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Service Marketing Problems

within

T-Mobile Network, U.K.


MODULE : SERVICE MARKETING

SUBMISSION DATE : 31/07/2008


SUBMITTED BY : DHAVAL PATEL
Table of Content

CONTENTS PAGE
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY………………………………………………………………………...
2
INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………….....
3
Company background…………………………………………………………
……3
Why I choose T-Mobile ………………………………………………………
…...4
Marketing Problem of T-Mobile ……………………………………………
……..4
LITERATURE REVIEW:
Service Market concept of Quality……...…………………………………………………
……….5
Customer Orientation …………………………………………………………………………………
…......6
The dynamic nature of adequate expectations
........................................................................................6
Service Quality…….……………………………………………………….……………….…
…6-7
Dimensions of service quality………………………………………………...……………
………7
Service quality Expectation…………………………………………………………………
…...7-8
Determinants of perceived Service Quality…………………...…………………………
………8-9

Characteristics of service delivery at T-Mobile…………………………………………


………....9
Grönroos's Service Quality Model…………………………………………………………
……..10

10
Dimensions of service quality……………………………………………………………
…....10-11
Measuring Service Quality (SERVQUAL)………………………………………….……
…...11-12
Service quality Gap…………………………………………………………………………....
12-13
Limitation…………………………………………………………………………………………
13
Causes of poor service delivery at T-Mobile……………………………………………
………..14
Solutions…………………………………………………………………………………………..
14

CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………………...
16

REFERENCES……………………………….…………………………………….……………..
17

Executive Summary
The aim of this report is to identify the marketing issues and problems
currently facing T-Mobile Network, U.K. T-Mobile has recorded a number of
complaints from its customers and the industry regulator, (OFCOM) regarding
its poor services being rendered to its customers which falls below their
expectations. As a result, this has branded the company in a negative public
image. In an industry where competition is fierce and intense, it becomes
ultimately necessary for any service organization to provide service delivery
and satisfaction to its customers in terms of quality at all times. As

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customers’ expectations rise, they expect the best from the brand they are
loyal to and T-Mobile Network seems to have lost customer Orientated focus
and losing its market share in the industry due to unhappy customers leaving.

The service marketing problems publicly facing T-Mobile was identified as


prolonged customer service delays, poor Broadband service, and poor
customer service delivery by employees and Overcharged billing systems. An
analysis of service quality gap was also investigated to determine the
customer expectations and how T-Mobile should exceed them. The service
quality gap models will help T-Mobile to analyze their areas of weakness. The
ServQual model was also used to measure the quality of service rendered by
T- Mobile to its customers.

This report also examines the causes of poor customer service delivery at T-
Mobile in order to devise customer recovery expectation strategies to solve
them. In order to convert their weaknesses into strength, T-Mobile must
embark on customer oriented programs such as Market research, training of
employees and Innovating product services at the best possible standardized
manner to satisfy customers at the right time.

Recommendations and different strategies such as investing in Market


research, High speed Down link Packet Access (HSDPA), 4G technology were
finally suggested to eradicate these problems to satisfy customer
expectations as this will go a long way in improving brand image

Introduction
This report is discusses a retail store type customer service relationship at T-
Mobile network, where ‘frontline’ employees, such as shop assistants /
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customer service staff interact directly with customers. T-Mobile has recorded
a high level of customer and regulatory body complaints about the
dissatisfaction of customers about their rendered services. T-Mobile seem to
have lost customer focus and this is beginning to reflect on sales and
customer retention. The aim of this report is to hereby identify service quality
gaps and devise solutions to restore customer loyalty and brand image.
Services includes any activity of benefit that one party can offer to another
that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything.
Its production may and may not be tied to a physical product, Kotler (2002).
Service organizations differ from those of manufacturing in that unlike goods,
service are characterized by their intangibility and the quality of the service is
therefore more difficult for the customer to evaluate (Parasuraman, Zeithaml
and Berry 1991).

