Factors Influencing Brand Switching in Telecommunication Industry of United Kingdom

12,936 views
12,222 views

Published on

We are committed to providing 100% Plagiarism free quality academic assignments i.e. thesis, dissertations, Course work assignments, HND Business assignments, Research and Term papers and Oxford Brookes thesis (RAP, SLS and PPT). Pay by milestones. Please visit www.ghostwritingmania.com or reach my inbox at ghostwritingmania@yahoo.com or add me on Skype: ghostwritingmania

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
0 Comments
11 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
12,936
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
13
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
607
Comments
0
Likes
11
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Factors Influencing Brand Switching in Telecommunication Industry of United Kingdom

  1. 1. Title: Factors Influencing Brand Switching in Telecommunication Industry of United Kingdom 1 | P a g e
  2. 2. Acknowledgements I would like to thank my supervisor Mr. Gregory Hemlet who has given me opportunity to work under his guidance on this difficult project. I would also like to thanks my author Mr. Dr. Manathan for his guidance. Both of them have provided me their support and vital guidance during the whole work, which enabled me to complete this challenging project. I would also like to dedicate this project to my Parents who have guided me in every field of life. Their support was indeed very important for my studies. 2 | P a g e
  3. 3. Abstract The research has been conducted in order to examine the factors influencing brand switching in telecommunication industry of United Kingdom. Triangulation methodology has been adopted for this purpose. Qualitative and quantitative methods have developed a strong base of research. Literature review has discussed all important factors that can influence brand switching in telecommunication sector. Primary data for research has been collected through a questionnaire survey from a sample of 70 mobile subscribers. The results of research have been presented in systematic manner. The findings have been discussed descriptively. The results of research suggest that price is the most influential factor on brand switching in telecommunication sector. Other factors that have been found influential on brand switching were quality service, brand image, coverage area of service and trust on service provider. It has been found that switching cost minimizes brand switching activity. Brands with higher switching cost have low rates of customer switching and vice versa. Results of research are limited to the telecommunication sector of United Kingdom only. Future researchers can expand the scope of the research. 3 | P a g e
  4. 4. Contents Acknowledgements....................................................................................................................................2 Contents.....................................................................................................................................................4 1.0 Introduction.........................................................................................................................................6 1.1 Background..........................................................................................................................................6 1.2 Rationale of Study................................................................................................................................9 1.3 Aims and Objectives of Research.........................................................................................................9 1.4 Research Questions............................................................................................................................10 1.5 Scope and Significance of Research...................................................................................................10 1.6 Research Structure ............................................................................................................................11 2.0 Introduction.......................................................................................................................................12 2.1 Defining Brand Switching...................................................................................................................13 2.2 Factors Related to Brand Switching....................................................................................................13 2.2.4 Trust ...........................................................................................................................................17 2.2.5 Other Factors..............................................................................................................................18 3.0 Introduction.......................................................................................................................................23 3.1 Defining Research..............................................................................................................................23 3.2 Research Philosophy..........................................................................................................................23 3.3 Research Approach............................................................................................................................24 3.4 Research Methods.............................................................................................................................25 3.5 Data Collection Techniques................................................................................................................25 3.6 Population and Sample......................................................................................................................28 4 | P a g e
  5. 5. 3.7 Time Scale of research.......................................................................................................................29 3.8 Validity and Reliability of Research....................................................................................................29 3.9 Research Ethics..................................................................................................................................30 3.10 Method of Data Analysis..................................................................................................................30 3.11 Summary of Chapter........................................................................................................................30 4.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................................32 4.2 General Information...........................................................................................................................32 4.2.3 Type of Telephonic Service..........................................................................................................34 4.2.4 Mobile Service Provider .............................................................................................................35 4.2.5 Switching of mobile service provider..........................................................................................36 4.3 Findings of questionnaire...................................................................................................................37 4.4 Conclusion..........................................................................................................................................56 5.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................................57 5.2 Analysis of Findings .........................................................................................................................57 5.3 Conclusion..........................................................................................................................................61 6.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................................62 6.2 Conclusion..........................................................................................................................................62 6.3 Recommendations.............................................................................................................................64 6.4 Future Research.................................................................................................................................64 References...............................................................................................................................................65 Blaikie, N. (2000), Designing Social Research, 1st ed, Polity Press, Cambridge. .....................................65 Catherine Marshall , Gretchen B. Rossman . 1999, Designing Qualitative Research. 3rd Ed. Sage Publication Inc..........................................................................................................................................65 Hatch, M. J. and Cunliffe, A. L. (2006), Organization Theory, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, Oxford...66 Johnson Michael D and Claes Fornell. 1991. A framework for comparing customer satisfaction across individuals and product categories, Journal of Economic Psychology. 12-2, 267-286..............................67 Bibliography.....................................................................................................................................69 Appendix..................................................................................................................................................70 Part A:......................................................................................................................................................71 Part B:......................................................................................................................................................74 5 | P a g e
  6. 6. Chapter One Introduction 1.0 Introduction Customers have very important place for the companies. Market conditions have become very competitive and companies are trying to capture share of each other. Due to intense competition in telecommunication industry customers of this industry frequently switch over from one brand to another. This research is going to investigate brand switching phenomenon in perspective of telecommunication industry. In this particular chapter background of study has been explained. 1.1 Background 1.1.1 Defining Brand Switching 6 | P a g e
  7. 7. Customers are very important players of the market. Success of organizations depends on the satisfaction level of customers. Originations look forward for achieving long term success in the market. Long-term success can be achieved if companies go side by side with all of their stakeholders. In all stakeholders, customers have most important place (Ahmed et al., 2010). Customers have different perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors towards different brands. Customers often switch over from one brand to the other depending upon various factors. Brand switching occurs when customers switch their loyalties from one product to the other one. Customers’ shift from one product to another product of similar nature is called brand switching behavior of customers (Garland, 2002). 1.1.2 Types of Brand switching Brand switching can be of two types i.e. temporary and permanent. If cigarette “A” is not available at a shop customer can shift to cigarette “B”, this is temporary brand switching. It can be long lasting if customers shift to particular brand permanently. Permanent brand switching is harder to change. Brand switching is basically a process by which customers choose to switch from a product or brand of routine use to another product or brand of similar nature. Brand switching can be aggressive or defensive. Aggressive brand switching is that type of switching in which customers are induced by advertisement of promotions to buy a brand different from the brand purchased previously. On the other hand defensive brand switching is a type of switching in which advertisement of promotions of company induce customers to buy again previously purchased brand. Defensive brand switching is a strategy of companies in order to induce loyalty in customers (Ludi, 2004). 1.1.3 Brief View of Factors Inducing Brand Switching Advertisement plays very important role in brand switching. It basically persuades customers to switch brands. Companies use different tactics in advertisement in order to attract customers of competitors. Advertisement induces customers to switch their brands and improve sales of companies. Other firms in the market also advertise and attract customers. In this way total effect of advertisement can be offset. Folland (2008) argues that advertisement is motivational factor for brand switching. It suggests that companies must advertise in order to persuade competitor’s customers to switch towards their brands. 7 | P a g e
