Structuring the research proposal
- Introduction (~200 words)
Explain the issue you are examining and why it is significant.
Describe the general area to be studied
Explain why this area is important to the general area under study (e.g., psychology of language, second language acquisition, teaching methods)
- Background/Review of the Literature (~1000 words)
A description of what has already known about this area and short discussion of why the background studies are not sufficient.
Summarise what is already known about the field. Include a summary of the basic background information on the topic gleaned from your literaturereview
Discuss several critical studies that have already been done in this area (cite according to Harvard style).
Point out why these background studies are insufficient. In other words, what question(s) do they leave unresolved that you would like to study?
- Research Objective (~500 words)
A contextualisation and description of the questions you are examining and an exploration of the claims.
Outline the methodological position you will take (ontology and epistemology) Outline the overarching research aim, objective or hypothesis that you will explore. List the specific question(s) that you are exploring.
Explain how these research questions are related to the larger issues raised in the introduction.
- Method and Design (~900 words)
A description of how you would go about collecting data and test the questions your are exploring. (You are not required to come up with a new or original method!).
Describe the general method you choose for your study, in order to explore your research objective or test your hypothesis(es).
Explain why this method is the best for your purposes.
Explain any potential difficulties in collecting data and how these will be overcome Explain the design features that ensure acceptability for ethical purposes
Describe the participants (if any) and explain how you selected the sample
Explain how you will present the collected data and how it will be able to be analysed the results to explore the research aim or to test the research hypothesis
- Significance and Conclusion (~400 words)
Discuss, in general, how your proposed research would lead to a significant improvement over the original studies, and how it would benefit the field. (In other words, why should someone care?
- References (not in word count) Include all references in Harvard style.
Appendix: (not in word count) Dissertation structure in chapters Gantt Chart or timeline.
THE IMPACT OF BRAND VALUE AND SERVICE QUALITY ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY :
RESEARCH PROPOSAL FOR BANKING SECTOR
In this research, opening of a new bank is being undertaken. To compete against existing retail banks, different variables affecting customer loyalty are examined since customer loyalty affects any business majorly. This proposal contains a macro analysis of customer loyalty in the banking sector. It includes how different variables affect business of banks through customer loyalty. It proposes how improving this can In this report the measure or estimate of customer loyalty is made using two variables i.e. brand value and service quality. Things like trustworthiness of a bank, customer satisfaction, the choice of a commercial or a cooperative bank has also been factored into our estimations of the above-mentioned variables. An attempt is made to ascertain the correlation between the extent and the degree of success of marketing activities undertaken by a particular bank for attracting customers and the effect it had on customer loyalty. Lastly, out of all the factors impacting brand loyalty it can be determined the ones whose effect is significant and should be the first ones to be incorporated in the renewed policies of the banks to attract and retain more customers.
Agarwal and Kamal (2015) studied the level of customer satisfaction in Oriental bank of commerce, Bareilly and explored the role service quality for commercial banks. They also analysed its impact on delivery of service. A sample of 100 customers was selected for this study. Questionnaire was used to get responses from the respondents using a 5 point likert scale. The parameters identified were Tangibility, Assurance, Reliability, Responsiveness and Empathy. Primary data was collected using the questionnaire, interviewing officials and customers. Secondary data was taken from articles, newspapers, books and internet. Reliability and service interaction have been found significant and tangibility and efficiency as insignificant. The findings tell that customer’s expectations of service quality in banks are high and customer satisfaction or perceived quality of service is quite lower across public sector banks. For public sector banks the most prominent gap is in reliability, empathy, responsiveness dimension of the service quality. Banks should have a strong customer relationship management system that would specify the importance of the customer and able to be aware of their needs.
Arshad, Akbar, Muqtadir analyse the impact of Brand Switching, Brand Credibility, Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality on Brand Loyalty of banking clients of Bahawalpur in Pakistan by using regression analysis. A sample of 200 respondents will ask to participate in a self-administered questionnaire. The population for the current research is customer of HBL bank of Islamia university of Bahawalpur(I.U.B.). Brand credibility, brand switching, service quality and customer satisfaction were found to have significant relationship with brand loyalty. Also credibility and perceived quality of a brand do not have a direct relationship with customer loyalty. Findings indicate that bank has performed satisfactorily in presenting a desired image of the target market. It was also found that products with added features or improvements influences brand loyalty within this segment. Also advertising as an influencer of brand loyalty was ranked very low by respondents.
