Chapter 1 : Introduction
1.1 Introduction to Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
1.1.1 Mobile service is one of the growing sectors in India. With economy opening up in this sector , competition has increased manifold. The entry of private companies promoted the use of cellular phones in the country. Brutal competition , advancement in technology and reduced tariff have propelled the growth of mobile services in India. In the last five years , the industry has made tremendous growth in terms of subscriber base . Today cell phones have become indispensable for people and moved beyond their fundamental role of communication . They have become a major source for banking, acquiring information , shopping , entertainment, gaming , television, use of GPS for drive guidance services, gaming , social networking, media like use of applications like Whatsapp , Facebook , Twitter, Linkedin etc. Due to proliferation of internet and it becoming inherent part of everybody's life , customers want to remain updated with news , information and connected to their friends , colleagues and seniors in the team or Company they work in. Since the Indian mobile service provider market is now over crowded by a number of service providers , customers have many choices . Nowadays, customers have become smarter and consider various factors before choosing mobile service providers . Customers are taking up mobile services as they buy daily consumable items as soap, detergents , oil , vegetables etc and also due to portability they also change the service operator , presently available within state only. There are a number of service operators in the market who are trying hard to improve and increase their market share since a fierce competition exists in the market. Hence , it is imperative on the part of mobile service operators to ensure customer satisfaction and retention so that they don't switch over to another operator. Customer loyalty provides the foundation of a company's sustained competitive edge. Developing and increasing loyalty is a crucial factor in company's growth and performance (Reichheld, 1996 and Lee and Cunningham, 2001). What a customer perceives, affects their judgment and later customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. It is an industry wide belief that the best core marketing strategy for the future is to retain customers by increasing customer's loyalty and value (Kim et al., 2004). As per Philip Kotler ,world wide renowned expert on marketing, satisfaction is a person's feeling of pleasure or disappointment that result from comparing a product's or a service's perceived performance (or outcome) to expectations . If the performance is falls short of expectations, the customer is dissatisfied. If it matches expectations, the customer is satisfied. If it exceeds, the customer is highly satisfied or delighted. He says that customer satisfaction is a key to his retention, ie, a satisfied customer generally stays loyal longer, buys more as the as the company introduces new and upgraded products.
1.2 Importance of the Study
1.2.1. In view of aspects enumerated above , it is imperative for service providers to conduct research and studies in the areas of understanding factors which influence and affect customer satisfaction and loyalty. These factors can be related to service quality , service features , technology used and reliabilty of networks and their connectivity speed, clarity with respect to internet usage. Also clarity of usage based on demographic pattern and preferences gives an insight to the mobile service providers on factors affecting the same . Also , mobile portability is a threat to mobile service providers ,ie, in case they are unable to provide their customers what they promise , the customers are free to change and move to another. Hence, clarity of all these factors affecting demographic preferences like choice of mobile service providers based on factors satisfying different customers, customer satisfaction and loyalty gives mobile service providers an insight into to positive and negative aspects of their service and helps them to devise strategies to capitalize on success or counter the failure. This survey and study work will help mobile service providers to gain an insight into all these factors and improve their marketing strategies moving from acquiring customers to satisfying them with services to finally making a customer valuable by turning them loyal . This study intends to examine what consumers of Bangalore mobile phone service providers believe' are the main satisfaction variables and why they remain loyal. Also factors of service quality which lead to satisfaction further leading to customer retention has been identified in case of consumers in Bangalore.
1.2.2. With high usage at an optimum level, analysts are expecting the saturation point to be reached soon (Sidhu, 2005). When the number of subscribers reaches its transmission point, creating and securing new customers is not only complex, but also costly in terms of marketing. Hence, the best core marketing strategy for the future is to try to retain existing customers by heightening customer's loyally and customer values (Reichheld, 1996 and Kim et al, 2004). For service firms, such as mobile phone service providers, the challenge is to identify the critical factors that determine customer satisfaction and loyalty (McDougall and Levesque, 2000).
1.3 Review of Literature
1.3.1. Perception is an opinion of something viewed and assessed by a person. It might vary from person to person, as everyone has different beliefs towards certain services and products (Bitner et al., 1997) that play a role in determining customer satisfaction (Lovelock, 1996). By adjusting customer expectation and perception; customer satisfaction and customer loyalty can be influenced. In fact, satisfaction refers to the customer's positive perception of the value received (Hallowell, 1996) and is measured based on expectation and perception (Zeitharnal and Bitner, 2000). Customer perception of service quality is generally subjective, nonetheless, it does provide valuable information and another useful tool for market monitoring and development (Toh, 2002).
1.3.3 All telecommunication service providers are searching for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain benefits over competition. There have been various promotional efforts over the years, unfortunately, due to the aggressive price wars in the market carriers do not have much room to differentiate on price. A high level of service becomes the selling point to attract customers' attention and is the most important and significant driver in customer satisfaction (MCDougall and Levesque, 2000).
1.3.4. Customer satisfaction can be defined as customer reaction to the state of fulfillment of their expectation and needs, customer judgment towards service and products quality (Hallowell, 1996; Oliver, 1997 and Zeithamal and Bitner, 2000). Satisfaction is important as the principle purpose of a business is to create satisfied customers (Drucker, 1954). Satisfied customers lead to higher future profitability (Anderson et al., 1994). Satisfied customers are more willing to pay price premiums, provide recommendations and maintain loyalty towards the company (Reichheld, 1996). Higher customer satisfaction leads towards higher levels of customer retention and loyalty (Fornell, 1992) and lowers costs related to defective goods and services (Anderson et al, 1997).
1.3.5 Customer perception, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are closely linked with one another. Basically, the study of customer loyalty can be categorized into three broad categories: the behavioral approach, the altitudinal approach and the integrated approach(Oh 1995).
1.3.6 The behavioral approach examines the customer's continuity of past purchases and then measures customer loyalty by rates ,of purchase, frequency of purchases and possibility of purchase, The attitude approach infers customer loyalty from psychological involvement, favoritism and a sense of goodwill towards a particular product or service, The integrated approach takes account ,of both behavioral and attitudinal variables, in order to create its own concept of customer loyalty, The concept of customer loyalty is understood as a combination of customers favorable attitude and the behavior of repurchase (Kim et al.,2004).
1.3.7. As per Philip kotler, the marketing expert , customer satisfaction is achieved if perceived performance meets customer's expectations and it increases or a customer is delighted if the performance eceedsx the customer's expectations . Customers that experience a high level of satisfaction with a company are likely to remain with their existing providers and maintain their subscription that leads to future revenue for the company (Fornell, 1992 and Anderson et.al., 1994). However, customer satisfaction, while Positively influencing customer loyalty, is not always a sufficient condition and in some cases it fails to produce the expected effect (Kim et. aI., 2004). Hence, researchers suggest, that it is necessary to analyze other potential influential factors, as ,what makes a person satisfied may not make a person loyal (Gerpott et al., 2001). Thus, 'It is necessary to determine customer's satisfaction and loyalty towards services and products.
1.3.8 The significance of customer loyalty is that, it is closely related to the company's continued survival and to strong future growth (Fornell, 1992). Hence, for a company to maintain a stable profit level when subscription level has reached saturation point, the market is mature and competition is fierce, a defensive strategy which strives to, retain existing customers is more important than an aggressive one (Fornell, 1992 and Ahmad and Buttle, 2002).
1.3.9 According to the confirmation-disconfirmation paradigm, perceived performance of a company is compared with a pre-consumptive comparison level or standard (Olshavsky and Miller, 1972). This standard is commonly referred to as expectation. Perceived performance refers to product or service characteristics. When expectations match performance, confirmation occurs, when expectations exceed perceived performance, negative disconfirmation occurs. Positive disconfirmation occurs when perceived performance exceeds expectations . More positive disconfirmation of expectations, leads to more favorable levels of satisfaction (Oliver, 1980 and Woodruff et a/., 1983).
1.3.10 Satisfaction is the consequence of the confirmation or positive disconfirmation of expectations, meaning that the perceived performance is equal to or better than the expected outcome (Olshavsky and Miller, 1972). In fact, satisfaction is defined as the consumer's cognitive evaluation of and emotional reaction to his/her perception of whether the characteristic met or exceeded his/her expectations (Oliver, 1993). In other words, satisfaction is the consumer's reaction to confirmation. Dissatisfaction is the result of the negative disconfirmation of the expectation (Oliver, 1980 and Woodruff et aI., 1983). However, both levels of expectations and performance of that characteristic determine the magnitude and direction of disconfirmation (or confirmation) effect (Oliver, 1989). Therefore, when using this model, it is necessary to measure all four constructs (expectations, performance, disconfirmation/confirmation and satisfaction) (Oliver, 1993).
1.3.11 In order to retain Customers, it is important to meet customer expectations, which is confirmation or positive disconfirmation of expectation and this creates the foundation for confirmation and disconfirmation theory to be applied in this study. With the intention of keeping the customer loyal, satisfied and to achieve, excellent performances in fierce competition, it is essential for the telecommunication companies in India to find out what the customer's perception is towards them. By applying confirmation-disconfirmation: theory, telecommunication companies can predict outcomes through the evaluation of this theory: their customer is in a neutral feeling as confirmation, occurs when the actual performance matches the standard; positive disconfirmation occurs due to performance being better than standard, meaning they are satisfied with the services; or they are dissatisfied because of negative disconfirmation, meaning the performance is worse than the standard (Oliver, 1980).
1.3.12 Due to fierce competition, creating and securing new customers is not only complex, but also costly in terms of marketing. Hence, customer loyalty became particularly significant for these companies as the market is getting mature (Kim et al. 2004). With the full launch of the third generation or 3G and now with spectrum moving to 4G Telecommunications Service operators in this country find it harder to compete for customers and maintain their profitability. According to the confirmation/disconfirmation model, consumers form satisfaction judgments by, comparing their expectations for each important service characteristic to the actual performance on that service characteristic (White et al., 1998). If there is a difference between their expectations and the performance, the resulting discrepancy (defined as disconfirmation) affects the satisfaction judgment that may affect the levels of loyalty for that service provider (Oliver, 1997).
