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Title: Exploration of Customers' Expectation of, And Perception of The Services They Receive From Mobile Phone Providers

Authors: Theophine Ugochukwu Achugbu

Topic: Management




PURPOSE- The purpose of this paper is to explore customers’ expectation of and perception of the service they receive from mobile phone providers and to identify service quality gaps as experienced by customers in the mobile telecommunications industry in Ireland.

Design/Methodology/Approach- The nine modified dimensions of SERVQUAL, namely tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, network aspect, convenience, loyalty and pricing were used in this research work to measure customers’ expectations and perceptions from mobile providers. This was done by using the entire households in Esker woods, Lucan, County Dublin, Ireland, meaning that there was no sampling but rather the whole population of 128 households served as respondents. The researcher therefore employed census method.


Findings- The overall service quality as perceived by customers in Ireland was above average with 56.09% of the respondents while 22.67% were dissatisfied leaving 21.24% of respondents undecided. This was based on the nine SERVQUAL dimensions. The research findings revealed that though more than half of the respondents were satisfied with services they received; it’s very interesting to note that most of these respondents were satisfied with services received under six dimensions. These were tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and convenience. On the other hand, a very high percentage of respondents judging from individual dimensions of loyalty, network aspect and pricing were dissatisfied with the perceived service quality. The highest service quality gap was reported with the added dimension of loyalty, network aspect and pricing while the lowest service quality gap was reported with tangibles.

Practical Implications- Data representing customers expectations and perceptions with mobile providers in delivering quality have been used to identify in terms of quality gaps areas that need improvement. Mobile phone providers in Ireland should focus on providing superior network services and affordable prices to customers.

Originality/Value- It should be noted that since most quality features in the SERVQUAL scale have relationship with customer handling, the researcher has incorporated and investigated further the added four dimensions of network aspect, service convenience, loyalty and pricing for their contribution to the overall service quality of mobile providers.

Keywords- Service quality, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, SERVQUAL, Mobile phone providers in Ireland


    COMMENT - 1

  • THEOPHINE UGOCHUKWU ACHUGBU (Author) 18th Nov 2015 - 10:33 PM
    The researcher left no stone unturned in critically unraveling customers' expectation and perception of the services they receive from mobile phone providers. He thinks that this research paper is not only insightful but also original and coherent and at the same time a 'must-read' for all and sundry.

    Enjoy the E- Conference !

  • COMMENT - 2

  • Dr. AJIT V PANDYA (Viewer) 21st Nov 2015 - 4:29 PM
    its true and interesting .........what are other ways to satisfy customers need...? regularly and occassionally
    • THEOPHINE UGOCHUKWU ACHUGBU (Author) 22nd Nov 2015 - 7:45 AM
      Dear Dr. Ajit
      Many thanks for taking your time to peruse my paper and equally coming up with constructive comments.

      Customer satisfaction is a critical component of profitability which is intertwined with service quality. SERVQUAL later called RATER is a quality management framework developed in the mid 1980s by Parasuraman, A. et al. I sincerely believe that you’ve acknowledged copiously the many ways of satisfying customers as detailed in my paper hence your question “other ways”. As stated in my paper, I will break down some of these other ways of satisfying customers need into generics:

      It was Vernon Zelmer that said thus: "Satisfying the customer is a race without finish”.

      Customer needs are higher now than ever before. This is due to the internet and other technologies that the customers use to gain information immediately. It is vital for every business to create a customer satisfaction policy so your employees will know exactly how to treat the customers. A simple way to increase customer satisfaction is to boost your training. While living on the philosophy that "the customer is always right" is a great theory, this is sometimes hard to do. Social networking sites provide companies with the opportunity to market to a large variety of customers; it’s not just one or two types of people here.

      Businesses are always in a better position to do market research regularly to find out which marketing and other strategies your customers like. This means if you have a commercial with an annoying jingle, you may be losing customers because of it. In the same vein, companies should conduct regular surveys to find out how their existing customers came to know of their companies and why they use their products. Analyzing customers’ feedback with precision is also an important step in satisfying customers’ needs.
      As highlighted in my paper, a product does not need to be rated highest by customers on all dimensions, only on those they think are important.

