Customer Satisfaction essay

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Malik U.Saif.  (2011). Customer Satisfaction, Perceived Service Quality and Mediating Role of Perceived Value,  Canada: International Journal of Marketing Studies.

The purpose of this research was to identify the way people perceived service quality and to find out how perceived value affects Pakistan’s service sector as the mediating valuable; to find out how people perceive service quality by use of SERVQUAL and to identify the role perceived value plays as a mediating variable in Pakistan’s service sector.

The study’s hypothesis was that perceived service quality positively influences customer satisfaction. The second hypothesis was that perceived value does have a mediating effect of perceived service quality on customer satisfaction.

The researcher used SPSS, version-version 17.0 to do the questionnaire data’s analysis. The first thing to measure is how valid and reliable the measurement scales are. The second step is conducting the Pearson correlation analysis as well as descriptive statistics to analyze the build up and test the independent variable and the dependent variable. The researcher then uses stepwise regression analysis to study how perceived value of the perceived service quality acts as the mediating effect on customer satisfaction. Using stepwise regression would enable the study assess the direct relationship between the independent and dependent variables and show the nature of the relationship between them.

Business research process involves the study of all aspects of the concerned company, the market and its customers. The company then uses that information to make viable business decisions. The process mainly concerns assessing the company’s strengths and weaknesses, placing particular emphasis on the way customers perceive their products. Malik conducted a market research to help identify the opportunities and problems in the niche of public service sector in Pakistan. This section discusses the business research process that the article followed.

The article starts by stating the aim of the study; to find out how people perceive service quality by use of SERVQUAL and to identify the role perceived value plays as a mediating variable in Pakistan’s service sector. The main aim is to find out the perceived service quality through the gap method-finding the gap between service perception and service expectation. In the introduction, Malik notes that customer satisfaction is very crucial to a business; that businesses that offer increased customer satisfaction in the market experience greater economic prosperity. However, the article does not give the definition of customer satisfaction used for the research.

The researcher used primary data sources where information was collected from people in the market. He first developed a hypothesis. He derived information to prove the hypothesis from people in the transport, banking, courier and telecom sectors; all from Pakistan.

The researcher used questionnaires as the data collection instrument where he distributed one questionnaire each to a total of 400 people. The questionnaire was a four-item tool that used the 7-points likert scale. Five items were used to measure perceived value; twenty two items of expectation and twenty two items were used for perceived service quality, SERVQUAL, on a 7-point likert scale.

The researcher took his sample from four service industries. He distributed 77 questionnaires to banking, 78 to transport, 81 to courier and 79 to telecom sectors. He used convenience sampling method to identify the respondents. Only 75% of the questionnaires were considered valid making it a total of 300 questionnaires.

The researcher used statistical package (SPSS) to analyze the data from the questionnaires. This was preferred because using SPSS, one is able to measure the reliability and validity of measurement scales. SPSS is also used to do Pearson correlation analysis and conduct the descriptive statistics to test the direct relationship existing between the independent and dependent variables. The researcher, also, conducted stepwise regression analysis to look out for the mediating effect perceived value of perceived service quality has on customer satisfaction. SPSS is the best tool the researcher could use to achieve all that analysis benefits.                      

The research was well conducted and results analyzed. However, just a small sample of the whole service sector was interviewed and from only four sectors of the service industry; whereas the service industry is very diverse. This research cannot, therefore, be generalized to represent the perceptions of the entire Pakistan’s population. In addition the study took perceived value as a measure that contains items related to service quantity and quality received in relation to the price. However, the research did not consider the other non-monetary costs that could serve as important variables for the customers’ judgment of perceived value. The study is more valid than the reviewed studies since unlike the other studies that use service quality characteristics, it involves the use of an overall score for perceived service quality.

The finding of the study is that perceived value acts as a partial mediating variable for the relationship between the way customers perceive service quality and their satisfaction. The study findings can act as a guideline to the management for improving service quality in their organizations. It, also, emphasizes the importance of price as a vital contributor to customer satisfaction among the Pakistan people. The study recommends the improvement of customer perceptions alongside customer satisfaction of service quality to increase the perceived value. In addition, they should convince customers that the company is offering high value to them in the company’s adverts.

In conclusion the study is beneficial for the marketing and managerial planning functions in the service providing companies. The researcher gives useful information to the reader about customer satisfaction. Though the SERVQUAL tool used does not cover some aspects that are non-cost related, the researcher gives no recommendations for further research. In addition, he draws his considerably small sample from very few service providing sectors in the industry, which limits the reliability of the research.

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