Egyptian banking sector has experienced rapid changes in terms of marketing due to financial crisis and Middle East uprising that was witnessed in the recent past. The global financial crisis that was witnessed in 2008 as well as the uprising that led to ousting of President Mubarak from the drawn posed challenges to the Egyptian banking sector (Karim, 2014). As a result, most banking institutions in the country have invested heavily in ensuring that the satisfaction of the consumers is also enhanced. The level of consumer satisfaction can be used to measure the position, potentials and effectiveness of the services offered by the bank. In addition, banking sector collects information from the consumers so that they can use the same information to improve its services (Leila, 2014). It is important to understand that consumer play a crucial role in any market and their satisfactions determine the future and progress of the market. For example, banking sector is a service industry and its successes is highly depended on consumers trust and commitment.
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However, it is undoubtedly Egyptian banking sector has witnessed substantial growth and development after the global financial crisis recovery. The growth in the sector has also been attributed to a strong growth and resilience of industrial revolution in the country (Amir, 2011). These changes necessitate the banking sector to relook at their philosophy on how to organize and provide products that are consumer centered. This research proposal will focus on examining the consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank.
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Background of the study/ Literature review
For many years, the commercial banks have served a pivot role in the society and in the global economies in general by offering superior to their consumers. These superior and high quality services to the consumers leaves a long-lasting image in the eyes of the bank consumers’ (Kimpakorn, & Tocquer, 2010). As a result, the consumers are motivated and encourage to seek services from the specific banking institution, thus enhancing their profitability, competitive advantage and improved services. Studies have indicated that consumer services in a service industry requires a well-thought out approach since it defines the future and successes of any business enterprise.
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For instance, most commercial banks have shifted from the traditional way of conducting their transaction that required a lot paperwork to a paperless transactions. In addition, most consumers would prefer to conduct their transaction at the comfort of their office, home and shopping stores in a very secure system (Karim, 2014). Looking at these changes, they are all intangible and it is challenge to recognize the service quality and consumer satisfaction. This means that consumer satisfaction and loyalty is the key contributing factor that determines the monetary performance and long-term survival of a business enterprise. Therefore, the improvement in quality standards translates to more consumers and loyalty in the service industry.
HSBC is a renowned bank in Egypt and has been in operational in the country in past four decades. It operates more than 100 branches across the country including 15 Islamic banking branches with its headquarters situated in Cairo.
The primary objective of this research proposal is to determine the consumer service quality in HSBC bank regarding the different service feature provided by the HSBC bank. In this case, service feature comprise of a range of different services offered by the bank (Leila, 2014). The emphasis will also include evaluating the scope of different service that may decrease the consumer complaint, improve service quality and customer satisfaction in an appropriate manner. Analysis indicated that service quality, service features and customer complaint directly correlate with customer satisfaction in the banking sector (Thaku, 2013). Further studies have indicated that enhanced customer features and services reduces customer complaints and increased consumer holder of banking services offered by HSBC. Therefore, banking institution requires to regularly monitor consumer satisfaction in order to increase consumer loyalty.
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The consumer is the major driving force for success to any business enterprise and the companies that offer superior services that benefit the end-user increases the possibility of attracting that consumers from the competitor (Sanjug, 2014). This is clear indication that bank should continually refine their customer services in order to align consumer needs with their services. Studies have shown that there is correlation between the creations of service quality such as compliance with customer satisfaction.
Studies have indicated that most service industries emphasize on retaining the consumers by providing quality and better services. This is the most appropriate method of ensuring that consumer complaints are reduced (Sakhaei, 2014). Nonetheless, some studies have shown that consumer complaint can for the basis of understanding where the problems lies when it comes to service delivery. Almost all the banking institution have suggestion boxes in their branches and the feedback option in their websites where the consumer can register their complaints or suggestion about the quality of service offered. It is important to note that consumer satisfaction is determined by service quality, consumer complaint and service features.
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It is the responsibility of the management and consumer care to ensure that all the complaints received from the consumers are addressed accordingly because studies have shown that consumer complaint that has not being addressed has proved to cause the biggest negative impacts on consumer satisfaction (Thaku, 2013). The interrogation of the effects of service quality on consumer satisfaction indicated that superior consumer service feature and service quality have the greater impact on the consumer satisfaction. Therefore, when the service quality and service features are effected successfully, it increases consumer satisfaction and behavior. This means that consumer complaint is a form of communication where the consumer raise a problem that affects the company and necessary effort should be put in place to address the issues raised.