Najafi, Rehmani and Safari (2015) evaluated the Effect of Brand on customer loyalty in the Parsian bank. Customer satisfaction, loyalty, perceived quality and brand equity (brand value) in relation to customer loyalty was examined. In this research, data was collected using the field method and through questionnaires. Statistical population of this research included customers of the Parsian Bank. Pearson correlation test and linear regression were used in order to test the hypotheses. After testing the research hypotheses, it was found that there is a positive relationship between brand name of the Parsian Bank and perceived quality, customer satisfaction. There is a positive relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty, and it shows that customers are satisfied with services and they continue to use this bank’s services.
Mahmoodzadeh (2015) analysed the effect of brand experience, service quality and perceived value on brand loyalty in National Bank of Birjand city. Hypothesized relations between the dimensions of brand marketing experience, service quality and perceived value of loyalty, with data that were selected through structured questionnaires from 254 in person clients of National Bank of Birjand by simple random sampling, were collected and analysed. Research methodology in this study, from the nature dimension is applied and in terms of methodology is descriptive – survey. For the questionnaire validity, content validity was used and for the reliability, the Cronbach’s alpha that the results of which were calculated 0.97 for the questionnaire was used and for data analysis, the structural equation modelling method with the partial least square approach of Smart PLS software has been used. The results of the analysis showed that there is a relation between brand experience marketing dimension and perceived value with brand loyalty directly and indirectly (through a mediator variable), however, a direct relationship between the quality of service and loyalty is not confirmed, but through mediator variables, the consent of the brand and trust to the brand the relation was confirmed.
Ali, Leifu and Rehman (2014) examined that how service quality, trust and reputation effects customer loyalty in Pakistan Banking Industry. A total of 645 bank customers’ responses were collected an empirical research. The finding of this paper indicate that service quality, trust and reputation are positively influences customer’s loyalty. Also there is strong, positive and significant correlation among all three factors of customer’s loyalty. There are mixed trend observed as far as bank type is concerned, greater part of the respondents showed their trust toward private banks, also they believed among all three types of banks, private banks have good reputation in Pakistan existing banking sector. Also a high percentage of respondents believed that service quality of foreign bank is much better than public and private banks.
Thus these studies are indicative of different variables affecting performance of banking sector. However, it lacks a combined effect of relating customer loyalty to brand value of retail banking, customer satisfaction, service quality and the association between ages and retail bank preferences respectively. Four hypotheses relating customer loyalty to brand value of retail banking, customer satisfaction, service quality and the association between ages and retail bank preferences respectively are developed. Literature reviews studied above are in congruence with the stated hypothesis.
The main objective of this research is divided into three parts. These are as follows:
- To analyse the impact of trustworthiness, customer satisfaction, service quality, and brand switching of retail banking services on customer loyalty
- To determine the extent of success of branding and service quality as a marketing tool for attracting customers and creating customer loyalty
- To help banks decide how to build brand loyalty among its customers by examining which determinants of brand loyalty has the greatest impact
- Null Hypothesis – Brand value of retail banking service has a significant impact on customer loyalty
- Hypothesis – Brand value of retail banking service does not have a significant impact on customer loyalty
- Null Hypothesis – Customer satisfaction of retail banking services has a significant impact on customer loyalty
- Hypothesis – Customer satisfaction of retail banking services does not have a significant impact on customer loyalty
- Null Hypothesis – Service quality of retail banking services has a significant impact on customer loyalty
- Hypothesis – Service quality of retail banking services does not have a significant impact on customer loyalty
- Null Hypothesis – Average age of the customer base of the retail banking service has a significant impact on customer loyalty
- Hypothesis – Average age of the customer base of the retail banking service does not have a significant impact on customer loyalty
Questions to be explored with this research include which bank do customers use for your primary banking requirements. It involves the bank customers use the most often in case of accounts in multiple banks. Another factor to be explored is to how to improve average time for a transaction at a bank branch. Also how the helpfulness of the bank staff affects the customer satisfaction is to be determined. One question to ponder is the reliability of online banking services according to the customers. Also how customers find accessibility to the bank branch based on number of branches in their city and the distance to their nearest branch has to be explored. They can further be asked to rank different banks in a decreasing order in terms of satisfaction rank.
Sample and Data
A sample of respondents will be asked to participate in a self-administered questionnaire that was to be filled as an online form. The population for the case study is the set of all customers of desired bank of research. Convenience sampling can be used to collect relevant information through a questionnaire from all the respondents through the online form.
The questionnaire used in this case study can be developed based on the past literature and already used questionnaires. The questionnaire can be designed to satisfy two major purposes: 1) To analyse the relationship of different variables in the adoption of brand loyalty 2)To collect information on the different characteristics of the respondents like age that can be used to understand the variations in different categories The questionnaire contains includes two types of questions: 1) It includes different personal and demographic variables like age. This section will obtain the respondent’s information to understand the variations in different categories. 2) It includes the variables that are important in the current study. These variables include brand credibility, primary bank choice, customer satisfaction and service quality towards brand loyalty.
