OLDTOWN White Coffee started their very first outlet in 1958, Ipoh to current 154th store as dated April, 2010, with the aim to provide quality white coffee to Malaysian households and the food services industry. It is a place where people can spend their leisure time with their family members and friends to have a break, relax, and engaging in chitchats and even work! They are not just dedicated serving coffee, but also a desirable coffee shop experience. They also offer delicious foods, including a wide variety of rice, noodles, toast and many more at reasonable prices.
In today’s highly competitive food and beverage industry, Anderson, Fornell, and Lehmann (1994 cited in Lewin, 2008, p. 1) claimed that the degree of customer satisfaction from the services provided at any businesses has a certain level of impact on the organization’s current and future performance.
Oliver (1997) as quoted in Wu and Rong (2009) described “satisfaction as a judgment that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provides pleasurable consumption related fulfillment”. Other researchers would describe satisfaction as “a general psychological phenomenon, describing the emotional state resulting from an evaluation of the perceived discrepancy between prior expectations and the actual performance of the product” (Tse and Wilton, 1988 as quoted in Yang and Zhu, 2006).
Meanwhile, Beisel (1993 cited in Paulins, 2005) explains service as an activity that supplements or facilitates store sales, e.g. free parking, delivery, internet access, etc.
In discussing the correlation between customer satisfaction and business success, Turnbull, Ford, and Cunningham (1996 cited in Kujala, Ahola, 2005, p. 1) argue that “organizations, which are more efficient in providing value for customers, leading to higher customer satisfaction, are more likely to survive in a competitive situation”. Correspondingly, this implies the importance of organizations to maintain and improve their customer satisfaction consistently to survive in the market.
In the financial perspective, “as profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyaltyâ€¦ customer satisfaction and repeat patronage are important indicators of restaurant performance” (Oliver, 1997 as cited in Chow et al., 2007).
On the other hand, an article of Reuland et al. (1985) as summarized in Liu and Jang (2008) mentioned that there are three important elements in a restaurant industry that determining the satisfaction level of customers: material product (food/product quality); the behavior and attitude of the employees (service quality); and the environment (atmospherics).
Customers do not just care about the food quality, but also the service encounters during their dining experience. Liu and Jang (2008) emphasizes that “the service quality was more important than food quality in explaining dining satisfaction”. Likewise, the service quality which acts as an intangible aspect of meal experience tends to be a major factor that determines the place to eat. In the end, customers who are more satisfied with the services provided are more likely to return for the favors they received.
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Nevertheless, the aim of this research is most focus on examining the associations between customer satisfaction and services by conducting a survey at one of OLDTOWN White Coffee branches located at Taman Midah, Cheras. Most notably, this survey allows the company will have a good understanding on the customer expectation and a guideline to improve their current service management as well as their organizational strategy to stay competitive in a global market.
The objective of this research paper is to investigate customer satisfaction towards services provided at OLDTOWN White Coffee located at Taman Midah, Cheras. To find out whether customers are satisfied with the current service provided, including environment, interior design, price, cleanliness of the place and other tangible and intangible services. A few research questions had been raised, which are the followings:-
To explore the satisfaction level of passenger towards OLDTOWN White Coffee services at Taman Midah, Cheras.
To identify if customer service expectations are met.
To find out any other services that the company can offer to build customer loyalty.
To find out how the company can be better adapted to customers’ needs.
To revise the organizational strategy based on the customer feedbacks obtained through questionnaires during the research process.
In order to conduct a thorough and effective investigation, the data will be collected from the customers and managers of OLDTOWN White Coffee (Taman Midah, Cheras).
The author will be using both qualitative and quantitative methods of research to examine and evaluate the satisfaction level of customers. According to Chan (2001), the use of multiple researches can lead to identification of potential problems and solutions. A well-designed questionnaire survey will be distributed to one-hundred and twenty (120) respondents selected at OLDTOWN White Coffee located at Taman Midah, Cheras, both open-ended (20 respondents) and close-ended questions (remaining 100 respondents) with the purpose to gather qualitative and quantitative data.
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The questionnaire will be consisting three parts. The first contains respondents’ demographic information, including gender, age, ethnicity, income, etc. The second part was designed to identify customers’ satisfaction with the current service provided, e.g. service quality, atmosphere, convenience, delivery speed etc. The third part requests respondents to rate their overall evaluation of the dining experience and intention to return. The above questionnaire design idea was obtained from Kim, Ng, Kim (2009).
Thirty (30) close-ended questions will be developed for this study and measured on a 5-point Likert-scale type (1 = strong disagree and 5 = strongly agree). It has been proven by Braunsberger and Gates (2009) that Likert-scale type is very useful in survey research in a way that “customers generally enjoy being asked for their feedback by means of a simple “tick the box” exercise”. Likewise, the time consumption for a respondent to complete a survey is expected to take about 15 minutes. All the data information collected will be analyzed using SPSS program.
On the other hand, open-ended questions consist ten (10) questions requesting customer feedbacks, opinions, and improvement suggestions. Each questionnaire is expected to take slightly longer time than close-ended as respondents would need to spend more time contemplating their response in words.
Lastly, a qualitative interview will be conducted by the researcher with the manager-in-charged to explore three compulsory items:-
The objective of the company.
Strategies adopted to keep the business alive.
Personal perceptions towards the company.
All information provided in this research paper is mainly for academic purpose and shall be treated as confidential.
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