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The development of a customer satisfaction measurement system for account management services within the interim-management branch

Hoekema, Roger (2009) The development of a customer satisfaction measurement system for account management services within the interim-management branch.

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Abstract:The main target of this study was to develop a complete measurement system for the measurement of customer satisfaction towards the services of account managers within the interim-management branch. The measurement system is formed by two products, namely, a measurement instrument and internal measurement items. The measurement instrument is a method that can be used to perform an external and direct measurement, the internal measurement items can be used to perform an internal and indirect measurement (for example complaint handling). The evaluation of customer satisfaction should be based on the measurement instrument and the internal measurement items interchangeably. By using both methods in parallel it is possible to get a wider and more complete picture of customer satisfaction. The roadmap to a customer satisfaction survey of Thomassen et al. (1994), served largely as a source for the research process. This road map offers the two methods by which customer satisfaction could be determined. The first research phase was set for the orientation of the entire research. In this research phase the choice was made for the model of Sonne (1999) to serve as an input model for the aspects of service. In phases 2 and 3, the selection of the relevant service aspects and the development of the measurement instrument were central. These phases focused on identifying the aspects that customers consider important in the services provided by YACHT account managers. In the second phase, 20 interviews were conducted with business unit managers, account managers and experts to determine which aspects from the model of Sonne (1999) were relevant for account management services, also some sub aspects were selected. These aspects and some of the sub aspects were tested in the third research phase based on the performance of account managers and the relevance of the aspects. In the third research phase, 75 online questionnaires were collected under a group of customers in the public service market to test the service aspects. In the second research phase the following main aspects were selected from the model of Sonne: reliability, accessibility, responsiveness, ability to understand client’s needs, competences, relations and communication. The customers in the third research phase also considered these aspects as relevant. Based on the results within research phase three some specific practical recommendations can be done. The customers were segmentated based on four independent variables: gender, position of the employee (respondent) in the customer organization, the number of employees in the customer organization (small, average and large municipalities) and the location of the customer organization in the Netherlands. Based on the research results of the third research phase the following conclusions and recommendations can be done. The reliability scores of account managers who operate in small municipalities are too low. The scores on the aspects of reliability and ability to understand client’s needs within the Randstad South area are too low, the same counts for the responsiveness scores in the Randstad North area. Heads of departments do give a higher score on all main aspects than teamleaders. Social skills are very relevant for account management services, there are some improvement possibilities for social skills in large municipalities. Also political management skills are very relevant, the scores of account managers on these skills are still too low. Branch knowledge is the most important knowledge aspect, knowledge in the field of job is the least important knowledge aspect. The scores of customer knowledge have to be raised in large municipalities, in the Randstad area and in the central area of the Netherlands. Within the smaller municipalities and in the North, East and Randstad North areas the amount of customer contact moments have to be raised. The account managers are too transaction focused within small and large municipalities and in the East and Central areas of the Netherlands. The customer satisfaction scores towards the account management services, loyalty and word-of-mouth are all high. The customers are most loyal in large municipalities, also the word-of-mouth level is the highest in these municipalities. Finally, in the north, east and south areas of the Netherlands the loyalty level is higher than elsewhere in the Netherlands
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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