EFFECTS OF CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT ON CUSTOMER’S SATISFACTION AT A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT IN NIGERIA
(A STUDY OF SWEET SENSATION)
The issue of customers’ satisfaction is very incumbent on every organization irrespective of the industries. The study was focused on the effects of customer relationship management on customer satisfaction. The issue of trust, safety and service quality remained questioning, and this has led to the measure of these concepts: Customer Contact Management, Customer Reward Program, Customer Call Centre and Customer Feedback Management on customer satisfaction at Sweet Sensation Confectioneries,Lagos.Analysis of these concepts was explored using cross-sectional research design focusing on finding relationships between the variables. Data was collected through questionnaire and the convenient sampling technique was used to distribute the schedule. The research indicated that the safety of the customers, service quality deliver as well as the trust were not well attended to and this caused a serious dissatisfaction to the customers. It was recommended that manager and owner in FFRs business should identify with the customers’ needs through a viable call means, customer data base, promotional means and an effective customers feedback system, thus improving the customers’ satisfaction.
1.1 Background to the Study
To a great extent large volume of published academic articles over the past years on marketing, relationship management and related fields have shown the explosions of interest in customer relationship management (CRM). Even though, with much practitioner-oriented materials there still remain lack of agreement on what exactly is CRM, its relevance and use in practical terms.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) aimed at satisfying customers with products and services better than rival organization, using exchange processes. Anderson and Mittal, (2000) stated this originated from marketing and defined as process of creation and maintaining relationship with business customers.
The key success for organization in any industry and commercial activity depend on the customers. Thus the principles and practice of customers’ attraction, orientation, satisfactionand retaining them contributed as main issues to success of the organization, while ignoring these lead to organizational failure in the competitive environment.
The CRM objectives is to ensure the customers return for subsequent purchase as a result of first experience, an outcome of communication, friendliness, good offer at the right price not under estimating appropriate distribution channel (Mornay as cited in Akintunde and Akaighe, 2016). Anderson and Narus (as cited in Akintunde and Akaighe, 2016) stated that, CRM relationship process between buyer and seller is not just about exchange but the marketer should understand needs and preferences of customer, provide products and services that will satisfy the customer’s expectation. The determinants of customer relationship management variables are many, however, trust, communication and commitment are consider as measuring strategies for customers’ satisfaction at fast food restaurants
Trust as anacceptance of intentions about the other party in a relationship and form a dynamic process built over time. Fast food business is poised with huge success, and relatively essential. Thus it is defined as the extent of a relationship that indicates the level thata party believe he can rely on the integrity and promise offered by other party. (Chattananon and Trimetssoorn, as cited in Adeyeye, 2013), Trust, a key element of customer relationships, and management approach to it is of academic and practical significance, though different ways adopted to improve on building trust, but literarily, it’s proved that it is more difficult, this as a result of the misunderstanding of the relationship, it’s somehow hard to analyze it as a phenomenon and also impossible to determine it in the context of Fast Food Business. Thus, it is recognized as an important variable that influenced customers’ satisfaction, and as component of CRM, it is an effective business strategy of satisfying customers that aimed to maximize the customers’ long-term value. Therefore, it is considered as potentially coordinating ploy for decreasing the complexity, uncertainty and anxiety of business and relationship especially in the fast food industry.
Communication is “the thought of the extent that firm relate with customers, both regular and prospective in a cordial way.” This relationship do reflects in their friendship andfamiliarity with knowledge about the customer. Communication includes marketing automation, email campaigns and the advertisement that gives the brand a voice. Communication as an activity of CRM is a value proposition that satisfy customers, and customers relied more on interactions.
Commitment, a state of being dedicated to a cause, it is an obligation that restrict freedom of action. Commitment is defined as resistance to change, it is an emotional state geared by individual’s believes and perceptionthat can inspire the willingness in maintaining a stable relationship. The successful relationship between parties, (firms and customers) are built on the basis of natural commitment. Therefore, the context of commitment to the fast food business is an important concept that contributed to successful long-term relationships. Commitment is a critical factor in quick service restaurants business, because it helps to delivervalue to customer, hence enhance satisfaction.
