Causes Of Deficient Customer Service Business Essay

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This study assesses the importance of customer satisfaction and the factors that have a negative influence on service delivery. It has become very rare to obtain good customer service on a regular basis when shopping on the island of Curaçao. One has no idea what to expect when entering the stores. If it is not the language the employees address the customer with it is an attitude of negligence towards the customer. It raises some kind of irritation and concern leading to wonder if the various backgrounds of the employees might be a reason for the deficient customer service. Minimum wages, unmotivated and/or lack of interest might form part of the origin and reason behind this behavior. This research is intended to obtain a clearer view of the underlying reasons of mentioned situation(s). This research will focus foremost on the employees' perception of customer service and customer satisfaction.

Maslow's (1943) hierarchy of needs theory suggests that human needs can be classified into five categories and that these categories can be arranged in a hierarchy of importance. These categories include physiological security, belongings, esteem and self-actualization needs. According to Maslow, a person is first and foremost motivated to satisfy its physiological needs. As long as employees remain unsatisfied, they turn to be motivated only to fulfill their needs instead of others'. When the base physiological needs are satisfied, as primary motivational factors, the individual moves "up"' the hierarchy latter seeking to satisfy security needs. This process continues until self-actualization needs are satisfied. According to Maslow the rationale is quite simple because employees who are too hungry or perhaps too ill to work will be hardly able to be productive hence difficulties in meeting organizational goals.

Not to undermine Maslow's theory of needs, but in an increasingly competitive environment, companies and its personnel must be customer oriented and customer satisfaction represents a modern approach for quality in business life and serves the development of a truly customer-oriented culture and management. Total Quality management for instance is the culture of an organization committed to customer satisfaction through continuous improvement.

This cultures varies both from one country to another and between different industries, but has certain essential principles which can be implemented to secure greater market share, increased profits and reduced costs.

Customer satisfaction can be experienced in a various situations and connected to both goods and services. It is a highly personal assessment that is greatly affected by customer expectations. Satisfaction is also based on the customer's experience of both contact with the organization and

personal outcomes. Some researchers define a satisfied customer within the private sector as "one who receives significant added value" to his/her bottom line. A definition that may apply just as well to public services (Cengiz, 2010).

1.2 Background of the study

Customer satisfaction has been defined as a person's feelings of pleasure or disappointment when it comes to comparing a product or service's perceived outcome related to his or her expectations (Singh, 2006). Burt (2002) stated that a company in retail offers both a service and a product. Additionally, retail shopping experiences are lived individually by the customer. This aspect results to a must for retailers to be more considerate about both the product quality and service (as cited by Acra & Fischer, 2008).

The objective of this study is to obtain a clearer view or response on the factors influencing deficient customer service in the retail sector. One hundred participants, representative of the population group have taken part of this research through a questionnaire survey consisting of twenty three questions. The questions asked are derived from the sub-questions:

What impact does deficient customer service have on customer satisfaction in the retail sector?

How does customer orientation contribute to customer satisfaction (revisit)?

How can rewarding and investing in personnel contribute to an employee's performance?

To what extent should service quality employee be improved in order to comply with customer expectations?

How can high performance work systems be implemented and used as a means for service quality improvement?

What are the customer's service quality expectations?

These questions were inspired by the conceptual model of service quality chain by Behson, Harmon & Scotti (2009). According to the chosen conceptual model, high performance work systems, service quality: employee, customer orientation and service quality: customer, are the variables with the most influence on customer satisfaction. These general linkages are tools to guide this research to its main objective which is: answering the main research question. Cengiz (2010) implied that customer satisfaction is measured by profit and competitive advantage where signals of customer satisfaction should be monitored when it comes to product, service and relationship. The salesperson being the first contact with customer satisfaction in mind should be customer oriented and have the ability to practice the marketing concept by trying to help customers make purchase decisions that will satisfy customer needs Saxe & Weitz (1982).