- Literature review of different concepts of marketing, particularly branding
- Qualitative as well as quantitative methods will be used in this case study.
- Questionnaire, a qualitative method, would be used to evaluate branding as branding is subjective. Customers who visit the researched bank and are members of it would be used as sample for the survey and the questionnaire would contain open as well as close ended questions. The results from the questionnaire can be analysed using statistical tools.
- Secondary data required would be obtained from previous research papers, published data, annual reports and news articles. It would include:
- Market data about banking sector of the country, the retail banking products and the marketing strategies of banks
- Branding effect study by different research groups
- Information about customer loyalty, branding, strategies for branding
- Hypothesis testing, a quantitative method, would be done to analyse branding impacts on customer loyalty. It would measure the significance of customer perception.
Loyalty of customers for a particular bank can be calculated to be the ratio of the number of customers who rely on that bank has for their primary retail banking needs to the total number of customers who have an account in that bank. The customer satisfaction of the bank can be directly obtained from the questionnaire where the survey takers were asked to order the banks based on their satisfaction with the service. The retail quality service for a bank can be obtained as the weighted average of the scores the customers of that bank gave to the following criteria – Average time for a transaction at a bank branch, Helpfulness of the bank staff o Reliability of online banking services, Accessibility to the bank branch, based on number of branches in their city and the distance to the nearest branch. Brand value can be obtained through the BrandZ rankings of brand value, compiled by research agency Millward Brown and commissioned by WPP Plc., the world’s largest communications services group.
Loyalty is developed over a period of time from a consistent record of meeting, and sometimes even exceeding customer expectations. It can be defined as the degree to which a customer exhibits repeat purchasing behaviour from a service provider, possesses a positive attitudinal disposition toward the provider, and considers using only this provider when a need for this service exists. Loyalty is interpreted as true loyalty rather than repeat purchasing behaviour, which is the actual re-buying of a brand, regardless of commitment. Loyalty is a multidimensional construct and includes both positive and negative responses. However, a loyal customer may not necessarily be a satisfied customer. It can also be noted that it is not always the case that customer defection is the inverse to loyalty, while even a problem is not solved, approximately half of the customers would remain with the firm. This may be due to switching costs, lack of perceived differentiation of alternatives, location constraints on choice, time or money constraints, habit or inertia which are not related to loyalty.
Brand is an important communicative tool in customer relationship management.
Brands are valuable for consumers for two reasons:
1)They reduce the risk of perceived consumption.
2)They reduce the cost of decision making
Brands are valid symbols (in other words, they are believable and reliable): they
make companies honest about their products or services and take notice of
customers’ complaints. The importance of credit is the fact that incomplete and
asymmetric information can result in customer uncertainty about the characteristic
of the product. Customer uncertainty may occur after data collecting or
consumption. This leads to consumer’s perceived risk
Brand reliability will decrease the perceived risk because it increases the customer’s
trust about the firm’s claims. Credit and reliability will reduce the costs of
information because customers may use valid and reliable brands as a source of
knowledge to reduce the cost of data collecting and data processing. It is important
to understand that the main service brand and its related organization have the
same meaning in the field of service. As a result, it can be said that brands will have
a wider concept in the area of services.
The success of all organizations and institutions, such as manufacturing or services, profit or non-profit, governmental or nongovernmental is influenced by several factors and one of the most important factors is customer satisfaction in order to achieve excellence in business. It is believed that customers’ satisfaction will affect the future reactions toward organizations such as readiness and willingness to repurchase, willingness to introduce the product to others, willingness to pay the price without bargaining, not trying to find other suppliers who offer similar products with lower prices. When company performance is able to meet customer expectations, then we can say customer satisfaction is achieved. If company performance does not meet customer expectations, the customer will be dissatisfied. On the other hand, if company performance meets expectations, the customer will be satisfied and if company performance exceeds customer expectations, the customer will be very pleased. Customer satisfaction means the degree of desirability which is required by customer because of various features of a product. Customer satisfaction is a source of profitability and a reason for organizations to continue their activities.
Service quality can be defined as the difference between customer’s expectations of service performance prior to the service encounter and their perceptions of the service received. Quality service has a positive effect on the bottom-line performance of a firm and thereby on the competitive advantages that could be gained from an improvement in the quality of the service offered so that the perceived service exceeds the service level desired by customers. It can be defined service quality as the subjective comparison that customers make between the quality of the service that they want to receive and what they actually get. Nowadays, with increased competition, service quality has become a popular area of academic investigation and has been recognized as a key factor in keeping the competitive advantage and sustaining satisfying relationships with customers. The dimensions of service quality include:
1)Tangibles: Physical facilities, equipment and appearance of personnel.
