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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2011

Haruki Nagata and Lisa Klopfer

The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss the basis for management decisions among options expressed by customer groups on the basis of their perception and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss the basis for management decisions among options expressed by customer groups on the basis of their perception and assessment of library service.

Design/methodology/approach

In 2008, the authors investigated how customers perceive library functions and assessed the actual activities of Echigawa Library (Shiga prefecture, Japan). Two consecutive analyses were conducted: factor analysis and cluster analysis in order to segment the customers into individual groups based on their perception of libraries. Each of the segments of library customers was then examined to ascertain how they appreciate and make use of the Echigawa Library.

Findings

The survey results indicate that in general the customers show a high demand for multiple library services and give a good grade for its services delivery. Four groups of library customers are identified by cluster analysis; however, their demand for service and judgment of the adequacy of service delivery are fairly diverse. Among them, one customer group shows a reasonably positive response to the range of library services and is confirmed to be a yardstick group.

Research limitations/implications

Since library evaluation should provide the criteria for determining management decisions, the question of which groups of customers the library should take into consideration is vital. This question is solved through the detailed investigation of empirical data.

Originality/value

The paper investigates the particular situation of a small library to offer a model that could be used globally for a more subtle and precise approach to the improvement of library service than is usually attempted.

Details

Library Management, vol. 32 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1975

Talaat Abdel‐Malek

Reports on a study of attitudes of exporting managements in different national and regional settings, regarding business exchanges. Compares also existing non‐exporting…

Abstract

Reports on a study of attitudes of exporting managements in different national and regional settings, regarding business exchanges. Compares also existing non‐exporting managements. First, ascertains to what extent and in what respects managers differentiate between various peoples and, second identifying differences among managers in this regard, to find out how these differences are associated with their firms' export involvement. Uses five national and regional settings as follows: US, Canadian, West European, Latin American and Asian and African. Data was analysed from a questionnaire, presented to chief executives, of a judgement sample of 175 firms in Canada, of these 158 questionnaire responses were obtained – four of these were unusable, ergo 88% were used. Sums up that management is, or should be, concerned with differences among customers rather than intermediaries.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 4 September 2003

Oliver Koll

Scanning both the academic and popular business literature of the last 40 years puzzles the alert reader. The variety of prescriptions of how to be successful (effective…

Abstract

Scanning both the academic and popular business literature of the last 40 years puzzles the alert reader. The variety of prescriptions of how to be successful (effective, performing, etc.) 1 Organizational performance, organizational success and organizational effectiveness will be used interchangeably throughout this paper.1 in business is hardly comprehensible: “Being close to the customer,” Total Quality Management, corporate social responsibility, shareholder value maximization, efficient consumer response, management reward systems or employee involvement programs are but a few of the slogans introduced as means to increase organizational effectiveness. Management scholars have made little effort to integrate the various performance-enhancing strategies or to assess them in an orderly manner.

This study classifies organizational strategies by the importance each strategy attaches to different constituencies in the firm’s environment. A number of researchers divide an organization’s environment into various constituency groups and argue that these groups constitute – as providers and recipients of resources – the basis for organizational survival and well-being. Some theoretical schools argue for the foremost importance of responsiveness to certain constituencies while stakeholder theory calls for a – situation-contingent – balance in these responsiveness levels. Given that maximum responsiveness levels to different groups may be limited by an organization’s resource endowment or even counterbalanced, the need exists for a concurrent assessment of these competing claims by jointly evaluating the effect of the respective behaviors towards constituencies on performance. Thus, this study investigates the competing merits of implementing alternative business philosophies (e.g. balanced versus focused responsiveness to constituencies). Such a concurrent assessment provides a “critical test” of multiple, opposing theories rather than testing the merits of one theory (Carlsmith, Ellsworth & Aronson, 1976).

