Customer service expectations from South African alcoholic beverage suppliers in urban and rural areas
Pelser, Theuns G.
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South African alcoholic beverage suppliers (SAABS) have to focus their efforts on quality customer service as a means of differentiation. Quality of service is a competitive advantage and serves as a marketing tool for many companies; it also contributes to customer loyalty and retention. Offering quality service is considered an essential strategy for success and survival in today's competitive business market. A commitment to quality must start from the top of any organisation, be it a service delivery company or a manufacturing or merchandising business, and spiral down to the bottom. SAABS need to understand their customers' perceptions of the service offering, their existing relationship with the company and their levels of satisfaction. The study set out to measure the service delivery expectations and realisations of customers that receive delivery from SAABS based on their geographical location. It required the implementation of a descriptive research method. The target population comprised customers of SAABS situated in the Gauteng, Western Cape and North West Provinces of South Africa. A sample size of 926 was realised. The results from the study indicate that customers expect the SAABS to deliver on all five service quality dimensions but fail to do so to their satisfaction. If the SAABS used the proposed customer relationship management (CRM) framework, it can improve on their service delivery and customer service. This, in the long run, will improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention.