aircrafts have enough space to accommodate the customers with comfortable movement and the broaden chairs (Kretsch, 1995). Furthermore, the congested sitting plans should be examined before the manufactures of the aircrafts for the customers to make their journey comfortable and enjoyable. In case of seat planning, the seats are planned and prepared for the short haul flights therefore the aircrafts of the company have satisfactory place to accommodate the customers for the short flights. But the organisation should widen the seats for greater comfortable for the travellers (Ians, 2013). 

2.2 Topic 2: Customer Service:

According to Kotler, (2003), customer service is one of the main determinants for the achievement of the customer satisfaction in the low cost airline industry to be successfully remaining competitive and profitable. In this respect, the performance of the employees play important role because the service is mainly provided by the staffs of the aircrafts in the boards (Kotler, 2003). There are close relationship between the service and satisfaction of customer in every industry that is recognised by many scholars in the marketing and other discipline and industry. In the aviation industry, the customer service includes many factors but according to McGill and van Ryzen (1999), the main components are the tickets over-sales, mishandled baggage, on time performance that are very related to the customer satisfaction. Therefore the airline companies must give priority to ensure these factors with concern to make the customer very happy in the competitive market. On the other hand, the Watherford and Pfeifer (1994) found in their studies related to Korean low cost airline companies that the quality of the service is also another main determinant for the achievement of the customer satisfaction. In this respect, the quality of the service is lined with many factors for example performance of employees, quality of foods, welcome message to board, emergency facilities etc (McAlexander et al. 1994) therefore the low cost organisations should ensure efficient and effective relationship between these factors to provide excellent service to the customer to make them satisfied to the organisation. The competitors’ situation in the market and trend of customers to find better service are also impact on the satisfaction of the customer (Oliver, 1997). If a customer gets better service from the competitors in the same offer he or she will not be happy on the existing suppliers of the service therefore the airline organisations should examines the competitors’ positions and offers to the customer in the same time. According to Reinartz and Kumar (2003), a company can’t stay for long time in the industry until it has a team with skilled employees to provide excellent service to existing customers and to attract new and other competitors’ customers in the competitive market. In this respect, the relevant customer service related employees who are given responsibility to serve the customers in the board should be provide unique training and processes to provide excellent customer service to the customers in aircrafts. The customer service is also linked with the loyalty of the customers to the organisation because a delighted customer use the service frequently for example a customer who is satisfied on the service use the same airline company for several times in the year to travel for business purpose (Park et al. 2004).

2.3 Topic 3: Price:

Price is the amount of the money that is charged for the products and services or the sum of the values that the customers advantages of using or having the service or products (Desiraju and Shugan, 1999). While Carpenter and Hanssens (1994), price of the products and services is the fairness refers to the assessments of customers whether a seller’s price is acceptable, reasonable or justifiable. The competitive position of the companies in the market is mainly defined by the price because it is one of the main factors what impact on the customer satisfaction. Even though the airline industry has freshly recovered, commercial airlines commonly experience the predicament that they cannot adjust their capability to inconsistent demand on short notice of the pricing (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2004). According to Ruyter and Wetzels (2000), charging fair price in the tickets ensure the satisfaction of the customers and make them loyal and regular to use the service of organisation for long time. Moreover, the price of the air tickets, foods and other commodities which are available in the aircrafts also have great impact on the attainment of the customer satisfaction in the aviation industry by the low cost airline companies (Talluri and van, 2004). According to You (1999), most of the customers who use aircrafts for tours and holidays look for quality service at lowest cost therefore they make comparison between the offers of different airlines. Moreover, the products for example foods, drinks in many low cost airline companies are not free to use but sometimes these are high priced that impact on the level of customer satisfaction (Colling, 1995). The price of the air tickets fluctuates according to demand and time of the tickets therefore the organisations should modify the price according to these factors to provide lowest price to the customers. According to Blyton et al. (2001), the price air tickets determines the number of customers who will use the aircraft for their tour because if the price is lower many customers will buy tickets and use the service to reach their destinations. If the customers are very satisfied, they are willing to pay a premium price for the tickets but their experience will be gained after buying tickets and using the service therefore the acquisition of the customers mainly depends on the price of the tickets (Whitener, 2001). The low cost airline companies are mainly busy during summer therefore the tickets’ price of companies are high in this period and if a particular company offer lowest price for the customers, they will get more customers than the competitors.

2.4 Topic 4: Performance of Employees:

According to Shaw (2007), the performance and efficiency of the employees in aviation industry is also impact on the level of customer satisfaction achievement as it is strongly service oriented industry. The employees provide direct service to the customers and therefore the relationship between the intention and motivation of employees mainly ensure that the customers are satisfied (Hendry et al. 1989). When a customer asks an employee of Airline Company, he or she expects that the employees will provide high class friendly service within the capacity and regulations of the company (Colling, 1995). If the employees don’t provide quick and expected service to customers, the image of company will be destroyed among those customers that will lead to downturn of company gross sales. In this respect, the satisfaction of employees to organisation and working environment is also linked with customer service because an employee who is not happy to company will not serve the customer according to expectation of customers and standard of company (Blyton et al. 2001). The experiences and skills of service process in the aviation industry is also another determinant to ensure that the employees have enough capacity and knowledge to serve the customers with good service (Warhurst, 1995). The training sessions and motivating factors have also importance influence on the development of the level of customer satisfaction because an employee who have better knowledge will be able to make the customers happier and satisfied (Whitener, 2001). According to Colling (1995), providing the type of constant atmosphere required to really gratify employees is essentially a lot harder than providing the type of experience that satisfies customers. Therefore the employees should be provided enough training and time to make them capable and suitable to adapt them with the working conditions in the aircrafts (Hendry et al. 1989). Moreover, according to many other scholars, the employees should be provided good amount of salary, respect, safe working environment, security of jobs to serve the customers in a better process (Warhurst, 1995). The employees will work in the company effectively and efficiently when they find that the company is very concerned about their career and providing enough money for their service (Blyton et al. 2001). In this respect, Whitener (2001) argued that focusing and delivering on all layers of the Employee Hierarchy of Needs can lead to the type of employee satisfaction that leads to customer satisfaction and big profits for the company in the completive market for example in the low cost airline industry.

