Impact Of Service Quality On Customer Satisfaction – Case Study of TNT UK

Abstract

The chapter has evaluated the impact of service quality on customer satisfaction. The aim, objectives and research questions have been briefed in the introductory section that offers a direction to the study. The researcher have briefed that service quality is an essential factor to decision making of the customers’ as low level could motivate the customers’ to switch over their brand preference. Past studies have been evaluated in the second chapter. The SERVQUAL model serves as an effective parameter upon which the service quality specifications depend. The service quality delivery process of TNT includes: national, international and air freight service quality service. Research paradigms have been mentioned in   the third chapter.  Data have been collected from primary and secondary sources. Survey process has been used to used to accumulate quantitative facts while the qualitative responses have been gathered by interview session.

From the findings it can be inferred that as service quality is directly linked with customer satisfaction, TNT is supposed to build its service quality measures. Not all customers are content with the service quality level of the customers. Thus, in order overcome the specified gaps, TNT is supposed to train its staffs such that it meets the desired expectations of the customers.

 

Acknowledgment

I would like to thank my supervisor who helped me to successfully conduct the study. At the time when I faced issue, my supervisor assisted me with the required knowledge that helped me to overcome the trouble. Thanks to sample who was sporty enough to respond as a sample. Their responses assisted me in completing the study. Finally, I would like to mention that my parents and friends have also encouraged me enough to successfully compete the study.

 

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.0 Background of the study:

The key success of a service provider varies on the high quality relationship with its customers, which leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Repeated research has proved the influence of service quality on the organisational outcome, such as performance superiority, increase in sales, profit, retention of customer base, and enhancement of corporate image. Therefore, Zhao and Hui (2002) argued that delivering effectual service quality is an enforced step for success and survival of the service dominant industry in today’s competitive market. Thus, the present business entities are focusing on the business expansion by increasing the customer satisfaction with the enhancement of customer service portfolio. However, Zeithaml et al. (2006) stated that consumer buying behaviour such as repetitive purchase or customer loyalty significantly can lead to improve the base of satisfied customers. Therefore, TNT, UK has been considered as an example to conduct the study for analysing the necessitate impact of service quality for the courier delivery firm as the increment factor of customer satisfaction. Yoon and Klim (2004) squabbled that the particular firm was majorly researched due to the close monitor and optimized operations for providing quality services. Such practices enabled the firm to attract and maintain the customer base in the highly competitive market.

1.1 Research Rationale

Within the last few decades, the scholars have rediscovered the massive expansion and expectations of service quality. Therefore, customer service has been identified as an effective tool to satisfy the customer base in order to experience an improved brand loyalty in the marketplace (Wong, 2003). By analysing current business scenario (Wong and Amrik, 2003) acknowledged that the organisation needs to focus on improving the quality of service in order to attain a sustainable advantage. However, the major reason behind the research work is to inspect on the service quality of the brand TNT, UK for ensuring high customer satisfaction to its potential customers. Especially on the strategy of providing the widest range of time and day definite services to its customers globally. On the side, Westbrook and Richard (2005) contradicted that increased available choices and options could enable the interested customer to distinguish between the service offered by the organisation and the affectionate growth of the other firms. Due to the specified reason the researcher has made the selection of the brand TNT, UK in order to signify the impact created by the service dominant industry on the growth of the business and brand loyalty of the particular firm, as well as followed by the effect of the same in the other industry present in the rivalry of the UK marketplace.

1.2 Research Aim:

The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of service quality on attaining satisfaction for courier service customers. A special mention will be made to assess the service quality efforts made by TNT, UK.

1.3 Research Objectives:

The research objectives are as follows:

  • To determine the current service quality measures undertaken by TNT in order to advance satisfaction level of its customers.
  • To evaluate the level of customer satisfaction by making the customer aware about the benefits and services offered.
  • To assess the relation between service quality and customer satisfaction
  • To recommend ways to overcome the identified service quality gaps of TNT, UK.

1.3 Research Questions:

The following are the research questions that are tangent with the research objectives:

  • What are the basic service quality factors that impacts then the satisfaction level of the customers??
  • How can customer satisfaction level be assessed?
  • How are service quality impacts customer satisfaction level?
  • How far TNT has been successful in using its service quality measures to impact the consumers’ satisfaction level?
  • What strategic measures can be undertaken to overcome the identified gaps?

1.4 Scope of the study:

Effectual service quality plays a vital role for an organisation in this conventional competitive business era as it helps to enhance the customer satisfaction and brand value. With the improvement of the service quality, the company will experience a greater customer base, as a result the organisation enhances its total sales and the operating income results in an intensification of its market share and the position to a considerable extent as compared to many other rival players. Other than this, with the help of varied types of service delivery strategies, the organizations may attain the feedback of the loyal as well as recent customers and implement them within its product lines. On the contrary, if the organization fails to analyse the feedback of the customers, then it might lead to create a negative image of the particular organisation. As a result, the brand value and customer base might get hampered, leading to the downfall of its prosperity and distinctiveness in the global perspectives.

Thus, with the help of the research, the brand TNT might offer more emphasis over the delivery of quality service to the customers, in order to enhance the satisfaction level of the customers. Hence, it may enhance the brand equity of the organisation in the future era as compared to other successful players in the competitive market.

 

Chapter 2

Literature Review

2.0 Introduction:

The level of service quality is among the pertinent factors to influence the customers’ satisfaction level. Although, the level of service quality differs in between individuals, yet the basic service quality of price, product quality and employee attitude vastly influences the customers’ satisfaction level. Thomke and Hippel (2004) denoted that it is rather difficult to meet the expected service quality of the entire population, rather to stress on satisfying the profitable segment. This will eventually boost the product demand and advance the market image of the brand.

Service industry lacks any product offerings thus could earn profit only on its service quality level. Periodic advancements’ in service quality measures will help in customer satisfaction. Tarn (2005) mentioned that lower the service quality gap more will be the chances of gaining customer traffic. While the current customers will prefer to remain loyal, potential consumers will desire to experience its services. However, the level of service quality is varied for different individuals and marketers are often unable to identify the same. Lack of adequate service quality level has marred the chances of several firms to attract customers, thereby, build a stronger foothold in the market (Warner, 2011). The chapter will deal closely on service quality factors, along with its impact on customer satisfaction.

2.1 Service quality:

Svensson (2006) denoted that service quality involves the basic task of assessing how well a delivered service meets the client’s expectations. Customers’ service quality expectations are varied thus making it difficult for the marketers to fulfil the perceived gap. However, not assessing the current service quality will result in not meeting the quality gap. Brand loyalty decreases as a result of not meeting the service quality gap. Thus, Schmitz and Knorringa (2007) referred that service business operators often have to assess the service quality provided to the customers so as to improve their current service level, identify any flaws and to better assess client satisfaction.

2.1.1 Significance for better service quality

Customers desire to experience memorable shopping experience or attain the quality service against the money being spent. An important of aspect of consumers’ shopping experience or loyalty decision is the service quality perception (Salavou and Lioukas, 2004). It is normally expected from a courier service company to ensure that the products reach customers on time and without any damage or tamper. Customers expect that the logistic system is quite effective. However, if an organization fails to offer quality customer service, the chances of consumer’s continuing as a patron of an organization are highly doubtful (Hawtrey, 2005).

Russ-Eft (2004) referred that if any incidence of delivering quality customer service is overlooked at any point of time, then the firm’s ability to consistently offer continued consumer value will be compromised. The firm might have to experience sustained threat. Thus, customer service policies help the service organizations to remain consumer-centric, thereby, creating a lasting value for the customers.

2.1.2 Lasting value:

By providing a lasting customer value, the consumers can be made happy and ensure the fact that they opt to revisit. Reimann et al. (2008) noted that providing good customer service is necessary to retain customers against the competitors selling similar products. Among the firms in the service industries, consumers tend to prefer one that provides lasting value and unsurpassed customer service (Tellis, 2008). Eventually, the long-term customer loyalty will reap considerable revenue for courier firms.

