A STUDY OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN GREEK POSTAL SERVICES

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28 A STUDY OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN GREEK POSTAL SERVICES Panagiois Lykogiannis 1 1 Phd suden, Aegean Universiy, GREECE, or Absrac Posal services face many
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28 A STUDY OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN GREEK POSTAL SERVICES Panagiois Lykogiannis 1 1 Phd suden, Aegean Universiy, GREECE, or Absrac Posal services face many challenges, issues including compeiion, privaizaion, deregulaion, liberalizaion, echnology and subsiuion from elecronic and digial services. In paricular deregulaion and he economic crisis in Greece make i imporan for posal service providers o ake seps o mainain revenues and marke presence. Cusomer saisfacion becomes criical in ha respec. This paper invesigaes cusomer buying behavior, prioriies and preferences wih regard o posal services available in he Greek marke. In paricular, i invesigaes he exen o which cusomers are aware of differen ypes of posal services available in he Greek marke and idenifies he ype of services which are more appealing o hem. I also measures he exen o which cusomers are saisfied by he posal services hey use, as well as, pos-buying aiudes and complains. A semi-srucured quesionnaire will be employed o collec he daa, which will be analyzed saisically o achieve highly significan conclusions where possible. Secion one reviews he relevan lieraure and develops he hypoheses. Secion wo ses ou he mehodology. Secion hree analyses he daa colleced. Secion four presens concluding remarks, implicaions for managemen and suggesions for furher research. Keywords: Services, Posal Services, Cusomer Saisfacion. 1. INTRODUCTION The growh of services over he pas decade has been remarkable. Services are increasingly aracing aenion from many auhors. Nowadays in compeiive service environmen people who have he role of markeer in businesses are seeking cusomer saisfacion in order o creae and improve relaionships beween businesses and new or exising cusomers (Webser and Sundaram, 29, p.15). Cusomers are seen as he basis of a company s profiabiliy (Pishgar, Dezhkam, Ghanbarpoor, Shabani & Ashoori, 213, p. 135). Lile research has been carried ou on cusomer saisfacion in Greek posal services up o now. The objecive of his paper is o seek and measure he level of cusomer saisfacion and services which rendered in he posal indusry in Greece. Some researchers have paid aenion o service qualiy in Greek posal services. Research on he qualiy of posal services is conduced every year by he Hellenic Telecommunicaions and Poss commission (EETT), (ELTA) and he European commission (Wik- consul, 213 p.p ), generally addressed o inernal marke and services and also o some non academic journals. Pas sudies relae he qualiy of posal services, as perceived by cusomers, wih heir saisfacion from specific feaures of hese services. During he summer of 2, financial crisis iniiaed from he Unied Saes of America. In Greece, during 214, he counry is sill experiencing a financial saus ha has an impac in Greek posal marke. Under circumsances of deregulaion and liberalizaion of he Greek posal marke, arises he need o reexplore or o rehink he posiion of posal company in relaion o is cusomers. The major poins of difference compared o previous sudies are, firsly Liberalizaion of he Greek posal marke from 213 and secondary new innovaions and services which are inroduced by posal services, in relaion o economic condiions. This sudy indicaes he level of cusomer saisfacion from he offered posal services and addiionally, which are he mos imporan crieria ha influence heir saisfacion, and how 281 imporan were in cusomers decisions. A his poin, i was examined he correlaion beween demographic characerisics of he sample (occupaion, age, sex, educaion level) and heir preferences for specific posal services. Moreover, as he research was conduced i was invesigaed if cusomers used or no he Greek posal services. In he