THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TO IMPROVING Customer satisfaction IN HOUSING INDUSTRY
Customer satisfaction and customer engagement are correlated with each other. Customer engagement depends on the experience of the customers. It has been evidenced that, if the business organisations are able to provide good and satisfying service to the customers, then it helps to increase the customer satisfaction rate. In addition to this, it also helps to increase customer loyalty. Loyal customers are referred to those, who have suggested other people to take service from a particular business organisation. This helps to promote the service of that particular organisation and is able to secure a large business profit. This study has sheds light on the developing relationship between customer relationship and customer satisfaction. As housing industry of UK has showed large opportunity, therefore, a number of business houses are actively taking part in this sector. Optivo Housing Association is able to provide satisfying service to its customers by analysing its customers’ demands. Due to this, it is able to retain as well as engage more customers and secure a large business profit.
Acknowledgement This study has focussed on customer engagement by enhancing customer satisfaction. In order to complete this study, my professors, friends and family members helped a lot. Without their support and help I would not be able to complete this research work successfully.
Introduction In present interactive and dynamic business environment, the role of customer engagement in relation to customer experience and their satisfaction is getting immense attention from business practitioners. Customer engagement signifies emotional attachment, which is developed during interactions with the business practitioners. Consumer engagement occurs through loyalty, satisfaction as well as excitement about the business organisation. Therefore, rapid increase of customer engagement rate also triggers up organisation’s profit and benefits business organisations. 1.1 Background of the study Over the last decades it has been observed that house prices in UK has been rose dramatically and thus, it made a large impact on people by making the houses unaffordable. From 1998 to 2007 the prices of houses in UK has been generated rose highly. However, in 2009 the price rate has been considerably decreased and as per CLLG measurers it has fallen back to £190,684 (Chamberlin, 2013, p.87). Therefore, in order to make large business profit, business owners that are associated with housing industry needs to provide every single facilities to their customers and enhance customer satisfaction level and retain them (Refer to appendix 1).
Figure 1.1: Annual growth of house price rate in UK (Source: Chamberlin, 2013, p.93) 1.1.1 Background of the company Optivo building association has been considered as one of the largest housing providers in UK. It has provided almost 44,000 homes in affordable price rate to the customers in London till date.
By continuing its successful journey, this organisation has planned to invest £3.5bn to establish new home over the next ten years. In addition to this, they have also engaged a large amount of money in order to develop almost 1500 homes in every year. In order to support this development program the organisation is successful to raise £1.5bn new finance. Moreover, this selected business venture is also invest a large amount of money in each year to develop and repair the houses and check out the customers’ safety. This business house is giving additional attention on customers’ expectations and their feedbacks. Based on that it has arranged appropriate facilities for its customers and thus, it is able to engage and retain its customers. This results into creating large profit to this particular business venture (Optivo Housing Association, 2018). 1.2 Rational In present days, the housing industry in UK is facing immense threats due to changing customers’ behaviour. As commented by Haumann et al. (2015, p.20), in order to run a business successfully business heads needs to give immense attention to the customer’s requirement and make them satisfied. In recent times it has been evidenced that, the customer expectations have never been higher, while it get more complex with recent times, which in turn create immense pressure on frontline staffs. Lack of effective strategies and new methods of customer engagement and lack of better exploit technology is recognised as one of the major cause that reduces customer engagement to this particular housing industry. In order to strengthen the housing industry, business houses needs to engage more consumers by making them satisfied (Sathi, 2014, p.78). Optivo housing association has been considered as one of the leading housing providing organisation in UK. It has spent almost £51.97 million in order to build 283 new homes this year. However, investment rate has been decreased up to 24% from previous year as customers’ needs are being more complex these days. As referred by Osmond et al. (2015, p.2687), due to changing nature of customers’ behaviour, business ventures need to have formulate new strategies to involve more customers and satisfy their needs. According to Karjaluoto et al. (2015, p.705), people are nowadays becoming technologically more advanced. This is because they have preferred online booking service as well as payment service for renting house. In addition to this, they have also preferred to have every modern facility to their homes. Therefore, business organisations are required to satisfy customers need by focussing on their demands. However, in recent days, it has been evidenced that, due to high
demands of the customer’s, business ventures are unable to provide homes in an affordable price rate. Thus, customers’ have checked alternative options and thus, these business ventures have lost their market (Järvinen and Taiminen, 2016, p.170). Optivo housing association is able to fulfil customers’ desires and provide houses with every facility in an affordable price rate, which shows the increasing rate of customers in consecutive year. It has been estimated that, in 2015 the customer satisfaction rate was 76% which has been increased in 2016 up to 98.5%. In 2017 it has been estimated as 99.26%, which reflects that, this organisation is able to engage more customers by fulfilling their requirements and have maintain a good profit margin (Optivo Housing Association, 2018) (Refer to appendix 2). This study sheds light on engaging more customers to enhance the business profit. However, business organisations need to give immense focus on customers’ demands. Moreover, business ventures also need to give attention on customer’s complex expectations and arrange proper facilities for them in an affordable price rate. This helps the business houses to increase their profit margin and run their business successfully.
Figure 1.2: Customer satisfaction rate of Optivo housing association (Source: Optivo Housing Association, 2018) 1.3 Research aim The main aim of this study is to understand the importance of customer engagement by improving their satisfaction in special reference to housing industry in UK. 1.4 Research objective
● To understand the theoretical underpinnings of customer satisfaction and engagement of more customers in housing industry of UK
● To find out the importance of engaging customers in housing industry in UK
● To highlight the relationship between customer engagement and customer satisfaction in refer to housing market in UK
● To find out recommendations to enhance customer satisfaction and engaging more customers in UK housing industry 1.5 Research questions
● How customer engagement does affect the housing industry in UK?
● Why customer engagement is important in housing industry in UK?
● How customer engagement is related to customer satisfaction in housing industry of UK?