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Several studies have outlined various mechanism that banking sector can utilizes to solve the problem of consumer complaint. Some of the approaches include the use of consumer feedback to enhance success, victory and survival of the company in a competitive environment (Amir, 2011). However, the approach taken by the company should ensures that it works in the betterment of the company towards improving customer satisfaction.
In terms of quality management, emphasize is portion between service and product. Based on the product, the quality is measured from the physical appearance of the product such as features and goods, which is something that is easily identifiable. In the case of service, the human element play a crucial role because it is purely a way consumers and service providers interacts, thus influencing the perception of the quality (Kimpakorn, & Tocquer, 2010). Generally, the physical quality of the product is standardize and objective. However, it is important to note that it is challenging to measure the quality of service in a purely service-oriented because the expectations and perceptions of the consumers greatly differ. Therefore, it is important to enhance service quality in order for the banking industry to increase the loyalty and trust of the consumers. Finding from the studies have indicated that service quality influences the consumer satisfaction.
Service quality is determined based on guarantee, receptiveness service design, functions and consistency. Studies have shown that service quality influences the decision of the consumers in different dimensions such as consumer value and closeness (Kotler, & Keller, 2012). Some studies have concluded that there is positive correlation between consumer service quality and service quality. The service quality also determines the short-term and long-term tenure between the consumers and banking sector. Further analysis indicated that factors associated with service quality have direct impact on consumer loyalty and satisfaction. The five factors associated with service quality identified by earlier studies are perceptibility, guarantee, sympathy, receptiveness and consistency.
The general objectives of this research proposal is to determine the factors that influences consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt in relations to sustained growth in revenue and expansion in customer face (Creswell, 2009). For the purposes of establishing the significant of customer satisfaction in the banking sector, this proposal focus three important factors that influence the consumer satisfaction: service feature, consumer complaints and services quality. The specific objectives of this research proposal are:
- To examine the significance importance of service feature, consumer complaint and service quality in perspective of consumer satisfaction.
- To evaluate the relationship between service feature, consumer complaint and service to consumer satisfaction.
- To determine the correlation between consumer loyalty and consumer satisfaction.
- To determine the influence of consumer satisfaction on performance, growth and increase on the revenue generated by HSBC bank in Egypt.
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This research proposal will be guided two propositions: null hypothesis (HO) and alternative hypothesis (HA).
HO: Service feature, consumer complaint and service quality have positive relationship with consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt
HA: Service feature, consumer complaint and service quality does not positive relationship with consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt.
The general question that this research proposal seeks to answer is about the issues of customer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt. The specific questions that this research paper seeks to answers are:
- Whether service feature, consumer complaint and service quality in HSBC bank influence consumer satisfaction?
- What is the levels of customer satisfaction in HSBC bank?
- Does the consumer satisfaction improve the revenue and customer loyalty of HSBC bank?
- How can HSBC bank improve consumer satisfaction?
These four questions form the basis of this research study and it will be answered from the perspective of customer satisfaction theory. The formulation of these question was arrived on the consideration of the fact consumers forms the backbone of any business enterprise. The previous studies have concluded that customer satisfaction is essential to the service industry (Kotler, & Keller, 2012). This calls for more studies in the field especially the banking industries which have recently operated in a very competitive environment. It is undoubtedly HSBC banking sector operates in a very competitive industry in Egypt and its ability to fulfill consumer demands and satisfaction is very crucial in maintaining consumer base and loyalty. The relatedness of these questions with the scope of this research proposal is the proposition that superior service feature and high service quality extended to the consumers leads to a decreased consumer complaint in any business enterprise especially the service industry such as banking sector. This means that increased levels of consumers satisfaction is directly correlated with consumer loyalty. This explain why consumer have short-term and long-term loyalties to specific banking institution (Sakhaei, 2014). Comprehensive analysis of most banking institution in Egypt indicated that they provide almost similar service to their consumers but in different mode. Those banking institutions that package their service in manner that consumers perceive to be superior tend to attract more consumers and gain competitive advantage.
