An Evaluation of The Impact of Customer Relationship Management Implementation on Customer Satisfaction of UK Mobile Network Service Providers

Abstract:

Introduction:  The concept of CRM has gained precedence in modern marketing concept as more and more customers are basing their purchase decision making on customer-centric attitude followed by the brand. However, as at times CRM levies additional pressure on the marketers to follow certain norms, the study will evaluate its significance and influence on consumer satisfaction. As the players in the telecom sector are huge by number, the chapter will relate the significance of CRM in the current sector. The study will still try to detect the relevance of CRM for customer satisfaction by the mobile network service providers of UK. Literature Review:  Mobile network service providers of UK have based their marketing policies on several forms of CRM initiatives as they consider it to be quite effective for pooling the attention of UK’s population.  Consumer’s behaviour is dependent on the current CRM practices of the brand. Although, it is often difficult to suit the diverse consumer preference, yet the general CRM practices help in carving a distinct brand image in the perception level of the consumers. Methods:  Deductive research approach have been considered here as to validate a range of hypothesis. Descriptive design have been considered that supports both quantitative and qualitative data to derive a logical conclusion. Both primary and secondary data have been considered here. While questionnaire method has been used for gathering quantitative subjects, secondary details have been gathered from books, journals and websites.

Findings: It can be inferred from the attained findings that CRM and customer satisfaction is correlated.  The responses were in favour of practising CRM strategies for the benefit of both the company as well as the customers.  However, the difference lies in between the exact service demands of the customers. Discussion and Analysis:   It has been analysed from the attained responses that customer satisfaction is interlinked and customers’ base their decision making is based on the current level of service quality. Several consumers of the mobile network brand base their decision making on the IP address and other facilities. Conclusion: In the concluding chapter, it can be inferred that CRM and customer satisfaction is interrelated.  It is necessary to periodically evaluate the current CRM policies in a manner such that there lays no gap in between the expected and actual service quality level. However, the mobile network providers can offer: effective channel management and faster conversion. Doing so will assist in bettering the prospect of CRM policies at workplace fort ensuring customer satisfaction. Future researchers could delve deeper into studying the implementation of the current CRM model in other sectors.

 

Acknowledgement:

I would like to thank several individuals who have assisted me in successfully completing the study. I would primarily thank the supervisor who provided me with all necessary topic related details. At times when I faced issues with regards to how to proceed, my supervisor assisted me a lot with all essential research details. Thanks to all the primary respondents who took time off to respond to the survey and interview session.  The study would not have been complete without the primary details. Finally, I would like to pay my kind regards to my friends and family who supported me throughout the project tenure.  Only by their support, I was able to successfully complete the current project.

 

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.0 Introduction:

Customer Relationship Management involves the strategies and technologies that companies utilise in order to manage, record and evaluate the interactions of the customers’.  The motive behind the CRM policies is to drive the sales growth by enriching the relationship with the customers’.  The growth of several   players offering identical services have increased thus necessitating the significance of using strategic policies to acknowledge the customers’ preferences (Abhayawansa and Johnson, 2007).  The marketers have denoted the fact that that the choice of brand decision making of the customers’ is based on the level of customer-centric attitude adopted by the brand. Better are the policies, more will be the customers’ satisfaction level. Considering the significant influence of CRM activities on customer satisfaction, marketers have made noted efforts in the past 20 years.

The major mobile network players in the UK market are: T-mobile, Virgin mobile, Vodaphone and Orange mobile. Each of the mobile network service providers are aiming to achieve customer satisfaction by making some strategic promotional efforts.  However, as the switching cost of the customers is low and competition is intense, CRM efforts are more in use.  By deploying the latest technologies, the mobile network brands are planning to gather data relating to market preference and thereby adapt their current offerings. However, Becht (2007) referred that success from CRM strategy s dependent on the choice of software and relevancy of attained information’s. Taking the latter factors into consideration, study will evaluate the relevance and impact of CRM policies on customer satisfaction, thereby, attain market edge.

1.1 Background of the study

Customers are presently basing their choice of brand decision making on the application of CRM activities. CRM policies are gaining relevance as a result of being able to acknowledge the needs and preferences of the target mass. CRM policies helps the marketers to be aware of the consumers’ preferences, thereby, offer services that would meet their preferences. The traditional marketing process has been losing its significance as contemporary customers prefer a close or personal touch by the marketers. The advent of globalization has promoted the concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that is currently widely used by the marketers. Abalo et al. (2007) identified that CRM is a software system that assists the sales force and managers to manage the sales process.  The software assists businesses to keep track of their customers and develop an efficient method to market the same.  Several marketers are presently using the newly developed customer centric strategy to identify the needs and preferences of the target mass and thereby offer strategic solution to current market issues.

It is necessary to opt for efficient software in order to gather data and analyse the preferences and opinions of the customers’. Future success potential of the business s dependent on the attained market information gained from the application of CRM software. By not being able to identify the current factors, businesses can be prevented from following an integrative approach at work, connect the sales effort with the organizational objectives and acknowledge the changing preferences of the customers.  With the context of the current market setting, market sustainability is dependent on how close and effectively have the marketers been able to develop a personal touch with the customers. Anderson and Mittal (2010) referred that by making alterations based on the changing customer preferences, businesses can be able to widen its satisfied customer base. CRM initiatives are helpful for the process of identifying the exact product features in-demand or any solutions that are desired. Several of the CRM representatives are assigned by marketers in order to conduct a detailed market research and gather details based on the customers’ current preferences (Benady, 2003). The accumulated market research details ultimately prove to be effective to reshape the current offerings. Eventually, the customers are focused to a brand offering valued products in turn achieving customer satisfaction for the brand.

Within the homogenous market segment, CRM strategy that is frequently used by the marketers can be utilised in order to distinct its current offerings from the available alternatives (Berry, 2008).  The strategy of linking the staffs’ efforts to meeting organizational objectives can eventually turn out to be worthy for the brand to attract customers and make them satisfied through current product and service offerings.  As the mobile network service providers of UK are several by number and are offering homogenous products, CRM solutions can be identified as an effective policy for increasing its satisfied customer base. However, the present policy is not averse to risk. Bakhaus and Bauer (2009) revealed that CRM systems might not be compatible with other management systems. In such cases, the possibility of arriving at an accurate market research data is bare minimum. Nevertheless, the link between CRM and customer satisfaction cannot be ignored.

The present case study has able to assess the impact of the CRM on the mobile telecommunication services which bears a relationship with the consumer satisfaction retention and loyalty. Berry and Feldman (2011) highlighted that a service towards the performance of the product/ performance represent various ongoing challenges for the corporate financial gain and loss. Every firm considers Customer relationship management as A core and valuable asset in the operations. Earlier research works supports the customer relationship management have a unique impact on the behaviour of the supplier and customer. Brandt (2009) pointed out that this is controlled by business performance, which eventually helps to establish relationships in order to build the trust and loyalty. Long term strategies are always being remaining proactive to customer needs (Bolton and Drew, 2004).

1.2 Rational of the study

The advent of CRM polices in modern context have allowed the marketers to deploy suitable policies that would meet their expectations. Once, suitable CRM policies are applied, the customers will automatically derive satisfaction on meeting their current needs and expectations.  Besides, depending on the authenticity of the customers’ response as well as the choice of CRM software, the assessment from the same should be dependable.  Future policies will be in tangent with the current policies. However, the core business objectives should not be lost while being socially responsible (Busacca and Padula, 2005). This approach is important from the marketer’s perspective to assess the consumer behaviour more efficiently. Many existing studies fail to establish the theoretical and analytical rigour that is required to analyse the consumer behaviour (Boulding et al. 2003). The current study is thus significant for the mobile network managers to identify the accurate CRM policies that would help in meeting their current level of expectations.

1.3. Research Aim and Objectives

1.3.1 Aims

The aim of the research is to identify the influence of CRM policies for attaining the customers’ satisfaction level by the mobile network service providers of UK.

1.3.2 Research objectives

  • To determine the CRM policies followed by UK based mobile network brand.
  • To investigate whether CRM policies would help in improving customer satisfaction index.
  • To suggest suitable recommendations to overcome the identified gaps in CRM policy applications of the mobile network brands of UK.

1.4 Overview

Chapter 1: Introduction Herein, the aim and research objectives have been stated. The research background and rationale has also been provided. An introductory section has even been provided.
Chapter 2: Literature Review The literature review has included the past studies on the current research. Relevant theories on the current research have been stated herein.
Chapter 3: Methodology The research methodology has included the relevant paradigms in the present context. The chosen sample size, sampling process and other specifications have been mentioned herein.
Chapter 4: Findings and Analysis The chapter have included graphs and charts in the present chapter. Here the researcher has included a possible analysis that could help in meeting the objectives.
Chapter 5:Discussion and Analysis Herein the researcher has studied the responses, both qualitative and quantitative responses.  The data have been triangulated in order to derive a match between both the data type.
Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendations Herein, a conclusion has been derived after going through the entire study. Both data types have been incorporated in order to conclude on the current subject. Finally, recommendations have been provided in order to overcome the current gaps.

Table 1: Dissertation structure

 

 

Chapter 2

Literature review

2.0 Introduction

This research is dedicated to the service quality and behavioural aspect of the consumer that is considered as the major decision making and strategic planning tool. The material belongs to this chapter focuses mainly on the relationship marketing and management processes. This chapter is divided into two parts: The first part deals with the concept of customer relationship where the second part discussed the behavioural factors.

2.1 CRM model:

There are several models that have been devised by past authors in order to identify the model for effective relationship marketing.  The model described below is noted as Evans and Luskin model that determines the impact created upon customers by the application of CRM strategies:

crm_model_uk_telecom_companies

Figure 1: CRM model

(Source: Abhayawansa, S. and Johnson, R., 2007, p. 98)

The CRM model discussed above helps in identifying the influence of CRM policies on customer satisfaction. Abhayawansa and Johnson (2007) determined that the CRM inputs made by the current the software is used to identify the expectations of the customers or developing service partnerships with the service providers. The information thereby gathered will help in practising TQM. The attained data will help the mobile network firm to offer strategies that will help in satisfying the needs and preferences of the target mass. However, the success from the application of CRM policies is dependent on the authenticity of attained information and the choice of software used to assess the details. Anyhow, the choice of CRM strategy is considered to help in meeting the quality expectations of the customers, thereby, meeting their loyalty decisions.  By offering the effective products and services, a specific service will e more in demand and the firm’s profitability will thereby rise.