● What are the recommendations to engage more customers by enhancing their satisfaction level? 1.6 Significance of the study This study has shed lights on importance of customer engagement by improving customer satisfaction in housing industry of UK.
In order to engage more customers, it is important that the business organisations have to take care of its consumer’s expectations and develop an emotional bonding with them. However, as this housing market in UK is a growing industry, therefore, a number of business ventures has taken active participation in it and thus, they have faced tough competition from each other. Therefore, as per view of Chang and Taylor (2016, p.47), in order to retain the customers and to continue organisational profit, business ventures are required to give immense focus on customers’ expectations and their needs. By engagement with the customers, the business ventures are able to understand their need that helps to analyse customers’ behaviour. Therefore, they are able to provide proper housing facility in an affordable price rate that has satisfied the customers. This benefits both the customers as well as the business organisations that have take part into housing market in UK. 1.7 Structure of the dissertation
Figure 1.3: Structure of dissertation (Source: self created)
Customer engagement refers to emotional attachment that is being developed during continuous and ongoing interactions with the business houses. Over that past few years the UK housing market has developed a large amount of interest and discussion. Business ventures needs to focus on customers’ satisfaction and engage them more to increase profit margin. Chapter 2: literature review 2.0 Introduction In order to run the business organisations successfully and to ensure large profit, business organisations need to engage more customers by fulfilling their needs. As per view of Pansari and Kumar (2017, p.300), a market survey is required to understand customer’s needs and thus, a proper strategy can be framed by business ventures to attract more customers and engage them with the organisation. This results into enhancing the organisational profit and help them to hold a good position in global as well as national market. 2.1 Effectiveness of customer engagement 2.1.1 Accessing the concept of customer engagement
In present dynamic and interactive business environment, customer engagement in relation with customer satisfaction has got immense importance. As commented by Hakansson et al. (2015, p.45), customer engagement has been considered as a business communication connection between business houses and external stakeholders. It has been evidenced that highly engaged consumers have purchase products more, promote it effectively and demonstrate more loyalty.
This is because the business ventures are able to maintain a good profit margin. However, in order to increase customer engagement rate, business houses need to be attentive towards its consumers’ demands and requirements. This made them satisfied and they become more intended to remain attached with that particular organisation. Customer experience has been recognised as an important component in order to formulate the strategy of customer engagement (Kumar and Pansari, 2016, p.112). Customer experience is also made a great impact on organisations’ brand image and reputation. This is because, every business house needs to provide high quality service to its service users and make them satisfied. According to Gallup research it has been identified that fully engaged customers helped to engage almost 23% more revenue than average.
This revenue thus can be used in various development program of the country (Taherparvar et al. 2014, p.591). Business organisations need to have a definite customer engagement strategy. Otherwise it would miss the opportunity of interaction with customers and develop a good relationship with them. Customer engagement has been considered as the result of positive customer experience. According to Galvin et al. (2014, p.35), clarabridge helps to collect data from every consumer’s touch-point and helps the business hubs to understand their purchasing behaviour. According to this and by analysing their purchasing behaviour, business houses are able to frame appropriate strategies to engage more customers and enhance the organisational profit. 2.1.2 Factors affecting customer engagement Customers are the main asset of every business organisation as they are the main source of making business profit. As suggested by Hopkin et al. (2016, p.35), customer experience can turns into customer loyalty and thus, they remain engaged with the business organisation for a long time.
Iit has been evidenced that there are several factors that have influenced the customer engagement process, which includes, poor treatment with service users, dissatisfaction with the service or product from the business ventures and may others. KissMetrics report recently has revealed that, 63% of customers have left due to receiving poor treatment from the business houses (Huang and Zhou, 2017, p.223). In addition to this, it has also been evidenced that 14% consumers have discontinued with their service as the business ventures are unable to provide satisfied service or product to them. 71% of customers have claimed to stop receiving service from a particular organisation due to not getting proper customer service. As per view of Ogunbiyi et al. (2014, p.100), valuing customers has been considered as one of the important aspect in organisation’s success.
Therefore, in order to run a business organisation successfully and to hold a good position in global market the business ventures are required to value their customers by giving importance to its customers’ demands. By failure of giving satisfying service to the customers, business hubs are not being able to retain their customers and this directly affect on their business and causes reduction of organisational annual profit. In addition to this, Baborska-Narozny et al. (2016, p.24) have also suggested that, if the business organisations are unable to maintain quality of product or service, then it might have effects organisations’ reputation. This results into decreasing the number of customer engagement and effects on business profit. 2.1.3 Customer engagement model Customer engagement is being considered an important factor in present dynamic environment.
As suggested by Alwan et al. (2017, p.349), customer engagement model helps to frame appropriate strategies as by analysing their demands. This also benefits the business organisations to achieve a large business profit. As per this customer engagement model, business organisations are required to frame appropriate strategies as per customer’s needs and demand. Later on, in order to implement those strategies, modern technologies, such as social media are being integrated. Technology development has supported the service, which helps to increase customer engagement. ITIL driven approach supports the management process. Therefore, these business hubs are able to overcome their shortcomings and continual improvement supports engagement of more customers.
Figure 2.1: Customer engagement model (Source: Sameni et al. 2015, p.222) 2.1.3 Significance of customer engagement As per view of Hopkin et al. (2016, 36), customer engagement refers when a they directly interact with a particular brand. This has been considered as the key factor to develop potential external stakeholders. Consumers are being recognised as the key element that helps business organisations to make large organisational profit. In addition to this, it has also been evidenced that, 23% additional revenue has been gathered from the engaged customers than average. This additional revenue can be used for development of the country as well as that particular industry.