1.3 Research question and sub questions

Research Question:

How does deficient customer service in retail stores affect customer satisfaction and what are the solutions or guidelines leading to customer service improvement in Curaçao?


What impact does deficient customer service have on customer satisfaction in the retail sector?

How does customer oriented employees contribute to customer satisfaction?

How can rewarding and investing in personnel contribute to an employee's performance?

To what extent should service quality employee be improved in order to comply with customer expectations?

How can high performance work systems be implemented and used as a means for service quality improvement?

What are the customer's service quality expectations?

1.4 Purpose of the study

This thesis attempts to clarify the possible reason(s) of deficient customer service on Curacao. Customer expectations are not being met and the lack of satisfactory service affects the island abroad by not serving the so many tourist visits. Except the tourists and visitors, locals are as good as annoyed of the treatment when entering retail stores. In order to draw conclusions for a further approach to the path of improvement, the employee, employer and customer's point of view of the actual situation must be known.

1.5 Limitation

In order to guide this research, variables of the research model have been chosen in order of importance. High performance work systems, Employee service quality, customer orientation, Customer service quality resulting in customer satisfaction are the variables to be tested in the course of this research. The service industry is very broad, but the retail service sector has been chosen due to the product service combination and the interest in knowing the employees-customer relationship versus the employee knowledge and input in his or her retail establishment. The chosen participants therefore will consist of one hundred people divided in customers, employees and employers within the retail sector of Curaçao.

1.6 Setup of the thesis

The first chapter broadly discusses the research problem, and provides an insight into the purpose of this research. Chapter two outlines the research model to be used in the study analysis, including the literature review of major terms and explanations of how service quality, high performance work systems and customer orientation, contribute to customer satisfaction. Chapter three provides explanations of research methodology to be used in order to perform the research. Chapter four

Chapter 2 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the research model which functions as the guideline for the research approach. The main interest of this research lies on customer satisfaction and the most important aspects on which customer satisfaction is build upon. The lack of acceptable customer service among others is one important aspect affecting customer satisfaction.

There is confusion and debate among practitioners on the topic of employee attitudes and job satisfaction- even at a time when employees are increasingly important for organizational success and competitiveness (Judge & Saari, 2004). The chosen conceptual model illustrates general linkages for improving service quality (Behson, Hannan, Scotti, 2009).

In order to comply with the guidelines for a sound research where the main question will be answered, a conceptual model has been chosen within the area of investigation. The relationship between High performance work systems and service quality from the employees' perspective are linked thru customer orientation. The service given will determine if the customer is satisfied with the service received. In order to illustrate the relations between action and reaction when it comes to employee-customer relation, the following conceptual model best suits the process.

The dependant variable and independent variables are elaborated upon followed by the concluding part of the literature review.

2.2 Conceptual Model of Service quality chain

The chosen conceptual model used for this research is one formulated for customer satisfaction within the healthcare sector. The linkages mentioned in this model outline the relationships between High performance Work systems, Customer orientation, Service quality Employee, service quality customer and Customer satisfaction.

In an experiment, a dependent variable is the factor which is observed and measured to determine the effect of the independent variable, that is, that factor that appears, disappears, or varies as the experimenter introduces, removes, or varies the independent variable. The dependent variable is the participant's response.

The dependent variable is the outcome of experiment. In an experiment, it may be what was caused of what changed as a result of the study, in a comparison of groups; it is what they differ on (Hiray, 2008).

"Harmon et al. (2003) demonstrated that the array of HR practices that conceivably drive the sequence of linkages in healthcare settings are best implemented as a bundled system of interventions, referred to as High-Performance Work Systems (HPWS), rather than applied individually.

Scotti et al. (2007) replicated this finding and demonstrated that the array of prescribed HR practices acts directly and indirectly through customer orientation to initiate the chain reaction of employee-consumer interactions"( Behson et al, 2009, p 4).

