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Title: The influence of customer service on consumer buying behaviour at selected supermarkets in the greater Durban area
Authors: Musasa, Tinashe 
Issue Date: 2016
Customer service has been identified as a crucial aspect of the retail mix that can pose great significance in the creation of a store image. The modern retail sector has become highly competitive, with consumers demanding exceptional service that surpasses the expectations of service such that, comprehensive service strategies remain crucial for retailers to succeed (Timm, 2008:110). Furthermore, the increasing sameness of merchandise among supermarkets has induced retail giants in South Africa to rely on offering high quality service to remain competitive and build some source of differentiation (Beneke et al., 2012:173). Comprehensive service strategies are a requirement for retailers to remain competitive as they positively influence consumer perception of service that ultimately creates a store image (Harris 2010:17). Failure of service delivered to meet or exceed consumer expectation results in negative perception among consumers and customers end up deserting that particular retailer in search of better service elsewhere (Johnston and Marshall 2010:173).

The main aim of this study was to determine the influence of customer service on consumer buying behaviour at selected supermarkets within the greater Durban area. To accomplish the objectives of this study, a quantitative study was conducted in the form of a descriptive survey. A sample of 400 respondents was questioned. Self- administered questionnaires were distributed amongst participants. Non-probability sampling was used in selecting respondents in the greater Durban area. Reviewed literature and findings of the study made the basis for conclusions and recommendations of this study.

Results of this study indicate the following:

• There is a positive perception towards service delivery in most Durban supermarkets and the majority of respondents indicated their willingness to continue visiting specific stores and recommend them to others.
• There is a relationship between customer service and consumer buying behaviour.

It is therefore recommended that supermarket management continue to uphold service quality as it not only ensures customer retention but also generates positive attitudes towards the stores.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Management Sciences: Marketing, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2016.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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