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Customer satisfaction, a business term, is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business and is part of the four perspectives of a Balanced Scorecard.
In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy
Measuring customer satisfaction
Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting non-customers, measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the organization is at providing products and/or services to the marketplace.
Customer satisfaction is an ambiguous and abstract concept and the actual manifestation of the state of satisfaction will vary from person to person and product/service to product/service. The state of satisfaction depends on a number of both psychological and physical variables which correlate with satisfaction behaviors such as return and recommend rate. The level of satisfaction can also vary depending on other options the customer may have and other products against which the customer can compare the organization's products.
Because satisfaction is basically a psychological state, care should be taken in the effort of quantitative measurement, although a large quantity of research in this area has recently been developed. Work done by Berry, Brodeur between 1990 and 1998 defined ten 'Quality Values' which influence satisfaction behavior, further expanded by Berry in 2002 and known as the ten domains of satisfaction. These ten domains of satisfaction include: Quality, Value, Timeliness,
Efficiency, Ease of Access, Environment, Inter-departmental Teamwork, Front line Service Behaviors, Commitment to the Customer and Innovation. These factors are emphasized for continuous improvement and organizational change measurement and are most often utilized to develop the architecture for satisfaction measurement as an integrated model. Work done by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry between 1985 and 1988 provides the basis for the measurement of customer satisfaction with a service by using the gap between the customer's expectation of performance and their perceived experience of performance. This provides the measurer with a satisfaction "gap" which is objective and quantitative in nature. Work done by Cronin and Taylor propose the "confirmation/disconfirmation" theory of combining the "gap" described by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry as two different measures (perception and expectation of performance) into a single measurement of performance according to expectation. According to Garbrand, customer satisfaction equals perception of performance divided by expectation of performance.
The usual measures of customer satisfaction involve a survey with a set of statements using a Likert Technique or scale. The customer is asked to evaluate each statement and in term of their perception and expectation of the performance of the organization being measured.
Definition: Customer satisfaction
The degree to which there is match between the customer's expectations of the product and the actual performance of the product. The broad definition of services implies that intangibility is a key determinant of whether an offering is a service. While this is true, it is also true that very few products are purely intangible or totally tangible. Instead, services tend to be more intangible than manufactured products, and manufactured products tend to be more tangible than services. For example, the fast-food industry while classified as a service, also has many tangible components such as the food" the packaging, and so on. Automobiles, while classified within the manufacturing sector, also supply many intangibles, such as transportation. Throughout this text, when we refer to services we will be assuming the broad definition of services and acknowledging that there are very few "pure services,, or "pure goods." The issues and approaches we discuss are directed toward those offerings that lie on the right side, the intangible side, of the spectrum.
As suggested earlier, intangibles arc not produced only in the service sector of the economy. Manufacturers such as Boeing Airplane Company and Ford Motor Company also produce products on the right end of the spectrum, both for sale to external consumers and to support internal production processes. For example, Boeing has provided consulting services and demand forecasting services for its airline customers. And within Boeing large departments (such as data processing and legal services) provide Internal services to the organization.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION What is Customer Satisfaction?
Everyone knows what satisfaction is, until asked to give a definition' Then, it seems’ nobody knows. This quote from Richard L. Oliver, respected expert and longtime writer and researcher on the topic of customer satisfaction, expresses the challenge of defining this most basic of customer concepts. Building from previous definitions' Oliver offers his own formal definition:
“Satisfaction is the consumer's fulfillment response. It is a judgment that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provides a pleasurable level of consumptionrelated fulfillment.” In less technical terms, we translate this definition to mean that satisfactorily is the customers' evaluation of a product or service in terms of whether that product or service has met their needs and expectations. Failure to meet needs and expectations is assumed to result in dissatisfaction with the product or service’
In addition to a sense” of fulfillment in the knowledge that one's needs have been met, satisfaction can also be related to other types of feelings, depending on the particular context or type of service. For example, satisfaction can be viewed as contentment-more. of a passive response that consumers may associate with services they don't think a lot about or services that they receive routinely over time' Satisfaction may also be associated with feelings of pleasure for services that make the consumer feel good or are associated with a sense of happiness. For those services that really surprise the consumer in a positive way, satisfaction may mean delight. And
in some situations, where the removal of a negative leads to satisfaction, the consumer may associate a sense of relief with satisfaction. It is also important to recognize that although we tend to measure consumer satisfaction at a particular point in time as if it were static, satisfaction is a dynamic, moving target that may evolve over time, influenced by a variety of factor’s. Particularly when product usage or the service experience takes place over time, satisfaction maybe rightly variable depending on which point in the usage or experience cycle one is focusing on. Similarly, in the case of very new services or a service not previously experienced, customer expectations may be barely forming at the point of initial purchase, these expectations will solidify as the process unfolds and the consumer begins to form his or her perceptions. Through the service cycle the consumer may have a variety of different experiences, some good, some not good-and each will ultimately impact satisfaction.