Figure 1 Conceptual model of service quality

General Linkages among HPWS, Customer Orientation, Service Quality, and Customer Satisfaction (Behson, Harmon & Scotti, 2009)

2.3 Customer Satisfaction

Total quality management (TQM) is a philosophy that is founded on three principles for achieving high levels of process performance and quality. Customer satisfaction, employee involvement, and continuous improvement in performance are related to these principles (Krajewski, Malhotra, Ritzman, 2009). Customer satisfaction according to Krajewski et al (2009) is generally described by the term quality. Quality has multiple dimensions in the customer's mind such as: Conformance to specifications, value, fitness for use, support and psychological impressions.

According to Cengiz (2010), customer satisfaction can be experienced in numerous situations and can be connected to both goods and services. It is a highly personal assessment that is greatly affected by customer's expectations.

Satisfaction also is based on the customer's experience of both contacts with the organization and personal outcomes. Some researchers define a satisfied customer within the private sector as "one who receives significant added value" to his/her bottom line-a definition that may apply just as well to public services.

Cengiz (2010) further stated that measuring customer satisfaction is beyond the statement happy customers. Customer service is measured by profit and competitive advantage.

In order to achieve long term success in the market, a store/ organization should monitor the customer satisfaction signals when it comes to product, service and relationship.

The measuring of customer satisfaction provides a comprehensive insight of a customers' pre and post purchase behavior. If this approach is not implemented, understanding, improving and developing better customer service could not be possible.

2.4 High Performance Work Systems

According to Elmadag, Ellinger, Frank (2008), improving performance is not just about improving workplace productivity; it can and should also lead to an increase in job satisfaction, longer retention, improved quality of life for employees, less job related stress, new social networks and numerous benefits that directly impact the organization as a whole.

High Performance Work Systems, sometimes known as high involvement or high commitment organizations are organizations that use a distinctive managerial approach that enables high performance through people. The main idea is to create an organization based on employee involvement, commitment and empowerment. Not employee control. Performance driven work environments improve service quality by enabling employees to focus on meeting customer demands and expectations (Tomer, 2001).

Wright (2008) stated that the initial impact of Human Resource practices relies on what the employee feels and has.

Recruitment, selection, training and development are all focused on the bringing in or building certain skills where employees are enabled to perform their jobs effectively. Their experience with these practices along with rewards, performance management and communication, shapes their perceptions of the company's fairness and desirability. These perceptions then influence employees' commitment, motivation and engagement leading to a better understanding of customer needs.

"Because the employer/principal wants this effort exerted, or at least wants its fruits, the employer must give rewards (usually pecuniary) to the employees in order to direct their efforts away from what they naturally would do. Personnel economics provides a comprehensive analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of compensation including both individual and group incentives (see Lazear 1995). An important aspect of personnel economics is developing an understanding of the effect on employee behavior of the entire structure of economic incentives" (Tomer, 2001, p.8-9).

2.5 Customer Orientation

Customer orientation is defined as the importance that service providers invest in their customers' needs and expectations. Customer orientation is also the linkage between HPWS and Employee service quality. The gathering of information regarding customer needs is one of the most important aspects of reaching a balanced approach to Total Quality Management (Behson

et al, 2009).

Saxe and Weitz (1982), researchers who developed a two-dimensional SOCO scale (selling-orientation, customer orientation) and found evidence that selling-oriented/customer-oriented

employees had a significant impact on salespersons' performance. Customer-oriented selling is a way of doing business from a salesperson point. This term refers to the degree to which salespeople practice the marketing concept by trying to help their customers make purchase decisions that will satisfy customer needs. Highly customer oriented salespeople engage in behaviors focused at increasing long-term customer satisfaction. In addition, salespeople practicing a customer-oriented approach must spend time collecting information about customer needs and demonstrating how their products satisfy those needs.

The customer's point of view of the company image is likely to get better when the company changes its marketing strategy regarding customer relationship management and marketing.

The best step to take in this direction is to enter from marketing department to a fully marketing oriented approach or a so-called customer management.

When discussing about customer orientation, it means that the customer is in the front line. If the needs and wishes of the customer are heard, there will be no effect whether it comes from internal or external customers (Järvi, 2012).

