Blog 4

Posted in Older Content on March 9, 2013 by Stewart

Service provider: Coast Capital Savings

Type of service: Banking

Date: Various

Price: The services I use come with no monthly free

Overall Satisfaction: 7/7

Chapters covered: 4-11

Topics covered (page numbers in textbook): Reliability (89); Management listening to customers (139); Relationship Marketing (147); Relationship Value of Customers (156-157); Switching Costs (162); Make the Service Fail Safe (201); Servicescape as Facilitator (287); Service Culture (312-313)

Likelihood of Return: 7/7

I have been using Coast Capital ever since I first had a bank account and as you are about to hear, I have found very little room for improvement in their overall service offerings and I feel that they would compare quite favourably to any bank in Canada.

Encounter(s)

Reliability in a service sense means that a company “delivers on its promises… about delivery, service provision, problem resolution and pricing” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 89) on a consistent basis.  Coast Capital has been – in my experience – the picture of reliability in the interactions that I have had with them.  They are consistently willing to take the extra step to ensure complete customer satisfaction.  These efforts all stem from an excellently cultivated culture across all of their branches which has landed them on the list of “Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures” on multiple occasions (Engel, 2012).

Where it Starts

This culture of excellent customer service starts at the top of the branch with management, Coast Capital management is always available to help the front line employees which enrich their “understanding of customer expectations and needs” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 139).  By interacting on the front lines management is more in touch with how to reach out to customers in the most successful ways.  Coast Capital relies heavily on the relationships that they form with customers to ensure that they continue to bring them back for a lifetime of services from their bank.  Relationship marketing is a “strategic orientation, that focuses on keeping and improving relationships with current customers rather than acquiring new customers” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 147).  Given the challenge of switching between banks for most customers, it is wise for Coast Capital to focus on retaining the customers that they have already got (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 162).

Banks must look at the long-term relationship value of customers because while customers may produce little revenue when they are first acquired they may need much more lucrative services down the road such as mortgages or loans.  In order to identify ideal customers Coast Capital likely uses the formula to look at the lifetime profitability of customers which refers to the lifetime value of a customer after costs are considered (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 156).

This mix of building relationships with customers combined with an excellently built culture has been highly successful for Coast Capital as it “had its best year yet in 2012, with net income up nearly 17 per cent to $72.4 million from $62 million last year” (Sherlock, 2013).  Coast Capital has now become “Canada’s second-largest credit union [which] now has 504,000 members, who opened more than 28,000 new Free Chequing, Free Debit and More accounts in 2012. President and CEO Tracy Redies said these accounts saved customers about $38 million in banking fees last year” (Sherlock, 2013).

Complaints?

Coast Capital is always willing to hear from customers if they have a complaint about the service experience.  Just the other day, I walked into the bank because I had lost my debit card only to see a massive line, despite the fact that most of the tellers were open.  Apparently the look on my face when I saw the line must have been rather disappointed because the receptionist at the front desk asked right away if there was anything that she could do to help me.  I told her that all I needed was a new debit card so that I could use the ATM, as I said this, another employee walked by and offered right away to take me to the investment area and get a new card made for me right away, no waiting in line at all.  By making this extra effort Coast Capital had followed the simplest rule of service quality, they had done it right the first time (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 201).  I walked out of the bank in less than five minutes and left a very satisfied customer.

SERVQUAL in Canadian Banking

SERVQUAL studies the “perceptions of service quality of a particular company” (Ladhari, 2009) and can be applied to the banking industry in Canada as well, below are the dimensions that are measured for the SERVQUAL index.

  1. Tangibles (measured by 4 items): the appearance of physical facilities, equipment and personnel;
  2. Reliability (5 items): the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately;
  3. Responsiveness (4 items): the willingness to help customers and provide prompt service;
  4. Assurance (5 items): the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence; and
  5. Empathy (4 items): the level of caring and individualized attention the firm provides to its customers.

(Ladhari, 2009)

Based on my experiences, Coast Capital has been highly successful, especially when compared to competitors in their industry when measured against the SERVQUAL index.  This brings us back to the discussion of culture; Coast Capital has done an exceptional job in building a culture “where an appreciation for good service exists, and where giving good service to internal as well as… external customers is considered a natural way of life and one of the most important norms by everyone” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 313) within the organization.  By aligning this culture to demands within the industry they have set their employees up for success in serving the needs of their customers

Servicescape

Coast Capital has undergone multiple re-brandings and branch redesigns to get to their current Servicescape.  They use the Servicescape as a facilitator to “aid… in the performances of persons in the environment…the setting design [enhances] the efficient flow of activities in the service setting” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 287).  An example of the effectiveness of the servicescape is found in the open design allows you to see all of the services that the bank offers from the center, conveniently the same place that the reception is located which allows them to direct you to any area where you may need help.