What Determines Customer Satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is influenced by specific product or service features and by perceptions. Satisfaction is also influenced by customers' emotional responses, their attributions, and their perceptions of equity.
Product and Service Features
Customer satisfaction with a product or service is influenced significantly by the customer's evaluation of product and services features. For a service such as a resort hotel, important features might include the pool area, access to golf facilities, restaurants, room comfort and privacy, helpfulness, and courtesy of staff, room price, and so forth. In conducting satisfaction, studies, most firms will determine through some means (often focus groups) what the important features and attributes are for their service and then measure perceptions of those features as well as overall service satisfaction. Research has shown that customers of services will make trade-offs among different service features (for example, price level versus quality, versus friendliness of personnel versus level of customization), depending on the type of service being evaluated and the criticality of the service.
Customers' emotions can also affect their perceptions of satisfaction -with products and services. These emotions can be stable, preexisting emotions-for example, mood state or life satisfaction. Think of times when you are a very happy stage in your life (such as when you are on vacation), and your good, happy mood and positive frame of mind have influenced how you feel about the services you experience. Alternatively, when you are in a bad mood your negative feelings may carry over into how you respond to services, causing you to overreact or respond negatively to any little problem.
Specific emotions may also be induced by the consumption experience itself, influencing a consumer's satisfaction with the service. Research done in a river-rafting context showed that the river guides had a strong effect on their customers' emotional responses to the trip and that
those feelings (both positive and negative) were linked to overall trip satisfaction. positive emotions such has, happiness pleasure, elation, and a sense of warm-heartedness enhanced customers' satisfaction with the rafting trip. In turn, negative emotions such as sadness, sorrow, regret, and anger led to diminished customer satisfaction. Overall, in the rafting context, positive emotions had a stronger effect than negative ones. Similar effects of emotions on satisfaction were found in a Finnish study that looked at consumers' satisfaction with a government labor bureau, service.l6 In that study, negative emotions including anger, depression, guilt, and humiliation had astrong effect on customers, dissatisfaction ratings.
Attributions for Service Success or Failure
Attributions-the perceived causes of events-influence perceptions of satisfaction as well. When they have been surprised by an outcome (the service is either much better or much worsethan expected), consumers tend to look for the reasons, and their assessments of the reasons can influence their satisfaction' For example, if a customer of a weight-loss organization fails to lose weight as hoped for, she will likely search for the for the causes –was it something she did, was the diet plan ineffective, or did circumstances simply not allow her to follow the diet regimenbefore determining her level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the weight-loss company. For many services customers take at least partial responsibility for how things turn out. Even when they don't take responsibility for the outcome, customer satisfaction may be influenced by other kinds of attributions. For example, in research done in a travel agency context it was found that customers were less dissatisfied with a pricing error made by the agent if they felt the reason was outside the agent's control or if they felt it was a rare mistake, unlikely to occur again.
Perceptions of Equity or Fairness
Customer satisfaction is also influenced by perceptions of equity and fairness.2o Customers ask them selves: Have I been treated fairly compared with other customers'? Did other customers get better treatment, better prices, or better quality service? Did I pay a fair price for the service? Was I treated well in exchange for what I paid and the effort I expended? Notions of fairness are central to customers' perceptions of satisfaction with products and services. The example of Sears Auto Centers division illustrates consumers' strong reactions to unfair treatment. Over a decade ago the division was charged with defrauding customers in 44 states by performing unnecessary repairs. Sears employees had been rewarded based on the quantity of repairs sold resulting in substantial unnecessary charges to customers. The $27million Sears paid settling complaints and the additional loss of business all resulted from extreme dissatisfaction of its customers over the unfair treatment.
Other Consumers, Family Members, and Coworkers
In addition to product and service features and one's own individual feelings and beliefs, consumer satisfaction is often influenced by other people.22 For example, satisfaction with a family vacation trip is a dynamic phenomenon, influenced by the reactions and expressions of individual family members over the duration of the vacation. Later, what family members express in terms of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the trip will be influenced by stories that are retold among the family and selective memories of the events. Similarly, the satisfaction of the rafters in Figure 4.2 is certainly influenced by individual perceptions, but it is also influenced greatly by the experiences, behavior, and view's of the other rafters. In a business setting, satisfaction with a new service or technology-for example, a new customer relationship management software service-will be influenced by individuals' personal experiences with the software itself, but also by what others say about it in the company, how others use it and feel about it, and how widely it is adopted in the organization. In Chapter 12 we will come back to this topic as we look at strategies for involving and managing other consumers to maximize satisfaction in the service experience.
