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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2018

Josephine Orayo, Jane Maina, Jotham Milimo Wasike and Felicitas Ciabere Ratanya

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the customer care practices at the University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library (JKML), Kenya.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the customer care practices at the University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library (JKML), Kenya.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive research design was used. Simple random sampling technique was used to derive at an appropriate sample from the target population. A structured questionnaire and face-to-face interview was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. A total of 384 questionnaires were distributed to students and library staff. Face-to-face interview was conducted among five section heads. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel and presented in tabulated summaries and figures.

Findings

JKML had not only put in place customer care practices but had also provided reliable services with notable professionalism among staff. Users were satisfied with the attention and information resources provided. Challenges encountered related to inadequate ICT infrastructure, lack of a written policy, lack of customer care skills among library staff and lack of managerial support. The study recommended inclusion of customer care in the mainstream of the strategic plan of the university.

Research limitations/implications

The major implication for this study is that sustainable customer care self-assessment needs to be explored in national and private libraries in Kenya.

Practical implications

This study provides a significant practical outlook on marketing-savvy approaches toward customer care and efforts made toward the achievement of the goals of the university.

Originality/value

This study provides insights on good practices on customer care which can be emulated by other academic libraries and adds value to the knowledge base.

Details

Library Management, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Charles Patmore

Twenty‐three home care providers were interviewed concerning what promotes or impedes quality aspects of service giving, as defined by older customers ‐ like service from…

Abstract

Twenty‐three home care providers were interviewed concerning what promotes or impedes quality aspects of service giving, as defined by older customers ‐ like service from familiar staff or flexible help. The influence of Social Services purchasers and of structures for purchasing care proved notably important. Purchasers affected service quality through the amounts of time that they commissioned and through whether they would purchase help for customers' quality of life as well as for their physical survival. Quality was affected through whether care was purchased through fixed quantities of time or through the fulfilment of specified tasks. Some purchasers controlled details of everyday care giving, which other purchasers left to providers' discretion. Also influential was the attitude of providers themselves to giving miscellaneous occasional help like changing light bulbs, finding reliable private tradesmen or taking customers with them on shopping trips. Some providers readily gave such help and found it unproblematic to do so. Others prohibited it, although this seemed to not always be implemented earnestly. The most marked differences in willingness to give flexible help occurred between different independent sector providers, rather than between independent and Social Services in‐house providers. A third type of influence on quality of home care was ‘economic’ factors like the purchasing power of local home care pay rates within the local labour market, local geography and demography. Some questions are itemised which merit inclusion in any evaluation of the quality of a home care provider.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Enrico Bracci

The aim of the paper is to illustrate the changing structure of accountability under a new public governance agenda introduced in England to deliver social care through…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to illustrate the changing structure of accountability under a new public governance agenda introduced in England to deliver social care through personal budgets.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on accountability and public governance literature, in particular, the accountability framework proposed by Hupe and Hill. The evidence was gathered from exploratory case studies conducted in two English County Councils.

Findings

The introduction of personal budgets has modified the roles of the different actors involved in the co-production of social services. The case studies evidence changes in the accountability and governance process, particularly with respect to the personal budget regime that has devolved responsibility and accountability to the customer. Specifically, the customer's role has shifted and expanded in the accountability chain and thus developed into a partnership.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to analyse the relationship between the personalisation agenda in English social services and the relevant accountability mechanisms involved. Moreover, the paper refines the theoretical framework proposed by Hupe and Hill according to the different role the public now plays.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2018

Hayford Amegbe and Christian Nedu Osakwe

The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of the practical matter of customer loyalty (CLOY) in the banking industry context. As such, this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of the practical matter of customer loyalty (CLOY) in the banking industry context. As such, this paper explores, in detail, the antecedent factors to building strong CLOY. More specifically the focus is on the constructs of customer care (CARE), product/service offerings appeal (PSOA), customer satisfaction (CSAT) and brand trust (TRUS).

Design/methodology/approach

This wok relies purely on a positivist research paradigm. In doing so, structured questionnaires were administered to research subjects. For statistical processing, the PLS-SEM technique was deemed appropriate.

Findings

The two biggest takeaways of this work are the findings about the indirect influence of PSOA and CARE on CLOY. This paper reveals the relations to be sequentially mediated by CSAT and TRUS. Besides, data support the mediating effect of CSAT on CARE-TRUS link, as well as the mediation of TRUS on CSAT-CLOY link. Other findings indicate PSOA and CARE are key determinants of CSAT, CARE is also a key determinant of TRUS.

Research limitations/implications

There are limits that come with the present analysis. One of the major limits is in the fact that it was conducted in a single country’s setting, thus limiting the generalizability of the research findings. As a result, this research report merits to be adequately scrutinized in differing financial landscapes. Finally, the broader implication of this research is that the road toward achieving strong CLOY is far more complex than previously imagined.

Practical implications

To generate sustained CLOY, a solid starting point for bank products managers in particular is to design more attractive products for their target audiences. Meanwhile, the special role of quality CARE cannot be overstated (enough), and so managers should allocate more resources in this area. In sum, this study encourages financial services managers to continue to pay greater attention to critical dimensions related to CLOY, such as PSOA, CARE, CSAT and TRUS.

