The Grenada Employers Federation (GEF) has given details of the results of a survey that was conducted into the level of service provided by business operators to consumers.
The survey was conducted by an official at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados of the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The survey focused on consumers and their experiences of service, quality, productivity, employee attitudes, and employment relations in Grenada.
The local Employers Federation has released some of the major findings of the survey.
As a public service, THE NEW TODAY has decided to highlight some aspects of the report:-
A National Survey of 375 Grenadians was conducted to highlight the positive and negative aspects of the service experiences of consumers, their perceptions of national productivity and employment relations.
The survey was conceptualized and administered during early part of 2014 and was completed by the middle of 2015.
The survey was commissioned by the Grenada Employers’ Federation and the analyses and reporting were conducted by Dr. Dwayne Devonish, Senior Lecturer in Management Science of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.
The survey sought to point to chief recommendations to assist business operators and service providers in improving their service delivery systems, productivity levels, and employment relations and practices.
PERCEPTIONS OF SERVICE QUALITY AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
The first aspect of the survey captured consumers’ perceptions of the service quality and its dimensions with respect to their interactions with a number of service providers and firms in Grenada.
The core dimensions of service quality experiences are explained below:
• Reliability: Ability of service providers in Grenada to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
• Responsiveness: Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service.
• Customer Assurance: Level of knowledge and courtesy of service providers in Grenada and their ability to convey trust and confidence to
• Empathy: Caring, individualised attention that service providers in Grenada provide for their customers.
• Appearance of Physical Facilities/Resources: General appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials of service providers in Grenada.
• Integrity (trustworthiness): The extent to which service providers are perceived as honest, trustworthy and ethical in their business transactions with customers.
• Security: The extent to which service providers provide adequate security for customers during business transactions.
Consumers’ perceptions of Service Quality including reliability, responsiveness, empathy, assurance, and physical environment of service providers, which was assessed on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent), received a modest/fair rating.
The Appearance of physical facilities and resources of service providers in Grenada was rated as the highest by sampled consumers.
These dimensions were subjected to statistical correlation analyses to ascertain which dimension(s) made the most significant contribution (i.e. the most relevant determinant) to an average consumer’s positive experience with service in Grenada.
The top or core determinants of a good customer experience were:
Integrity/trustworthiness (rank 1)
Responsiveness (rank 2):
Customer assurance (rank 3)
The results suggested that customers cared deeply about how trustworthy,responsive, courteous and knowledgeable service providers are in Grenada as these attributes represented the strongest determinants of high quality service for most Grenadians.
These dimensions of service quality are critical to ensuring that customers are generally satisfied with the level of service offered in the country.
Male consumers, full-time and self-employed consumers, and highly educated or trained consumers experienced higher levels of service quality during their interactions with service providers compared to their respective counterparts.
PERCEPTIONS OF PRODUCTIVITY AND EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
The second aspect of the survey captures consumers’ perceptions productivity and employment relations among firms operating in Grenada.
The main dimensions examined included:
• Employee Attitudes and Productivity: This dimension captures consumers’ perceptions and ratings of the quality and level of employee/worker attitudes (e.g. job satisfaction, morale, loyalty and respect for employers at work as well as their level of productivity).
• Employer Attitudes and Treatment of Employees:
This dimension measures the quality and level of employer attitudes (e.g. employers’ respect for employees, employers’ interest in meeting employees’ needs/concerns, and employers’ overall treatment of employees at work).
• Employer-Employee Relationships: This dimension captures the extent to which the employer-employee relationship at work is healthy, filled with trust, harmonious, and productive.
Perceptions of workplace productivity, employee and employer attitudes, and employment relations in Grenadian organisations were rated modest at best, suggesting more needs to be done to improve the general human resource management and industrial relations climate in these organisations
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE SURVEY PROJECT
Service providers in Grenada typically offer an average/moderate level of service to consumers – however, it is recommended that they seek to improve the quality of service above and beyond this level, especially in the areas of reliability, responsiveness, and customer assurance (improved trust and confidence of consumers).
Regular training and development opportunities in service quality are critical for both junior-level and senior-level staff who interact often with consumers on a daily basis.
Service quality must be delivered consistently irrespective of customer demographics. It is important that consumers of different demographics have a shared, unified view and experience of service from service providers and that their individual needs and preferences are adequately catered to.
Continual market and consumer needs assessments and surveys are needed to obtain updated data (consumer intelligence) to help businesses make sensible and informed decisions about their products and service delivery.
Finally, employers must be cognisant of the level of productivity, employee attitudes, and relationships that exist within their organisations.
The state of these metrics can either hurt or benefit the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation. Efforts should be made to enhance the overall climate of employment relations, employee morale and job satisfaction, as well as the level of productivity through the use of attractive reward and compensation packages, incentive and productivity schemes, training and development programmes, and more democratic/participative, employee-friendly initiatives at work.
If employees are to be more customer-friendly, managers and employers have to be more employee-friendly. Such reciprocity is the ingredient of organisational success.