National Customer Satisfaction Indexes
Because of the importance of customer satisfaction to firms and overall quality of life, many countries how have a national index that measures and tracks customer satisfaction at a macro level.23 Many public policymakers believe that these measures could and should be used as tools for evaluating the health of the nation's economy, along with traditional measures of productivity and price. Customer satisfaction indexes begin to get at the quality of economic output, whereas more traditional economic indicators tend to focus only on quantity. The first
such measure was the Swedish Customer Satisfaction Barometer introduced in 1989. Through out the 1990s similar indexes were introduced in Germany (Deutsche Kundenbarometer, or DK, in 1992), the United States (American Customer Satisfaction Index, ACSI, in 1994), and Switzerland (Swiss Index of Customer Satisfaction, SWICS, in 1998).
The American Customer Satisfaction index (ACS...)
The ACSI, developed by researchers at the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan, is a measure of quality of goods and services as experienced by consumers. The measure tracks customer perceptions across 200 firms representing all major economic sectors, including government agencies. Within each industry group, major industry segments are included" and within each industry the largest companies in that industry are selected to participate. For each company approximately 250 interviews are conducted with current customers. Each company receives an ACSI score computed from its customers' perceptions of quality, value, satisfaction, expectations, complaints, and future loyalty.
CHAPTER II METHODOLOGY
NEED FOR THE STUDY
IDEA has good market standing and company’s tariff plans and services level are good, which are largely responsible for its position. IDEA has to sustain its position against the expected stiff competition. The company has to know its customer perception, the satisfaction level and also its competitor’s customer satisfaction level and problems, which are facing their customers in order to take appropriate action. Hence, the study titled “A STUDY ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION TOWARDS IDEA CELLULAR SERVICES IN SRI KALAHASTHI” has been undertaken.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
To know the satisfactory level of the customers about IDEA Cellular. To find out the percentage of respondents connected to IDEA and usage of schemes. To know the easy availability of recharge coupons. To find out the customers priority and the reason for using IDEA Cell Service.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In today’s context both markets and marketing is complex. Cellular Phones and mobiles have stormed the market in its fast growing world of technology. This survey under taken for Cell Phone services will enable it to Phone. The user’s awareness and satisfaction level towards IDEA Cell Phone services. This survey gathers information from Cell Phone users. It brings out the customer feedback on the product. Mainly this survey looks into the users profile and check for any relevant relation of dependence with the variable like occupation age group of respondents. . It helps to understand user’s preference for the main competing brands of Cell Phone services like IDEA CELLULAR SERVICES,TATA DOCOMO,UNINOR, VODAFONE, MTS and RELIANCE This will benefit company in making their future marketing decisions.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY A Methodology is a systematic procedure of collecting information in order to analyze and verifies a phenomenon. The collection of information has been through two principle sources. They are: a) Primary data b) Secondary data
Data that has not been previously published and is collected by the investigator conducting the research. It is information that is obtained directly from first-hand sources by means of surveys, observation or experimentation. The primary data has been collected through campaigning questionnaire among users of idea.
The basic motive behind the study was to understand the satisfaction of the customer on idea cellular and to find out the levels of satisfaction of the users. Hence the data is collected through a questionnaire and the users were the source of information.
The data that have been already collected by someone other than the user and readily available from other sources. Common sources of secondary data for social science include censuses, organizational records and data collected through qualitative methodologies or qualitative research. The secondary data has been collected through various sources such as records, company brochures, books and company web site.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Questioners were distributed to 120 users. Only 50 questioners were received and the rest 70 questioners were rejected as they were not completely filled. Time duration for the study was limited to 2 months. The study is restricted only to people who use idea in visakhapatnam.
CHAPTER III ORGANIZATION PROFILE
The established service areas are Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (West). Licenses for the Maharashtra and Gujarat Service Areas were awarded in December 1995, with network rollout and commercial launch achieved in 1997. In January 2001 the mobile operations in Andhra Pradesh Service Area were integrated with IDEA through a merger with Tata Cellular Limited. In June 2001, the mobile operations in Madhya Pradesh Service Area were fully integrated with IDEA through an acquisition of RPG Cellcom Limited. In October 2001, the license for Delhi Service Area was acquired during the fourth mobile license auction, with network rollout and commercial launch in November 2002. In January 2004, Escotel Mobile Communications Private Limited ("Escotel"), was acquired with its original licenses in the Service Areas of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (West) and Kerala. All these Service Areas were re-branded and integrated with IDEA in June 2004. Call forwarding
Call conferencing Call waiting and Call holding facility
Unified Messaging Services: This provides Voice mail, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP): Surf WAP enabled websites on Internet using
Cell One Voice Mail Service ensures that the customers never miss their calls even when their phone is busy, switched off, out of coverage, or the customer is simply too busy to take the call. In such cases, Cell One VMS greets the caller and records a message from the caller, which the customer can retrieve later at his convenience from anywhere in the world. This is available to all post-paid customers.