2.6 Internal (Employee) Service Quality

The main outcomes of an International Labor Office (ILO) of Geneva report of 2008 concluded that inadequate education and skills development keep economies trapped in a vicious circle of low education, low productivity and low income.

The report analysis was based on how strategies to upgrade and enhance the relevance of skills training can improve men and women and help countries move forward. Move forward to a virtuous circle of higher productivity, employment, incomes growth and- development.

The following figure of the Central Bureau of Statistics of Curacao, gives a view on income levels per gender in 2011. This is the latest statistical information on the employed population by monthly income and gender (CBS, 2012).

According to this table, nineteen thousand two hundred and seventy one employees, male and female earn between one thousand and two thousand guilders a month. This group pertains to the minimum wage group. Minimum wage on Curaçao are statutory minimum wages of ANG1,374.53 from January 2013 for all workers aged twenty one and over relating to a standard five-day forty hour week. sixteen and seventeen year olds are entitled to sixty five percent of the minimum wage, eighteen and nineteen year-olds receive seventy five and eighty five percent respectively, while those aged twenty are entitled to ninety percent.

Employed Population by Gross Monthly Income and by Gender









500 or less







500 - 1000







1000 -2000







2000 -3000







3000 plus







Source: CBS Labour Force Sample Survey

Figure 2 Labour Force sample survey 2011

Employee engagement is dependable on the workplace culture within an organization. If the culture is considered family-friendly for instance and not only focused on getting ahead, one could conclude that the employees take part of the business strategy.

Research shows that organizations that strive to provide a workplace culture with the meaningful psychological conditions (job enrichment, work-role fit), safety (supportive manager and co-workers) and availability (resources available) are more likely to have engaged employees (Lockwood, 2007).

According to Annakin (2004), performing workplaces are founded on a strong workplace culture in which motivated and engaged employees are willing to "go the extra mile". There is no single prescription for creating a productive organizational culture but firms can cultivate such an environment by fostering some significant cultural attributes, such as acknowledging the contribution of individuals, rewarding participation and good ideas, developing healthy and respectful relationships in the workplace and promoting a sense of shared goals and values.

Chang, Shiung, Tsaur (2004), concluded that the interaction between customers and employees in the service industry has a substantial impact on customer satisfaction with the service provided.

Researchers in the past into service encounter interaction had highlighted the importance of employees being flexible and able to adapt their behavior to meet the changing needs of customers. Employees need to be able to recognize customers' needs and inadequate or inappropriate treatment in such situations can result in dissatisfaction.

2.7 Service Quality: Customer

Service quality according to Bloemer, Ruyter, Wetzels (1998) is often conceptualized as the comparison of expected service with the actual perceived performance. Quality has been generally defined as "fitness for use" and "those product features which meet customer needs and thereby provide customer satisfaction" (Gorji & Sargolzaee, 2011).

Because of its possible influence on consumer behavioral intentions and customer retention, customer satisfaction has been a subject of much attention. Satisfaction is described as "an evaluation of an emotion, suggesting it to be a reflection to which a customer believes that the product or service evokes positive feelings.

SERVPERF instrument is designed for use in a broad selection of service sectors which maintains only the perceptions of service quality. SERVPERF measure (performance-only) performs better than any other measure of service quality, and has greater predictive power (ability to provide an accurate service quality score) (Abdullah, 2006).

Research done by Järvi (2012) implicated that service quality has become a key marketing tool in all kinds of organizations. Service quality has led managers in front of a challenge. The challenges can occur in both business to business and business to customer relationships.

A company can achieve differentiation and foster customer loyalty when analyzing and paying attention to service quality. Services cannot be calculated by durability but the focus is on how the customers experience them. Customers experience the same service differently which causes challenges for service quality measuring and improvement.