However, Alchian and Demsetz (2005) denoted that the actual satisfaction level is based on the feedback or dissonance created after purchase. Lower the dissonance, greater will be the satisfaction level. It is also required to integrate the current resources of the firms in order to keep touch with the customers’ make sure that the current offerings are met. Periodic evaluations will help in overcoming the flaws within the service delivery strategy instead are able to meet the current expectation level.

2.2 Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Buzzel and Gale (2007) divided CRM into two major parts: a) analytical CRM b) Behavioural CRM. Analytical CRM used to focus on the revenue part of assessing the consumer data by different methods (e.g. marketing campaigns, product development, pricing). While the behavioural CRM supports the decision making process and other managerial strategies by conducting different surveys and experiments. This has been argued by Cadotte and Turgeon (2009) that the process of CRM is organised by a continuous process which consist of three stages: (1) customer acquisition, (2) relationship development, and (3) retention strategies.

Every organisation attempts to acquire new customers through different channels e.g. direct marketing, cross selling Cadotte and Turgeon (2008) and appropriate strategies. Chu (2008) mentioned that marketing and the operating cost are significantly gone down due to the retention of the older consumer. This indirectly increases the total lifetime value to the customer (LTV) base. To implement these constructs, we need to manufacture a sophisticated framework that includes both the consumer retention probabilities and revenues.

crm_process_uk_telecom_companies

Figure 2: CRM process

(Source: Shleifer, A., and Vishny, R.  2007, p. 783)

There is a positive correlation ship exist between the service quality and consumer satisfaction which ultimately leads to increase in the retention rate, loyalty and profitability. Danaher (2008) highlighted that identification of the determinants that are responsible for customer satisfaction always get the top priority. Very organisation has belonged to the network service industry always assess and determine which are the service attributes that can fulfil most of the requirements and minimise the dissatisfaction.

This process determines which attributes increase the satisfaction and add more value. A better understanding of the service quality attributes make a better decision in the resource allocation process and reduce the operational costs of the respondent (Dolinsky and Caputo, 2008).

The increasing dominance of CRM policies can be highlighted in the context of better customer service and increasing product attractiveness.  It has been increasingly important for the marketers to be aware of the current market demands.  Durgee (1999) pointed out that although it is often difficult to meet the changing customer preferences, yet the marketers are supposed to be aware of the current status of the market and alter its own product and service features. By not working in tangent with current customer preferences, businesses might lose the chances of satisfying its customer base. Eventually, the brand might lose its customers to the other brand and thereby threatening its market sustainability.

Abeysekera (2001) acknowledged that CRM makes a wide range of data available to business owners and their department heads. By this information, the business can gain the advantage of targeting specific consumers with marketing based on their buying behaviour. The necessary market details will be helpful for the mobile network service providers to develop a network plan according to the desired preferences. Also, by developing suitable pricing policy, the network planners can strategically price its products that could be within the market reach.   In this respect, Abhayawansa (2008) determined that although it might not be a feasible idea to set a target to satisfy the entire population, yet the CRM policy should be flexible in order to be able to alter its product and service features so as to satisfy at least the profitable segment of the society.

However, Abhayawansa and Johnson (2007) identified that not all customers tend to be content by the current CRM policy of a brand.  Customer loyalty is also dependent on traditional policies and thus hardly do such customers entertain virtual marketing process.   Also, few customers might not wish to reveal their true and accurate details, thus limiting the chances of the marketers to gain authentic customer based information’s. CRM policies might also be tiring at tines as several smaller firms have to spend additional funds behind the development and application of CRM policies (Busacca and Padula, 2005).  There are also chances that organization deviate themselves from its core objectives into CRM activities that might not be initial motive.   Having said that, Aghion and Bolton (2007) identified that CRM policy is considered to set a direction for the sales people towards identifying and channelizing marketing efforts towards customer satisfaction. Frequent communication with the customers might be helpful for mobile network brands to acknowledge their preference besides also channelizing their entire operations towards meeting the business objective. With the growing relevance of virtual communication and telemarketing process, CRM policy  can be considered as an effective tool for building brand image by satisfying the target mass.

Though earlier research works have explored the interrelationship between the attributes- performance, consumer satisfaction and behaviour, but in the line of CRM that has not been explored yet. So the present study attempts to assess the relationship between the changes in the attributes- performance, consumer satisfaction and behaviour. Therefore, it is imperative to discuss with the consumer satisfaction and loyalty in the frame of service quality attributes and consumer satisfaction paradigm.

2.3 Relationship between Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality Attributes

There is strong and direct relationship exists between the service quality attributes and consumer satisfaction (Flanagan, 2006). The perception of the customer quality is intricately associated with the consumer satisfaction. However, there is debate on how the customer satisfaction, CRM and service quality are interlinked. According to Foster et al. (2006), perceived service quality in the mobile telecom sector described and demonstrated certain perspectives which are cognitive in nature. The quality therefore did not necessarily experienced for the first time this can be achieved through customer referrals or advertisements. In contrast the customer satisfaction can be considered as the outcome of direct evaluation process that is possible to evaluate through customer experience (Gaudagni and Little, 2003).               

Research on CRM over decades illustrated that there are a number of methods that have been proposed to identify different service category attributes such as CIT (critical incident techniques), Importance of performance analysis (IPA), and analysis of different compliments and complaints. Some of the studies on CRM at telecom industry (Green and Srinivasan, 2010) demonstrated the perspective of two important groups: satisfiers and dissatisfies. These findings are based on Herzberg’s model (two-factor or Motivator-Hygiene theory). However, later studies added the third factor which accounts for both dissatisfaction and satisfaction. However, later the studies added the third factor which accounts for the satisfaction and dissatisfaction (Go and Zhang, 2007).

 

three_factor_theory_customer_satisfaction_uk_telecom

Figure 3: Three-factor theory of customer satisfaction

(SourceAggrawal, A. and Knoeber, C.R .,2009, p. 397)

The key drivers of the satisfaction and dissatisfaction are controlled by certain pleasant and unpleasant experience. In terms of relationship management both are different. The service quality attributes can therefore be differentiated as both pleasant and unpleasant. Gustafsson and Johnson (2007) highlighted in the three factor theory – (1) basic, (2) performance, and (3) excitement (Hollenhorstet al.2006).

The potential of attaining customer satisfaction is dependent on the current performance level of the product.  The better the performance, the chances of gaining customer satisfaction is simultaneously increased (Ittersumet al. 2007).  Considering the fact that customers prefer a specific brand that is able to acknowledge their changing needs and preferences, the application of CRM policy is considered to be effective for the purpose of gaining market dominance. The sales representatives of an organization are vested with the responsibility of communicating the product features besides knowing their current preferences.  The communication is considered to promote the chances of building the USP of the product. By building its product’s USP, the customers will be inclined to purchase the same and on experiencing quality products, they would prefer to remain loyal (Berry, 2006).  However, often if the current CRM policy is a mismatch in the current system of the organization, authentic market research is not availed. Incorrect customer details results in loss of customer base as a result of misfit between customer demand and consumer preferences. Also, it is very difficult to match the service quality sentiments of the customers. Not all customers will have similar needs and expectations.

The probability of attaining customer loyalty or experiencing retention can be attained only if the current products and services are directly tangent with the preferences of the consumers. Although, the chances of gaining a competitive edge are dependent on how effectively the brand is able to satisfy customer preferences, yet a primary necessity lies on the determination of the usefulness of the present offerings. Doing so is considered to be helpful for the process of attaining a satisfied customer base.

2.4 The Relationship between Attribute and Performance

This has been argued that any relationship between the service quality attributes and consumer satisfaction is a vital component to the marketing managers. In the operational domain if the resources are given priority to improve the performance of the attributes properly to enhance the consumer satisfaction the viable analytical tools or techniques are required   for the optimisation of resource allocation.

There are several studies that have already pointed out misallocation of resources because of a certain relationship between the CRM and consumer satisfaction. The performance of the service attributes can be possible to explain with the help of linear and symmetric components (Grönroos, 2009).Gronroos and Christian (2008)discussed that performance of the attributes can be changed without affecting its importance. However, such approach may not increase the consumer satisfaction (Hansemark and Albinson, 2004). The relationship between the service attribute and performance is linear and asymmetric in nature. Sometimes in the line of CRM perspective the nature and magnitude of the service attributes and consumer satisfaction may differ with certain level.Different researcher has assessed that this relationship quite complex and the validity of the assumption is still being questioned by different researcher and practitioners. Hirschman (2007) pointed out that managerial implementation of the CRM process varies depending on the relative importance of the service attributes.

2.5 The relationship between Customer Satisfaction and CRM

Hokanson (2005) discussed that CRM is an important tool in maintaining the organisation’s profitability. Knox et al. (2003) emphasised that compared to the other sector telecom sector, acquiring of the customer is more tiring expensive and risky approach than the retention of the old consumer. Kotler (2000) opined that in the telecom or wireless industry the acquiring the new consumer is eight times more expensive than the existing consumer. Cross and up selling of the product is possible while organisation used to sell more products throughout the life cycle of the consumer.

For example, in the network service provider’s  industry every consumer used to purchase a different kind of service facilities, internet broadband, insurance and music and contribute something to the company‘s basket. Kotleret al. (2009) established the fact in their quantitative study that 2 % increase in the CRM activities enhances the consumer satisfaction rate by 5%, which altogether increases the profitability. Lewis and Booms (2003) estimated the fact that if there is a 2 % change in the consumer satisfaction, the 7 % more retention in the consumer is possible. This explains that there is a linear and symmetric relationship exists between the consumer satisfaction, CRM and customer retention. Consumer satisfaction barometer as per ACS Iindexd epicts that a satisfied customer is less likely to consider the other supplier than the dissatisfied one. Oliver (2007) explained that behavioural pattern may be different and the switching intension is used as the dependent variable. The researcher found this as a function of satisfaction – switching behaviour and the switching intension in the network service provider industry.

The CRM policies are often a burden for the business (especially the smaller business firms) as the retailers have to employ certain distinct priorities in order to meet customer the satisfaction rate. Businesses often tend to remain inclined towards meeting its present objectives. However, the CRM policies are dependent on specific factors such as: choice of software and the accuracy of information gained from the customers.  It is also required to remain within the monetary and time frame of application and assessment of the responses.  Thus effective application of CRM policies will help in meeting the satisfaction level of the customers’.  However, care should be taken for the fact that the respective product and service preferences should be met. Doing so will help in meeting the satisfaction level of entire population.