VALUE ADDED SERVICES
1. SMS BASED VALUE ADDED SERVICE : SIM BASED, SHORT CODE BASED 2. VOICE BASED VALUE ADDED SERVICE 3. GPRS/MMS: The Cellular Mobile subscribers of IDEA who have the GPRS subscription, now have access and download the rich content like Polyphonic ring tones, True tones, Real tones, MP3 tones, SMS tones, Themes, Color wallpapers, Java Games, etc thorough the website (www.cellone.in) as well as the WAP site (wap.cellone.in). The detailed catalogue of the content can be seen either at the above website or the WAP site. 4. The subscribers interested in knowing about how they can subscribe to GPRS of IDEA need to send "GPRS" as SMS to short code "3733".
5. The subscribers who need to have the GPRS settings for activating their GPRS subscription on their GPRS handsets can click here. 6. The Companies who are interested in becoming the partners of IDEA. 7. NEWSPAPER service: This is a new value added service under cellular services (both prepaid and postpaid GPRS subscribers) in the name of "MOBILE NEWSPAPER" the WAP portal of IDEA "Cell One Safari".
Mobile to Mobile Messaging is a revolutionary new means of communication that allows Cell One mobile subscribers to send a short text message instantaneously to any other mobile subscriber. We can type down the message and send it to any mobile. The message can be of 160-character length including spaces, punctuation and special characters. The system sends the confirmation about the delivery of the message to the sender as soon as the message is delivered .If the called number is busy or out of coverage area, the system periodically monitors the status of the called number and sends the message as soon as it becomes active. IDEA provides national and International SMS facility to its post and pre-paid customers at very cheap price.
In case we are in a meeting or our Cell phone is switched off, using the Call Forwarding feature, we can forward our calls on a fixed line or a cell phone where someone can see messages on your behalf. You can also forward an incoming call while speaking to someone.
There are times when we have wished that we could speak to a group of people simultaneously. May be wanted to gossip with friends, or hold discussions with clients. Now we can have the privilege of a teleconference with up to 6 people, at the punch of a few buttons
This feature enables us to speak to two callers, one at a time, without hanging up on either one of them. When this network service is activated, the network notifies we of a new incoming call while we have a call in progress. If another person tries calling us midway through a conversation, he/she will hear a message informing him/her that your line is busy, while you will hear beeps at intervals. We can accept the second call while putting the first call on hold.
UNIFIED MESSAGING ON CELLONE
1. 2. 3. FAX Message E-Mail E-Mail to Speech (ETS)
This feature will enable the subscriber to sent/receive fax message. The fax can be sent/received to/by the subscriber either through IDEA UMN account or using fax machine. This feature will enable the subscriber to send/receive E-mail. The subscriber has to get IDEA UMN account for this feature.
E-Mail to Speech (ETS)
This feature will enable the subscriber to receive the Email on the mobile phone .In order to listen E-mail messages from your voice mailbox.
CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS
CHAPTER V Findings, Suggestions and Conclusions
To reduce the coverage problem extension of tower capacity, location of new towers at problematic areas is necessary. If we advice to develop the packages, which engages more customers in SMS and internet along with voice communication. It also helps reducing competition from the other services. Customer care should be answerable to customers at any time with out delay. Take steps to solve the customers request as early as possible. IDEA should think about to concentrate on student segment with attractive offers.
At last I conclude that the project report undertaken by me is satisfactory and the work has got very good response from the respondents. The coverage and tariff provided by the company are very much beneficial to respondents. In the process, majority of the respondents are very positive towards the IDEA CELLULAR SERVICES. According to my research, all the respondents are provided with better service by the company.
1. PHILIP KOTLER “MARKETING MANAGEMENT” the millennium edition, New Delhi, Prentice-Hall India, Tenth Edition. 2. C.R KOTHARI “QUANTITATIVE TECHNIQUES’ New Delhi, Vikas publishing House Pvt.Ltd., 1978, Third Edition. 3. C.R KOTHARI “RESEARCH METHODOLOGY” New Delhi Wishwa prakashan, 2000, Second Edition. 4. S.P GUPTHA “STATISTICAL METHODS” Sultan chand & Co., New Delhi.
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