2)Reliability: Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. 3)Responsiveness: Willingness to help customers and provide a prompt service. 4)Assurance: Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence.
5)Empathy: Caring and individualized attention that the firm provides to its customers
SIGNIFICANCE AND CONCLUSION
The methodology is comprised of research design, sample size, questionnaire design, analysis, result of reliability and procedure. This research is focused on customer loyalty and four factors namely, service quality, customer satisfaction, brand value and age of the customer. Thus, four hypotheses can be considered to determine the effect on customer loyalty. Furthermore, customer loyalty was the Customer Loyalty Brand Value Customer Satisfaction Retail Service Quality Age Demography dependent variable and independent variables were service quality, customer satisfaction, brand value and age of the customer.
The sample size of this research is the researched banks customers. Judgement samples are the most general form of sampling designs in social science research. The primary data can be collected based on judgement sampling. The questionnaires can be distributed online to get data on different bank customers. The data thus collected is summarized as Bank Name with respect to 1)Service Quality 2)Customer Satisfaction 3)Brand Value 4)Customer Loyalty
The descriptive analysis and correlation of the variables service quality, customer satisfaction, and brand value in this research uses four hypotheses to assess the impact of independent variables and dependent variable can be done using t-test. This research describes the impact of independent variables on the dependent variable. Association between age of customers and their preference for public sector or private sector bank can be calculated using Chi square test.
From this study, it can be concluded whether brand value, customer satisfaction and service quality of retail banking services have an significant impact on customer loyalty. Further, an association between the age group of the customers and their preference of public or private sector banks as their primary retail bank can be examined. From the data it could be concluded which age group customers strongly prefer public sector banks or new-age private sector banks. From this study, it can be concluded that how branding and service quality affect marketing tools for attracting customers and creating customer loyalty. Also conclusion can be drawn that older generations of customers would be reluctant to switch from public sector to private sector despite better brand value and service quality.
- Agarwal, K. (2015). Level of customer satisfaction in Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bareilly. Available at : http://www.ijstm.com/images/short_pdf/M007.pdf [Accessed 14th December, 2017]
- Ali, L. a. (n.d.). Service quality, trust and reputation effects on customer loyalty in the Pakistan Banking Industry. Available at : http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ijld/article/view/5029 [Accessed 14th December, 2017]
- Al-Hawari, M. and Ward, T., 2006. The effect of automated service quality on Australian banks’ financial performance and the mediating role of customer satisfaction. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 24(2), pp.127-147.
- Arshad, A. M. (n.d.). Impact of Brand Switching, Brand Credibility, Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality on Brand Loyalty of banking clients of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Available at : http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jbm/papers/ndbmr-volume-1/B.pdf [Accessed 14th December, 2017]
- Christopher, M., Payne, A. and Ballantyne, D., 1991. Relationship marketing: bringing quality customer service and marketing together.
- Hennig‐Thurau, T. and Klee, A., 1997. The impact of customer satisfaction and relationship quality on customer retention: A critical reassessment and model development. Psychology & marketing, 14(8), pp.737-764.
- Gul, R., 2014. The Relationship between Reputation, Customer Satisfaction, Trust, and Loyalty. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 4(3), pp.368-387.
- Mahmoodzadeh, M., 2015. The effect of brand experience, service quality and perceived value on brand loyalty study (Case Study: National Bank of Birjand city). Environment Conservation Journal, 16(Special Edition), pp.387-394.
- Najafi, R. S. (2015). Effect of Brand on customer loyalty in the Parsian bank. Available at : http://brisjast.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Feb-92-2015.pdf [Accessed 14th December, 2017]
- Your name (Leave blank for anonymous): ____________________
- What is your age? 16 – 25 26 – 35 36 – 45 46 – 55 56 – 65 Above 65
- Which retail banks do you have an account in?
- Which bank do you use for your primary banking requirements? (State the bank you use the most often in case you have accounts in multiple banks.)
- Please rate average time for a transaction at a bank branch on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Rate the helpfulness of the bank staff on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Rate the reliability of online banking services on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Rate the accessibility to the bank branch (based on number of branches in your city and the distance to your nearest branch).
- In a decreasing order in terms of your satisfaction with the bank, rank the banks in order. (Place the one you trust the most on the top and the least on the bottom)
This chart shows the timeline for different activities to be conducted for research.