1.3.13 Service quality has been described as a form of attitude ,but not an equivalent to satisfaction that results from the comparisons of expectations with performance (Parsuraman et al , 1988; and Bolton and Drew ,1991). Customer expectations and perceived performance of services have been found to be the main antecedents of perceived quality. Parasuraman developed a 22 item scale , called ServQual , which measures service quality based on five dimensions ,viz, tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance ,and empathy. It has been proved by researchers worldwide ServQual scale is a reliable tool and could be used to assess service quality of telecommunications industry. Parsuraman, Zeithaml, and Malhotra had also developed Electronic service quality scale, known as E S Qual in 2005. This scale developed was to measure service quality delivered by websites on which the consumers shop. It is defined bradly to encompass all phases of a customer's interaction with a website ' the extent to which a website facilitates efficient and effective shopping, purchasing, and delivery. It has two scales , a 22 item , four dimensional scale containing four factors ,ie, efficiency, fulfillment ,system availability and privacy ; and the second one , a 11 item ,three dimensional E-RecS-Qual scale containing three dimensions of responsiveness, compensation , and contact. Here in this study two dimensions from first E S Qual have been taken ,one is Website with questions from efficiency, system availability and other privacy. Seth et al (2008) in their study strived to develop a valid and reliable instrument to measure customer perceived service quality in for cellular mobile telephony in the Indian market . They used five Servqual dimensions and two additional dimensions , namely convenience and customer perceived network quality in cellular services. For the present study ServQual and E S Qual dimensions have been used plus additional dimensions from various studies for measuring service quality in mobile telecommunications. These dimensions are explained in primary research while describing questionnaire design.
1.3.14 Customer loyalty refers to attitude towards a particular brand in addition to purchasing it repeatedly ; a relationship between relative attitude towards an entity and repeat patronage behavior ; a situation when repeat purchase behavior (Dick and basu,1994) is accompanied by by a psychological bond; and repeat purchse intentions and behaviours.
1.3.15 A number studies have been done to find out the factors contributing to customer satisfaction and customer perceived quality ,however, hardly any study has been carried out to determine the effect of these on loyalty. Also there are not much studies done to find out the factors affecting demographic preferences and devising of marketing strategies to improve success factors and counter negatives ones. Also affect of Electronic Service Quality has not been tested by any researcher and there is need to do so due to extensive use and dependence on internet. Also there was a need to check that high level of service quality factors does have significant impact on t customer satisfaction and customers experiencing high satisfaction are likely to remain with their existing providers being loyal to them and maintain their subscription.
Chapter 2 : Indian Telecom Industry
2.1 The Telecom sector has been demonstrating a continuous and impressive growth year by year. The number of telephone subscribers is increasing at close to 13% every year . The increased acceptability of wireless mobiles has been indicated by the growth rate shown by the sector and has impacted the wireline subscriber base by shrinking it reasonably. There has been a clear domination pattern displayed by the wireless segment with a increasing number of wireless mobile connections. The overall teledensity in the country has also shown an impressive and remarkable increase with similar growth pattern both in the urban and rural wireless space, substantiated by increased teledensity. This has a direct implication on the revenues earned by the telecom sector which has been proportional to the increase in the subscriber numbers. The two major services ,ie, the GSM and CDMA ,however, have recorded a decline in the minutes of usage (MOU) per subscriber per month. For GSM and CDMA full mobility service, there has been a decline in the minutes of usage, affecting the average outgo for outgoing minute. The average subscriber outgo per minute (Rental revenue +Airtime revenue per outgoing minute), for both GSM (global systems for mobile communications) and CDMA (code division multiple access) platforms continued to decline and this manifestation of global slowdown has been reflected in the data given by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Though, the blended (prepaid and postpaid taken together) average subscriber outgo per minute for the GSM category displayed a marginal decline, the trend seen across the CDMA platform was also on similar lines. . In CDMA category, the blended average subscriber outgo per minute showed a trivial decline.
2.2 Telecom sector has been one of the few sectors which has not shown any adverse effects of the ongoing global economic slowdown, but the usage trends in telephone calls indicates the apprehension and caution in consumers' spending habit that's very indicative of a slowdown. This has a definite effect on the Average Revenue Per User per month (ARPU) which in case of GSM full mobility service showed upto 3% decrease. However, the monthly ARPU in respect of CDMA full mobility service showed an increase of upto 13%. This has resulted into an overall decline in the Earning Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) for the telecom sector and also in capital investment. The number of Internet subscribers and Broadband connections has also shown an increase which indicates a positive trend. The provision of Internet and Broadband has been through the digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies over traditional copper wire pairs and it continues to function on the same technological infrastructure. This is the time when the number of subscriber will increase further due to the rolling out of networks using 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum.
2.3 TRAI has made several significant policy recommendations which include recommendations on spectrum management, licensing for use of spectrum and services, Telecom Infrastructure, Green telecommunications and Telecom equipment manufacturing. TRAI has also notified several regulations for the benefits of the customers relating to consumer protection, complaint redressal and for controlling unsolicited commercial communications.
2.4 These recommendations as specified in 'Spectrum Management and Licensing Framework' and 'The 2010 Value of Spectrum in 1800 MHz Band' , DoT raised certain points and after vigilant reconsiderations, TRAI reiterated most of them. They have also supported progressive decrease of certain components of the Licence fee, as an incentive on the achievement of prescribed obligations on rolling out. TRAI has also recommended that if in case of a merger or acquisition(M&A) in the market, spectrum holding by the Resultant entity (after M&A) would be limited to 25% of the spectrum assigned in a service area. This has a major implication on the strategic tie ups in the field. A lot of recommendations on the guidelines for Unified License / Class License and Migration of existing licenses have been finalized and a consultation process on 'Exit-Policy' for telecom licenses has started. The grant of license and allocation of spectrum in for future use in the available frequency band in 22 Service Areas by auction has been initiated as a thought process. A set of recommendations on 'Auction of spectrum' have been designed considering all the factors and disseminated. The peculiar needs of the sector have been focused upon and it has been recognized that the telecom sector needs an efficient, robust and cost-effective infrastructure, hence a framework has been recommended which gives guidelines for efficient infrastructure deployment, towers deployment , sharing of infrastructure ' including both active and passive components of infrastructure, promoting advanced inbuilding solutions and Distributed Antenna Systems for improved transmission, Right of Way policy, development and progress of Internet Exchange Points, migration to the new IPv6, Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and framework for rural telecom structure.
2.4 As stated earlier, India being the second largest mobile market in the world, has currently has about 400,000 telecom towers in the country, involving a significant level of diesel consumption, contributing carbon emissions to the environment. To ensure reduction in carbon footprint to help protect the environment, the TRAI has recommended various approaches towards green communication. The concept of green communication suggests that at least half of all the rural towers and a fair share to the tune of 25% of the urban towers must be running on alternate source of power. This alternative may be hybrid power to be applicable by 2015. All service providers have been directed to aim at reduction of carbon emission by at least 10% by 2015. All equipment, products and services should be energy conservation savvy, their performance be assessed and certified. This needs to be implemented by 2015, so as to improve on global weather by next few years. The government has also extended its support by approving the recommendations.
2.5 The Telecommunications industry in the country has shown tremendous growth but the Telecom equipment manufacturing industry has not been able to match the pace of the growth. This means that the demand of telecom equipment has only been partially met by the domestic production, which accounts for a measly 3% of the demand. The recommendations have been issued by the TRAI on telecom equipment manufacturing specifying that at least 45% of the domestic demand should be met by domestically manufactured products by the year 2015. This must grow to the tune of 75-80% and 80% by the year 2020; resulting in
an estimated increased value addition in domestic manufactured products to 35% by the year 2015 and 65% by the year 2020. ( Source :TRAI Annual repot 2011-2002 ).
2.6 TRAI has also initiated conceptualization and thinking process for consultation and leading to the establishment of appropriate framework for policy and regulatory guidelines for Next Generation Network (NGN). A monthly technology magazine is being published by TRAI to focus on various aspects of telecommunications technology. This magazine is available for distribution amongst all different stakeholders. A major issue that needed a long pending attention and cure was that of unsolicited commercial communications. Such communications have been categorized as pesky calls / SMS. An initiative of the Authority in has been in this direction working towards the control of such undesired communications, which have been reported as undesired and objectionable. Regulation have been implemented vide 'The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations ' and have resulted in addressing and containing the issue grossly, reducing unwanted commercial calls/ SMS substantially.
2.7 The rapid developments in the technology has lead to the evolution of mobile phones from a mere means of communication to a smartphone, which has become a medium to tap and enjoy access to a wide range of information & services. Value Added Services for mobiles has further made the life of subscribers convenient, where the use the mobile phone allows him to carry out his day-to-day work like information gathering, entertainment and accessing applications for banking , health services, education services just a few clicks away. A very successful venture has been e-governance where a lot of issues can be addressed through the government website. TRAI has also taken an initiative to enable the smooth growth of VAS and has issued a suitable framework for that. This is a result of the discussions and consultation process on various services forming part of Mobile Value Added Services/or mobile Application services.