posiive case, furhermore, i was invesigaed horoughly o wha exen hey used he posal services, and he crieria in heir purchasing behavior. Also, he consumers prioriies and preferences abou posal services ransacions were examined. Thereafer, i was scruinized heir pos-purchasing behavior (fuure use and recommendaion o ohers) and on he oher hand, posal marke problems were invesigaed and how he posal services managed cusomer complains (comparing cusomers percepions of service elemens as: accessibiliy, angibles, reliabiliy, assurance, empahy and complain handling). Finally, correlaions beween he variables and he reliabiliy of he sample were analyzed. 2. Lieraure review 2.1. Services Services are par of our life from a long ime. Services are increasingly aracing from academicians as well as praciioners (Rajeswari, Sunmisa, 211, p.2). During he pas hree decades, lieraure on services has grown. There are many differen definiions of services in lieraure. Definiions of services focused on he difference beween producs and services bu he purpose of boh are same, o saisfy human needs and wans (Raza, Siddiquei, Awan & Bukhari, 212, p. 89). Businesses offer producs for sale o cusomers bu selling a combinaion of producs and services. Someimes services consiue a big percen of oal value of he produc. For insance, service is an aciviy or series of aciviies, ake place in ineracions beween he cusomer and he service employees or physical resources or goods or sysems of he service provider, which are provider as soluions o cusomer problems (Gronroos, 199, p.2). (American Markeing Associaion 196, p.21) defines markeing as aciviies, benefis of saisfacion which are offered for sale or provided in connecion wih sale. A service may be defined as a change in he condiion of a person, or of a good belonging o some economic uni, which is brough abou as he resul of he aciviy of some oher economic uni, wih he prior agreemen of he former person or economic uni (Hill, 19, p. 318). Moreover (Edvardsson, 199 p.33) views a service as par of he wider concep of he produc Posal services Generally posal services are relaed o delivery of parcels, leers, documens and packages. Also posal ransporaion process consiss following aciviies, (collecion, inpu soring, ransporaion, oupu soring & disribuion). (Noordin, Hasnan & Osman, 212, p.25). Posal indusry used of physical communicaion in he pas or ransporaion process. Posal services face many challenges in he pas decade, specifically: Threa from elecronic communicaion, he compeiion from express and parcel carriers wih he use of elecronic communicaion seem o be a major challenge for he posal services (Mohan, Maheswara Reddy, 212, p.122), he rapid growing of he e-commerce, he growh of e- services, he inroducion of he digial services, he change in pos offices operaions hours, he economy crisis during he 21 s. New posal service has subsiued radiional pos. The concepual framework of posal services from lieraure review led o he following definiion. Services relaed o leers Services relaed o parcels Couner services (in pos office) Oher services Services consising of pick-up, ranspor and delivery services of leers, newspapers, journals, periodicals, brochures, leafles and similar prined maers, wheher for domesic or foreign desinaions, as rendered by he naional posal adminisraion. Services consising of pick-up, ranspor and delivery services of parcels and packages, wheher for domesic or foreign desinaions, as rendered by he naional posal adminisraion. Services rendered a pos office couners, e.g. sales of posage samps, handling of cerified or regisered leers and packes, and oher pos office couner services. Pose resane services, E- services, digial services, mailbox renal services & posal services no elsewhere classified. (WTO, 21 p.4) 282 Availabiliy of posal services is differen in counries. In Greece, posal secor during he pas years, presens dynamic growh and inense compeiion, fac ha lead o more flexible & aracive services for consumers (e.g. Hybrid mail, GIS services, camera phone poscards, Quick response code), (EETT, 212). The