This is because the economic condition of that country is getting better day by day. As commented by Huang and Zhou (2017, p.222), in order to engage more customers and to retain them, business organisations are required to do proper market survey and understand the customer’s demand. By analysing consumer’s requirement, these ventures need to frame appropriate strategies and provide quality service to them. This increases customers’ satisfaction rate by maintaining brand loyalty. Engaging consumers have also been denoted very important for growth of a business at its initial stage. It has been evidenced that, due to technological development, customer’s experiences have been widely spreaded within a very few time. According to Ogunbiyi et al. (2014, p.105), social
media like, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many other are used as an important platform to share views and comments regarding the service and facilities of a particular brand. Therefore, business organisations are required to provide high quality service or product in order to engage more customers as well as to retain them. Thus, in order to maintain a good profit margin and to hold a good position in global market, business organisations are required to involve more customers and run the business successfully. Customer engagement has been considered as a direct route in order to achieve the business objectives by ventures (Baborska-Narozny et al. 2016, p.37). It has been evidenced that, by engaging customers, it helps to give more revenues. In addition to this, it also plays as an important medium to promote service. However, business houses should not ignore the negative feedbacks from the customers and they needs to make improvements to their service according to its customers’ demand. Otherwise it might have lose its customers as it affects on the customer loyalty.
Figure 2.2: Importance of customer engagement (Source: Ogunbiyi et al. 2014, p.100) 2.1.4 Technological development influence customer engagement
Customer engagement is highly influenced by customer experiences. As referred by Bray et al. (2017, p.1039), good and positive response from customers influence other people and motivate them to take service from a particular brand. This is because every business venture needs to enhance its service quality by identifying and eliminating out the shortcomings of service and provide a good and satisfying customer service. This helps to increase customer loyalty and customers are intended to take service from the business venture. In order to enhance the service or product quality, modern technology needs to be used. As commented by Amountzias et al. (2017, p.60), effective promotion is also being an important part to involve more customers with service. It has been evidenced that, in recent times, people all over the world become efficient to use technologies. Therefore, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media gave been recognised as an important platform to promote service (Hudson et al. 2016, p.27). As people are highly active in these social media, therefore, they can easily access any information very easily. This is because business houses are using this platform to engage more customers.
However, they always need to consider customers’ positive as well as negative feedbacks and bring changes into the service and improve it as per their demand. Therefore, this particular platform has been considered very useful to promote service or product of a business organisation. However, as argued by Ashley, C. and Tuten (2015, p.27), these ventures need to be very cautious about their service and always provide a good customer service. It has been evidenced that, the customers have used the social media platform to state their comments regarding their experience of a service. Therefore, if any business organisation has failed to give satisfying service to the customers then, they can make negative comments and by accessing these negative comments, other people might have been influenced. This causes reduction of customer engagement and thus, business venture has faced immense loss. 2.2 Customer satisfaction and customer engagement 2.2.1 Significance of customer satisfaction In order to run a business organisation successfully, it is important to engage more customers and retain them. As suggested by Hill and Alexander (2017, p.49), customer engagement and customer expectation are closely related and this affects the business ventures to achieve their business objectives. As per KissMetrics report it has been evidenced that customer engagement rate has been decreased up to 71% due to not receiving proper customer service. Due to this,
these people become highly dissatisfied and thus, they have moved to other brands. This made a great impact on organisation’s profit as well as their reputation. As per view of Ennew et al. (2015, p.200), customer satisfaction is recognised as an indicator that helps to point out unhappy customers, as well as measures customer loyalty. By identifying the unhappy customers and the reason of their dissatisfaction, companies can improve their service. Customer satisfaction also helps to reduce the churn rate and engage more customers with the business organisation and increase total revenue. An Accenture global customer satisfaction report (2008) also revealed that, price of product is not only the key factor of customer churn, but poor customer service triggers up the customer churn rate. In addition to this, low customer satisfaction and high customer churn rate also creates a negative publicity of the business houses.
Supreme quality customer service in an affordable price rate always made customer satisfied and helps to engage them with the organisation. Moreover, as commented by Kaura et al. (2015, p.404), increasing customer satisfaction rate helps to enhance customer loyalty and thus, it gives advantage to the business house to hold a good market position in the competitive market. Customer satisfaction is being considered as a key element in order to run a business successfully. According to Orel and Kara (2014, p.119), customer satisfaction is recognised as an important indicator of customer loyalty as well as consumer repurchase behaviour. Therefore, business organisations are able to confined their business strategy and provide supreme quality service to the external stakeholders. In addition to this, it also increases the customer lifetime value and thus, reduces the negative publicity. This is because business ventures are able to establish a good reputation and brand image that supports the organisation’s success.
Figure 2.3: Significance of customer satisfaction (Source: Kaura et al. 2015, p.405) 2.2.2 Factors promoting customer satisfaction Accessibility Business organisations are required to develop a proper team that ensures that customers are able to find out the products or service very easily. As suggested by Pizam et al. (2016, p.10), when people are able to access the product or service without any barrier or friction, then it made them satisfied and thus they remain attached with the business venture for a long time. In addition to this, business houses also need to provide proper assistance to its customers in order to make an appropriate purchase decision. Otherwise, due to changing purchasing behaviour, it might have cause customer churn. Convenience Convenience is an essential factor that helps to develop a positive customer experience (Kim et al. 2015, p.170). It helps the customers to make proper decision to buy product or take service from a particular brand.
It is of mainly five types such as, decision convenience, access convenience, post benefit convenience, benefit convenience and transaction convenience. It has been evidenced that if the perceived convenience is low, then the customers are eager to take service from the organisation. Otherwise, it can lose its customers by making them dissatisfied.
Price and service quality People have always prefered high quality service or product from a business organisation in an affordable price rate (Bowen et al. 2015, p.418). This make the service users more satisfied and thus they are intended to engage with the business house for a long time. This is because, companies are required to provide good service by maintaining its quality. However, as argued by Yang et al. (2017, p.10), poor service quality and high price rate make the customers dissatisfied, which increase customer churn rate. Therefore, the business organisations are not being able to achieve its targets and ensure a good profit margin.