In the conceptual model, consumer retention is assumed to have switching intension or churning probability. Moreover, within the same industry different organisation use to exhibit different kinds of churning ratio where the consumer can easily shift to some other service provider.Oliver and Richard (2005) pointed out that the importance of consumer retention in his study. Every organisation used to lose almost 4% of the consumer in each month. Among the network service provider the cost of consumer switching from one brand to another is almost four billion dollars (Oliver and Richard, 2005).Most of the marketing literature identified the two important factors that in either influence or controlling customer retention through CRM activities. These are customer satisfaction and the switching cost. At any particular point of time all the net work service provider companies can understand the customer defection rate and able to predict the associated risk of the consumer.Payne and Frow (2009) has disposed the fact that switching rate can be considered or assumed as the percentage of the customer who ends the relationship with a customer within a specific period of time. Based on this assumption retention rate can be defined as the one minus the switching cost.

During literature review the researcher has noticed that consumer switching intention can also be associated or applicable to network service provider   industries and this is not been properly illustrated by the earlier researcher. Mostly the consumer behaviour studies explain that customer transaction and billing date is largely control the switching attitude of the consumer.

Parasuramanet al. (2008)criticized that most of the player belongs to the network service provider industry used certain forecasting technique, what they predict is the probability of switching  of a customer from one particular brand to another depends on the call frequency, unpaid balance, usage time, calling time  etc. The nature of the model is more predictive and hardly able to improve the operational efficiency of the service. This cannot be improved by financial statements.

2.6 Current CRM practices of mobile network service provider of UK

Customer satisfaction is the main spotlight of the marketers. The mobile industry has come a long way fulfilling its target of providing effective services and affordable communication to its customers. In the last few decades the mobile industry in the UK has become the major base for the telecom industry, which has supported the mobile companies to be amongst the global players. Alchian and Demsetz (2005) suggested that in todays environment the mobile industry require to design and organise customer centric strategies. Such strategy will not only help the brand to hold a position in the market, but also to sustain in the market in terms of long run. On the other hand the firms have identified the importance of constant service delivery system in order to retain the loyal customers, thus, serving the firm to enhance its brand value (Anderson and Frankle, 2010). Hence forth, the authority of a particular mobile company started identifying the need of the customers and stretching out ways to satisfy the existing customer base. Thus, implementing such practices will help the brand in achieving higher customer profitability. Therefore, support the firm to match the customer expectations along with their satisfaction. Asquith and Wizman (2010) argued that due to customer high possession, the mobile business is getting to realise the importance of retaining the customers for the long sustainability of the brand.

Basically the firms have been following the CRM activity to reduce the gap between the customers and the company. Therefore, according to Barclay and Holderness (2009) CRM in mobile industry plays the key role not only creating a good reputation of the company. But also have identified the change in the behavioural pattern of the customers along with the generations. As due to the presence of close substitute the customer attrition rate is eventually high, therefore, CRM activity is an essential factor for the mobile industry. Barro and Barro (2009) mentioned that with a ride in the cost of acquisition of new customers, the service providers of the mobile industry are looking forward to find out different effective ways to increase the subscriber base. Therefore, the ability of retaining the loyal and potential customer gradually is turning out to be difficult for the mobile brand. Thus, with the implementation of CRM practices the mobile firms have been facilitated to maintain a decent customer base for the particular brand and helped the industry to measure the ratio of consumers showing their loyalty towards the brand.

The mobile industry is one of the most volatile and competitive market where customers have various options of related products. Before opting for a mobile brand a customer often survey on the service quality, service price and customer price. Beasley (2006) argued that a specific brand can look after the above two factors, but the last factor might be the most influential amongst the above. Thus, in order to mitigate the criteria, the mobile industries definitely require implementing the practice of CRM services.

2.7 Issues need to address while managing Customer satisfaction and loyalty during CRM

2.7.1 Barrier to switching brands

Payne (1993) opined that there are too many debates  within the academician and practitioners that even prolong satisfaction may necessarily  not lead to consumer retention  For example, study in the network  sector indicates that  almost 65 % of the consumer  who switched over from their existing brand to another  were   moderately satisfied with their earlier customer.

Therefore, in reality the switching cost is considered to be a significant barrier for the dissatisfied consumer. While focusing on the switching barrier, the consumer attitude and perspective can be differentiated into different categories like social, psychological, financial etc. (Parasuramanet al.2008). The switching cost of the consumer can be classified into three major groups:  transactional, learning and artificial.

This cost component can be classified into different categories: searching, learning and emotional cost. Normally the transaction cost is calculated while the consumer switches to some other supplier. Learning cost is that component where the consumer has thrown adequate effort to reach the same level of comfort and facilities with the new product or services.

Contractual or artificial costs are those components which are developed by the service provider. For example, in telecom industry organisation sometimes use to extend the loyalty benefits and impose penalties to encourage the retention of the existing consumer.The difference between the two switching costs from one brand to another among two different consumer can be defined as the perceived switching cost. However, this cost never incorporates the non financial switching cost. Parasuramanet al. (1985) explained that market outcome is absolutely controlled by the consumer switching intension which again an important part of the actual switching cost of the consumer. Therefore, these costs are mainly used to retain the consumer. In simple words, we can say that customers may have different kind of attitudes (e.g. negative, positive and neutral) towards their future intention (e.g. switching or re purchase).

Sometimes because of the switching cost issue the consumer still purchases product which have negative attitude. This indirectly indicates that customer retention not only based on the positive attitude and long term relationship. This never requires the positive attitude and commitment level from the consumer. So the conceptual model derived by the researcher in the mobile telecommunication process was switching cost play very significant role in consumer switching intention.

Reichheld and Sasser (2009) demonstrated that 45 % of the cases the information sharing process goes through the words of mouth from one consumer to another. Sasseret al. (2008) pointed out that earlier research has described that there is strong underpinning that relates the consumer satisfaction, customer retention and loyalty.

2.8 Recommended CRM policies:

Considering the fact that CRM policies are inclusive of the pitfalls that have hampered the chances of attaining a satisfied customer base, the mobile network brand might involve the following policy at its workplace.  The application of the recommended CRM strategy can be helpful to arrive at a detailed market research to alter its product features and service quality in order to meet consumer expectations.

2.8.1 Dedicated Internet Services:

Now-a-days mobile companies are mainly focusing on the internet, services for the business users. Parasuraman et al. (1985) stated that the objective of offering of cost effective premium internet is to mitigate the bandwidth requirements. As the service will help to support the users to meet the critical business application, it turns out to be beneficial to the normal as well as corporate customers with the facilities of service availability, latency and packet drop. Parasuramanet al. (1985) suggested that in the current scenario the market is getting more efficient and habituated with internet services. Therefore, the before selecting a brand the customers make a thorough survey on the features and apps supported by the set. Thus, the company providing the best dedicated internet services are facilitated with the maximum customer base. Thus, the brands need to focus on the mobile hotspots having low data caps, even if the speed matches with the hardwired connection, the user will not be able to download hundreds of gigabytes without incurring severe coverages. Parasuramanet al. (1985) explained that few users seek for the services like: high speed internet access, surf while talking, gowifi, exciting value added services and always on connection. Therefore, the management of the mobile brand needs to focus on implementing the updated internet services to grab the attention of the target customers and enhance the brand value.

 

2.8.2 Choice of access:

In the recent time the mobile market is flourishing with a rapid pace. Coughlin and Schmidt (1985) suggested that brands have started embracing the discipline as the integral part of the overall strategy. Coughlin and Schmidt (1985) suggested that content marketing can be a choice of access to the mobile brands to spread its brand value over the target mass. The mobile brands should focus on launching the live app, a social newsroom, which will publish the contents for several times. The app should be featured with new music, videos and web memes. Durgee (1999) mentioned that scaling up the content effort not only help the brand to expand the size of its business but also enlarge the social needs across new platforms. On the other hand social media and integrated marketing communication will support the mobile brand to regulate its choice of access globally. Powerful brands can boast on Facebook pages with millions of fans and create an effective awareness amongst the potential customers. Social network along with social media supports the mobile companies to ensure their online exposure, which directly ties up the brand image as well as messaging (Belkaoui and Pavlik, 2002). Along with television, radio, print media can be an integral part of communication which can create a seamless consumer experience across multiple channels.

2.8.3 Optimization of call centre:

The customers often prefer to gather information’s from the call centres. Becht and Roell (2009) mentioned that as call centres are a strategic source of information centres, the brands are supposed to make sure to its representatives offer accurate and dedicated services.  Also,   the call centre must be 24/7 accessible in order to fulfil the any-time demand of the customers.  Reichheld (2006) highlighted the importance of the call centre representatives to be educated enough to serve the varied consumer preferences. The call centre services can thus be helpful for the mobile network brands to identify the current preferences and also be able to solve their current issues. Such kind of dedicated issue redemption strategy can be recommended in order to ensureservice customization approach. The loyalty and profitability can thus be enhanced.

2.9 Testing the Conceptual Model

The different service attributes performance and the overall satisfaction bears a non linear and asymmetric relationship. On the basis of which the following hypothesis are formed.

H1. There is an asymmetric relationship exist between different service quality attributes and consumer satisfaction

This had been seen that the consumer satisfaction should be assessed on the basis of two important attributes: importance of CRM and performance of the CRM. In the earlier two sections researcher has explored the different research area which described the importance of service attributes and performance is not linear and symmetric in nature. On the basis of it the following hypothesis is formed.

H2. There is an asymmetric and non linear relationship exists between the CRM importance and CRM performance in building up loyalty within the consumer.

H3. Explicitly or implicitly the derived performance of the CRM attributes may differ.

H4. There is a positive asymmetric correlation ship exist between the consumer satisfaction and customer switching intention.

 While assessing the relationship the customer segment can be classified into two areas contractual and non contractual. The consumer belongs to the non contractual segment are not committed, but in the contractual segment there is substantial amount of penalty charge if the switch supplier. Such distinction is quite important as this challenges the consumer satisfaction and their switching intention. This discussion has led to the following hypothesis.

H5. There is a positive and direct correlation between length of contract and customer switching intention.

H6. Higher levels of switching costs are associated with higher levels of switching barriers.

H7. Higher levels of perceived of switching barriers are associated with lower levels of switching intention.

Finally, this has been seen that in the CRM activity consumer switching intention or retention are influenced by the consumer behaviour (loyalty of the consumer). Therefore author can interpret that two of the construct is asymmetrically linked. The following hypothesis are formed is stated below.

H8: From the CRM perspective, there is asymmetric relationship between the customer retention and the words of mouth.

