Service Characteristics and Service Quality of Organizations within the Telecommunications Sector; A Case of Safaricom Public Limited in Nakuru County
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Safaricom Public Limited Company faces diverse challenges regarding service quality aspects. The communication authority of Kenya ensures that the quality of service amongst the mobile service providers in Kenya is in compliance with Kenya Information and Communication Act of 1998. While the other telecommunication players like Airtel and Telkom Kenya improved in their service quality, Safaricom failed to register any service quality improvement. Safaricom further failed to meet the minimum service quality on eight of the ten regions that were checked by Communication Authority of Kenya. Safaricom has consistently performed poorly and below the minimum set quality threshold in relation to service quality for the four years preceding 2016 financial years in its performance. This study therefore sought to examine the influence of service characteristics on service quality of Safaricom Public Limited Company in Nakuru County. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: to examine the role of service intangibility, service inseparability, service perishability and service variability on the service quality of Safaricom public limited company in Nakuru County. This study adopted expectancy theory and servqual methods in meeting its objectives. This study used descriptive research design to guide the study in meeting its objectives. The study targeted the customers who enter into Safaricom Public Limited Company shop in Nakuru County in any particular day. A sample size of 95 customers was used. This study used structured questionnaires to obtain data from respondents of the study. This study used subject matter experts who comprises of the research supervisor and the four managers from the Safaricom Public Limited Company. Cronbach’s Alpha test of internal consistency was used to test the reliability of the questionnaire using the data obtained from the pilot study carried out using 10 respondents from Airtel Kenya. The filled questionnaires were checked for completeness and then coded and entered into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for analysis. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in the analysis of data. The entire analysis was presented in form of tables. The study revealed that the multiple regression model used in this study was statistically significant in predicting the level of service quality at Safaricom Public Limited in Nakuru County. In respect to this, it was found that quality of service at Safaricom Public Limited in Nakuru County could be significantly be predicted using service variability, service perishability, service intangibility, and service inseparability as predictor variables. It was also revealed that 77.6% of the variability in service quality at Safaricom Public Limited in Nakuru County is due to changes that occur in service variability, service perishability, service intangibility, and service inseparability. The model was found to be accurate in its prediction due to a small standard error of the estimate of 0.11327. The study findings and recommendations are of great importance to Safaricom Public Limited Company in understanding what needs to be addressed in order to improve the quality of service they offer to their customers. This study will also benefit customers of Safaricom Public Limited Company in receiving quality services as a result of readdressing the previous methods of service delivery. Future researchers and academicians stand to benefit from this study as it lays the foundation on which their studies was based.
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