Factors that determine customer loyalty to a mobile telephone service provider: a case of mobile telephone users in Nairobi
This study was undertaken with the objective of identifying the factors that determine customer loyalty to a mobile telephone service provider as well as to determine whether there are any demographic differences among customers in loyalty to a mobile telephone service provider. The study was conducted in Nairobi. In order to achieve this objective a sample of 120 customers was picked using shopping center sampling technique and each respondent was asked to fill a questionnaire. The questionnaire had both structured questions and five-point likert scale questions. The respondents were picked from authorized dealer outlets of Safaricom and kencell (now Celtel) using systematic sampling method whereby every third customer entering the outlet was asked to complete the questionnaire. The data collected was analyzed through descriptive statistics. The first objective was achieved through factor analysis, which was used to establish the underlying pattern of relationship, that exist between the variables (i.e. interrelationships) and to reduce the variables. Mean scores were used to determine the relative importance of the loyalty factors. Cross tabulation was used to analyze data for the second objective of the study, which was to establishing the extent of demographic differe~ces with regard to factors considered for loyalty. The analysis pointed out that there are various factors that customers consider as important in deciding on whether to remain loyal to mobile telephone service provider. Some of these factors include price, quality of service, value added services, after sale services, convenience, other people in the same network, friendly courteous and knowledgeable employees, efficiency of the service delivery process as well as the physical appearance among others. Factor analysis reduced the variables to seven key factors into which the twenty-eight variables were appropriately fitted. From the findings of the study, it was concluded that there are certain factors that customers consider for loyalty to a mobile telephone service provider. It can therefore be recommended that the service providers should identify and improve on the factors that were brought out by the customers as important in determining their loyalty. They should also continuously monitor changes in consumer preferences, needs and dynamics of loyalty through market research. In order to reap the benefits of loyalty as brought out in the literature review, the service providers should incorporate and enhance all the factors that will turn their customers into loyal ones and maintain such brand loyalty. They should also take into consideration the demographic differences of their customers as they tailor their marketing mix strategies and programs.