Perceived service quality has two dimensions, technical or outcome dimension and functional or process related dimension. In a restaurant for instance, when a consumer receives a meal, the meal is an example of the service outcome. The question is what and the meal is the answer. The "what" is frequently on the manager's mind when companies decide on how to estimate the perceived quality. In fact, the outcome dimension or the technical quality is the only dimension that is left on the customers' hands after the production process and interaction between buyer and seller is done.

2.8 Conclusion

Many citizens of Curaçao might agree and have numerous stories to tell about the lack of proper customer service at local establishments. Theory shows that employees' behavior might be a result of lack of proper skills, insufficient or no communication, orientation on customers. Employees are also referred to as internal customers and the workplace culture determines motivation and engagement when it comes to delivering service. Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggests that a person is first and foremost motivated to satisfy its physiological needs. As long as employees remain unsatisfied, they turn to be motivated only to fulfill their needs instead of others. Thus High Performance Work systems are tools to improve internal performance.

HPWS puts an organization's human resource department as the center in developing improvement systems with the aim to gain competitive advantage through marketing strategies. HPWS influence both service quality from the employees' perspective and customer orientation. Customer orientation helps establishments obtain a better view of customers.

Establishments could set up a database where customer information is held up to date whilst creating incentives like stamp collection cards for future discounts or promotions via e-mail. In order to fulfill customer expectations, a company must deliver customer service. A satisfied customer is one who experiences a positive pre and post customer service, thus increasing the chance of revisiting.

Chapter 3 Methodology

3.1 Introduction

This chapter will present detailed idea about the research to be conducted. This include the procedure of the research, participants selected for the research, instruments used in order to obtain data, validity of the survey(s) in order to follow the quality standards of the research, the representativeness of the conducted research and final conclusion.

The research question guiding this research and sustaining sub-questions is:

What are the reasons for deficient customer service in retail stores affecting customer satisfaction and what are the solutions or guidelines leading to customer service improvement in Curaçao?

What factor(s) drive employees to deliver deficient customer service?

How does customer oriented employees contribute to customer satisfaction?

How can rewarding and investing in personnel contribute to an employee's performance?

To what extent should service quality employee be improved in order to comply with customer expectations?

How can high performance work systems be implemented and used as a means for service quality improvement?

What are the customer's service quality expectations?

3.2 Procedure

This research is based on a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methodology. According to Bryman (2006), quantitative and qualitative research can be combined at different stages of the research process. Stages are: the formulation of the research questions; sampling; data collection; and data analysis. Quantitative methodology is used for statistical significant conclusions about a population by studying a sample representative of the population.

Hancock (1998) stated that qualitative approaches to the collection of data involve direct contact with individuals on a one on one basis or in a group setting. The data from qualitative studies often derives from face-to-face interviews, focus groups or observation. Qualitative data alone is not suitable for this research due to its focus on mainly verbal data and less structured approach (Acra & Fischer, 2008). Quantitative approaches such as the questionnaire survey and qualitative approaches such as the observational data of the researcher, provides a researcher with richness of data and deeper insight into a study (Hancock, 1998).

The assumption is made in this study that the population size is not the most important matter as long that it includes individuals that fits the description of the group to be studied. Quantitative research is usually one of the two types: experimental or descriptive (Lowhorn, 2007). In this research, a descriptive study using data from three sources: analysis of directories, observation of customer service in stores, survey of employees working conditions will be used. In this descriptive research, the conditions for deficiency customer service in the non-food retail stores will be described in depth and the information will be collected by observation of level of customer services and the survey of customers' service workers (Meriamm, 1988). The hope is that the results of this study will lead to further experimental or quasi experimental studies to find causality in a more naturalistic setting (field research) (Jackson, 2011).

Once the clusters are determined, the intention of this research would be to obtain more information on the factors influencing deficient customer service in the retail sector in Willemstad. The focus will be on customer satisfaction and the employees' view on how to better the service to their customers. The employees within this sector are the ones delivering the service and the focus has been on this particular population group. The first step would be to conduct the observational research, in which the researcher will observe the behavior and attitudes towards customer service. Next, the 30 stores randomly selected will be observed and surveyed. The following is the chart that will be used to register the employees.