2.5 Topic 5: Competitive Environment:

Competitive environment of the industry also have importance influence on the customer satisfaction because the customers have numerous companies which are ready to provide service in almost all industries (Getty, and Thompson, 1994). The low cost airline industry in Europe is full of competitors therefore the organisations like EasyJet has to provide unique service at a lowest and competitive price to remain profitable and competitive. The organisations which can’t satisfy the customers are potential to lose their existing customers to the competitors companies which provide better offers to the customers in same periods (Borenstein and Rose, 1994). According to Kotler (2004), the market structure and number of the companies in same industry have direct impact on the level of customer satisfaction. The market structure of an industry influences on the pricing methods, of a company in the competitive environment those effects on an organisation’s provision of customer satisfaction (Dana, 1999). A customer when has numerous choices, the organisations can create options for customers by offering better service, higher-quality goods, lower prices in the services or products to order to maintain the market share (You, 1999). The competitors always try to provide unique services and products to the customers with a lower price therefore a company has to be alert to ensure that the organisation has been offering contemporary services and products along with the competitors to gain customer satisfaction. The competitors in the aviation industry set their price in different times differently that creates difficulties and dilemmas to offer the price of the tickets (Shaw, 2007). The seats, employees’ experiences and services, foods etc are also different in different airline companies. All these factors and determinants provided by competitors have great impact on the customer service satisfaction of the company in the competitive market.

2.6 Topic 6: Alternative Transport:

According to Ruyter and Wetzels (2000), the alternative transport moods for example train, bus, cars etc have also considerable impact on the customer satisfaction because most of these moods can provide more comfortable and cost effective travel to the tourists and other kind of the travellers. The low cost airline company has to fix the price and offers according to circumstances of the alternative mood of transports in the industry (Morrison and Winston, 1990). Most of the customers are now concern about environmental pollution and many bus and train companies give advertisement that their buses and trains are environmentally friendly and have less carbon emission than airline companies (Ruyter and Wetzels, 2000). As a result, many customers use the buses, trains, cabs etc to go to their holidays (Lautenberg, and Stidham, 1999) which finally impact on the customer satisfaction. Most of the charity and environmental organisations have negative comment on the business of the airline companies that negatively influence on customers to use airline service for travel (Gale and Holmes, 1992). In this respect, the airline industries should give efforts to decrease carbon emission in the air to reduce global warming.  If a low cost-airline company can give advertisement that it is offering the lowest carbon offset, it can attract the environmentally concerned customers (Done, 2004). As a result customer satisfaction will be increased and contribute to the development of the business.


 

Chapter 3

Research Methodology

3.0 Introduction:

The chapter provides a detailed description regarding the methods and strategies, followed by the researcher during conducting the current research study. According to Brannen (2009) the research methodologies develop an effective platform for the study based on which, the research can be conducted in a systematic procedure. Approaches have been made throughout the chapter in emphasising on the initiatives of the researcher during different phases of the study. Furthermore, relevant justifications have been made to analyse the relevancy of the followed approaches in reference to the research domain. As mentioned by Brannen (2009), the research methods are needed to be relevant to the nature of the study as it aims to support the proceedings of the study. Methods regarding philosophy, approach and design of the research have been highlighted in the due course of the chapter along with respective justifications. Furthermore, the chapter highlights the process of data collection and data analysis along with sampling mechanism. Finally the chapter ends with presenting a Gantt chart that highlights the time horizon in reference with the present study.

3.1 Overview of undertaken methodology:

The overall research methods can be categorised into two different sections. From the broader perspective, the methods deal with the philosophy, approach and design of the research study. On the other hand, analysing the more integral approaches of the study, the research methods are regarding data type, data collection process, sampling mechanism and data analysis process. Cameron (2009) argued that researchers fail to establish linkage between the external and internal research elements and as a result, relevancy and accuracy are often not maintained within the study. However, the researcher has tried to link the broader research methods with the more in depth research initiatives to maintain the critical success factor.

The researcher has followed positivism philosophy during the study and deductive research approach while descriptive research design has been followed to maintain the proper flow of the research. The data types, considered during the study can be classified into two categories including primary and secondary data. Mixed method has been followed during the study that incorporates quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Quantitative data have been collected by conducting an online survey questionnaire mechanism, involving the customers of Easy jet, London while qualitative data have been collected by conducting face-to-face interview sessions with the middle line managers of the organisation. Quantitative data collection has been conducted following simple random probability sampling method. On the other hand, non probability purposive sampling method has been followed at the time of qualitative data collection process.

3.2 Research philosophy:

Research philosophy deals with the mental cognition of the researcher during collection of data in the due course of a particular research study. As opined by Cameron (2009) the research philosophy is concerned with the nature of searching knowledge. Since the current research is based on analysis of customer satisfaction relevant knowledge searching strategies are needed which can be useful in gathering accurate data. Hence, the appropriate choice of research philosophy is important in the context of the current study. As mentioned by, Cameron (2009) research philosophies can be epistemology, ontology or axiology. Epistemology is followed when the researcher is not quite aware of the domain of the research while ontology is followed during social studies. Axiology is suitable for the studies that prioritise the outcome values. Epistemology can further be classified into three categories involving positivism, realism and interpretive philosophy. Positivism philosophy is associated with studies that are scientific in nature and supported by real time data analysis. Realism helps in maintaining the authenticity of the research while interpretive philosophy is compatible for the studies that are significantly dependant on the responses of the human participants. However, the researcher has chosen positivism philosophy to carry out the current study.

3.2.1 Positivism philosophy justification:

Positivism philosophy is suitable for studies that are scientific in nature and depends on real time data analysis to draw conclusion regarding the study. According to Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. (2011), positivism philosophy is one of the most common and popular research philosophies as majority of the research work involves the application of data analysis to draw conclusions. Likewise, the current research study deals with customer satisfaction in relation to Easy jet, London which is scientific in nature. The researcher has followed data collection process to analyse both primary and secondary data and the findings from data analysis has helped in deriving conclusion and recommendations. Hence, it is assumed that positivism philosophy is suitable for the study. On the other hand, Ellis and Levy (2009) mentioned that positivism philosophy influence the researcher to maintain a positive mentality during the course of the research study so that optimum accuracy level can be maintained throughout the study. Hence, in order to achieve authentic and relevant results, the researcher has followed positivism philosophy.

3.3 Research approach: Deductive

The research approach ensures the researcher with the skills required to complete the research study successfully. As acknowledged by Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. (2011)  the maximum percentage of research fails as the research works fails to extract accurate result because of the inappropriateness of research approach. In the first place, research approaches can be classified into two categories including inductive and deductive approaches. Inductive approaches follow the process of observation followed by data collection and analysis which accordingly help in establishing hypothesis and finally new theories are generated. The researcher chosen deductive approach in this context.

