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Marketing planning

The comprehensive service quality framework presented in this paper is based on the following propositions: 1. Factors relevant to service quality act as antecedents to overall evaluations of service quality rather than acting as its components. 2. Customer satisfaction mediates the influence of service quality on behavioral intentions rather than both variables having an independent effect on behavioral intentions. 3. Customer satisfaction mediates the influence of service quality on behavioral intentions rather service quality mediating the influence of customer satisfaction on behavioral intentions.

4. Perception measures are superior to measured disconfirmation. 5. Perception measures are superior to computed disconfirmation. 6. Measured disconfirmation is superior to computed disconfirmation. 7. A cross-sectional research design is superior to a longitudinal design for measuring service quality. This framework was then tested with a series of alternate models in a longitudinal, empirical study. With respect to the first conceptual issue, the results showed support for the antecedent’s model – i.

e. consumers evaluate different factors related to the service but also form a separate overall evaluation f service quality. With respect to the second conceptual issue i. e. the effect of service quality on behavioral intentions, it was revealed that customer satisfaction is a much better predictor

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of behavioral intentions whereas service quality is more closely related to specific factor evaluations about the service. The three measurement issues were also investigated.

With respect to the first issue related to perceptions versus disconfirmation, it was found that perception measure was clearly superior to computed disconfirmation. With respect to the second issue related to preference between disconfirmation measures, measured disconfirmation was found to be superior. Overall, this paper was able to address the various conceptual and measurement issues related to service quality and was able to present an improved framework for it.

This article “A structural equation model of customer satisfaction and future purchase of mail-order specialty food” by Mai and Ness analyzes the relationship between satisfaction with mail-order specialty food attributes, overall satisfaction and likelihood of future purchase using a structural equation model. The article talks about the UK market for mail-order specialty foods in particular and highlights the fact that the UK market has evolved with the growth in direct marketing and this has further paved the way for the exploitation of in-home shopping systems.

Specialty food marketers are involved in identifying and satisfying customer needs in the context of some core elements of direct marketing such as targeting, interaction, continuity and control with an emphasis on customer retention. Direct marketing emphasizes the importance of building a long-term relationship with customers through quality, value and service. With the evolution of direct marketing, there has been a shift in emphasis from pure transaction based marketing to relationship marketing.

Moreover, with increasing competition, companies now try to survive, prosper and attain competitive advantage by building superior products and by delivery high value to customers. According to Philip Kotler, maximization of customer value is translated into maximization of customer satisfaction. He emphasizes that value is not just delivered by products but by an equally high level of other services such as logistics, marketing and sales and customer service as well as support activities such as infrastructure, human resources, technological development and procurement. Mail-order specialty food companies face the same challenges.

At one end, they face the traditional transaction based task of recruiting customers and at the other end they also need to ensure that they provide high quality in order to retain those customers and to encourage repeat business and loyalty. The focus of this particular paper is to identify whether and to what extent these mail-order specialty firms deliver satisfaction across the transactions aspect of their operations and how they maximize overall customer satisfaction. Consumer loyalty is a critical component of any successful marketing strategy and marketing planning.

Loyalty is defined as an attitude or a behavioral intention. Attitudinal loyalty reflects an individual’s overall attachment to a product, service or organization while behavioral loyalty refers to a customer’s intention to repurchase, to switch brands or to recommend a particular brand. Today, firms recognize the importance of measuring customer satisfaction. That is why several instruments such as customer satisfaction and purchase intentions surveys, analysis of complaints and suggestions, ghost shopping and lost customer analysis are commonly used for this purpose.

There is a high degree of usage of such measures within the retail sector but most of these firms believe that satisfaction measures are more useful when combined with complementary measures. Several studies have highlighted the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty. In this particular study, a mail survey is used to investigate mail-order shoppers’ characteristics, attitudes, preferences and behavior. Customer satisfaction was evaluated in terms of eight satisfaction attributes. There was an overall analysis of customer satisfaction and likelihood of future purchase.

With respect to mail-order specialty firms, it was revealed that with respect to product quality, majority of the customers were satisfied. There were high levels of satisfaction for quality, delivery service and enquiry service. Overall, 93% of customers were either satisfied or very satisfied. 60% indicated a definite intention to repeat their purchase in future. Overall, results indicated that mail-odder appears to delivery high levels of satisfaction that matches or exceeds customer expectations. It also indicated that a high proportion of customers intend to purchase in the future.

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