2.8 With an increasing load on the mobile operators infrastructure, in terms of evergrowing number of uses, and continuously increasing demand for range and quality of service, a lot of complaints and difference of opinion have surfaces, needed immediate redressal. An effective system of complaints redressal has been issued as the 'Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations , 2012'. It has since replaced the earlier 'Telecom Consumers Protection and Redressal of Grievances Regulations, 2007'. The new regulations has strengthened the mechanism of consumer complaint redressal and made it more effective. It was prudent to protect the interest of consumers of various telecom services, falling in various categories. The prepaid users had more concerns like recharge and tariff issues, which has become simpler and transparent with the help of these regulations. Simplification and standardization of prepaid recharge vouchers are now offered by service providers into three categories- Initial Plan Voucher and then for subsequent use the Top Up Voucher and Special Tariff Voucher (STV). These vouchers have been mandated to follow a certain color code to increase the distinctive transparency and easy way of identification. Also it has been a mandatory requirement for all the service providers to provide information the prepaid customer about the amount charged on last usage : whether voice call or data usage. This has to be done through an SMS (Short Messaging Service) after every call is made or after every data usage session. There are many other measures that have been directed through these regulations. These directions include provision of itemized usage toprepaid subscribers and providing better and improved information about the to charges levied for various premium rate services & also Value Added Services. TRAI is also taking a lots of steps to improve the transparency in telecom tariff offers, for which various directions are being issued on proper publication of tariff plans and at the same time preventing advertisements about the tariffs. They are also trying to promote consumer protection and also spreading & improving consumer Awareness with the help of special groups registered with TRAI. Such a registered group, Consumer Advocacy Groups (CAGs) plays an important role in instilling customer confidence . TRAI has been taking many measures to support and strengthen the CAGs, by bringing about a greater harmony and coordination between the CAGs and the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). By organizing various Consumer Education Workshops and meetings, they are educating the Consumer Advocacy Groups (CAGs) about their role and actions to be taken by them in order to protect the interest of the customers. It also helps in strengthening the capacity building effort of the advocacy group.
2.8 Telecom Sector ' Policies and Programmes Despite the economic slowdown, telecom industry has been able to sustain the growth pattern of previous times. It has witnessed a unparalleled growth in the subscriber base in all the categories. The subscriber base has been showing a steady growth rate, and the trend that was apparent since mid 1990's , with mobile subscribers continuing to show an upward mobility. This has been contributed by the various services being offered by the telecom industry. A brief description will give as a fair insight into the overall structure of the telecom industry.
2.9 Wireless Services The wireless subscriber base has been growing at a two digit rate, showing a positive trend on the radar. With increase in the number of users, taking care of the customer needs as well as the customer needs, as well as instituting the various customer protection and advisory measures will instill the confidence in the customer leading to trust building and increased customer satisfaction. Customer privacy is another area of concern, where the apprehensions still remain in the mind of the customers.
2.10 Wireline Services The size of subscriber base of wireline subscribers has registered a decline over the last decade and it is a clear indication hat the future of the telecom industry will be govern by the services on the move. A fixed platform service is of not much acceptability, as there has been a shrinkage in te number of such users.
2.11 Telephone Density The telephone -density or tele-density, as it is sometimes referred to, has recorded a growth trend thus indicated the oncoming traffic load in terms of voice and data services on the mobile platform. A high density means enough bandwidth and spectrum allocation with suitable technology to achieve the desired level of service quality in terms of customer service and satisfaction.
2.12 Internet Subscribers The number of Internet subscribers has shown a growth rate of 16% as per the data released by TRAI. The internet has got two categories : narrowband where the data transfer rates are upto 256 Kbps, and the other category : broadband with data transfer rates greater than Kbps. The growth rate in broadband category is higher tan that at narrowband, as the speed of data transfer is one of the crucial factors in data interchange service user.
2.13 Trends in Telecom Tariff Telecom tariffs have been one indicator where the customer loyalty is diluted, specially in the lower socio economic category. The main consideration for mobile use in this category consumers is the connectivity, not the quality of service. This is a direct reflection of the tariffs as imposed by the company. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, has to ensure a healthy competition, while achieving affordable tariffs with continual growth, through the formulation and implementation of regulatory policies and measures appropriate to the scenario. TRAI has been successful in achieving this aim of providing the financial sustainability of the service provider and operators, promoting efficiency and effectiveness in the sector and meeting the social objectives of equality in service providing. This has shown great rewards, which are apparent from the exceptional growth in subscriber base, with decrease in tariffs, to the advantage of customers. The light touch approach applied by the regulatory body TRAI has given the service providers some flexibility towards fixing the telecommunication tariff.
Today, the telecom consumer has a wide range of products and service options available. The consumer can select the one as per his usage and need profile. This gives him an option to pay for only what he needs and selects. This also is a factor contributing to user satisfaction. Many consumers have availed one unique option of Life Time Plan. It is a set of tariffs which enables the consumer to avail the same tariffs without any adverse rate changes, applicable throughout the license period of the service provider. This also gives the consumer a sense of freedom from the rigmarole of tariffs calculation.
2.14 The IndianTelcom Services Performance Indicators The performance of various players in the telecom industry has to be weighed and analyzed against certain parameters, in order to ensure that the quality of service is being provided to the customers. The regulatory authority TRAI publishes a report every quarter on the factors that are indicative of the performance of the service provider, under the name 'The Indian Telecom Services performance Indicators'. This report brings forward the key parameters and trends for growth of the Telecom & Broadcasting Services and also parameters related to the Quality of service QoS. This testimony provides a extensive view on the Telecom Services in the country and also serves as an authentic reference document for various research agencies, stakeholders and analysts can use.
2.15 Financial Perfromance of the Telecom Sector Revenue (based on the data furnished by TRAI annual report 2011-12)
The Total Revenue of the Telecom Service Sector has gone up and the contribution of revenue from the private companies is very high owing to their large market share.
2.15.1 Operating Ratio The Operating Ratio can be calculated as the Operating Expenditure divided by the Total Revenue. The Operating Ratio for the telecom service industry is shown an increase.
2.15.2 Capital Employed The Capital Employed is representative of the funds deployed to operate the business. In the telecom service sector, the capital deployed has shown a declining pattern both in the public as well as private sector. The gross capital investment of the telecom services sector ,however, shown the reverse pattern in case of major access telecom service providers.
2.15.3 Capital Employed Turnover Ratio Capital Employed Turnover Ratio is calculated as Income from Telecom Services divided by Capital Employed. The Capital Employed Turnover Ratio for the entire sector has displayed an increase with a major share of increase taking place in the private sector as compared to the public sector. The public sector has also shown increase but the ratio is smaller in comparison to the private sector.
2.15.4 Fixed Assets (Net) Turnover Ratio Fixed Assets (Net) Turnover Ratio is n indication of the ratio of income to the net fixed assets. It is computed as the ratio of Income from the provided Telecom Services and Net Fixed Assets. The Assets(Net) Turnover Ratio for the entire sector as well as the public and private sectors has shown a marginal incremental trend.
2.15.5 Debt Equity Ratio Debt Equity ratio is ratio of debt and equity where debt is total debt of the company, and equity is shareholders' funds. It is, obtained by dividing debt by equity. The Debt Equity Ratio for the entire sector as well as the public and private sectors has shown a trend of growth.
2.15.6 There are 25 companies (private and government both) providing mobile services in the 19 telecom circles and four metro cities , covering 1500 towns across the country. There are two types of networks ,ie, GSM (Global system for mobile) and CDMA(code division mobile access ) of which GSM is the most widely available and used network being the first to start. Major players in India in GSM sector are : BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd) , Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd(MTNL) , Bharti Telecom(Airtel) , Hutch Essar , Aditya Birla Group (Idea) , Tata docomo while those in CDMA service are Reliance and Tata. As per Dept of Telecommunications, Ministry of telecommunications and Information Technology report 2012 -2013 , Indian telecom network is second largest in the world after China. Overall tele-density in the country is 73.34%. Urban tele-density is 149.55%, whereas rural tele-density is 39.90%. The share of wireless telephones in total telephones is 96.56%. The share of private sector in total telephones is 85.51%. The wireless subscriber base was 919.17 million as on 31st March 2012 in comparison to the subscriber base of 811.59 million as on 31st March2011. It added 107.58 million subscribers in the financial year 2011-12 registering an annual growth rate of about 13.26%. The total subscriber base of wireless services has grown from 165.11 million in March, 2007 to 919.17 million in March, 2012(TRAI 2012). In terms of subscriber base and market share of GSM services, M/s Bharti with181.28 million subscriber base remains the largest followed by M/s Vodafone ,M/s Idea/Spice, and M/s Reliance with subscriber base of 150.47 million,112.72 million and 96.99 million respectively. In Bangalore, the subscriber base of various telecom operators are in GSM network : Bharti Airtel ,Tata Docomo, Aircel, IDEA, BSNL, Reliance GSM , Uninor, Vodafone, Virgin mobile, Loop mobile and in CDMA Networks Virgin mobile , Loop mobile, Reliance, BSNL , Tata Indicom and MTS .
Chapter 3 : Research Design
3.1 Statement of Problem
To find out the factors affecting satisfaction and loyalty among customer based on their preferences in respect of Mobile Service Providers in Bangalore .
The objectives formulated for the study are as given below :-
3.3.1 To study the existing user preferences with respect to factors which influences satisfaction and loyalty among customers of mobile service provider .
3.3.2 To find out the factors affecting customer satisfaction and loyalty and show that customer satisfaction does have bearing on customer loyalty..
3.3.3 To suggest marketing strategies to increase the customer satisfaction and loyalty.
3.3 Scope of Study
The scope of study was to identify the factors influencing and affecting satisfaction and loyalty in customers of various mobile service providers in the metropolitan city of Bangalore. The scope also covers the demographic preferences which would be usefully and gainfully employed to devise marketing strategies for the mobile service providers in Bangalore.
On the basis of objectives and literature review , following hypothesis have been formulated :-
3.4.1 Null Hypothesis (H') Customer Perceived Network Quality( good network connectivity and coverage) does not has significant impact on customer satisfaction.
Alternative Hypothesis (H1) Customer Perceived Network Quality has a significant impact on the customer satisfaction.
