The Measurement of Service Quality in the Telecommunications Industry: the Case of Ghana Telecom, Kumasi

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Over the last decade, the centralized telecommunication monopoly in Ghana has been changed and a relatively open and free competitive market is rapidly coming into being. Recent advances in telecommunication technology, including wireless networks and the Internet, along with the competition of network operators for offering advanced and different services, are putting increasing pressure for building telecommunication networks that are adaptive to new requirements. In the past less competitive and often monopolistic environment, service quality could be neglected since consumers lacked alternatives. In today's environment, however, service quality is likely to create the necessary competitive advantage by being an effective differentiating factor. Delivering quality service is an essential ingredient for establishing and maintaining a loyal and profitable customer base. It is in the light of the preceding paragraphs that this study was undertaken to measure service quality in the telecommunication industry- the case of Ghana Telecom using the five dimensions of service quality and the Gap analysis model. It was revealed from the findings of the study that customers have the best perception of "tangibles" and the lowest perception of "responsiveness". It was also revealed that either executives of Ghana Telecom do not fully know what their customers expect from them with respect to quality or they may not know about certain features that are critical to meeting customers' desires. However, in general, service quality is a little bit above average. The researcher has the opinion that top management should give attention to the "responsiveness" of the staff (especially front line employees) to help and to provide the requested service promptly. However, management should give less thought to the dimension "tangibles", example the physical facilities, equipment, dcess code «f their employees and communication materials. Managers must make an effort to understand customers' needs either through formal or informal information activities. Formal market research activities will help managers focus on gathering data about service quality issues and from that data, gain an understanding of which features are most important to customers, which levels of these * features customers expect, and what customers think the company should do when service delivery problems occurs. Managers must make sure they interpret and/or utilize the data in a meaningful way.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration (Operations Management), 2008