Ref to the fig 3.6 all eight research hypothesis is formed to validate the model.

conceptual_framework_impact_of_crm_implementation_mobile_telecom

 

Figure 4: Conceptual framework

(Source: Framework is conceptualised by Researcher)

The overall outcome of the literature is can be broadly classified into three areas. First step discusses the interlink between the customer satisfaction with the CRM activities. This also examined the different factors that influence the CRM and consumer satisfaction in a firm. Second area describes different identity perspectives where important feature, benefits and innovative service facilities were unveiled. The third portion would describe   a proposed conceptual framework which is based on the Anderson’s model. This model not only describes the important factors that control the process, but at the same time explore the CRM strategies from different perspectives made by various researchers.

Name /s of the  previous researcher  Survey / Interview Their  contribution in the present study
Dorsch, Grove and Garden

(2009)

 

Survey questionnaire (n = 423) Suggests that two distinct frameworks can be used to study consumer attitude towards CRM: the classic problem solving paradigm and the progression of consumer choice for a service class through brand choice.

 

Benady (2003). Survey questionnaire (n = 251)  Consistent CRM practice illustrates why Consumer makes choices between alternatives based on limited information search and processing.

 

Moorthy, Ratchford and

Talukdar (2008);

Survey questionnaire (n = 227) E- CRM is widely accepted  and effective in developing consumer satisfaction
Chernev (2003); Alba and Hutchinson (2009). (n = 88),

Both conducted  Three  studies in the cross sectional settings

 

In addition, E- CRM explains that the nature of service choices made from large assortments can lead to weaker preferences.

 

Coupey, Karjaluoto, H., Karvonen, J., Pakola, J., Pietilä, M., Salo, J. and Svento, R. (2003a).

Jones, S. (2002).

 

  Survey questionnaire, quantitative (n =58; n = 66; n=58). They organised three studies in the cross sectional settings. Improvement in the CRM services influences consumer preference and brand loyalty. These Practices often allow evaluation of other Alternatives. This bears a direct correlation with e- CRM.

 

 

Chapter 3

Research methodology

3.0 Introduction

The research methodology chapter constitute of the selection of a certain approach, design and suitable methods that are used to prepare a suitable instrument for the data collection process. The approach and methodology also encompassed certain ethical consideration. This chapter attempts to justify the selection of suitable methodologies for developing the model and an assessment of the service quality – consumer behaviour framework, etc. Relevant mathematical model is presented which is further justified the approach that is adopted during the study. The current approach and design used in the study have been detailed in the current chapter. Justifications for each of the chosen methodologies will help to understand its relevance in the current context.

3.1 Research Onion

The present research methodology framework is nicely described in different stage of the research (Kamakura, 2008). According to Martilla and James (2007) the research onion always helps to understand various philosophies and led the researcher towards interpretivism that is linked with the understanding of the social phenomena through in depth investigation. The researcher has conducted the study in a systematic approach as mentioned in each layer of the research onion.  Although, several critics have criticised the placement of layers, yet the research onion helps in methodically conducting the study.

3.2 Research Approach and design

The present research design is formulated in such a manner so that it can accomplish the research objective. The research approach can be classified in two ways inductive and deductive approach. Gaudagni and Little (2003) has categorically define that these two research methods, the deductive approach–this known as the testing theory where the researcher develops a theory or hypotheses. Then a research strategy is formulated to test that theory or hypothesis. The second one is the inductive approach- which basically first collects different forms of data to develop a theory.

In the present study researcher has considered a deductive approach to validate a range of hypothesis.

In the present study researcher has utilized the descriptive design which is utilized both the quantitative and qualitative research method to derive a logical conclusion.

3.2.1 Justification

The deductive research design has been used as the study will not build any fresh theories. The chosen approach is considered effective to analyse the authenticity of the subject of research. After setting the hypothesis, the researcher has tried to study facts related to the use of CRM for customer satisfaction in mobile network brands.  From the past studies, the researcher tried to infer on the relevance of CRM for building loyalty among the customers.  After screening both the primary and secondary details, the researcher could arrive at a conclusion on the current subject.

Gaudagni and Little (2003)established the fact that descriptive research design is found to be more effective while examining the CRM attributes and it can play an important role to develop a competitive advantage.The use of descriptive research is considered to help in detailing the background information on CRM practices, its relevance in the modern context and how the mobile network brands can use the same for customer satisfaction.  Also, descriptive design supports the quantitative data collection. By collecting the latter details, the researcher could infer in-depth.

3.3 Methods

In the present study researcher has adopted quantitative methods were chosen to address the research questions properly. Go and Zhang (2007)  defined the quantitative research as the most objective driven , systematic, formal process  to describe the cause effect relationship between the exogenous (independent) and endogenous (dependent) variables. The quantitative methods were utilized to demonstrate various processess of data collection to establish the inter relationships among the different variables and theories (Mittal et al, 2008).

3.3.1 Justification

Go and Zhang (2007) explained that the triangulationmethod allows the researcher to get an additional insights and help to quantify the subjective views of the respondents to establish the research objective. Appropriate selection of the research method helps in answering the research questions, gathering of data (either through survey or interview) and analysis of the result.The choice of quantitative data is basically due to the fact that it supports thewider data collection within specified time frame. Varied opinion on the relevance and impact of CRM on customer satisfaction and preference of mobile network brands can be achieved from the survey process.  The research can thus be conducted in further depth and detailed information can be achieved while linking the same with the secondary information’s.

3.4 Data type

Data have been accumulated from both primary and secondary sources. The primary information sources includes:  the responses from the survey process.  The primary details are original by nature. However, unlike the latter data type, Go and Zhang (2007)  referred that secondary details are basically past proven researches.  Herein, the researcher has also accumulated secondary information from books, journals, blogs are other relevant sources.

3.5 Sampling design

The sampling method used to collect the data was non probabilitisticin nature.  The researcher has adopted the convenient sampling process which is less costly and takes a lesser amount of time (Hollenhorst et al. 2006). Therefore, considering the homogenous nature of the group the researcher has perceived that during the study both the inherent characteristics and attributes of the group would remain same.

3.5.1 Justification

Considering that it was rather difficult to reach out to the huge number of respondents, the researcher planned to survey only the specific respondents who can be conveniently accessed.  As accessibility was not an issue, the researcher could easily send out questionnaires to the sample and attain required information’s.

3.6 Tools used for data collection

3.6.1 Questionnaire method

Ittersumet al. (2007)has developed a set of questionnaire to classify various service attributes. For each of the attributes a pair questions were asked to the respondent: Is the service attributes performed poor or they performed well in a set of attributes. A five point likert scale was used (extremely satisfied, somewhat satisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, and extremely dissatisfied) to justify the level of satisfaction of the respondent (Homburg and Warner, 2008). In the present case the questionnaire was designed in such a manner so that it can assess both the subjective as well as the objective views of the respondents Few of the questions are disposed in the form of a statement which elaborate the managerial, cultural and organisational flexibility  dimensions of the teleworking process. The basic advantage of using this questionnaire is this provides immense opportunity and scope to express the views and minimises the chances of the misrepresentation (Johnston, 2005). Every customer is asked to indicate the antecedents’ of different kind of satisfaction and dissatisfaction from a particular service. The anecdote is then associated with the list of attributes. The consumer satisfaction factor isstructured and estimated in the form of frequency of each attributes. Homburg and Warner (2008) described that there are several studies have questioned the reliability of CIT, In the present case this method is avoided as the time frame when the data is collected from the respondent is important. In the present case all the informations are collected on online basis so researcher did not know when the data collection process has taken place before or after the incident so the perception of the respondent may vary widely  across the group.

3.6.2 Justification

But extra precaution was taken when the questionnaire was long and too many service attributes that are used in the CRM process is analysed. Additionally Kano et al. (2004) argued that this method has certain fallacy as it is based on the frequency distribution of certain responses from different individuals. This subjective view of the respondent is quantified and later assessed through different statistical test. The questionnaire used in the survey was first sent to academic guide to seek approval. Suggestions were incorporated in the final draft of the questionnaire and the modified questionnaire was formatted, before actually released to wider population.

3.7 Data Collection procedure

The quantitative survey was conducted for the data collection (ref appendix-1). The data are collected by face to face interview and analysed by different standard statistical technique to establish the relationship between the variables.

The research survey instrument was a self administered questionnaire that was disclosed in the website for online survey. As the data were collected through online age and occupation of the respondent is difficult to verify, though researcher has attempted to maintain a consistency in the behaviour pattern (Kaplan and Narayanan, 2001). The primary responses will be collected and accessed via MS Excel. The collected responses will be calculated through percentage system.  Tables and graphs will be used to illustrate the primary responses.

3.8 Research Instrument / pilot study

Keininghamet al. (2005) emphasised the fact that testing the questionnaire is to detect the deficiency in design, administration and question word choosing. The questionnaire was pretested and by administering it to the respondents who were participating in the pilot study. Initially the 20 respondent’s response was collected through online every respondent were given almost 10 -15 minutes time to complete the questionnaire. After the Pilot study the few questionnaire were undergone minor changes and the final questionnaire for the study was prepared.

Even on the Likert scale, there is still a lot of debate about the number of points to be used to form the scale.  Normally many occasions instead of 5-7 point, even 9 points were in corporate to reduce the confusion and time of the respondent (Kamakura, 2008). Additionally, Likert argued that it seems quite justifiable to use this assumption as the basis for combining the different statements (Martilla and James, 2007) According to Kim and Yoon (2004, p 752), “four important characteristics of the rating scale needs to be evaluated.”

“a scale must contain multiple items… each individual item must measure something that has an underlying, quantitative measurement continuum… each item has no right answer”  Matzler and Sauerwein(2002)also pointed out the importance of this scalehave genuine good psychometric properties, reliability and validity. This is comparatively cheap and easy to develop and at the same time easy to explain the meaning of the scale present in the questionnaire.

While assessing the CRM attributes in the mobile phone services, researcher has adopted and extracted few important information from the earlier research works.

Moreover, during the pilot study, the researcher has asked the respondents to make a comment on different attributes. Therefore, combining all the responses in the mobile service in the UK, Total 9 parameters were segregated. These are network performance, customer service quality, brand image, a range of services, service plans, range of phones, accuracy of billing and payment, value for money, and entertainment features (see Appendix-1). While assuring the impact of the CRM attributes all the respondents were asked to rank the 9 attributes as per their choice. During the survey participants were asked  to rate the performance of the CRM  attributes which is based on the 7 point scale The scale ranging from “1=poor” to “7=Excellent.”