posal service comes under he Minisry of infrasrucure, ranspor and neworks Cusomer saisfacion Cusomer saisfacion is he fundamenal o he markeing concep (Kurniawan, 21, p. 83). Cusomer saisfacion is a business erm, which idenify ha he produc or service which supplied o cusomers how much saisfying hem (Naveed, Akhar, Rehman Cheema, 212, p.64). Differen auhors use differen crieria, elemens, characerisics when discussing abou cusomer saisfacion. For example auhors examine facors ha people consider when hey buy somehing. Generally, cusomer saisfacion, by a definiion is a posiive feeling experienced by an individual afer using a good or a service (Delafrooz, Taleghani, Taghineghad, Nademi, 213, p.115). Moreover cusomer saisfacion is an imporan facor in fuure endency o make a purchase, also someimes saisfied cusomers alks probably enhusiasically abou heir posiive experience, or heir buying, or use of a paricular service wih oher people, his will lead o posiive adverising (Delafrooz, Taleghani, Taghineghad, Nademi, 213, p.115), (Misry, 213, p. 133). Cusomer saisfacion provides a link beween purchase and pos-purchase phenomena in erms of aiude change and repea purchase (Lau, Cheung, Lam, Chu, 213, p. 268). On he oher hand businesses if hey wan o proec or gain marke shares, hey will need o overcome compeiors by offering high qualiy produc or service o ensure cusomer saisfacion, furhermore cusomer s feelings and beliefs affec heir saisfacion level. Finally if cusomers are saisfied by services, he resul is ha, hey will be loyal on business and i could also mean higher profis and higher marke share for business (Al Karim, Chowdhury, 214, p. 3, 4) Relaionship beween service qualiy and cusomer saisfacion Service qualiy is he funcion of cusomer s expecaions and percepion abou he service and associaed wih cusomer levels of saisfacion and inenion o reparonize he service (Rajeswari, Sunmisa, 211, p.2). Qualiy and cusomer saisfacion have long been recognized as playing a crucial role for success and survival in oday's compeiive marke (Al Karim, Chowdhury, 214, p. 4). Many researchers and a big number of sudies have idenified dimensions of service qualiy on cusomer saisfacion (Dehghan, 26, p.38), (Munusamy, Chelliah & Wai Mun, 21, p.4), (Kurniawan, 21, p. 4) (Lau, Cheung, Lam, Chu, 213, p. 268), (Misry, 213, p. 136), (Al Karim, Al Karim, Chowdhury, 214 p.5), (Taleghani, Taghineghad, Nademi, 213, p.116). Relaively few sudies have invesigaed cusomer saisfacion from service qualiy in posal secor (Gupa & Gupa, 212, p ) and European commission sudies. Also in Greece only Hellenic communicaion & pos commission has sudies abou cusomer saisfacion in Greece. This research has seven generally dimensions which are saed as follows: Variables Tangibles Reliabiliy Assurance Empahy Responsiveness Complain handling Access Measuremen iems Physical faciliies, equipmen, appearance of personnel Abiliy o perform he promised service dependably and accuraely Including securiy and knowledge and couresy of employees and heir abiliy o inspire rus and confidence Communicaion, undersanding he cusomer and caring and individualized aenion ha he firm provides o is cusomers Willingness o help cusomers and provide promp service Problems solve by he bes way, Time response Number of pos offices, Locaion is easy o reach, Parking Based on he above sudies he research framework is following: (Hypoheses Developmen) H1: Tangible has posiive relaionship wih cusomer saisfacion H2: Reliabiliy has posiive relaionship wih cusomer saisfacion H3: Assurance has posiive relaionship wih cusomer saisfacion H4: Empahy has posiive relaionship wih cusomer saisfacion 283 H5: Responsiveness has posiive relaionship wih cusomer saisfacion H6: Complain handling has posiive relaionship wih cusomer saisfacion H: Access has posiive relaionship wih cusomer saisfacion 3. Research Mehodology In his secion of research daa collecion mehods and respondens are described. Research design and sample The mehodology used in obaining informaion abou cusomer saisfacion in posal services conduced a a sample of