Deductive approach has been chosen by the researcher as the development of customer satisfaction process can be done by evaluating several existing theories. The customer satisfaction aspect has already been achieved by a significant number of business organisations over time and several scholars have proposed different propositions regarding the fact. The researcher has taken the approach to analyse these existing theories and try analysing the real time data to test the existing theories. Since the study is associated with the concept of theory testing rather than new theory development, the researcher has chosen deductive research approach.

3.4 Research design: Descriptive

The research design is determined with the help of the set objectives and research questions and the knowledge level of the researcher regarding the domain of the research. Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. (2011) opined that based on the nature of the research objectives, research design can be classified into three categories including exploratory, explanatory and descriptive research design. Exploratory design is used while there is lack of efficient knowledge regarding the research domain.Explanatory research design is useful when existing theories and literatures are found to be not sufficient enough for justifying the research questions.  On the other hand, descriptive research design helps conducting extensive research studies by addressing various questions like with what, why, where and how in relation with the research topic. As stated by Ellis and Levy (2009) the choice of research design is apivotal factor for achieving success in relation with the research work.

The researcher has chosen descriptive research design in order to conduct an intense research based on the analysis of customer satisfaction level regarding the service of Easy Jet, London. The researcher has tried finding all the necessary information to find solutions to questions such as what, where, which, how and why in relation with customer satisfaction proposition. Without following deductive approach, finding necessary information regarding the research domain would have been more difficult. Furthermore, the overall study is factual in which, real time facts and figures are used for deriving the present and probable prospect of customer satisfaction regarding the organisation in the question. Since descriptive research design supports factual studies, it is assumed to be suitable for the current study.

3.5 Data Type:

As mentioned by Ellis and Levy (2009) based on the nature of information source, data can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary data can be referred as first hand data while secondary data are obtained from various secondary sources of information. Primary or secondary data alone may not be sufficient in determining actual facts but utilising combination of these two data types can help in achieving desired results. Hence, the researcher has considered of using both primary and secondary data to analyse the customer satisfaction levels of various travel agencies regarding the customer service of Easy Jet, London and probable prospect of achieving customer satisfaction strategies for the organisation. Primary data involving the study can be referred as the responses of the line managers of multiple travel agencies and the responses of customers of different travel agencies while secondary data can be referred as the information that have been collected from various books, journals, informative websites along with some previous organisational records.

The primary data used in the study can be divided into two categories including quantitative and qualitative data. In opinion of Ellis and Levy (2009) the mixed method of involving quantitative and qualitative data can be helpful in gathering a wide range of information from the respondents. Quantitative data are those that represent the reviews and opinions of the customers of various travel agencies by means of numerical and graphical formats. On the other hand, qualitative data involving the present study can be suggested as the responses of the managers of the organisation by means of descriptive nature.   

3.6 Data collection process:

Since the present research study is significantly dependant on the data analysis portion, particular stress has been given on the data collection process. As opined by  Nixon (2011), based on the proper application of the data collection process, relevancy and accuracy can be maintained among the collected data and accordingly relevant data analysis can be conducted which can help in judging the actual problem scenario. The researcher has chosen different approaches for primary and secondary data collection.  

Secondary data have been collected by evaluating various secondary sources of information in relation with customer satisfaction. The number of journals inspected and analysed were nearly 24 in number. In this context, various books, journals and informative websites have been evaluated to gather information. Furthermore, the previous research work involving customer experience with relation to various tour agencies regarding travel sector was also utlised. On the other hand, data collection regarding the primary data is two types in nature involving quantitative data collection process and qualitative data collection process.

 In the context of quantitative data collection process, data have been collected by conducting an online survey questionnaire mechanism, engaging the customers of multiple travel agent companies. At the beginning, email ids of the customers of travel agencies had been collected from the database of companies by achieving prior approval from the customers through the companies. Formal requests had been sent to the customers via email for participating in the online survey questionnaire process. Interested individuals were sent a questionnaire each with a time span of two weeks and requested to fill up the questionnaires and forward within the quoted time. By evaluating the questionnaires, quantitative data have been collected. 

In the case of qualitative data, the researcher has followed the process of face-to-face interview process, engaging the managers of different travel agencies. At first, approaches had been made to take appointments of the managers of the organisation. Available managers had been requested to appear for a short face-to-face interview session. A structured interview session had been conducted  in case of each of the managers so that the perceived gap regarding the customer satisfaction and customer service of the company Easy jet could be analysed, assessing the experts’ opinions. Finally, evaluating the reviews and opinions of the managers, qualitative data had been collected.

3.7 Sample size:

The present study is incorporated with both quantitative and qualitative data collection process. Hence, the researcher has considered using specific sample size for each type of data collection process. The researcher has considered a sample size of 100 during the quantitative data collection process. Questionnaires would be sent to 100 customers of multiple travel agencies for proper evaluation depending upon which the quantitative data has been collected. On the other hand, 2 managers of different travel agencies have been considered as sample size for qualitative data collection process. Interview sessions have been conducted with these five managers and the reviews of the managers has granted as qualitative data. 

  3.8 Sampling method:

During collecting the quantitative and qualitative data, the researcher had followed specific sampling mechanism so that accurate data could be collected from the right sort of candidates. As mentioned by Nixon (2011), choosing appropriate candidates during primary data collection process is always a challenge for the researchers. However, the researcher has made sure that relevant and accurate data have been collected by following simple random probability sampling method during quantitative data collection addressing 100 customers of multiple travel agencies and non probability purposive sampling method during qualitative sampling method involving 2 managers of different travel agencies for getting accurate information.

3.9 Data analysis:

The data analysis, conducted in the present research can be categorised into two sections involving primary data analysis and secondary data analysis. Special emphasis has been given on quantitative and qualitative data analysis process as findings of the research have been significantly dependant on these data types. On the primary stages, secondary data have been analysed in the literature review sections by cross checking and critically reviewing existing theories and literatures. Quantitative data has been processed and mapped in MS Excel sheet by means of tabular and graphical format so that data can be easily judged and error free analysis could have been conducted. Ordinal scale model has been used to in due course for systematic data analysis. On the other hand, qualitative data analysis has been descriptive in nature. The reviews and opinions of the managers of travel agencies have been compared in order to obtain information.

3.10 Ethical considerations:

As opined by Bernard (2011), particular ethics are needed to be maintained during the research study in order to make the study acceptable in the society. The researcher has tried maintaining such ethics by keeping in mind the feeling and emotional aspects involving the human elements, involving the study. At the time of questioning the respondents particular emphasis has been given on the human feelings and believing of the respondents so that ethics can be maintained. Respondents were assured that all the responses gathered would be kept in privacy so that respective professional life might not be influenced. On the other hand, the researcher has made sure that the data collected during the research would be used for academic purpose only and not for any commercial use.