Number of Participants






Table 1 Data collection schedule

3.3 Participants

Participants that contributed to this research with the intention to answer the following research question: "How does deficient customer service in retail stores affect customer satisfaction and what are the solutions or guidelines leading to customer service improvement in Curaçao?", were employees working in the non-food retail stores in the Punda and Otrabanda area. Due to large target population size, approximately ten thousand eight hundred and forty one (10841) employees (CBS, 2011) and a small scale research, a cluster sampling method on the non-food retail stores has been made by selecting a number of stores in the mentioned areas. An excel database sheet with listed retail stores in the yellow pages has been made where the sample will be derived of. These listed stores were also used for the observational checklist. Participants were randomly selected, varying in age, gender and educational background. Sample consisted of employees representing the total subgroup of the population in similar employment situation. The target population consisted of 256 retail establishments (Down town Management Organization & "Sosiedat Komersiantenan Otrabanda", 2012) .

3.4 Instruments

Three instruments will be used in conducting this study: Content analysis of the yellow pages and phonebooks, observational chart, and a survey. The observational chart would simply observe customer service level as the researcher enters and attempt to shop.

Attitudes and behavior will be scaled based friendliness, happiness, help provided. Behaviors are marked as the researcher exit the stores.

Survey research will also be conducted. The survey will be used as an instrument. The participants will complete the questionnaire on a follow-up visit based on the observational results. Personal contact and help in understanding the importance of the employees' participation will be provided. The questions asked in the first section of the questionnaire are general questions such as: gender, marital status, education and age. Furthermore questions regarding area of employment, length of service, job satisfaction, job improvement, employer behavior and ambiance on the job are included. The third and final part of the questionnaire focused on the internal customer orientation and the employee satisfaction and questions regarding customer orientation and the term: customer satisfaction. Literature has been reviewed before preparing the questionnaire.

Most of the questions will require the respondents to choose the response based on a Ratio and Ranking scale of 1 to 5. Respondents were asked to rank some possible items on job related sources of satisfaction and motivation and which were constructed along a five-point likert-type scale (Obeng-Akrofi, 2009). The next table provides the variables and the measuring questions and scaling.




High Performance Work Systems

9, 13, 16, 17

Ordinal & Ratio Scale

(Internal) Service Quality: Employee

7 till 9, 11, 16

Ordinal, Ranking & Ratio Scale

Service Quality: Customer

12,14,15, 18 till 23

Ratio Scale

Customer Orientation

10 till 15, 17

Ratio Scale

Table Variables



Statistical test

High Performance Work Systems

Ordinal & Ratio Scale



Correspondence- analysis

simple regression standard deviation

(Internal) Service Quality: Employee

Ordinal, Ranking & Ratio Scale


Standard Deviation Correspondence -analysis

simple regression

Service Quality: Customer



Standard Deviation

Pearson correlation

Customer Orientation



Standard Deviation

Correspondence- analysis

Pearson correlation

Table Statistical test

3.5 Validity

Golafshani (2003), described validity as the determent of whether the research truly measures that which it is intended to measure. Validity also measures how truthful the research results are. In other word, does the research instrument allow the researcher to really accomplish its research object? Researchers generally determine validity by formulating and asking a series of questions where the answers often will be looked for in the research of others. For sub-question 1, the answers derived from literature material indicating the factors for deficient customer service. Sub-question 2 was answered by literature plus personal observations during collection of data. The observation is to answer how the establishment performs on customer orientation and customer service. Sub-question 3 is answered by the questionnaire outcome related to the High Performance Work Systems variable. Sub- question 4 is also answered by the questionnaire relying on the internal service quality. Sub-question 5 and 6 are answered by literature and questionnaire.