2.1.3 Waste reduction and increase in efficiency

Mittal and Lassar (2006) identified that focus on effective service quality reduces waste in areas such as training, material or acquiring new help. The staffs automatically develop knowledge regards best practise service delivery process, thereby, building their own efficiency level. Housing efficient staff directly influences the productivity level of the courier firm, thus advancing its market position.

However, service quality measures, including staff training can be costly and time consuming. Smaller courier firms might not have enough funds to conduct staff training. Also, it might be difficult and problematic to periodically advance the current service quality practices (Mitchell, 2009). In either way service firms might lose out on narrowing service quality gaps.

2.2 Service quality model:

Although several practitioners have based their work on determining the service quality measures, only a handful of them were acceptable. SERVQUAL model is a commonly used service quality model that offers a new way of measuring service quality. Matzler et al. (2007) denoted that the gap between the gap between the expected and perceived level of customer service is commonly measured based on the five dimensions: Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy and Tangibility.

Reliability

Responsiveness

Empathy

Assurances

Tangibles

Perceived Service
Perceived Service

 

Perceived Service quality

Figure 1: SERVQUAL model

(Source: Zeithaml et al. 2006, p. 35)

The current model can be termed as an analytical tool for the managers identify the gaps between the variables affecting service quality of the offered services. Customers bear separate perceptions in each of the 5 identified dimensions. It is the duty of the service managers to meet the customers’ perception level, thereby, reduce the service quality gaps. Matilla and Patterson (2004) noted that Reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles can also be considered to be service quality factors that build the performance level of the staffs in a way to meet customers’ expectations.

 However, Lubbe (2005) criticised that although being explored by nature, the SERVQUAL model does not offer a clear method for measuring the gaps in different levels. Findings have also revealed that this model is inconsistent and is not comprehensive for different applications. However, service delivery marketers should try to reduce their gap based on the 5 identified dimensions as customers’ expectations are quite similar to these factors.

2.3 Service Quality factors:

Firms can ensure its growth by improving the service quality of the entire organization. Several practitioners have pin pointed number of factors upon which service quality depends. Kahn and McDonough (2002) referred that service (courier) firms can ensure customer satisfaction by improving its service quality portfolio. Doing so will bring about overall advancement in the service delivery process and the customers’ expected preferences will be met. The 5 dimensions of the SERVQUAL model reflect the areas in which customers’ expect to receive service. Best practise service delivery policies will help the courier firms like TNT to narrow the gap between the expected and actual service (Robinson and Robinson, 2009). Soon the firm might be able to gain consumers’ service delivery confidence.

 However, the contrary, to the latter other service quality factors as defined by (Hughes and Chafin, 2007) are:

2.3.1 Training level:

Gronroos (2012) noted that staff training helps in improving the performance level and ensures a best practise approach for meeting job performance. Trained staffs posses the knowledge and skills to offer quality customer service. The service staffs know by themselves the consumers’ demands and accordingly make efforts to meet their expectation level.

However, Griffith and Krampf (2004) argued that training might be costly and time consuming. Firms might have to compromise on certain areas in order to conduct the training sessions.

2.3.2 Capacity of the workforce:

Often a certain service quality training session is not able to increase the productivity level of the workforce. While few staffs might be dejected to receive training and the rest might not be able to wholly absorb the same due to lack enough capacity (Graham, 2007). In both the latter cases, service delivery might drop. Thus, service quality is dependent on the current motivation and productivity level of the workforce. Strategic measures will advance both the motivation and productivity level of the workforce resulting in better service delivery.

2.3.3 Job satisfaction:

Service delivery will receive a set-back if the staffs are not content with their desired job profile. Gatignon and Xuereb (2009) reflected that allocating jobs based on their choice/background and capability will increase the job satisfaction level among the workers. An employee willing to look after the logistics department must be allocated a similar job in order to ensure high productivity. The staff will soon capture the traits of effective performance resulting in better service delivery.

However, comfortable jobs will be more preferred than the critical ones, resulting in drop of overall organizational productivity (Hernon and Altman, 2008). Overall service quality might drop as it encompasses all activities of an organization.

2.4 Impact of service quality on customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is vital in the service industry as it bears a substantial impact on consumer loyalty. Satisfied customers increase the loyal customer base, thus leading to business profitability. In this respect, Ganguli and Roy (2011) noted that while customer satisfaction is a result of the comparison between predicted and perceived service, the service quality entails the comparison between desired and perceived service.

Based on the customer value theory, timeliness, accuracy of order, information quality and quality of personnel are some of the essential elements in a relationship between courier service provider and customers (Coomber, 2002). The impact of these factors on customer satisfaction can best be explained through a diagram illustrated below:

Courier Service Quality
Timeliness
Accuracy of order
Information quality
Quality of personnel
Customer Satisfaction

Figure 2: Impact of courier service quality on customer satisfaction

(Source: Ganesan, S., 2004, p. 17)

2.4.1 Impact of timeliness on customer satisfaction:

It involves the aspect of accuracy of billing, record keeping and competition of services at the proper time. Gagliano and Jan (2004) noted that it is also important to meet the other demands in terms of quantity and quality upon arrival. Customers are often content if the delivery is made within time and damage free. Mistiming results in dissatisfaction.

2.4.2 Impact on accuracy of order to customer satisfaction:

Sound interaction between the personnel and the customers often results in meeting the expected service quality (Furrer et al. 2005). The interaction helps in distinguishing between service demands by respective customers. Eventually the service providers will be able to offer customised services, leading consumer satisfaction and repeat purchase. Although, it might be difficult to meet the demands of each and every customer, yet efforts can be made to narrow the expectation gap as much as possible.

2.4.3 Impact of information quality on customer satisfaction:

Flipo (2008) identified the significance for the courier service provider to promote product and service related information’s for customer attraction. Customers’ satisfaction is affected by the information being provided with regards to the trustworthiness and quantity. By serving service information in various languages, the courier service providers will soon be able to influence the consumers’ decision making.

However, the dissatisfaction might eventually arise if the current available services are not tangent to what have been initially proclaimed.

2.4.4 Impact of availability of quality of personnel on customer satisfaction:

The productivity and efficiency level of the courier service providers impacts the satisfaction level of the customers. Consumers will be content with experiencing tailor-made services from the providers (Dabholkar et al. 2006). Although, training is a crucial part of building quality of personnel, yet the personnel should build own capacity based on real life experiences.

2.5 Current service delivery of TNT, UK:

The service quality of an organisation could effectively enhance the satisfaction level of the customer. Therefore, the management of TNT has come up with several delivery services in order to maintain a better relationship with its customers and to retain the potential mass.

2.5.1 National delivery services

The brand TNT has come up with the strategy of providing national delivery services that is dedicated to ensuring the safe delivery of the items safely and that too in a cost effective manner. Here, the particular brand focuses on the same day delivery services. Brinkerhoff (2008) identified that policy of same day services conveys a piece of mind to the customers. The policy has led to increase the interest level of the customers, where the individual viewer receives the ordered parcel accurately at the specified time and with full visibility throughout its journey. Hence, TNT’s services have been categorised into four categories: 9.00 express, where parcel has been delivered before 9 PM. 10.00 express, here the customers receives the parcel before 10 AM in morning (Bajwa et al. 2005). 12.00 express services signify that in case of emergency the customers are being derived with emergency parcels before 12 AM.

