Customer Retention Practices in Micro and Small Food Agro-Processing Enterprises in Tanzania (Published)
Customer retention practices are crucial for survival and success especially for micro and small enterprise which have limited resources to engage in continuous marketing activities for attracting new customers. This study was set to investigate the customer retention practices in micro and small food agro-processing firms. The study draws from the Customer Bonding theory examining customer retention practices from market perspective as applied in micro and small food agro-processing firms. The study employed quantitative research approach and a cross- sectional survey design. Data were collected from 302 owner-managers of food agro-processing firms in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Arusha. Descriptive analysis was done on the responses of customer retention practices employed by the firms. The paper demonstrates that, food agro-processing MSEs employ customer retention practices. It was established that, they do customer needs assessment, analyze competitors’ activities and behaviours and they coordinate internal functions to increase customer value. Likewise, the study established that, employees of these firms portray positive behaviours towards customers and that there are commendable relationships between the firm and the suppliers of raw materials for food processing. The findings add to the existing body of literature on highly demanded knowledge on market focused customer retention practices which are mostly needed in firms operating in competitive business environment like food agro-processing. In addition, customer retention practices are highly recommended in MSEs due to their limited resources to continually recruit new customers. Notably, the investigated customer retention practices can be tested in other firms and sub-sectors with the focus of enhancing customer bonds with the business.
EFFECT OF INTERNAL CUSTOMER CARE ON EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION IN TANZANIA’S SMALL AND MEDIUM HOTEL INDUSTRY ENTERPRISES (Published)
This article presents the findings of the study carried out in Tanzania on the influence of internal customer care on the satisfaction of employees. The hotels, which largely depend on customer care for their success in the hospitality industry, were used as a case study. The paper utilises data generated in two phases. The initial data was originally collected by the author during postgraduate diploma studies at the University of Dar es salaam in 2007. Supplementary data was collected between June and December 2012 using semi-structured and descriptive study. A sample of 79 respondents was selected purposive. Based on the literature, the author developed a conceptual framework for analysing the relationship between internal customer care and employee satisfaction. Although customer care has become a celebrated concept in the existing literature, the application appears limited largely to taking care of the buyer at the expense of the internal customer, the employee. Indicative qualitative responses of the employees in the current study show that those hotels, which honoured internal customer care boosted their employees’ morale and commitment, thus leading to job satisfaction, which is a crucial factor in promoting quality service in the hotel industry. On the other hand, hotels that downplayed and overlooked the significance of internal customer care mainly had employees who expressed a low degree of job satisfaction and just served external customers as strategy of protecting their employment and keeping their contractual obligations.. On the basis of these findings, the study recommends that hotels in this East African country need to invest strategically in internal customer care as a way of augmenting and promoting external customer care.
The Influence of Internal Customer Care on SMEs Employees’ Satisfaction: The Case of Hotel Industry in Tanzania (Review Completed - Accepted)
This article presents the findings of the study on the influence of internal customer care on satisfaction of employees. The hotels, as a business sector that largely utilizes customer care as a success factor was used as a case study. The paper utilizes data, which was collected by the author during postgraduate Diploma studies at the University of Dar es salaam in 2007. Supplementary data was collected between June and December 2012. Based on the literature, the author developed a conceptual framework for analyzing the relationship between internal customer care and satisfaction of employees. The data show that customer care has become a celebrated concept in the existing literature, but the concept and its enticement is limited to taking care of the buyer at the expense of the internal customer, the employee. Indicative qualitative responses of the employees who were involved in the study show that those hotels, which honored internal customer care succeeded to improve employees’ morale and commitment, and thus leading to satisfaction. On the other hand, hotels that underplayed internal customer care proved that their employees were just saving external customers as away of protecting their employment and keeping their contractual obligations; on the other hand, they expressed a low degree of job satisfaction. The study recommended that hotels need to strategically invest in internal customer care as a way of augmenting external customer care.