Unit 8 Research Project Assignment Solution

 Unit 8 Research Project Assignment Solution

Unit 8 Research Project Assignment Solution

Programme

Diploma in Business

Unit Number and Title

 Unit 8 Research Project Assignment Solution

QFC Level

Level 5

Abstract

This research program has been executed over the topic “Critical evaluation of customer satisfaction in Harrods London, the UK” in which discussion has been made about the different aspects of customer satisfaction, factors affecting customer satisfaction and the impact of customer satisfaction on the performance of the business. Harrods is a luxury department store in London and the focus is on the level of satisfaction customers are deriving from the products and services offered by Harrods. For the collection of the data primary and secondary sources of information have been used. Different methods have been applied for the collection of the required information.  Data has been collected with the help of primary source so as to analyze and interpret the data collected from the respondents.

Research Project Assignment Solution

Task 1

AC 1.1 Formulate and record possible research project outline specifications

Introduction

According to Mosahab, et. al. (2010), Customer satisfaction plays a vital role in shaping the performance and growth aspects of the business. Enhancement in the level of satisfaction derived from the customers will result in an increase in the performance of the organization. Customer satisfaction means the customer gets satisfied with the products and services provided by the company. From the viewpoint of the company, customer satisfaction is very important as the products and services offered by the company are for the satisfaction of needs of the customers (Koduah & Farle, 2016). Harrods is offering a variety of products for the satisfaction of the needs of the customers. For meeting the expectations of the customer, Harrods is concern towards the customer’s taste and preferences. The taste and preferences of the customer keep changing according to the alternative products available in the market. And Harrods is focusing on meeting these changing needs of the customers. Harrods is a private company which is operating in the retail industry of the United Kingdom. Harrods was founded by Charles Henry Harrod in the year 1834. It is focusing on offering quality and luxury products to its customers (Harrods, 2017).
In this research project discussion will be made about the concept of customer satisfaction and evaluation will be done to the customer satisfaction in Harrods London. In the words of Cengiz (2010), increasing awareness among the society and increasing concern of the customers towards the quality of the products. There are various factors which affect the satisfaction level of the customers due to which the performance of the company gets affected. For the enhancement in the performance of the company, there is a need to place the focus over enhancing the level of customer satisfaction (Wilson, 2010).

   Research Project Assignment Solution

Statement of problem

There has been increase in the cases of dissatisfaction among the customers due to the variety of reasons. These reasons need to be analysed and measures need to be implemented for enhancing the level of customer satisfaction. For evaluating these issues there is a need to evaluate the customer satisfaction in Harrods for evaluating the effectiveness of the products and services offered by the company to its customers.

Aims

The aim of this research is to gather data related to customer satisfaction and critically evaluate the concept of customer satisfaction and its impact on the performance of the organization. This research will evaluate the different aspects related to the customer satisfaction and the factors affecting customer satisfaction.

Objectives

Objectives are the goals decided by the individual, which it wants to achieve from the execution of the program. Objectives of this research project are as follows:

  • To the concept of customer satisfaction and its impact the business.
  • To evaluate the factors affecting customer satisfaction.
  • To evaluate the customer satisfaction in Harrods for the effectiveness of Harrods in meeting expectations of the customers.

AC 1.2 Identify the factors that contribute to the process of research project selection

For the execution of this research variety of reasons are responsible and these reasons which have contributed towards the process of selection of research project are mentioned below:

  • Customer satisfaction has become priority for the business environment and this increasing importance has motivated for the execution of the research on this topic.
  • Interest in the field has acted as a factor which motivated for the selection of the topic for the research.

