1.1   Background of the Study  

Customer care Management and customer satisfaction has long been recognized as playing a crucial role for success and survival in today’s competitive market. In an increasing competitive and dynamic business environment, every organization needs to identify, anticipate, satisfy and care for customers to maximize profit, meet the requirement of stakeholders and have competitive advantage. There is also an observable shift toward loyalty marketing in most of the service marketing across various industries. The early business of ensuring customer satisfaction has got undermined due to prevailing colossal relationship orientation of business that calls for going beyond the boundaries of satisfaction and creates commitment based association with customer that render immunity to the business against competitive presures (Awara, 2011).

Customer satisfaction is very important for every organization; either they are service sector or the privet sector. Customers are the actual agents or stakeholders for determining or best judging the success of any product or service.Customer care Management and customers satisfaction is two components of business operating philosophy with the customers loyalty being the function of customer care. Customer care is an aspect of customers relationship management. It refers to the management approach that seeks to create, develop and enhance customers services with careful targeted customer in order to maximize customers value, increase loyalty and retain customers (Backs, 2005). The importance of customers care cannot be overemphasis, it determine the competitive advantage of the firm, market share, business expansion, growth and the profitability. It comprises the quality of service, mode of delivery, customer’s compliant management and customer’s satisfaction. The organizational moderation variables include the business mission, vision, marketing orientation and the antecedent of marketing orientation of the firm (Jones & Taylor, 2010).

The value of customers Satisfaction for service industry such as the Eateries has been recognized by many researchers in both the developing and the developed marketing environment (Dong-MO, 2003), (Kassim & Abdullah, 2010), (Oyemehi & Abiodun, 2008), (Cruana, 2002) undermined its potential effect on the development of sustain competitor edge for the service organization.

Loyalty is critical to the success of any service oriented that want to gain and maintain market share. Many eateries drive large proportion of their profits from their loyal customers. Customers care lead to loyalty that results in high customers that lead to loyalty which results in high customer’s retentions. Customers care lead to loyalty not only ensure repeat purchases and positive publicity with greater value in terms of reliability but also leads to lost of other significant benefits such as cross buying, intention, exclusive and priority based preference to the company’s services, greater share of wallet and provides a competitive edge to the firm (Bassey & Unmorok, 2011).

1.2  Statement of the Problem

Eateries services are increasing in Nigeria, yet the level of failure in their service indicates that ineffective relationship with customers seems to be pronounced such a gap indicates that there is much to learn about how to develop close contact with customer using the appropriate relationship strategies.

The eateries industry in Nigeria is not very diversified in terms of the products and services they offer. This is so because eateries in Port Harcourt offer nearly identical services. This carries the danger of creating a situation where eateries fight for customers using all kinds of “unethical strategies”. The ability to satisfy consumers remains one of the greatest task for any firm to  achieve as customer needs and expectation are changing at all time. Customer care Management can be experienced in a variety of situations and connected to both goods  and services. It is a highly personal assessment that is greatly affected by customer expectations.Through critical observation it has been noticed  that the fast food sector is becoming competitive as many eateries are being set up at  all nocks and crannies of the society. How then is it possible to satisfy consumers and  make them loyal customers towards a firm’s product and services?

As such, it becomes apparent that one strategic focus that eateries can implement to remain competitive would be to retain as many customers as possible through satisfying their customer.

But the question is, how do eateries retain their customers when they offer identical services that encourages customer deflecting from one eatery to another? The inability of eateries to provide innovative and unique services that will meet individual client needs as against providing similar services like other eateries impede against customer loyalty in no small ways and makes customer retention through satisfaction in eateries  complex and difficult. Hence the need to assess customer care and retention strategies of eateries in Rivers state becomes imperative.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The general purpose is to examine the effect of customer care Management on Customer Satisfaction in eateries while the specific sub-objectives are:

1.     To determine the extent to which responsiveness influences Customer Satisfaction in eateries in Port Harcourt.

2      To ascertain extent to which customer compliant Handling influences Customer Satisfaction in eateries in Port Harcourt.

1.4   Research Questions

From the above specific objectives, the following research questions are formulated:

1.     to what extent does Responsiveness enhances customer satisfaction in eateries in Port Harcourt?

2      To what extent does customer complaint Handling enhances customer satisfaction in eateries in Port Harcourt?

1.5   Conceptual Framework of Customer Care Management on Customer Satisfaction in Selected Eateries in Port Harcourt

Customer complaint handling

customer retention

 Source: Researchers Desk, 2015

1.6   Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses are formulated from the above specific objectives:

H01:  There is no significant relationship between Responsiveness and Customer loyalty in eateries in Port Harcourt.

H02:  There is no significant relationship between Customer Compliant Handling and customer retention in eateries in Port Harcourt.

1.7   Scope of the Study

The general scope of this study covers customer care Management and Customer Satisfaction. The geographical scope is Rivers State of Nigeria. The units of analysis covers randomly selected customers of eateries services in Port Harcourt Rivers State.

1.8   Significance of the Study

A thorough understanding and knowledge of the factors that have impact on customer satisfaction are very useful in guiding eateries owners and managers to design and deliver the right offering and strategies. This research has many future implications. It has potential to check the moderating effect of culture sensitivity and also it can determine the mediating role of customer satisfaction and its impact on brand or customer loyalty in further. This will be of unique in terms of local environment and will have many implications for eateries owners, managers and researchers of particular community. This study will be significant to the following:

1.     The marketing managers: marketing involve a wise scope of activities aimed at achieving organizational sales objectives. This study will therefore be significant to the marketing managers in effective implementation of marketing policies.

2.     Policy makers: this study will be significant to the policy in making polices concerning advertisement.

3.     The academicians: to the academicians the study will serve as reference point and contribute to the existing body of knowledge.

1.9 Limitation of the Study

The researcher was faced with the following constraints in carrying out this study:

Time: The time within the researcher is too short to carry on the detail study on this topic.

Resources: Another constraint of the researcher is financial resources to carry on the detail study of this topic.

Data:       another limitation to this study will be lack of data to make valid study on the research problem.

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