Figure 2.4: Factors affecting customer satisfaction (Source: Kim et al. 2015, p.173) 2.3 Theory on customer satisfaction 2.3.1 Assimilation Theory As per Assimilation Theory it has been evidenced that customers make few cognitive comparison between expectation regarding the product or service and performance of perceived product or service. As per view of Saeidi et al. (2015, p.341), this theory have suggested that post usage evaluation have been introduced into the satisfaction. Customers can reduce the tensions that have been generated from a discrepancy between quality of service or product and
their expectation by reducing the expectation level. As per this theory, consumers are motivated either by change their expectation or adjust their perception regarding the service quality or product performance. However, recent trends show that product performance or service quality actually leads to develop a positive relationship between customer expectation and their satisfaction. Therefore, it suggests that, dissatisfaction of the customers never occur unless the service is not being evaluated with negative customer expectations. 2.4 Relation between customer engagement and customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction and customer engagement are correlated with each other and these two factors made a great impact on organisations’ success. Xu et al. (2017, p.220) have commented that quality of service or products that has been given to the customers by the business ventures, helps to determine customer satisfaction. Positive or negative customer experience made a great impact on involving customers or churns them. In order to run a business organisation successfully, they need to provide proper facilities to its customers by giving attention to their demands and requirements. According to Saeidiv et al. (2015, p.350), in present dynamic business environment, the competition has been increased among various business ventures. Therefore, in order to survive within this competitive market, the business organisations are required to increase customer satisfaction by giving quality service and thus engage more customers.
This results into generating more revenue and give immense profit to the business organisation. Customer engagement has been used to pursue customer loyalty as because, fully engaged customers feel more attached with the company as well as its employees (Yang et al. 2017, p.17). As compare to customer satisfaction, customer engagement has been recognised as a measuring tool to measure the company’s profit as well as its ROI. It has also been evidenced that the higher the customer engagement rate also triggers up organisations’ profit, ROI and success. In previous days, the customer satisfaction rate was being considered as the solution to the problem regarding customer loyalty. The expectation confirmation theory has suggested that customer satisfaction is the small gap between their expectations and the perception of fulfilling their expectations. However, Kim et al. (2015, p.197) have contradicted the idea and suggested that extremely satisfied customers are more likely to engage with an organisation for a long time.
According to Pizam et al. (2016, p.30), increasing rate of customer satisfaction enhance customer loyalty. However, without engaging consumers at emotional level, customer loyalty has also not been valued. Customer satisfaction rate can be increased when the business houses give proper attention to customers’ feedback and focussed on their demands. This helps the business ventures to arrange proper facilities as per customer’s demand and by providing this, they are also being able to enhance customers’ satisfaction and retain the customers. This results into increasing the profit margin of the business ventures. 2.5 Challenges in engaging customers and satisfy them In order to reduce the customer churn rate, and increase customer satisfaction, the business organisations are required to maintain the product or service quality.
However, to maintain the quality or to arrange every facility for the customers, the price is being increased randomly, which makes the service or product unaffordable. As commented by Orel and Kara (2014, p.128), people always prefer to have good quality service in an affordable price rate. Therefore, providing good service in an affordable price rate is being considered a great challenge to the business hubs. In addition to this, in many cases it has also been evidenced that, due to communication gap between customers and business houses, they are completely unable to denote the customers’ requirement. This is because business organisations are unable to provide quality service to them, which made them dissatisfied. However, as argued by Kaura et al. (2015, p.410), not only the service quality but also the high expectation of customers also make them dissatisfied. Technological development also influences customer engagement. Ennew et al. (2015, p.192) have suggested that in order to promote the service or new product, business houses are depending on various social media platforms that includes Facebook, Twitter and many others. In addition to this, in order to increase brand loyalty among people, they have also created their own webpage, where necessary information have been provided with proper detail. Therefore, the customers are able to access those information and make effective decision. However, in these sites or webpages, people have also made negative comments and this might have changed the customer’s purchasing behaviour. Therefore, people get dissatisfied and this increases customer churn rate, which causes immense loss to the organisation.
2.6 Conceptual framework
Customer engagement model
Significance of customer engagement: Increasing business profit, receiving more revenue
Customer satisfaction theory: Assimilation Theory
Factors affecting customer engagement Good customer service, poor treatment of companies
Factors promoting customer satisfaction: Accessibility, Convenience, Price and service quality
Significance of customer satisfaction: Reduction of customer churn rate, leading indicator of customer repurchase, increasing customer lifetime value
Challenges in engaging customers and satisfy them Providing quality service in affordable price rate, technology involvement, communication gap
Close relation of customer engagement and customers’ satisfaction
Figure 2.5: Conceptual framework (Source: self created)
2.7 Gap of literature
Customer satisfaction is completely depends on customer expectation and the perception of service or product that they have been receive. Positive experience of the customers enhances the satisfaction rate of the customers and these triggers up the customer engagement rate. In past years, several studies have been made to determine the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer engagement. However, very few studies have been made that determines the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Therefore, idea regarding customer loyalty and customer engagement has still not been clearly developed. 2.8 Conclusion From the above discussion it has been clearly viewed that, in order to run a business organisation successfully, it is important to give immense focus on the customers’ requirement and this made them more satisfied regarding the service or product. This causes the reduction of customer churn rate and helps to ensure more revenue than average. This results into creating a large profit margin by the business organisation and holds a good position in global market.
Chapter 3: Research methodology 3.0 Introduction Research methodology has been considered as a systematic theoretical approach that has been used to continue a research successfully. It consists of several methods that have been used in the research work. By following these methods, relevant and important data have been gathered to reach to a conclusion. Research methodology has been aimed to develop a particular work plan for conducting a research in a systematic way. 3.1 Research onion In order to design research methodology in a systematic way, research onion has been considered very helpful. As per view of Saunders et al. (2015, p.92), research onion provides a significant progression, through which a successful research methodology can be designed. A research onion comprises of several steps that are arranged in a significant way, such as, research philosophies, approach strategies, choices, time horizons, techniques and procedures. By following these particular steps, researchers are able to gather appropriate data and have successfully completed the research work.