This report aims to discuss the poor service delivery at T-Mobile and initiate
strategies and recommendations to improve service delivery standards. This
report as been structured below in the following manner to solve the service
related problems facing T-Mobile:

• Literature review on Service quality.


• Modelling concept and service quality measurement (ServQual Model).
• Service Marketing issues being faced by T-Mobile.
• Causes of poor service delivery to consumers.
• Strategies to create and sustain customer satisfaction.
• Recommendations and conclusion for meeting customer expectations.

Company Background:
T-Mobile is mobile Operator founded in 1990 and headquartered in Bonn,
Germany. It is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. T-Mobile (U.K) is the UK
network of T-Mobile International, the wireless division of Deutsche Telekom,
the third largest telecommunications company in the world. Launched on 7th
September 1993 under the name of One 2 One, the company was the UK's
first fully digital mobile communications network. T-Mobile is now the United
Kingdom's third largest mobile network, behind O2 (UK) and Vodafone (UK),
with over 19.2 million subscribers.use the network, which covers over 99% of
the UK population. T-Mobile holds one of the five 3G UMTS (Universal Mobile
Telephone Service) licenses awarded in the UK, bought for £4 billion in the UK
government's auction. T-Mobile’s U.K headquarters are in Borehamwood,
Hertfordshire, and in total they employ over 6,500 people across the UK. T-
Mobile has 101 million subscribers, making it the world's sixth largest mobile
phone service provider. T-Mobile uses technologies such as GPRS, UMTS, W-
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LAN and offers pay as you go and monthly contract tariffs to their customers
via internet marketing and retail outlets.

Choice of T-Mobile U.K as a Case study:


T-Mobile U.K has been chosen because this company fulfils the research
requirements of service marketing and is one of the best mobile phone
operators in Europe. T-Mobile Network U.K, as an important service provider
in a technologically intense industry is a classic example of how service in its
self is been innovated and delivered to satisfy customer expectations.
Unfortunately, T-Mobile is facing frequent complaints from the customers and
regulators thereby losing market share as a result of their poor service quality
delivery and customers churning.

Service marketing issues at T-Mobile :


a) Prolonged and poor customer service delivery by employees:
Issues of long delays in solving customer service problems by staff of T-
Mobile was reported. Customers were dissatisfied with the long hours
they had to wait before being attended to. Customers were put on hold
for several hours on the telephone, they also complained about the
staff of T-Mobile as being less sensitive and rude during their interaction
with them.
b) Delayed and Inadequate resolution to customer queries :
Customers complained about the slow response of staff to their
enquiries and queries. Feedback forms were not checked and resolved
timely. Customers were not given any feedback or information
regarding their situations. Sometimes it took months before customers
could get any information about their related issues. This was very
unsatisfactory to the customers of T-Mobile.
c) Poor quality of broadband service: Customers complained about
not being able access the internet for days and still had to pay for it.
They also complained about the slow speed and quality of the
broadband service provided by T-Mobile.
d) Not standing by their insurance package promise: T-Mobile was
accused of not replacing lost or stolen mobile phones with insurance
policy packages on time. Customers complained that that the
procedures took longer than promised by T-Mobile. They complained
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that extensive procedures were undertaken which left consumers let
down and frustrated as T-Mobile did not keep and fulfil promise

The large outcry by consumers of mobile phone operators such as T-Mobile


as therefore, prompted my research that being an important service
provider operating in a vital industry, it is necessary to identify where the
problem lies and find solutions to them.

LITERATURE REVIEW
Most literature on consumer expectation recognizes the importance of input
from customers in producing the service (cf., Solomon et al. 1985; Zeithaml,
Berry, and Parasuraman 1988); few discuss how input from customers and
customer contact personnel is communicated from customer contact
personnel at the organizational boundaries to managers who can make
decisions regarding policies and procedures. The importance of
communication in the delivery of services has been noted by Zeithaml, Berry,
and Parasuraman (1988) who examined the gap between consumer
expectations and management perceptions of consumer expectations and
identified upward communication within the organization as a factor which
tends to close this gap. This understanding becomes particularly important in
some service organizations in which, due to intangibility and simultaneous
production and consumption of the service (Bateson 1979), the customer may
have repeated contacts with many different employees. Thus, marketers in
service organizations have the opportunity to supplement information
obtained from marketing research with marketing intelligence provided by
customer contact personnel.