3.4.2 Null Hypothesis (H') Customer Perceived Network Quality( good network connectivity and coverage) does not has significant impact on customer loyalty.
Alternative Hypothesis (H1) Customer Perceived Network Quality has a significant impact on the customer loyalty.
3.4.3 Null Hypothesis (H') Customer Satisfaction does not has significant impact on customer loyalty.
Alternative Hypothesis (H1) Customer Satisfaction has a significant impact on the customer loyalty.
3.5 Method of Data Collection The study is based on primary research. To get an insight into the problem secondary data collection was done followed by primary data collection.. Following sources were used :-
3.5.1 Secondary Source of Data Collection A number of articles and research work in the area of interest of this project work were studied to guage the requirements to execute the same and give it the necessary and focused direction so that the objectives desired are achieved successfully without deviation . A number of study and research work has been done in this area of interest by post graduate and PHD in India and abroad in countries like , Thailand , North Korea , Pakistan and Malaysia. The article and the research work gave a complete understanding and insight into factors which affect the customer satisfaction and loyalty and how these could be corroborated with the study . The literature review mentions the research work identified and studied to finally give a complete shape to this study . The secondary research has also identified some gaps like affect of eletronic service quality (E S Qual) was never found out by any of the studies . Also devising of various marketing strategies with respect to factors identified to be successful with other factors identified as having low affect was not done in any of the studies.
3.5.2 Primary Source of Data Collection A survey questionnaire for descriptive study attached as annexure I was distributed to the respondents in the city of Bangalore . The respondents were four types ,ie, Students (Under graduates, graduates and post graduates) , Executives of various corporate in Banglaore including Defence executives (Defence officers), Housewives and Businessmen(mentioned as Business person). The questionnaire was designed on likely scale with scores varying from 1 (Strongly disagree ) to 5 (Strongly agree) . It had a total of 62 questions , 58 likert scale questions and 4 'answer in your own language type' excluding the questions to capture demographic and profile details. The questionnaire was divided into two parts, first part was designed to collect demographic profile details including age , gender , occupation, educational qualification , salary band , including details of mobile use like monthly expenditure in mobiles , connection type (prepaid/Postpaid) , service operator previous and current etc., portability aspects . The second part was designed on likert scale and contained questions within the predetermined factors . There were also four questions of answer in your own words. The factors were as given below :
184.108.40.206 5 factors of service quality questionnaire are explained below :-
Reliability This had questions pertaining to reliability aspects of the mobile service provider like it provides services as promised and first time it is asked for. They also keep their customer informed of the time of rendering the services and customers feel they are dependable.
Responsiveness This factor had questions related to promptness in delivering services , their readiness to provide services including their willingness.
Assurance The factor evaluates whether the service provider's employees instill confidence in customers and make the customers feel safe in their transactions. If the behavior of current service provider employees is consistently courteous and if the employees have the knowledge required to understand and respond to the customer questions appropriately, then the customer may have the feeling of assurance.
Empathy Empathy relates to the compassion of current service provider towards the customers and is related to the individual attention customers feel to have received. Employees of the respondents current service provider must deal with customers in a caring fashion, keeping in mind the best interest of the customers. Employees of your current service provider must understand the needs of their customers and should be sympathetic towards them. Empathy is a direct measurement of the same.
Tangibles Whether the service provider uses modern equipment, and provides visually appealing store facilities, marquee and sign boards etc shows how the physical and tangible aspects of the business and service providing adds to the service quality. The service provider's Employees must have a neat appearance bringing a professional approach. It also evaluates the manner and intensity with which the other aspects associated with the services like employees behavior, promptness in redressal of queries are appealing and satisfying. Whether the Service provider's store has convenient business hours or not also is a factor associated with tangibles.
220.127.116.11 Additional factors There are few additional factors that contribute to the quality of service as perceived by the service user. These factor are quantifiable and evidently perceptible by the customer and have a major bearing on the customer satisfaction level. including with additional 5 factors .i.e., Pricing Structure , Customer Perceived Network Quality, Value Added Services (VAS) , Convenience and Information and Responsiveness. Other additional factors have also been tested time and again in various studies conducted of similar nature. These factors are explained below :-
Pricing Structure It is the main evaluating construct for the customer. Whether the services provided by the current service provider and charged at reasonable price or not, implementing a fair and transparent pricing structure is the factor to be determined and arrived at. This helps in identifying whether the service provider has honest pricing structure with no hidden cost, and the customer is getting full talk time ie what he has been paying for. Also it evaluates whether the customer is able to get variety of price schedules (different charge denominations) and is able to chose for his specific requirements. This feature has been part of the pre paid services.
Customer Perceived Network Qualtiy Another construct is the mention of ability of service operator to provide sufficient geographical coverage with desired quality of network coverage. The clarity and undisturbed voice quality achieved during the call session with fast and undisturbed network connectivity are considered as the measures. The degree of premature call termination or call dropping, and service availability at peak network time are considered. Also, the number of attempts required to make the call, countrywide coverage with own or third party tie ups, while roaming has been considered. Yet another factor indicative of the network quality as perceived by the customer is easy internet connectivity and wide internet coverage.
Value Added Services Whether the customer is receiving a range of values added services at reasonable rates and the convenience with which a customer can decide and get the services enabled or disabled is measured as an additional factor contributing to the customer satisfaction level This is a definite indicative factor of quality of services provided by the service providers.
Convenience One aim of the customer is to have an ease of subscribing/recharging with recharges options being easily available at different easy locations. There has to be ease of lodging complaints/queries with your current service provider, easy disposal and tracking of the same. Whether the service provider puts the customer at convenience for all aspects like attending to queries, billing, providing an updated and correct as well as timely information is another important aspect.
18.104.22.168 Electronic Service Quality (E-S Qual)
The secondary research gave a good insight into understanding of both type of factors ,ie, ServQual , E S Qual and additional factors. hree factors from ES Qual questionnaire ((Efficiency/System availabilty of Websites ( mentioned as Website in questionnaire attached) , privacy factors ) were included. These factors related to Service Quality by Parasuraman et al. and E S Qual(Electronic Service Quality) designed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Malhotra 2005 has been proven to be very effective worldwide. The factors represent electronic service quality delivered by the website on which the consumer shops, as per the Handbook of Marketing scales. Electronic service quality (E-S Qual) is defined broadly to encompass all phases of a customer's interaction with a website - the extent to which a website facilitates efficient and effective shopping or service experience.
Website The service providers have a net presence and it has facilitated the life of a mobile service customer. Whether the website of service provider makes it easy to navigate around and find what the customer needs, whether it enables easy online payment of bills are the considered issues. Whether the information at the website is well organized and provides simplicity of use ensuring the 24x7 availability of the site are the factors looked for. An equally important issue is the delay in response and loading and running time.
Privacy For the website users, the secure and protect transactions are required, especially when the user if making online payments for services. Whether the website provides secure transactions, protecting my credit/debit card information, maintaining the privacy of users personal information are the relevant factors. Also the issue considered is if the website secures sharing of the query information with other sites.
22.214.171.124 Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
There are a few other factors which contribute towards dependent variables Customer Satisfaction (mentioned as feeling of satisfaction ) and Customer Loyalty, which are standard factors and have already been tested.
Feeling of Satisfaction The customer satisfaction is a measure of the feeling the customer has about the services and the service provider. It is evaluated if the customer felt extremely happy with the service provider with current service provider meeting all pre purchase expectations. The overall satisfaction level with service provider was also evaluated. Whether the current service provider provided the customer everything promised at the time of engagement of services was also considered.
Customer Loyalty Whether the customer wants to continue with the service provider is the aim of finding this response. The loyalty has also been checked on the factor if the customer is keen to avail more connections and services with the same service provider or in a situation of a competitor offering a cheaper connection. Whether the customer wishes to recommend this service provider to his/her friends/relatives is another way of finding how loyal the customer is with current service provider. If the customer has ever switched to other service provider then depending on the response, it was asked to be specific about the period and reasons, so as to find out the migration of the customer base amongst the service providers. The factors which would be crucial in coming back to the previous service provider gave an insight in the factors governing customer loyalty.
3.6 Pilot study
A pilot study was carried out by giving the questionnaire to 5 respondents to evaluate the understanding of questions while responding and to detect any gaps or discrepancies, so that the same can be rectified before the actual study was conducted on the target sample. No problems were observed in the pilot study. The respondents who participated in the pilot study were not part of sample used fro main study. 150 questionnaires were distributed and 103 were accepted with a response rate of 68.6% . 47 questionnaires were rejected due to inappropriate responses by the subjects. The respondents in many cases, chose not to disclose their preferences and experiences. . The questionnaire was collected and only 5 of them needed an additional explanation to handle the unanswered questions, filling it completely. The complete period to distribute and collect the questionnaire back was about 12 days.
3.7 Sampling Type and Size
The sampling was convenient sampling with a size of 103 . The respondents selected were mostly accessible easily due to executives working together /colleagues, to students from known college to housewives and business persons . the scope of sampling was given in the study directive as approved by the guide.
3.8 Statistical Analysis and Tools Used
The data collected was transferred to excel sheet and coding of questions done . After feeding the same in microsoft excel , it was further codified and ported to SPSS (Statistical package for the social sciences) package for analysis. SPSS 16 for windows was used to carry out the necessary and required analysis. Factors analysis was carried out by computing means of each factor, a detailed factor analysis was not required since the questions were designed as per the approved and tested factors . Hence , factors were not required to be derived using factor analysis. Also important statistical tools like computing and checking bivariate correlation, anova and regression were carried out to check the affect of factors ,which were independent variables on the dependent variables of Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The regression model used is given below :-
Customer Satisfaction/customer Loyalty = Y + A (Factor 1 ) +
B(Factor2 ) + - - soon + R
Where customer satisfaction /Cusstomer loyalty are the dependent variable ;
Y is the regression constant ;
A , B to L are coefficients of independent factors 1 to 12 (Reliabiltiy, Responsiveness , Assurance ,Empathy, Tangibles, Pricing Structure, Customer Perceived Network Quality, Value added services VAS, Convenience, Website, Privacy, Information and Responsiveness)
R is the standard error
. Also means for demographic preferences .ie, what factors contribute to satisfaction and loyalty in respect of 4 types of people ,ie, Students, Executives , housewives and businessmen (Business person) were computed empirically to find out the bearing of the factors on these. Also bearing of satisfaction on loyalty was tested empirically using regression. Correlation between Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty was also seen. Hypotheses testing was also done using regression.