Figure 3.1: Research onion
(Source: Saunders et al. 2015, p.90)
3.2 Research philosophy
Research philosophy has been considered as an overarching term that helps to develop knowledge as well as the nature of the knowledge. As commented by Hughes and Sharrock (2016, p.189), there are mainly three types of research philosophies, such as, positivism, realism and interpretivism. However, in recent days, there is another branch, commonly known as post positivism. Research philosophy comprises of certain beliefs that helps to guide the actions that have been made in research work. According to Saunders et al. (2015, p.85), in positivism, the philosophical approach of natural study has been observed. Therefore, according to [positivism philosophy, knowledge has been based on natural phenomenon. On the other hand, in realism, knowledge has been developed on scientific enquiry.
This is because, it helps to develop a more detail knowledge based on individual’s experiences. It is of two types, such as, critical realism and direct realism. Interpretivism has also been considered as an important branch that helps in developing knowledge in more detail way.
Figure 3.2: Research philosophies (Source: Hughes and Sharrock, 2016, p.200) 3.2.1 Justification for selecting interpretivism
In order to conduct this research successfully, interpretivism has been selected. As commented by Vannest and Ninci (2015, p.403), interpretivism helps to understand the subjective meaning of the study and develop a detail knowledge. Therefore, in order to understand the factors that have influenced the customer satisfaction, this philosophy has been selected. In addition to this, by following this research philosophy, researchers can also interpret the scope of housing industry in UK by engaging more customers and satisfy their needs. 3.3 Research approach Research approach has been considered as a detailed plan that have been used to collect relevant data, analyse as well as interpret them. This is because a detail discussion can be made and develop a proper idea on research study.
As suggested by Sekaran and Bougie (2016, p.56), research approach has been categorised into two distinct branches that includes, deductive and inductive research approach. As per deductive research approach, knowledge has been developed based on existing theories. On the other hand, in inductive approach new theories have been generated, based on the knowledge and data that has been gathered.
Figure 3.3: Research approach (Source: Sekaran and Bougie, 2016, p.66) 3.3.1 Justification for selecting deductive approach
In order to conduct this research successfully, deductive approach has been selected. According to Alshenqeeti (2014, p.40), in case of deductive approach, ideas have been developed based on the existing theory. Therefore, it reduces the chances of mistakes and the research work can be done successfully. In addition to this it is also very time consuming. This is because deductive approach has been selected for conducting this study. Moreover, in order to understand customer satisfaction and involving more customers’ in housing industry, Maslow theory have also been used, which supports the deductive approach. 3.4 Research design Research design is of three types, which includes, explanatory, exploratory and descriptive. As commented by Sinha (2016, p.607), research design signifies the overall strategy to conduct a research successfully by integrating the several components of the research in a logical or coherent way. Exploratory research design has been conducted at the time when, researchers do not have any past data or only few studies are there for references. Therefore, new ideas have been developed by following this research design.
According to Palinkas et al. (2015, p.534), it provides a theoretical or hypothetical idea regarding the research problems. On the other hand, in case of explanatory research design is focussing on the reason behind the research problem. In addition to this, it also helps to develop a relationship among different variables in a research study. Descriptive research design helps to find out all parameters of a research topic with detail discussion.
Figure 3.4: Research design (Source: Sinha, 2016, p.609) 3.4.1 Justification for selecting explanatory design In this research work, explanatory research design has been selected as it helps to develop a core connection between two variables of the study. Customer satisfaction and customer engagement are connected by this research design. As commented by Vannest and Ninci (2015, p.50), explanatory research design has been considered as an important attempt to connect various ideas to understand their effects. Therefore, with the help of this particular research design, connection between customer engagement and customer satisfaction has been discovered and also how it affects the business have also been clearly discussed. 3.5 Data collection method In order to conduct a research successfully and to draw an effective conclusion, relevant data needs to be collected.
Based on the data and its analysis an effective result has been come from a research. As commented by Bryman and Bell (2015, p.56), in order to gather relevant data, primary and secondary data collection method has been followed. By collecting relevant and important data from various reliable sources, appropriate idea and knowledge can be developed. Data collection method has been considered as an important tool to gather and measure information based on the variables of interest.
As per view of Flick (2015, p.63), primary data collection method has been conducted by following two ways, that are, interview method and survey method. On the other hand, in secondary data collection method, valuable data and information have been gathered from valid and reliable source. Therefore, more authentic data can be collected and it has helped to give more valid result.
Figure 3.5: Data collection method (Source: Bryman and Bell, 2015, p.60) 3.5.1 Justification of selecting secondary data collection method In this research secondary data collection method has been selected as it gives more authentic and relevant data. As referred by Silverman (2016, p.56), in survey or interview method active participations of participants might have not been made. Therefore, there would have been a chance to get an incomplete result. However, in secondary data collection, information have been gathered from authentic sources, such as, relevant online articles, journals and many others and thus a complete result have been obtained. In order to understand customer’s needs and expectation regarding getting facilities in housing industry, data has been collected from journals and articles and thus, secondary data collection method has been selected for this study. 3.5.1 Data collection technique and tool In primary data collection qualitative and quantitative technique has been followed.
As per view of Bryman (2017, p.64), in qualitative technique one or two organisational heads have been asked 2 or 3 open ended questions and from their opinion, data has been gathered to establish a compact result. On the other hand, in quantitative technique, selected participants have been given a number of close ended questions and by analysing their answers an appropriate result has been developed. In order to collect data in primary data collection method, questionnaires have been selected as data collection tool, whereas, in secondary method, appropriate databases like,, MEDLINE, Cinahl and many others have been used to select appropriate articles and journals. In this research, appropriate database has been used to select relevant source of information and gather authentic data by following secondary method.