Services Marketing Concepts of Quality


One of the most remarkable features of Service Quality Management is the
way in which it has drawn practising managers from many parts of an
organisation to work together across traditional functional boundaries to
improve quality and productivity. This points up a rather simple yet dramatic
link that has not yet been widely brought to attention. It is this quality thus
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has become an integrating concept between production-orientation and
marketing-orientation (Gummesson 1988). This is especially the case in
service quality management where production, delivery and consumption can
occur simultaneously. The concept of quality referred to here is simply the
match between what T-Mobile customers expect and what they experience.
This is perceived quality. Any mismatch between these two is a “quality gap”.
As perceived quality is always a judgement by the customer, whatever the
customer thinks is reality, is reality. In effect, quality is whatever the T-Mobile
customers experience and says it is. The service quality management is to
narrow the “quality gap”. This not only facilitates getting customers, but
keeping them. As quality goes up, non-value wastes and time related costs
come down (Leonard and Sasser 1982).

The quality gap between customer’s service expectations and service


experience is seductive territory for marketing research but few researchers
with the notable exception of Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, have
attempted to categorically define the generic determinants of service quality
and the kinds of quality gaps that lead to quality shortfalls. (Parasuramant al,
1985, 1988). The difficulty is that customers are continually experiencing and
evaluating service performances in particular settings. They are continually
“adjusting” their perceptions of customer service. Once something is “fixed”
or “improved,” the other important service issues will naturally emerge. And
when one among many critical service issues is resolved the priority levels
naturally change places.

Customer orientation
Customer orientation is defined as the degree to which an organization
emphasizes meeting customer needs and expectations for service quality
(Schneider et al., 1998). Customer orientation is a major component of
service climate, where service climate is defined as the: employee
perceptions of the practices, procedures, and behaviors that get rewarded,
supported, and expected with regard to customer service and customer
service quality (Schneider et al., 1998, p. 151). Thus, it seems T-Mobile has a
lost focus with its customers as their requirements have been no longer
satisfied. T-Mobile needs to obtain vital information about their customer
needs and customer expectations in order to satisfy them profitably. Thus, it
seems likely that customer orientation will demonstrate a link to service
quality. Further, as service quality evaluations are dynamic and influenced by
changing customer expectations (Boulding et al., 1993), it is proposed that
customer orientation will be associated with expectations.

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The dynamic nature of adequate
expectations
In the service quality and customer satisfaction literatures, expectations are
interpreted differently. In service quality, expectations have a normative role,
are based on past experience, and they provide the consumer’s view of what
should happen. In the customer satisfaction literature, expectations are
usually linked to what consumers forecast, that is, they have a more
predictive role and they relate to what will happen (Zeithaml et al., 1993).
The role of expectations in service quality is made more complex by theory
suggesting that different levels of normative expectations exist (the
customer’s “zone of tolerance”) and that the expectations associated with
service quality and customer satisfaction interact (Oliver, 1993; Zeithaml et
al., 1993). The zone of tolerance (ZOT) is based on the assumption that
customers recognise and are willing to accept a degree of heterogeneity in
service quality (Johnston, 1995; Liljander and Strandvik, 1993b; Parasuraman
et al., 1991; Zeithaml et al., 1993). The ZOT is represented by a range
between what is “desired” and what is considered “adequate” (Zeithaml et
al., 1993, p. 6). Desired service is defined as the blend of what can and
should be provided whereas the “adequate” service quality level is defined as
the minimum level of service performance customers consider adequate
(Parasuraman et al., 1994a, b).