AC 1.3 Undertake a critical review of key references

According to Cengiz (2010), Customer purchasing power always affects the performance of the company. The purchasing power of the customer is influenced by some factors i.e. price of the commodity, alternative available in the market, consumer income, quality of the products, taste and preferences etc. The company has to maintain the quality of the products and services in order to serve the purpose of customer satisfaction. Harrods is offering quality and luxury products to its customers and for this it is focusing over the needs and expectations of the customers. In the words of Ward (2016), In order to reach the level of surpassing customer satisfaction, the company has to improve the quality of product and the distribution channel. The consumer can reach to the company through different channels. In the era of improved technology and social media, consumers are aware of the product. To aware a consumer about the products is also a big deal. It is important that the consumer is going to understand the advertisement through which company aware the customer about their products. A customer plays an important role in the success of the company. Customer satisfaction includes customer retention and customer extension. Harrods need to consider different factors such as quality of the products, price of the products, suitability of the product, availability of the products and location of the store. All these aspects create impact over the satisfaction level of the customers of Harrods.
Ampomah (2012), customer satisfaction is important to the company.  A company has to consider the customer satisfaction in taking the strategic decision making. Through customer satisfaction, Company can achieve the competitive advantages. The company can earn best suppliers, best distribution channel by customer satisfaction. Suppliers are also the customer of the company, if company satisfies the needs of the supplier then the company can earn the loyalty of customer through better quality of the product (Beard, 2015). A company has also satisfied their employees, as it has been seen that a satisfied employee can satisfy the customer. Customer satisfaction increases the loyalty of the customer. It shows the interest of the customer, purchasing and repurchasing of products. Different factors have been considered by Harrods which enhances the satisfaction level of customers. The level of customer satisfaction can be determined with the help of quality of the products and service, recovery of the products and services, fairness in the prices, employee and customer relationship or orientation and brand image (Rana, et. al., 2014). Harrods is operating a departmental store which is offering quality and luxury products to its customers.Customer satisfaction reduces the switching of the customer towards alternative products. It helps in retaining existing customers. It helps to stop negative word of mouth, as the dissatisfied customer always affects the existing one and new one. A number of customers always measures satisfaction. Feedback is an important tool to measure customer satisfaction, so feedback survey should be an easy process so that consumer does not feel annoyed in filling the feedback form (Ali , et. al., 2015).
Harrods London is a Knightsbridge departmental store with expansion in each area such as medicine, food, clothes, aircraft, banking. Harrod's motive is to satisfy the demands of the customer. Harrods deals with the customer through its employees. It includes many different customers, many products and many stores. Through product diversification, Harrods attracts new customers and by providing better quality and retaining existing customer. It is a departmental store in which every product is available, so by different products customer satisfaction is done by Harrods. A satisfied customer has a positive word of mouth, and a next customer is a friend of the satisfied customer.

AC 1.4 Produce a research project specification

Research Topic: Critical evaluation of customer satisfaction in Harrods’s London, UK

Introduction and background

 As per Derntl (2014), Research is the procedure which includes making plans and blueprint in order to investigate on the decided topic or area. The topic of this research is “Critical evaluation of customer satisfaction in Harrods’s London, UK” on which research will be carried out following the specified process. Data will be collected from various sources and then it will be analyzed in order to present the findings. As per the official website of Harrods group, it is the luxury department store in the UK which runs on a motto “all things for all people”. The stores aim at providing satisfaction to the customers.
Harrods need to enhance its customer satisfaction so that it can stand in the competition of UK’s retail industry. The research focuses on collecting the data which shows the satisfaction level of customers of Harrods.  The data is collected through survey questionnaire and then analyzed through SPSS tool.

Aims

The aim of this research is to gather data related to customer satisfaction and critically evaluate the concept of customer satisfaction and its impact on the performance of the organization. This research will evaluate the different aspects related to the customer satisfaction and the factors affecting customer satisfaction.

Objectives

Objectives are the goals decided by the individual, which it wants to achieve from the execution of the program. Objectives of this research project are as follows:

  • To the concept of customer satisfaction and its impact the business.
  • To evaluate the factors affecting customer satisfaction.
  • To evaluate the customer satisfaction in Harrods for the effectiveness of Harrods in meeting expectations of the customers.
Literature Review

As per Irfan, et. al.  (2016), customer satisfaction is essential in the global business. It is the most important factors which influence the loyalty of customers. Customer satisfaction is determined because of several factors like the commitment of business, fairness in proves relationship with the customers, barriers in switching, etc. Customer loyalty is gained when there are high customer satisfaction and good service quality. Trust is another factor which establishes customer loyalty for the business. The perceived value of the customers also determines the satisfaction level of the customers.
In the words of Mosahab, et. al. (2010), customer satisfaction is that factor which creates a desire in the customers for a repeat purchase. Customer satisfaction depends on several factors like service quality, service loyalty, customer perception, etc. It is very important for the organizations to satisfy their customers in order to grow their business and fight competition in the industry.
As per Naik, et al. (2010), Service quality is the most important factor which determines satisfaction among the customers. Thereby, fulfilling the main objective of the business i.e. Customer satisfaction. It also brings more profitability and competitive advantage to the business.

Research Methodology

In the words of Kumar (2014), Research methodology is the section where the main decisions are taken for conducting the research. Here, the data collection methods and the analysis tools are determined. It also shows what approach is followed for the research.
Research approach: In this research, the data is collected in qualitative as well as in quantitative form. The combination of both can be collectively known as the mixed approach of research.
Data collection: Data is collected through Primary and secondary sources. In accordance with Gill & Johnson (2010), Primary data is collected in the research for the purpose of findings answers to the questions of the researcher. Questionnaire is presented to the 20 customers of Harrods for analysing and evaluating the level of satisfaction gained by the customers from the products offered by it. Secondary data is collected from the already existing sources.

Data analysis: the data collected from the survey questionnaire will be analyzed with the help of SPSS tool and will be presented in charts.
Ethical consideration: Ethics are followed while completing the research. No question is asked from the respondents which harm their sentiments and their values are taken care of.
Research Limitations: The research has the limitation of a shortage of time availability which does not permit to collect information from a large no. of customers.

AC 1.5 Provide an appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification

The plan for the research is explained with the help of below given action plan:

Particulars

Actions

Time taken (weeks)

Description of actions

A)

Planning of the research

2

This is the initial stage where the blueprint of research is created.

B)

Execution of plans

3

The blueprint is followed at this stage

C)

Data gathering

5

Data is gathered from different sources like Primary and secondary sources.

D)

Evaluation of data

4

The data gathered from various sources is evaluated through SPSS tool at this stage.

E)

Conclusion and suggestions

3

After analyzing and evaluating the data, this is the stage where the conclusion is given and suggestions are made.

Gantt chart

Gantt Chart

Task 2

AC 2.1 Match resources efficiently to the research question or hypothesis

Research questions have been constructed for the purpose of providing a direction to the execution process of the research. Data is collected for the purpose of answering the research questions with the help of primary and secondary source of information. The data collected has helped in executing the research in a successful manner and data has provided reliability to the research. For the collection of data, survey is conducted in which 20 respondents are involved.

Research questions

Research questions constructed for this research program are mentioned below:

  • What is the role and importance of customer satisfaction in business?
  • Which factors are responsible for creating impact over customer satisfaction?
  • What are the impacts of customer satisfaction over the performance of Harrods?

AC 2.2 Undertake the proposed research investigation in accordance with the agreed specification and procedures

The information or data for the execution of the research has been collected from primary and secondary sources. These sources have helped in the collection of quality data as well as data in large quantity. The data collected has been analyzed for the purpose of analyzing the responses of respondents. These sources of data collection are explained below:

  • Primary data: primary data is the raw form of data which is collected specifically for the program and directly from the respondents. It is first-hand information which helps in producing different reactions over the research. A questionnaire has been prepared and attached for the purpose of collection of primary data from the respondents. Primary data is collected from the customers of Harrods.
  • Secondary data: secondary data can be explained as the second-hand information which has been collected from the secondary sources. Secondary data provide reliability to the data as the data has been used by others in their work.

AC 2.3 Record and collate relevant data where appropriate.

 

Respondents

Question no.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

Question 1

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

Question 2

a

a

b

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

b

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

Question 3

a

c

a

a

b

a

a

c

a

a

b

a

a

b

a

b

b

a

a

b

Question 4

a

a

c

a

b

d

b

a

a

c

a

a

b

d

a

c

a

b

d

a

Question 5

a

b

a

a

a

c

a

a

a

b

a

a

a

c

a

a

a

a

b

a

Question 6

d

c

d

d

b

b

b

d

d

b

d

d

d

c

d

b

d

d

b

d

Question 7

a

a

a

a

b

b

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

c

b

a

c

Question 8

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

b

a

a

a

a

c

a

a

Question 9

a

a

a

a

d

a

a

a

a

a

d

a

a

a

c

a

a

a

a

a

 

 

a

Highly agree

b

Agree

c

Neutral

d

Disagree

e

Highly disagree

Task 3

For the execution of the research, two research evaluation techniques are available and these research evaluation techniques are formative and summative. In formative, all the activities are analyzed for keeping a check over the execution process of the research. In summative end results of the activities are analyzed. For the execution of this research, both the evaluation techniques have been used which has helped in proper and effective completion of the research by collecting the relevant data for the research.

 AC 3.1 Use appropriate research evaluation techniques

For the execution of the research, two research evaluation techniques are available and these research evaluation techniques are formative and summative. In formative, all the activities are analyzed for keeping a check over the execution process of the research. In summative end results of the activities are analyzed. For the execution of this research, both the evaluation techniques have been used which has helped in proper and effective completion of the research by collecting the relevant data for the research.

AC 3.2 Interpret and analyze the results in terms of the original research specification            

Table 1: Quality and pricing are the main factors affecting satisfaction level

Quality and pricing are the main factors affecting satisfaction levelChart of Quality and pricing

Analysis: according to the analysis of the 20 customers of Harrods it has been analysed that all the respondents have agreed to the statement that price and quality are important aspects which determines the level of satisfaction of the customers. Quality and price of the products creates impact over the purchasing decision of the customer.

Table 2: Do perceptions of customers affect their satisfaction level

 Perceptions of customers affect their satisfaction level

Analysis: according to the data collected from the 20 customers of Harrods it has been concluded that the customers have agreed to the statement that perception of the individual affects satisfaction level of the customers as the perception of every individual differs from each other.