3.9 Limitations of the Study
The study though has resulted in effective results ,however it had following limitations :-
(a) The respondents size was limited ,ie, out of 150 customers to whom questionnaire was distributed only 103 responded with a response rate of 73.5%.
(b) Due to time constraints , customers of all service providers could not be tested otherwise this would have given insight to service providers individually on the important factors which have bearing on satisfaction and loyalty. This study however could be easily extended to find out important factors responsible for customer satisfaction and loyalty for individual service providers. The study also would have resulted in finding factors which were not responsible for customer satisfaction and loyalty and where the service provider lacks . This would have helped mobile service providers to devise strategies in heir offer to make satisfied customers leading to loyalty. Also this would have given insight on the factors which are lacking and needs improvement.
(c) The customer profile was limited to four types ,ie, students , businessmen, executives and housewives and findings are based on their preferences , it does not give insight into preferences of people from other walks of life like ,ie, senior citizens except businessmen , teachers , business class women etc.
Chapter 4 : Data analysis and Results
4.1 Demographic Profile of Respondents The respondents were both male and female subscribers to various mobile service providers with occupations ,ie, students , housewives , executives and businessmen with age group ranging from 16 years to 50 yrs . The profile of the respondents is given below in table 1 :-
Table 1 : Mobile Connection Type vs Gender
Mobile Connection Type Male Female
Postpaid 20 14 34
Prepaid 29 40 69
49 54 103
Connection type Frequency Percent
Postpaid 34 33.0
Prepaid 69 67.0
Total 103 100.0
Table 2: Mobile Connection Type
4.1.1 There were 49 males and 54 females respondents . 20 males had postpaid connections and 29 had prepaid. In females, only 14 had postpaid connections with 40 prepaid users. So altogether there were 34 postpaid connections and 69 prepaid connections among respondents. Please refer tables 1 and 2.
4.1.2 Age of Respondents There were 30 respondents in 15-25 years group ,21 in 26-35years gp, 36 in 36-45 years age gp , 14 in 46-55 yrs age gp and 2 in 56-65years age gp in the the following age groups. Refer table 3 below :-
Age groups Frequency Percent
15-25 yrs 30 28.8
26-35 yrs 21 20.2
36-45 yrs 36 34.6
46-55 yrs 14 13.5
56-65 yrs 2 1.9
Total 103 100
Table 3 : Age Groups of Respondents
4.1.3 Mobile Service Provider Frequency The service providers of the 103 respondents were Vodafone 22 (21 %) , Airtel 41 ( 40 %) , Tata docomo 8 (8%) , Reliance 4(4%) , BSNL 16 (15 %) , IDEA 5 (5%) and aircel 7 (7%). Refer Table 4.
Service Provider Frequency Percent
Vodafone 22 21
Airtel 41 40
Tata Docomo 8 8
Reliance 4 4
BSNL 16 15
IDEA 5 5
Aircel 7 7
Total 103 100
Table 4: Service Provider Frequency
4.1.4 Occupation The occupation profile of the respondents were students 26 (25.2 % ) , Executives 34 (33%), Housewives 23 (22.3 %) and Businessmen 20 (19.4) . Please refer the table 5 below.
Oc Occupation Frequency Percent
Total 26 25.2
Table 5 : Occupation Profile
Educational Profile Frequency Percent Cumulative Percent
Below Under Graduate 18 17.5 17.5
Under Graduate 42 40.8 58.3
Post graduate 43 41.7 100.0
Total 103 100.0
4.1.5 Educational Qualification Profile Below under graduate among respondents were 18 (17.5 %) , under graduates were 42 (40.8 %) , and post graduates were 43 (41.7%). Please see table 6 below :-
Table 6: Educational Profile of Respondents
4.1.6 Mobile Monthly Expenditure The monthly expenditure of respondents on mobile service provider's bill is as given in table 7 in the next page and shown in pie chart :-
Expdr Slabs Frequency Percent
<Rs 500 49 47.1
Rs 500- Rs1000 27 26.0
Rs 1000-Rs 2000 26 25.0
>rs 2000 2 1.9
Total 104 100.0
Table 7: Mobile Monthly Expenditure
4.1.7 Remuneration Slabs The remuneration or salary /month slabs of the respondents are given below in table 8 below and also indicated in the pie chart :-
Table 8 : Remuneration Slabs
<Rs25,000 20 19.4
Rs25,000 - Rs50,000 31 30.1
Rs50,000 - Rs 75,000 12 11.7
>Rs75000 10 9.7
not mentioned 30 29.1
Total 103 100.0
4.1.8 There were 7 students, 8 executives ,15 housewives in the age group of 15-25 years; 3 students , 12 executives ,5 housewives,10 businessmen in the age group of 26-35 years; 14 students (all pursuing part time M Com courses preferred to write as students), 9 executives,3 housewives and 10 businessmen in the age group of 36-45 years ; 6 executives ,7 businessmen in the age group of 46 -55 years and 2 businessmen in the age groups 56-65 years. Please see the table 9 below :-
Table 9 :Age Group in years vrs Occupation
Age groups of Respondents student Exexutive Housewife Businessmen Total
15-25 yrs 7 8 15 0 30
26-35 yrs 5 10 5 1 21
36-45 yrs 14 9 3 10 36
46-55 yrs - 7 - 7 14
56-65 yrs - - - 2 2
Total 26 34 23 20 103
4.1.9 Occupation wise present mobile service providers of respondent is given below in table 10 :-
Table 10 : Occupation vs Current service provider
Occupation Current Service Provider
Vodafone Airtel Tata Docomo Reliance BSNL IDEA AIRCEL
Student 3 11 2 0 3 0 7
Exexutive 11 12 1 0 9 1 0
Housewife 4 8 4 1 2 4 0
Men 4 10 1 3 2 0 0
Total 22 41 8 4 16 5 7
4.1.10 The respondents who defected or churned were 18 out of 103 with a churn percentage of 17.5% . The reasons for changing over to new subscriber was poor connectivity , poor services and costly call rates or plan of their previous mobile service provider.
4.2. Data Analysis The mean of means of the likert scales scores for all the independent 12 factors were computed which are given in the next page in table 11. The mean scores of independent factors of all users combined are given in descending order and the result shows that the respondents give more weightage to factors like Website , Convenience , Customer Perceived Network Quality and information and responsiveness mean. This means that the website has emerged as a most important factor due to proliferation of internet . All activities are now being done on website like billing , recharging, querying and complaint resolving. Convenience of usage, recharging for prepaid , network connectivity and timely information updates with immediate response to complaints are also important .
Table11 : Overall Mean of Factors
Factors N Mean Std. Deviation
Website mean 103 3.61 0.590
Convenience mean 103 3.52 0.679
Customer Perceived Network Qulaity mean 103 3.49 0.824
Information and responsiveness mean 103 3.48 0.665
Tangible mean 103 3.48 0.590
Privacy mean 103 3.47 0.799
Value Added Services mean 103 3.44 0.642
Assurance mean 103 3.43 0.622
Pricing structure mean 103 3.38 0.779
Reliabilty mean 103 3.34 0.668
Responsiveness mean 103 3.24 0.761
Empathy mean 103 3.22 0.609
4.3 Postpaid and Prepaid Users The mean scores of these independent factors related to service quality in respect of post paid users and prepaid users were computed and are compared as given below in table 12 :-
Factors Mean Std. Deviation Factors Mean Std. Deviation
Website mean 3.72 0.557 Websiite mean 3.56 0.602
Info & Comn Mean 3.70 0.553
Privacy mean 3.60 0.649 CPNQmean 3.52 0.834
Convenience mean 3.53 0.587 Tangmean 3.50 0.616
3.51 0.621 Assurance mean 3.40 0.635
Assurance mean 3.49 0.600 VAS mean 3.40 0.653
CPNQ mean 3.44 0.815 Privacy mean 3.40 0.860
3.44 0.538 Info & Comn
mean 3.37 0.693
Reliance mean 3.40 0.620 Pricmean 3.37 0.788
Pricing Structure mean 3.40 .772 Relmean 3.32 0.694
Responsiveness Mean 3.32 .617 Respmean 3.19 0.823
Empathy 3.31 .436 Empmean 3.17 0.677
Table 12 : Mean Score by Mobile Connection Type
The mean scores of factors in respect of postpaid and prepaid users were computed to find out that the factors of Website , Information and Communication and Privacy were the most preferential factors for postpaid to be satisfied with the service provider. The prepaid users gave more preference to Website , Convenience and Customer Perceived Network Quality in the order of priority. Since prepaid users (69) for twice in numbers to post paid users(34) , the overall preferences to factors of prepaid users are in line with overall factors preferences.