3.11 Research limitations:

Inspite of several attempts by the researcher to conduct a flawless study, the work still got some pitfalls which might have influenced the research results. The time constraint was the first aspect for which extensive research work could have been hampered. The study of customer satisfaction was analysed using only one organisation which does not satisfy the general customer satisfaction concerning other organisations fully. More time period would help in conducting more in depth research on the target domain.

3.12 Time horizon: Gantt chart

 

 

Research Activities 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 5th Week 6th Week
Reviewing literature
Determining research methods
Designing the survey instruments
Conducting data collection process form the chosen sample
Analysing the data and derive conclusion
Proposition of recommendations

 

Table: Gantt chart

(Source: created by the author)

 


 

Chapter 4

Findings and Analysis

4.0 Introduction:

In order to critically judge the determinant of customer satisfaction within the competitive environment of airline industry, the researcher have performed a detailed primary analysis in the present chapter. However, the study have been segregated and presented into two segments: quantitative data analysis and qualitative data. In the first segment (dealing with the quantitative data), the collected data would be illustrated via graphs and carts followed by potential findings and analysis. However, as qualitative data is detailed in nature, it has been described as been collected from the respondents.

4.1 Part A: Quantitative Data Analysis:

The quantitative data accumulated from the chosen sample (frequent airline passengers) have been illustrated underneath.

Question 1: Among the following factors what according to you could influence dissatisfaction?

Table 1:  Factors influencing dissatisfaction:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Price hike of air tickets 40 100 40%
Complex booking mechanism 20 100 20%
Delay in boarding time 24 100 24%
Poor CRM 16 100 16%

 

Findings and Analysis:

A considerable number of respondents were of the opinion that price hikes or air tickets impacts the purchase decision (40%). However, 16% customers pointed out that poor CRM results in dissatisfaction. Contrary to the latter statement, 20% of the sample stated that dissatisfaction could occur as a result of complex booking system.

As mentioned by Kotler and Armstrong (2010), the money charged for products and services are determinants of the current customer’s satisfaction level. Similar such view has even been attributing by the respondents who stated that they would obviously be dissatisfied if any airline raises its cost. However, price is not a single factor of dissatisfaction. From the gathered responses, it could even be stated that if an airline has poor CRM policy or complex booking system, it current or potential customers would normally feel dissatisfied from the same.

Question 2: Would you be disappointed with the poor in-flight performance of the crew members?

Table2 :  Disappointment over poor in-flight performnace:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly agree 42 100 42%
Agree 25 100 25%
Neutral 3 100 3%
Disagree 18 100 18%
Strongly disagree 12 100 12%

 

Findings and Analysis:

42% customers opined that they would definitely be dissatisfied with the poor in-flight performance of the crew members. However, not all had similar opinion. Besides the 3% neutral respondents, 18% disagreed on the same notion. However, contrary to the 12% respondents who strongly disagreed on the subject, 25% agreed upon the dissatisfaction caused due to poor in-flight performance.

As mentioned by Shaw (2007) that employee efficiency in the aviation industry impacts the customer satisfaction level, most of the respondents were even of the similar opinion. In case where there is any kind of drop in in-flight services, customers might turn dissatisfied or discontent. However, from other’s responses, it could be inferred that there are several other dissatisfaction factors and not solely poor in-flight performance.

Question 3: Are you satisfied with the pricing policy adopted by EasyJet?

Table 3:  Satisfaction level from the pricing policy of Easy Jet:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly satisfied 18 100 18%
Satisfied 20 100 20%
Neutral 7 100 7%
Dissatisfied 30 100 30%
Strongly dissatisfied 25 100 25%

 

Findings and Analysis:

Although 20% customers who were satisfied with the current pricing policy of Easy Jet, 30% were dissatisfied. However, 18% respondents were strongly satisfied with the current pricing policy of the case study company.  Besides the 7% customers who gave neutral comments, 25% were strongly dissatisfied.

As have been stated by Colling (1995), the current pricing policy of Easy Jet is not enough effective to drive the customer satisfaction level. The dissatisfied staff even had similar opinion on the current topic wherein they meant from opinion that Easy Jet does not follow effective pricing policies for its tickets and services. However, from the respondents of the satisfied staff, it could be inferred that the current price of tickets and other services are apt in comparison to products or service being offered in real.

Question 4: Among the following, what according to you are the problems with the services of EasyJet?

Table 4: Service problems of EasyJet:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Poor order tracking mechanism 23 100 23%
Service quality is not as per the price 27 100 27%
Absence of prompt service 26 100 26%
Poor in-flight experience. 24 100 24%

 

Findings and Analysis:

27% respondents determined that the current service quality of Easy Jet is not as per the price charged for it. However, not all had similar opinion. 26% customers stated that Easy Jet does not any mechanism for availability of prompt services. 24% sample criticized of not having desired in-flight services while 23% customers pin pointed that Easy Jet has poor order tracking mechanism.

As have been criticized by Whitener (2001), Easy Jet the most prominent service problems of Easy Jet is that its service quality is not as per the price being charge by the company. However, the company is even being affected by absence of prompt service by its in-flight attendants.  The customers even criticized that they have suffered poor in-flight experience that are even a crucial service problem of Easy Jet.

Question 5. Do you consider the importance of availability of effective customer service to be a crucial element to impact your preference in low cost airline services?

Table 5: Necessity for the availability of customer service in low cost airlines:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Yes 80 100 80%
No 12 100 12%
Neutral 8 100 8%

 

Findings and Analysis:

80% respondents pointed out that the availability of customer service is a crucial factor to impact customer’s preference decision.  However, not all had similar opinion. 12% customer disregarded that customer service is truly a crucial element to impact travel preference in low cost airlines. However, 8% were neutral on the subject.

As stated by Dresner and Xu (1995), customer’s preference towards low cost airlines is affected by the services such as: staff performnace, quality of food, welcome message on board and emergency facilities. Similar judgement has even been offered by the respondents who favoured the availability of all kinds’ satisfaction and comfort during travel. However, the customers who negated the comment were of the opinion that their travel decision is dependent on other factors such as price and not customer service.

Question 6. Tick your appropriate choice of factor that impacts your choice in competitive aviation industry, especially in the low cost airline services.

Table 6: Factors impacting customer choice:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Layout of the specific aircraft 26 100 26%
Price 24 100 24%
Staff performance 27 100 27%
Availability of quality goods 23 100 23%

 

Findings and Analysis:

24% of the sample stated that there decision is affected by the current price structure of the flight, while 26% pin pointed the availability of proper layout of the aircraft. 23% respondents acknowledged the presence of quality goods while 27% responded in favour of effective staff performnace in low cost airlines.

