Customer service expectations from alcoholic beverage suppliers in the North West Province
South Africa has a highly competitive alcoholic beverage market. All role-players in this market place a huge emphasis on service delivery and customer service, due to the fact that these two aspects can be the determining factors in terms of overall customer satisfaction and on overall business performance. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate what influence the volume an organisation buys from alcoholic beverage suppliers has on their service quality expectations. The research also investigated the following aspects: • To ascertain whether customers perceive customer service differently based on their purchase quantity. • To establish the perceptions customers have regarding service quality in relation to quantity purchased. • To establish whether customer service is of equal importance for customers with different purchase quantities. For the purpose of this study the target population comprised customers of alcoholic beverage supply companies situated in the North West Province of South Africa. The primary alcoholic beverage focus areas used in this study in the North West Province were Rustenburg, Mafikeng and Potchefstroom. A non-probability judgment sample method was used, and the sample size quantity was 220 respondents. The questionnaire requested respondents (high and low-volume) to rank their customer service expectations and opinions with reference to Parasuramans's service delivery dimensions. Ranking was done using a five-point Likert scale. In addition, the respondents were asked to provide certain demographic data. The findings of the study indicated that both the high and low-volume customers felt that alcoholic beverage supplying companies had to deliver on all five service delivery dimensions but failed to do so to full satisfaction. There were also differences between the high and low-volume customers' opinions and expectations. Thus, the results indicated that there are differences between customers' (high and low volume) expectations and opinions of service delivery from alcoholic beverage supply companies. These findings, if used strategically and as a guideline, can improve an alcoholic beverage supply company's retention and profit growth.