Figure 3.5: Primary research technique (Source: Bryman 2017, p.70)
3.6 Research strategy
Primary data collection method has been made by following two distinct strategies, which includes, survey and interview. However, in secondary data collection method, information have been gathered by searching relevant online articles and journals. As suggested by Bernard (2017, p.93), in survey method a group of participants have been selected from a total population and
have been asked certain questions relevant to the topic. Based on their answers, a result has been developed. However, in interview method, one or two organisational heads have been asked two or three questions and their opinion helps to draw a final result. 3.7 Sample size and sampling method In primary research, sample size has been selected by non probable sampling method. According to Bryman and Bell (2015, p.45), this sampling method helps to determine a specific number of participants have been selected from a total population and engaged in survey process. However, in this research secondary data collection method has been followed, where sampling method has been done by following inclusion and exclusion criteria. Sinha et al. (2016, p.611) have suggested that according to inclusion criteria, online sources of information have been considered valid, which have been published within 5 years and written in English language. In addition, these online sources also need to be relevant to the research topic and must be peer reviewed. Articles and journals, which have not fulfilled these criteria, must be rejected by following exclusion criteria.
In order to conduct this research, data has been gathered from articles and journals with the help of proper databases and sampling method has also been done by following inclusion and exclusion criteria. 3.8 Data analysis Data analysis has been made based on the collected information and this helps to develop a concrete result of the research. As commented by Palinkas et al. (2015, p.544), in order to analyse data and discuss it properly, graphs and charts have been used. In order to make the graphical representation of customer’s behaviour in housing industry, graphs and charts have also been used. 3.9 Ethical consideration As this research has been conducted by following secondary method, therefore, relevant data needs to be gathered from authentic sources. However, researchers have also required to follow certain ethical consideration, such as, they have always needed to cite the source from with they have gathered information to conduct this research. Moreover that data that has been gathered cannot be used for commercial purposes. 3.10 Timeline (Refer to appendix 3) 3.11 Summary
Research methodology gives a proper plan to conduct a research study in a systematic way. Moreover, it also helps to develop new knowledge and ideas based on existing theories. With the help of secondary data, proper idea on effectiveness of engaging more customers by analysing their demands has been developed. In addition to this, research methodology also helps to collect relevant data on a proper way from online sources. Therefore, a definite result can be developed.
Chapter 4: Analysis and discussion
Customer satisfaction is completely depends on the customer experience (Shin et al. 2015, p.627). Positive customer experience can be developed when business houses are providing proper customer service and communicate with them to analyse their requirements. Satisfied customers helps to engage more customers and thus a large market can be conquered by the organisation. This helps the ventures to achieve its business objectives and maintain a large profit margin. Customer engagement and customer satisfaction are the key factor in order to establish a successful business. Customer loyalty directly supports customer engagement and thus, business ventures are able to make large business profit. Active promotion through television or various social media platform helps to engage more customers by motivating them. In order to practise successful business, it is important to do market survey and identify the requirements of the customers. Based on this, appropriate strategies need to be made to satisfy every customer and retain them successfully. 4.1 Thematic analysis Theme 1 Engaging customers made great impact on business of Optivo Housing association Customers are considered as the major strength in order to run a business organisation successfully.
As commented by Williams et al. (2015, p.1836), business houses have set objectives as per its customers’ demand. This helps to increase customers’ choices to take service from that particular organisation. However, before setting business goals, the business ventures are required to do market survey and analyse the customer’s view. This is because, these ventures are able to understand customers’ perception and thus effective strategies can be framed. As per view of Pan et al. (2015, p.179), in housing sector, the business firms have widely adopted the strategies to engage customers to develop and maintain customer brand relationship. It has also been evidenced that customer engagement also increases brand trust and evaluation of brand in an more effective way. It also helps to increase brand loyalty among customers. Due to these factors, business ventures are able to motivate more customers and engage them with the organisation.
It has seen evidenced that, Optivo Housing Association has become one of the leading brand in UK housing sector. As it provides good homes in an affordable price rate, therefore, it is able to gain people’s’ trust and thus, engage more people to take service from the organisation. It has also been evidenced that, this particular business venture is giving the opportunity to buy or rent homes in low price. It has provided homes on rent to students, key-workers, young professionals and many others. Moreover, it has also arranged accommodation facilities to people for short stay. This venture has also concerned about retired people and has arranged homes for them (Optivo Housing Association, 2018). At the time of providing accommodation facilities, this venture have focussed on demands of different types of customers, such as, easy availability of transport, nearby care homes, schools as well as good interior.
As this particular business house is able to fulfil different needs of customers, therefore, customers of various age groups as well as of different economic background are intended to take service from it. Due to engaging more customers, Optivo has able to maintain a good business profit. It has been evidenced that over the last year it has achieved a starplus of £39.3m due to proper and systematic financial management. Theme 2 Taking initiatives by Optivo Housing Association to value money The chosen business house has taken initiatives and committed to give value for money in everything, which is being done by them. By taking this initiative and by supporting more cost effective contracts, this organisation is able to secure almost £1.1 million. As suggested by Ding et al. (2014, p.216), every business organisation has aimed to increase profit in each year. This chosen business firm is successfully increasing their savings by signing more cost effective contracts. In addition to this, the savings have also been used for development programs.
Figure 4.1: Value for money by Optivo Housing Association (Source: Optivo Housing Association, 2018) The chosen business venture has invested almost £51.97 million in order to build 283 houses in this year. However, this has been 24% less than the previous year. As this business venture have supported the thought of valuing money, therefore, it get immense support from the customers and able to develop a good brand image. By developing a good brand image, it is able to gain people’s trust and thus the organisation has encouraged more people to take service from this particular organisation. Theme 3 Providing good service helps to reduce customer churn rate In order to increase annual profit, the chosen business venture have focussed on customer engagement and increasing customer satisfaction. As commented by Saeidi et al. (2015, p.345), good quality service always made people satisfied. Optivo Housing Association is providing accommodation facilities to people of UK for different purposes in an affordable price rate.