he general consumer populaion. The survey quesionnaire is design and disribued o arge responden randomly. The arge populaion for his sudy is he local posal services cusomers in Greece. In his sudy paricipaed people who have use Greek posal services. Quesionnaire is design o apply o a sample of populaion which answered in general quesions abou (e.g. Gender, Age group, Educaion level, Occupaion, Locaion) and posal service characerisics specifically. Quesions were eiher muliple choice or answerable on a 5- poin scale (from 1 o 5). Daa collecion Daa was colleced wih he help of quesionnaire as a ool. The quesionnaire disribued o respondens from May o June 214. There were 8 quesionnaires ha were disribued. Toal 6 quesionnaires were received. The response rae was 5 percen. Sample was aken from many regions of Greece. The survey quesionnaires were conduced via face o face inerviews plus so as o ensure ha he survey encompasses a broad geographical area. Oher incomplee quesionnaires were discarded. Saisical analysis Saisical package (SPSS) was used o analyze he daa collecion in his sudy. Frequency and percenage are he ype of analysis ha being used in his research. For daa processing, saisical echniques were used for differen purposes. Daa analysis Colleced daa was analyzed o deermine how he sample of he research responds o he iems under invesigaion. The demographic characerisics of respondens on he various parameers like Gender, Age, Educaion level, Occupaion, Locaion are represened as follows: Gender Age group Under Over 5 Educaion level Occupaion Table1: Demographical analysis Characerisics Frequencies % Male 24 4 Female Primary educaion Secondary educaion Bachelor degree Maser/ Docoral Public services Privae secor Miliary (Army, Navy, Air force, Police) Suden Independen business Farmer Oher 284 Locaion Macedonia/ Thessaly/Thrace Aegean islands/ Cree Peloponnese Cenral Greece/ Ahens Wes Greece/ Epirus/ Ionian islands Oher Approximaely 4% of he occupaed in public services and 6% were female. Furhermore, majoriy of he respondens hold bachelor degree. Moreover, majoriy of he respondens used pos office for heir ransacions and preferred safey as 1 s prioriy 83.3%. Regarding locaion, he majoriy of respondens lived in he Aegean islands and Cree. Posal services (which have used) Buying behavior (imporance of facor) Transacion (place) Prioriies (very imporan) Conac informaion Frequency of Problems How o make complains Aiude abou during economic crisis (Agree & Srongly agree) Fuure use Recommendaion o ohers Table 2: Cusomer behavior and economic crisis Aiudes/ Prioriies/ Preferences Frequencies % Leer 5 95 Newspapers or flyers disribuion Parcels Pos office couner services 48 8 Oher posal services Repuaion Safey Timeline (reliabiliy) Open Hours Service inside pos office Service ouside pos office Price Environmenal proecion Pos office Inerne Boh Access Ownership Innovaion Price Safey Pos office Elecronic websie Caalogue Access Saff Websie Posman Call cener Oral in Pos office By phone Complain form I don say I don have Less Transacions I search more in order o find cheaper prices beween companies I prefer more elecronic websie ransacions More Less Same as oday Yes No 285 I appears in he able 2 above, minoriy of respondens (38.3%) have used oher posal services (e.g. pos resane, digial services, E services, mailbox renal services). Safey, imeline (reliabiliy) and prices are more imporan facors. Addiionally, safey is he firs prioriy for cusomers (83.3%) and majoriy of sample (6.%) prefers websie conac informaion. On he oher hand here is a balance beween facors abou frequency of problems. The bes way for making complains is oral in pos office ha which is adequaely explained because majoriy of he respondens wan ransacions by pos office (48.3%). Moreover, he resul of economic crisis is ha majoriy of respondens search more in order o find cheaper prices beween companies and also prefer more elecronic websie ransacions. Finally, cusomers will wan o use posal services in he fuure (same as oday 6.%) and hey recommend i o he ohers (91.