Staff performance is a crucial determining factor to impact the choice to travel by a certain airline (Blyton, et al.  2001). Similar judgement  have even been offered by the respondents who stated that only if the staff of the low cost airline are skilled enough to deliver quality services,  they would prefer to fly. However, from the gathered responses of other the rest sample, it could even be inferred that their choice of travel in low cost airline is dependent on the availability of: proper layout (seats) and quality goods (food and other services).

Question 7. Do you consider that the in-flight facilities are crucial element that impact your travel plans in low cost airline services?

Table 7: Impact of in-flight facilities on travel plans:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly agree 18 100 18%
Agree 40 100 40%
Neutral 7 100 7%
Disagree 23 100 23%
Strongly disagree 12 100 12%

 

Findings and Analysis:

In reference to the above figure, the in-flight facilities can be considered as a major element that could impact on the travel plans of the customers. Almost 58% of the total respondents are agreed with the fact while 35% combined negative responses have been accounted. It seems, in-flight service experiences like seating comfort, food services or presentation of the crew members can impact on the satisfaction level of the customers. Shaw (2007) also acknowledged that the performance of the crew members within the flight environment would determine the experience of the customers. Although superior quality of services might not be expected in the low cost service ranges but customers would expect a specific standard of services comparing to other organisations in the similar industry.

Question 8. Do you consider that the availability of optimum in-flight customer service could improve your satisfaction level?

Table 8: Availability of in-flight facilities for improving satisfaction level:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly agree 22 100 22%
Agree 35 100 35%
Neutral 5 100 5%
Disagree 20 100 20%
Strongly disagree 18 100 18%

 

Findings and Analysis:

Approximately 57% of the customers agreed that the improvement of the in-flight service facilities could help enhancing the satisfaction level. In-flight services like complementary food items or may be a more comfortable seating arrangement can help making the customers more satisfied. Kotler (2003) cited that customers are generally got more satisfied with the added values that come with the ordered services and organisations need to capitalise such perceptions if improved customer satisfaction is to be achieved. Hence, EasyJet can introduce some value added service along with the conventional in-flight services in order to experience increased satisfied customers. On the contrary, approximately 38% of the customers argued with the fact may be because such customers assume inclusion of such in-fight services would mean hike in ticket price.

Question 9. Are you of the opinion that advanced layout of commercial aircrafts could impact your decision making to travel by a specific airline brand?

Table 9: Need for advanced layout for impacting travel decision making:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Yes 75 100 75%
No 15 100 15%
Neutral. 10 100 10%

 

Findings and Analysis:

Considering the findings from the above figure, a change in the layout of the aircrafts could impact on the decision making of the customers. Almost 75% of the customers think change of layout would influence the corresponding decision making process while 15% reported negatively and 10% of the respondents failed to provide precise perceptions. According to Hines (2013), the appearance and layout of the aircrafts would promote the visual elements and customers would assume a better experience travelling in a flight with better design and layout. Since majority of the customers think layout of the flights is important, EasyJet need to reconsider the flight designing process as per the perception of the customers.

Question 10: Do you think considering on customer feedback evaluation can help EasyJet improving the service quality?

Table 10: Significance of customer evaluation process for EasyJet:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly agree 33 100 33%
Agree 35 100 35%
Neutral 10 100 10%
Disagree 17 100 17%
Strongly disagree 5 100 5%

 

Findings and Analysis:

Majority of the respondents (68%) think evaluation of the customer feedback would be an effective option for EasyJet following which, the service standard could be improved. Park et al. (2004) focused on similar fact by suggesting that customers’ feedback evaluation would help assessing the perceived value that could be incorporated within the existing services range. The combined 21% negative responses of the customers highlights the fact that customer feedback evaluation might not always turn out to be a viable option as feasibility of the application of the proposed feedback could be challenging. However, considering the responses of majority of the respondents, it seems developing services as per the customer feedback would be a safe option following which, improved customer satisfaction could be achieved.

Question 11: Would you avail the services of EasyJet if the company follow competitive pricing policy?

Table 11:  Necessity for following competitive pricing policy to avail services of competitive pricing policy:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly agree 38 100 38%
Agree 40 100 40%
Neutral 5 100 5%
Disagree 11 100 11%
Strongly disagree 6 100 6%

 

Findings and Analysis:

40% customers agreed that they would prefer to travel by Easy Jet if the same follows competitive pricing policy. 38% respondents strongly agreed to the view that they would prefer the brand if it abides by competitive pricing policy. However, 6% strongly disagreed to the current concept while 11% disagreed on the same.

As have been determined by Whitener (2001), follow of competitive pricing policy is an effective source to impact the customer preference. As Easy Jet does not follow an effective pricing policy, customers who prefer to opt for the current brand only if the company lower its ticket prices or service charges. However, the respondents who disagreed on the same considered that the lowering of price is not enough motivating factor to make them opt for travel by Easy Jet.

Question 12: Would you opt for booking EasyJet flights if the organisation introduces discounts or any kind of value added services?

Table 12: Option to book Easy Jet flights while introduction of value-added services:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly agree 20 100 20%
Agree 55 100 55%
Neutral 5 100 5%
Disagree 12 100 12%
Strongly disagree 8 100 8%

 

Findings and Analysis:

55% of the respondents agreed that they would for Easy Jet by the introduction of value-added services. Besides the 5% sample who were neutral on the subject, 12% disagreed on the same. Contrary to the latter denotion, 20% customers strongly agreed that they would prefer booking Easy Jet tickets on the availability of discounts and value-added services.

As have been opined by Dana (1999), the facility of offering any kind of value added services would motivate the travellers to travel by the specific flight. The respondents even had similar opinion that if Easy Jet offers any kind of discount, they would be motivated to travel by the same brand. However, the customers who negated the thought were of the opinion that value added services are not enough motivating factor to choose to travel by preferred flight.

 

 

 

4.2 Part B: Qualitative data analysis:

Qualitative analysis has been done evaluating the verbal responses of 2 of the managers of the travel agencies. The responses has been compared with the theoretical findings throughout the study on the basis of which conclusion has been achieved in the next chapter. 

Q1. Can you identify any specific barriers impacting the scope for optimum customer satisfaction by airlines such as Easy Jet?

