Chapter 1 Introduction
Customers are considered as the key for any business survival. As the market begins to saturate, customer retention will be a key factor in determining the success of a company (Kotler, 2003). As a highly competitive market, the mobile phone company that has the largest customer base and highest customer retention rate will be a market leader in the industry (Turel and Serenko, 2006). Ultimately the quality of customer service becomes a driving force in ascertaining business survival in the mobile phone industry. As mentioned, the degradation of customer service level is highly probable. According to past researchers when customer service level is compromised there is a high possibility that business performance will be affected as well (Bontis et al, 2000; Mullins and Larreche, 2006; Woodcock et al, 2005). Bart et al. (2001) also explained that the rationalization of resources allocation and business processes such as customer service, human resource and productivity is inevitable, these problems can be resolved with proper integration and management transitions. As such, the maintenance of customer service level, when consolidation is put into practice, necessitates the need for effective customer service management (Tucker, 1994). Hence, with effective management of customer service, business performance of mobile phone companies can be improved. In the business arena, more and more organisations are able to realise the importance of having good relations with their clients. In this manner, many industries are trying to identify ways on how to promote or enhance client relationships. The customercompany relationship is based on a continuum wherein both "always-a-share" and "lost-for-good" relationships occupy the two extremes of the continuum. According to Jacobs et al (1998) in an "always-a-share" relationship, transactions are arms-length and discreet. Customers are valuable and at the same time, replaceable. On the other hand, in a "lost-for-good" relationship, the probability that the customer will purchase again from the same company is extremely low when the customer decides to terminate the use of a product due to product defects or problems. With these problems the performance of the business are being affected negatively. In order to 1
Customer Service Management and Business Performance at Vodafone
solve the issue, different methods or approaches can be used to ensure good client relations. Consequently it is the aim of this paper to report the level of CSM of the mobile phone companies in Britain. This paper also examines how CSM can affect the business performance of these enterprises especially at Vodafone.
1.1 Appropriateness of Research Company
To conduct this study the researcher has chosen Vodafone PLC as company. The reasons behind to choose this company is that Vodafone is one of the oldest and largest mobile
phone networks operating in the UK. It covers 99. 7 per cent of the population in the United Kingdom through it's 2G services and around 73 per cent via it's 3G services. Vodafone UK is in the top 20 Best Big Companies to Work For in the Sunday Times Best Companies List, March 2008 (Taylor, 2009) Vodafone UK has almost19 million customers and is part of the world’s leading international mobile telecommunications Group, offering a wide range of voice and data communications. The company is committed to providing mobile solutions that allow both consumer and business customers to make the most of now. In addition, Vodafone connects customers across the globe with roaming agreements worldwide. It provides 3G roaming in 29 countries and offers great roaming value with Vodafone Passport. Vodafone now doing their business by buying out smaller operators and spreading it's business around the globe to bring it where it is today - 315 million registered mobile customers (Annual report, March 2009) -...