Therefore, people of UK get benefited and motivated to take service from this particular business organisation. In addition to this, it has also engaged a large amount of money for development program and thus it has repair a number of homes in every year. This made the service users happy. According to Pizam et al. (2016, p.30), arranging proper safety measures in homes also made the service users satisfied. At the time of building homes, this selected business organisation gives immense focus on arranging safety measures. Furthermore, it has also give attention on designing the interior part properly. As per 2016-2017 annual report, the service of this organisation made 95% of key workers satisfied, whereas, a high satisfaction rate have also been evidenced among students regarding their hostels. It has been evidenced that, when service users are able to receive quality service from any business organisation, it creates a positive impact on them and thus, they get more involved with the business organisation.
Kim et al. (2015, p.171) have commented that, good service quality in affordable price rate makes the service users satisfied and thus, reduces the customer churn rate. This ultimately gives benefits to the business organisation to secure a good profit margin and run the business successfully. Theme 4 More customer satisfaction, increases customer engagement rate in Optivo Housing Association Customer satisfaction depends on the customer experience and this made a great impact on organisation’s reputation. As per view of Kaura et al. (2015, p.404), good service quality helps to develop a positive reaction on customers’ mind and thus, they give positive feedback to the service as well as brand. By analysing these positive feedbacks, people get encouraged to take service from that particular organisation and this helps to increase organisations’ profit. Optivo Housing Association has provided immense accommodation facilities to its customer in a very low price rate. In addition to this, it has also invested £27.1 million into the development and repair program last year. Money has been invested in order to improve and develop new kitchen, bathrooms, new windows and many more. Moreover, it has also provided emergency service and fulfils customer’s demands within appropriate time. In UK it has been identified that housing industry have immense opportunity to make large profit and thus, many business organisations are actively taking part into this particular sector.
Therefore, in order to hold the customers the companies are required to frame appropriate strategies as per their customers’ needs and make them satisfy (Ennew et al. 2015, p.190). As the chosen business venture is able to fulfil its customers’ demand, therefore, it enhances customers’ satisfaction rate and engage more customers. This is because this particular business venture is able to make good business profit and holds the leading position in UK’s housing industry.
Theme 5 Impact of customer loyalty on business of Optivo Housing association In present hyper concrete business environment, it has been evidenced that, customers are not shy about sharing their problems. According to Kaura et al. (2015, p.404), customer loyalty completely depends on customer service that has been experienced by them. Good customer service helps to create a positive experience and it has also increased the expectation of the customer. However, on the other hand, if the customers do not get satisfied with the service, then it has created negative publicity of the brand. Therefore, that particular brand has lost its customers and do not survive within the competitive market. Loyal customers are referred to those customers, who refers the service to others and they will refer the service to other people, only when they have experienced a satisfied service. It has been evidenced that, the selected business venture is able to provide satisfying service to its customers.
It provides immediate service to them and thus, customers get highly satisfied. On the other hand it always takes care about customers’ safety and that is why every safety measures have been arranged within the houses. This helps to create a good customer feedback and engage more customers. This is how customer loyalty has been increased and they have suggested other people to take service from the organisation and this trigger up the organisation’s profit margin. Theme 6 Key factors that helps to improve customer satisfaction and involve more customers In order to improve customer satisfaction rate, business ventures needs to focus on customer’s requirement. As commented by Ennew et al. (2015, p.192), customers have preferred fast service and they do not intended to wait for a long period of time. Therefore, by improving the deliverability service, Optivo Housing Association is able to engage more customers. In addition to this, it has also been observed that high accessibility of service or product also helps to increase the customer satisfaction rate and involve more customers (Ashley and Tuten, 2015, p.20). The chosen business venture has increased the communication with the service users and
thus has identified their needs. By assessing their needs the business venture have arranged every facilities to the houses. In addition to this, they have also invested a large amount of money in repairing and development program to its project. Therefore, it made the service users satisfied and happy and engages them more with the business venture. 4.2 Summary The above discussion has suggested that in order to increase growth of business and ensure a large profit, every business organisation needs to focus on customers’ demand. This helps the business organisations to decrease the customer churn rate and retain them successfully. Fulfilling demands of customers, increases their satisfaction and thus it encourage them more to get engaged with the service. Moreover, positive experience of customer regarding service helps to develop a good brand image, in global market and that helps to attract more customers, by increasing customer loyalty.
Chapter 5: Recommendations and conclusions 5.0 Conclusion Customer satisfaction and customer engagement are closely related with one another and these two key factors made a large impact on business organisation. As suggested by Hur et al. (2015, p.80), in order to engage more customers, it is important that the business hubs gain trust of the customers. This is because, people are motivated to take service from that particular organisation and increase its profit margin. In order to make successful business, the small business ventures are required to deliver quality service or product to its customers. Therefore, these companies can engage more customers by holding its brand reputation in global market. This also triggers up the organisation’s success as well as profit margin. However, as argued by Yang et al. (2017, p.15), poor customer service as well as high price rate also causes the customer churn. Optivo has holds a good position in UK housing market for a long time as its main priority is to satisfy customers’ needs.
Therefore, it has analysed the customers’ demands thoroughly and focussed on developing Business to Customer (B2C) strategies. 5.1 Objective linking Objective 1 Objective 1 has been linked with them 1, theme 3 and theme 4, which describes that customer satisfaction and customer engagement are closely related with each other. In addition to this, it has also been observed that, customer loyalty has been developed by increasing customer satisfaction and loyal customers helps to engage more customers with organisation and increase organisational profit. Objective 2 Theme 3 and theme 4 are closely related with the second objective. It has been evidenced that, in order to run a business organisation successfully, it is important to give immense focus on customers’ demand and choices. This helps to increase customers’ satisfaction and thus it has made positive impact on brand’s reputation. This also increases brand loyalty and people are getting more intended to take service from that particular business organisation. This improves the organisation’s profit and helps business venture to hold a good position in global market. Objective 3
Theme 5, theme 1 and theme 2 has a core connection with objective 3, which suggests that the customer engagement and customer satisfaction are correlated with each other. It has also signifies that the more customer satisfaction, increase the customer engagement rate randomly. However, customer satisfaction depends on several factors, such as, customer’s expectation, service quality and many others. Objective 4 Theme 6 and theme 4 are linked with objective 4, where appropriate recommendation regarding increasing customer satisfaction have been highlighted. It has been identified that increased communication and proper assistance to the service users helps the business ventures to identify the customers’ needs. By considering these requirements, the business organisations are able to develop appropriate strategies and provide satisfying service to customers. Increased customer satisfaction also helps to engage more consumers and higher the organisation’s profit margin.