With the dynamic business environment of fast food restaurants, firms are channeling much effort towards business practices that maintain a core of lucrative and loyal customers that tend to be more useful (Muller-Lankenau et al., 2006). In recent time many organizations did turned to customer relationship management (CRM) to have greater understanding of the customers’; theexpectations and needs, in order to better manage the customer. CRM, a concept that is associated with the use of technologies to managing relationships and assist in dealing with customers. (Rigby, et al., 2002; Ryals, 2000). Though in a business environment where marketing has become more challenging, it requires organizations to do more in a bidto keep the customers with a more combined and delivery of quality services with a well planned marketing strategies (Eisingerich and Bell, 2006).
Categorically, it is stated that the important assets of business including fast food industry are their customers. They are the valuable sources for opportunities and threats in respective business especially the fast food industry. Business allocated a substantial of their resources towards achieving customers’ satisfaction as organizational goals. Considering the importance of customer satisfaction in expanding the market share, businesses look into CRM as a tool to achieve customers’ satisfaction. CRM is considered as business strategies of many businesses, they believed that maintaining stable relationship with customer keep them sustaining in the competitive market.
The growth of fast food industry is as important in the Nigeria economy, this has been established as one of the businesses that will always promise greater return on investment, even though with the presence of political economic and social dilemma in the country (Mustapha, Fakokunde and Awolusi, 2014). Hence, the growth of fast food business is important to the economy, and is regarded as a fundamental service sector, that its internationalization and trend in the global market should be a concern to maintain a competitive advantage.
The Nigeria fast food industry has a tremendous growth, positive development with greater investments. This is as a result of the young population, increased career women, the busytime schedules of middle-class and household disposable income; andbecause of the unique properties of Fast Food Restaurants (FFRs), like (i) Quick Serve and (ii) Cost Advantage, these are making it highly recognize by the customers.
Because, Nigerian market provides enormous chances for domestic and international businesses in this line, Ali et al., (as cited in Bhagat, 2016) were of the opinion that improved customer relationship could provide an edge for fast food retailers, if they were able and manage to maintain marketing strategies and practices that accelerate better customer’s satisfaction.
In view of the above, the present study is being carried out to know, within the Nigeria Fast Food Industry, how well are firms in the sector can apply the rudiments and key assumption of CRM towards increasing customer’s satisfaction with keen interest on Sweet Sensation, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
With the trend in the setting up of fast food restaurants (FFRs) it is imperative that retaining customers becomes an issue, particularly when factors such as Quality, Safety and Trust are seen as important customer concerns. The ability to satisfy customers remains one of the greatest tasks for any firm to achieve, as customer expectations and needs are changing at all time. Fast food business in Nigeria is poised for huge growth, because of the contribution to the economy.
However, some of the CRM initiatives fail to achieve desired results, because firms relied too much on technology advancement to boost development of CRM. Crosby (as cited in Law, Wong, and Lau, 2005) stated that the CRM implementation is about customer’s relationships aims at reducing costs and putting more responsibility on the customer for self-service. Customers’ satisfaction in the business world today, is very important, because this is the secret of survival for companies in the competitive market. However, technical solutions shouldn’t be the only best way to resolve customer problems or achieving customer satisfaction.
The implementation of an effective CRM that will help enterprise to achieve its goal is easy to establish or actualize, but this always come with various attendant challenges, thus CRM implementation and actualization is a function of the synergy with other business functions,thus, that is why is being difficult to accurately measure how effective the strategy of firm is. CRM should not be seen as the responsibility of just only the customer services or marketing department, it should be the fundamental business strategy handled within the whole organization, covering all the business functions.
Findings regarding this attract numerous opinions from different scholars among the academics and the practitioners in the business world. Some of the goals of scholars centered on providing answers to a lot of contextual issues regarding its attendant effects on customer satisfaction within different business landscape.
Therefore, this study, intend investigation on the Effects of Customer Relationship Management and Customer’s Satisfaction at Fast Food Restaurants in Nigeria.