Service Quality
Service quality is a concept that has aroused considerable interest and
debate in the research literature because of the difficulties in both defining it
and measuring it with no overall consensus emerging on either (Wisniewski,
2001). There are a number of different "definitions" as to what is meant by
service quality. One that is commonly used defines service quality as the
extent to which a service meets customers’ needs or expectations (Lewis and
Mitchell, 1990; Dotchin and Oakland, 1994a; Asubonteng et al., 1996;
Wisniewski and Donnelly, 1996). Service quality can thus be defined as the
difference between customer expectations of service and perceived service.
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As a result T-Mobile must embark on innovative strategies to develop services
that will cater to meet the requirements of their customers profitably. The
quality of services provided by T-Mobile will have an adverse effect on
customer loyalty and their brand image. If expectations are greater than
performance, then perceived quality is less than satisfactory and hence
customer dissatisfaction occurs (Parasuraman et al., 1985; Lewis and Mitchell,
1990).

Service Quality Expectations


Service quality as the consumer’s judgment about an entity’s excellence or
superiority, parasuramen et al (1988) allege that customers evaluate quality
by comparing their expectations with their perceptions of the service
performance. Customers of T-Mobile expect high quality network reception
along with excellent customer service which they do not seem to be
experiencing at the moment. Top managers at T-Mobile network must
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emphases the importance of understanding and managing expectations to
assist in diagnosing problems and to create and sustain long-term
relationships Walker & Baker (2000).

Customer expectations serve as standards, so when the service received falls


short of expectations, dissatisfaction occurs. Grönroos (1984) suggested that
the quality of a service as perceived by customers consists of two major
dimensions:

Determinants of perceived Service Quality

Source: Parasuramen et al (1985).

The model created by Grönroos (1984b) attempts to understand how the


quality of a given service is perceived by customers. It divides the customer's
perception of any particular service into two dimensions:

1. Technical quality - What the consumer receives the technical outcome


of the process. This relates to the quality mobile phone transmission
and broadband services provided by T-Mobile.
2. Functional quality - How the consumer receives the technical outcome,
what Grönroos calls the "expressive performance of a service"
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(Grönroos 1984b, p. 39). This relates to the expertise of employees of T-
Mobile and how they deliver the services rendered successfully.

Characteristics of service delivery at T-Mobile

Technical aspect of Quality: This involves what customer gets as a result


of their experience with T-Mobile network product service. For example the
clarity of mobile service reception transmitted from T-Mobile network satellite
and stations. T-Mobile network must ensure the use of advanced technology,
quality raw materials associated with high standards of supply chain
management to deliver desired results to their customers.

Functional aspect of Quality: This relates to how the service is provided by


staff of T-Mobile network to its customers. It relates to the direct interaction
between staff of T-Mobile network and their customers. Customers of T-Mobile
have complained about staff being rude, having the wrong attitude,
unpleasant less sensitive.

I. Relationship between employees of T-Mobile at work: This involves


whether the relationship amongst employees is cordial, professional
and if they practice knowledge management, assists each other whilst
serving the customers. Employees must appear to know their role in a
team and the function of their colleagues as well as whom to refer
customer’s to in case of the need for more specialized information.

II. Appearance and personality of T-Mobile employees’: T-Mobile network


must train its employees on desired dress codes and required attitude
needed during encounters with customer. Employees must look well
presented, clean and portray a positive image. Approachability and
accessibility of employees at T-Mobile: Employees must be polite,
friendly and welcoming to customer enquiries and queries.

Grönroos (1984b, p. 41) suggested that, in the context of services, functional


quality is generally perceived to be more important than technical quality,
assuming that the service is provided at a technically satisfactory level. He
also points out that the functional quality dimension can be perceived in a
very subjective manner as shown in the diagram below.
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Grönroos's Service Quality Model

Source: Grönroos (1984b:42)

Dimensions of service quality


MacNeill (1994) suggests that to meet customer needs and understand
customer perceptions, employees should have the ability to concentrate on
specific needs, wants, or problems customers are experiencing in order to
extend to the customer feasible options to suit the specific situation. He
proposes the following quality dimensions and the service standards required
to meet and even exceed customer expectations. T-Mobile has failed in this
area with the quality their standard of service being compromised as shown
below.