4.4. Preferences Occupation Wise Students gave importance and liking to the three factors of Convenience , Tangibles, Website whereas executives indicated Website , Privacy and Customer Perceived Network Quality (CPNQ) to be important for them. For housewives factors of website, Convenience , and privacy were important where as businessmen considered Customer Perceived Network Quality (CPNQ) , Tangibles and Website to be more important factors. Please see the table 13 below : -
Table 13 : Occupation Wise Mean Values
Student Executive Housewife Businessmen
Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean
Conmean 3.56 Webmean 3.73 Webmean 3.78 CPNQmean 3.57
Tangmean 3.45 Mean_Privacy 3.66 conmean 3.72 Tangmean 3.54
Webmean 3.35 CPNQmean 3.61 Mean_Privacy 3.63 Webmean 3.53
VASmean 3.32 meanInfo 3.56 Assmean 3.61 meanInfo 3.51
Pricmean 3.31 conmean 3.55 Tangmean 3.58 Mean_Privacy 3.5
meanInfo 3.29 Assmean 3.51 CPNQmean 3.54 VASmean 3.46
CPNQmean 3.21 VASmean 3.45 meanInfo 3.54 Pricmean 3.41
Assmean 3.21 Relmean 3.44 VASmean 3.52 Empmean 3.38
Relmean 3.21 Tangmean 3.4 Respmean 3.49 Assmean 3.36
Empmean 3.08 Pricmean 3.35 Relmean 3.47 Relmean 3.2
Mean_Privacy 3.04 Respmean 3.33 Pricmean 3.45 conmean 3.18
Respmean 2.95 Empmean 3.18 Empmean 3.28 Respmean 3.15
4.5 Gender Preferences The mean scores of factors were computed gender wise and placed in descending order in table 14 below. Website (webmean) was the most important factor for both male and female however , males like Customer Perceived Network Quality(CPNQ), Tangibles as other important factors ,however, females indicated Convenience and Privacy as important for them after website.
Table 14 : Gender Preferences
Factors Mean Factors Mean
Webmean 3.59 Webmean 3.61
CPNQmean 3.52 Conmean 3.57
Tangmean 3.48 Mean_Privacy 3.54
conmean 3.46 meanInfo 3.51
Assmean 3.45 Tangmean 3.47
meanInfo 3.44 VASmean 3.47
Pricmean 3.43 CPNQmean 3.46
VASmean 3.39 Assmean 3.40
Mean_Privacy 3.37 Relmean 3.35
Relmean 3.33 Pricmean 3.33
Empmean 3.31 Respmean 3.24
Respmean 3.22 Empmean 3.13
4.6. Qualification Profile Wise Preferences The respondents who were below under graduates (diploma holders or ITI certification) preferred website , privacy and pricing structure factors ; however; under graduates indicated website, CPNQ (Customer Perceived Network Quality and privacy as there preferences in the order of priority . For post graduates Convenience, Website and tangibles to be important . We see that website is the factor getting maximum score for below graduates and under graduates and second highest scores by post graduates. It emerges as the most important factor in this internet world as preferred by the respondents. Please see the table 15 in the next page .
Table 15 : Qualification Wise Preferences
Below Under Graduate Under Graduates Post graduates
Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean
Webmean 3.60 Webmean 3.74 conmean 3.56
Mean_Privacy 3.47 CPNQmean 3.65 Webmean 3.48
Pricmean 3.42 Mean_Privacy 3.63 Tangmean 3.45
Tangmean 3.41 meanInfo 3.58 Assmean 3.43
CPNQmean 3.40 conmean 3.58 meanInfo 3.43
Assmean 3.37 Tangmean 3.54 Relmean 3.41
VASmean 3.37 VASmean 3.51 VASmean 3.38
Empmean 3.36 Assmean 3.45 CPNQmean 3.37
meanInfo 3.35 Pricmean 3.41 Pricmean 3.32
Respmean 3.35 Relmean 3.30 Mean_Privacy 3.30
Relmean 3.29 Respmean 3.19 Empmean 3.22
Conmean 3.27 Empmean 3.15 Respmean 3.22
4..7 Age Group Wise Preferences Age group wise mean scores are put in descending order as shown in the table 16 below :-
Table 16 : Age Group Mean Scores
Age Gp 15-25 years Age Gp 26-35 years Age Gp 36-45 years Age Gp 56-55 Years Age Gp 56-65years
Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean
Webmean 3.75 conmean 3.61 Webmean 3.59 CPNQmean 3.67 Mean_Privacy 3.75
conmean 3.71 meanInfo 3.57 CPNQmean 3.54 meanInfo 3.48 Webmean 3.75
meanInfo 3.64 Assumean 3.55 Tangmean 3.48 Webmean 3.45 VASmean 3.66
Tangmean 3.55 Webmean 3.52 conmean 3.47 VASmean 3.43 Pricmean 3.67
Mean_Privacy 3.55 Mean_Privacy 3.52 Mean_Privacy 3.43 Tangmean 3.33 meanInfo 3.5
Assumean 3.54 Relmean 3.46 VASmean 3.42 Mean_Privacy 3.25 Tangmean 3.5
VASmean 3.48 Tangmean 3.46 Assumean 3.35 Pricmean 3.23 Relmean 3.5
Pricmean 3.47 Pricmean 3.43 Pricmean 3.29 Relmean 3.21 CPNQmean 3.43
Relmean 3.46 VASmean 3.38 meanInfo 3.29 Assumean 3.21 Respmean 3.33
CPNQmean 3.45 Respmean 3.38 Relmean 3.21 Empmean 3.19 Empmean 3.25
Respmean 3.36 CPNQmean 3.31 Empmean 3.19 Respmean 3.16 Assumean 3.25
Empmean 3.23 Empmean 3.25 Respmean 3.06 conmean 3.14 conmean 3.17
The factors preferred by respondents in different Age Groups profiles are given above in the table 17 : -
Age Groups of Respondents Factors given Importance to
15-25 years Website, Convenience and Information and communication
26-35 years Convenience, Information and communication , assurance
36-45 years Website, Customer Perceived network Quality and Tangbles
46-55 years Customer Perceived Network Quality(CPNQ) , Information and Communication and Website
56-65 years Privacy ,Website and Value Added Services
Table 17 : Age group Wise Preferences
4.8 Mobile Monthly Expenditure wise Preferences The means of factors were computed and arranged in descending order to see the factors influencing preferences of respondents on the basis of the monthly expenditure incurred on mobile usage ,ie, talktime, sending SMS or using internet. Respondents with monthly expenditure less than Rs 500/- gave more importance and likeness to Website, Information and Communication and Convenience whereas those with monthly expenditure between Rs 500-1000 liked Tangibles, Convenience and Website . Respondents with monthly expenditure in the range of Rs 1000-2000
gave preference to Customer Perceived Network Quality(CPNQ) , Website and Value added Services whereas for those with monthly expenditure more than Rs 2000 preferred Website, Assurance and Empathy factors for being satisfied by the mobile services. Please see the table 18 below :-
Table 18 : Monthly Ependiture Wise Preferences
Monthly Expdr <Rs500 Monthly Expdr Rs500-1000 Monthly Expdr Rs1000-2000 Monthly Expdr >Rs2000
Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean Factors Mean
Webmean 3.63 Tangmean 3.54 CPNQmean 3.69 Webmean 4.42
meanInfo 3.61 conmean 3.53 Webmean 3.58 Assmean 4.25
conmean 3.59 Webmean 3.52 VASmean 3.58 Empmean 4.12
Mean_Privacy 3.57 Assmean 3.38 Pricmean 3.55 Mean_Privacy 4
CPNQmean 3.52 meanInfo 3.38 Tangmean 3.49 Tangmean 3.9
Relmean 3.48 Mean_Privacy 3.29 Mean_Privacy 3.4 meanInfo 3.83
Assmean 3.46 VASmean 3.24 conmean 3.36 VASmean 3.66
Pricmean 3.45 CPNQmean 3.23 Assmean 3.34 Pricmean 3.66
VASmean 3.45 Empmean 3.15 Respmean 3.31 conmean 3.66
Tangmean 3.42 Relmean 3.12 meanInfo 3.28 Relmean 3.62
Respmean 3.36 Pricmean 3.05 Relmean 3.28 CPNQmean 3.56
Empmean 3.24 Respmean 2.92 Empmean 3.17 Respmean 3.5
4.9 Regression model for Customer Satisfaction A linear regression was carried out using SPSS 16 with the 12 factors as independent variables and customer satisfaction (mentioned as feeling of satisfaction in the questionnaire) . Please see the tables 19 and 20 given below :
Table 19 : Regression Model Summary Customer Satisfaction
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .578a .335 .328 .539
2 .699b .489 .479 .475
3 .720c .519 .504 .463
a. Predictors: (Constant), Empmean
b. Predictors: (Constant), Empmean, CPNQmean
c. Predictors: (Constant), Empmean, CPNQmean, Webmean
Table 20 : Regression Coefficients Customer Satisfaction
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 1.391 .287 4.848 .000
Empmean .624 .088 .578 7.126 .000
2 (Constant) .437 .306 1.427 .157
Empmean .578 .078 .536 7.458 .000
CPNQmean .315 .057 .395 5.499 .000
3 (Constant) .060 .336 .180 .858
Empmean .511 .080 .474 6.356 .000
CPNQmean .253 .061 .318 4.135 .000
Webmean .224 .091 .201 2.463 .016
a. Dependent Variable: Mean Customer Satisfaction
4.10. The regression analysis shows that the customer satisfaction is dependent on the three independent variables ,ie, empathy , customer perceived network quality, website quality . We can write the regression equation as follows :-
Customer Satisfaction = 0.060 + 0.511 (Empathy) + 0.253 (Customer Perceived Network Quality ) + 0.224 (Website ) + 0.463
Where 0.060 is the constant ,
0.511, 0.253 and 0.224 are coefficients of respective factors and 0.463 is the standard error of the estimate. Also R2
value of 0.519 implies that these factors are significant. The sig values (P value) for all these factors are less than 0.05 implying that these factors are significant.