The managers of the travel agencies have shed light on a range of influential factors that might cause dissatisfaction among the customers of EasyJet. One of the managers mentioned that the absence of e prompt pricing policy can be a reason behind customer dissatisfaction. The organisation has a tendency to alter the pricing policy quite frequently in order to address business environmental change. Considering the proposition of Schiffman, and Kanuk (2004), short notice of the pricing policy is a common phenomenon in the airline industry although the strategy could influence customer satisfaction level. On the other hand, another manager focused on lack of quality in the services offered by EasyJet. The manager cited that a significant complains have been acquired regarding the service quality of the company and the customers are not happy with inefficient services like delay in flight departure or poor relationship management. Similar finding has been found in the comment of Kotler (2003) as the author mentioned that maintaining a strong relationship with the customers would ensure optimum customer satisfaction level. It seems there have been quite a few gaps between the perception of the management of EasyJet and the customers that has been causing customer dissatisfaction.

Q2. What factors do you consider to impact customer preferences in competitive aviation industry especially in low cost airline services?

All the managers of the travel agencies agreed that there are some common drivers leading to constantly changing customer preferences and the managers believe that organisations in the aviation industry that are successful in addressing the factors have been more popular to the customers. Highlighting the factors, one of the managers discussed that value for money remains the major criteria among the customers at the time of booking a flight. As mentioned by Park et al. (2004), customers would always look for quality services in moderate price and the empirical data of the Korean low cost airline industry establishes the fact. The manager also considers competitive pricing as a major determining factor for success in the low cost airline industry. Customers like to tally a range of option before finally booking for a flight. Generally the option with the lowest pricing is the most favoured among the customers. However, the other manager argued that a low cost flight service would mean compromising in the service quality. Hence, the feasible option for the organisations could be inclusion of value added services along with the traditional offerings as customers would be tempted with the added value in service concept. Considering the opinion of Reinartz and Kumar (2003), a superior service strategy would be based on customer perception and the strategy would likely to be a hit among the customers. Thus, evaluating the responses of the managers, customers’ preferences can be summarised as competitive pricing, value added services value for money services following which, improved customer satisfaction can be achieved.  

Q3. Can you suggest suitable recommendations for issues related to attain customer satisfaction and thus attain optimum satisfied customer range?

The managers of the travel agencies believe that in order to achieve optimum customer satisfaction, EasyJet needs to address the perceived value among the services. One of the managers believes that considering a feedback evaluation process could be helpful in assessing customers’ perception and develop strategies accordingly. The manager even suggested of integrating the feedback evaluation process within a range of social media channels. As per Shaw (2007), engaging the customers within a range of social media channels has turned out to be an useful approach in contemporary business environment as the process not only help promoting the brand values but also to assess customer perception on the basis of which the service range can be developed. The other manager emphasised on a range of contingent approaches that EasyJet officials could follow. The manager recommends a competitive pricing policy for the organisation along with an effective CRM process to maintain an effective relation with the target audiences. Kotler (2004) acknowledged that acquiring customers is difficult while retaining customers would be a more stiff challenge for business organisations in modern day context and therefore organisations need to focus on effective relationship management strategies. Summarising the reviews of the managers it is assumed that focusing on customer feedback evaluation, competitive pricing policy and an effective CRM process implementation could help managing and retaining a satisfied customer base. 

 

 


 

Chapter 5

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.0 Introduction:

Post gathering primary and secondary responses from selected sources, the researcher have inferred on the current research topic, in the present chapter. Several customer satisfaction factors have been identified in the study that is supposed to impact the provision of travel by the specific flight. Besides having a concluding remark on the later aspect, the researcher would pin point recommendations on even better customer satisfaction in airline industry especially by Easy Jet. Limitations and future research scope would even be stated underneath.

5.1 Linking with the objectives:

Objective 1: To identify the problems which create barrier to the satisfaction of the customers:

Analysing the findings from the data analysis segment, a range of barriers has been found that could turn out to be barriers for customer satisfaction. Considering the findings from Question 1 in chapter 4 (Part A), customers can be dissatisfied with price hike of tickets, complex booking mechanism, delay in boarding time or poor CRM. As mentioned by Kotler and Armstrong (2010), customers can be significantly dissatisfied with the sudden hike in service costs. Adding to that, findings from Question 2 (Part A, chapter 4) suggest that poor in-flight performance of the crew members could also be a major reasons behind the dissatisfaction of the customers. Shaw (2007) reflects on the fact by acknowledging that employees in the aviation industry are needed to be well aware of the respective duties and responsibilities as it the employee performance would ultimately determine the customer satisfaction level. Considering the qualitative data, managers of the travel agencies believe EasyJet is failing to maintain a competitive pricing policy while the quality is not at par with the quoted price. As a consequence, a degree of dissatisfaction is found among the customers. 

Objective 2: To investigate the problems in the existing approached of EasyJet in satisfying the customers:

Ineffective pricing policy along with lack of quality is services are found to be two major problems associated with the offerings of EasyJet. In reference to the findings from Question 3 (Part A in chapter 4), customers are dissatisfied with the pricing policy of EsayJet and a significant amount of customers are not looking forward to avail the services of the organisation in the near future. Considering the proposition of Colling (1995), gap in the perceived product price could lead to customer dissatisfaction which is supposed to be the case for EasyJet. In reference to Question 4 (Part A in chapter 4), customers are also dissatisfied with the poor order tracking mechanism, unjustified price tag for the services, absence of prompt services and poor in-flight experience. Such problems are needed to be addressed promptly as there has been growing amount of dissatisfied customers of EasyJet.

Objective 3: To analyze the factors which effect on the customer in the competitive aviation industry particularly in low cost airline services:

As have been mentioned by Dresner and Xu (1995), availability of customer service is quite essential to ensure that a specific low cost airline remains competitive within the market. From question 5 and 6 of Part A, it could be concluded that layout of the aircraft, price and staff performnace are factors to impact the travel decision of the customers within the aviation industry. As have also been stated by Shaw (2007) in chapter 2, in-flight services are also to impact the decision making of the customers. Also it could be concluded from responses gained in question 7 of part A that the travel decision is impacted by the nature of services being meted out by the in-flight staff. In other words, if the staffs do not deliver desired services to its customers during travel, they would feel disappointed to travel by the flight even if it is a low cost airline. Park et al. (2004) and Reinartz and Kumar (2003) have identified that superior service strategy even proves beneficial for the specific airline company to attain competitive edge (question 2, part B).