Increase communication with customers In order to increase customer satisfaction and engage more customers, Optivo needs to develop bonding with its customers. As commented by Williams et al. (2015, p.1840) customer satisfaction is depends on customer experiences. Therefore, every business firm is intended to increase its customer service. In order to increase the customer engagement rate, sales persons are required to attend customer’s query and satisfy them by solving their doubts. This helps to change customer’s perception and also increase brand loyalty. Developing customer feedback system In order to enhance the customers’ satisfaction, the business organisations are required to focus on customers’ demands and requirement (Shin et al. 2015, p.641). Therefore, in order to analyse the customers’ perception, this business house needs to establish online customer feedback system, where customers are able to state their problems regarding the service. In addition to this, they can also give better suggestions to improve their service.
Optiva needs to focus on their customers feedbacks and try to work on its customers’ suggestions. This made the customers satisfied and increase organisation’s profit margin. Increasing product and service quality The chosen business house needs to improve their service quality by monitoring it regularly. Due to this it needs to invest a large amount of money for developing and maintaining the houses properly.
In addition to this, it also needs to develop a monitoring team that will monitor the condition of houses on regular interval of time and repair parts as per requirement. Increasing accessibility Optivo Housing Association needs to focus on the promoting their service properly. This is because people can access the news of its service. In order to promote it needs to select online platforms, such as, social media and create their own web page. This webpage contains important information of the organisation like, service, price of homes, development programmes and many others. Therefore, it helps to build trust regarding the organisation and more people are intended to take service from it. 5.3 Research limitations In order to conduct this research the researchers have faced immense problems that create a great barrier to continue this study. Time has been considered as one of the major hinder in this research. In addition to this, monetary issue has also been considered a major hinder in this study.
As this research has been followed secondary method, therefore, several secondary sources, such as online books, journals and articles have been used to collect data. In many times, these secondary sources of information need to be purchased and collect data from it to continue the work. This has increased the total expenditure of the work. 5.4 Future scope of the studies This research have developed the idea on how to engage more customers in housing industry by satisfying them.. In addition to this, it has also identified several hinders that have affected engagement of customers with the particular service.
Therefore, the result and discussion helps people to provide more information on relation between customer satisfaction and customer engagement. In addition, this information have been used as secondary source of data for the future researchers and it helps in their future work. 5.5 Critical evaluation Affordability of service From the above discussion it has been identified that customer engagement and customer satisfaction are closely related. In present dynamic and competitive business environment, it becomes very tough for the business organisations to retain their customers and engage them with the organisation for a long time. In order to satisfy the customers by providing good service, they need to engage every facility to the customers. In addition to this, business houses also need to provide quality service to its customers in an affordable price rate. Therefore, every people from different economic background are able to afford the service. As commented by Alwan et al. (2017, p.358), by making a product or service affordable, satisfy customers and this reduces customer churn rate immediately. In case of Optivo Housing Association, they have also helped customers to find out proper accommodation facilities in an affordable price rate. In addition to this, they have also build homes, by considering people’s choice. This made the customers happy and they are intended to take service from this particular organisation.
Therefore, this organisation becomes one of the largest house providing company in UK. Negative publicity Positive customer experience always helps to build a good reputation of the business house and motivate people to take service from that particular organisation. However, Kumar and Pansari (2016, p.514) have been argued that negative publicity regarding a company or brand can cause reduction in number of total customer. This is because, it affects the organisation in order to make a large profit and it loses its position in global market also. It has been evidenced that, this chosen business organisation have faced almost £250m bond issues. Therefore, they are unable to complete their target of building new houses within time and this make its customers dissatisfied.
In addition to this, it also made a negative publicity of the chosen business house and thus, it becomes unsuccessful to engage more customers. This directly affects on its business and causes reduction in organisational annual profit (Optivo Housing Association, 2018). Customer engagement and customer satisfaction It has been clearly evidenced that Optivo housing association are providing homes to the customers in an affordable price rate with giving additional facilities. As referred by Hur et al. (2015, p.71), satisfied customers helps to create a good image of the business house. As the chosen business venture is able to provide satisfying service to its customers therefore, people feel happy and can trust on the organisation in order to take service from it. In addition to this, it has also been evidenced that, Optivo Housing association has also monitored the condition home houses that has been built by them and they have maintained 7800 homes across Sussex. This helps its customers to give positive feedback to the business organisation, which helps to develop a good reputation in market. This is because the customer engagement rate has been increased day by day.
However, in several cases, it has also been identified that, Optivo has failed to give proper service within time. In addition to this, the organisation have also used low quality product for building purpose, which might have increase the risks of accidents. These factors made the service users dissatisfied as well as unhappy and thus, they have refused to take service from this particular business house. This is because the customer churn rate had increased in the year 2014. In order to overcome this problem, the business venture has given focus to its customers’ priorities and demands and formulates appropriate strategy. This results into increasing the customer satisfaction rate from 76% to 99.26% in the year 2015-2017. This shows engagement of more customers with the business organisation and securing a large business profit in every year (Optivo Housing Association, 2018). From the above study, it has been identified that customer satisfaction is inversely proportional to customer churn rate.
Therefore, business organizations are always intended to provide satisfying service to its customers. However, this study has not given immense focus on customer loyalty and how to develop customer loyalty. It has been evidenced that, loyal customers have referred other people about the service. Therefore, it has been referred that, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are closely related. As this particular area has not been discussed properly, therefore, further study needs to me made to understand the correlation between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.