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Impact of Service Quality for High Customer Satisfaction in Airlines Industry: A study of easyJet

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Contents

Task -1 (Project proposal)

P1.1 Formulate and record possible research project outline specifications.

Service quality and customer satisfaction are complement each other because it is nothing but a foolish thought to expect customer satisfaction without quality products and services. The business giants in the world are careful about their service quality or products quality because they know the value of quality. Service quality can be defined by an equation, that is SQ=P-E which means the difference between the expectations and the performance of the product or service is called service quality (Martin, 2002). In service oriented organization it is quite tough to maintain the same quality all the time as service is intangible. To provide a good quality service the companies need to know what it means by customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is the measurement of how the products or services supplied by any company meet or fulfill the customer needs (Johnson and Gustafsson, 2000). This measurement of customer satisfaction considered as a key performance indicator for any business. Customer satisfaction create positive image of the brand in the customer mind and they spread positive word of mouth about the brand which is a great achievement of any company.

 

Research Aim and objective of the study

As per the title of the research is “A critical analysis on the impact of service quality for high customer satisfaction in UK airlines industry: A study of easyJet” the aim is clear. To what extent and how the customers are satisfied through the service quality of the easyJet and from the study of the easyJet a total picture of the UK airlines industry regarding the service quality and customer satisfaction will be analyzed. The objectives are-

  1. To know the current situation regarding the service quality of the easyJet.
  2. To know the current customer opinion about the service quality of the easyJet.
  3. To know the customers complains regarding the service of the easyJet.
  4. To know what new the customers want in the service.
  5. To recommend some suggestions to improve service quality of easyJet.

Research Rationale of the study

Every research has some logic and usefulness to some people. This research on the service quality to maintain customer satisfaction is important not only for Easy Jet but also for the whole airline industry of UK. The research is on the basis of Easy Jet’s service quality and its customer satisfaction. This will help the company to know its present situation in the market and the customers view about the company services. Also find out the customers complains and their opinions to improve the service which will be a great benefit for the company and make it more profitable and customer oriented.

1.2. Factors that contribute to the process of research project

About the company: easyJet

The selected airline company name is easyJet and from the three types of airlines in UK it is in the low-cost airlines. Acquisitions and base openings fuelled is the combination of the airline company and it is grown because of the demand of customers for low-cost airlines. The company is established in 1995. Airbus A319 is mostly operated by easyJet however more than 200 aircrafts are operated by the company.

easyJet, Switzerland is another company that is associated with it. Both the domestic and international trips are operated by the airline and the operating country number is 32. The service quality of the airline is very good that it through another famous airline in UK named Ryanair behind in 2014. 65 million passengers were carried by Easy Jet in 2014 which made the company second largest airline in Europe (easyjet.com, 2016). In this report the on the basis of the service quality of the easyJet for high customer satisfaction in the UK airlines industry will discuss.

Validity, reliability

For a proper research project, it is a foremost requirement to maintain transparency and consistency in collecting and analyzing the data, maintaining time efficiently and keeping the process error free from any systemic process to ensure validity and reliability of the research. To maintain this validity and reliability in this research paper, transparency has been ensured and time has been effectively maintained. Reliability and validity has also been managed through avoiding the systematic errors in this research paper(Jha, 2008).

Ethical Issues

Every research paper has to maintain some ethical issues for ensuring its standard. In this research paper some ethical issues have been considered and maintained very carefully such as avoidance of plagiarism, privacy of the respondents and data, analysis of the data and use of the data only for this research purposes, confidentiality of the data and all level of other ethical considerations. Another ethical issue has been maintained while collecting data from employees of esayJet by ensuring not breaching any code of the organization (6 and Bellamy, 2012).

