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Customer service in retailing is the provision of services to customers before, during and after a
purchase. Customer service is all of the retailers activities that increase the value received by
consumers when shopping (Levy & Weitz, 2007). According to this definition; customer service
is an activity that increases value. In the view of Berman & Evans (2007) customer service is
usually identifiable, but sometimes includes intangible, activities undertaken by a retailer in
conjunction with the basic goods and services it sells. Intangibility, one of the main
characteristics of services, is valid for customer service, too. According to another definition,
customer service is the sum total of what an organisation does to meet customer expectations and
produce customer satisfaction (Institute of Customer Service, 2001). Customer satisfaction can
be provided by meeting customer expectations. To meet these expectations, retailers must
provide excellent customer service. Customer services are activities and benefits that are directly
or additionally related with products sold. (Tek & Orel , 2006).
Pettigrew (2008) also defined customer service as a service that supports the provision of the
companys core products. It can be related with products directly such as a product guarantee,
and product delivery. Also customer service can be a facilitating service which is not related with
the products directly such as a parking area, childrens play area, call center etc. Customer
service can be defined by the researchers in the framework of the definitions above: Customer
service is a tangible or intangible value increasing activity that is related with products or
services directly or indirectly to meet customer expectations and so provide customer satisfaction
and loyalty.
Kurtenbach (2000) explains that those who are successful in customer service rank their
customers experience as the top priority. Ettore (2001) is of the view that, concentrating on
current customers information can and should be obtained to better understand their view of the

service provided. The quality of service provided determines the level of satisfaction of the
customer even though what is seen as quality by one customer may not necessarily be quality to
another. Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company
meet or surpass customer expectation. In a competitive marketplace where a business competes
for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a
key element of business strategy. Customer satisfaction is an asset that should be monitored and
managed just like any physical asset. The relationship between customer service and customer
satisfaction is a vital one.
In a competitive market place, understanding customer needs become crucial, therefore
companies and supermarkets in this case, have moved from product-centric to customer-centric
positions. Customer satisfaction is influenced by the type of service provided. Satisfaction is a
challenge particularly in the supermarkets based service as customers can easily switch from one
supermarket to another of a better service. Considering the high costs of acquiring new
customers and apparently, high customers turnover of many supermarket services, it is very
important to find out what causes customer satisfaction (Siadat, 2008). High levels of customer
satisfaction bring several positive aspects to a company; it is believed that customer satisfaction
has a positive relationship with economic profit (Anderson , Fornell, & Lehmann, 1994).
Moreover, it will lower customers price sensitivity (Fornell, 1992), and contribute to the
creation of loyal customers, which in turn implies a stable future cash-flow (Matzler,
Hinterhuber, Bailom, & Sauerw, 1996). Any organization that has satisfied customers is bound to
increase customer base and hence profitability. Satisfied customers may sell your organization
either consciously or unconsciously. It is therefore important that service industries provide
quality service to customers so as to satisfy them, make them loyal and retain them at the end. It

is against this background that the research delved into the customer services on customer
satisfaction of Shoprite Supermarket Accra Mall in particular.


Statement of the Problem

The service industry and in particular, the retail market has been vital to the world economy and
undergone the ever intensified competition under recent crisis and economic turn-down period.
Customer satisfaction is the single most important issue affecting organizational survival. It has
the most important effect on customer retention and in order to narrow it down, focus on
customer service quality as one of the customer satisfaction factors. Despite this fact, most
companies have no clue what their customers really think. Although some researchers have
provided possible means of measuring customer satisfaction (Levy P., 2009). Other authors like
Wilson, Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler (2008) demonstrated some determinants of customer
satisfaction to be product and service quality, price, personal and situational factors (Wilson et
el., 2008). Some researchers have also looked into the relationship between total quality
management and customer satisfaction. (Wen-Y, Keng-Boon, Binshan, & Chong, 2009).
The modern retail industry is however booming across the world. Therefore, it is essential for
retailers to use strategies which focus on satisfying current customers. Supermarkets and
Hypermarkets have played an important role in product and service delivery since they appeared.
For modern life, the existence of traditional markets has been gradually replaced by their
descendent supermarkets and people depend on supermarkets for their basic grocery needs.
Shopping at the grocery store has become a big deal and it is one of the most important food
sources for many households. In addition, unlike previous studies that have focused more on
service industry such as bank, healthcare, beauty etc, the researchers considered a supermarket

setting which fully represents both product and service characteristics. Thus this study is aimed
towards the development of a better understanding of consumer services on customer satisfaction
factors when it comes to how products and services are delivered.


Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to find out how customer service affects customer
satisfaction in Shoprite Supermarket Accra Mall.
Specifically, the study sought to:
1. To determine vital elements of customer service in Shoprite Supermarket Accra Mall.
2. To investigate imperfections within customer service strategies in Shoprite Supermarket
Accra Mall.
3. To ascertain whether customers are satisfied with the level of service they receive from
Shoprite Supermarket Accra Mall.
4. To establish how customer service impacts customer loyalty at Shoprite Supermarket
Accra Mall.
5. To suggest ways of improving customer service in Shoprite Supermarket Accra Mall.


Research Questions

The following research questions will be used to guide the researcher to carry out this study:
1. What are the vital elements of customer service in Shoprite Supermarket Accra Mall?
2. What are the imperfections within customer service strategies in Shoprite Supermarket
Accra Mall?
3. Are customers are satisfied with the level of service they receive from Shoprite
Supermarket Accra Mall?

4. How does customer service impacts customer loyalty at Shoprite Supermarket Accra
5. What are the ways of improving customer service in Shoprite Supermarket Accra Mall?

The essence of this review will be to get a focus for the study and to use these pieces of relevant
information as conceptual framework upon which tentative generalizations and conclusions may
be drawn. It will cover the following sub-headings:

Definition of the Supermarket and Retailing

The Concept of Satisfaction
The Concept of Customer Satisfaction
Dimensions of Customer Satisfaction
The Concept of Customer Loyalty
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A descriptive cross-sectional survey design will be employed using the quantitative approach. In
addition, a sample size of 50 will be use for the study. This study will adopt the purposive
sampling technique to gather qualitative data. Purposive sampling, also known as judgmental,
selective or subjective sampling is a technique by which a researcher makes deliberate choice of
an informant due to the qualities the informant possesses. This is a type of nonprobability
sampling technique.
The instrument that will be used for data collection will be a set of structured questionnaires in
which respondents would be ask to tick responses that best applied to them. The questionnaires
would be related to the objectives as well as the research questions of the study.

Data Analysis Plan

Data will be analyze using descriptive measures. The descriptive statistics will allow the
researcher to use numerical values to represent scores in the sample with the help of SPSS and
Microsoft Excel. According to Borg and Gall (1989) descriptive statistics not only allows the
researcher to use numbers but also provides the researcher with data that allow for inferences on
the population and directions for answering the research questions.

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