In the high tolerance level applied for this study (be among the top 80% of the industry) only a handful of organizations managed to sustain such a balanced strategy over the whole observation period. Continuously monitoring stakeholder demands and crafting suitable responsiveness strategies must therefore be a focus of successful business strategies. While such behavior may not be a sufficient explanation for organizational success, it certainly is a necessary one.

Details

Evaluating Marketing Actions and Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-046-3

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Xing'an Xu, Lilei Wang and Luqi Wang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the threshold effect of group size on customer's complaining intention under group service failures.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the threshold effect of group size on customer's complaining intention under group service failures.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on two main laboratory experiments, through two 10×2 scenario simulation experiments, the authors examine the role of group size in customer's complaining intention.

Findings

Results show that: (1) the relationship between group size and customer's complaining intention follows an inverted “U” type trend; (2) evaluation apprehension mediates the relationship between group size and customer's complaining intention; (3) relational distance can change threshold values and (4) relational distance moderates the relationship between group size and customer's complaining intention.

Practical implications

Managers should judge the threshold of group size through experience so as to have a preliminary understanding of customer evaluation concerns and complaint intention. In the face of service failure groups smaller than the threshold range, managers should divided the group into several small groups. For service failure groups larger than the threshold range, the opinion leaders in the group should be given more attention, so as to control the whole group.

Social implications

This paper is helpful to deeply understand the key role of group size in the process of customer complaints, and also provides decision-making basis for service enterprises to deal with group customer complaints.

Originality/value

There has been little research about the threshold effect of group size on customer's complaining intention. The previous studies on customer's complaining intention focus on its influences on group size, and draw a single common conclusion that the customer's intention to complain will increase with the growing number of groups increases. However, few studies are explored on the threshold of group size. Therefore, this paper will focus on the threshold effect of group size on customer's complaining intention to fill the gap.

Details

Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-7480

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2010

Ilhan Dalci, Veyis Tanis and Levent Kosan

The purpose of this paper is to show the implementation of customer profitability analysis (CPA) using time‐driven activity‐based costing (TDABC), in a Turkish hotel.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show the implementation of customer profitability analysis (CPA) using time‐driven activity‐based costing (TDABC), in a Turkish hotel.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was conducted in a four‐star hotel with 100‐room capacity in the Çukurova region of Turkey. Interviews, direct observations, and documentation collection were used to collect the data.

Findings

The results showed that some of the customer segments which were found unprofitable under the conventional ABC method were determined profitable using TDABC. The case study also revealed the cost of idle resources devoted for front office, housekeeping, food preparation, and marketing activities.

Research limitations/implications

Only a single hotel operating in Turkey is examined in this paper. Further research should focus on implementing CPA using TDABC in other hotels in Turkey and abroad.

Practical implications

Based on the results of the study, the hotel management is better able to understand profitability of different customer segments and implement appropriate strategies. Moreover, the time equations of TDABC are considered to provide hotel management with an opportunity to better balance the capacities supplied in departments.

Originality/value

There is limited research relating to profitability analysis in service companies in general and in the hotel industry in particular. Therefore, this paper is unique in the sense that it analyzes the use of TDABC systems for CPA within a real case hotel.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2008

Lyndon Simkin

The creation of a target market strategy is integral to developing an effective business strategy. The concept of market segmentation is often cited as pivotal to…

Abstract

Purpose

The creation of a target market strategy is integral to developing an effective business strategy. The concept of market segmentation is often cited as pivotal to establishing a target market strategy, yet all too often business‐to‐business marketers utilise little more than trade sectors or product groups as the basis for their groupings of customers, rather than customers' characteristics and buying behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to offer a solution for managers, focusing on customer purchasing behaviour, which evolves from the organisation's existing criteria used for grouping its customers.

Design/methodology/approach

One of the underlying reasons managers fail to embrace best practice market segmentation is their inability to manage the transition from how target markets in an organisation are currently described to how they might look when based on customer characteristics, needs, purchasing behaviour and decision‐making. Any attempt to develop market segments should reflect the inability of organisations to ignore their existing customer group classification schemes and associated customer‐facing operational practices, such as distribution channels and sales force allocations.