 This can be illustrated further below. For example the while measuring the consumer satisfaction  (CS), the participants  were asked  to comment  on the statement  “ what is the overall satisfaction level you have received after using the mobile phone from the service  provider” In the seven point Likert scale  the reply option 1= Strongly dissatisfied” to “7 = Strongly satisfied”.To measure the consumer loyalty (CL) or words of mouth (WOM). A Specific indicator of willingness to recommend a particular product or services to others was identified. Matzler and Heischmidt (2003) supported this logic as the recommend intention is by far considered to be the best indicators of actual behaviour towards the loyalty.

3.9 Sample size

Total 85 respondents have completed the online survey from almost 23 companies in the UK who were involved as a customer and availing the services from different network service providers. Out 85 almost 65respondents are using different network services. Considering the nature of such exhaustive and intensive analysis the sample size mentioned 65 was quite small. This could lead to erroneous and unjustified result. Therefore researcher has initiated his personal contacts and collected the data from few managers who work in the telecom network companies. Eventually the final sample size for the quantitative analysis was 65.For qualitative analysis almost 5-6 managers were identified in different groups and a personal interview was conducted within them.

3.9.1 Justification

Normally, as par the thumb rule in the traditional approach, while using the non probabilistic sampling process by drawing the sample from an infinite population each of the variable should consider at least 10-12 variables. Though Matzler et al. (2004) recommended 5-10 samples per variable is sufficient. So considering the number of total exogenous and endogenous variables 100 are considered to be sufficient, but due to insufficient response the researcher had to conduct the quantitative analysis with the response of 65 respondents.

3.10 Validity and Reliability

Mittal and Katrichis (2009)explained the need to maintain  the validity and reliability in order to ensure that the collected data is as authentic as possible. While maintaining research validity, the researcher ensured that the tools that to be used will be authentically used and no manipulation will be made to it. No tampering will be done with the collected data and the researcher will include only valid information’s.  However, in order to check the validity of the data, the researcher will cross check the data and use the same tools in order to make sure that the results attained are the same.

The reliability of the collected information’s will help in ensuring that the judgement tools are apt.  In order to ensure reliability, the researcher will personally make sure that the tools that are used are revealing the current results.   Also, in order to be sure of the validity of the data, the researcher will collect data from separate respondents and use the same judgement tools.  Doing so will help in detecting the match between the present and potential responses.

3.11 Methods used for the statistical analysis:

In order to assess the primary data collected, the researcher will calculate the same via percentage.  The percentage system will reveal the total number of respondents who responded to specific options.  Based on the percentage allotment, graphs and tables will be illustrated.  Following the illustrations, theresearcher hastried to interpret the findings and reveal possible inference on the subject. However, only quantitative responses have been illustrated. The qualitative detailsare detailed in the same manner as collected from. As the latter is narrated by nature, there is no possibility of allotting percentage to eachresponse.

3.12 Ethical considerations

During the primary research the data was collected through the questionnaire and the interview method on a voluntary basis. The questionnaire is anonymous and the entire data collection process is based on the voluntary submission from the respondents.

The researcher has conducted the entire interview in a setting where the presence of unethical practices is absent. Across the different research certain ethical norms of collecting the information are quite common and relevant across the different research. This is to be understood that the research is conducted by using the triangulation process (both qualitative and quantitative methods), so therefore the appropriate selection of the research aim, data collection tool, knowledge, delivery process and avoidance of error are important.

During the study and data collection process any kind of fabrication, falsifying and misinterpretation of data was avoided to illustrate the truth.

Moreover, this research involves a lot of cooperation and coordination from the people of different disciplines, therefore the ethical standards pertaining to the telecom network industries needs to be maintained.

3.13 Summary

Decision level Research is setting choice Chapter/section
Topic of the research   Chap-1
Research approach Inductive approach Chap-3
Strategy of the research Empirical analysis based on the case study and literature review Chap-4
Research method  Both the Qualitative and quantitative. The triangulation method is used here. Chap-5
Data collection process a)       Interview method  ( face to face and telephonic interview )

b)       Questionnaire method

Chap-3
Analysis of the data  Both analytical and statistical method Chap-4 and 5

 

 

 

Chapter 4

Data Analysis

4.0 Introduction

This chapter attempts to establish with the help of various statistical and graphical analyses the interrelationship between CRM attributes to the consumer satisfaction. Initially the graphical analysis is performed to estimate the demographic profile of the respondent. Later the researcher has attempted to establish the correlation between the performances of the service attributes with the customer satisfaction by using the Spearman correlation coefficient. However the regression analysis is used to revise the performance and also to measure the impact of the dependent variable (the attributes of the CRM) on the dependent one. There are different sections are discussed in this chapter. The first two sections discussed about the relationship between the variables and the impact of the independent variables on the dependent one rest of the section has discussed the switching intension and the customer satisfaction through logistic regression models.

This chapters offers the empirical analysis of the case study which mainly describes the behaviour of the consumer towards the service quality model in the UK mobile telecommunication industry.

4.1 Part-A

Question 1: Do you get frequent updates on the latest call tariffs and data tariffs?

Table 2: Whether getting frequent updates

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Strongly agree 10 65 15%
Agree 24 65 37%
Neutral 5 65 8%
Disagree 18 65 28%
Strongly disagree 8 65 12%

 

Figure 5: Whether getting frequent updates

Findings:

Most of the respondents were of the opinion that they get frequent updates on call and data tariffs. 37% agreed on the current notion. While 8% were neutral on the current subject, 28% disagreed that they are yet get any update calls from the current mobile network brands.

Question 2: How does your telecom service provider contact you if there is a promotional offer?

Table 3: Communication process

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Calling 12 65 18%
Flash message 21 65 32%
Newsletter 10 65 15%
SMS 22 65 34%

 

Figure 6: Communication process

Findings:

Flash message (32%) and SMS (34%) is the common form of communication process used by the current mobile network brand. However, the lesser used communication mode is calling (18%). Newsletter (15%) yet another strategy used by the current mobile network brand.

Question 3: Please tick from the following the query processing procedure followed by your telecom service provider?

Table 4: Query processing process

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Structured calling 27 65 42%
Email feedback 19 65 29%
Structured SMS 11 65 17%
Online chat 8 65 12%

 

Figure 7: Query processing process

Findings:

From the attained response, 42% pointed out that structure calling is the normally used query processing procedure used by their current mobile network brand. However, similar process is not followed by all. While email feedback is used by few (29%), structured SMS is deployed by other mobile network brands.

Question 4: What is the duration of the contract that you frequently enter into?

Table5:  Length of contract

Options No of respondent Percentage
12 months 29 44.62
18 months 23 35.38
24 months 13 20.00
Total 65  

Figure 8: Duration of contract

Finding:

Duration of contract represent the level of satisfaction and also in directly the loyalty of the consumer. Almost 44.62 % respondents mentioned that they go by 12 months contract. 35% of the respondents used to avail the 18 months contract system. Simultaneously 24% of the respondents continue for more than 24 months. According to Foster et al. (2006) perceived service quality in the network service provider industry described and demonstrated certain perspectives which are cognitive in nature. The quality therefore did not necessarily experienced for the first time this can be achieved through customer referrals or advertisements. In contrast the customer satisfaction can be considered as the outcome of direct evaluation process that is possible to evaluate through customer experience.

Question 5: Which CRM activities you feel more justified from the organisation side in this network service provider industry

Table 6: CRM activities

Parameters No of respondent Percentage
Choice of the access 7 10.77
Management of the application 10 15.38
Dedicated internet services 9 13.85
Management of IP address 22 33.85
Managing the network IQ 9 13.85
Virtual private network services 8 12.31
Total 65  

 

Figure 9: CRM activities

Findings:

This process brings an adequate level of security into the system. This is followed by management of the application (15) %, Virtual private network services (13) percentage , Dedicated internet services (14) percentage,  etc. lowest response come to the choice of access (10.77) percentage . The perception of the customer quality is intricately associated with the consumer satisfaction. However, there is debate on how the customer satisfaction, CRM and service quality are interlinked. At any particular point of time all the companies can understand the customer defection rate and able predict the probability of the associated risk of the consumer at any given point of time.

Question 6: Have you developed greater brand reliability following the query processing initiative of your service provider?

Table 7: Greater brand reliability following query processing

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Strongly agree 13 65 20%
Agree 29 65 45%
Neutral 6 65 9%
Disagree 10 65 15%
Strongly disagree 7 65 11%

 

Figure 10: Greater brand reliability following query processing

Findings:

Most of the respondents were in favour of the current notion. 45% agreed on the fact that they have developed greater reliability due to the present query processing process.  However, not all were in favour of the present context.  While 15% disagreed, 11% strongly disagreed on the present fact. Against the latter statement, 20% determined that they found their choice brand to be more reliable as a result of its query processing techniques.

Question 7: Would you be more loyal to the current service provider if the brand improves the current level of CRM initiatives?

Table 8: More loyal due to current CRM

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Strongly agree 4 65 6%
Agree 29 65 45%
Neutral 7 65 11%
Disagree 22 65 34%
Strongly disagree 3 65 5%

 

Figure 11: More loyal due to current CRM

Findings:

Not all had similar opinion on the present subject. 34% disagreed on the current loyalty decisions and 5% strongly denied to remain loyal even as a result of the improvement in CRM policies. However, most customers’ were in favour of the present notion. 45% respondents agreed by stating that as a result of improvement in future CRM initiatives, they would stick to the brand.

Question 8: Are you influenced to avail the promotional offers after the promotion made by your service provider?

Table 9: More likely to purchase due to promotion

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Strongly agree 14 65 22%
Agree 28 65 43%
Neutral 8 65 12%
Disagree 9 65 14%
Strongly disagree 6 65 9%

 

Figure 12: More likely to purchase due to promotion

Findings:

In reference to the findings from the above figure, overall 65% of the customers are likely to purchase more after being aware of the promotional offers while 22% of the customers strongly agreed with the fact. On the contrary, overall 23% of the customers were found to be contradicting the fact while the remaining 12% were found to be neutral.

Question 9: Rank the necessity of the following attributes while choosing a new mobile network services in the industry?

Table 10: Necessity of choosing a new mobile network services

Options No of respondent Percentage
Network performance (coverage and reception) 9 13.84
Brand image 10 15.38
Range of service ( voice mail, Broad  band  , voice mail) 8 12.30
Customer service quality 11 16.92
Service plan 7 10.76
Accuracy of billing and payment 5 7.74
Value for money 8 12.30
Connectivity 7 10.76
Total 65  

 

Figure 13: CRM attributes rank wise

 Findings

With reference to the above mentioned graphs, it has been pointed out that 15.38% customers prefer the use of brand image while using mobile network brands. However, there are several attributes that impacts customers decision making while undertaking choice of decision making. A higher percentage of customers were in favour of customer service quality. Possibly based on this factor, customers determine the extent to which they would be able to attain desired benefit. Based on the current level of CRM policies, the customers base their choice of network brand decision making. However, there are also several other factors upon which the customers decision making. Nevertheless, the customer service quality decision making can be considered to be the prime factor based on which the customer choice of network brand decision making depends. The relevance and significance of other factors are bare minimum.