  8. 8. A number of factors induce switching of brands in customers. If companies do not meet needs and wants of customers, customers can switch to competitors’ brands. Market has become very competitive and all the companies strive for taking market share. In order to build market share companies attract customers by providing different incentives like low price, high quality, discounts or promotions. In today’s competitive market success of companies depends on the repeat purchase intentions of customers (Ahmed et al., 2010). If companies fail to manage switching behavior of customers, their success can be at jeopardy. Competitive prices also play their part in inducing brand switching. A number of costs are also associated with the switching behavior of customers. Companies that have lower switching cost exhibit higher rate of brand switching. Switching cost is basically the cost associated with switching from one product to another one. 1.1.4 Brand Switching in Telecommunication Industry Brand switching behavior of customers differs in different industries. Some industries are characterized by high brand switching rates while others show low rates of brand switching. Telecommunication industry is one of the industries which possess high rates of brand switching (Edvardsson, Gustafsson and Roos, 2004). This is mainly due to intense competition in telecommunication industry. A number of companies are operating in telecommunication industry across the world. Customers of mobile service provider companies often switch towards brands which provide extra benefits to them. Telecommunication industry is characterized by high growth. It has been forecasted that the number of mobile subscribers will reach at 5 billons in the next five years which was 4 billion by the end of 2011. Telecommunication industry has 3 % contribution in the total GDP of world (Businesswire, 2011). It has been expected that telecommunication industry of United Kingdom will grow in the next five years. In 2015 the market value of telecommunication sectors will reach at £40.7 billion. It has been forecasted that innovations and technological advancements will penetrate telecommunication sector in the same period (MBD, 2011). Due to intense competition in telecommunication industry customers frequently switch from one service provider to another. It has become very important for service providers to 8 | P a g e
  9. 9. investigate the switching behavior of customers. The study is focused on telecommunication industry of United Kingdom. Four major players of telecommunication industry of United Kingdom are Three, Telefonica, Everything Everywhere and Vodafone. Major market share of UK telecommunication industry has been captured by these four players. Telefonica has been operating in more than 25 counties. In United Kingdom O2 is very popular brand of Telefonica. Three has started its operations in 2003 in United Kingdom and in very small time period it has been succeeded in bringing remarkable innovations in telecommunication industry of United Kingdom. Orange and T-Mobile are popular brands of Everything Everywhere. Vodafone has been operating worldwide with a huge customer base. 1.2 Rationale of Study Competition in telecommunication industry has been building to a great extent. In United Kingdom a number of telecommunication companies are operating currently and more companies are invading the industry. In competitive market these companies always seek to take the share of others in terms of customers. Heavy advertisements and price war among these companies have created trouble to the customer loyalty. Customers keep on switching brands in telecommunication sector. Other than price and advertisement numbers of factors are responsible for brand switching behavior of customers. Success of companies is identified by the repeat purchase intention of customers so companies must understand the factors that make their customers to switch brands. Companies need to understand the ways that can prevent brand switching and enhance brand loyalty. By analyzing the factors influencing brand switching companies can take steps for reducing brand switching. The current study is going to investigate the factors that influence brand switching in telecommunication industry. Furthermore, research will also investigate the factors that can prevent brand switching. 1.3 Aims and Objectives of Research Research has been conducted by considering a number of objectives. The aim of current study is as follows: “To examine the factors influencing brand switching in telecommunication industry” 9 | P a g e
  10. 10. The aim of the research has been expanded through following objectives: • To investigate brand switching behavior from literature review • To examine the factors that influence brand switching in telecommunication industry • To examine the factors that prevent brand switching in telecommunication industry • To study the customer preferences of mobile service providers in telecommunication industry of United Kingdom. • To propose recommendations to the mobile service providers for increasing customer loyalty 1.4 Research Questions Developing research questions is the most critical phase of any research. The whole research project is actually based on research questions (Norman, 2009). Researcher needs to develop precise and clear research questions for achieving successful outcome. Questions developed for this particular research are as follows: • What is meant by brand switching? • What are the factors that influence customers to switch brands? • What are the factors that influence customers to switch mobile service providers in United Kingdom? • What is effect of switching cost on brand switching in telecommunication industry in United Kingdom? • What is effect of corporate branding on brand switching? • How can mobile service providers stop their customers to switch over the other brands? 1.5 Scope and Significance of Research Research has been conducted by the student of MBA in order to complete his academic course in effective way. By the completion of this research, he will understand research methodology and the topic area. Telecommunication industry has becoming very competitive day by day and customers are being exposed to a number of choices. This research evaluates the factors that 10 | P a g e
  11. 11. influence customers to switch over other mobile service providers. Factors specific to brand switching in telecommunication market are evaluated. This research is significant for the researcher as well as for the mobile service providers. Companies can apply recommendations of this research in order to enhance customer loyalty and to stop customers to switch over other brands. 1.6 Research Structure This particular research is composed of six chapters. Each chapter represents its specific purpose. All the chapters are interconnected with each other so that a flow in research can be maintained. Chapter One The first chapter of research is “Introduction”. This chapter represents background of telecommunication industry of United Kingdom and also overviews the importance of studying brand switching. Aims and objectives of research are elaborated in introduction. Chapter Two The second chapter of research is “Literature Review”. This chapter represents the core areas of research topic in detail. The work of previous researchers related to brand switching in telecommunication industry has been presented in this chapter. Chapter Three Third chapter of research is “Research Methodology”. This chapter represents the procedure that how researcher is going to achieve aims and objectives of this research. Research design, approach, and methods of research are illustrated here. Chapter Four The fourth chapter of research represents the data collected through data collection tools. Data has been represented in the form of percentages, charts and graphs. Findings of the whole questionnaire are represented in systematic way. 11 | P a g e
  12. 12. Chapter Five Fifth chapter of research analyses all the findings of the research presented in the previous chapter. Detailed discussion on the findings of research has been conducted in this chapter. Researcher has made his own judgment on the findings of the research and also related them to the theory discussed in the literature review. Chapter Six This chapter represents conclusion of the study. All the findings and results are given shape of conclusion. Researcher has reviewed all objectives and aims of the research in this chapter. This chapter represents that to what extent researcher has succeeded in achieving aims and objectives of this particular research. Chapter Two Literature Review 2.0 Introduction Customer is the most important player of market. All the efforts of companies are directed towards customers. Customer can either remain loyal with a particular brand or switch to another one. This particular study is going to evaluate the factors influencing customers to switch brands. This chapter presents work of previous researchers regarding brand switching. Factors influencing brand switching have been critically analyzed in the light of previous researches on brand switching. 12 | P a g e
  13. 13. 2.1 Defining Brand Switching Brand switching has been defined by many researchers in different contexts. Termination of customer relationship with particular service provider and continuation of relationship with a new service provider is called brand switching (Mouri, 2005). Customers can decide about ceasing relationship with service providers because of many reasons. Stewart (1994) has defined customer switching behavior as defection or exit of customers from company. Customers can switch brands either on permanent basis or on temporary basis. Boote (1998) has defined customer switching behavior as decision of customers to discontinue purchase dealings permanently or temporary. Rajkumar (2011) defines brand switching when customers switch their loyalties from one particular brand to another. These definitions suggest that brand switching occurs when customers stop purchasing a particular product and start purchasing another either on temporary basis or on permanent basis. 2.2 Factors Related to Brand Switching 2.2.1 Switching Cost Switching cost is the cost which is to be borne by customers when they switch from one brand to another (Grzybowski, 2004). Many researchers have researched effect of switching costs on brand switching. Literature on switching cost is very limited still there are many researchers who have explored influence of switching cost on brand switching. Burnham, Frels and Mahajan (2003) have defined switching cost as the cost which incurs when customers switch from one product or service to the other. Switching cost does not incur immediately at the time of switching rather it is a procedural cost. They also notified that switching cost is not restricted as economic costs rather there are number of other costs related to it. Customers may consider search cost, acquiring cost, learning cost, and perceived risk while deciding about switching cost. Switching cost has been categorized into three groups by Burnham, Frels and Mahajan (2003). These are: transactional cost, contractual cost and learning cost. Transactional cost is the cost which is required by customers in order to start new relationship with a new service provider and it also includes the cost required to terminate relationship with existing service provider. Learning cost refers to the cost which is required by the customers in order to gain equivalent 13 | P a g e