High Performance Work Systems

9, 13, 16, 17

Elmadag, Ellinger, Frank (2008)

(Internal) Service Quality: Employee

7 till 9, 11, 16

Annakin (2004)

Service Quality: Customer

12,14,15, 18 till 23

Järvi (2012)

Customer Orientation

10 till 15, 17

Saxe & Weitz (1982)

Table Validity

3.6 Representativeness

The population frame for this study is based on the total registered retail stores up to this day in the registry of the Curaçao Bureau of Statistics totaling 10,841 retail employees. Further segmentation of this data into clothing retail stores let to the online yellow pages for stores in Punda and Otrabanda, where customer service is expected to be at its highest. The expectations of high quality customer service led the focus of this research to propose a cluster random sample of the heart of Willemstad, a high occupancy tourist city: Punda and Otrobanda. For this study, a cluster random sampling will be used. A Microsoft Excel database was created of all clothing retails stores in Punda and Otrabanda. Sixty-six stores were identified as having workers in Punda and Otrabanda. Each store was assigned a number, and then 30 stores were selected randomly, by estimating 4 individuals per store, for a total of 120 individuals. This representative sample will reflect the population accurately shows the same distribution of characteristics as the whole population (Greener, 2008).

The number of people to be surveyed depends on the amount of "sampling error" one is willing to put up with. "Sampling error" describes the possible difference between the findings and the true results if responses are obtained from everyone. It is safe to assume that the selection of only 30 stores may be a limitation because the more people surveyed, the smaller the sample error. Therefore, the goal is to increase the size as the study merits it. As always, a sample randomly selected leaves less room for error. The objective is to make sure that every single employee has the same chance of being surveyed (Suskie, 1996).

The next table explains the required sampling size based on the sampling error margins of 3%,

5% and 10%.

Table 5 Sampling


Total registered retail stores:



Punda (DMO)

Otrobanda (SKO)





Table 6 Population segmentation

Target population






Punda Otrabanda

55 11

(84%) (16%)

Punda Otrabanda

25 5

(84%) (16%)

Table 7 Sample distribution

Sample Interval = 5:1=5

3.7 Conclusion

A mixture of methodology approaches (quantitative and qualitative) has made it possible to properly answer all variables and their sub-questions. The dependent variable where the whole research relies upon, customer satisfaction is best when measured through observational data in this case. The focus of the survey questionnaire was designed for the employees in order to measure their internal customer service, level of customer orientation, external customer service and High performance work systems. The hypothesis for this study can be formulated as: Work -related factors do not affect customer service in the retail sector.

According to the Bureau of statistics, ten thousand eight hundred forty one are employed in the retail/wholesale sector. Due to insufficient information regarding employees in the non-food retail sector of the Punda and Otrabanda area, a cluster sampling method has shown to be more suitable for the two hundred and fifty six registered establishments (target population) in area of focus. To comply with the random cluster sampling, a database of listed non-food retail stores has been set up by using the local yellow pages. The amount of listed establishments amounted to sixty six establishments. In order to be representative of the target population, the sample frame consisted of a true scale distribution of the database being the sample.

Instruments used to obtain data were observational chart, database of listed non-food retail stores and the questionnaire survey. Thirty stores were randomly selected where of each four employees also randomly selected to take part of the questionnaire survey. The validity table showed that all variables are included in the questionnaire survey to be measured. The observational chart is used to measure the customer service and orientation of the thirty random selected stores covering the research on all variables to be tested by making use of the personal contact between researcher and participants.

Chapter 4 Analyses of the retail sector in Punda and Otrabanda

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Profile of respondents

The figure below illustrates the respondents' gender. The retail sector is largely dominated by the feminine gender. Of all the one hundred and fourteen respondents, 91% were female and 18 % were male.

The figure below shows the age brackets of the employees of the punda and otrabanda retail employees. It is well balanced seeing the small differences. Remarkable is the proportion employees between the ages 46-65, this age group counts with 31% of the total respondents. The younger age group is the smallest representative of the totality, namely 21%.

4.3 High Performance work systems

4.3 Service quality employee

4.4 Service quality customer

4.5 Customer orientation

4.6 Customer satisfaction

4.7 Observational chart findings

4.8 Conclusion