Question 10: .Do you agree the role of CRM activity helps in developing customer satisfaction in the UK network service providers.

Table 11: Level of satisfaction

Options No of respondent Percentage
 Strongly satisfied 3 4.62
 Somehow satisfied 12 18.46
Satisfied 16 24.62
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 17 26.15
 Dissatisfied 9 13.85
Somehow dissatisfied 5 7.69
Strongly dissatisfied 3 4.62
Total 65  

Figure 14: level of satisfaction

Findings

From the attained results it can be mentioned in majority of the respondent feels that they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (26)%, 24.62% of the respondent feel that they satisfied. 18.46%of the respondent is somehow satisfied. Almost 13.85 % of the respondent dissatisfied. Only very small percentage of the respondent is either strongly satisfied or dissatisfied. There are several studies that have already pointed out misallocation of resources because of relation sip between the CRM and consumer satisfaction. The performance of the service attribute can be possible to explain with the help of linear and symmetric prospective

Question 11: Do you think a faster query processing approach could motivate you to be more loyal to the service provider?

Table 12: Improved loyalty due to faster query processing

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Strongly agree 12 65 18%
Agree 33 65 51%
Neutral 4 65 6%
Disagree 9 65 14%
Strongly disagree 7 65 11%

 

Figure 15: Improved loyalty due to faster query processing

Findings:

Approximately 18% of the customers are agreed to be more loyal if the service provider facilitates faster query processing system. Overall 69% of the respondents supported the fact while 6% failed to provide proper responses. On the contrary, remaining 25% of the customers disagreed with the fact.

Question 12: Do you think that considering feedbacks of customers like you could help the telecom service providers in UK experiencing better customer loyalty?

Table 13: Better loyalty after feedback processing

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Strongly agree 9 65 14%
Agree 29 65 45%
Neutral 8 65 12%
Disagree 12 65 18%
Strongly disagree 7 65 11%

 

Figure 16: Better loyalty after feedback processing

Findings:

Majority (59% approximately) of the customers are agreed with the fact that feedback evaluation could be an effective option to deliver relevant services and improve loyalty scenario. However, approximately 29% of the customers think otherwise and overall 12% of the customers were neutral in this context.

Question 13: Would you agree that a more transparent billing process could make you keep track of the payment mechanism?

Table 14: Efficacy of a transparent billing process

Options Frequency Total response Percentage response (%)
Strongly agree 15 65 23%
Agree 31 65 48%
Neutral 7 65 11%
Disagree 11 65 17%
Strongly disagree 1 65 2%

 

Figure 17: Efficacy of a transparent billing process

Findings:

From the above figure, it is clear that majority respondents (71% approximately) agree an effective transparent billing process could make the customers satisfied. However, 11% of the customers were found to be confused in this context and failed to provide proper responses. The remaining 19% of the customers provided negative responses.

4.2 Part-B

Q.1Do you think that there are any relationship exists between CRM and customer satisfaction?

Overall comments

During the interview the overall comments from the manager explain that in the operational domain if the resources are given priority to improve the performance of the attributes properly to enhance the consumer satisfaction the viable analytical tools or techniques are required   for the optimisation of resource allocation.

There are several studies that have already pointed out misallocation of resources because of the relationship between the CRM and consumer satisfaction.

 According to one of the managers, “in the telecom or wireless industry the acquiring the new consumer is eight times more expensive than the existing consumer. Cross and up selling of the product is possible while organisation used to sell more products throughout the life cycle of the consumer.”

Buzzel and Gale, 2007)divided CRM insto two major parts: a) analytical CRM b) Behavioural CRM. Analytical CRM used to focus on the revenue part by assessing the consumer data by different methods (e.g. marketing campaigns, product development, pricing). While the behavioural CRM supports the decision making process and other managerial strategies by conducting different surveys and experiments. Every organisation attempts to acquire new customer through different channels e.g. direct marketing, cross selling Cadotte and Turgeon (2008) and appropriate strategies. Chu (2008) mentioned that marketing and the operating cost are significantly gone down due to the retention of the older consumer. This indirectly increases the total lifetime value to the customer (LTV) base. To implement these constructs, we need to manufacture a sophisticated framework that includes both the consumer retention probabilities and revenues.

Q.2 what are the current CRM practices adopted by the organisation to satisfy the target customers?

Overall comments

Aghion and Bolton (2007) opined that most of the managers feel that the current CRM practices that can improve the performance and satisfaction of the consumer are mainly due to increase in the range of services, improved net work performance, entertainment facilities, maximizing the switching cost and range of products. Oliver and Richard (2005) pointed out that the importance of the consumer retention in his study. Every organisation used to lose almost 4 % of the consumer in each month. In the telecom industry the cost of consumer switching from one brand to another is almost four billion dollars.

Most of the marketing literature identified the two important factors that in either influence or control customer retention through CRM activities. These are customer satisfaction and the switching cost (Barca, 2007).

At any particular point of time all the companies can understand the customer defection rate and able predict the probability of the associated risk of the consumer at any given point of time. Payne and Frow (2009) has disposed the fact that switching rate can be considered or assumed as the percentage of the customer who ends the relationship with a customer within a specific period of time. Based on this assumption retention rate can be defined as the one minus the switching cost.

Q.3 what are the factors organisation need to focus to increase customer value and satisfaction?

Overall comments

Mostly while responding to this question the managers feel that two distinct frameworks can be used to study consumer attitude towards CRM: the classic problem solving paradigm and the progression of consumer choice for a service class through brand choice. Payne and Frow (2009) mentioned that consistent CRM practice illustrates why Consumer make choices between alternatives based on limited information search and processing. Moreover, improvement in the CRM services influences consumer preference and brand loyalty. These Practices often allow evaluation of other Alternatives. This bears a direct correlation with e- CRM (Reichheld, 2006).

Q.4 what are the key issues by which organisation enhances customer value and satisfaction?

Most of the manager explained thatE-CRM is widely accepted and effective in developing consumer satisfaction. In addition, E- CRM explains that the nature of service choices made from large assortments can lead to weaker preferences. By segmenting the customer companies can make the customer more profitable and always initiate to push towards the non profitable group through the service customisation. In the market, different companies approach to the consumer in different ways. The present literature review has collected the information on the role of CRM and attempt to investigate how the length of CRM has an impact on the consumer future intention (Reichheld, 2006). Therefore, in reality the switching cost is considered to be significant barrier for the dissatisfied consumer. While focusing on the switching barrier, the consumer attitude and perspective can be differentiated into different categories like social, psychological, financial, etc. (Parasuramanet al., 2008). The switching cost of the consumer can be classified into three major groups:  transactional, learning and artificial. These cost components can be classified into different categories: searching, learning and emotional cost. Normally the transactional cost is calculated while the consumer switches to some another supplier. Learning cost is that component where the consumer has thrown adequate effort to reach the same level of comfort and facilities with the new product or services. Contractual or artificial costs are those components which are developed by the service provider. For example, in telecom industry organisation sometimes use to extend the loyalty benefits and impose penalties to encourage the retention of the existing consumer. The difference between the two switching costs from one brand to another among two different consumer can be defined as the perceived switching cost. However, this cost never incorporates the non financial switching cost (Aghion and Bolton, 2007).

 

 

Chapter 5

Discussion and Analysis

5.0 Introduction:

The chapter has included an introduction of the primary findings gathered from the respondents.  While interpreting the same researcher has tried to link the studies with secondary findings. The triangulation process is considered to help in identifying the how far there is a link between both primary and secondary studies.  In case of any mismatch, the researcher will conclude to what extent both primary and secondary details are not accurate.

5.1 Part A: Quantitative Interpretation:

Question 1: Not all customers were content with the latest call and data tariffs of the current mobile network brand. It could be inferred from the dissatisfied customers’ that they hardly attains any update with regards to the current call and data tariffs.  However, few respondents were neutral on the subject. From the dissatisfied employees it is noted that the customers’ desire to experience frequent updates on the latest call and data tariffs that they are not receiving currently. However, there current choice of mobile network brand is offering the certain expected services to its target mass. Call and data tariffs are supposed functions that the customers’ expect to receive from the mobile network brand. Anderson and Frankle (2010) in section 2.6 pointed out that the mobile business is getting to realise the importance of retaining the customers for the long sustainability of the brand thus is offering special services such as call and data tariffs. Doing so is considered to help in meeting the preferences of the target mass thus ensuring customer satisfaction.

Question 2: There are several ways to contact a service provider. While few mobile network service providers is using calling and flash message as a promotional offer, the rest are deploying strategies such as: newsletter and SMS. Fewer responses are in favour of calling and newsletter facilities as possibly these are considered to be much less appealing. However, it can be inferred that most of the mobile firms are using flash message and SMS services. By using both the latter facilities, the network brands tries to create an appeal upon the customers’ regards the current products and services. Barro and Barro (2009) in 2.6 determined that several mobile industry marketers are deploying strategic policies such as: SMS ad flash messages in order to promote the current features.  The customers are made aware of the current offerings, thereby, motivating them to access its facilities.

Question 3: The current mobile service providers are using several query processing policies in order to overcome the identified issues.  Structured SMS and Online chat are some of the query redemption policies that are commonly followed by the firms.  Both the latter initiatives are employed for the purpose of identifying and overcoming the flaws within the current system. However, the commonly used query processing procedure involves the structured calling facilities. Payne and Frow (2009) in portion 2.5 determined that CRM policies are dependent on specific factors such as: choice of software and the accuracy of information gained from the customers.  Via the calling facilities the mobile network service providers is being aware of the current issues faced by the customers’, thereby offering customer satisfaction strategies.

Question 4: From the collective responses it could be analysed that the majority of the people have preferred 12 months contract with the particular telecom brand. Although, the CRM practices followed by the brands has created a decent impact on the customers, but there is a scope of further improvement. Kotler (2000) in section 2.6 stated that to get hold of new  customers are far expensive than retaining the existing customers. Thus, the brand has to focus on providing various facilities to the target mass, to gain the confidence of the customers.  However, there are respondents who favoured 18 months and 24 months as well.