Table 3: Performance of Harrods is determined by the level of satisfaction derived from the customers

Performance of Harrods is determined by the level of satisfaction derived from the customers

Analysis: from the analysis of the responses collected from the 20 customers of Harrods it has been analysed that most of the respondents it has been concluded that the performance of the business is dependent over the level of customer satisfaction.

Table 4: Do promotional campaigns used by Harrods benefits the company

Do promotional campaigns used by Harrods benefits the company

Analysis: according to the analysis of the collected data it has been analysed that few of the respondents agree with the statement and few of the respondents disagree with the statement. The promotional campaigns used by the Harrods are effective but promotional techniques can be changed as per the change in the technology and environment.

Table 5: Behaviour of the employees helps in satisfying the customers in a better manner

Behaviour of the employees helps in satisfying the customers in a better manner

Analysis: as per the data collected it can be concluded that most of the respondents agree with the statement that behaviour of the employees affect the satisfaction level as customers need proper attention and guidance for making decision and getting the details of the products.

Table 6: After sale services has enhanced the satisfaction level of the customers

After sale services has enhanced the satisfaction level of the customers

Analysis: according to the data collected it has been analysed that most of the respondents are not in the favour of the statement as the quality and various others aspects affects the level of satisfaction of the customers.

AC 3.3 Make recommendations and justify areas for further consideration

Recommendations

For the enhancement in the level of satisfaction of the customers, there is a need to analyze the requirements and expectations of the customers. Few recommendations have been made and these are as follows:

  • Harrods can offer a range of products to the affordable price so as to enhance the satisfaction level. Price and quality in developing a strong customer base.
  • Social media platforms can be used for interacting with the customers and solving the issues faced by the customers. Different social media platforms are used for interacting or communicating with the customers.
Future considerations

Future considerations are given for the purpose of providing a direction to the research for future. Research in the future can be executed over the different factors or determinants which affect the customer and their satisfaction level and factors contributing to enhancement in the performance of the organization.

References

Ali, M. A., Bazin, N. E. N. &, Shamsuddin, S. M., 2015, “Key Determinants Of Customer Satisfaction: Evidence From Malaysia Grocery Stores”, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, Volume 74, No.3.
Ampomah, Y. K., 2012, “Factors Affecting Customer Satisfaction And Preference In The Telecommunications Industry: A Case Study Of MTN Ghana”, Commonwealth Executive Masters Of Business Administration.
Beard, R., 2015, “How To Create And Use Customer Feedback Loops To Improve Customer Happiness”, Client Heartbeat.
Cengiz, E., 2010, “Measuring Customer Satisfaction: Must Or Not?”, Journal of Naval Science and Engineering, Volume 6 , No.2, pp. 76-88.
Derntl, M., 2014, “Basics of research paper writing and publishing”, Int. J. Technology Enhanced Learning, Vol. 6, No. 2.
Gill, J. & Johnson, P., 2010, “Research Methods for Managers (4th edition)”. London, UK: Sage Publications
Guest writer, 2013, “Driving customer satisfaction”, Fenero.
Harrods, 2017, “About Us”. [Online] Harrods Group. Available at: http://www.harrods.com/content/about-us/harrods-group[Accessed 09.01.2017].
Irfan, M. Shamsudin, M. F. & Hadi, N. U., 2016, “How Important Is Customer Satisfaction? Quantitative Evidence from Mobile Telecommunication Market”, International Journal of Business and Management, Vol. 11, No. 6.
Koduah, E. Y. T. & Farle, A. Y. D., 2016, “Relationship between Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty in the Retail Banking Sector of Ghana”, International Journal of Business and Management, Volume 11, No. 1.
Kumar, R., 2014, “Research Methodology- a step by step guide for beginners”, 3rd edition. London, SAGE Publications.
Mosahab, R., Mahamad, O. & Ramayah, T., 2010, “Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: A Test of Mediation”, International Business Research, Volume 3, No. 4.
Naik, C. N. K., Gantasala, S. B. & Prabhakar, G. V., 2010, “Service Quality (Servqual) and its Effect on Customer Satisfaction in Retailing”, European Journal of Social Sciences, Volume 16, Number 2.
Rana, S. M. S., Osman, A. & Md. Islam, A., 2014, “Customer Satisfaction of Retail Chain Stores: Evidence from Bangladesh”, Journal of Asian Scientific Research, 4(10): 574-584.
Ward, S., 2016, “Customer Service Makeover”, The Balance-Customer Service Makeover.
Wilson, J., 2010, Essentials of Business Research. London, UK: Sage Publications.