1.4. Produce a research project specification:

Due to the nature of the research topic, both primary and secondary data have been gathered from various sources and used simultaneously.   To collect the primary data for the research, first of all the population of the research has been identified and sample population has been selected. Sample size has also been fixed in this phase and then data has been retrieve from them.  The population of the research was the customers of various level and employees of esayJet. Then, the sample size has been determined and sample was fixed from population based on convenience and eligibility of respondents who can provide best feedback for the research purposes. Then a group of 50 respondents or populations, containing 40 different level customers and 10 employees who have been involved in service providing and satisfaction through service taking. The sampling has been done through using probability sampling method to ensure unbiased data collection for the research. Secondary data of research has been collected from different websites, journals, books, airline based magazines, and blogs of customer groups etc. for the analysis purposes of the collected quantitative dada, pre-coding system and MS excel have been used in this research paper. For analyzing the in-depth qualitative data, post coding system and content analysis methods have been employed. Pie chart, bar char, radar chart and histogram using normal wordprocessing software have been used in this research paper(Samuels, Biddle and Emmett, 2009).  .

1.5. Provide an appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification.

Task-1 (Project proposal)Aim and Objectives of this Study, Rationale of the Study,Week:  1
Factors that contribute to the process of research project.
Provide an appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification
Task-2 (Literature Review and Research Question or Hypothesis)Literature ReviewWeek : 2
Resources efficiently to the research question
Task-3 (Research investigation and Data Collection)QuestionnaireWeek: 3& 4
Record and collate relevant data where appropriate.
Use appropriate research evaluation techniques
interprets and analyses the results in terms of the original research specification
Make recommendations and justify areas for further consideration based on your research findings
Task – 5 Presentation and Additional Exploration)Week 5

 

Task-2 (Literature Review and Research Question)

 1.3. Theoretical framework: Customer satisfaction and customer service quality

Customer satisfaction: Customers can be defined by two approaches according to Grigoroudis, E and Siskos, Y (2009), the assessment of the quality of the offered products and services are done by the customer which is on the basis of loyalty. The person or group who received the work output is known as customer and this in on the basis of process oriented approach. Paul S. Goldner (2006), said that twelve months relationship with any person or organization is required which is based on the business to call someone customer.

Customer satisfaction is associated with many things from products or services to the behavior of the salesman and this is written in Westbrook and Reilly (1983), (p.256). Customer satisfaction is a broad concept and Vavra, T.G. (1997) described it as an experience that customer get after purchasing the product or satisfaction is when customer can match the service with their expectation. Customer satisfaction is defined as buyer’s cognitive stage by Howard and Sheth (1969). He said that customer wants to be rewarded for their sacrifice to get some services. When customers are going to buy something they have their own thoughts about the expectation and the expectation should at least as good as was supposed to be, Hunt (1977) think like that. According to Engel and Blackwell (1982), there are always many alternatives for customers to buy and the alternative they choose to buy should be consistent with their belief about that alternative.

Figure 1: Customer satisfaction model(Quinn, 2014).

Customer service quality: Service quality is defined by many ways and one definition is on the basis of five dimensions or service quality that is given by Parasuraman, Zeithaml& Berry (1988), the dimensions are- tangibility, that is the employees, place and other facilities should be tangible to the customers. Reliability, that is meet the customer’s belief and confidence by providing the actual service. Responsiveness, that is serve the customer now that means in real time in any problem or queries. Assurance, that is being polite, reliable and behaves professionally in front of customers. Empathy, assure the customers that the company is not serve them only for money; it really cares about the customers. ZouJianping (2010), think that the service quality consists of many qualities at a time like, order, delivery, communication, order discrepancy handling quality etc. There may be a gap between the services expected by the consumers and the service they actually get and customer dissatisfaction occur when the gap is big. So when customer fined that there actually no or a very little gap in between the expectation and the actual service they become satisfied with the service quality, this theory is given by HouXingqi (2008). Service quality is not finish with the selling of the products or services it is continue from before purchasing any service till the after purchasing of the service and this will help to satisfy the customers, (Kendall, 2007). On the contrary, negative word of mouth which is an outcome of customer dissatisfaction caused by low quality service told by (Kelemen, 2003).

Figure 2: Service quality model (Szwarc, 2005).