 

Question 5:  Amongst the total who has responded to the research, the majority has availed to the management of the IP address as a justified CRM activity by the network service provider industry. It has been interpreted that users generally seek for a suitable IP address with a strong firewall, to prevent the domain from hackers. Payne and Frow (2009) in section 2.6 suggested that now-a-days users are getting more protective towards their reputation, therefore, the brand providing maximum protection on the management IP address, get benefited with the maximum target audiences. Thus, the telecommunication firms need to focus on benefitting the customers with stronger firewall, to get hold of the target mass. On the other hand, users seek to prefer a brand that provides dedicated internet services. It could be inferred from the above research that, with time customers have become internet savvy, thus, the firms providing maximum services on the internet might flourish in the competitive market.

Question 6: Most of the customers were of the opinion that they have developed greater brand reliability in order as a result of query processing initiative. Doing so have built customer satisfaction, thereby, advancing the scope for offering desired services to the customers. The current services offered by the mobile network providers will help in overcoming the queries of the customers. Barclay and Holderness (2009) stated in 2.6 that the query redress processing system helps in building the reputation of the firm thus redeeming the current flaws within the system. The current solutions offered by the brand will assist in overcoming the dissonance thereby building a perception that the current network brand will remain customer centric even in the future. Overcoming the current flaws will thus help in developing a sense of reliability and dependence on the current mobile network brand.

Question 7: The customers determined that they would remain loyal to the brand if it improves its present CRM initiatives. However, not all had similar opinion on the current subject. The customers’ who were dissatisfied possibly base their decision making on several other factors but CRM.  Possibly the latter customers are not loyal consumers’ of the business thus prefer to switch over their current brand choice. However, most customers are content with their current mobile network brand thus determined that they would remain loyal if it improves its CRM policies.  Durgee (1999) in section 2.8.2 determined that scaling up the CRM policies will increase the number of customers and enable them to remain loyal to the brand.  The customers will determine that advancement in the current CRM policies will develop a feeling that future strategies will ensure customer satisfaction.  The current satisfaction level will all the more e advanced as a result of future advancement in CRM strategies thus strengthening the loyalty decisions.

Question 8: A considerable number of customers have been influenced being aware of the promotional offers made the service providers. As a consequence, the purchase decision making process has been influenced. In this context, the proposition of Abhayawansa and Johnson (2007) can be considered as the proposition and the primary findings are found to be similar. Abhayawansa and Johnson (2007) stated that aligning the CRM and promotion process could be beneficial for increasing the overall sales volume (refer to section 2.1 in chapter 2). Adding to that, Durgee (1999) cited that promotional offers could let the customers be aware of the latest offerings and accordingly, the overall CRM policies could be improved (refer to section 2.2 in chapter 2). However the case is not similar for every customer as a considerable number of customers provided negative feedback. However, generalising the findings, it can be assumed that promotional offers is a popular CRM initiative of the UK based mobile service providers that improves customer satisfaction.

Question 9: It could be interpreted from the collective responses, that majority of the respondense are preferring the customer service quality for selecting specific mobile brands. The CRM activities followed by the mobile brands seek to create an enormous effect on the satisfaction and decision making of the customers. Therefore, prior to purchase a new product, individuals always tend to survey on the feedback customer service quality. Danaher (2008) in section 2.2 suggested that there lies a positive correlation between the consumer satisfaction and service quality, which increases the loyalty of the customers, profitability and retention rate of the business. Thus, it can be inferred that the determinants are always prioritized that leads to increase the customer satisfaction. Hence, the better understanding of the service quality attributes the business maximum customer base. From the attained responses, it can be determined that network performances and brand image impacts the customers decision making. Thus, the goodwill of a particular brand seems to influence the customer’s purchasing decision of a new mobile. However, on the other hand, high network performance seeks to hinder the buying behaviour of the consumer.

Question 10: Amongst the total number of responses, the collective response which has been gathered is the majority of the people are satisfied with the practices of CRM activities. It could be inferred that CRM activity helps the mobile brand in improving its customer base along with their satisfaction level. Hence, help the particular brand to reach a wider range of potential customer who caters on similar products. Fornell (1992) in section 2.3 pointed out that in the telecom industry the CRM activity has already managed to perform at a satisfactory level. On the contrary, improvement in the performance to a moderate level did not enhance the satisfaction level of the customers. Therefore, the firm has to identify the basis factors to well perform the practice. Every brand needs to be more competitive with respect to it contributes. As the increase in performance level fails to increase the customer satisfaction less, unless the performance factor seeks to match the consumer satisfaction level. Thus, the telecom industry has to improvise the CRM strategies to get hold of the customer base. From the collective responses, it could be inferred that the CRM practices adopted by several firms have been led with dissatisfied clients. Thus, along with the outlook the brand needs to improve its CRM practices, to sustain in the volatile market.

Question 11: Since majority of the customers are convinced with the efficacy of a faster query processing mechanism, it is assumed that following such initiative could help UK based telecom service providers improve the CRM policies. Considering the words of Aghion and Bolton (2007), prompt service delivery and addressing of customers’ queries could help improving the overall customer satisfaction and loyalty index (refer to section 2.2 in chapter 2). The secondary findings and the primary findings are found to be similar. Therefore, improving the query processing mechanism could be a strategic priority for the UK based mobile service providers. Since customers are appreciating such initiative it can be assumed that a faster query processing would not only help improving the CRM strategies but also allow the UK based mobile service providers to deliver services as per customers’ expectations. As a consequence, experiencing greater customer satisfaction could be feasible.

Question 12: A staggering 59% positive response promotes the fact that the UK based telecom service providers could consider the process of feedback evaluation as a strategic priority to improve customer loyalty. Perhaps UK based telecom service providers do not prioritise customers’ feedback for improving current level of services. However, Oliver and Richard (2005) considered customers’ feedback evaluation as an effective strategy to get the insights of the customers and improving services accordingly (refer to section 2.5 in chapter 2). Majority of the UK based telecom service providers fail to get the insights of the customers and therefore perception gap between the service providers and the customers is highly likely. In this context, integrating a feedback evaluation process within the existing CRM mechanism could be an effective option for the UK based telecom service providers. Since majority customers are well convinced regarding the concept of a feedback evaluation process, greater customer satisfaction could be experienced following the strategic initiative.      

Question 13: The responses of the customers in this context suggest that majority of the customers are not that convinced with the existing billing procedures followed by the UK based telecom service providers. Therefore, majority of the customers recommended a more transparent billing process so that better tracking of the payment process can be feasible. Berry (2006) argued that increasing number of dissatisfied customers in the telecom industry is a major concern and a possible reason behind that can be unjustified billing procedure (refer to section 2.3 in chapter 2). However, the conventional billing process does not allow the customers to keep track of process which is why; customers can turn out to be dissatisfied with probable irrelevancy in the billing process. As a consequence, the UK based telecom service providers could emphasis on a transparent billing mechanism so that the overall CRM mechanism could be improved and a transparent service policy could help boosting the customer loyalty index.   

Chapter 6

Conclusion

6.1 Introduction

This has been argued that any relationship between the service quality attributes and consumer satisfaction is a vital component to the marketing managers. In the operational domain if the resources are given priority to improve the performance of the attributes properly to enhance the consumer satisfaction the viable analytical tools or techniques are required   for the optimisation of resource allocation. There are several studies that have already pointed out misallocation of resources because of relationship between the CRM and consumer satisfaction. The performance of the service attributes can be possible to explain with the help of linear and symmetric prospective (Grönroos, 2009).Gronroos and Christian (2008) discussed that performance of the attributes can be changed without affecting its importance. Based on this assumption, the different survey report explained that low performance, but high- importance level always gets the priority to the companies.

 

6.2 Linking with the objectives:

Objective 1: To determine the CRM policies followed by UK based mobile network brand.

It could be inferred from part A, question 1 that the frequent information regards the latest call tariffs and data plans have satisfied the customers. The consumers built a feeling that by knowing the current services, the business can develop a customer-centric feeling among the target mass. Eventually it will drive towards attaining customer satisfaction. However, the several of the current facilitates that have driven customer satisfaction are: flash message and SMS. Both the latter policies is considered to help in acknowledging the current promotional offer to the target customers (refer to question 2). Barro and Barro (2009) in 2.6 determined that several mobile industry marketers are deploying strategic policies such as: SMS ad flash messages in order to promote the current features. The customers are made aware of the current offerings, thereby, motivating them to access its facilities. Against the latter responses, it can be inferred that the query processing procedure that is currently followed by the brand will help in meeting customer satisfaction. From question 3, it can be inferred that CRM policies are dependent on specific factors such as: choice of software and the accuracy of information gained from the customers.  However, against the latter responses, it can also be mentioned that from the viewpoint of the customers that management of IP address and dedicated internet services is also a satisfactory service that is currently offered by the current choice of mobile network brand. Such services helps in offering satisfied customer services thus motivating them to remain satisfied with the current offerings.

The managers had several other opinions to state in part B.  It could be inferred from the opinion of both the managers (in question 2) and Payne and Frow (2009) that by identifying the customer defection rate the mobile network brands are able predict the probability of the associated risk of the consumer at any given point of time. Also, the E-CRM policies followed by the current network brands have facilitated in offering wider offerings to the customers, thereby, attaining customer satisfaction and retention (question 4).  Thus the latter specifications are the CRM policies followed by the mobile network brand.

Objective 2: To investigate whether CRM policies would help in improving customer satisfaction index.

From question 6, it can be mentioned that the query processing procedure have advanced the satisfaction rate of the customers.  Barclay and Holderness (2009) stated in 2.6 that the query redress processing system helps in building the reputation of the firm thus redeeming the current flaws within the system. In case of future advancements in the CRM policies, the consumers’ will develop a tendency that their current choice of brand will ensure satisfaction. However, from question 8 it can be identified that the promotional offers that is currently offered, boosts the satisfaction rate of the customers’.  The satisfaction thus derived will help in boosting their future loyalty decisions. From question 9, it can be determined that CRM initiatives help in advancing the service plan thus enhancing the satisfaction rate with the consumers. Although there is other service features that impacts customer satisfaction, Danaher (2008) noted that that there lies a positive correlation between the consumer satisfaction and service quality, which increases the loyalty of the customers, profitability and retention rate of the business. Finally from question 10, it can be determined that the satisfaction rate of most of the customers is dependent on the CRM features followed by the brand. Better the CRM policies more will be the satisfaction in loyalty decisions of the customers.