2.5.2 International delivery services

In order to create a wider market reach, TNT has come up with the international delivery services, to provide the customers with maximum quality service within the tight dead line (Andreassen and Olsen, 2008). TNT provides special service specialized delivery in 200 countries worldwide. In order to meet the needs of the customers, the brand has come up special services including: special express, diplomat, air charter and dedicated vehicle. Special services have been offered to the client who requires an urgent delivery of the parcel at any point of time. Brady and Cronin (2011) mentioned that such customised service has uplifted the brand value of the specified brand. On the other hand diplomat is the specification of the important documents which will be carried by the specialist on board couriers in order to ensure safe and secure package of goods (Anderson and Sullivan, 2007). However, air charter service is for the delivery of the heavy shipments of the perishable and awkward shaped goods that requires special care and delicacy. Thus, the brand provides a reliable delivery of such parcels via dedicated aircraft. In case of the services provided through dedicated vehicle, the customer receives the fastest door to door delivery of the ordered parcel. However, Bojanic (2011) mentioned that the brand offers a bespoke dedicated vehicle service in order to mitigate the specified requirements of the time and customers.

2.5.3 Air freight services

The brand seems to inculcate on the high speed demand on accuracy and dependability. However, this service has been categorised into two other services including door to door and door to airport services. According to Blois (2008), the particular strategy has served the brand to possess a flexible option, global coverage, total visibility, high quality airline partners and import and export. However, in the door to door delivery service, the parcel has been delivered from the collection of the premises to the selection of the direct route of the airport and lastly the final delivery to the customers. On the other side, door to airport service provides a high level of service and manages to deliver the parcel on the destination of airport (Sinkkonen, 2007). After the arrival, the parcel has been handed over to the customer’s selected broker or agent for the final clearance and delivery.

More focus is on timeliness and accuracy of delivery. However, hardly any effort is made by TNT to ensure disperse of service quality information’s (Blattberg and Deighton, 2006). TNT also does not make any effort to build the capacity and knowledge level of its staff, that however is a crucial factor for customer satisfaction.

2.6 Strategic service quality delivery process:

In order to meet the courier demands of the global customers, the need for TNT is to maintain service quality level. The brand already follows a dedicated and customised approach of segregating the cargo shipments based on its type or necessity. As an advancement in service delivery process, (Birnbrauer, 2007) acknowledged the significance for such service providers to develop and apply an integrated multi-modal distribution system integrated by Surface transport as well as by Air and Sea Freight.

TNT could more minutely segment its daily deliverables. What has not been practised is that TNT could provide Same Day Delivery Solutions for Medical, Legal, high-tech professional while process service needs for law firms, Corporate and Government firms (Scheuing and Christopher, 2005).

Beaumont and Sparks (2009) acknowledged the need for courier firms to ensure disperse of service quality information and building the skill set of the courier staffs. TNT should also involve the latter factors within its service delivery process.

2.7 Conceptual framework:

Below is the conceptual framework of the study:

Service Quality
Training
       Motivation
Job Satisfaction
Positive and greater service Quality
Lesser service Quality
Happy and Loyal Customer
Unhappy Customer

Figure 3: Conceptual Framework

(Source: self-developed)

 

2.8 Summary:

The chapter have detailed the several service quality aspects that are mostly preferred by consumers. Service firms are supposed to be periodically judge its own service quality level in order to narrow the gap between the desired and actual services. Narrow gap results in improved customer satisfaction. TNT is required to advance its service delivery process to create an appeal in the courier market of UK.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

Research Methodology

3.0 Introduction:

Research methodology is the basic structure of the entire research that helps to explore the problem in an effective way. Apt choice of research paradigms will help in meeting the aim, objectives and research questions (Ramos, 2009). It also helps to maintain ethics, validity and reliability related to the study, thereby, arriving at an unbiased and authentic conclusion for the readers’ to know. Herein, every methodology details have been specified linking to how the same will meet the research objectives.

The chapter justifies the reason behind the choice of: research design approach and philosophy. The chosen sample size, sampling process, data types and data collection method has also been stated. However, the researcher had faced certain limitations while conducting the study that has also been detailed herein.

3.1 Research Outline:

In order to evaluate the influence of service quality on customer satisfaction, data have been collected from both primary and secondary sources. Keeping in mind the limited time frame for data collection, the researcher have surveyed the quantitative respondents while qualitative sample have been interviewed. In order to avoid any authenticity issues regards the number of the chosen sample, 50 existing customers of TNT, UK have been surveyed while 5 middle line managers were personally interviewed.

In order to remain unbiased during sample selection, then customers have been selected by using simple random sampling method. However, the managers have been considered based on their convenience. The data analysis plan is rather varied as the nature of the accumulated responses is different. While, the qualitative responses have been narrated in the same manner as collected, the quantitative details have been collected and calculated via MS Excl format. Finally, the researcher has tried best to maintain the validity and authenticity of the accumulated information’s.

3.2 Research Onion:

Research onion is inclusive of several layers that forms the part of research study. Morse (2007) identified the significance for unfolding each layers of the research onion in a sequential manner, ultimately fulfilling the research objectives.

It is made up of layers that outline the research philosophies, approaches, and time horizons and data collection process. Morgan (2007) mentioned that following the research onion. It is not possible for the researcher to move into the inner layer without going through the outer layer. Thus each layer must be reached so as to attain proper research methodology.

However, Freshwater (2007) argued that the placement of layers in the research onion is incorrect as instead of being the innermost layer, research should resume with data collection process. Post collecting data, other paradigms should follow. On the contrary, researchers’ prefer to abide by what has been illustrated in the research onion as other paradigms are supposed to be pre-determined and data collection process at the end. Herein, the researcher has followed to how it has been illustrated above.

3.3 Research Philosophy: Positivism

The researcher would identify the potential methodology for maintaining the relevance and authenticity of the study. While conducting the study, the researcher would choose positivism philosophy. As mentioned by (Bernard, 2011), positivism philosophy deals with the relevant facts and realism associated with it. Furthermore, positivism philosophy helps to analyse varied types of real facts associated with the events. Hence, positivism philosophy could help researcher to gather relevant facts about the impact of employee performance on the effective service delivery and customer attraction in the TNT, UK. Additionally the researcher would analyse the effectiveness of the service quality in order to enhance the customer satisfaction of the particular firm. With the help of positivism the researcher will get to collect the primary and secondary data, and the data will be triangulated to arrive at an authentic conclusion, thereby to meet the research objectives.

3.4 Research Design: Descriptive

Among various types of research design, descriptive research design has been chosen for conducting the present study. On the other hand, Corner (2002) argued that descriptive research design could become able to analyse and represent few specified conditions of the current situation. Past studies reveal that descriptive research design are used at the time of analysing specific behaviour as it basically occurs in the environment. However, the factors associated with CRM practices to expand the customer base of TNT exists with these factors can be determined by analysing the nature of descriptive research design (Morse, 2007). Hence, by applying descriptive research approach the researcher could become able to collect all necessary information about the importance of service quality for enhancing the satisfaction level of consumers, increasing the brand loyalty and brand image of the TNT UK with respect to the response gained from the end of customers and mangers.

3.5 Research approach: Deductive

In this context, the researcher has chosen the deductive research approach to meet the accuracy of the research. As cited by Freshwater (2007), deductive approach contradicts the nature of inductive research approach. Inductive research approach starts with creating new theories rather than analysing the past theories, while deductive research approach evaluates past theories while conducting the research. Furthermore, Johnson et al. (2007) stated that deductive research approach would help the researcher to maintain the accurate flow of the study. When it comes to present study, the researcher would analyse several past theories on improving employee performance in order to increase customer attraction in the couriers industry of UK. Hence, deductive research approach could be considered more authentic for conducting the study.

3.6 Data type:

Data collection process needs to be selected according to the objectives of the research that needs to be achieved by analysing outcomes gained from cultivating the data (Morgan, 2007). Primary and secondary are the two types of data would be collected for conducting the study. Here the primary data would e gathered by the qualitative and quantitative sources. In this context, Morse (2007) stated that the nature of primary data is original and hence the data would be collected from the response gained from the customers of the organisation. However, the secondary data could be collected from the several resources such as books, online video, journals etc.

