IMPACT OF CUSTOMER SERVICE ON SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE BUSINESS
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Customer service on small and medium scale business is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. Everyone in the organization is providing one or all of these perhaps they recognize which ones perhaps not. Kurtenbach (2010) explains that those who are successful in customer service rank their customers experience as the top priority. Ettore (2014) is of the view that, concentrating on current customer’s information can and should be obtained to better understand their view of the service provided. The quality of service provided determines the level of service of the customer even though what is seen as quality by one customer may not necessarily be quality to another. Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a small and medium scale business meet or surpass customer expectation. In a competitive marketplace where a business competes for customers, customer service is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. Customer service on small and medium scale business is an asset that should be monitored and managed just like any physical asset. The relationship between customer service and customer satisfaction is a vital one. In a competitive market place, understanding customer needs become crucial, therefore small and medium scale business in this case, have moved from product centric to customer centric positions. Customer satisfaction is influenced by the type of service provided. Services are a challenge particularly in the small scale business based service as customers can easily switch from one shop to another of a better service. Considering the high costs of acquiring new customers and apparently, high customers turnover of many business services. It is very important to find out what causes customer satisfaction. (Siadat, 2008, cited Van Rie, Lijander and Jurriens 2001). High levels of customer satisfaction bring several positive aspects to a small and medium scale business; it is believed that customer service has a positive relationship with economic profit (Anderson, Fornell, and Lehmann, 2014). Moreover, it will lower customer’s price sensitivity (Fornell, 2015), and contribute to the creation of loyal customers, which in turn implies a stable future cashflow (Matzler et al., 2016).
Any organization that has satisfied customers is bound to increase customer base and hence profitability. Satisfied customers may sell your organization either consciously or unconsciously. It is therefore important that small and medium scale business provide quality service to customers so as to satisfy them, make them loyal and retain them at the end. Achievers inter bus, has customer service as one of the pillars on which the business operates and this research seeks to find out whether the service being provided meets customer expectations and whether customers are being satisfied by those services and also which other ways the service can be improved so as to satisfy the customers.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Customer service is the single most important issue affecting on small and medium scale business.
It has the most important impact on customer retention and in order to narrow it down, focus on customer service quality as one of the customer satisfaction factors. Despite this fact, most business have no clue what their customers really think. They operate in a state of ignorant bliss, believing that if their customers were anything less than 100 percent satisfied they would hear about it. Then they are shocked when their customer base erodes and their existence is threatened. The key to competitive advantage is proactively gauging customer perceptions and aggressively acting on the findings. The techniques for doing this do not have to be difficult; they just have to be timely and effective. The researcher is a customer of the achiever inters business, and once went to the business to meet a customer express dissatisfaction about some of the services provided in the business. Another customer at a different time expressed same dissatisfaction, this time about different service in the business. Meanwhile, the researcher noticed that, there is pressure almost always on the customer service staff at the business. Knowing that customer service is a pillar of the business, the researcher therefore decided to find out whether the kind of customer service being provided in the achiever inter business has any impact on customer service and whether there are barriers that prevent quality customer delivery.
1.2. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
- To evaluate how customer service affects customer satisfaction in the achiever inter business.
- To identify if there are some barriers to customer service provision by customer service staff of achiever inters business.
- To establish how customer service impacts customer loyalty at achiever inter business.
- To identify which other customer service activities, customers will regard as satisfactory in achiever inter business.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
achiever inter business has customer service as one of its products, hence the need to find out whether they really are providing that service and what ways they can improve so as to have competitive advantage over rivals in the market. This work will therefore provide information regarding excellent customer service and its impact on customer satisfaction in small and medium scale in isiagu ivo L.G.A ebonyi state. This piece will be available to the business being researched for the management to know the perception of their customers on services being provided to them and to help improve on service quality. It will also benefit other business service providers to make informed decisions as far as service is concerned.
Educational institutions, corporate entities, business policy makers and other researchers will also benefit from this research in making informed decisions when it comes to quality customer service to satisfy the customers.