%). Findings and Analysis This secion provides he analysis of he resuls. The analysis is conduced using saisical ools and insrumens. The echniques used in he paper include Reliabiliy assessmen, Descripive saisics, ranking of facors affec saisfacion, correlaion analysis, regression analysis, chi-square es. Reliabiliy assessmen In order o prove he inernal reliabiliy of his research, his sudy has performed Cronbach s Alpha Tes of Reliabiliy using quesionnaire variables. According o (Al Karim & Chowdhury, 214, p.5), Cronbach s alpha should be. or above o be accepable. In his sudy, he value of Cronbach s Alpha is,8 . (greaer han sandard value), so i can be conduced ha he measures used in his sudy are valid and highly reliable. Table 3: Reliabiliy Saisics Cronbach's Alpha Cronbach's Alpha Based on Iems N of Iems,8,689 5 Descripive saisics analysis Table 4 has shown ha he saisical descripion of dimensions where i has found ha posal services cusomers perceived. Reliabiliy (wih he highes mean scores M=16.2) o be he mos dominan dimension. On he oher hand complains handling (wih he lowes mean scores M=5.5833) was perceived on he overall as leas dimension in Greek posal services. Table 4: Descripive Saisics N Mean Sd. Deviaion Tangible 6 8,616 2,644 Reliabiliy 6 16,2 2,8868 Assurance 6 13,616 2,96929 Empahy 6 15,366 3,82 Responsiveness 6 11,916 3,1454 Complainshandling 6 5,5833 1,82536 Access 6,166 2,6486 Comfor 6 6, 1,554 Valid N (liswise) 6 286 Cusomer Saisfacion from posal services Table 5: Ranking of facors affecing saisfacion N Mean Sd. Deviaion Delivery ime 6 3,38,846 Delivery frequency 6 3,18,48 Range of producs/ services 6 3,13,91 Problems handling 6 3,2,911 Waiing ime 6 2,93,92 Services informaions 6 2,85 1,5 Prices 6 2,58 1,13 Valid N (liswise) 6 Table 5 calculaes he Median and he sandard deviaion for several facors affecing cusomer saisfacion in Greek posal services. I shows he resuls of individual iems in a muliple iem scale. Order he variables in he able (display order) from highes o lowes. The mos imporan facor is delivery ime and he leas imporan facor is prices. Table 6: Cusomer saisfacion from Greek posal services Access (Parking is available) Access (Locaion of pos office is easy o reach) Tangibles (employess are well dressed and nea) Complains handling (posal service manage complains in he bes way) Access (Number of pos offices) Ccomplain handling (Timely response o cusomer requess) Responsiveness (cusomer value- perceived qualiy adjused for he relaive price) Responsiveness (cusomer feel wll informed) Tangibles (physical faciliies are visually appealing) Responsiveness (cusomers are served wihou delay) Comfor (Comfor of he seas and ables for wriing purposes) Reliabiliy (appearance of (problems, Damages, Delayed delivery) Empahy (cusomers have care from saff) Tangibles (up o dae equipmen) Comfor (people crowding in queues) Empahy (operaing hours are covenien) Empahy (Persons wih disabiliies have care) Empahy (Cusomers have individual aenion- informaions, service) Reliabiliy (saff has confidece) Reliabiliy (if cusomer has a problem, pos office solves i) Responsiveness (cusomers are informed abou delivery ime) Empahy (Undersanding special needs of cusomer) Assurance (saff is rusworhy o give personal daa) Reliabiliy (when pos office promises o do delivery ime of mail/ parcel, i does so) Assurance (feel safe in ransacion wih pos office) Assurance (saff has willingness o help cusomer) Assurance (saff has knowledge) Reliabiliy (keep promises o he cusomer) 1,2 2,65 2,6 2,5 2,8 2,83 2,88 2,93 2,93 2,93 2, ,2 3,3 3,5 3,5 3,5 3,8 3,1 3,1 3,22 3,23 3,43 3,45 3,4 3,4 3,52 1= Compleely Dissaisfied.. 5= Compleely Saisfied 28 Descripive resuls appear in able 6. Included in he able is he mean of each variable used. Table shows o wha exen has service me cusomers expecaions. According o able, respondens had o answer 28 quesions abou (angible, reliabiliy, assurance, empahy, responsiveness, complains handling, access, and comfor). Cusomers are very saisfied wih assurance and reliabiliy charac
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