Conceptual framework: Impact of customer service quality on customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction and service quality is related with each other and it can be said that the base of customer satisfaction is service quality. Service quality is made by the company who sell the service and customer judge it with other services available in the market; it is denoted by (Cronin & Taylor, 1992). Oliver (1993), said that regardless of the cumulative or transaction-specific it is service quality that is antecedent to customer satisfaction. According to (Anderson & Sullivan, 1993; Fornell et al 1996; Spreng&Macky 1996), the result of service quality is shown by the customer satisfaction.

To measure the dependency of these two variable called customer satisfaction and service quality the researcher need to know the meaning and measurement of the individuals very clearly. Both the term has some common factors but they are not totally same. The customer satisfaction is quite broad than service quality in term of its factors. Where, the service quality can be specified by some areas or dimensions, (Wilson et al., 2008, p. 78). As a component of customer satisfaction perceived service quality can be counted along with price and service quality, (Zeithaml et al. 2006, p. 106-107).

Figure-3: Customer perceptions of quality and customer satisfaction (Martin, 2002).

The relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction is showed by the above figure. The five dimensions of service quality are presented by the author that is reliability, tangibility, responsiveness, empathy and assurance which is actually the perception of the customer and it is influences by the service and product quality as well as by the price and two factors like situational and personal, (Wilson, 2008, p. 78). From the past research it is proved that the service quality and customer satisfaction are related not only by definition but also in reality. The higher the service quality the more the customer satisfaction, (Parasuraman, et al., 1985).

P2.1 resources efficiently to the research question or hypothesis to meet project objectives:

Research Questions

The aim and objectives are noted above and there will be needed some questions to make the research successful. The questions are-

  1. What services are provided by easyJet currently?
  2. What customers think about the current service and its quality?
  3. Are the services able to make the customers satisfied and retain them?
  4. If not, then what complains are reported by the customer?
  5. How the present customer services of easyJet can be improved?

 

Task-3 (Research investigation and Data Collection)

P 2.2.Undertake the proposed research investigation in accordance with the agreed specification and process:

Questionnaire

There have been used a set of questions for collecting data for the research paper. The question sets are given here, and full format of the questions are given in appendix-1

Question 1: What is your measurement about the customer service quality of easyJet? 

Question 2: What will you say to measure the customer satisfaction level of easyJet?

Question 3: Do you think that there is significant meaningful relationship between quality of customer service and level of customer satisfaction in easyJet?

Question 4: Do you think that high quality of customer services usually produce higher level customer satisfaction in easyJet?

Question 5: easyJet can establish strong communication with customers through ensuring high quality of customer service delivery by tracking down customer ever changing needs and can also design and deliver higher customer value to satisfy the customer. Do you agree with the statement?

Question 6: High quality customer service delivery in all phases of availing services by customers can produce higher level of customer satisfaction in easyJet. Do you believe the statement about easyJet?

Question 7: Through quick response, less operational complexity, continuous service with empathy and attractive physical environment of easyJet can deliver high customer satisfaction. Do you agree with this statement?

Question8: Mention some customer service quality problems of easyJet.

Question 9: Mention some recommendations about customer service quality of  easy

P 2.3 Record and collate relevant data where appropriate:

In today’s world there are so many business and so many options to switch for customer and a little mistake in products or service can results a great loss. More over there is internet and online business is becoming flourish and customer like it too. People around the globe are going through a significant change in their daily life because of the advent of the internet that makes a radical enhancement of various technologies in human life (Hine, 2013). Internet makes the global business easier in the sense of promotion and communication but tougher in the sense of competition. Because by the help of the internet consumer can buy anything anywhere anytime and it keeps the marketers aware 24/7 regarding the consumers buying pattern. There must be some factors that control the purchase intention of the consumers when they shop online or offline and service quality is the main weapon to grab and retain the customers (Szwarc, 2005). 