      I strongly believe that it’s pertinent to ask, "What do your customers really want? “More for less,” of course! They want more value, more service, more consistent delivery, more accuracy, and ever more responsiveness – and, they want to pay “less” for this “more,” along with less hassle, less bureaucracy, and less sales pressure.

      Customer connection comes from customer intimacy, involving customers, partnering with them. Partnering with customers represents your firm's capacity to anticipate what customers need even before they know they need it. To achieve success, you must make superior service second nature of your organization. A seamless integration of all components in the service-profit chain – employee satisfaction, value creation, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profit and growth – links all the critical dynamics of top customer service.
      Kindest Regards

  • COMMENT - 3

  • Dr. AJIT V PANDYA (Viewer) 21st Nov 2015 - 10:08 PM
    good night...

  • COMMENT - 4

  • Geethamma (Viewer) 23rd Nov 2015 - 11:44 PM
    Good Evening ,Theophine Ugochukwu Achugbu

    I read your research paper, it is very good.i have the following questions.

    What are the fundamental difference in approach probably has the largest impact in enhancing the patient experience? and what are the strategies for improve patient experience?
    Geethamma Jolly
    • THEOPHINE UGOCHUKWU ACHUGBU (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 8:24 PM
      Dear Geethamma Jolly, Many thanks for reading my paper and your constructive comments.

      Creating a unique customer experience is one of the best ways to achieve sustainable growth, particularly in industries that are stagnating. If a utility company or an insurance company can create a highly differentiated customer experience that turns dissatisfaction or indifference into delight, it will recruit an army of vocal advocates online and offline, gain market share, and generate revenue growth.
      Thanks to social networks, price comparison websites, and online reviews, the typical customer has higher expectations and greater knowledge than ever before. Moreover, regulators, new technologies, and new entrants have lowered the switching barriers in most cases, making it easy for customers to jump to new service providers.

      The researcher strongly believes that as awareness of the importance of customer experience grows, companies generally react in at least one of three ways: 1) establish retention teams to try to dissuade people from cancelling their subscriptions; 2) set about identifying potential defectors and offer them a better deal; or 3) investigate and address the root causes of customer dissatisfaction.

      Dear Geethamma Jolly, I always ask this intuitive question to companies: Have you ever lost a customer to a competitor and didn’t know why they left? A customer experience strategy can help you retain more customers and stop them from defecting to competitors.

      Many reputable companies via research (e.g. Harvard Business Review) have found that companies who skillfully manage and execute customer experience strategies reap enormous rewards. They achieve higher customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction. With rising competitive pressures, creating a highly differentiated customer experience can help turn dissatisfaction or indifference into delight. People like being WOW’d and having their expectations exceeded.

      Although most of these customer experiences strategies have been highlighted in my paper, I will still give you some synopsis:

      1. The three ‘Ds’ of customer experience

      a) Designing the right experience-focused value propositions
      The companies delivering a truly outstanding customer experience divide customers into segments and design experience-focused value propositions for each one. They tailor and design customer experiences for different customers.
      b) Delivering value to the customer
      The best companies deliver these value propositions by focusing the entire company on delivering them. An emphasis is put on cross-functional collaboration. For instance, the marketing team and supply chain team are in line across the whole customer experience; they know and deliver a consistent value proposition.
      c) Developing the capabilities to do it again and again
      A significant proportion of companies who offer superior customer experience have developed their capabilities to please customers again and again. They have systems in place to deliver a consistent customer experience over and over again.

      2. Define the customer experience and keep it consistent across all touch points

      3. Base the experience on individual customer needs
      Customer experience strategy must start with knowing what your customer needs and wants, which will equate to their expectations.

      4. Create experiences with ‘real people’ not ‘brands’ or ‘companies’
      People want to deal with other people, not brands or companies. There’s nothing less personal than getting an email from a ‘brand’ with no personalization. It just doesn’t pack a punch. The researcher seeks human to human engagement.

      5. Leverage technology to enhance the customer experience, not create it
      A common problem companies fall into is trying to use technology and software to create a customer experience. This is not recommended as it can lead to the focus being on what the technology can do, as opposed to what you can do to enlighten an amazing experience.

      Thank you very much once again and best of luck !

  • COMMENT - 5

  • Neeraj Sharma (Viewer) 27th Nov 2015 - 10:13 PM
    Good Study..Good Luck.