  14. 14. familiarity and ease of using the new product or service. Learning cost is non transferable cost and each time customer switches over a particular product or service, learning cost incurs. Contractual cost is the cost which is induced by the firms directly for panelizing the customers for switching brands. These costs may include rewards, discounts, repeat purchase and other circular programs. These costs incur when customers promise for being loyal or when they show signs of switching over other brands. Fornell (1992) suggests that switching cost is a source of preventing brand switching behavior of customer. Switching cost can make it costly for customers to switch brands. It has been researched by many researchers that higher switching cost stops brand switching behavior. Customers leverage benefits and cost before taking decision about brand switching. If perceived benefits of new product or service are lower than switching cost, customer will likely to remain with the existing brand (Lees et al., 2007). If service providers aim at convincing competitors’ customers to switch, they have to provide low prices or higher benefits to them in order to compensate high switching cost. Literature discussed about switching cost suggests that switching cist can induce brand switching as well as it can also stop brand switching. Companies need to consider this factor while designing strategies about dealing with customer switching. Customers can easily switch from one service provider to the other if switching cost is low and vice versa. 2.2.2 Price In all markets including telecommunication market price is the main factor that encourages brand switching. Dong and Won, (2007) has presented three variables related to price which can affect switching behavior of customers. These three variables are: 1) Pricing structure, 2) Pricing scheme, 3) Additional fee. In telecommunication industry call charges determine the pricing structure of companies. Price scheme is basically the availability of a variety of price lists. Additional fee is basically the fee of additional services such as activation charges, termination charges and charges of value added services. Change in demand in response to change in prices is called sensitivity of demand (Fuha, 2005). Price sensitivity has divided telecommunication segment into three segments. These are fixed line segment, mobile segment and combined segment. Fuha (2005) has determined relationship between changes in price and 14 | P a g e
  15. 15. demand in telecommunication industry. His findings suggested that reduction in price of mobile services attract customers. In other words price changes influence brand switching in telecommunication industry. Lee and Murphy (2005) have investigated a number of factors that influence customers to switch mobile service providers. Their findings suggested that price is the most important factor that persuades customers to change their commitments to other mobile service providers. Sathish (2011) also suggest that call rates are the most influencing factor for brand switching in telecommunication industry. Rajkumar (2011) suggest that price is not always brand switching influencer. He explained that customers who are quality conscious prefer to pay high prices for high quality. It influences those customers who have limited income. Companies use this feature of price and provide price comparisons to customers in order to persuade them to try new products. Literature review discussed about influence of price on brand switching suggests that price is major influencer for brand switching. It is not necessary that price always affects brand switching. Customers with low income are more influenced by changes in price to switch service providers whereas quality conscious customers are less influenced by changes in price to switch brands. 2.2.3 Service Quality Service is intangible in nature and it is practiced by the customers simultaneously at the time of production and consumption. Contact of customers and service providers delivers service to the ultimate customers (Gronroos, 1990). Five characteristics have been identified by (Gronroos) 1990 which distinguish services from goods. These characteristics are as follows: • Services are intangible • Services cannot be separated during production, delivery and consumption • Services are heterogeneous 15 | P a g e
  16. 16. • Services are perishable and cannot be stored • There is no transfer of ownership while delivering services The interaction between customers and service providers provide opportunity to the customers to assess the service quality. Bitner & Hubbert (1994) define service quality as the impression of customers about the inferiority or superiority of the service providers and their provided services. Service quality measurement model has been presented by Parasuraman et al. (1988) in which they have identified five dimensions of service quality. These five dimensions are: Tangibles, reliability, assurance, empathy and responsiveness. These five dimensions can be categorized in two groups. Tangibles refer to the physical facility, materials of personal communication and equipment. The other four dimensions refer to the human interaction or involvement during service delivery. These five dimensions are elaborated as follows: Tangibility: physical outlook, facilities, equipments and physical appearance of personnel providing services Reliability: It refers to the ability of service providers to provide promised services accurately and consistently Responsiveness: It refers to the willingness of service providers to assist customers and promote services Assurance: It refers to the awareness and politeness of personnel providing services in order to establish trust Empathy: It refers to the individual attention of employees on customers All these dimensions determine the quality of services provided by the companies. If companies provide high quality services, image of companies can be enhanced and customer interaction can also be increased. It can also lead to expansion in customer base because positive word of mouth of satisfied customers attracts new customers. On the whole financial performance of companies is improved if they provide high quality services (James, 1998). 16 | P a g e
  17. 17. Two important factors that determine the direction of customer behavior are price and quality. It has been found that there is swapping effect between these two factors. Customers can sacrifice low prices for high quality. Jun and Bin (2005) determined that high quality services are source of creating customer loyalty. Their findings also suggest that in telecommunication industry service quality is identified by communication guarantee, value added services and innovations in telecommunication technology. They also found that line clarity, customer services and coverage area also effect service quality. All these factors influence customer switching decision. The above literature discussed about service quality has shown the dimensions that measure the level of service quality. Previous researchers have shown that customer decision is influenced by service quality. It can be deduced that if customers are provided with high service quality they can be retained with the company or in other words switching rate of customers can be reduced. 2.2.4 Trust Trust has been very important topic studied in various disciplines. It has been defined by many researchers in different perspectives. It is characteristic of human personality and is defined as the assessment of others about the motives and behaviors (Chu, 2009). To develop trust among individuals expectation of trustor and perceptions of trustee are involved. Trust among different individuals is different depending upon the personality traits and decision making ability of individuals (Chu, 2009). Relationship is build whenever there is trust or distrust among individuals. Service providers must convey a message to the customers that they can be trusted. They must depict that they can sacrifice for the satisfaction of needs of customers (Liang and Wang, 2008). In order to build long term relationship among individuals trust has been the most important factor. Researchers have also suggested that trust is important factor in determining customer loyalty (Chu, 2009). In order to build trust one party must assures the other one that it will come true at the expectations of the other party. Serkan and Ozer (2005) suggest that building trust is a process in which one party must be capable of fulfilling the expectations of other party 17 | P a g e
  18. 18. regarding cost and benefits. It is an important factor in affecting commitment of customers to the company. Jun and Bin (2005) suggest that in order to build customer loyalty, trust among parties has been the key element. Trust assists customers in making decision about purchase and it also gives customers a sense of confidence on the service providers. Jun and Bin (2005) have studied effect of trust on customer loyalty in perspective of telecommunication industry. They found four elements of trust i.e. experience, communication, brand loyalty and relation contact of partners. Trust among service providers and customers act like a relationship preserving force. If customers have trust on service providers, short term alternatives cannot affect the customer loyalty. It can be said that trust has positive relationship with customer loyalty. Ganesen (1994) suggest that trust reduces perceived risk and it also reflects credibility of companies. He suggests that trust on service providers reduces uncertainty in today’s competitive and uncertain environment. In other words customers switching behavior is affected by the level of trust on service providers. Literature review discussed about trust suggests that customers are less likely to switch brands on which they have trust. If service providers assure their customers about the fulfillment of their expectations, brand switching can be minimized. On the other hand if service providers fail to establish trust between customers and themselves, customers are more likely to switch over competitors’ brands. 2.2.5 Other Factors Above mentioned factors are critical to the customer switching behavior. Besides these factors there are many other factors identified by other researchers that influence customer switching behavior. Customer switching decision is not a static and fixed decision rather it is a process which is described in terms of three stages i.e. trigger, process and outcome (Inger and Frimen, 2008). Process refers to the reasons for switching whereas trigger refers to the factors that influence customers for brand switching. It suggests that these are the triggers (Factors) which influence customers to switch over brands. Brand switching behavior of customers is also affected by subscriber lock in. Subscriber lick in is a kind of behavior in which subscribers lock their customers only to their network. If customers want to change their service providers they have to change their mobile sets. This function can also be related to switching cost. Subscriber 18 | P a g e
  19. 19. lock- in raises switching cost and makes customers to stay with the brand with which they are attached (Dong and Won, 2007). Serkan et al., (2005) suggests that corporate image effects decisions of customers regarding loyalty. Corporate image is basically the physical and behavioral traits of a company such as business category, business name, and assortment of products and services and idea of communicating quality of products and services (Nguyen and Leblanc, 2001). All these factors are somewhere represented above but under corporate image these are aggregated. It has been found by many researchers that corporate image is positively associated with customer loyalty (Johnson et al., 2001) Employees of companies create a bridge between companies and customers. If employees are loyal with the company, they aim at delivering best services to the customers. In this way loyal employees can become source of creating brand loyalty and preventing brand switching (Jun and Bin, 2005). If above factors are managed effectively brand switching can be avoided and long term relations can be established with customers. Employees are the most important component of companies and they have long lasting effects on performance of companies. Corporate image has also found to be influential factor regarding brand switching. It has been researched that companies that have strong corporate image have low customer switching rates. Corporate image is a broad concept and all the brands of company fall under corporate brand. So if corporate image is positive and appealing, customers tend to retain with the company even in case of alternatives available in the market. 2.3 Brand Switching and Loyalty Brand switching is the behavior of customers to change their usual products and switch over the others. Loyalty is basically the behavior of customers to continue purchasing a particular product or service. Customer loyalty is defined as positive attitude of customers towards repurchasing and continued commitment to a particular brand in future (Chu, 2009). Loyal customers are continued source of revenues for the companies even in the time of financial crisis. Loyal customers are less expected to change their loyalties to competitors’ brands even if there is 19 | P a g e