UK airlines are a major industry of the country’s economy because the other economic sector that is tourism is helping the airline industry to develop. There are different kinds of airline in UK, such as- legacy, regional and low-cost airlines. Legacy airlines are quite large and they have air crafts for both the domestic service as well as international service. So to manage this kind of airlines is complex and a big number of employees are worked here. Regional airlines are not as large as the legacy. There are 100 seats jets and regional trips are done (Graham, 1994). Low-cost airlines are quite expensive as the operating cost is low. So in these varieties of airlines service the market is so competitive and the companies should ensure quality service to survive in this competitive market. There are many things that affect the customer satisfaction like, price, availability, packaging, payment option, after sell service, etc. but service quality is the most important thing because low price cannot retain the customer for long time if the quality of the service becomes worst. So in the long run service quality matters. Because of the deregulation of the airline industry there are so many private airline companies in the market who can easily change the offers to capture the customers (Brignall, Tims, 2016). Offers like frequent fliers, bonus points are very much effective. So to be a successful airline company service quality is must with some effective offers. If the service quality is not maintained properly then a negative customer word of mouth will destroy the company’s brand image. So, it can be said that the higher the service quality the higher the customer satisfaction and the higher the customer satisfaction the higher the profitability.

Task 4

P3.1 Use appropriate research evaluation techniques:

Research Philosophy: Positivism

This research paper has followed positivism philosophy of research.  According to this philosophy, a hypothetical background has been established first before conducting the research. Then based on the background, research has been conducted. There are certain reasons to use the positivism research philosophy in this research project. One of the main reasons is the maximum control over the research procedure that it has provided to the researcher. The positivism philosophy also provides easy operation of doing the research activities. In this research, it has avoided interpretivism due to having the chance of higher level business propensity result.  Realism has also been avoided due to the practical nature of research(Samuels, Biddle and Emmett, 2009).

Research Approach: Deductive

In this research paper, deductive research approach has been followed.   In this approach, research approach plan has been formulated and executed according to a restricted theoreticalboundary of research. There are some benefits of using this approach comparing the other approach: inductive approach. One of the main benefits is the maximum possibility and guarantee of producing successful research in the required time period. Inductive approach has been avoided as higher level of uncertainty is associated with it for completing a successful research project.  So this deductive approach of research has been used for doing the research project more successfully by eliminating uncertainty(Jha, 2008).

Research Method: Mixed

 In this research paper, different types of data has been collected and used for achieving the research objectives. Such different data has been collected by using both qualitative methods of research and quantitative methods of research. There were few reasons of using these mixed methods for collection data.  The main reason was: the research topic and objectless required both qualitative in-depth data as well as numerical data. Only this mixed method was enough to generate the desired types of data required in this research paper. Although, here individual application of qualitative methods of research or quantitative methods of research has been ignored due to several reasons. One of the reasons is the inability of generating the both type required data at the same time while conducting research(Newman and Benz, 1998).

Research Strategy: Survey Questionnaire

In this research paper, the research strategy to collect the data was the survey questionnaire. Survey questionnaire is very easy to execute for research purposes but provides maximum result for research purposes. It is also manageable with researcher’s existing knowledge and available resources. For conducting the survey for this research paper, a structured questionnaire has been used containing mixed questions including open-ended question for qualitative data and close ended questions for numerical data or quantitative data. Surveys have been carried out differently based on situations required. Face to face interview, survey, telephone interview and email interview and survey have been carried out for the research paper(Jha, 2008).

P3.2 interprets and analyses the results in terms of the original research specification

In this section, at first primary data has been presented and subsequently analyzed to produce initial research findings for the research paper. Then the research findings have been evaluated by comparing with secondary research finding for generating the ultimate findings of the research.

Question 1: What will you say to measure the customer satisfaction level of easyJet?

The below data has been collected, analyzed then presented below:

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low
34132010
6%8%26%40%20%
Mean3.6
Median4
Mode4
Variance1.1837
Standard Deviation1.088

The data presentation has clearly outlines that the current level of customer satisfaction of easyJet in the airline industry of UK is very low as 40% of the surveyed respondents have said that easyJet are providing less satisfaction in service than expectations. Again 20% of the respondents have said that the satisfaction level is very low that supports the conclusion.  On the other hand, only 26% percent of respondents have opined that the current level of customer satisfaction as moderate and combined 14% have said as high or very high. Secondary information collected from ihateeasyjet (2016) and amateurtraveler (2016) have also supported that the satisfaction level is not good. So it can be concluded that the satisfaction level of easyJet is low.