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Quality Customer
Experience
Reliability - Performances of services delivered by
employees are inconsistent.
- Attending to customers at the right
time is a major problem at T-Mobile.
- T-Mobile has been accused of not
Upholding promises of services
provided such as broadband and
insurance packages.

Credibility - T-Mobile must ensure that their


adverts and services rendered are
based on facts
- Employees at T-Mobile are deemed
less helpful and incompetent hence
not trust worthy.
Tangibles - T-Mobile generated a reputation of not
conducting their business/services
professionally.
- Office premises and areas of physical
evidence sometimes appeared less
spacious thereby packed up and
rowdy.
Responsiveness - T-Mobile employees did not attend to
customer queries promptly and in
some cases feedback were not
communicated back to customers at
all.
Empathy - Customers complained about
employees being less motivated and
less caring about their issues.

While training employees on delivering quality customer services, top


management at T-Mobile network must take into consideration of these five
major dimensions to meet customer’s expectations.
Using those 10 or 5 dimensions as the evaluation criteria the specification of
service quality becomes the gap between customers’ expectations and their
perceptions (Parasuraman et al1985). This performance-expectation model was
also adopted by other authors (e.g. Brown and Swartz, 1989). Models for

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measuring service quality is either viewed as a measure of the degree of
discrepancy between consumers’ perceptions and expectations (e.g.
Parasuraman et al., 1985) or a tool for assessing the perceived quality (Teas,
1993).

Measuring Service Quality (SERVQUAL Model)


The most generally accepted and discussed method for the measurement of
service quality is the SERVQUAL instrument, developed by Parasuraman,
Zeithaml and Berry (1996; 1998). SERVQUAL measures perceived service
quality by asking customers to compare their perceptions of the service
process and outcome against what they expected to receive from the service
encounter. There are five dimensions by which consumers evaluate service
quality:

• Tangibles (appearance of physical elements e.g., physical facilities,


personnel, equipment and Communications materials at T-Mobile
offices)
• Reliability (how accurate and dependable the performance of T-Mobile
employees are)
• Responsiveness (promptness and helpfulness)
• Assurance (courtesy, credibility, security and competence of T-Mobile
employees’)
• Empathy (good communications, customer understanding and easy
access).

Model of Service Quality Gaps


There are seven major gaps in the service quality concept, which are shown
in Figure 1. The model is an extension of Parasuraman et al. (1985). According
to the following explanation (ASI Quality Systems, 1992; Curry, 1999; Luk and
Layton, 2002), the three important gaps, which are more associated with the
external customers, are Gap1, Gap5 and Gap6; since they have a direct
relationship with customers. As a result T-Mobile must ensure that these gaps are
adequately catered for with the use of differentiated innovations and positive
customer care programmes and procedures.

· Gap1: Customers’ expectations / management perceptions: as a


result of the lack of a marketing research orientation, inadequate upward

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communication and too many layers of management, T-Mobile has
compromised the importance of their customers’ needs.

· Gap2: Management perceptions / service specifications: as a result of


inadequate commitment to service quality, a perception of unfeasibility,
inadequate task standardisation and an absence of goal setting was a major
problem at T-Mobile. They recorded series of customer complaints about their
poor speed and quality of their broadband and network coverage which they
found to be true.

· Gap3: Service specifications / service delivery: as a result of role


ambiguity and conflict, poor employee-job fit and poor technology-job fit,
inappropriate supervisory control systems, lack of perceived control and lack
of teamwork at T-Mobile, it was clear that employee needed to be re-trained
to deliver expected customer services satisfactorily.

· Gap4: Service delivery / external communication: as a result of


inadequate horizontal communications and propensity to over-promise. In this
case, customer expectations are influenced by the extent of needs, word of
mouth recommendation and past service experiences. The services rendered
by T-Mobile fell short of their adverts and promises communicated to
customers before their purchase.

· Gap5: The discrepancy between customer expectations /


perceptions of the service delivered: as a result of the influences exerted
from the customer side and the shortfalls (gaps) on the part of the T-Mobile.
T-Mobile promised several insurance packages, speed levels and quality of
broadband services which were not fulfilled.

