Assessing customer service in the Malawian public postal service
Msosa, Steven Kayambazinthu
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Achieving customer satisfaction has been the goal of every organisation. In recent times, the postal business world over has experienced a sharp decline in the volume of mail due to more efficient alternative channels of communication. The dwindling volumes of mail have necessitated that public postal operators diversify into financial services as one way of generating more revenue. The Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) is faced with challenges ranging from cash scarcity, increasing competition from banks and other financial services players like mobile phone companies. At the same time, the customer in the modern age is well informed and demanding high quality service. As such, the MPC needs to ensure that customers remain satisfied with the quality standards being delivered in its network. The importance of achieving service quality and satisfaction are enormous. High quality service and customer satisfaction are tools for competitiveness, productivity and profitability. The aim of this study is to analyse service quality in the Malawian public postal service. A modified SERVPERF questionnaire was used to assess customers’ perception of service quality, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The service quality dimensions of tangibles, reliability, empathy, assurance and responsiveness were used to evaluate customers’ perception of service quality. The 400 respondents were selected using convenience sampling and the eight Post Offices where this research was conducted were selected using purposive or judgemental sampling. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse data. Spearman rho was used to ascertain the relationship between variables. Man-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare differences between two independent variables. The findings of this study show that customers’ perception of service quality was generally good across all the five service quality dimensions and that all the dimensions of service quality have a positive relationship with customer satisfaction. In addition, the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty was found to be positive and significant. Recommendations are made in respect of improving the service quality dimensions because they have a direct impact on customer satisfaction which in turn affects customer loyalty.