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Service Excellence in Internet Industry

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    International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Achieving customer loyalty through service excellence in internet industry: Paramaporn Thaichon Antonio Lobo Ann Mitsis  Article information: To cite this document:Paramaporn Thaichon Antonio Lobo Ann Mitsis , (2014), Achieving customer loyalty through service excellence in internetindustry , International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 6 Iss 4 pp. - Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-03-2014-0024 Downloaded on: 20 October 2014, At: 00:01 (PT)References: this document contains references to 0 other documents.To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.comThe fulltext of this document has been downloaded 14 times since 2014* Users who downloaded this article also downloaded: Paramaporn Thaichon, Antonio Lobo, Ann Mitsis, (2014), An empirical model of home internet services quality in Thailand , Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 26 Iss 2 pp. 190-210 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/APJML-05-2013-0059 Alison M. Dean, (2002), Service quality in call centres: implications for customer loyalty , Managing Service Quality: AnInternational Journal, Vol. 12 Iss 6 pp. 414-423Paul Morris, (1991), Making Customer Satisfaction Your Biggest Profit Centre , Logistics Information Management, Vol. 4 Iss1 pp. 32-35 Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by 394654 [] For Authors If you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for Authors serviceinformation about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines are available for all. Pleasevisit www.emeraldinsight.com/authors for more information.  About Emerald www.emeraldinsight.com Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,350 books and book series volumes, as well as providing an extensive range of onlineproducts and additional customer resources and services. Emerald is both COUNTER 4 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on PublicationEthics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation. *Related content and download information correct at time of download.    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   I   U   T   A   R   A   M   A   L   A   Y   S   I   A   A   t   0   0  :   0   1   2   0   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   4   (   P   T   )    󰀱   Achieving customer loyalty through service excellence in internet industry 1. Introduction Customer loyalty increasingly becomes very important and appears to be the main concern of many businesses, especially when many companies are facing costly challenges in customer acquisition (Abdolvand, Charkari, & Mohammadi, 2006) and high customer turnover (Spiller, Vlasic, & Yetton, 2007). This research aims to investigate the antecedents to customer loyalty of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), especially when customer turnover has become a hot issue in ISP industry in many countries. For example, Australian ISP market witnessed that up to 35% of their customers discontinued in 2007 (Spiller et al., 2007). Similarly, an average of 10% of home internet customers in Thailand switched service  providers each year over the period from 2003 to 2009 (Thaichon & Quach, 2013). For that reason, the telecommunications industry is under pressure to keep, maintain and increase their existing customer base. This scenario provides an opportunity for internet service  providers to evaluate determinants that influence customer loyalty, which in turn, can be employed to nurture long term customer retention in the competitive home ISP market. Previous research shows that business performance improves as the number of loyal consumers increases (Jahanzeb, Fatima, & Khan, 2011). Recruiting new customers also cannot guarantee long-term success for a company especially when that company cannot retain its customers (C. Wang & Wu, 2012). In fact, a 2% increase in the customer retention rate is equal to a 10% decrease in the cost of customer acquisition in the mobile phone service industry in China (Han, Lu, & Leung, 2012). Hence, keeping a loyal customer is more  profitable in the long run in comparison to acquiring new customers (C. Wang & Wu, 2012).    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   I   U   T   A   R   A   M   A   L   A   Y   S   I   A   A   t   0   0  :   0   1   2   0   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   4   (   P   T   )    󰀲  In addition, a loyal customer is willing to endorse the brand among their peers, and ignore the negative message promoted by the others (Tam, 2012). Yet, there is limited research about customer retention and brand loyalty in the ISP context. Additionally, there is limited research about service quality and its measurements in the ISP context. The two widely used scales for evaluating service quality are SERVQUAL for generic services and E-S-QUAL for services associated with information technology (He & Li, 2010; Rafiq, Lu, & Fulford, 2012). Nonetheless, both of these scales do not take into account the specific issues relevant to customers of high-tech ISPs. SERVQUAL and E-S-QUAL focus on service providers who operate via the internet platform (Vlachos & Vrechopoulos, 2008) and not those who actually provide the internet connection and platform for online business-to-business and business-to-customer activities. Recent researchers have attempted to develop service quality measurement scales in different high-tech contexts, for example Shamdasani, Mukherjee, and Malhotra (2008) in the self-service internet technologies and Vlachos and Vrechopoulos (2008) with mobile telephony. However, none of them have effectively analysed the ISPs’ service quality dimensions. This area therefore deserves further investigation. Hence, this study aims to investigate the specific service quality dimensions and attributes, and their differing influence on the overall service quality of ISPs. For these reasons, this paper aims to investigate the antecedents to brand loyalty in the internet consumption market with a view to developing an in-depth understanding about consumer behaviour, and creating an ideal model for ISP service quality. As the result of that, ISPs will be able to increase customers’ satisfaction, trust, commitment, and value, as well as reduce the current issues relating to customer switching in the home ISP market. The literature review and formulation of hypotheses related to each construct are then discussed in    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   I   U   T   A   R   A   M   A   L   A   Y   S   I   A   A   t   0   0  :   0   1   2   0   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   4   (   P   T   )    󰀳  the next section. This paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the research, limitations and future research direction. 2. Literature Review 2.1 Service quality dimensions The earliest service quality model was introduced by Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1985), and called SERVQUAL, including tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. SERVQUAL was initiated based on Parasuraman’s et al. (1985) gap model  between performance and expectations: as performance exceeds expectations, quality increases and vice versa. In other words, the central idea in this model viewed service quality as a function of the different scores or gaps between expectations and perceptions (V. A. Zeithaml, Berry, & Parasuraman, 1996). However, as stated earlier, SERVQUAL and E-S-QUAL focus on service providers who operate via the internet platform (Vlachos & Vrechopoulos, 2008) and not those who actually provide the internet connection and platform for online business-to-business and business-to-customer activities. In order to deal with this matter, this study aims to investigate the specific service quality dimensions and attributes and their differing influence on the overall service quality of ISPs Previous research has endeavoured to explore the dimensions of service quality in telecommunications industry. Lai, Griffin, and Babin (2009) confirms that network quality is an important drivers of overall service quality in the Chinese telecommunications market.  Nonetheless, Abdolvand et al. (2006) suggest that businesses should not only focus on network quality, but also pay attention to customer support in order to enhance overall service quality perception. Moreover, it is argued that company websites provide an effective communication and information channel between companies and their customers    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   I   U   T   A   R   A   M   A   L   A   Y   S   I   A   A   t   0   0  :   0   1   2   0   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   4   (   P   T   )
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