Customer satisfaction in the airline industry: the role of service quality, brand image and customer value
Madikwe, Oarabile Milton
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Botswana is a landlocked country and therefore air transport is of strategic importance to the nation as it offers an alternative gateway to the rest of Africa and the world. However the Airline industry is experiencing several challenges including competition and continuous flight delays which prevent it to successfully execute the purpose of transportation of passengers. The main objective of this study is to investigate the impact of service quality, brand image, and customer value on customer satisfaction in the Airline industry in an attempt to highlight customer satisfaction contribution to company efficiency and effectiveness. Air Botswana as context for the study is a national airline and currently the only commercial airline of Botswana. The research design concentrates on three specific objectives for data collection which was done mostly through structured questionnaires. The research assumed a positivist standpoint and convenience sampling was used. 703 well completed questionnaires were analysed using IBM statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 22. Regression analysis was employed for hypothesises testing. The findings revealed a positive relationship between customer satisfaction and three selected customer satisfaction drivers. In particular, two out of five dimensions of service quality have a positive influence on customer satisfaction, that is, the more these dimensions increase the more satisfaction is elevated. For brand image and customer value, the relationship was also found to be significantly positive, as image and value increases, so will customer satisfaction and the reverse is the same. Passenger segments were explored on the basis of these relationships and customer satisfaction strategy mix determined to facilitate managerial decisions. The level of satisfaction in the airline industry was found to be moderate. Passengers’ perceptions concerning service quality, brand image and customer value were found to be relatively low. Customer satisfaction in the airline industry: the role of service quality, brand image and customer value This study contributes to the existing theories of customer satisfaction and selected drivers by affirming the relationship that exists between them. Several recommendations were made mainly for development of marketing strategies for improving service quality, brand image and customer value in the airline industry in order to increase the level of satisfaction among passengers. These will ultimately lead to better performance of the airline industry in terms of profits and competitiveness.