  20. 20. decrease in price of competitor’s brands (Bowen and Shoemaker, 2003). Loyal customers are very important assets for the companies so it is very important for them to retain loyal customers and to stop them to switch over competitor’s brands. Profitability is driven by the customer loyalty (Hayes, 2008). Loyal customers are also essential to be retained by the companies because they are source of long term profits for the companies (Tseng, 2007). If companies manage to stop their customers to switch over other brands, purchases of companies increase and financial growth also improves (Hayes, 2008). So it can be said that financial growth of companies depends on retention of existing customers. Loyal customers are source of increasing business of companies by purchasing more, paying high prices and presenting referrals to others (Ganesh et al, 2000). As the telecommunication industry is growing day by day so new entrants always try to attract customers in order to enhance their customer base. In such a situation only those customers will retain with the company who are loyal. Reverse of customer loyalty is customer switching. Mobile service providers are focusing on increasing customer loyalty by stopping customers to switch over other brands. Serkan and Ozer (2005) point out that in telecommunication industry one the customers are acquired, it has been very important for the companies to maintain long term relations with customers in order to get competitive advantage. Companies need to create ways for attracting new customer as well as for retaining existing customers. It is also important for companies to motivate customers to recommend their products to others (Keiningham et al., 2008). Above discussion suggests that companies need to create ways for stopping their customers not to switch over the competitor’s brands. If companies fail to stop their customers for switching over the competitors’ brands, long tern success of companies will be at jeopardy. Intense competition in telecommunication industry has increased the importance of stopping customers to switch over competitors’ brands. 2.4 Influence of Advertisement on Brand Switching 20 | P a g e
  21. 21. Advertisement is focused at attracting new customers as well as retaining existing customers. Advertisement plays very important role in persuading non loyal customers to be loyal with the company. It also prevents loyal customers to switch over other brands. It has also been found that advertisement persuades loyal customers to spend more on existing brands of company. Advertisement plays important role to make customers of competitor’s brands to switch over the advertised brands. On the other hand its defensive role is to maintain existing customers of company. It can be said that advertisement plays double role for loyal and non loyal customers of company. It influences attitudes, preferences, and decision making process and purchase intensions of customers. Advertisement does not always focus on persuading competitors’ customers to switch over. Ehrenberg (2000) suggests that main role of advertisement is to enhance satisfactory feelings in customers regarding the brand purchased by the customers. It means advertisement plays its primary part in retaining customers rather than attracting new one. Simon and Arndt 1980) also suggest that same thing that advertisement focuses on retaining existing customers. They also suggest that customers who are familiar with the brands are more affected by the advertisement. Customers who are not familiar with the brand are less affected by advertisement. Companies also design advertisements in order to call back their previous customers by offering them attractive services. Literature regarding role of advertisement on brand switching suggests that advertisement does not play active role in brand switching. Its primary role is to retain existing customers of company. Secondary role of advertisement is to persuade customers for brand switching. 2.5 Summary of Literature Review Brand switching is a process in which customers tend to end relationship with a particular company and start relationship with a new one. All industries have experience brand switching but telecommunication industry is more exposed to it. There are many factors that influence brand switching. On one end they persuade customers to switch over other company and on the other hand they prevent brand switching. Price has been found most influential factor in brand switching in telecom sector. Besides price there have been many factors that enhance brand switching like quality service, coverage area, trust, advertisement, and brand image. All these 21 | P a g e
  22. 22. factors have been critically analyzed in the literature review in the light of work of previous researchers. 22 | P a g e
  23. 23. Chapter Three Research Methodology 3.0 Introduction Methodology of research has been considered very important for the whole result because it can actually impact the results of research. This chapter presents detailed methodology of research including philosophy, approach, methods, and data collection tools. Researcher has justified the choices in accordance with the aims and objectives of research. 3.1 Defining Research An organized process of enquiring a phenomenon or curiosity is called research (Goddard and Melville, 2004). Research is conducted to achieve a number of objectives. The primary objective of each research is to enhance the boundary of knowledge which is done through answering questions, enhancing an existing theory or designing a new theory. There are two types of research on the basis of nature i.e. scientific research and social research. Social research deals with the understanding of attitudes and behaviours of people in a society (Pan, 2011). 3.2 Research Philosophy The background of research is created by research philosophies. It deals with suppositions, beliefs and insights of researchers which are adopted for a particular research. These are basically choices made by the researchers in order to achieve aims and objectives of research. A number of choices are available to the researcher regarding research philosophies so it is very important for researcher to justify the adopted research philosophy in accordance with the aims and objectives of research (Blaikie (2000). For this particular research, researcher has four options of research philosophies. The first option for the researcher is realism which believes that reality is product of humanizing different social factors. Realists suggest that what is happening in laboratory is not necessarily a 23 | P a g e
  24. 24. reality. It researches a phenomenon on the basis of researcher’s point of view (Hatch and Cunliffe, 2006). Second option available for the researcher is positivism which deals with the development of research hypothesis on the basis of existing theories of previous researchers. Positivists rely on the validity of the previous researchers. Statistical tools of analysis are used in order to test the hypothesis under positivism (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2007). Third option available to the researcher is interpretivism or socialism which deals with the evaluation of different social factors from researcher’s viewpoint. Socialists are basically against positivists in their viewpoint. Last option available to the researcher is phenomenology which deals with the experiences of individuals. These experiences result from beliefs, perceptions and previous knowledge about a particular thing (Husserl, 2001). Research under consideration is conducted by a combination of interpretivism and positivism. The reason behind choosing this philosophy is that interpretivism deals with the attitudes and experiences which are critical for brand switching and positivism deals with the existing theories which are studied to explore research topic. Other two research philosophies do not align with the aims and objectives of research so they are avoided in this particular research. Factors influencing brand switching are explored with the help of previous researches and also on the basis of experiences and perceptions of customers. 3.3 Research Approach To evaluate the factors influencing brand switching, researcher has two options of research approach. These are deductive approach and inductive approach of research. Deductive research approach investigates research problems through existing theories and literature whereas inductive approach of research builds up new theories through experiments and observations (Saunders et al., 2009). Deductive approach works from specific to general view whereas inductive approach works from general to specific viewpoint. 24 | P a g e
  25. 25. To investigate the factors influencing brand switching both approaches are used. Deductive approach explores existing theories and models of brand switching whereas inductive approach examines the factors which influence customers of United Kingdom to switch over other mobile service providers. Use of both approaches in research makes easy for the researcher to produce logical and correct reasoning (Saunders et al, 2007). Deductive approach is related to interpretivism whereas inductive approach is related to positivism. Researcher has related both approaches in research in order to produce correct results. 3.4 Research Methods There are two types of research methods i.e. qualitative and quantitative research methods. Attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of peoples of society are researched through qualitative research methods (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Qualitative researches make use of words while explaining a particular phenomenon. On the other hand quantitative research methods develop hypothesis on the basis of existing theories and test them statistically through different tests. A large amount of numeric data has been used in quantitative researches. This particular research has employed triangulation methodology i.e. combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods (Adela, 2004). Qualitative methods are employed in order to build literature review of research whereas quantitative methods are used to analyze the factors influencing brand switching in telecommunication industry of United Kingdom. In qualitative part of research secondary data in the form of words has been used whereas in quantitative part numeric data in the form of percentages has been used. Data collected through both approaches is linked together in order to make a flow in the research. In the analysis section of research findings of primary research i.e. quantitative data has been related to the literature review which is qualitative data. In this way coherence has been achieved in the findings of research. 3.5 Data Collection Techniques 3.5.1 Types of Data In order to examine the factors influencing brand switching two types of data has been used i.e. primary and secondary. Primary data is first hand data which does not exist in earlier records. Primary data is original data which has not been altered or manipulated y any other researcher 25 | P a g e
