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AN EVALUATION OF CUSTOMER CARE SERVICES IN RESTAURANTS

(A STUDY OF SOME SELECTED QUICK SERVICES RESTAURANTS IN ENUGU METROPOLIS)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Over the years, as evidenced by cumulative experiences acquired through reading and observation, the business environment observed several developments and instrumental to its growth and development. One of these development that remains ever fresh and laudable in the minds of business scholars, authorities, thinkers, philosophers, students and perhaps, the world at large is the industrial revolution which sweat across Europe between 17th and 18th centuries, with its wild-fire effects being felt across the nooks and crannies of the globe.

The uniqueness at the development is grossly predicated on its rather immediate effects which among other things, is the upsurge in business organizations (companies, industries and firms) whose mass production of products (goods and services) was not only noticeable and felt across the world, but also, in no small way, sparked off competition among organizations. Consequently, the major issue then was no longer what to produce but how to sell the products being mass produced. In the wake of this rather challenging situation, research aimed at ensuring break through in the business cycle prevailed among business concerns and interests spread across the length and breadth of the world’s political systems particularly the developed systems or economies.

Fortunately, after a protracted research, fruitful results began to emerge. As noted by Arens and Bovee (1995), in order to manufacture and sell a high volume of goods, manufacturers realized the immense value of advertising or promotion in general which helped them sell to the frontier markets in the West and in the growing industrial market in  the East. Despite the advent of advertising and other promotional strategies, all its promising and rather encouraging results, the effects towards developing more marketing strategies among manufacturers were not truncated but rather invigorated, strengthened and indeed fortified.

Crucially, more and more of these strategies continued to develop and adopted among manufacturers with a view to reaching the mass market and stimulate mass consumption. Some of these strategies emphasized the marketing communication mix; the marketing concept; the societal marketing concept; stimulational marketing; remarketing; conversion marketing; maintenance marketing etc.

The need for the development adoption and application of new marketing strategies instrumental to better customer loyalty and sustained breakthroughs in the market place continue to pre-occupy the minds of business interests spread across the globe. Unsurprisingly, the development ushered in customer care service, which is one of the “six seismic shock” that has affected the marketing environment along with the marketing concept, Total Quality Management and value chain (Yudelson, 1999).

Customer care service seeks to establish long-term committed trusting and co-operative relationships, with customer, characterized by openness and genuine concern for the delivery of high quality goods and services responsiveness to customer suggestions, fair dealing and (crucially) the willingness to sacrifice short-term advantage for long term gain. Customer care service involves putting systems in place to maximize your customers’ satisfaction with your business. It should be a prime consideration for every business – your sales and profitability depends on keeping your customers happy.

It should be pointed out at this juncture that customers need to be satisfied, cared and provide quality services in order to maintain long term customer relationship for a profit.

In a related development, some contributors to the development of customer care services are of the view that the strategy is conceptualized, analyzed and explained among its proponent, or scholars, its underlying philosophy is the fact that it enhances, nurtures and sustains a profitable atmosphere of mutual interaction, transaction and loyalty among organizations and their customers.

Unfortunately, many captains of industry are naïve or oblivious of the importance of this marketing strategy in the business environment.

 

  • STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Despite the conspicuous information about customer care services in Quick Service Restaurants and business organizations among others, our business pilots and management in the country are yet to grasp and welcome the development regarding the significance of this marketing strategy. Therefore, the problem of the study posed as questions in line with Kingliner’s (1973) suggestions as: How does customer care services help business organization to achieve better results? Are customers satisfied with the quality of services offered in Quick Service Restaurants? Why do customers prefer Quick Service Restaurants food to other competing brands? Is the style of service usage accepted by customers in Quick Service Restaurants? By the time these questions are addressed, the general purpose of undertaking this research study could be achieved.

 

  • OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Based on the problems already defined, the researcher has the following research objectives:

  1. To ascertain the right customer satisfaction mechanism to be adopted in Quick Service Restaurants.
  2. To identify the location strategy that could be convenient to achieve good care service delivery.
  3. To identify the best style of service to be used in achieving efficiency and effectiveness in Quick Service Restaurants.
  4. To ascertain the rate at which customer care service is used by Quick Service Restaurants in building and sustaining long term customers’ relationship.
  5. To recommend what can be done to maintain and enhance the success of Quick Service Restaurants in Nigeria.

 

  • FORMULATION OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following are the hypotheses formulated for this study.

  1. H0: There is no right customer satisfaction mechanism meant for Quick Service Restaurants.

H1: There is right customer satisfaction mechanism

meant for Quick Service Restaurants.

  1. H0: The quality of customer care services in Quick

Service Restaurants is not satisfactory

H1:   The quality of customer care services in Quick

Service Restaurants is satisfactory

  1. H0: There is no best style of service in achieving

efficiency and effectiveness in Quick Service

Restaurant.

H1: There is best style of service in achieving efficiency

and effectiveness in Quick Service Restaurants.

 

  • SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study is very timely because today in Nigeria the growth and development of the private sector is vital to the development of the Nigeria economy. With increased consumer sophistication and affluence fueling the growth of customer services in Nigeria, the study will help to determine the level of

 

The study will also help to determine the extent to which the profitability of a Quick Service Restaurant is affected by the quality of customer care services thereby making the study to be of immense benefit to other private enterprises who hope to succeed in their field of endeavor. It is also expected that the finding will help to bridge any gap that may exist between the successful enterprises and the unsuccessful ones and make them more effective in their level of operation.

Finally, in spite of serving as an indispensable requirement for the award of Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in marketing, the study will indeed make tremendous and meaningful contributions to the existing body of knowledge on the marketing strategy in question in Nigeria and even beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

  • LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The researcher in the course of carrying out the research, encountered a number of obstacles which limited the study in some aspects.

(1) Time constraints: Time was a limiting factor as the time available for the research work was short in addition to the fact that the researcher undertook the study simultaneously with other academic and non academic responsibilities.

(2) Financial constraints: As a result of limited funds, the researcher limited the study to three Quick Service Restaurants, located in Enugu metropolis. The cost of running around for materials for the study is very high.

(3) Uncompromising Attitude: There was uncompromising attitude on the part of the management and staff of the organizations under study, thereby limiting the study.

(4) Logistics: It was sometimes difficult to gain access to the management staff of the company and even when it was possible, they were sometimes too busy to give the researcher full attention and at other times, they were not available.

  • DEFINITION OF OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS /TERMS

This part in the research study is considered necessary because it help to foster readers’ understanding of specialized concepts or terms of marketing used in diverse respect to communicate our findings. Indeed, the definition of concepts help us to describe words, concepts and ideas encountered in the study and whose meaning we want the readers to grasp easily.

Below are some of the defined concepts:

(a) Marketing Strategy: These are set of policies, plans and rules used in achieving marketing objectives or overall corporate objectives of the organizations.

(b) Customer Care: This involves putting systems in place to maximize your customer’s satisfaction with your business.

 (c) Accountable Marketing: This is a marketing system where by the sales person phones the customer(s) a short time after the sales and check whether

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