3.7 Research analysis:

Research analysis plan would help the researcher gathering the data within particular time frame while conducting the study. It has been over viewed that the research analysis plan determines the decoding process in terms of the primary data collection (Truscott et al. 2011). However, the quantitative responses have been gathered in a narrative format, while the quantitative responses have been calculated on the percentage basis. Based on the percentage of the quantitative responses, the researcher will be able to create tables and graphs, required for the current research. The illustrated responses will help the reader to evaluate the possible conclusion of the study. The quantitative data will be maintained via MS Excel. On the other hand, the percentage of the quantitative data will be calculated through the MS Excel, which will help the researcher to calculate on the suitable data.

3.8 Data collection process:

Several methods of data collection have been followed in the present research work. The nature of the quantitative and qualitative data is in the contrast to each other. Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. (2011) suggested that the quantitative details are descriptive in nature, thus cannot be quantified as the quantitative information. The quantitative details will be accumulated by the personal interview session.

On the other hand, the details of the secondary information will be collected by the brand pages of the banking industry along with the published materials like, article, journals, sufficient information provided over the internet and news paper reporting will be utilized. However, the past publication will be assessed and the company reviews will be evaluated to collect the information in terms of the research topic. Therefore, developed questionnaire will be forwarded to the sample respondents to extract the benefits of the questions. Based on the particular survey outcome, the final questionnaire will be framed and will be sent to all of the respondents to attain their feedback.

3.9 Sample size:

Brannen (2009) mentioned that sample choice 35 can raise ethical issues with regards the authenticity of data collection. In order to prevent any form of ethical issues, the researcher have considered substantial sample from who varied and authentic conclusion can be derived. Keeping in mind the considerable time required for data collection from larger sample, the researcher choose to interview 50 existing customers of TNT, UK. 50 customers are enough to give varied opinion of the current research subject.

Keeping in mind the substantial time involved in the process of interviewing the respondents, the qualitative sample size had to be restricted. Thus, 5 middle line managers of TNT, UK have been considered in order to gain a relevant feedback. The interview session will help in meeting the research objectives.

3.10 Sampling choice:

Sampling choice is basically of two types: probability and non-probability process. It is necessary for the researcher to be biased-free in order to gain authentic responses accurate choice of sampling policy is quite essential. Herein, the researcher has used both probability and non-probability sampling process. Corner (2002) noted that while unlike probability sampling, non-probability process gives equal chances to the participants to be a part of the study.

The specified time frame limits the chances for the researcher to survey or interview the entire population. Thus, in order to limit the sampling frame at the same time to be unbiased during sample choice, the quantitative sample has been selected by simple random process. Morse (2007) denoted that simple random sampling process allows random selection of sample without any biasness involved. From the robust population of UK’s retail customers’ the researcher had chosen the specified sample at a random basis.

However, probability sampling process has been considered for the process for selecting the managers as qualitative sample. However, convenience sampling used in order to select the qualitative respondents. The chosen sampling is based on the accessibility of the respondents and allows easy collection of required data. Thus, the ones’ who could be easily accessed have been considered to be the qualitative research sample.

3.11 Data analysis:

Both the survey and the interview questions are in tangent with the set objectives. However, the findings have been collected and analysed in different format, and conclusion derived therefrom. The quantitative details have been collected via MS Excel and percentage have allocated to response set. The quantified nature of quantitative data have facilitated in easily interpreting the responses. The same have been represented by graphs and charts, thus facilitating in easy understanding by the readers. Possible conclusion based on service quality can effortlessly be derived.

However, the qualitative responses cannot be illustrated as the same is descriptive by nature. Being descriptive, qualitative details cannot be quantified or measured (Bergh and Ketchen, 2009). It could thus not be collected by MS Excel, rather have been stored in the same form as accumulated from the managers. In the following chapter, the answers to the interview session have been detailed, from which conclusions will eventually be drawn.

3.12 Research Ethics:

It goes unsaid that all activities of a research should be free and fair and no amount of biased behaviour should be included here. The general way to define research ethics would be to it as norms for conduct that separates between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour (Bernard, 2011). The researcher has made all efforts to conduct the study in free and fair manner. The sample has not been forced to respond in a certain way. No amount of external influence have been forced upon the managers or customers, instead was allowed to respond at their free will. The reason behind data collection was intimidated to the sample such that they are able to respond without fear.

The primary and secondary data collected have been used solely for the present study. Neither the primary nor the secondary data have been made public. Information’s accumulated from the website or publications of TNT have not been disclosed rather have been destroyed after the research is over. The name and personal details of the sample have not been truly revealed for security concerns. Finally, the secondary subjects have been accumulated from authentic sources for preventing data duplicity.

3.13 Validity and Reliability:

Research validity is based on the instruments used in measuring the findings. Violation of instrument severely impact the function and functioning of testing instrument (Brannen, 2009). Herein, the research validity has been maintained by constantly checking whether the research is measuring what it is supposed to measure. In other words, the accumulated responses and secondary subjects have been cross-checked to see if it is relatable with the research objectives.

Reliability refers to determining if the research results can be applied to a wider group other than the considered sample (Cameron, 2009). For the current study information reliability has been maintained by using the instruments but with a different set of respondents.

3.14 Limitations:

The identified limitations have prevented from smoothly conducting the study. Had these not faced, the study could have been conducted more fairly. Time frame is a pertinent limitation of the research as all the activities had to be completed within the set time limit. Corner (2002) noted that although time frame facilitates the chances of timely completion of the research activities, yet it becomes difficult to collect, screen and assess the data within time frame. Herein as well, the researcher faced issues while collecting objective related secondary data from pool of information’s. The sample was initially reluctant to respond to the questionnaire. As the questionnaire was lengthy, the sample took enough time to complete the same thus creating problem of timely data gathering.

Considering the substantial effort and time consumed during the interview process, the researcher had limited the sample of managers to just 5. Had more managers been included, detailed data relating to the service quality of TNT could be achieved. Also, as a result of the busy schedules of the managers, they could not allocate dates quite early. Although, their selection was based on accessibility, yet interview date was quite late.

3.15 Time frame:

The time frame for each activity has been mentioned in the appendix. The allocated weeks for each of the activity will help in detailing the research process, thereby, fulfilling the research aim.

 

 

Chapter 4

Findings and Analysis

4.0 Introduction:

Primary research has been gathered by survey and interview process that have been detailed in the current chapter. The responses will eventually help in meeting the research aim and objectives. However, the mode of detailing the responses is varied depending on the data analysis method. While the quantitative responses have been illustrated via graphs and charts, the qualitative details have been detailed in a descriptive manner. Responses will be triangulated with the secondary subjects in order to identify the relation between both. However, the triangulation process will further help in determining the gaps in-between the data types to be included while inferring on the current subject in the future.

4.1 Part A: Quantitative responses

  1. Are you content with the current level of service quality practised by your chosen brand?

Table 1: Satisfaction from the current service quality level:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly Satisfied 8 50 16%
Satisfied 18 50 36%
Neutral 3 50 6%
Dissatisfied 11 50 22%
Strongly Dissatisfied 10 50 20%

 satisfaction_from_current_service_level_tnt_uk

Figure 5: Satisfaction from the current service quality level

Findings and Analysis:

Not all customers are content with the current level of service quality offered by TNT, UK. However, most customers were satisfied with the several service quality meted out by TNT. 36% were satisfied and 16% were strongly supported the latter respondents. However, 22% were dissatisfied with the current service quality of TNT.

The consumers who were against the current service quality level of TNT were possibly dissatisfied with the training and capability of the staffs. The improper or inaccurate functioning of the staffs was the result behind the discontentment of the staffs. However, TNT practises varied types of service quality measures: national delivery services, international delivery services and air freight services in order to satisfy its customer base (Sinkkonen, 2007, 2.5).  The timeliness and accuracy if delivery is the possible features to have impacted the satisfaction level of the customers.