Question 2: What is your measurement about the customer service quality of easyJet? 

The below data has been collected, analyzed then presented below:

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low
0510278
0%10%20%54%16%
Mean3.76
Median4
Mode4
Variance0.717
Standard Deviation0.847

The above data presentation and analysis have shown that the current customer service quality of easyJet is significantly low as 54% considered as lower and 16% considered as very low. On the other hand, 20% of the respondents have opined that customer service quality is moderate in easyJet and 10% of the respondents said that the service quality is high. This study outcome is supported by secondary data retrieved from ihateeasyjet (2016). So it can be concluded that the current service quality at easyJet is low.

Question 3: Do you think that there is significant meaningful relationship between quality of customer service and level of customer satisfaction in easyJet?

The below data has been collected, analyzed then presented below:

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low
1531130
30%62%2%6%0%
Mean1.84
Median2
Mode2
Variance0.545
Standard Deviation0.738

The above data presentation and analysis in the table have shown the strong relationship between customer service quality and customer satisfaction level in easyJet. 62% of the respondents have provided their opinion that there they agree that there is significant relationship between customer service quality and satisfaction level at easyJet while additional 30% respondents have said that they strongly agree with the statement. Only 6% have disagreed with the statement and they can be composed of different perception while providing opinion. From this context, it can be concluded that there is a significant relationship between customer service quality and level of customer satisfaction in easyJet.

Question 4: Do you think that high quality of customer services usually produce higher level customer satisfaction in easyJet?

The below data has been collected, analyzed then presented below:

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low
1428332
28%56%6%6%4%
Mean2.02
Median2
Mode2
Variance0.959
Standard Deviation0.979

From the data presentation and analysis presented in above, it can be concluded that high level of customer satisfaction can be ensured by providing high quality customer services.  The reason behind this conclusion is the feedback provided by the respondents of the research study. 56% of the respondent believed that high quality customer services can produce high level satisfaction in easyJet while 28% additional respondents have strongly believed that. Only 10% of the respondents have disagreed with the statement. From this it can be concluded that if easyJet can provide high quality customer services then it can be able to generate higher customer satisfaction.  

Question 5: easyJet can establish strong communication with customers through ensuring high quality of customer service delivery by tracking down customer ever changing needs and can also design and deliver higher customer value to satisfy the customer. Do you agree with the statement?

The below data has been collected, analyzed then presented below:

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low
1826141
36%52%2%8%2%
Mean1.88
Median2
Mode2
Variance0.883
Standard Deviation0.941

The primary data presentation and analysis have concluded that easyJet can deliver higher quality customer service by establishing strong communication system with its customers of different levels and tracking down the ever changing needs by designing and delivering higher values through it. Almost 88% of the respondents have supported by giving their opinions that they agree with the statement. On the other hand, only 8% respondents disagreed and 2% respondents have strong opposed to this statement. Secondary data have also supported the claims that strong communication, tracking down of changing customer needs and providing higher values can increase level of satisfaction of the customers of easyJet.

Question 6: High quality customer service delivery in all phases of availing services by customers can produce higher level of customer satisfaction in easyJet. Do you believe the statement about easyJet?

The below data has been collected, analyzed then presented below:

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low
1129442
22%58%8%8%4%
Mean2.14
Median2
Mode2
Variance0.9801
Standard Deviation0.9901

The primary data analysis and presentation has clearly shown that high quality customer service in all phases; for example before, after and during service taking can produce higher level customer satisfaction in easyJet. 66% of the respondents agreed that it is necessary for higher satisfaction. Only 12% disagreed with the statement. This overall percentage actually helps to conclude that quality customer service delivery in all phases of service can produce customer satisfaction in easyJet.

Question 7: Through quick response, less operational complexity, continuous service with empathy and attractive physical environment of easyJet can deliver high customer satisfaction. Do you agree with this statement?