  26. 26. so its validity and reliability is high (Saunders et al, 2009). As it is collected by the researchers for the first time, chances of biasness in this data are less. It requires high dedication, effort and cost for collection. The other type of data i.e. secondary data has already been published. It is basically comprises of contributions of previous researchers and authors. Some of statistical operations have been performed on this data so chances of biasness are more in secondary data (Saunders et al, 2009). Literature review of the researches is based on secondary data. In this particular research secondary and primary both data are used for examining factors influencing brand switching in telecommunication industry of United Kingdom. 3.5.2 Primary data collection techniques Primary data can be collected through observations, interviews, surveys and focus groups. Here is a detailed description and pros and cons of primary data collection tools: 3.5.2.1 Observations In behavioral sciences observation tool is commonly used for primary data collection. Researches observe individuals or group of individuals and record them. Direct questions are not asked from respondents for primary data collection through observations but researchers can directly observe in this process (Rajendar, 2008). Natural behavior of individuals is recorded through this data collection technique because researcher do not pressurizes respondents in this process. Observations are narrow tool of data collection. Researcher can become a part of group from whom data is to be collected. In this way he can lose the objectivity of collecting data (Rajendar, 2008). 3.5.2.2 Surveys Surveys are used to ascertain characteristics of a large population in short time duration. A single survey can collect data from a large population with limited sources and time. Researcher interacts with the respondents to a small extent. Questionnaires are used for conducting surveys. Respondents are asked to fill the questionnaire according to their knowledge and perceptions. Due to limited interaction of researcher with respondents, problems in understanding questions can arise. This can lead to ambiguous responses which create problems in analysis of data. Surveys are flexible tool of primary data collection and require less time and money (Russ and Preskill, 2001). 26 | P a g e
  27. 27. 3.5.2.3 Interviews For collection data through interviews direct discussion and question answer session is held between researcher and respondents. Interviews can be structured, semi structured or unstructured. Structured interviews are those interviews in which an interview guide is prepared for asking questions from respondents. In semi structured interviews researcher asks questions via interview guide. He can add more questions during interview depending upon the situation. In unstructured interviews, researcher does not prepare nay interview guide and asks spontaneous questions from respondents. These interviews provide opportunity to the researchers to have detailed discussion with the respondents. Responses produced through interviews are of high quality. Interviews are costly and require greater time commitment. Due to high interaction of respondents and interviewer results can become biased (Russ and Preskill, 2001). 3.5.2.4 Focus Groups Focus group is composed of six to twelve people having analogous characteristics. Focus group discussions are conducted from this group with the help of a trained mediator. Group of people is asked a question, viewpoint or any other thing without any pressure. Respondents are asked to give their opinion on the topic area of discussion. All the respondents say whatever they think and perceive without any pressure so it can be said that focus group discussions are natural discussions (Krueger and Casey, 2000). Focus group discussions produce high response rate and quality responses. The results of focus group discussions can be biased up to the extent of interaction of mediator and respondents. These are costly and require time for conduction (Russ and Preskill, 2001). 3.5.3 Contrast of the data collection tools All the tools of primary data collection differ from each other in terms of response rate, quality of response, cost and time. Researchers select one or more than one tool for data collection by comparing pros and cons of these tools. Observations are narrow tool of data collection and cannot be used everywhere. Survey is less costly and time saving tool of data collection. They produce low quality responses as compared to that of interviews and focus group discussions. Response rate in interviews and focus group discussions is high as compared to that of surveys. 27 | P a g e
  28. 28. Surveys are used to collect data where population is high and time for data collection is limited. On the other hand focus group discussions and interviews are used in situations where quality data is required. Biasness in results is high in interviews and focus group discussions as compared to those of surveys. 3.5.4 Primary and Secondary data collection tools employed in research To evaluate the factors influencing brand switching primary and secondary data has been used in this particular research. Secondary data has been collected through books, research articles and journals. Internet sources are also used to collect secondary data but with great care. Researcher has selected primary data collection tool after comparing pros and cons of all tools. Primary data of research has been collected through questionnaire survey. Interviews and focus group discussions are not used because of limited time and budget of researcher. Observation tool has not been used because it does not align with the aims and objectives of research. 3.5.5 Questionnaire Design Questionnaire can be open ended or close ended. For this particular research close ended questionnaire has been developed which aims at finding answers of research questions. Researcher has developed questionnaire after considering aims, objectives and literature review of research. It has two parts i.e. Part “A” and part “B”. Part “A” is related to respondents who have experienced brand switching whereas part “B” is for those respondents who have never switched their mobile service providers. 3.6 Population and Sample Population of a research is composed of all the entities or individuals who are directly attached with the objectives and aims of research. Group of people from whom data is to be collected is called population. In this particular research population comprises of all mobile phone subscribers of UK telecom market. Major players of telecom industry of United Kingdom are Three, Vodafone, Telefonica, and Everything Everywhere. All these service providers have huge customer base in United Kingdom so it is not feasible to collect primary data form whole population. To resolve this issue and avail convenience in data collection procedure, representative part of population has been selected which is called sample (Ken, 2009). 28 | P a g e
  29. 29. A number of techniques are available to the researcher for selecting sample. Probability sampling techniques grant equal chance to all members of population to be selected in the sample. On the other hand non probability sampling does not allow all members equal chance to be selected in the sample of research (Struwig and Stead, 2007). In this particular research sample of 70 mobile phone subscribers has been selected through convenience sampling techniques. Convenience sampling is a form of non probability sampling technique in which researcher selects sample as per his or her convenience (Lunsford, 1995). Probability sampling has not been selected because it is very complicated technique. 3.7 Time Scale of research There are two time scales available for the researches. One is cross sectional and the other one is longitudinal time scale. In longitudinal research data is collected only at more than one time schedule whereas in cross sectional research data is collected only at one time. Longitudinal time scale is common in scientific researches. In this particular research data is collected only at one time form respondents so it is a cross sectional research. Longitudinal time scale is irrelevant to aims and objectives of research so it is avoided in this research. 3.8 Validity and Reliability of Research Validity of research is determined by the correctness of research instrument (Jacobsen, 2002). Research has been constructed with an aligned methodology. Each step of research is directed towards achievement of aims and objectives of research. Questionnaire is also developed after considering research questions. Researcher has employed valid data of pervious researchers so it can be said that research looks into the validity of work of previous researchers. Reliability of research refers to the consistent and true results (Charles, C. M. 1995). This particular research is a reliable work because researcher has used reliable data. Data has not been manipulated at any stage of research. Triangulation methodology has been adopted which employs primary and secondary data. The findings of research have been validated through secondary data. The research work is also credible because researcher has provided references throughout the research paper wherever other writers’ work is used. 29 | P a g e
  30. 30. 3.9 Research Ethics Research ethics have been considered very carefully during the conduction of this particular research. It has been carefully considered that nobody is harmed emotionally, physically or personally during the whole process (Kimmel, 2007). Researcher has informed all participants of research about aims and objectives of research before collecting data. In this way deception has been avoided during data collection. Participants were encouraged to answer the questionnaire on their own will. They were not pressurized to take part in the research. It was free will of all participants to fill the questionnaire. In order to gain honest data from respondents, they were ensured about the confidentiality of their provided data. In research very important issue is about plagiarism. It is strictly prohibited by the university not to copy any other’s work. Researcher has not cheated or copied the work of others throughout this research process. In the literature review secondary data has been used which is basically other researchers’ work. Researcher has provided references throughout the research wherever work of other researchers is quoted. References in text and bibliography have been provided because of two reasons. One reason is to support secondary data and the other reason is to acknowledge the work of previous researchers. 3.10 Method of Data Analysis Data collected through questionnaire has been analyzed descriptively. Detailed discussions on the results of research have been performed. Questionnaire results are analyzed systematically. In the first phase, data has been entered in MS Excel for conversion into percentages. Findings of each questionnaire are transformed into tables and graphs. In the next phase of data analysis, each table and graph has been discussed in detail. Findings are related with each other in order to establish relationship in them. Moreover, findings of research have been compared with the secondary data presented in the literature review. Relationship between primary and secondary data has been established while analyzing data. 3.11 Summary of Chapter To examine these factors triangulation methodology has been adopted which encompasses primary and secondary data. Positivism and interpretivism philosophies are employed to 30 | P a g e
  31. 31. examine brand switching factors. Deductive approach has been adopted which relates to interpretivism whereas inductive approach has been adopted which is related to positivism research philosophy. Primary data has been collected though a questionnaire survey. Researcher has designed a close ended questionnaire in order to conduct survey. Questionnaire has been developed by considering aims and objectives of research. Data has been collected from a sample of 70 mobile phone subscribers from United Kingdom. Researcher has selected sample through convenience sampling technique. Ethical issues like confidentiality of data, no harm to anybody, honest practices of data collection and plagiarism issues have been considered very carefully. Data analysis techniques have also been described in this chapter. 31 | P a g e