  1. Which of the current service quality measures of TNT have influenced your brand choice?

Table 2: Service quality that has impacted brand choice:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
National Delivery services 22 50 44%
International delivery services 13 50 26%
Air freight services 15 50 30%

 service_quality_that_have_impacted_brand_choice_tnt_uk

Figure 6: Service quality that have impacted brand choice

Findings and Analysis:

Customers seem to be influenced by several service quality policies undertaken by TNT. No service level is more preferred than the other. However, 44% respondents had voted in favour of the national delivery service of TNT while 26% responded to be impacted by its international delivery services. Contrary to the latter, 30% were motivated by air freight services of TNT.

The respondents were content with each of the customer service quality practised by TNT. In order to meet the needs of the customers, the brand has come up special services including: special express, diplomat, air charter and dedicated vehicle. The satisfaction from the air freight services is basically for the purpose of effective logistics system of transferring the materials from the broker’s to the concerned party. However, the optimum satisfaction from the national delivery services is basically for meeting the customers’ interest of receiving the ordered parcel accurately on the specified time and with full visibility throughout its journey (also mentioned by Brinkerhoff, 2008, section 2.5.1).  

  1. Are you satisfied with the level of service delivery offered by the staff of TNT, UK?

Table 3: Satisfaction from staffs’ performance:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly Satisfied 7 50 14%
Satisfied 17 50 34%
Neutral 3 50 6%
Dissatisfied 11 50 22%
Strongly Dissatisfied 12 50 24%

 satisfaction_from_staff_performance_tnt_uk

Figure 7: Satisfaction from staffs’ performance

Findings and Analysis:

The satisfaction level achieved from the staff’s performance is diverse as not all customers opined in a similar note. However, most customers were content with the performance level of the staffs of TNT. 34% of the customers were satisfied and 14% were strongly satisfied. Contrary to the latter, 22% were dissatisfied and 24% were strongly dissatisfied on the current notion.

Although not all customers were content with the performance of the staffs of TNT, most of them were satisfied with the same. The level of dissatisfaction was a result of poor staff knowledge. However, the satisfaction delivery of most of the respondents’ was possibly the result of three modes of service quality delivery: national, international and air freight delivery services (supported by Blois, 2008, in section 2.5). Based on respective needs of the national and international clients, TNT offers customised services that eventually have led to customer satisfaction.

  1. Rate the following factors that influence your service satisfaction level?

Table 4: Factors influencing satisfaction level:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Training level 8 50 16%
Capacity of the workforce 11 50 22%
Ability to deliver effective services 12 50 24%
Customer centric attitude 10 50 20%
Responsiveness to consumer demands 9 50 18%

 factors_influencing_satisfaction_level_tnt_uk

Figure 8: Factors influencing satisfaction level

Findings and Analysis:

While 16% responded in favour adequate training mechanism, 22% relied on the capability of the workforce. However, most respondents mentioned the need for the ability to deliver effective services. A lower number of the customers identified the significance of being responsive to the demands of the consumers’.

Satisfaction derived from service quality is dependent on several factors. These factors play a crucial role in influencing the purchase decision making of the customers’, thereby, impacting their future satisfaction level. However, capacity of the workforce and the ability to derive effective service is among the prime factors to influence consumers’ satisfaction level. Graham (2007) in section 2.3.2 mentioned that service quality is dependent on the current motivation and productivity level of the workforce. Thus, higher capability of the staffs influences customers’ satisfaction.

  1. Have the customised benefits of TNT driven your satisfaction level?

Table 5: Satisfaction from customised offerings:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Yes 27 50 54%
No 14 50 28%
Neutral 9 50 18%

 customer_satisfaction_from_customised_offering_tnt_uk

Figure 9: Satisfaction from customised offerings

Findings and Analysis:

Not all customers seem to be motivated by the customised offerings of TNT as they might consider the current service quality to be quite worthy. However, most customers were in favour of the level of service quality offered by TNT. 50% confirmed their satisfaction level from the customised offerings of TNT while 28% were discontent with the service quality offerings of the brand.

Most consumers seem to be content with the customised offerings of TNT. However, ones’ who were not satisfied was possibly discontent with the poor service knowledge of the staffs. However, the ones’ who were satisfied was happy with ways by which TNT transfers materials based on its urgency. Based on the nature of required services, TNT has segmented its offerings into: national, international and air freight mode of delivery (Andreassen and Olsen, 2008, section 2.5). TNT tries to ensure the fact that the parcel reaches the consumers’ on time and damage-free. These services have thus helped in attaining customer satisfaction.

  1. Rate a specific variable that you look for while judging the service quality level of a brand?

Table 6: Variable impacting service quality:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Reliability 7 50 14%
Responsiveness 12 50 24%
Empathy 7 50 14%
Assurances 14 50 28%
Tangibles 10 50 20%

 variables_impacting_service_quality_tnt_uk

Figure 10: Variable impacting service quality

Findings and Analysis:

Several customers had varied opinion to refer. While 14% base their decisions on the level of reliability, 24% have preferred the need for the staffs to be responsive. Unlike the latter responses, 14% mentioned that they desire the staffs to be empathetic and 28% prefer to gain assurance from the attained services. However, tangible is also a significant factor for 20% customers.

No singe variable is most liked or preferred by the customers as they possibly considers each to be almost of equal significance. Matilla and Patterson (2004) noted that Reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles can also be considered to be service quality factors that build the performance level of the staffs in a way to meet customers’ expectations (refer to section 2.2). However, from the attained response, it could be inferred that the consumers’ mostly look for responsiveness and reliability while judging the level of service delivery.

  1. Do you agree that service quality level directly influences your satisfaction level?

Table 7: Direct influence of service quality on customer satisfaction:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly Agree 12 50 24%
Agree 19 50 38%
Neutral 2 50 4%
Disagree 10 50 20%
Strongly Disagree 7 50 14%

 direct_influence_of_service_quality_on_customer_satisfaction

Figure 11: Direct influence of service quality on customer satisfaction

Findings and Analysis:

38% agreed to the fact that service quality directly influences their satisfaction level while 24% strongly supported the latter customers. 4% respondents neutral on the subject and 20% disagreed with regards to any direct connection between service quality and customer satisfaction. 14% strongly disagreed on the subject of direct influence of service quality of customer satisfaction.

Although not all customers’ were in favour of the notion that customer satisfaction is mostly dependent on the level of service delivery, most of the sample agreed on the present concept. Ganguli and Roy (2011) in section 2.4 referred that Customer satisfaction is vital in the service industry as it bears a substantial impact on consumer loyalty and the former can be achieved by delivering quality services. Thus, this factor greatly influences customer satisfaction.

  1. Rate the following courier service quality that influences your satisfaction level?

Table 8: Impact of courier service quality on customer satisfaction:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Timeliness 10 50 20%
Accuracy of order 13 50 26%
Information quality 14 50 28%
Quality of personnel. 13 50 26%

 impact_of_courier_service_on_customer_satisfaction_tnt_uk

Figure 12: Impact of courier service quality on customer satisfaction

Findings and Analysis:

The customers’ satisfaction from the service quality is diverse. While 20% customers base their decision making on timeliness, 26% base their satisfaction on the accuracy of order. Information quality also impacts the satisfaction level of the customers. 28% confirmed that they derive satisfaction based on the quality of attained information’s. However, 26% voted in favour of quality of personnel.

Several service quality specifications influence the satisfaction level of the customers. Not a single factor heavily impacts the satisfaction level of the customers as they base their decision on several attributes such as: quality of personnel and timeliness. However, it could be inferred that consumers’ are mostly moved by information quality. Flipo (2008) in section 2.4.3 identified that by serving service information in various languages, the courier service providers will soon be able to influence the consumers’ decision making. Such supreme level of service delivery will promote customer satisfaction.

  1. Are you of the opinion that customised service quality delivery is a pertinent factor to positively influence your satisfaction level?