· Gap6: The discrepancy between customer expectations /


employees’ perceptions: as a result the differences in the understanding of
customer expectations by front-line service providers. Employees at the retail
outlet failed to realise the importance of assisting customers accurately and
promptly to achieve customer loyalty. Employee of T-Mobile failed to

· Gap7: The discrepancy between employee’s perceptions and


management perceptions: as a result of the differences in the
understanding of customer expectations between managers and service
providers. For some reason employees at T-Mobile did not perform diligently,
thereby portraying a negative image for the top management as a result of
poor knowledge management and not working towards a collective goal.

Limitations
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The criticism of note to this study is the point that SERVQUAL focuses on the
service delivery process and does not address the service-encounter
outcomes (Grönroos, 1990; Mangold and Babakus, 1991). It is interesting to
note that the developers of SERVQUAL initially suggested that service quality
consists of functional (process) and technical (outcome) dimensions
(Parasuraman et al., 1985). However, the SERVQUAL instrument does not
include any measure of the technical quality dimension. Essentially, technical
quality has been neglected in efforts to study and measure service quality

At the same time, one criticism of SERVQUAL has been the point that the
instrument mainly focuses on the service delivery process (Grönroos, 1990;
Mangold and Babakus, 1991; Richard and Allaway, 1993). However, it is also
true that there is no general agreement as to the nature or content of the
service quality dimensions (Brady and Cronin, 2001). Nevertheless, there is a
general perspective that service quality is a multidimensional or multi-
attribute construct (Cronin and Taylor, 1992; Grönroos, 1990; Parasuraman et
al., 1985, 1988). That is, while the contemporary studies on service quality
seemingly focused on the process of service delivery, additional aspects to be
considered have already been suggested, especially by European scholars.
For example, the semantic differences in each dimension notwithstanding,
Grönroos (1982, 1990) and Lehtinen and Lehtinen (1982) noted that the
quality of a service as perceived by customers has three dimensions:
functional (or process) dimension, technical (or outcome) dimension, and
image. Further, Richard and Allaway (1993) argued that utilizing only
functional quality attributes to explain and/or predict consumers' behavior
might be a misspecification of service quality and have low predictive validity.

Reasons of Poor Service delivery at T-Mobile


Network
- Lack of internal marketing concepts : As a result of the poor
performances recorded at T-Mobile, customer focus seem to have been
compromised top management appear to have neglected the need for
employees to work collectively at the best interest of satisfying their
customers and hence increase customer loyalty and profitability.

- Inadequate employee training: Employees were deemed to be lacking


the required knowledge to supply customers with enough information to
assist and educate them on their product services. They were also
accused of being unprofessional and unfriendly.
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- Poor recruitment procedures: Some employees at T-Mobile did not have
the right attitude towards their job roles and therefore affected their
interaction with customers.

- Lack of Customer orientation: Some of the product services such as


broadband services, mobile phones and customer service procedures
were not up to the customers expected standards. This is because
customer opinions were not adequately catered for.

- Poor technology and innovated product service: Orange broadband and


billing systems were faulty; as a result they were of low quality and fell
short of customer expectation.

- Inadequate Monitoring and control systems : As a result of the high


level of customer complaints and increased time of solving complaints,
it was clear that top management were not taking necessary monitoring
measures of customer feedback, complaint management and employee
appraisals seriously. This is very vital for customer satisfaction and
employee development.

Solutions and way forward at T-Mobile


Network

a) Recruiting the right employees: T-Mobile must ensure the use of


vigorous selection and recruitment techniques such as competence,
aptitude and special attribute tests as a procedure for employing the
right employees who can deliver first class customer assistance the first
time consistently. This goes a long way in portraying professionalism
and effectiveness in eyes of their customers. As a result this will
improve the brand image of T-Mobile organization as a whole, generate
customer loyalty and satisfaction. T-Mobile must also adequately
employ more work forces in their retail outlets to accommodate the
problems of long queues and waiting periods of customers.

b) Innovation of differentiated product services : Today launched


what it claims is the UK's first nationwide High-Speed Uplink Packet
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Access (HSUPA) mobile broadband network, offering its mobile
customers upload speeds of up to 1.4 (megabits per second) Mbps.
Using HSUPA option, the Bytton router enables mobile data uplinks at
speeds of up to 1.44 Mbps. In this way, the users of this equipment take
the advantage to access the 3G broadband mobile data services at
speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps across all 3G network coverage and to enjoy
more services and better communication experiences.