Conclusion

Through consistently strong efforts to meet and exceed industry standards in several aspects of service Coast Capital has proved itself as one of the most successful banks in British Columbia.  They will need to effectively expand their culture as they continue to expand with people becoming more demanding of what their bank can offer them, Coast Capital will continue to deliver on these expectations.

 

Works Cited

Engel, A. (2012, February 25). Strong cultures provide results; ‘Great people that fit create great cultures’. National Post, p. FP 19. Retrieved from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2068/docview/923670584?accountid=26530

Ladhari, R. (2009, June). Assessment of the psychometric properties of SERVQUAL in the Canadian banking industry. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 14(1), 70-82. Retrieved from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=40308462&site=ehost-live

Sherlock, T. (2013, March 6). Coast Capital income climbs 17 per cent for best year yet. The Vancouver Sun, p. C 4. Retrieved from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2068/docview/1315065715?accountid=26530

Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M., & Gremler, D. (2013). Services Marketing. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Blog 3

Posted in Older Content on February 9, 2013 by Stewart

Service provider:  Save on Foods

Type of service: Grocery

Date: Over the course of several years up until present day

Price: Approximately $500 per month

Overall Satisfaction: 6.5/7

Chapters covered: 4 – 6

Topics covered (page numbers in textbook): Reliability (89); Recovery (99); Management listening to customers (139); Relationship Marketing (147); Customers as Friends (148); Special Treatment Benefits (154); Human Resources Management Benefits of Customer Relationships (156); Switching Costs (162); Level 3 – Customization Bonds (164-165)

Likelihood of Return: 7/7

As you will see from reading this article, Save On Foods has built a strong relationship that will definitely result in several purchases down the road; as of yet they have never given a reason to stop regularly purchasing from their store.

Encounter(s)

My family has been shopping at Save-on-Foods for our weekly groceries as long as I can remember.  Over the time that we have spent there the entire staff has made outstanding efforts to cultivate a relationship that will go on for many years to come.  Unlike some other grocery stores in town Save On has realized the value in retaining current customers over the long term rather than constantly seeking new customers (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 147).

Briefing

As sales at grocery stores decline over time the industry becomes more and more competitive, with sales dropping 4-6% year over year as people find other ways to source their food the grocery store environment had become more competitive as stores struggle to differentiate themselves (C. Barnes & Co., 2013).  It is becoming increasingly challenging to get customers to purchase more products as they are much more likely to be budgeting and cutting back in these tough times.  As customers are bombarded by promotions from the public grocery stores must find new ways to separate themselves from the competition as they compete for a larger piece of an ever-shrinking pie (van Ittersum, Pennings, & Wansink, 2010, pp. 90-91).

Actions of Management

Save On values direct relationships between management and customers, to realize a maximum benefit from these relationships they often have their management team down on the floor interacting and helping customers, it adds “clarity and depth to managers’ understanding of customer expectations and needs” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 139) and also allows customers to give direct feedback to management so that any adjustments that might be necessary are relayed directly to the people with the power to make the decision.

Management is also forward-thinking enough to see past single customer interactions and instead see the bigger picture of the customer relationship.  For example, when a customer complains that the fruit they purchased on their visit to the store last week went moldy prematurely some stores might question this or put up resistance to giving a refund.  Instead, Save On management simply refunds the money without even asking to see the rotten fruit, creating a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved.  This is an excellent example of a strong service recovery that gives customers added confidence when they are purchasing from the store (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 99).

Employees

Having worked for Thrifty Foods for some time I have some insight as to the differences between how the two companies are operated (much of which has changed since Thrifty Foods was bought out.)  The part that I find the most interesting is the differences in “reliability which has been consistently shown to be the most important determinant of perceptions of service quality” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 89) between the two companies.  This translates to customers being able to trust a firm to provide a consistent experience across several customer interactions.

Interestingly, the source of this consistency has to do heavily with the customer relationships that Save On has cultivated over time.  As a result of these customer relationships employees have built customers help to make their job easier; otherwise known as coproduction of the service (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 156).  For example, when I am in the store I know exactly what to ask the employees for when I am looking for something specific which in turn makes it easier for the employee to provide a higher level of service.  The most noticeable effect of these positive relationships is employee retention; over the time that I have been going to Save On I have only interacted with a reasonably small group of employees which again results in a smoother experience for employees and customers alike (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 156).  Other stores see front line employees as transient and move quickly between them over time which in the long run has a very negative effect on employee-customer interactions.

Customer Focus

As our family has continued to patronize Save On over the years we have developed close friendships with some of the employees and they have gained intimate knowledge of our family and our needs from their store (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 148).  From these relationships we have received special promotions that would not be available to other customers, this serves to continually strengthen these ties to the firm.  Since Save On began their sponsorship of the local arena we have been given early access to some events and concerts; by leveraging this core differentiator (arena sponsorship) to provide special treatment benefits they have been able to further strengthen bonds between Save On and their customers (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 154)

This customer intimacy and the resulting customization bonds make it very challenging to switch to another grocery store because these relationships would have to be re-created which would result in a loss of the one-to-one solutions that Save On already provides (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, pp. 164-165).

Conclusion

As a result of all of these efforts Save On Foods has successfully prevented our family from considering other grocery stores in an industry where switching costs are exceptionally low (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 162).  This willingness to provide an extra level of service has made Save On our first choice by far when shopping for groceries of any kind.


 

Works Cited 

C. Barnes & Co. (2013). Barnes Reports: Grocery Stores Industry Capital & Expenses Report. United States: C. Barnes & Co. Retrieved from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=84382841&site=ehost-live

van Ittersum, K., Pennings, J., & Wansink, B. (2010). Trying Harder and Doing Worse: How Grocery Shoppers Track In-Store Spending. Journal of Marketing, 74(2), 90-104. Retrieved from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=47927918&site=ehost-live

Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M., & Gremler, D. (2013). Services Marketing. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Blog 2

Posted in Older Content on January 25, 2013 by Stewart

Service provider:  Shaw Cable

Type of service: Cable

Date: Initial interaction was September of 2011, has continued until present.

Price: Approximately $85/month

Overall Satisfaction: 2/7

Chapters covered: 2 – 4

Topics covered (page numbers in textbook): Services Gap 1 (37); Services Gap 4 (44); Zones of Tolerance (54-56); Explicit Service Promises (63); Word of Mouth Communication (64); Escalating Service Expectations (71); Reliability (89)

Likelihood of Return: 6/7

Since we have already purchased the Shaw Cable boxes for our house (approximately $250 each) we are somewhat tied to Shaw because the switching cost to switch to Telus would be prohibitive.  If it were not for this high switching cost then the likelihood of return would be much lower; in fact, it is likely that we would have already switched to the other service.

Encounter

This encounter began with the purchase of two Shaw 500GB PVR’s in September of 2011.  Since there was a widely publicized switch to digital cable going on we knew that it would be necessary to switch to the new system at some point.  This initial purchase at London Drugs was smooth; however, the activations took much longer than expected once we got home.  As we would soon find out, this was just the beginning of a long process with Shaw

Briefing

Given the length of time that these issues have been going on it is hard to fit all of the problems that have occurred in so I will attempt to give a basic understanding of some of the service failures that have taken place in our time dealing with Shaw Customer Support.  These problems began with the initial setup of the PVR and have continued until the present day.

Service Gaps

There have been more than a few service gaps that we have experienced in our time with Shaw.  The first service gap that we experienced was with overpromising (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 44), they have promised that you “Won’t miss a thing” in fact, it is currently their top ad in Google when searching for their PVR products.  We have missed several recorded shows because the software on their systems has multiple failures within it.  It has deleted shows; failed to record shows; often can’t play back the shows it does record and occasionally it will not even display live TV.  I have to say that in my eyes, this is very far from “Not missing a thing” as we have missed several things.

Another service gap has been that of inadequate service recovery.  We have been dealing with this problem in some form or another for almost two years and so far Shaw has offered us:

  • A single HD Shaw on Demand movie rental (Maximum value: $7)
  • When that wasn’t enough, they raised the bar to two movie rentals (Maximum value: $14)
  • Various refunds, none of which have even come remotely close to matching the level of inconvenience we have faced, but more on that later.

They have completely failed to make any amends and many of their frontline service employees do not have the authority to use the appropriate recovery mechanisms to solve the situation (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 37).  It is this lack of authority that makes dealing with their company a constant exercise in frustration.  Frontline employees are not authorized to give anything above a free movie rental; I cannot imagine that this satiates very many customers’ needs.

Shaw has failed to live up to their own explicit service promises.  When a customer pays a monthly bill it is expected that they will be able to have access to the services that they are paying for.  When the system that is designed to provide the customer with that service continually fails then there needs to be more attention paid to resolving that problem in a timely manner; the excuse “we don’t know what could be causing these problems” wears thin very quickly.  Many of these explicit promises to resolve this problem have fallen by the wayside over the time that we have been dealing with the company (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 63).

Tolerance for Failure

Initially our zone of tolerance for this failure was quite small, we had dealt with Shaw before and usually the problem was resolved to our satisfaction so we expected this to carry over to this problem as well (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, pp. 54-55).  The zone of tolerance also varies depending on which member of the household is dealing with Shaw at any given time.  For example, my zone of tolerance is extremely small when dealing with problems involving technology because I have a strong working knowledge of the systems so I know when they are trying to pass something off as acceptable when it clearly isn’t.  However, when other people who have less technological expertise deal with Shaw they have a much greater zone of tolerance because they do not know what standard this company should be held to.

As these failures continue to build over time so do customer’s expectations of the service (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 71).  As there has been more and more failure in this interaction the expectations for resolution have continued to escalate.  If the problem had had adequate attention from the beginning then these expectations may not have been raised so high.  Meeting these continually rising expectations is very challenging and at this point it is highly unlikely that Shaw will ever be able to meet these expectations.  If we were to switch cable providers at some point down the line then these expectations would also be likely to normalize with the switch of service providers as it would be seen as a fresh start in the eyes of the consumer.

Standardized Expectations

There have been long standing customer service standards that were established in the cable industry more than 15 years ago, they are as follows:

  • System Reliability Measures: These are calculated as actual system working time expressed as a percentage of total operational system time possible. Currently, the standards require that the systems be 99.9 percent reliable.
  • Standards of Operation: The standards require 8 hours of continuous office operation per day, 24-hour repair service turnaround, 20-second telephone response times, and that telephone system busy statistics show that the system is working to capacity only 3 percent of the time.
  • Customer Service Standards: These require that 90 percent of installations requested be completed within 7 days; 99.9 percent reliability; 90 percent of outages are repaired within 4 hours; and that no more than 3 percent of customers require service per month.

(McKie, 1992)

It is clear that Shaw has contravened many of these standards as they are not 99.9% reliable; in fact, 70% would probably be generous.  Their telephone response times have varied from 30 minutes to multiple days and sometimes it is the completely wrong department that returns the calls, resulting in even longer response times.  I also somehow doubt that they are working to capacity only 3% of the time given the standard response is that they are experiencing higher than normal call volumes.  Finally, they are expected to have 90% of outages repaired within 4 hours; it seems that we have fallen into the other 10% more often than not.

All of this information brings into question the reliability of their service.  “Of the five dimensions, reliability has been consistently shown to be the most important determinant of perceptions of service quality” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 89); unfortunately reliability is not one of Shaw’s strengths as their cable, hardware and service have all proven time and time again that they are completely inconsistent in their service and are unwilling to accept blame for their service failures.

Costs to Shaw

This bad experience has cost Shaw much more than would be readily apparent to management’s eyes; this is because of word of mouth communication.  When people continually experience poor service they become increasingly likely to tell their friends, co-workers and other people that they interact with about these poor experiences.  This communication carries particular weight with these audiences because it is coming from a first-hand account of dealings with this company.  Since cable is an industry that is “difficult for customers to evaluate before purchase and before having direct experience” (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 64) with the product these word of mouth experiences carry a particularly heavy weight in this industry, something that Shaw seems to have little concern for.

Conclusion

In 2000 only 9% of consumers used digital television; in 2005 25% of consumers had made the switch and by 2010 46% had made the switch to digital cable (Washington & Miller, 2009).  These statistics show us that digital television adoption is growing significantly over time and Shaw must develop their service systems in order to meet the increasing demands of consumers for this service if they want to remain one of the top competitors in this market.