Objective 4: To analyse the processes for the effective solution to identified problems in the acquisition of the customer satisfaction:

As have been briefed by Kotler (2003) in chapter 2 and also been stated in question 8 (part A), availability of in-flight services such as proper seating or handling of baggage could be an effective solution for customer acquisition. Question 9 of part A, even stated the fact that customers are often attracted to aircraft brand having advanced layout systems.  In other words, if the layout of the flight is technically not worthy of travel, they would not be motivated enough to travel by the same flight.

Kotler (2004) in chapter 2 attributed the necessity for following effective CRM polices besides even having low ticket price and services. From question 3 of part B, it could be concluded that feedback evaluation process or the follow of competitive pricing policy could be effective strategic options to ensure optimum customer satisfaction. All latter options are an effective source by which travel firms could ensure that the customers reamin satisfied.  Any airline brand would thus be able to acquire fresh customers and retain its existing traffic base.

Objective 5: To provide some specific recommendations for the development of the level of customer satisfaction:

Customers in the aviation industry believe the present scenario of EasyJet could be improved if the organisation manages to improve the current level of services along with the pricing policy. Taking into consideration the findings from Question 11 (Part A, chapter 4), customers believe the company can follow competitive pricing policy as the current pricing policy is found to be not effective. The relevancy between the service quality and the quoted price has been questioned by the customers. As opined by Whitener (2001), organisations need to maintain a pricing policy as per the service quality and in order to achieve optimum result, a competitive pricing policy is needed to be maintained. On the other hand, refereeing to the Question 12 (Part A, chapter 4), customers of EasyJet would appreciate the services if the company introduce a range of value added services within the existing service range. Adding to that, considering the findings from Question 10 (Part A, chapter 4), initiating a customer feedback evaluation process could be helpful in improving the service quality and accordingly improved customer satisfaction level can be experienced.

5.2 Recommendations:

Strategic Pricing:

As mentioned by the respondents, customers are more disappointed with the pricing policies of EasyJet as it has increased. Therefore, the firm could follow the competitive pricing policies to make it more preferable towards the customers over its rivals. Therefore, EasyJet needs to consider significant reduction of ticket price through narrowing down its profit margin. It could enhance the acceptance of EasyJet more towards customers. In this context, various rebate could be offered on the frequency of using the airline that customers could be prefer using EasyJet flights while making decision on travelling.

Service quality:

It has also been found that service quality is not as per the pricing. Therefore, different factors under service quality need reviewing for a better quality provision. However, most of the customers tend to focus on the staff performance to select airlines services. Thus, EasyJet needs to promote training for crews that better services could be offered whereas tracking mechanism, in-flight service quality could be enhanced based on customers’ needs. In this context, customers’ feedbacks could be collected periodically to track the changes to be incorporated in customer service mechanisms.

In-flight services environment:

In-flight services refer to the additional amenities that the customers could expect from the airlines company during travelling. In that case, value added services is the suitable potential to enhance performance level. In this context, discount on pricing, complimentary breakfast or lunch could improve the satisfaction level of customers as obtained from the responses. However, requirements of in-flight services vary over the customers. In that case, customers’ feedback evaluation could enable EasyJet to spot the crucial and basic in-flight services the customers require. Laundry services could be integrated into the in-flight services to enhance the customer satisfaction level while minimising cost accordingly.

5.3 Limitations of the research:

The entire research is based on the primary data only that varies over the perception and responses of both customers and employees. However, probability of getting differentiated responses against same query is relatively higher. Therefore, it could result significant deviation of the overall result based on the responses.

On the other hand, no comparative study has been undertaken in this research to identify the exact benchmark of different customer satisfaction determinants like, pricing, service quality, staffs performance etc. furthermore, the study is limited to one country and thus the scope of undertaking wider study region is edged.

5.4 Future scope of the study:

The current study has been prepared in presence of the travel agencies whereas direct study based on the EasyJet could open wider scope to investigate different more aspects of the organisation regarding customers’ satisfaction such as promotional activities, online advertising mechanism, contribution of social media in improving customers’ satisfaction level etc.

On the other hand, a comparative study could be conducted to measure the standard of customer satisfaction determinants as mentioned above. Therefore, the current study could be further conducted in context of global platform to access more relevant information regarding EasyJet as well as the overall airlines industry. Moreover, in case secondary could also be considered to analyse the performance using statistical tools.

References:

Anderson, E.W. and Mittal,V. (2000), “Strengthening the satisfaction-profit chain”, Journal of Service Research, Vol. 3(2), pp 107-120

Belobaba, P. P. (1987), “Airline Yield Management: An Overview of Seat Inventory Control,” Transportation Science, (21), pp. 63-73.

Blyton, P., Martinez Lucio, M., McGurk, J., and Turnbull, P. (2001) ‘Globalisatio and trade union strategy: industrial restructuring and human resource management in the international civil aviation industry’, International Journal of Human Resource Management,

Borenstein, S. and Rose, L. R. (1994), “Competition and Price Dispersion in the US Airline Industry,” Journal Political Economy, (102), pp. 653-683.

Brannen, J. (2009) ‘Prologue, mixed methods for novice researchers: reflections and themes, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(1), pp. 8–12.

Cameron, R. (2009) ‘A sequential mixed model research design: design, analytical and display issues’, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), pp. 140-152

Carpenter, G. S. and Hanssens, D. M. (1994), “Market Expansion, Cannibalization, andn International Airline Pricing Strategy,” International Journal of Forecasting, (10), pp. 313-326.

Chintagunta, P.K, Dipak, C. Jain and Naufel, J. Vilcassim (1991), “Investigating Heterogeneity in Brand Preferences in Logit Models for Panel Data,” Journal ofMarketing Research, 28, 99.417-428.

Colling, T. (1995) ‘Experiencing turbulence: competition, strategic choice and the management of human resources in British Airways’, Human Resource Management Journal, 5(5), pp. 18–32.

Columbia Edu. (2012). AirlineIndustryOverview. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.columbia.edu/cu/consultingclub/Resources/Airlines_Eric_Henckels.pdf. [Accessed 21 December 13].

Dana, J.D. (1999), “Using Yield Management to Shift Demand When the Peak Time is Unknown,” Rand Journal of Economics, pp. 456-474.

Desiraju, R. and Shugan, S. (1999), “Strategic Service Pricing and Yield Management,” Journal of Marketing, (63), pp. 44-56.

Done, K. (2004), “Ryanair’s dream run comes to an end,” Financial Times, January 29th.

EasyJet PLC. (2013). EasyJet at a glance. [ONLINE] Available at: http://corporate.easyjet.com/about-easyjet.aspx?sc_lang=en. [Accessed 02 January 14].