  32. 32. Chapter Four Data Presentation 4.1 Introduction Data has been collected from the sample through questionnaire survey. In this chapter data has been presented systematically. Results of each question have been presented in the form of percentages. Results are presented in tables and graphs for proper analysis. 4.2 General Information Respondents were asked to mention their age and gender in questionnaire. Different age categories possess different preferences regarding mobile services. Same is true for gender of mobile service subscribers. Mobile service providers can analyze the needs and wants of different genders and that of age categories in order to design better services for different customer groups. 4.2.1 Frequency Distribution of Age of Sample Five age ranges were given in the questionnaire. Frequency distribution of age of respondents is shown in the following table. Age of Respondents Age % of Respondents Less than 20 Years 13 21 - 30 Years 35 31 - 40 Years 31 41 - 50 Years 13 Above 50 Years 8 Total 100 32 | P a g e
  33. 33. Frequency distribution of sample shows that 13% respondents were less than 20 years old, 35 % respondents were between 21 – 30 years of age. 31 % respondents were in the age category of 31 – 40 years of age, 13 % respondents were in the age category of 41 – 50 years. Only 8% respondents were above 50 years of age. The data shows that most of the respondents were in the middle age category. Graphical representation of frequency distribution of age of respondents is shown in the following table: 4.2.2 Frequency Distribution of Gender of Sample Respondents were asked to mention their gender in the questionnaire. By analyzing needs and wants of males and females mobile service providers can design specific packages for males and females. In the following table frequency distribution of gender of respondents is shown: 33 | P a g e
  34. 34. The results show that there were 52 % males and 48 % females in the sample. Two deductions can be made from results. The first is that more males use telephonic services and the second is that more males have shown their intentions to fill the questionnaire. Graphical representation of frequency distribution of age of respondents is shown in the following table: 4.2.3 Type of Telephonic Service Respondents were asked about type of telephonic services used by them. In telephonic services fixed line and mobile services are common. Respondents were given these options in the questionnaire. Results about type of telephonic services are given in below table: Which Phone type you are using currently? Phone Type % of Respondents Land line only 23 Mobile Only 52 34 | P a g e Gender of Respondents Gender % of Respondents Male 52 Female 48 Total 100
  35. 35. Land Line and Mobile 25 Total 100 23 % respondents said that they use land line telephonic services. 52 % respondents use mobile services only. There were 25 % respondents who use combination of fixed line and mobile services. This suggests that mobile telephony is popular as compared to fixed line telephony. The results are presented in the following graph: 4.2.4 Mobile Service Provider Respondents were asked to mention mobile service provider whose services are used by them currently. This question was asked to analyze the major share of different mobile service providers. The results are helpful in determining the most favorable preference of respondents for mobile service providers. In the following table responses of respondents are summarized. Which Mobile phone operator is currently in your use? Service Provider % of Respondents Three 19 O2 26 Orange 17 Vodafone 29 Others 9 Total 100 The results show that 19 % respondents were availing mobile services of “Three”. 26 % respondents were using services of “O2” which is famous brand of Telefonica. There are 17 % respondents who were using mobile services of “Orange” which is brand of Everything Everywhere. There were 29 % respondents who use services of Vodafone. Only 9 % respondents were availing mobile services of some other service providers. The results show 35 | P a g e
  36. 36. that Vodafone is mostly used by the respondents. O2 is found to be at second place used by the respondents. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 4.2.5 Switching of mobile service provider Respondents were asked about switching mobile service providers. This question was asked for the further direction of questionnaire and also to analyze the trend of switching mobile service providers in respondents. The responses about switching mobile service providers are given in the following table. To what extent you have changed mobile phone operator since you are availing mobile telephony? Suggestions % of Respondents Not at all 13 Once 35 Twice 26 Thrice 17 More than thrice 9 Total 100 Above table presents clear picture about results of switching behavior of respondents. There were 13% respondents who have never switched mobile service provider. 35 % respondents have switched mobile service providers once in the life. There were 26 % respondents who have changed mobile service provider twice in their life. 17 % respondents have switched mobile service provider thrice in their life. There were only 9 % respondents who have switched mobile service providers for more than thrice. The results suggest that 87% respondents have 36 | P a g e
  37. 37. experienced switching mobile service providers. Majority has done this only for one time. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 4.3 Findings of questionnaire Respondents were given directions that if they have experienced mobile service providers then fill part “A” of questionnaire otherwise move to part “B”. Part “A” of questionnaire relates to factors that influence mobile subscribers to switch mobile service providers whereas part “B” relates to the factors that prevent customers to switch mobile service provider. Findings of both parts are given below: 4.3.1 Findings of Part 1 There were 87 % respondents who have experienced switching mobile service providers. The results of part “A” of questionnaire have been derived from 87% of total respondents who have experienced brand switching. Question 1: The first question was asked that for how many times mobile service providers have switched their service providers in response to changes in price. Literature review has discussed that price is the most important factor that influence brand switching behavior. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: 37 | P a g e
  38. 38. For how many times you have changed mobile service provider in response to changes in call charges? Suggestions % of Respondents Not at all 9 Once 31 Twice 36 Thrice 15 More than Thrice 9 Total 100 There were 9 % respondents who have never changed mobile service provider because of changes in price. 31 % respondents have changed mobile providers once in their life in response to change in prices. There were 36 % respondents who have switched mobile service providers twice in their life in response to changes in price. 15% respondents have switched mobile service providers thrice in their life in response to changes in price. 9% respondents have switched mobile service providers for more than three times in their life in response to changes in prices of mobile services. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 38 | P a g e
  39. 39. Question 2: Respondents were asked that whether the customer service of previous mobile service operator was poor or not. Customer service has taken an important place in the decision making process of customers. It has considered equally important as a product. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: Do you think customer care service of previous operator was poor? Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 21 Agree 35 Neutral 9 Disagree 20 Strongly Disagree 15 Total 100 There were 21 % respondents who strongly agreed that customer service of previous operator was poor. 35 % respondents agreed to the fact that customer service of previous operator was poor. 9 % respondents remained neutral in their opinion. 20 % respondents disagreed to the fact that customer service of previous operator was poor. 15 % respondents strongly disagreed with this opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: Question 3: 39 | P a g e
  40. 40. Respondents were asked whether better service quality of new service provider has encouraged them for switching. Service quality is determined by a number of factors which include tangible as well as intangible aspects. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: Better service quality has persuaded you to switch over current service provider? Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 24 Agree 37 Neutral 8 Disagree 19 Strongly Disagree 12 Total 100 The results suggest that 24 % respondents strongly agreed to the fact that better service quality has encouraged them to switch over new service provider. 37 % respondents agreed to the fact that better service quality of new operator has encouraged them for brand switching. 8 % respondents remained neutral in their opinion. 19 % respondents disagreed to the fact that better service quality of new service provider has encouraged brand switching. 12 % respondents strongly disagreed with this opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: Question 4: 40 | P a g e
  41. 41. Respondents were asked that whether value added services have encouraged them for brand switching or not. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: Value added services have persuaded you to switch over current service provider? Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 18 Agree 31 Neutral 13 Disagree 23 Strongly Disagree 15 Total 100 The above table suggests that 18 % respondents strongly agreed to the fact that value added services have encouraged them to switch over new service provider. 31 % respondents agreed to the fact that value added services of new operator have encouraged them for brand switching. 13% respondents remained neutral in their opinion. 23 % respondents disagreed to the fact that value added services of new service provider have encouraged brand switching. 15 % respondents strongly disagreed with this opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: Question 5: 41 | P a g e
  42. 42. Respondents were asked about the trust on previous service providers. Trust is very important for maintaining or discarding relationship with the service providers. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: You cannot trust previous mobile service provider Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 17 Agree 29 Neutral 15 Disagree 25 Strongly Disagree 14 Total 100 The above table suggests that 17 % respondents strongly agreed to the fact that they cannot trust previous mobile service providers. 29 % respondents agreed to the fact that they cannot trust previous service providers. 15% respondents remained neutral in their opinion. 25 % respondents disagreed that they cannot trust previous mobile service providers. 14 % respondents strongly disagreed with this opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: Question 6: 42 | P a g e
  43. 43. Innovations in mobile services are very attractive tool for encouraging customers to switch brands. Innovative services can provide customers more convenience. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: Current mobile service provider is innovative Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 21 Agree 31 Neutral 17 Disagree 19 Strongly Disagree 12 Total 100 The results suggest that there were 21 % respondents who strongly agreed that current mobile service provider is innovative. 31% respondents just agreed that new mobile service provider is innovative. 17% respondents remained neutral in their opinion. 19 % respondents disagreed that current mobile service provider is innovative. 12 % respondents strongly disagreed with this opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: Question 7: 43 | P a g e