Works Cited

McKie, D. A. (1992). Quality Issues In Customer Satisfaction Studies Of Cable Television. Journal of Advertising Research, 6-8. Retrieved from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3dbth%26AN%3d9207133419%26site%3dehost-live

Washington, K., & Miller, R. (2009). Consumer Use of Media. Entertainment, Media & Advertising Market Research Handbook, 22. Retrieved from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3dbth%26AN%3d34617861%26site%3dehost-live

Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M., & Gremler, D. (2013). Services Marketing. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Services Marketing: Blog 1

Posted in Services Marketing with tags , , , on January 15, 2013 by Stewart

Service provider:  Bell Mobility/Visions Electronics

Type of service: Telecommunications

Date: Initial interaction was on December 26th 4:00pm

Price: Approximately $75/month

Overall Satisfaction: 2/7

Chapters covered: 1 – 3

Topics covered (page numbers in textbook): Technology Enabling Customers and Employees (15); Heterogeneity (21); Perishability (22); People as a function of the Services Marketing Mix (25); Service Gap 1 (37); Service Gap 4 (44); Explicit Service Promises (63); Word-of-Mouth Communication (64)

Likelihood of Return: 3/7

Since both my friend and I are committed to contracts with this company we have no option but to continue to pay the company for their services for the length of the contract.  After the contract expires I will be looking for a new provider who will hopefully offer better service.  I would not use Bell again in the future because I have no way of knowing if I will be left with a similar situation as my friend was.

Encounter

This encounter officially began on Boxing Day of 2012 when my friend and I went to Visions Electronics to purchase a new phone for him on a three year contract.  The entire interaction with the service provider (Bell) began much earlier than Boxing Day, thanks to the wonders of the internet.

Confirmed Costs

Having had nothing but good experiences with Bell my friend naturally intended on staying with them when it came time for him to get a new phone.  He had broken his previous phone crowd surfing at Rifflandia and had already broken his interim replacement phone within a few weeks of having it in his possession as well.  With his own experience and those of some of his friends which he had received through word-of-mouth (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 64) heavily factoring into his decision he decided to stick with Bell as a provider.

Since he was about to head into the third year of his contract he decided to find out what his cancellation costs would be in advance of heading into the store on Boxing Day when he knew that it would be busy and there wouldn’t be time to check on small details.  With my help we used the Bell website and phone service to confirm doubly what his cancellation costs would be.  Technology enabled the customer to quickly find out what his costs would be without any human interaction (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 15).  The app said that his costs would be just over $200 which seemed about right given that he only had one year left on his contract.

In-Store Purchase

Having only had positive experiences with both Visions and Bell to this point we headed in on Boxing Day to make the purchase and sign the new phone contract.  Due to the heterogeneity of services we were greeted with a much different experience than we had been in the past; this was partially influenced by the fact that we had new and different demands than we had had in the past (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 21).

Re-Confirmed Costs

Before making the purchase official and signing the contract we had to contact Bell by phone to cancel the old contract so that we would be eligible for the “new subscribers” bonuses of a discounted phone and a gift card with the activation.  To do this the Visions employee called Bell’s call center to cancel the contract.  This is where things started to get interesting; the people on the phone had clearly had different experiences in several parts of the services marketing mix (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 26).  The employee on the phone had different education and training which caused him to give different information then the employee in the store; similarly, he may have been working under a different rewards structure that provided benefits for achieving goals that were different than those the employee at Visions was working under (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 25).  In the end, the employee told us that the total cancellation costs would be $260 which we confirmed multiple times before cancelling the contract.  In our eyes, this was an explicit service promise that Bell had made to us before we cancelled the contract.  As we were about to find out Bell did not feel that they had made a personal promise to us and they were about to deliver something very far from what they had originally promised (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 63).

Activated

We elected to continue on with the cancellation despite the $60 discrepancy between the original cancellation costs and the costs we were quoted over the phone.

Left Store

A little disappointed by the extra costs but happy with the money that the sale had saved us we left with the new phone.

Bell Calls

About two weeks after the transaction was completed my friend received a call from Bell.  Due to Gap 4 – the communications gap – there was inadequate horizontal communications between sales and operations departments at Bell (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 44) and my friend was told that there would be an addition $300 charge to his credit card for a previously completely unmentioned “data cancellation fee”.

This fee seemed to carry an exorbitantly high price that had no ties to any realistic consumer perceptions of value and Bell did not seem readily able to provide an explanation as to why this price was so high.  Bell even went so far as to deny that we had spoken with them at all when we cancelled the contract; we pointed out to them that we could not have cancelled the contract without speaking to them first and they backed off of this claim.

Since the phone was a perishable service it was also un-returnable so there was no way to keep the original contract and avoid the extra charges because the contract and phone could not be re-sold (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, pp. 22-23).