Ellis, T. and Levy, Y. (2009) ‘Towards a guide for novice researchers on research methodology: Review and proposed methods’, Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 6 (2), pp. 323-337

Gale, I.L. and Holmes, T.J. (1992), “The Efficiency of Advance-Purchase Discounts in the Presences of Aggregate Demand Uncertainty,” International Journal of IndustrialEngineering, (10), pp. 413-437.

Gallego, G. and van Ryzen, G. J. (1997), “A Multi-Product Dynamic Pricing Problem and its Applications to Network Yield Management,” Operations Research, (45), pp. 24- 41.

Getty, J.M, and Thompson, K.N (1994), “The relationship between quality, satisfaction, and recommending behaviour in lodging decision”, Journal of Hospitality & Leisure Marketing, 2(3), pp.3-22.

Hendry, C., Pettigrew, A.M., and Sparrow, P.R. (1989) ‘Linking strategic change, competitive performance and human resource management: results of a UK empirical study’, in Mansfield, R. (ed.) Frontiers of Management Research, London: Routledge.

Hide N. (2013). EasyJet passenger harassed by staff for tweeting complaint. [ONLINE] Available at:http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/easyjet-passenger-harassed-by-staff-for-tweeting-complaint-50012337/. [Accessed 29 December 13].

Ians. (2013). EasyJet to buy 135 Airbus aircraft. [ONLINE] Available at:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-07-12/news/40536861_1_easyjet-aircraft-airbus-a320. [Accessed 03 January 14].

Kotler, P., (2003), Marketing Management, Pearson Education, Inc. Fifth ed. USA

Kretsch, S.S. (1995), “Airline Fare Management and Policy,” in The Handbook of Airline Economics, pp. 477-482.32

Lautenberg, C.J. and Stidham, S.J. (1999), “The Underlying Markov Decision Process in a Single-Leg Airline Yield Management Problem,” Transportation Science, (33), pp. 136-146.

McAlexander, J.H, Kaldenberg, D.O. and Koenig, H.F (1994), “Service quality measurement”, Journal of Health Care Marketing, 14(3), pp.34-40.

McGill, J. I. and van Ryzen, G. J. (1999), “Revenue Management: Research Overview and Prospects,” Transportation Science, (33), pp. 233-256.

Morrison, S.A. and Winston, C. (1990), “The Dynamics of Airline Pricing and Competition,” American Economic Review, (80), pp. 389-393.

Nixon, T. (2011), ‘The paradigm shift in business research methodologies’, Journal of management research studies, 23(5), pp. 23-56

Oliver, R.L. (1997), “Satisfaction: A behavioral perspective on the consumer”, Singapore: McGraw Hill

Reinartz, and Kumar, (2003), “The impact of customer relationship characteristics on profitable lifetime duration”, Journal of Marketing, 67(1), 77-99.

Roberts C. (2012). EasyJet accused of discriminating against disabled passengers. [ONLINE] Available at:http://travel.aol.co.uk/2012/10/28/EasyJet-accused-of-discriminating-against-disabled-passengers/. [Accessed 31 December 13].

Ruyter, K. and Wetzels, M. (2000), “Customer equity considerations in service recovery: A cross-industry perspective”, InternationalJournal of Service Industry Management, 11(1), pp 91-108

Schiffman, L.G. and Kanuk, L.L. (2004), Consumer Behaviour. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Shaw (2007), Airline Marketing and Management, 6thed, Ash gate Edition, UK.

Talluri, K. and van Ryzen, G. J. (2004), The Theory and Practice of Revenue Management, Kluwer Academic Publishers, forthcoming.

Toloie-Eshlaghy, A., Chitsaz, S., Karimian, L. and Charkhchi, R. (2011) A Classification of Qualitative Research Methods, Research Journal of International Studies, 2(1), pp. 106-152.

Warhurst, R. (1995) ‘Converging on HRM? Change and continuity in European  airlines’ industrial relations’, European Journal of Industrial Relations, 1(2), pp. 259–274.

Watherford, L.R. and Pfeifer, P.E. (1994), “The Economic Value of Using Advance Booking of Orders,” Omega, (22), pp. 105-111.

Whitener, E.M. (2001) ‘Do “high commitment” human resource practices affect employee commitment? A cross-level analysis using hierarchical linear modelling’, Journal of Management, 27, pp. 515–535.

Xie, J. and Shugan, S. (2001), “Electronic Tickets, Smart Cards, and Online Prepayments: When and How to Advance Sell,” Marketing Science, (20), pp. 219-243

You, P.S. (1999), “Dynamic Pricing in Airline Seat Management for Flights with Multiple Legs,” Transportation Science, (33), pp. 192-206


 

Appendix:

Quantitative questionnaire:

(Customers)

Name:

Closer duration of travel:

Age:

Question 1: Among the following factors what according to you could influence dissatisfaction?

  • Price hike of air tickets
  • Complex booking mechanism
  • Delay in boarding time
  • Poor CRM

Question 2: Would you be disappointed with the poor in flight performance of the crew members?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Question 3: Are you satisfied with the pricing policy adopted by EasyJet?

  • Strongly Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Strongly dissatisfied

Question 4: Among the following, what according to you are the problems with the services of EasyJet?

  • Poor order tracking mechanism
  • Service quality is not as per the price
  • Absence of prompt service
  • Poor in-flight experience.

Question 5. Do you consider the importance of availability of effective customer service to be a crucial element to impact your preference in low cost airline services?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Neutral

Question 6. Tick your appropriate choice of factor that impact your choice in competitive aviation industry, especially in the low cost airline services.

  • Layout of the specific aircraft
  • Price
  • Staff performance
  • Availability of quality goods

Question 7. Do you consider that the in-flight facilities are crucial element that impact your travel plans in low cost airline services?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Question 8. Do you consider that the availability of optimum in-flight customer service could improve your satisfaction level?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Question 9. Are you of the opinion that advanced layout of commercial aircrafts could impact your decision making to travel by a specific airline brand?

  • Yes
  • No

Question 10: Do you think considering on customer feedback evaluation can help EasyJet improving the service quality?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Question 11: Would you avail the services of EasyJet if the company follow competitive pricing policy?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Question 12: Would you opt for booking EasyJet flights of the organisation introduces discounts or any kind of value added services?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

 

 

 

 

Qualitative Questionnaire:

(Managers)

  1. Can you identify any specific barriers impacting the scope for optimum customer satisfaction by airlines such as Easy Jet?
  2. What factors do you consider to impact customer preferences in competitive aviation industry especially in low cost airline services?
  3. Can you suggest suitable recommendations for issues related to attaining customer satisfaction and thus attain optimum satisfied customer range?

Tags

top
error: Content is protected !!