  44. 44. It has been discussed in the literature review that advertisement attracts new as well as existing customers. Companies advertise their services in order to attract new customers and also in order to retain existing ones. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: Advertisement of current mobile service provider has attracted you Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 21 Agree 37 Neutral 8 Disagree 23 Strongly Disagree 11 Total 100 The results suggest that there were 21 % respondents who strongly agreed that advertisement has attracted them towards new operator. 37% respondents just agreed that advertisement has attracted them towards new operator. 8% respondents remained neutral in their opinion. 23 % respondents disagreed that advertisement has attracted them towards new operator. 11 % respondents strongly disagreed with this opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: Question 8: Availability of service is very important factor that can create satisfaction or dissatisfaction in customers. Respondents were asked that whether better service availability of current mobile service provider has made them to switching or not. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: 44 | P a g e
  45. 45. Better service availability of current mobile service provider has made you to switch over it Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 24 Agree 35 Neutral 14 Disagree 17 Strongly Disagree 10 Total 100 The results suggest that 24 % respondents have strongly agreed that better service quality has made them switching towards current mobile service provider. 35 % respondents agreed, 14% remained neutral, 17 % disagreed and 10% respondents strongly disagreed to this fact. Graphical representation of results is as follows: Question 9: Literature review has discussed in detail that brand image has influence on brand switching. Respondents were asked that whether brand image or current service provider has persuaded them to switch over this brand. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: Brand Image has persuaded you to switch over the current mobile service provider Suggestions % of Respondents 45 | P a g e
  46. 46. Strongly Agree 20 Agree 33 Neutral 9 Disagree 21 Strongly Disagree 17 Total 100 The results show that 20 % respondents strongly agreed to that fact that brand image has influenced them to switching towards current service provider. 33 % respondents agreed, 9% remained neutral, 21% disagreed and 17% respondents strongly disagreed with the opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 46 | P a g e
  47. 47. 4.3.2 Findings of Part 2 This part is related to non switchers. Factors that have influenced customers not to switch over other’s brands are identified in this section. Question 1: Non switchers were asked that whether respondents were restricted by some personal or professional reason for not switching service providers. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: You cannot change current number because of some personal reason or professional reason Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 19 Agree 27 Neutral 15 Disagree 22 Strongly Disagree 17 Total 100 Results show that 19 % respondents strongly agreed that they have been restricted by personal or professional reason to remain stayed with the current service providers. 27% respondents agreed, 15 % remained neutral, 22% disagreed and 17% respondents strongly disagreed to the fact. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 47 | P a g e
  48. 48. Question 2: Switching cost plays important role in restricting customers with their current service providers. Respondents were asked that whether switching cost is high for them or not. The results of this question are summarized in the following table: Switching to other mobile service provider is costly Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 21 Agree 35 Neutral 14 Disagree 11 Strongly Disagree 19 Total 100 Results show that there were 21 % respondents who strongly agreed that switching cost is high and restricts them to stay with current service providers. 35 % respondents agreed, 14 % remained neutral, 11 % disagreed and 19% strongly disagreed with the opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 48 | P a g e
  49. 49. Question 3: Respondents were asked about trusting other mobile service providers. Trust on mobile service providers influences customers to either stay with or to switch over other service providers. The results of this question are summarized in the following table You cannot trust other mobile service providers Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 22 Agree 30 Neutral 12 Disagree 19 Strongly Disagree 17 Total 100 22% strongly agreed that they cannot trust other service providers. 30 % respondents agreed, 12% remained neutral, 19% disagreed and 17% respondents strongly disagreed to the fact that they cannot trust other service providers. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 49 | P a g e
  50. 50. Question 4: Respondents were asked that whether better service quality of current service provider resist in switching. Results are displayed in the following table. Service quality of current mobile service provider is better which resists in switching Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 21 Agree 29 Neutral 16 Disagree 19 Strongly Disagree 15 Total 100 Results show that there were 21% respondents who strongly agreed that better service quality resists them to switch towards a particular service provider. 29% respondents agreed, 16% remained neutral, 19% disagreed and 15 % strongly disagreed to the fact that better service quality resists them for switching. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 50 | P a g e
  51. 51. Question 5: Low charges of services can be a technique for service providers to restrict customers with them. Respondents were asked their perception about low charges and staying with current service provider. Results are displayed in the following table. Charges of current mobile service provider are low Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 28 Agree 37 Neutral 9 Disagree 16 Strongly Disagree 10 Total 100 28% respondents strongly agreed that low charges of current service providers persuade them to stay with them 375 respondents agreed, 9 % remained neutral, 16 % disagreed and 10% strongly disagreed to the opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 51 | P a g e
  52. 52. Question 6: Respondents were asked that whether coverage service of current mobile service provider is better than other service providers. Results are displayed in the following table. Coverage service of current mobile service provider is better than other service providers Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 11 Agree 29 Neutral 17 Disagree 28 Strongly Disagree 15 Total 100 Results suggest that 11% respondents strongly agreed that better coverage service of current operator restricts them not to switch. 29% respondents agreed, 17% remained neutral, 28% disagreed and 15% respondents strongly disagreed to the fact that they are restricted by better coverage service of current operator. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 52 | P a g e
  53. 53. Question7: Respondents were asked about trusting advertisement of other service providers. Sometimes advertisements are not mentioned about hidden charges of service. This can create distrust in customers. Results are displayed in the following table. Trusting advertisement of other service providers is costly as they include hidden charges Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 20 Agree 33 Neutral 11 Disagree 19 Strongly Disagree 17 Total 100 20% respondents said that trusting advertisement on other service providers is costly because it includes hidden charges. There were 33% respondents who agreed, 11% remained neutral, 19% disagreed, and 17% strongly disagreed to the opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 53 | P a g e
  54. 54. Question 8: Customer services play important role is satisfying or dissatisfying customers. Respondents were asked that whether better customer services of current service provider resist in switching or not. Results are displayed in following table: Customer care services of current mobile service provider are of high quality which resist in switching Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 12 Agree 32 Neutral 9 Disagree 28 Strongly Disagree 19 Total 100 12% respondents strongly agreed that they are resisted by better customer services of current service providers for not switching brand. 32 % agreed, 9% remained neutral, 28% disagreed and 19% respondents strongly disagreed to the opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 54 | P a g e
  55. 55. Question 9: Brand image has influence on brand switching as discussed by literature review. Respondents were asked that whether brand image of current service providers has resisted them to switching or not. Results are displayed in following table: Brand Image has persuaded you to stay with the current mobile service provider Suggestions % of Respondents Strongly Agree 21 Agree 35 Neutral 7 Disagree 22 Strongly Disagree 15 Total 100 The results show that 21 % respondents strongly agreed that brand image of current service providers has resisted them to switching. 35% respondents agreed, 7% remained neutral, 22% disagreed and 15% respondents strongly disagreed to the opinion. Graphical representation of results is as follows: 55 | P a g e
  56. 56. 4.4 Conclusion Data findings have been presented systematically that can help in further analysis of results. All important aspects regarding presentation of data findings have been considered by the researcher. The next chapter deals with the analysis of these findings. Chapter Five 56 | P a g e
  57. 57. Data Interpretation and Analysis 5.1 Introduction Data has been presented in detail in the last chapter. In this section all graphs and tables have been interpreted and detailed analysis of results has been performed. Findings of primary data have been related to the theory presented in the literature review in order o establish relations between primary and secondary data. 5.2 Analysis of Findings In the sample most of the respondents belonged to middle age category. There was less percentage of respondents of more than 50 years of age. Needs of communication of individuals of different age categories vary. Individuals who are younger in age and have not started their career yet use mobile telecommunication for contacting their friends and relatives. They do not have any restrictions related to profession. These individuals also have limited budget so they used to switch their mobile service providers frequently in response to different offers of service providers. It has been found that respondents who were older used fixed line only whereas respondents who were young used mobile telecommunication only. Some of the respondents have also said that they use both types of telecommunication. It is very important to mention that mobile telecommunication is comparatively new technology and is characterized by a number of innovations. Young individuals are more attracted to innovations rather than older ones who want to remain in their traditional frame of mind. This is the reason young and middle age respondents have been found using mobile telecommunication more. It has been found that majority of the respondents use Vodafone following by O2 which is brand of Telefonica. Three has been recognized as an innovative telecommunication company in United Kingdom. Most of the young and professional have been using “Three” because it provides them innovations that can provide them entertainment as well as solution of their problems. Orange has also been found as one of the major market share holder. There was very less percentage of respondents who have been using other mobile service providers. 57 | P a g e