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low
1125572
22%50%10%14%4%
Mean2.28
Median2
Mode2

From the data analysis, it can be concluded that quickest response, least operational procedures and complexity, friendly environment can produce higher customer satisfaction. This conclusion is supported by 72% respondents who agreed with the statement and only 18% disagreed with the statement. Numerous writers have also provided their opinions regarding the statement that quick response, less operational complexity, continuous service with empathy and attractive physical environment of easyJet can deliver high customer satisfaction whichare collected through secondary data analysis (Kursunluoglu,2011).

Question 8: Mention some customer service quality problems of easyJet.

From the primary and secondary data analysis, it has been found that easyJet has some major problems in providing quality customer services to its customers on a regular basis. Thelevel of customer services fluctuates very frequently for no reason. One of the major problems in service quality is the poor ground handling after landing in the airport, where it takes much time to get luggage. There is also problem in hospitality sections as appropriate standard foods or drinks are given for cheap travel options. Ticket selling service is also not up to date.

Question 9: Mention some recommendations about customer service quality of easyJet.

From the analysis of primary and secondary data revealed by respondents, easyJet must have to take some initiatives to improve the customer service quality for greater satisfactions. It must reduce the ground handling service in the airports. It should offer foods and drinks during flight time, even respondents are ready to pay but at reduced rate. It can also increase the ticket selling outlets and online options need to be easier for all. Credit basis ticket can be offered for regular customers who fly more frequently in easyJet. 

P 3.3.Make recommendations and justify areas for further consideration based on your research findings

The easyJet airline needs to understand the plans and strategies that are pursued by leading airlines such as the British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Virign Atlantic to improve quality of service it provides to its customers and increasing the satisfaction level. easyJet needs to  differentiate itself by updating its policy and reviewing its strengths/weaknesses and opportunities . It needs to be remained competitive by offering upgraded service and comfort ability to customers as in the long- term the market will grow significantly in future. To keep the reputation as one of the cheapest but leading airlines in the world for providing the best quality to their customers and to remain completive by providing better service to their business customers, easyJet proceed with the installation of new space bed. easyJet must differentiate themselves by improving media and communication channels, in fact  thus improving the overall communication plan to increase communication services and channels to  customers.

Conclusion

The basic massage of this research is service quality enhance the customer satisfaction and it is the natural behavior of the human being to use the good things more and leave the bad. The relation between service quality and customer satisfaction is universal for all kind of business and there is no other single opinion against this. In this research the relationship is presented on the basis of airline industry of UK and the selected company is Easy Jet. According to the questions data are collected from the company about their services and their current customer opinion in the market and then analyze the data to find out the actual situation of the company in the industry. There is always some gap between the customer expectation of the service and the actual service they are provided with. So there is also some complains of the customers about the service of the Easy Jet and by the research findings those complains can be solved and ensure better service quality which will ensure customer satisfaction and profitability of the company. Also an overview of the total airlines industry of UK can be gained from the research.

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Appendix: 1

Question 1: What is your measurement about the customer service quality of easyJet? 

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low

Question 2: What will you say to measure the customer satisfaction level of easyJet?

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low

Question 3: Do you think that there is significant meaningful relationship between quality of customer service and level of customer satisfaction in easyJet?

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low

Question 4: Do you think that high quality of customer services usually produce higher level customer satisfaction in easyJet? 

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low

Question 5: easyJet can establish strong communication with customers through ensuring high quality of customer service delivery by tracking down customer ever changing needs and can also design and deliver higher customer value to satisfy the customer. Do you agree with the statement?

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low

Question 6: High quality customer service delivery in all phases of availing services by customers can produce higher level of customer satisfaction in easyJet. Do you believe the statement about easyJet?

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low

Question 7: Through quick response, less operational complexity, continuous service with empathy and attractive physical environment of easyJet can deliver high customer satisfaction. Do you agree with this statement?

A. Very HighB. HighC. ModerateD. LowE. Very Low

Question 8: Mention some customer service quality problems of easyJet.

 

Question 9: Mention some recommendations about customer service quality of  easyJet.

 

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Introduction: Travel and tourism become of the important business where there are many tourist destinations....
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