However, from question 1 of part B it can be inferred that if the resources are given priority to improve the performance of the attributes properly to enhance the consumer satisfaction the viable analytical tools or techniques are required   for the optimisation of resource allocation (also inferred by . Buzzel and Gale, 2007) Thus it could be finally inferred that CRM policies is helpful in improving the customer satisfaction index. However, the present CRM policies are supposed to be periodically reframed for meeting the changing customer preferences.

 

Objective 3: To suggest suitable recommendations to overcome the identified gaps in CRM policy applications of the mobile network brands in the UK

In order to address this particular objective, findings from question 11, question 12, question 13 (refer to chapter 5) and qualitative findings from question 3 (refer to section 4.2 in chapter 4) could be assessed. The findings from the question 11 highlight the fact that a faster query processing mechanism could be prioritised by the telecom service providers in the country so that better customer loyalty could be experienced. Aghion and Bolton (2007) proposed a similar opinion regarding the approach as the authors acknowledged that customers queries could be dealt promptly on the basis of which, improved customer satisfaction could be feasible (refer to section 2.2 in chapter 2). In reference to the findings from question 12, considering the feedback of the customers could be an effective option in improving the CRM policy. Customers believe the respective feedbacks could help the telecom service providers addressing the customers’ perception more effectively. Oliver and Richard (2005) supported the fact by acknowledging that customers’ feedback evaluation could help organisations getting the insights of the customers and delivering relevant services accordingly (refer to section 2.5 in chapter 2). On the other hand, taking into considerations the findings from question 13, introduction of a transparent billing mechanism could be emphasised by the telecom service providers in the UK. It is found that customers expect more transparency in the billing process and therefore a well justified billing process could be prioritised to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Finally, considering the qualitative findings, aligning the conventional CRM and an advanced e-CRM process could be prioritised (refer to section 4.2 in chapter 4). Since majority of the expert believe prioritising an e-CRM process could help improving the customer satisfaction in the UK’s telecom sector, the process can be considered as a recommendation. Payne and Frow (2009) also supported the fact by suggesting that a combination of CRM and e-CRM could be beneficial in addressing alternative service provisions so that optimum customer satisfaction could be experienced (refer to section 4.2 in chapter 4). 

6.3 Recommendation

Recommendations:

Considering the findings from the study, increasing perception gap between the customers and telecom service providers are causing several issues such as customers’ dissatisfaction and poor loyalty. As a consequence, the efficacy concerning the CRM strategies become questionable. In this context, the following strategies could be considered by the UK based telecom organisations.

Effective channel management:

Improving CRM mechanism could be feasible with effective utilisation of channel management. In this context, getting optimum visibility within the distribution channel could be prioritised so that sales could be conducted on a single platform. Majority of the mobile network service providers prioritise conventional channels such as telephone or emailing. However, a range of contemporary channels such as social media other poplar informal online channels could be prioritised. The service providers could also consider execution of promotional campaigns so that greater word-of-mouth could be experienced. On the other hand, the approach could help organisations determining actual business values while balancing the demand supply scenario through customers’ feedback evaluation.  

Faster lead conversion:

The process of faster lead conversion could be prioritised so that greater customer satisfaction could be experienced. Faster lead conversion could help reducing the overall response time. As a consequence, customers’ queries could be processed promptly. Therefore, greater customer loyalty could be feasible. On the other hand, an initiative to acquire customers through various marketing campaigns could help generating increased sales volume. Finally, the approach is considered to be effective in lead nurturing strategy following a range of telemarketing approaches and direct marketing. Overall, the faster lead conversion strategy could ensure timely response to the contingent issues. Thus, the efficacy concerning the existing CRM initiative could be enhance. 

Improving customer profitability:

The UK based telecom service providers could emphasis on improving customer profitability through innovative CRM strategies so that overall sales improvement could be feasible. One of the viable strategies in this context can be change in the perception of the organisations. In this context, facilitating a shift from the ‘volume’ to ‘value’ could be considered and frequent feedback evaluation process could be considered timely basis in order to obtain the customer insights. Customer profitability could be further enhanced considering a cross selling mechanism. Thus, greater values could be delivered to the customers and improved CRM policies could be followed.   

Enhancing customer experience:

Enhancing customers’ experience could be a major challenge for the UK based telecom service providers. However, such an initiative is considered to be vital in improving CRM and enhancing customer satisfaction. In this context, the organisations could prioritise the overall improvement of the ‘service-to-sales’ mechanism. A considerable number of customers would evaluate the service delivery mechanism along with the after sales service procedure to perceive brand values. In this context, the provision of ‘service-to-sales’ could be initiated by means of effective cross selling process. By this way, a range of value added products could be provided to the customers in order to enhance brand loyalty.  

Customer retention initiative: 

Improving the customer retention scenario is needed to be a strategic priority for the UK based telecom service providers. In order to do that, the demography insights are needed to be evaluated and the cross selling prospects can be judged. The brands can emphasise on increasing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) by evaluating the usage pattern and thus focusing on value segmentation while creating personalise offers. Various interactive campaigns could be formed to engage the customers. Social media campaigns could be an effective option in this context. Overall, a rigorous market research activity could be initiated to analyse the changing trend of the industry and thus delivering innovative products to satisfy customers’ needs.

6.4 Limitation of the research

  • The number of samples considered for the research was 65 which are comparatively less in terms of the population size. The sample parameters fail to represent the true characteristics of the of the population characteristics.
  • The convenient sampling is not justified in this particular research. As this sample size is finite, though the researcher has considered the sample size on the basis of approximation to avoid complicacy.

6.5 Future implications of the research

The study has attempted to determine the parameters of the customer satisfaction which is present in the UK mobile network services. The present study, though, consider different parameters like brand  image, net work coverage , service facilities, product and service range , switching cost, words of mouth as variables. Therefore, it is recommended on the basis of the consumer satisfaction better, manager must understand the importance of the fairness in pricing policy and the perceived service quality. This research pointed out that one of the key aspects of the CRM management is to understand the pricing policy service quality and fairness. Therefore, high investment for building the brand and sales promotion may not be effective unless company fails to address the service recovery process. If the consumers are dissatisfied with a particular network operator, then consequences of this dissatisfaction spread the bad words of mouth to the other potential consumers. This would lead to revenue contraction and subsequently lower the profit level of the organisation. This could be a sserious implication in the future at the UK telecom sector. In the present study the researcher attempt to contribute a host of knowledge by integrating various by integrating various aspects of the consumer satisfaction in the form of a model. The theoretical frame work of the model conceptualised had been addressed mainly on the respective research stream. These fail to address the parameters like service failure and service recovery (Ibrahim et al. 2010); price fairness or justice (Jensen, 2003)market orientation (Nguyen et al.2007); corporate marketing (Kinney and Scholz, 2004) and switching cost (Oliver et al. 1997). So in this study with respect to the developing country context the study needs to explore further in the following areas. Firstly, such kind of case study approach limits the scope of external validity this result is unlikely to be similar or can be generalized for the other firms in the same industry. The study is restricted only to few UK based mobile service providers .Therefore, logic   suggests that sample subscribers across the different industry the logic for future researchers is to use a survey to sample subscribers from across all companies operating in the industry. Secondly, This model, which is conceptualized can also be utilised and examine in the other sector beside telecom sector in UK.  Attempt can also be taken in validating the model, especially in other service sector like banking, travel and tourism, hospitality   consultancy and insurance sector. Thirdly, few of the respondents were illiterate, so the researcher has changed the language in few occasions and translate the word and sentences in the local language. Obvious this translation process was not symmetric and did not guarantee the correct interpretation of the meaning and questions asked in the questionnaire. So in future rather than focusing only on the sample size the research could focus on profile on the educated respondents who can understand and interpret the questions correctly.

 

 

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Appendix 1:

Quantitative Questions:

Name:

Question 1: Do you get frequent updates on the latest call tariffs and data tariffs?

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

Question 2: How does your telecom service provider contact you if there is a promotional offer?

  • Calling
  • Flash message
  • Newsletter
  • SMS

Question 3: Please tick from the following the query processing procedure followed by your telecom service provider?

  • Structured calling
  • Email feedback
  • Structured SMS
  • Online chat

Question 4: What is the duration of the contract that you frequently enter into?

  • 12 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months

Question 5: Which CRM activities you feel more justified from the organisation side in this network service provider industry

  • Choice of the access
  • Management of the application
  • Dedicated internet services
  • Management of IP address
  • Managing the network IQ
  • Virtual private network services

Question 6: Have you developed greater brand reliability following the query processing initiative of your service provider?

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

Question 7: Would you be more loyal to the current service provider if the brand improves the current level of CRM initiatives?

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

Question 8: Are you influenced to avail the promotional offers after the promotion made by your service provider?

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

Question 9: Rank the necessity of the following attributes while choosing a new mobile network services in the industry?

  • Network performance (coverage and reception)
  • Brand image
  • Range of service ( voice mail, Broad band  , voice mail)
  • Customer service quality
  • Service plan
  • Accuracy of billing and payment
  • Value for money
  • Connectivity

Question 10: .Do you agree the role of CRM activity helps in developing customer satisfaction in the UK network service providers?

  • Strongly satisfied
  • Somehow satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  • Dissatisfied
  • Somehow dissatisfied
  • Strongly dissatisfied

Question 11: Do you think a faster query processing approach could motivate you to be more loyal to the service provider?

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

Question 12: Do you think that considering feedbacks of customers like you could help the telecom service providers in UK experiencing better customer loyalty?

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

Question 13: Would you agree that a more transparent billing process could make you keep track of the payment mechanism?

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

Qualitative Questions:

Q.1Do you think that there are any relationship exists between CRM and customer satisfaction?

Q.2 What are the current CRM practices adopted by the organisation to satisfy the target customers?

Q.3 What are the factors organisation need to focus to increase customer value and satisfaction?

Q.4 What are the key issues by which organisation enhances customer value and satisfaction?

 

 

 

Appendix 2:

Note of abbreviation

ABBREVIATIONS Notation Explanation
B2B Business-to-Business
CEM Customer experience management
CFA Confirmatory Factor Analysis
CIT Critical Incident Technique
CL Customer Loyalty
CLV Customer Lifetime Value
CR Customer Retention
CRM Customer Relationship Management
CS Customer Satisfaction
IPA Importance-Performance Analysis
KPIs Key Performance Indicators
LNP Local Number Probability
LTV Lifetime Value
MI Marketing Intelligence
ML Maximum Likelihood
MR Multiple Regression
NPV Net Present Value
RADV Regression Analysis with Dummy Variables
ROI Return on Investment
SEM Structural Equation Modeling
SOW Share-of-wallet
SPSS Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
VIF Variance Influence Factor
WOM Word-of-mouth

 

 

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