  58. 58. Respondents who were young have been found very frequent in switching mobile service providers. It has been found that respondents who are older in age have never switching mobile service providers. It can be deduced that these respondents might have some personal or professional reason for changing mobile service providers. It has been found that respondents who are young have switched for more than 3 times since they are using mobile telecommunication. Questionnaire has been divided into two parts. One part relates to switchers and the other one is related to non switchers. There were 87% respondents who have experienced switching mobile service provider in their life whereas 13% respondents have never experienced brand switching of mobile service providers. It has been found that most of customers of Vodafone have been found non switchers. 5.2.1 Analysis of Factors Influencing Brand Switching Majority of respondents have been found switching mobile service providers in response to changes in call charges. Call charges relate to price variable which has been found very influential factors for brand switching according to literature review. Most of the young respondents who might have limited budget have been found more frequent switchers in response to changes in price. It can be said that price changes affect those customers who have limited budgets. On the other hand respondents who belonged to middle age do not switch in response to changes in price. It can be deduced that these respondents are not sensitive to changes in price and some other factors have influenced them to switch mobile service providers. Rajkumar (2011) has also suggested that customers who are quality conscious are not attracted to changes in price. Overall price has influenced customers to switch mobile service providers Customer care service has also been an influential factor for brand switching. It has been found that most of the respondents have agreed that better customer service of current operator has made them to switch towards them. Jun and Bin (2005) say that better customer service provided by the employees can be proved an influential factor for brand switching. Quality of service refers to tangible as well as intangible components of service. Tangible service refers to better voice quality, voice clarity, service availability etc. On the other hand intangible 58 | P a g e
  59. 59. component refers to customer care. Both are very important for satisfying and attracting customers. James (1998) has said that companies can improve their financial performance by satisfying customers through quality services .Important thing to be mentioned is that respondents who are not sensitive to changes in price switch mobile service providers because of quality of customer care services. Quality conscious customers tend to have value added services provided by the mobile service providers. It has been found that most of respondents have switched mobile service providers because current service provider grants them more value added services. Quality of a service is also recognized by the provision of value added services. Availability of service affects quality of service. Respondents have also said that availability of service has encouraged them to switch over current service provider. It has also been found that piece conscious respondents are less attracted by value added services. This is because some companies charge extra amount for value added services (Dong and Won, 2007). Trust is very important factor in establishing long term relationship between any two units. It has been found that customers who have experienced brand switching say they cannot trust their previous service providers. Trust conveys a message to the customers that service provider can do anything in order to satisfy their needs. If this does not happen, customers can switch over other service providers (Liang and Wang, 2008). Innovations in mobile services are penetrating day by day. Young and career oriented respondents have been more sensitive to innovations of current service providers. It has been found that respondents who were using “Three” were more satisfied with the innovations of company. In fact they have switched in response to innovative offers of company. Innovations are also related to service quality (Jun and Bin, 2005). It has been found that respondents who were quality service conscious also recognized innovative services of current service provider. A considerable percentage of switchers have recognized the power of advertisement in attracting them towards current service providers. It has been found that most of the respondents have said that they have been attracted by the advertisements of current service providers. There were some respondents who have not been attracted by advertisements. These might be the customers who value concrete basis rather than mere advertisement. Advertisement not only 59 | P a g e
  60. 60. attracts new customers but also encourages existing customers for repeat purchase (Ehrenberg, A.S.C., 2000). It depends on the effectiveness of advertisement that customers retain with existing company or switch over the other one which has been more effective in its advertisement. Results show that respondents who were quality conscious value brand image. These respondents have switched old mobile service provider because image of current service provider is more attractive. Serkan et al., (2005) have suggested that brand image affects decision making process of customers. 5.2.2 Analysis of Factors Resisting Brand Switching It has been found that most of respondents have some personal or professional commitments due to which they do not switch mobile service providers. The results have revealed that respondents who were in middle age category have given this reason for not switching mobile service providers. This reason can be related to psychological switching cost. If these respondents change mobile service providers, they can experience high switching cost resulted from their personal or professional commitments. This type of switching cost effects respondents to remain attached with a particular mobile service provider (Burnham, Frels and Mahajan, 2003). Switching cost plays very important role in determining switching attitude of customers. It has been found that most of the respondents who have personal or professional commitments also said that switching to new service providers can become costly so they prefer to remain attach with existing service provider. It can be deduced that perceived benefits of switching might be low for these respondents so they decide not to switch mobile service providers (Lees et al., 2007). Another factors preventing brand switching is “Trust”. In the above section this factor has been recognized as an important factor influencing brand switching. Majority of respondents have said that they cannot trust other service providers so they remain attached with existing service providers. Until there is no trust between customer and service provider, long term relationship cannot be established (Chu, 2009). It can also be deduced that distrust on other service providers increases switching cost which ultimately resists in switching. 60 | P a g e
  61. 61. It has been found from results that better service quality of current mobile service providers has resisted respondents to switch over other brands. Bitner & Hubbert (1994) say that better service quality puts an impression of superior services in the minds of customers. Due to this impression they do not switch over other brands. Service quality also refers to coverage of service provided b the service providers (Jun and Bin, 2005). Price has been the most important factor in the decisions of customers for staying with existing brand or switching to the other one. In the above section it has been found that price conscious respondents have switched mobile service providers in response to changes in price. Similarly in this section respondents have recognized low charges restricting them to stay with the current service providers. Lee and Murphy (2005) have found price as most important and influential factor behind brand switching in telecommunication industry. It has been proved that advertisement has played important role in attracting customers to new service providers in the previous section. The results of this section suggest that non switchers do not trust advertisement of other service providers because they include hidden charges which are not displayed in advertisements. Brand image has also been found an important factor that has influenced respondents to remain attached with current service provider. In above section respondents have switched service providers because of appealing brand image of new service providers. It can be deduced that brands with appealing image attract customers. 5.3 Conclusion The findings suggest that customers switch over mobile service providers because of a number of factors which include price, brand image, service quality and customer care services. On the other hand there are various factors that prevent customers to switch over other mobile service providers. 61 | P a g e
  62. 62. Chapter Six Conclusion 6.1 Introduction This chapter presents conclusion of the whole research. All the findings have been concluded here. On the basis of results of primary data and that of secondary data some recommendations have been proposed to the telecommunication companies of United Kingdom in order to stop their customers for brand switching. Future prospects of research have also been presented in this chapter. 6.2 Conclusion This particular research aimed at examining the factors influencing brand switching in telecommunication industry of United Kingdom. In order to examine the factors triangulation methodology has been adopted. Questionnaire strategy has been used by the researcher for collecting primary data. There were 87% respondents who have experienced brand switching of service providers at any stage in their life. 13% respondents have never switched mobile service providers. The findings of research suggest that there price has been most influential factor in decisions of customers regarding brand switching. The results have shown that most of respondents switch mobile service providers in response to changes in prices. On the other hand service providers charging low call rates have been succeeded in stopping their customers to switch over other service providers. All customers do not value reduction in prices of calls but they value quality of services Rajkumar (2011). So companies need to maintain a balance in high quality and reasonable price in order to retain customers. High quality services have also been found an important factor for encouraging customers for brand switching as well as for retaining customers. Mobile service providers with attractive and high quality services (customer care, coverage area) have made customers of other companies to switch over them. On the other hand customers have been stopped by companies for brand 62 | P a g e
  63. 63. switching by providing them quality services. Quality services satisfy customers and ultimately enhance performance of companies (Jun and Bin (2005). Switching cost has been found very important factor in stopping customers for brand switching. Burnham, Frels and Mahajan (2003) suggest that companies need to raise switching cost in order to retain their customers. High switching cost prevents customers to switch over others. It can ultimately increase customer loyalty. Service providers that have low switching cost face frequent switching of their customers towards other service providers. On every important factor has been identified from the results that encourage brand switching as well as prevents it. The factor is “Trust” which is base of establishing long term relationship with the companies. If companies fail to maintain trust with customers they cannot start relationship with customers on long term basis. The results have revealed that customers who do not trust service providers switch over other service providers. On the other hand customers who do not trust other service providers tend to remain with their current service providers. Brand image has also been found an influential factor in determining the final decision of customers regarding brand switching. Brands that have appealing image attract customers of other service providers and retain their own customers for long time period (Serkan et al., 2005). Finally the objectives of research are reviewed as follows: • Switching behavior is a process which persuades customers to end relationship with a particular company and to start a new relationship with another company. • Price has been the most important factor that influences brand switching. Other factors that have been found encouraging for brand switching in telecommunication industry of United Kingdom are: Service quality, Customer care, value added services and brand image. • Most important factor that prevents brand switching is switching cost. High switching cost prohibits customers to switch over other service providers. Other factors that stop customers for brands switching are: personal or professional commitments regarding 63 | P a g e

×