4.11 Regression model for Customer Loyalty A regression analysis was carried out taking the 12 factors as independent variables and the customer loyalty as the dependent factor . Please see the tables 21 and 22 below :-
Table 21 : Regression Model Summary Customer Loyalty(Factors)
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .523a .273 .266 .704
2 .652b .426 .414 .629
3 .681c .464 .447 .611
a. Predictors: (Constant), CPNQmean
b. Predictors: (Constant), CPNQmean, Empmean
c. Predictors: (Constant), CPNQmean, Empmean, Assmean
Table 22 : Regression for Customer Loyalty (Factors)
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 1.584 .303 5.226 .000
CPNQmean .521 .085 .523 6.160 .000
2 (Constant) .025 .406 .062 .951
CPNQmean .479 .076 .481 6.305 .000
Empmean .530 .103 .393 5.152 .000
3 (Constant) -.462 .435 -1.062 .291
CPNQmean .468 .074 .470 6.334 .000
Empmean .371 .116 .275 3.184 .002
Assumean .302 .114 .229 2.651 .009
Dependent Variable: customer loyalty
4.12 The linear regression of customer loyalty shows that the loyalty of customers of service provider are dependent on three factors only ,ie, Customer Perceived Network Quality (CPNQ mean) , Empathy (Empmean), and Assurance (Assumean) . The regression equation can be written as ;-
Customer Loyalty = - 0.0462 + 0.468 (CPNQ) + 0.371(Empathy) +
0.302(Assurance) + 0.611
Where 0.0462 is the regression constant , CPNQ is Customer Perceived Quality factor ; 0.468 , 0.371 & 0.611 are coefficients for the respective factors ; 0.611 is the standard error . The R2 value of 0.464 proves that the factors have significant affect on customer loyalty. Also Sig (P values ) are less than 0.05 indicating that the three factors have significant impact on loyalty.
4.13. When customer satisfaction was taken as one of the independent variables for computing regression for customer loyalty the equation was computed as shown below in the tables 23 and 24: -
Table 23 : Regression Model Summary Customer Loyalty (Satisfaction)
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .674a .454 .449 .610
2 .717b .514 .504 .579
3 .740c .548 .535 .561
a. Predictors: (Constant), Customer Satisfaction
b. Predictors: (Constant), Customer Satisfaction, CPNQmean
c. Predictors: (Constant), Customer Satisfaction, CPNQmean, Assumean
Table 24: Regression Customer Loyalty (Satisfaction)
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) .539 .318 1.693 .094
Customer Satisfaction .842 .092 .674 9.164 .000
2 (Constant) .113 .325 .347 .729
Customer Satisfaction .687 .098 .550 7.031 .000
CPNQmean .273 .078 .274 3.499 .001
3 (Constant) -.494 .385 -1.284 .202
Customer Satisfaction .572 .103 .458 5.528 .000
CPNQmean .293 .076 .294 3.866 .000
Assmean .270 .098 .204 2.755 .007
Dependent Variable: Customer Loyalty with customer satisfaction as one of the independent variables
4.14. When customer satisfaction was taken as one of the independent variables , it was seen that it has maximum bearing on customer loyalty . The regression equation model can be written as given below :-
Customer Loyalty = - 0.494 + 0.572 (Customer satisfaction) + 0.293 (CPNQ ) + 0.270 (Assurance ) + 0.561
Where 0.494 is the regression constant , CPNQ is Customer Perceived Quality factor ; 0.572 , 0.293 & 0.270 are coefficients for the respective factors ; 0.561 is the standard error . R2 values of 0.548 indicates that the three factors have significant impact on customer loyalty.
4.15. Correlation between Customer satisfaction and Customer loyalty The data being non parametric a spearmans correlation was computed to see the affect or correlation between the two factors . Please see the table 25 below :-
Table 25: Correlation between Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty
Customer Satisfaction Customer Loyalty
Spearman's rho Customer Satisfaction Correlation Coefficient 1.000 .645
Sig. (2-tailed) . .000
N 103 103
Customer Loyalty Correlation Coefficient .645** 1.000
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .
N 103 103
Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
4.16 The spearman's correlation coefficient is 0.645 between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty factors . Hence , it can be interpreted that the customer satisfaction has a very significant impact on the customer loyalty . To make a customer loyal , he has to be satisfied with the mobile service provider first .
4.17 Also by plotting scatter plot taking Customer satisfaction mean values of respondents on Y axis and Customer loyalty mean values at X axis we get a positive correlation between the two . Please see the scatter plot in the next page :-
4.17 Analysis of Respondents Changing Mobile Service operators The respondents were asked to give information regarding when (in what period) , why they have changed the mobile service providers . Out of the 103 customers whose questionnaires were accepted, 18 had defected with a churn percentage of 17.5% and had changed their service providers in a span of last 4 years, where as two indicated that network and service quality will make them change to another operator though they have not yet changed their operator. The high churn percentage of respondents tells that the service quality of service providers are not very good and there is scope for further improvement. With the table 26 shown in the next page gives the reasons for defection including offers which will bring them back to their previous mobile service providers :-
Table 26 : Reasons for Defection
No. of Respondents Reasons for changing service operator Offer which will bring them back
9 Poor network connectivity and coverage Good connectivity and call rates
3 Cheaper call rates of the new service provider Cheaper call rates and good service
6 Poor service with respect to billing , answering querries Good services
4.18 It was seen that the churn rates are higher and in 103 respondents , 18 had already defected and changed their service providers ,ie , 17.5 % of respondents had defected . The main reason for defection was due to poor connectivity and network coverage problems with their previous operators (50 % of defections), followed by cheaper rates of their new service providers (17 % of defections ) and poor service for 6 customers (34% of defections ) . Hence to avoid defections and to reduce churning rates the service providers should ensure good quality coverage and network connectivity. This is also clearly reflected and corroborated by the factor customer perceived network quality as one of the very important factors in satisfying customers and making them loyal. Also call rates have to cheaper and competitive and services .ie. billing , replying to queries , solving customer problems have to be very fast to avoid and reduce defections thus improving and providing best services.
4.19 Testing of Hypotheses
4.19.1 Hypotheses I We see from the customer satisfaction regression equation given below that the customer satisfaction is dependent on customer Perceived Network Quality with a Significance (P ) value of less than 0.05 with R2 value of 0.519 (please see tables 16 & 17 ). It is the second most important factor. Hence this proves the alternate Hypotheses rejecting the Null Hypotheses
Customer Satisfaction = 0.060 + 0.511 (Empathy) + 0.253 (Customer Perceived Network Quality ) + 0.224 (Website ) + 0.463
4.19.2 Hypotheses II We see from regression equation for customer loyalty given below that it is dependent on Customer Perceived Network Loyalty(CPNQ) and in fact it the most important factor . The significance (P) value is < 0.05 and R2 value of 0.464 which proves the factor to be having significant impact on loyalty. Hence we reject the Null hypotheses and take the Alternate Hypotheses . Hence, customer Perceived Network Quality has significant impact on customer Loyalty.
Customer Loyalty = - 0.0462 + 0.468 (CPNQ) + 0.371(Empathy) +
0.302(Assurance) + 0.611
4.19.3 Hypotheses III We see from regression equation for customer loyalty with customer satisfaction as independent variable given below customer loyaty is dependent on Customer Satisfaction. The sig value (P) value is < 0.5 with R2 value of 0.548 indicating the independent factors are significant . In view of this, we reject the Null hypotheses and take the Alternate Hypotheses . Hence, Customer Satisfaction has significant impact on customer Loyalty. Customer Loyalty = - 0.494 + 0.572 (Customer satisfaction) + 0.293 (CPNQ ) + 0.270 (Assurance ) + 0.561
Chapter 5 : Summary of Findings
5.1 The findings with respect to demography preferences are as given below :-
5.1.1 Overall Preferences of Respondents The respondents gave more weightage and preference to factors like Website , Convenience , Customer Perceived Network Quality and Information and Responsiveness . Hence all service providers should ensure that these factors are further improved to keep customers satisfied . Overall improvement on these factors will lead to reduction in defections and enhanced satisfaction.
5.1.2 Postpaid and prepaid Users Preferences The postpaid users gave importance to the factors of Website , Convenience and Customer Perceived Network Quality to be satisfied with the service provider. The prepaid users gave more preference to Website , Convenience and customer Perceived Network Quality as these three factors in the order of priority. Since prepaid users (69) for twice in numbers to post paid users (34) , the overall preferences to factors of prepaid users are in line with overall factors preferences.
5.1.3 Preferences Occupation Wise Students gave importance and preferences to the three factors of Convenience , Tangibles, Website whereas executives indicated Website , Privacy and Customer Perceived Network Quality (CPNQ) to be important for them. For housewives factors of website, Convenience , and privacy were important where as businessmen considered Customer Perceived Network Quality (CPNQ) , Tangibles and website to be more important factors.
5.1.4 Gender Preferences Website was the most important factor for both male and female ,however , males preferred Customer Perceived Network Quality(CPNQ) and Tangibles as other important factors ,however, females indicated Convenience and Privacy as important for them after website.
5.1.5 Qualification Wise Preferences The respondents who were below under graduates (diploma holders or ITI ) preferred website , privacy and pricing structure factors ; however; under graduates indicated website, CPNQ (Customer Perceived Network Quality and privacy to be important . For post graduates Convenience, Website and tangibles to be important . Website was the most preferred factor getting maximum score for below graduates and under graduates and second highest scores by post graduates. It emerges as the most important factor in this internet world as indicated by the respondents.