Resolution

This brings us to the first provider gap, Gap 1 which covers inadequate service recovery (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 37). After frustrating the customer by raising the costs not once but twice during the process they had created a very frustrated customer.  When we called back to tell them that there had been no mention of this new fee during the purchase process we were greeted with hostility and with an employee with no interest in listening to customer complaints (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2013, p. 37).  The first three employees that we talked to completely failed to make amends for their communication failure.  Finally, we reached a manager who told us that he would look into it.  After waiting on hold for 15 minutes (presumably to listen to the original phone call although he did not tell us why we needed to wait) the manager came back on the phone and simply told us that the charges had been cancelled without any explanations, apologies or attempts to explain who had been in the wrong or take any responsibility for his employee’s actions.

Examining Loyalty Going Forward

The three main factors in determining customer loyalty over the long term are: satisfaction, trust and switching costs (Harsandaldeep & Harmeen, 2012, pp. 49-51).  Even though we had a low satisfaction experience that made it challenging to trust Bell going forward the cell phone industry is structured in such a way that the switching costs are so extremely high that the customer has little ability to switch or away from a company after a bad experience.

Post-Purchase Feelings and Emotions

It can be said that “the only economic and social justification existence of any business existence is to create customer satisfaction” (Igwe & Ogwo, 2012, p. 84) amongst all users of their service.  After this experience I was feeling as if Bell’s only justification for its existence was to make more profit from the users while putting minimal emphasis on customer satisfaction after the initial purchase.

This interaction left me with a sour taste in my mouth and wishing that there was some way for me to change my own cell provider without incurring costs that my friend had.  Overall, I was disappointed with the service that I received and angry that I had been deceived about the costs of purchasing their product.

 

 

 

Works Cited

 Harsandaldeep, K., & Harmeen, S. (2012). Validating Antecedents of Customer Loyalty for Indian Cell Phone Users. The Journal for Decision Makers, 49-51. Retrieved January 14, 2012, from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=84616523&site=ehost-live

Igwe, S., & Ogwo, G. (2012). Some Key Factors Influencing Attitudes to Patronage of GSM Services: The Nigerian Experience. International Journal of Business & Management, 84. Retrieved January 14, 2012, from https://libsecure.camosun.bc.ca:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=80122566&site=ehost-live

Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M., & Gremler, D. (2013). Services Marketing. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Professional Portfolio

Posted in Older Content on December 9, 2012 by Stewart

Hey Bloggers!

I am working on a professional portfolio to showcase my work from my Advanced Communications class this semester.

This portfolio is available here

 

Stewart

The Future of Music Marketing?

Posted in Advanced Communications with tags , on December 2, 2012 by Stewart

By now you may have heard of an artist named Sonny Moore, otherwise known as Skrillex.  He has released several big hits in the last few years and just like any other artist needs to find a way to sell his music.  Enter Skrillex Quest, his new online flash game that you play with one of his new song (Summit) playing in the background.  Of course, there are links provided to buy the song in iTunes and to go to his Facebook page.  I found this to be a very novel way to change the way that an artist reaches their audience and gets them to listen to the song, in this instance you listen to the same song multiple times to the point that it became completely stuck in my head by the time I had finished the game.

Finding new ways to engage the audience is of paramount concern in an industry as clouded as the music industry is.  By doing this through a game it engages the listener and makes them feel like they are getting a lot more when they decide to buy the album or even just the single song after it was stuck in their head.  Another instance of engaging the audience came from one of Linkin Park’s new single Lost in the echo where you could become part of the music video which makes you want to watch the whole video just to see which pictures will show up there.

Both of these experiences are very engaging for the user and ensure that they at least give your song a chance to make a strong first impression while separating it from a lot of the other music that is available for download on the internet.

Link to the game is available here

What do a Radio Station and the Victoria Police Department have in Common: Comment

Posted in Blog Comments with tags , , on December 1, 2012 by Stewart

This is my comment to Elle’s blog where she has found some great content fro the world of advanced communications.  In this article she was talking about how different organizations handle their social media presence.

I too really like following the Zone, not only do they address things that are relevant to their listeners and followers but they also respond within comments and take requests and everything through their Facebook page. It is a great way to stay connected with their followers and also allows them to gain more listeners as they often tell people to listen in at a specific time to win prizes etc.

As for the Victoria Police Department I think what they are doing is very interesting. While I agree that it is a fine line to walk, I think it is the only way that it would work, if they were to go with the formal approach there would be backlash from the community rather than the funny comments that are currently found in their conversations.

Elle’s blog can be found here

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