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Enhancing Customer Experience: An Exploratory Study on the Role of Retailer as an Effective Touch-point for Enhancing Customer Experience for Cellular Service Providers

Drishtikon: A Management Journal

Volume 5 Issue 1

Published: 2014
Author(s) Name: Sujata Joshi | Author(s) Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, Pune, Maharashtra, India
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Abstract

The concept of customer experience has been the current area of research for many authors in marketing. Lot of studies have been carried out in this domain by researchers like Johnston and Kong (2011), Pine and Gilmore (1998), Prahlad and Ramaswamy (2004). Their research suggests that customer experience is slowly emerging as a source of competitive advantage for organizations. It suggests that companies will battle amongst themselves for better customer experience. In the Indian economy as well as across the globe the importance of services sector is already recognized. Although services are being offered in various sectors like tourism, airlines, telecom, and other industries but the service experience is different in each of them. The cellular mobile industry in India is undergoing rapid changes as a result of globalization and liberalization. It has now become one of fastest growing and most competitive market in the world. Customer retention is one of the most important challenges faced by telecom companies today. A recent Ericsson end user study shows that almost 40% of subscriber churn can be attributed to perceived poor levels of experience from service providers. In extreme cases, such as in the Indonesian, Malaysian and Sri Lankan markets, nine out of the top ten reasons for churn are related to poor levels of customer experience. Customer experience is defined as the summation of all experiences that a customer has at every touch-point of the customer-company relationship. Retailer is the first touch-point to the customers from cellular service providers. All the companies rely primarily on the Retailers to boost up their sales or promote their product in the market. The retailer is the touch-point from whom the services of different operators are sought and provided to customers. So this study aims at understanding the role of Retailer as an effective touch-point for enhancing customer experience for cellular service providers, to find out the retailers influence on customer decision making and expectation of customer from the retailer. A qualitative survey was done on a sample size of 428 mobile customers comprising of 261 male and 167 female customers. The sample comprised of students, corporate professionals, businessmen, executives and housewives. Retailer is one of the most important touch-points for Cellular Service Providers in enhancing customer experience. The retailer is an effective tool for a service provider in creating positive customer experiences. Retailers show brand loyalty towards specific brand of service providers and tend to recommend those brands to the customer. The survey also throws light upon the expectations of customer which can help the retailer to create positive customer experiences.

Keywords: Customer Experience, Retailing, Customer Retention, Customer Decision Making.

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