Findings

A straightforward process has been derived and applied, enabling organisations to practice market segmentation in an evolutionary manner, facilitating the transition to customer‐led target market segments. This process also ensures commitment from the managers responsible for implementing the eventual segmentation scheme. This paper outlines the six stages of this process and presents an illustrative example from the agrichemicals sector, supported by other cases.

Research implications

The process presented in this paper for embarking on market segmentation focuses on customer purchasing behaviour rather than business sectors or product group classifications ‐ which is true to the concept of market segmentation ‐ but in a manner that participating managers find non‐threatening. The resulting market segments have their basis in the organisation's existing customer classification schemes and are an iteration to which most managers readily buy‐in.

Originality/value

Despite the size of the market segmentation literature, very few papers offer step‐by‐step guidance for developing customer‐focused market segments in business‐to‐business marketing. The analytical tool for assessing customer purchasing deployed in this paper originally was created to assist in marketing planning programmes, but has since proved its worth as the foundation for creating segmentation schemes in business marketing, as described in this paper.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Reza Dabestani, Arash Shahin, Mohammad Saljoughian and Hadi Shirouyehzad

The purpose of this paper is to prioritize service quality dimensions (SQDs) using importance-performance analysis (IPA) and to compare the results for the customer groups

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to prioritize service quality dimensions (SQDs) using importance-performance analysis (IPA) and to compare the results for the customer groups segmented by data envelopment analysis (DEA).

Design/methodology/approach

Customers of three four-star hotels located in Isfahan have been asked to report on their expectation of service prior to receiving it as well as their perception of the service after receiving it. Afterwards, DEA has been used to assign the customers into two groups of fastidious (with relatively high expectations but low perceptions) and ordinary (with relatively low expectations but high perceptions). Next, IPA has been exploited for prioritizing SQDs in each group. Eventually, the prioritized SQDs in each group have been compared and insightful information has been extracted for further research and practical purposes.

Findings

Findings imply that despite occasional similarities, there is a significant difference in the way the two groups value SQDs. Also, the segmented groups have different priorities of SQDs.

Research limitations/implications

Findings revealed that in order to decrease the ambiguity of customer voice in prioritizing SQDs, it might be helpful to first segregate the participants based on their attitudes towards the quality of service to have a more congruent sample and then, to analyze the data.

Practical implications

In this study, a smarter approach for prioritizing SQDs based on the data of two major groups of customers has been proposed, which can help hoteliers in devoting their resources more efficiently.

Originality/value

The combination of DEA and IPA in homogenizing the sample and prioritizing SQDs for each homogenized group within the sample seems relatively novel.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2011

Volker G. Kuppelwieser and Jörg Finsterwalder

This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It also shows the influence of other customers' contributions on an individual customer's own contribution to the service experience as well as the individual customer's perception of his/her own and of other customers' contributions toward service satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical research paper is based on structural equation modelling to examine customer group experiences of two different service providers, a white water rafting company and an indoor soccer company. Data from a survey of a combined total of 273 consumers were utilised to test the research model.

Findings

The results demonstrate that, on an aggregate level, psychological safety affects an individual customer's perception of his/her own and others' contributions to a service experience. The findings show that the contributions of others have a significant influence on one's own contribution. No influence or relationship could be found regarding one's own contribution and service satisfaction; however, other customers' contributions have a negative effect on an individual's service satisfaction. The results vary on a subsample level.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of the findings is limited to two customer group services, one group sport experience and one group leisure experience.