Table 9: Relevance of customised service quality:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Strongly Agree 11 50 20%
Agree 20 50 40%
Neutral 2 50 4%
Disagree 8 50 16%
Strongly Disagree 9 50 18%

 relevance_customised_service_quality_tnt_uk

Figure 13: Relevance of customised service quality

Findings and Analysis:

Most of the customers mentioned that customised service quality influences satisfaction level. However, few were against the current notion. 16% disagreed that customised offerings impacts customer’s satisfaction level. 40% confirmed that the customised service quality of TNT have impacted their satisfaction level. In support of the latter respondents, 20% strongly agreed that they are satisfied as a result of the valued offerings of TNT

Most of the consumers were of the opinion that customised offerings positively influence customers’ satisfaction level. Depending on the urgency and quantity of information’s, if TNT is able to offer tailor-made offerings, the customers’ will surely be satisfied. As mentioned by Birnbrauer (2007) in section 2.6, TNT already alters its mode of courier transport based on  the urgency of deliver, requires an advanced service delivery process. Considering the high service quality expectation of the customers’, the same would surely advance the customers’ satisfaction level.

  1. Are you of the opinion that TNT should continue with its current service quality measures?

Table 10: Need for continuing with current service quality measures:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Yes 33 50 66%
No 14 50 28%
Neutral 3 50 6%

continuing_service_quality_measures

Figure 14: Need for continuing with current service quality measures

Findings and Analysis:

Considering the current level of services meted out by the customers,66% confirmed that it should carry on with its present services. However, not all were having similar opinion on the subject. 28% customers considered that TNT should alter its current service quality measures. Contrary to the latter respondents, 6% were neutral on the subject.

As referred by most of the consumers’, TNT should continue with its current service quality policies. Bojanic (2011) in section 2.5 referred to the significance of offering customised service delivery in order to create a match between the reel and the real preferences. TNT tries to remain dedicated in terms of delivering orders based on  the urgency and preferred route by the customers’. The brand follows a segmented approach of service delivery by setting aside separate courier strategies for national and international clients. Customers’ thus considers the need for continuing the present service delivery strategy.

  1. Will you remain loyal to TNT, if it advances its current level of service delivery?

Table 11: Loyalty preference:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Yes 32 50 64%
No 11 50 22%
Neutral 7 50 14%

 loyalty_preference_tnt_uk

Figure 15: Loyalty preference

Findings and Analysis:

Not all respondents preferred to remain loyal on the current subject. However, most customers preferred to remain loyal. 64% of the sample noted that it would not change their brand choice if TNT advances its service quality. However, 22% respondents were gain the notion and wished to change their brand preference.

Not all customers’ will remain loyal to TNT even if it advances its service delivery system. The customers’ who are unsatisfied are possibly not content with the mode of service delivery of the staffs and thus would switch over preference in the near future. However, Beaumont and Sparks (2009) in section 2.6 denoted the need for courier firms to ensure disperse of service quality information and building the skill set of the courier staffs. Also, by adding some other features, the consumers’ will possibly remain loyal to the brand.

  1. Rate the following service quality measures to be undertaken by TNT for advancing your service quality?

Table 12: Potential service quality measures:

Options Frequency Total Respondents % Response
Customised approach of segmenting the cargo shipments 11 50 22%
Same Day Delivery Solutions for Medical, Legal and high-tech professionals 13 50 26%
Process service needs for law firms, Corporate and Government firms 12 50 24%
Building skill set of the courier staffs 14 50 28%

potential_service_quality_measure_tnt_uk

Figure 16: Potential service quality measures

Findings and Analysis:

The customers offered several strategic solutions that could be implemented in TNT. 26% suggested the implementation of same day delivery solutions and 22% determined the significance of practising the customised approach of segmenting the cargo shipments. Against the latter respondents, 28% identified the need for building skill set of the courier staffs as better service quality measures. 24% stated the application of process service needs in TNT.

Most of the customers’ were in favour of developing the skill set of the staffs of TNT. Although, other customers’ denoted the significance of following customised approach of process shipment and process service needs for law, corporate and government firms, greater focus is on providing same day delivery solutions for Medical, legal and high-tech solutions. Scheuing and Christopher, 2005 in section 2.6 determined that an additional same day delivery solutions would help the brand to meet the added expectations of the customers.

4.2 Part B: Qualitative Responses

  1. How far have you been able to influence the satisfaction level of the customers’ by applying the current service quality measures?

Responses:

3 of the middle line managers jointly opined that they have been immensely successful in deploying its current service delivery policy for attaining customer satisfaction. Each of the managers pointed out a separate service quality process followed by TNT. 1 single manager stated that the timing of the national delivery services have been designed keeping in mind the customers’ expectations. They have been able to satisfy its customers’ based on the emergency of the situation. Another respondent voted in favour of the international delivery services of TNT that provides special service specialized delivery in 200 countries worldwide. Brady and Cronin (2011) in section 2.5.2 determined that in order to meet the needs of the customers, the brand has come up special services including: special express, diplomat, air charter and dedicated vehicle. Such customised offerings’ are thus for achieving customer satisfaction, that have been attained. The next manager pointed out that national and international clients are satisfied with the current air freight services. TNT have made sure to enter into door to door delivery service. The latter respondent mentioned that door to airport service provides a high level of service and manages to deliver the parcel on the destination of airport, thus meeting customer satisfaction.

However, 2 managers were not too satisfied with the current effectiveness of service quality measures of TNT. Similar to what have been mentioned by Blattberg and Deighton (2006) in section 2.5.3, the managers pointed out that hardly any effort is made by TNT to ensure disperse of service quality information’s. Not all customers’ are content with the knowledge and skill set of the staffs.

  1. Can you identify the factors and benefits of service quality on customer satisfaction?

Responses:

3 managers were of the opinion that service quality is influenced by factors by factors such as: training level, capacity of the workforce and job satisfaction. While the training helps in improving the efficiency of the staffs, it even builds the capacity of the workforce. However, Graham (2007) in part 2.3.2 determined that service quality is dependent on the current motivation and productivity level of the workforce. The staffs are thus supposed to be appointed a job role that tallies with its capabilities. Job satisfaction is yet another measure upon which the customer satisfaction depends. Depending on the level of job satisfaction, the staff’s will be motivated to offer supreme quality customer services.

1 manager pointed out the significance for abiding by SERVQUAL model that is considered that reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles can also be considered to be service quality factors that build the performance level of the staffs in a way to meet customers’ expectations. However, both the latter manager and Ganguli and Roy (2011) in section 2.4 stated that service quality helps in offering solutions that would help in meeting the expectation of the customers’. Eventually their satisfaction level could be nurtured.

  1. How do you think service quality and customer satisfaction is interrelated?

Responses:

All the managers were of the opinion that customers and service quality is directly interlinked with each other. However, each of the managers pointed out that courier service quality is dependent on the factors such as: timeliness, accuracy of orders, information quality and quality of the personnel. 3 middle level subordinates were of the opinion that customers are if the courier service brand is able deliver products’ and services on time and as per the specifications, the customers’ expected service quality level will be met. Furrer et al. (2005) in section 2.4.2 mentioned that sound interaction between the personnel and the customers often results in meeting the expected service quality.

However, 2 other managers responded on the significance of offering quality information and develop the skill set of the staffs for achieving satisfied customer base. Knowing the trustworthiness and quantity of orders, the customers’ will be satisfied. Dabholkar et al. (2006) in section 2.4.4 determined that the productivity and efficiency level of the courier service providers impacts the satisfaction level of the customers.

  1. What measures do you plan to undertake in order to overcome the gaps in the service quality level of your brand?

Responses:

Several managers offered varied opinion with regards to how TNT could overcome the gaps in  the service quality model. 2 middle-line managers pointed out that in future, TNT could follow an integrated multi-modal distribution system integrated by Surface transport as well as by Air and Sea Freight (also referred by Birnbrauer, 2007, section 2.7).