5.1.6 Age Group Preferences The Factors liked by respondents in different Age Groups profiles are given as below in the table 24 : -
Table 24 : Age Group Wise Preferences
Age Groups of Respondents Factors given Preference to
15-25 years Website, Convenience and Information and communication
26-35 years Convenience, Information and communication , Assurance
36-45 years Website, Customer Perceived network Quality and Tangibles
46-55 years Customer Perceived Network Quality(CPNQ) , Information and Communication and Website
56-65 years Privacy ,Website and Value Added Services
The respondents in the age group of 15-25 years preferred website giving all information, availability of 24 hours, ease of charging at all outlets with all denominations of talktime packs (convenience ) and their service provider updating them with required information in time like bill payment alerts, receipt alerts and immediate response to their queries and hence these factors satisfied them the most. Respondents in the age group of 26 -35 years preferred ease of charging , ease of lodging complaints , putting them in convenience (Convenience) ; getting timely updates of payment due etc and service provider employees courtesy in dealing with customers , making them feel safe in their transactions etc. The respondents in the age group of 36-45 years appreciated ease of using website, fast uploading, 24 hours availability of the same etc ; good network connectivity and coverage and store facilities, professional employees of their service providers as important aspects for being satisfied with . Those in the age group of 46-55 years of preferred network connectivity and coverage , timely information updates and ease of use of website with it's 24 hours availability as important for being happy and satisfied with. The respondents in age group of 56-65 years liked website keeping their transactions as private including safety of giving their credit/debit card information, website usage and providing of Value added services at reasonable costs for being satisfied with .
5.1.7 Mobile Monthly Expenditure Wise Preferences . Respondents with monthly expenditure less than Rs 500/- gave more importance and preference to Website, Information and Communication and Convenience whereas those with monthly expenditure between Rs 500-1000 liked Tangibles, Convenience and Website . Respondents with monthly expenditure in the range of Rs 1000-2000 gave importance to Customer Perceived Network Quality(CPNQ) , Website and Value added Services whereas for those with monthly expenditure of more than Rs 2000 gave importance to Website, Assurance and Empathy factors for being satisfied by the mobile services. This shows that website was again a major factor of providing satisfaction to respondents with mobile monthly expenditures from minimum to maximum covering all ranges, however, respondents in the expenditure range of less than Rs 500 to Rs 1000 liked convenience .ie, the ease of recharging and subscribing the services and ease of lodging complaints and queries . The respondents incurring expenditure more than Rs 1000 preferred CPNQ ,ie, good network coverage and speedy internet connection with ease of usage , Website (ease of using website , availability, fast uploading etc) and empathy (service provider employee deal with care and gives individual attention to the customers) for being satisfied customers of their mobile service providers.
5.2 Customer Satisfaction The regression analysis shows that the customer satisfaction is dependent on the three independent variables ,ie, empathy , customer perceived network quality, website quality. This means that the respondents as a whole preferred their service provider giving them individual attention , caring about them ,understanding their needs and keeping best interests of their customers at heart the most important for being satisfied with their mobile service providers followed by good network connectivity and coverage and ease of use of website. Hence these factors are the key drivers of customer satisfaction in respect of consumers of mobile service providers in Bangalore.
5.3 Customer Loyalty The linear regression of customer loyalty shows that the loyalty of customers of service provider are dependent on three factors only ,ie, Customer Perceived Network Quality (CPNQ mean) , Empathy (Empmean), and Assurance (Assumean). Thus key drivers of loyalty among customer of mobile service providers in, Bangalore were good network connectivity and coverage, followed by courteous and caring behavior of service provider's employees and service provider employees understanding their needs and service provider employees assuring attitude and putting transactions of customer safe including instilling confidence.
5.4 Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty Nonparametric correlation value of 0.645 between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty showed a between the strong correlation two. Also when customer satisfaction was taken as a independent variables along with other 12 factors also as independent variables with customer loyalty as dependent factor , customer satisfaction emerged as the factor with highest weightage having bearing on customer loyalty followed by factors of good network connectivity and coverage, and service provider employees empathetic behavior (courteous and caring attitude, understanding customer needs etc). Hence it is inferred that the customer satisfaction has a maximum bearing on customer loyalty. As per the regression equation, one can see that the customer satisfaction has a significant impact on the customer loyalty.
Chapter 6: Suggestions
The suggestions are given as per findings of the study for a number of segments . The service provider are recommended to devise their strategies based on this. They also advised to pick up the recommendations depending the way they plan to segment markets . They can segment their post/prepaid user wise or age group wise or occupation wise or monthly mobile expenditure wise and devise strategies to target these specific segments.
6.1 Generalised Suggestions The respondents gave more preference to factors like Website, Convenience , Customer Perceived Network Quality and information and responsiveness All mobile service providers should ensure that their Website work 24 hours and maintained well . They should regularly identify low signal areas and improve network connectivity. Also they should ensure complete coverage of all areas within Bangalore so that customers don't churn. Also their information updates are timely on bill payments due or bill receipts or any other aspect should be timely including responding to online queries and complaints of there customers. Overall improvement on these factors will lead to reduction in defections and enhanced satisfaction.
6.2 Postpaid and Prepaid Users
6.2.1 All Service providers should ensure 24 hours availability of website with fast loading for all users (postpaid/prepaid). Also they should see that postpaid users are timely updated and alerted including immediate answering to their online queries including security of their personal information , credit /debit cards etc. For prepaid users recharge should be available in all denominations in maximum number of outlets and agencies. They should also ensure easy subscribing facilities like going to their homes to provide them connections etc.
6.2.2 Marketing Strategies For Post/Prepaid Users The service providers are recommended to segment their market prepaid/postpaid users wise and bring out special plans based on this study as per the factor preferences they have indicated. In their plan, they should provide special recharge offers like offering more talktime on usage beyond Rs 500 or more. Also, customized offerings in SMS updates , like updates on stock markets , gold /silver prices, information on sales /special programmes organized in future as per their choices could be offered.
6.3 Suggestions based on Occupation Website availability of all service providers should be 24 hours including fast loading with ease of bill payments online for students , housewives, businessmen and Executives. Network connectivity and coverage is also good for all these users especially executives and businessmen .. Also for housewives and executives privacy of their personal information on the net is important including security of their credit/debit card information.
6.4 Suggestion based on Gender For male and female under graduates, and post graduates mobile service providers should ensure 24 hours website availability including easy online billing . Pricing structure should be made flexible like 'Airtel plans' for all . Also store layout , employees professionalism are important for all .
6.5 Suggestions Based on Age Groups The mobile service providers should ensure that all problems related to network connectivity and coverage in case raised by a customer in the age bracket of 36 -55 years are attended to and rectified at the earliest time frame to make them satisfied and remain loyal . For their customers in the age group of 56 -65 years they should provide value added services like important business updates like stocks related information for businessmen who are into financial securities business etc.
6.6 Suggestions based on Monthly Mobile Expenditure The mobile service providers should provide value added services for all customers whose monthly expenditures in mobile are more than Rs 1000. Also special offers like providing extra talktime to prepaid users based on their monthly usage or recharges . Also convenient recharges should be available online or on stores nearby for customers especially targeting those whose recharge expenditure is less than Rs 500 per month. Also mobile service providers should have individual relationship mangers for all customers with an average expenditure of Rs 2000 on their mobiles especially post paid users. The relationship managers should know their complete needs and requirements.
6.7 All service providers should ensure that their websites are updated, fast to load and easy to use for bill payments , the customer are dealt with care and also network connectivity and coverage to be good to keep their customers happy and satisfied. This will also have positive impact on customers and make them loyal .
6.8 To make their customer loyal , the service provider employees should be knowledgeable in all aspects of services being provided . Network Connectivity and coverage to be good and employees to deal with their customer professionally with a caring attitude. Implementation of all these aspects will help them in making their customers loyal .
6.9 Marketing Strategies for House Wives , Executives and Businessmen
6.9.1 For housewives in age groups of 25 to 55 years , services like customizing the website for their use with immediate query answering facility to be provided and accordingly service providers should ensure the same.
6.9.2 For Executives and businessmen , the service provider again should offer website for their personalized customization once these customer login with their ids . Features like updates as per personalized requirements and immediate query answering should be included. Also they should ensure good network connectivity and coverage especially when they are in roaming. Accordingly service providers can take their official trips details so that good connectivity is ensured to them in places of their choices.
6.10 Marketing Strategies for Customers Who Defect
6.10.1 For customers who plan to surrender their connections for poor network connectivity , connectivity issues should be immediately addressed including personalized mail with discount offers in new plans to be sent so that they do not churn.
6.10.2 For other customer who plan to surrender their connections for high billing or high call rates , immediate discount offer plans or new plans with cheaper call rates to be offered.
6.11 Marketing Strategies for New Users based on Occupation
6.11.1 Housewives subscribing to services should be offered special plans to include customizing of website facility which includes FAQs (frequently asked questions) with updates information of their choice like discount sales, sale of jewellery, stock market ; choosing their own plan of talktime, SMS , internet value packs.
6.11.2 To target executives and businessmen special plan offers like choosing your own plan (Airtel choose your own plan for postpaid customers) with customized value added services and good connectivity both telephony and internet at their work premises including places outside the mobile circle where they go for official duties should be made. Also plans to include offers like providing international roaming in countries where they travel for work at cheaper rates be made integral in their offers like Airtel international roaming plans. Special value added services like 4G net connectivity or HD TV connectivity offers be made.
6.12 Conclusion This study, though limited in scope , is relevant in the field of mobile telephony. India being a 4th largest economy with population more than 120 crores, the market is growing every year and has a huge potential for mobile service providers to tap. With the cost factor more or less same , it is the other factors like good services which can bring in a differentiating value among major players . Good service provided in time can make a difference by raising satisfaction levels of customers of mobile providers and also converting them loyal. The study brings out the factors related to services of Mobile Service Providers in Bangalore which have a significant impact on the Customer satisfaction and Customer Loyalty,. With the factors identified , mobile service providers can bring in a change in their marketing strategies as suggested to help them satisfy customer finally making them loyal leading to reduced defection and churn rates. The study can be extended or carried out in any of the cities and towns to identify the critical factors affecting customer satisfaction and loyalty and to devise the marketing strategies to satisfy and retain customers.
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