Practical implications

This research provides insights for service firms with respect to managing the provider‐to‐multi‐customer co‐creation interface.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the analysis of co‐creation efforts of individuals in groups with respect to a specific environment (psychological safety). It adds value to the discussion of factors that influence the partial creation of a service by individuals while interacting with one another and the impact on the perceived outcome. The paper provides a platform for further research on aspects of co‐creation in customer groups.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Tripat Gill, Hae Joo Kim and Chatura Ranaweera

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the expectations and evaluations of services provided by members of an ethnic minority using the lens of ethnic stereotypes…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the expectations and evaluations of services provided by members of an ethnic minority using the lens of ethnic stereotypes. The authors also examine how ethnic service providers (ESPs) are evaluated by customers from the majority group vs the same ethnic group as the provider.

Design/methodology/approach

In Study 1, the authors measure the stereotypes about skills, abilities, and typical professions associated with different ethnic groups (i.e. Chinese, South Asians and white). The authors then measure the effect of these stereotypes on the performance expectations from ESPs in different professional services. In Study 2, the authors manipulate the service domain (stereotypical vs counter-stereotypical) and the level of service performance (good: above average performance vs mediocre: below average) of a Chinese ESP, and subsequently measure the evaluation of the ESP by the same ethnic group (Chinese) vs majority group (white) participants.

Findings

Performance expectations from ESPs closely match the stereotypes associated with the ethnic group. But the performance of an ESP (especially mediocre-level service) is evaluated differently by the same ethnic group vs majority group customers, depending upon the domain of service. A Chinese ESP providing mediocre service in a stereotypical domain (martial arts instructor) is evaluated more critically by same ethnic group (Chinese) participants as compared to white participants. In contrast, a Chinese ESP providing mediocre service in a counter-stereotypical domain (fitness instructor) is evaluated more favourably by same ethnic group (Chinese) participants as compared to white participants. There is no such difference when performance is good.

Research limitations/implications

It is a common practice to employ ESPs to serve same ethnic group customers. While this strategy can be effective in a counter-stereotypical domain even if the ESP provides mediocre service, the findings suggest that this strategy can backfire when the performance is mediocre in a stereotypical service domain.

Practical implications

The results demonstrate the need for emphasizing outcome (vis-à-vis interaction) quality where ESPs are employed to serve same ethnic group customers in a stereotypical service setting. However, when an ESP is offering a counter-stereotypical service, the emphasis needs to be more on the interpersonal processes (vis-à-vis outcome). Firms can gain by taking this into account in their hiring and training practices.

Originality/value

Prior research has primarily used cultural distance to examine inter-cultural service encounters. The authors show that ethnic stereotypes pertaining to the skills and abilities of an ESP can affect evaluations beyond the role of cultural distance alone.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Nkosinathi Sithole, Gillian Sullivan Mort and Clare D'Souza

This paper aims to explore the effects of the customer-to-customer co-creation experiences of savings/credit groups in the African context and how savings/credit groups

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the effects of the customer-to-customer co-creation experiences of savings/credit groups in the African context and how savings/credit groups influence financial capability and enhance financial well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

Using purposive sampling, a study of a total of 18 focus groups was conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. Nine urban-based savings/credit groups were drawn from across South Africa and additional nine, rural-based savings/credit groups were studied in the Monduli district of Tanzania.

Findings

Findings demonstrate that the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which promotes customer-to-customer interaction, is the cornerstone of the customer-to-customer co-creation experience. Ubuntu philosophical principles were found to influence the dialogue, access, risk and transparency model of co-creation and customer-dominant logic. The results show further that customer-to-customer co-creation experience positively influences the cognitive, financial, personal and social experiences of members. Specifically, it was found that cognitive and financial experiences positively influence financial satisfaction, financial self-esteem, financial self-efficacy and financial capability, all of which enhance financial well-being. In addition, personal and social experiences positively influence equality, self-confidence, entrepreneurial skills and motivation that in turn enhance social well-being.

Research limitations/implications

This study has implications for many different stakeholders concerned with the financial inclusion of low-income consumers, particularly in the southern part of Africa.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to explore the effects of customer-to-customer co-creation experiences in traditional financial services settings in order to understand how these indigenous financial services influence the financial capability and financial well-being of co-creation members.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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