A single manager determined the need to narrow down its service segmentation approach. Scheuing and Christopher (2005) suggested that TNT should provide Same Day Delivery Solutions for Medical, Legal, high-tech professional while process service needs for law firms, Corporate and Government firms (refer to section 2.6). In addition to the latter specification, the final manager mentioned the need to disperse service quality information and build the skill set of the courier staffs. As the same is not yet practised by the brand, TNT could deploy similar measures in order to meet the specifications of the customers. Doing so will soon help in meeting the service delivery expectations of the customers, thereby, influencing the customers’ to frequently access the service.

 

 

Chapter 5

Conclusion and recommendations

5.1 Linking with the objectives:

To determine the current service quality measures undertaken by TNT in order to advance satisfaction level of its customers.

From part A, question 1 and 2, it could be inferred that most customers’ are content with the service quality measures practised by TNT. However, not all customers were content with the available features. From question 2, it could be inferred that the national delivery service is the most suitable and effective service solutions, mostly in demand by the customers. Brinkerhoff (2008) noted that national delivery services have assisted firm to meet customers’ interest within specified time with full visibility throughout its journey. Also, from the determinations presented in question 1 by managers and Brady and Cronin (2011) it could be determined that TNT have been able to meet the demands by offering services such as: special express, diplomat, air charter and dedicated vehicle.

However, Blattberg and Deighton (2006) determined that TNT is yet to disperse of service quality information’s. Thus, service quality measures of TNT are partly able to satisfy the customers’.

To evaluate the level of customer satisfaction by making the customer aware about the benefits and services offered.

From question 4, it could be determined that the ability to deliver effective service is among the crucial factor that mostly influences the satisfaction level of the customers’. It could be inferred from what has been mentioned by Graham (2007) that satisfied staffs are able to meet the expected service quality level of the customers, thereby, increasing the satisfied customer base. The customised offerings of TNT have been successful in developing its satisfied customer base (inferred from question 5). However, service quality assurance is a prominent service quality measure, demanded by the customers. Matilla and Patterson (2004) similarly noted that on gaining service assurance, the customers will feel pleased to experience the service. However, it could be inferred from managers and Ganguli and Roy (2011) in question 2 that service quality helps in meeting the expectations’ of the customers’, thereby, provide customised solutions. The objective is thus satisfied.

To assess the relation between service quality and customer satisfaction

From question 7, it can be inferred that service quality directly influences the customers’ satisfaction level. Ganguli and Roy (2011) supported the latter by stating that customer satisfaction is vital in the service industry as it bears a substantial impact on consumer loyalty and the former can be achieved by delivering quality services. However, information quality is a prominent factor of courier service quality to impact customer satisfaction (refer to question 8). Also, customised service quality is yet another factor to influence customer satisfaction as the consumers are often motivated by the availability of tailor-made facilities.

Against the latter opinions, from the inference of the managers and Dabholkar et al. (2006), it could be concluded that productivity and efficiency level of the courier service providers impacts the satisfaction level of the customers. Thus, service quality and customer satisfaction is interrelated. The objective is thus met.

To recommend ways to overcome the identified service quality gaps of TNT, UK

From question 10, it could be inferred that TNT should continue with its current service quality measures as until now the customers’ have been able to experience satisfied service quality level. However from question 12, it can be noted that TNT could offer same day delivery solutions for medical, legal and high-tech professionals. Scheuing and Christopher (2005) noted that by an additional same day delivery solutions would help the brand to meet the added expectations of the customers.

However, the managers identified the significance of adequate staff training such that the customers’ service quality expectations are wholly attained. The current objective is thus met.

5.2 Recommendations:

In order to overcome the current flaws within the service delivery system of TNT, the current recommendations can be practised by the courier brand:

5.2.1 Additional same day delivery solutions:

TNT could offer same day delivery solutions for medical, legal and high-tech professionals. Such segmented offerings will instigate the potential customers to access the courier service of TNT, thus increasing service accessibility. However, care should be taken to note that there is no gap between the expected and actual service delivery process.

5.2.2 Staff training:

TNT is yet to offer training to its staff. Trained staffs will know the product or service in-demand. They can be deployed to offer customised solutions for professional development as well as for attaining customer satisfaction. Trained staffs also know well how to promote the available services thus increasing the knowledge of the available services.

5.3 Limitation and future scope of the study:

The diversity of available secondary data is the primary limitation of the study. The study is also quite narrow as service quality of only TNT have been analysed. Thus, in future, the service quality of TNT can be compared with that of substitute brands in order to assess its current effectiveness. The findings of the current research will help TNT to boost its service quality level.

 

 

References:

Anderson, E. W., and Sullivan, M. W. (2007). “The Antecedents and Consequences of Customer Satisfaction for Firms”. Marketing Science, 12(2), pp. 125-143

Andreassen, T. W. and Olsen L. L. (2008) ‘The impact of customers’ perception of varying degrees of customer service on commitment and perceived relative attractiveness’. Managing Service Quality, 18(4), pp.309-328

Bajwa, D.; Lewis, L.; Pervan, G. and Lai, V. (2005) “The adoption and use of collaboration information technologies: international comparisons” Journal of Information Technology 20, pp.130-140

Beaumont, J., and Sparks, L., (2009), Information technology is a source of competitive advantage, International Journal of Information Resource Management, (1), pp.28-36.

Bergh, D. and Ketchen, D. J. (2009) Research methodology in Strategy and Management, 1st ed. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd

Bernard, H. R. (2011) Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 5th ed. Plymouth: Alta Mira Press.

Birnbrauer, H. (2007). Evaluation techniques that work, Training and Development Journal, 7, pp. 53-55

Blattberg, R.C. and Deighton, J. (2006), “Managing marketing by the customer equity criterion”. Harvard Business Review, 32, pp. 136 -144.

Blois, K., (2008), IT and marketing strategies in service firms, Service Industry Journal, 7(1), pp.14-23.

 Bojanic, D.C. (2011), “Quality measurement in professional service firms”, Journal of Professional Services Marketing, 7(2), pp. 27-36.

Brady, M. K., and Cronin, J. J. (2011). “Some new thoughts on conceptualizing perceived service quality: Ahierarchical approach”. Journal of Marketing, 65(3), pp. 34-49

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

Brinkerhoff, R. O. (2008) “An integrated evaluation model for HRD”, Training and Development Journal, 2, pp. 66-68.

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

Coomber, S. (2002). Branding. 1st ed. Oxford, U.K.: Capstone Pub.

Corner, J. (2002). In search of more complete answers to research questions: Quantitative versus qualitative research methods is there a way forward? Journal of Research, 16, 3, 718-727.

Dabholkar, P. A., Thorp, D. I., and Rentz, J. O. (2006). “A Measure of Service Quality for Retail Stores: Scale Development and Validation”. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 24, pp. 3-16

Flipo, J. (2008). On the intangibility of services, The Services Industries Journal, 8 (3), pp.286-293.

Freshwater, D. (2007) “Reading mixed methods research: contexts for criticism”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), pp. 134-46.

Furrer, O., Liu, B. S. C. and Sudharshan, D. (2005) “The relationships Between Culture and Service Quality Perceptions – Basis for Cross-Cultural Market Segmentation and Resource Allocation”, Journal of Service Research, 2 (4), pp. 355-371

Gagliano K.B. and Jan, H. (2004). “Customer Expectations and Perceptions of Service Quality in Retail Apparel Specialty Stores,” Journal of Services Marketing, 8 (1), pp. 60-69

Ganesan, S. (2004), “Determinants of long term orientation in buyer-seller Relationships”. Journal of Marketing, 58, pp. 1-19

Ganguli, S., and Roy, S. K. (2011). “Generic technology-based service quality dimensions in banking Impacton customer satisfaction and loyalty”. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 29(2), pp. 168-189.

Gatignon, H. and Xuereb, J.M. (2009) “Strategic Orientation of the Firm and New Product Performance”, Journal of Marketing Research, 34(1): pp. 77-90

Graham, H. (2007), “The Effects of E-Commerce Drivers on Export Marketing Strategy”. Journal of International Marketing, 15/ 2, pp. 30-57.