The study, also seek to further establish concrete findings similar to those already carried out in the past, but from a different and scarcely debated fast food business in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate“Effects of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on Customer’s Satisfaction in the Fast Food Industry in Nigeria”. Specifically, emphasizing use of trust in the study to achieve the following objectives with respect to Sweet Sensation, Nigeria
- To determine the effects of customers contact management on customer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation.
- To examine the extent to which customers reward program ms influence customer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation
- To evaluate the effects of customers call centre on customer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation.
- To examine the effects of customers feedback management on customer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the objectives stated above and withthe acknowledgement of existing political, economic and social characteristics of the country, this research seek to address the following research questions:
- What are the effects of customers contact management on customer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation?
- To what extent does customers reward program influence the satisfaction of customers of Sweet Sensation?
- To examine the effect of customers call centre on consumer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation?
- To assess the effects of customers feedback management on customers satisfaction in Sweet Sensation?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In an attempt to determine the extent of the cause effect relationships, the following research hypotheses are pertinent.
HO: Customers contact management does not positively influence customer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation.
Ho: Customers reward programs do not positively influence the satisfaction of customers of Sweet Sensation.
Ho: Customers call centre does not positively influence consumer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation.
Ho: Customer’s feedback management does not significantly influence customer’s satisfaction in Sweet Sensation.
1.6 Significance of the Study
CRM, an important business approach, and it enhance the ability of company to achieve the ultimate goal of profitably retaining customers to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. CRM focuses on establishing long-term and customer sustainable relationships that add value for the customers and the company. This is known as process of integrating company staff’s knowledge and their customers in an attempt to know their requirements: behaviours, preferences and taste in a usual business manner.
This study examines the effects of customer relationship management (CRM) on customer’s satisfaction at fast food restaurants, because customers are seen as important to organizational growth and long-term business survival.
Therefore, this study will definitely contribute to the body of knowledge, because this will serve as a source of reference for further studies and also better the understanding of CRM on satisfaction ofcustomers on service delivery. The outcome of this study will contribute to the understanding of fast food business operators, policy makers, and the owners as well as managers of the selected outlets for the study, to get their customer view and expectation of CRM strategies and practices, to make adjustment in areas where necessary, in order to have competitive advantage.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covers one of the major fast food operators/brands in Nigeria. Sweet Sensation, would be used as the case study, hence, the research participants will be selected among the customers of the selected fast food business/brand.
The study would be confined to fast food joints in Lagos only because of the difficulty of reaching a wide range of possible respondents outside Lagos State, as well as the need to retrieve substantive percentage of the instrument that would be administered.
In consideration of the limitation above, the study endeavour to ensure quality representativeness of all that matters to the objective of this study for the purpose of generalization of the research findings.
1.8 Study Outline
The study would be presented in five (5) chapters: Chapter one, introduction consists of the study background, research statement, problem, the study objectives, research questions, the hypotheses, study significance and scope as well as definition of concepts.
Chapter two, review of literature, reviews relevant literature to the study, the chapter three, methodology, describes methods of collecting data, the survey design, population of the study, research validity and reliability of instrument, the sampling procedure. Chapter four, findingspresentation, presents analysis of statistical data. Chapter five includes the study summary, the findings interpretation, conclusions and recommendations
1.9 Definition of Terms
Competitive Advantage: Strength to be more proficient than other rivals/competitors
Customers Call Centre: This is strategy with which firms seek to relate and retain its customers by establishing call management centres where customers are easily communicated with and also where complaints are handled.
Customer Contact Management: This refers to the design and management of the various means with which a firm communicate with its existing and potential customers.
Customer Orientation: Employees natural tendency towards customer needs.
Customer’s Relationship Management: Customer relationship management are various techniques and strategies used to maintain healthy relationship with the organization’s potential and existing customers.
Customer Reward Management: This is how firm ensures that its existing and potential customers are retained through reward programs
Customer’s Satisfaction: This is a measure of how supplied products and services meet or improve desire of customer and expectation. It is defined as “the percentage of customers, or number of total customers that their reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services rating exceed satisfaction specified goals.
Exchange process: Acts of giving and receiving in consideration for something or value.
Internationalization: Having the firm’s operations in two or more nations.
Trust:Mutual acceptance and openness to express feelings.
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