This research proposal will use a large scale structured survey that will be distributed among HSBC consumers. Considering that Egypt is a multilingual country with majority of the citizens speaking Arabic, the Arabic version of structured survey will be created under the guidance of bilingual experts (Creswell, 2009). The translated version will be cross-checked independently by a group of bilingual experts. In order to ensure that the created structured survey meet all the standards and is reliable, a pilot testing of 30 respondents will be conducted. The outcome of the pilot study will allows for final adjust be made on the questionnaire (Saunders, et al., 2012). The structured survey will contain two sections: the first section will require the respondent to indicate their demographic information and the second section will be about satisfaction scale where the respondent indicate the level of satisfaction based on five dimensions (Hair, et al., 2010). These dimension are privacy, fulfillment, responsiveness, efficiency and reliability. In second section, the respondents will be required to indicated their satisfaction level through a five-point Likert-scale statement (1 = ‘Strongly Disagree’… 5 = ‘Strongly Agree’) in the five dimensions.
The sample size for this research proposal will 100 consumers of the HSBC bank drawn around Cairo. The respondents in this research proposal are limited to clients of HSBC which resides in Cairo due to financial constraints and proximity (Saunders, et al., 2012). The participants will be randomly selected from the all branches of HSBC banks located within Cairo.
There are several methods that a researcher may use to collect the data such as primary and secondary. In this research proposal, questionnaire technique will be used as the main source to collect the data (Creswell, 2009). Questionnaire was chosen as the appropriate data collection instrument because this research proposal adopted quantitative method. During data collection process, it is anticipated that some participants may not be willing to take part in the process. This may affect the number of respondents that will conclusively respond to all the questions presented in the questions (Hair, et al., 2010). The other aspect that is commonly a challenge to questionnaire is the biasness of the respondents. These are the two major challenges that are anticipated to affect the process of data collection.
There are two major sampling technique that are commonly used by the researchers to identify the individuals that can participate in the research process: non-probability and probability sampling (Saunders, et al., 2012). This research paper will use probability sampling technique which is consistent with random sampling technique as stated in the earlier paragraph.
Descriptive analysis will be used in this research proposal because it will give a general overview of the outcome. This will include the computation of the central tendency and dispersion of the data obtained from the questionnaires (Creswell, 2009). Other analysis methods that will be used is correlation analysis. Correlation analysis will be used to determine the relationship between service features, customer complaint and service quality with customer satisfaction. The outcome of correlation analysis will allows to determine whether null hypothesis (HO) will be rejected or not rejected (Saunders, et al., 2012). The descriptive and correlation analysis will be performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. This software was chosen because it is the most appropriate when analyzing data that was collected through a quantitative technique.
The validity and reliability of the instrument in this research proposal will be determine through the use of chron bach alpha reliability coefficient (Hair, et al., 2010). The value ranges from 0 to 1 where the higher the value, the more reliable the instrument. Testing of 25 items shows that the questionnaire was reliable because the chron bach alpha value was above 0.6.
Although there are several previous studies done about consumer satisfaction, many failed to comprehensively outline the correlation between service features, consumer complaint and service quality in the banking sector. Most of the previous studies focused on tourism and hospitability industry which is also a service-oriented industry (Sanjug, 2014). There is limited information about consumer satisfaction in banking sector especially in Egypt. Therefore, this research proposal finds it relevant to explore consumer satisfaction in HSBC bank in Egypt. In extension, this research proposal finds it necessary to comprehensively determine the relationship between service features, consumer complaint and service quality with consumer satisfaction based on the five dimension which are privacy, fulfillment, responsiveness, efficiency and reliability (Thaku, 2013). The future studies should focus on policy formulation that ensure consumer satisfaction is effectively nurtured in the banking sector. These include specific methods that each industry should adopt in order to ensure that consumers’ demands and expectations are met without negatively impacting the performance of the enterprise.
Significance of the research proposal
The findings from this research will provide Egyptian banking sector and other financial institution around the globe with the information about the importance of quality scope in empowering and changing the quality of service delivery. The findings from this research will also assist the banks to put in place mechanism that will enhance consumer satisfaction, thus improving the revenues of the banks and competitive advantage. These will serve the banks the hustle of finding new consumers to replace those who have left. In addition, HSBC bank will serve as benchmark in terms of service delivery. Therefore, the findings from this research will be significant in the operations and performance of banking sector in Egypt and globally.
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