In the modern business world, the obligation of an organisation is not to only provide goods at the market but to also make sure that the needs of the customers are met. When the needs of the customers are met, the level of satisfaction that the customer has with the company is taken to a higher bar. Customer satisfaction is one of the ways that companies make sure that the customers continue buying from the company. However, it is imperative to realise that the level of customer satisfaction in the company is not something that happens without the company considering some factors and also making some steps. An organisation must be strategic if it has the aim of meeting the needs of the customers. There are different factors that affect the level of customer satisfaction. The factors are many and at the same time they vary from a customer to another. For example, a customer might be satisfied by an organisation that offers discounts on its products and services despite it having a questionable quality of goods and services. On the other hand, another customer might be satisfied by the organisation’s high level of quality in delivering goods and services irrespective the high prices of the goods and services. Considering the different factors that affect the customer satisfaction, it is paramount to conduct research with the intention of looking for more detailed information. The paper will be looking at the level of customer satisfaction at Metroline Company which operates in London.
What are some of the factors that impact the satisfaction of a customer?
Surveys are methods of conducting research where the research team focuses on a specific population with the aim of gathering information from the sample. The tool that was used in collecting the data is questionnaires. In quantitative methodology, questionnaires are some of the best tools in collecting information. There are different types of questionnaires and each of the types was employed in the study (Yin, 2017). the first type of questionnaire is the hard copy questionnaires. In hard copy questionnaires, the questions are printed on the paper where the samples are given to answer. The second type is the online questionnaire. These are drafted questionnaires which require one to be online to answer the questions and mostly by ticking or marking the parts presented for the same reason (Nardi, 2018).
The tool of collecting data was used in different ways, and it also targeted different samples. The first way was to provide the written and printed questionnaires to the sample that was chosen to go through the process (Lampard and Pole, 2015). The targeted samples, in this case, were people waiting for the buses in the bus stations and passengers who were already boarding the buses. The online questionnaires were targeting customers who have used the services of the company before. The targeted samples had to prove they had boarded the bus before by sending a scanned or photographed copy of bus ticket from the company (Davies and Hughes, 2014).
The sample of the study was collected and decided on using two different methods; tracking and observing. When it came to tracking, the research team followed some of the people who talked about the services of the bus company on the internet. In the modern day, people have chosen to use different methods to reach to organisations and other customers (Rowan et al. 2015). Content writing is one of the ways that some customers have chosen to talk about a specific product. Most of the people who write content and post it on the internet must have had previous experience with the company and therefore in the best position to answer questions which are related to the company as far as the aspect of customer satisfaction is concerned. Also, people who have talked about the company on the social media were tracked (McCusker and Gunaydin, 2015). The social media has presented a platform where almost every person has a venue to air his or her views. Therefore, getting a sample was not a difficult task.
When it came to the aspect of observation, the sample was selected from the bus stations as well as the busses. The research team engaged and interacted with the passengers of the company with the aim of knowing their level of satisfaction as well as the factors that affected their level of satisfaction (Brunsdon, 2016). Considering the research was only concentrated with the customers of the company, all the sample was selected from the online platforms as well as the organisation's stations. The total number of the sample collected was fifty individuals of different ages and sexes. The breakdown of the sample was as follows; thirty-one males and nineteen females. Out of the thirty-one males, eleven were between the ages of eighteen to thirty years. The rest twenty were from the age of thirty to fifty-three years. Out of the nineteen females that were chosen, seven were between the age of eighteen to thirty and twelve between the ages of thirty to forty-eight years.
The sample size is important to the study in different ways. The first way is associated with the promotion of a smooth process to collect data. The sample is medium and therefore, the resources needed to complete the process were reasonable (Yin, 2017). At the same time, the representation of different genders came a long way in promoting equality in the study. Using the sample would mean that the study was in the best position to gather credible data because the research team would have enough time to analyse the data that was collected (Mertens, 2014).
The questionnaires that were used focused on five different factors that promote customer satisfaction. The following were the factors that customers said they influence customer satisfaction;
- Good services
- Engagement of an organisation in community activities
- Reduced prices
- Membership cards and offers
The customers were given the freedom to choice either of the factors, a couple of them, or all of them. However, the fascinating fact is that no customer chose all of them. Seven participants chose the first choice which was discounts. The customers believed so much in having discounts on the services of the company (Brunsdon, 2016). to them, there was no question of services because all one needed was to board a bus and head to the destination. Therefore, if the company offered discounts, it would have solved the issue of customer satisfaction. Six participants chose good services and membership cards and offers. The participants believed that the best way the company could enhance their level of satisfaction was by providing services that were of a higher quality (Smith, 2015). At the same time, the participants also believed that having the company membership cards which is accompanied with some offers was also a way to boost their satisfaction.
Ten participants were of the opinion that the company would enhance their satisfaction if the prices were reduced. Most of the participants were customers who boarded the buses of the company from home to work and later from work to home. Therefore, they believed that the reduction of the prices would save them a lot of money and that is meeting their financial needs. Nine participants stated that the best way to enhance customer satisfaction would be to make sure that the needs of the community members were met at a specific level (An et al. 2005). They believed that most of the customers were from the community and therefore touching the lives of the community members would demonstrate the concern that the company had for its customers. Eighteen participants believed that good services, engagement of the organisation in community affairs and provision of membership cards and offers were the best way to enhance customer satisfaction (Brunsdon, 2016). The participants believed that the actions of the company towards the customers enhance customer satisfaction (Hussein, 2015).
Looking at the summary of the findings as well as the calculations, there is one thing that is evident as far as the aspect of customer satisfaction, and this is that customers value the attitude the company has towards them more than the material rewards the company might be trying to give. The methodology that was used went a long way in providing data that was of great help to the study. The survey provided statistics, and that made it easy to analyse the findings. All that was needed was to calculate the numbers of participants who took a specific position against the number of the participants who took the opposite position. The methodology also helped in making sure that the process of collecting and analysing data was simple and accurate. A future study would improve the methodology from quantitative to qualitative and quantitative methods. The reason for doing so is to make sure that after the participants have selected the factors, there are given a chance to provide a brief explanation.
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