Griffith, D.A. and Krampf, R.F. (2004), “An examination of the Web-based strategies of the top 100 US retailers’’, Journal of Marketing: Theory and Practice, 12,Summer, pp. 12-22

Gronroos, C. (2012). “A service Quality model and its marketing implications”. European Journal of Marketing, 18(4), pp. 36-44

Hawtrey, R. (2005). Western Europen Union. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Hernon, P. and Altman, E. (2008). Assessing service quality. 1st ed. Chicago: American Library Association.

Hughes, G.D., and Chafin, D.C. (2007) “Turning New Product Development into a Continuous Learning Process”, Journal of Product Innovation Management 13(2): pp. 89-105.

Johnson, R. B., Onwuegbuzie, A. J. and Turner, L. A. (2007) “Toward a definition of mixed methods research”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), pp. 112-33

Kahn, K.B., and McDonough, E.F. (2002) “Marketing’s Integration with R&D and Manufacturing: A Cross-Regional Analysis”, Journal of International Marketing 5 (1), pp. 51-76

Lubbe, B. (2005). A new revenue model for travel intermediaries in South Africa: The negotiated astrroach, Journal of Retailing and Consumer services, 12/6.; pp. 385-396

Matilla, A. S. and Patterson, P. G. (2004) “Service Recovery and Fairness Perceptions in Collectivist and Individualistic Contexts”, Journal of Service Research, 6 (4), pp. 336-344

Matzler, K., Fuchs, M. and Schubert, A.K. (2007) “Employee satisfaction: Does Kano’s model apply?”, TQM and Business Excellence, 15(9/10), pp. 1179–1198

 Mitchell, J. (2009). “Reaching across boarders”. Marketing News, 33(9), pp. 19-21.

 Mittal, B. and Lassar, W. M. (2006). “The Role of Personalization in Service Encounters”, Journal of Retailing, 72 (Spring): pp. 95-109

Morgan, D. L. (2007) “Paradigms lost and pragmatism regained: methodological implications of combining qualitative and quantitative methods”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), pp. 48-76.

Morse, J.M. (2007). Approaches to qualitative and quantitative methodological: Triangulation. Qualitative Research, 40, 1,120-123.

Ramos, M.C. (2009). Some ethical implications of qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 12, 1, 57-63.

Reimann, M., Lünemann, U. F and Chase, R. B. (2008) “Uncertainty Avoidance as Moderator of the Relationship between Perceived Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction”, Journal of Service Research, 11(1), pp. 63-73

Robinson, D. G. and Robinson, J. C. (2009) Training for Impact: How to Link Training to Business Needs and Measure the Results, 4th edition, San Francisco : Jossey Bass Publishers.

Russ-Eft, D. (2004) “Customer service competencies: a global look”, Human Resource Development International, 7(2), pp. 211-231

Salavou, H. and Lioukas, S. (2004) “Organizational innovation in SMEs: The importance of strategic orientation and competitive structure”, European Journal of Marketing 38 (9/10), pp.1091-1112.

Scheuing, E. and Christopher, W. (2005). The Service quality handbook. 1st ed. New York: Amacom.

Schmitz, H. and Knorringa, P. (2007), “Learning from Global Buyers”, Journal of Development Studies, 37/ 2: pp. 177-205

Sinkkonen, T. (n.d.) (2007). Identifying business processes for and challenges to electronic supply chain management. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Pub..

Svensson, G. (2006) “New aspects of research into service encounters and service quality,” International Journal of Service Industry Management, 17(3), pp. 245-257

Tarn, D. (2005). Marketing-based tangibilisation for services, The Service Industries Journal, 25 (6), 747-772.

Tellis, G. (2008). The price elasticity of selective demand. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.

Thomke, S. and Hippel, E. (2004), “Customers as Innovators: A New Way to Create Value”. Harvard Business Review, 80(4), pp. 51–61

Toloie-Eshlaghy, A., Chitsaz, S., Karimian, L. and Charkhchi, R. (2011) A Classification of Qualitative Research Methods, Research Journal of International Studies, 20, 106-152.

Truscott, D. M., Smith, S., Thornton-Reid, F., Williams, B. and Matthews, M. (2010) “A cross-disciplinary examination of the prevalence of mixed methods in educational research: 1995-2005”, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 13(4), pp. 317-28.

Warner, A. (2011). Strategic analysis and choice. New York: Business Expert Press.

Westbrook, R. A. and Richard L. O. (2005) “The Dimensionality of Consumption Emotion Patterns and Consumer Satisfaction,” Journal of Consumer Research, 18, pp. 84-91

Wong, A. and Amrik, S. (2003). “Service quality and customer loyalty perspectives on two levels of retail relationships,” Journal of Services Marketing, 17 (5), pp. 495-513

Wong, N. Y. (2003) “The role of culture in the perception of service recovery”, Journal of Business Research, 57, pp. 957-963

Yoon, S.J. and Klim, J. (2004), “Is the Internet more effective than traditional media? Factors affecting the choice of media”, Journal of advertising Research, 41(6), pp. 53- 61

 Zeithaml, V. A., Berry, L. L. and Parasuraman, A. (2006) “The behavioral consequences of service quality,” Journal of Marketing, 60(2), pp.31-46

 Zhao, B. and Hui, K. (2002). “An Empirical assessment and application of SERVQUAL in a Mainland Chinese department store,” Total Quality Management, 13 (2), pp. 241-254.

 

 

 

 

Appendix:

Activities 1st

week

2nd week 3rd

week

4th

week

5th

week

6th week 7th week
Topic Selection
Literature Review
Research Methodology
Data collection Process
Data Analysis and interpretation of data
Findings
Conclusion and Recommendation
Final submission of the research

 

Table: Gantt chart

(Source: self-developed)

 

 

 

  1. Questionnaire

Quantitative Questions

Name:

Duration of being a customer of TNT:

  1. Are you content with the current level of service quality practised by your chosen brand?
  • Strongly Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Strongly Dissatisfied
  1. Which of the current service quality measures of TNT have influenced your brand choice?
  • National Delivery services
  • International delivery services
  • Air freight services
  1. Are you satisfied with the level of service delivery offered by the staff of TNT, UK?
  • Strongly Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Strongly Dissatisfied
  1. Rate the following factors that influence your service satisfaction level?
  • Training level
  • Capacity of the workforce
  • Ability to deliver effective services
  • Customer centric attitude
  • Responsiveness to consumer demands
  1. Have the customised benefits of TNT driven your satisfaction level?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Neutral
  1. Rate a specific variable that you look for while judging the service quality level of a brand?
  • Reliability
  • Responsiveness
  • Empathy
  • Assurances
  • Tangibles
  1. Do you agree that service quality level directly influences your satisfaction level?
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Rate the following courier service quality that influences your satisfaction level?
  • Timeliness
  • Accuracy of order
  • Information quality
  • Quality of personnel.
  1. Are you of the opinion that customised service quality delivery is a pertinent factor to positively influence your satisfaction level?
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Are you of the opinion that TNT should continue with its current service quality measures?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Neutral
  1. Will you remain loyal to TNT, if it advances its current level of service delivery?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Neutral
  1. Rate the following service quality measures to be undertaken by TNT for advancing your service quality?
  • Customised approach of segmenting the cargo shipments
  • Same Day Delivery Solutions for Medical, Legal and high-tech professionals
  • Process service needs for law firms, Corporate and Government firms
  • Building skill set of the courier staffs

 

 

Qualitative Questions

  1. How far have you been able to influence the satisfaction level of the customers’ by applying the current service quality measures?
  2. Can you identify the factors and benefits of service quality on customer satisfaction?
  3. How do you think service quality and customer satisfaction is interrelated?
  4. What measures do you plan to undertake in order to overcome the gaps in the service quality level of your brand?

 

 

 

 

Tags

top
error: Content is protected !!