Effect of customer satisfaction strategies on customer experience among professionals service firms in Kenya
Maitho, James Nyamu
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In the modem business world, companies are struggling as they try to motivate customers to purchase more and make more frequent visits. There are challenges facing professional service providers like law and audit firms as clients are continuously expressing dissatisfaction. Hence, professional service providers need to be aware of drivers of customer loyalty in order to build effective business strategies for customer retention. The study hence sort to establish the effect of customer satisfaction strategies being implemented by service providers on customer experience.From the findings, various service providers can improve their customer experience. The study is hinged on the Assimilation theory and Resource based view theory. The study specifically examined the effect of Information communication Technology, supplier management, staff management and service strategy on customer experience. The study adopted an explanatory research design . The target population was the top four audit firms in Kenya that is Deloitte Consulting, Ernst & Young, KPMG Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) . The study also targeted the customers of these firms which are 42 firms listed at the NSE and are audited by the four audit firms. A census was conducted on all the four firms as well as the 42 listed firms which are the customers. The study findings led to the conclusion that ICT, staff mmanagement and service strategy are positively and significantly related to customer experience while supplier management is positively but not significantly related to customer experience. Since the findings indicated that ICT is positively and significantly related to customer experience, the study recommends that audit firms and other service provision firms should invest more in ICT systems that involve having have a well established work flow billing system, staff and sub contractor capacity scheduling system and knowledge and research databases for better service deliver y. Another recommendation made based on the study findings is that audit firms and other service firms should aim to improve their customer experience by establishing better staff management practices and investing more in them for instance staff on boarding , staff talent management and on the job training. There should also be fair and undiscriminated staff recruitment as they lead to improved customer experience. The study also recommends that since service strategy positively influences customer experience, audit and other service firms should aim to ensures that there is a clear service definition so as to ensure better service delivery as well as constant revisions of service strategies they employ. Furthermore, market segmentation as well as having a well established and strictly adhered to service delivery system should also be considered. The study tested the applicability of Resource Based view theory concept to the service providers in Kenya. The study proved that a firms unique resources for instance strategies gives it a competitive edge over its competitors and improves its performance. In so doing, it improves its customer satisfaction. The study has indicated that when a firm is capable of formulating strategies for instance staff management , ICT related strategies and service strategies, that will lead to better performance thus improving the customer experience. The study also contributes to the Assimilation theory which argues that customer dissatisfaction is based on expectation and perceived product performance and that if customers are given contrary services to what they expected, they become dissatisfied. The study findings indicated that among customers of service providers in Kenya, consumer post-usage evaluation to establish their satisfaction is key. This is a key argument by the assimilation theory.