Originality/value

The present analysis provides a clearer explanation of how the above-mentioned constructs are interconnected together. By using top Ghanaian banks’ customers as a test case for the research, the authors are helping to develop a more balanced approach to achieving sustained CLOY. Finally, the value of this work rests in the complex relations studied

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1989

Anne M. Smith and Barbara R. Lewis

Findings are presented from an investigation of customer care inmajor UK organisations in the financial services sector, to includebanks, building societies and insurance…

Abstract

Findings are presented from an investigation of customer care in major UK organisations in the financial services sector, to include banks, building societies and insurance companies. Attention was focused on the need for customer care and service quality, and the development, implementation and evaluation of customer care/service programmes, as well as associated staff and management training activities.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Henna M. Leino

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the status, vulnerability and needs of the health-care and nursing service customers’ (hereafter, care service…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the status, vulnerability and needs of the health-care and nursing service customers’ (hereafter, care service customers’) loved ones.

Design/methodology/approach

The position and vulnerabilities of secondary customers of care services are studied and examples provided by reviewing empirical research reported in the care service literature. A conceptual discussion is developed on the “customer” concept in an extended sense, beyond the focal customers. The “primary customer” and “secondary customer” concepts are employed to supplement the extant discussion on customer units and ecosystems.

Findings

Secondary customers are exposed to secondary vulnerability and their well-being is affected by the services provided primarily to their loved ones. The most recurring needs of secondary customers concern psychosocial support, communication and information and cultural sensitivity.

Practical implications

New perspectives on understanding the “customer” concept in an extended sense. This assists in supporting the customers’ dynamic activities and processes within the customer ecosystems. To address care service customers’ loved ones’ vulnerabilities and needs and to support their well-being, they should also be recognised as customers – “secondary customers” – with patients being the “primary customers”.

Social implications

The results are especially relevant when considering services’ influences on vulnerable customers’ ecosystems and on individuals within them. It is important to recognise that beyond a vulnerable customer, several secondary customers may be exposed to secondary vulnerability, needing support.

Originality/value

The paper is apparently the first to connect the constructs “primary” and “secondary customer” and customer vulnerability to the customer ecosystem discussion. Also, essential future research questions are provided.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Janet R. McColl-Kennedy, Hannah Snyder, Mattias Elg, Lars Witell, Anu Helkkula, Suellen J. Hogan and Laurel Anderson

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from health care research with those in service research to identify key conceptualizations of the changing role of the…

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3394

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from health care research with those in service research to identify key conceptualizations of the changing role of the health care customer, to identify gaps in theory, and to propose a compelling research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

This study combines a meta-narrative review of health care research, and a systematic review of service research, using thematic analysis to identify key practice approaches and the changing role of the health care customer.

Findings

The review reveals different conceptualizations of the customer role within the ten key practice approaches, and identifies an increased activation of the role of the health care customer over time. This change implies a re-orientation, that is, moving away from the health care professional setting the agenda, prescribing and delivering treatment where the customer merely complies with orders, to the customer actively contributing and co-creating value with service providers and other actors in the ecosystem to the extent the health care customer desires.

Originality/value

This study not only identifies key practice approaches by synthesizing findings from health care research with those in service research, it also identifies how the role of the health care customer is changing and highlights effects of the changing role across the practice approaches. A research agenda to guide future health care service research is also provided.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1990

Beryl Morris

This article gives a brief overview of what customer care is andwhy it matters in libraries and information units. There is a discussionof the origins of customer care as…

Abstract

This article gives a brief overview of what customer care is and why it matters in libraries and information units. There is a discussion of the origins of customer care as well as its importance to service organisations generally. The article looks at the various aspects of customer care including the effect of visual appearance, the need to make the service responsive to customers′ needs and other issues. There is also a brief discussion of the management and training implications of customer care.

Details

Library Review, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Genevieve Elizabeth O'Connor

The purpose of this paper is to identify how need for service, enabling factors and pre-disposing characteristics influences access to service. In addition, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify how need for service, enabling factors and pre-disposing characteristics influences access to service. In addition, the authors seek to examine the moderating influence of pre-disposing variables on the relationship between insurance and health services utilization.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors utilize data from a major metropolitan hospital in the USA to test and extend the behavioral model of health care.

Findings

Results indicate that insurance and pre-disposing variables have a direct impact on type of health service utilization. However, the insurance effect is found to vary by demographic factors.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to secondary data. Future work can incorporate both attitudinal and behavioral measures to obtain a more comprehensive evaluation of services access.

Practical implications

The research offers a tactical framework for management to segment consumer markets more effectively.

Social implications

Through the framework, management will have the requisite knowledge to target segmented populations based on need, insurance, and pre-disposing variables which will help improve access to services and clinical outcome.

Originality/value

The findings of this paper will serve as a basis for future research exploring the influence of insurance on access to services.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1991

Linda Lash

Describes the efforts of Avis to provide monthly progress reports to the individual offices and departments who delivered the service, through their Customer Care Income…

Abstract

Describes the efforts of Avis to provide monthly progress reports to the individual offices and departments who delivered the service, through their Customer Care Income Statements, allowing their efforts to improving customer care to be seen immediately. Creates a sensitivity analysis to show which major areas of concentration will bring the most return. Asserts that soliciting customer opinion is an excellent public image device. Concludes that customer care must be treated as a going concern ‐ something that requires constant attention and commitment and makes profit over time.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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