Also investing in 4G technology to improve the quality of service of


wireless broadband access, Multimedia Messaging Service, video chat,
mobile TV, High definition TV content. A 4G system will be able to
provide a comprehensive IP solution where voice, data and streamed
multimedia can be given to users on an "Anytime, Anywhere" basis, and
at higher data rates than previous generations. This will help T-Mobile
exceed the expectation of customers as much as possible in a
differentiated manner.

c) Invest in more Customer driven product services: By being more


customer oriented through research and customer surveys rather than
product oriented will cater adequately for customer needs and hence
minimize dissatisfaction. A recent survey of British customers to see
what they thought about wireless Internet access and where the access
should be available showed that 20% of customers said they should be
able to get Internet access everywhere. That everywhere includes
places like the pub, the beach and the park. The survey also says that
37% of UK feels they should be allowed to work outside with mobile
broadband rather than inside at the office. T-Mobile should always
consider customer preferences with such surveys to satisfy customer
needs profitably and thereby creating competitive advantage as
suggested by Porter (1985).

d) Using contract binding service guarantees : T-Mobile should


introduce reasonable guarantees that must be kept to reduce
customers’ sense of risk and dissatisfaction by customers such as ;

- Promising to send technicians out to customers to solve their


broadband issues within 48 hours.
- Stating clearly their terms and conditions of insurance claims of
their product services and Committing to them promptly.
- Delivering customer feedback about their enquiries and queries
within (2) days.

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e) Achieve end-to-end service quality management: Successful
quality management of next-generation services requires end-to-end
service management across complex, multi-technology, multi vendor
infrastructures. Providers need to be able to quickly assess the impact
of events on the performance and availability of revenue-generating
services, establish and ensure aggregate service quality levels, and
provide a detailed analysis of an individual subscriber’s experience that
correlates back to broader service quality trends. In effect, T-Mobile
needs to be able to visualize service quality, prioritize their efforts and
communicate relevant information to all stakeholders.

f) Effective Monitoring and control measures: T-Mobile must set up


internal procedures and policies to be strictly followed by employees to
help standardize the quality of their services. Such policies should
include:

- Uniform greeting and interaction with customers.

- Selected teams to be responsible for customer complaints and


feedback, as well as time deadlines for complaint resolutions
stated

- Using mystery shoppers to assess the performance of employees.

- Standardizing work patterns for all employees to follow such as


during telephone interactions with customers.

g) Prioritize service efforts: T-Mobile needs to make business-smart


decisions when deciding where to focus their efforts. If multiple issues
are identified, which one will they respond to first? Which service level
agreements (SLA) are most critical and/or carry the largest penalties?
What is the financial impact of different priorities? By bridging
operational and business views, T=Mobile can see how service issues
and their responses affect the business, and identify which issues are
truly most important. This allows them to prioritize service efforts in a
way that delivers the greatest value and benefit to the customer and
business in timely manner.

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Conclusion
Quality of service and the ability to attract and retain customers dictate the
success or failure of next-generation communications service providers. In
today’s competitive environment, customers are quick to abandon services
that do not meet expectations. The ease with which customers can switch
from their current service to another, demands that providers deliver the
highest possible levels of service quality and performance. To be successful,
communications service providers must deliver positive customer
experiences with rich, value-added services supported by comprehensive
service quality management. To this effect T-Mobile has experienced the
negative attributes of not being customer focused and realizes that quality is
an attribute that creates customer satisfaction profitably. Therefore quality
must be fused with all resources channeled towards their customers.

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