The Background to the Study
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important ingredients in achieving success in the modern business environment. The increasing market competition in various industries has created choices for customers whenever they want to make a purchase. They know that they have a number of options when planning their purchases. According to Keller (2003), customers have increasingly become very demanding in the modern society because they are better informed.
We will write a custom Proposal on Du and Etisalat Companies Customer Satisfaction Comparison specifically for you
301 certified writers online
They have the right information about what they need, where they can get what they need, and the options that are available. Cochetti (2015) says that the only way through which a firm can survive in the modern competitive market is to ensure that it can attract and retain its customers.
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) are the leading providers of internet services in the United Arab Emirates (Laudon & Laudon, 2012).
These two firms have been struggling to achieve dominance in the local market that has become very demanding when purchasing internet services. In as much as the industry is fully controlled by these two firms (duopoly), Etisalat and Du have been employing varying competitive strategies to attract more customers to their products. They both understand that to remain relevant in this highly competitive industry, they need to maintain high level of customer satisfaction in the market. In this study, the researcher seeks to compare the level of customer satisfaction of internet services offered by Etisalat and that offered by Du within the local market.
The Significance of the Study
When conducting a research, it is necessary to clearly define its significance as a way of justifying its need. The telecommunication sector has become very important in the modern society where communication plays an important role in people lives. People need to communicate with friends, relative, business partners, employees, managers, among other people. The modern society has come to heavily rely on telecommunication in addressing so many tasks, including shopping through e-marketplace.
As such, the communication sector has attracted numerous players who are interested in tapping into this lucrative industry. In the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) are the only players in the internet service market (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). It is strange that a country that has one of the fastest growing economies in the world has only two players in this important industry. Dubai is currently one of the top business and tourists hubs in the world, a sign that the number of people consuming data services is very high.
The power of duopoly may make it easy for these firms to dictate market forces because of the ease with which they can collude and hike prices for their products without giving any consideration to the need to satisfy their customers. This study will critically evaluate the level of customer satisfaction at these two firms offer to their clients. The level of customer satisfaction is determined by a number of factors such as the pricing strategy, the quality of service offered, and customer care services, among others.
If it is indicated that the firms are keen on ensuring that their customers are satisfied, then that is a sign that they are not using their power of duopoly negatively against their clients. If it is proven that the level of customer satisfaction is relatively low, it will be an indication that they are taking advantage of their duopoly hence corrective measures may be necessary.
This study will indicate how these firms are fairing in terms of competitiveness in offering quality services to their customers. Inasmuch as they are only two rivals in the market, the only way of surviving is to offer high quality services to their customers. Customers still have the power to choose the services of either of the firms. It means that the need to offer quality is still high. For Etisalat, it is under pressure to ensure that it protects its position as a local market leader in this industry. For Du, it has to ensure that it is not forced out of the market by Etisalat which has a larger market share and a global presence. The two conflicting interests of these two firms make it necessary for them to come up with appropriate competitive strategies in the market.
Statement of the Problem
According to Keller (2003), competition is very healthy in promoting creativity and innovativeness in the market. Highly competitive industry is always very innovative and firms that can survive such competition can easily expand their operations beyond their home country. In the United Arab Emirates internet services industry, there are two main market players, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) (Turban, Volonino, & Pollard, 2010).
The existence of these two players in the market creates a very delicate industry in this country. These two firms can decide to collude and overcharge their customers for the services they offer. This can affect the prosperity of the industry and the residents of this country in general. These two firms can also engage in very unhealthy competitive strategies meant to force the rival away from the market. As Hanieh (2011) says, irrespective of the number of competitors that exists in the market, it is often healthy for the rival firms to focus on offering high quality products to their customers instead of focusing on how to outmuscle their rivals. In this study, the researcher will determine the level of customer satisfaction with the products offered by the firm.
Research questions are very important when conducting a research. They guide in the process of data collection. The following are the specific research questions that will guide the study.
- How do you compare the internet services offered by Etisalat to that of Du?
- Which of the two companies have a better focus on customer satisfaction?
- Are you convinced that the two firms are charging their products fairly?
Based on the information that the researcher has gathered in the preliminary stages of this research, it is believed that Etisalat offers better post-paid services than Du Company. The following are the hypothesis developed.
- H1o. Etisalat does not offer superior internet services than its rival Du Company;
- H1a. Etisalat offers superior internet services than its rival Du Company.
Definitions of Terms or Operational Definitions
The following are the terms that will be used in this study.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
- Customer satisfaction- meeting the needs and expectations of the customers in the best way possible.
- Customer service- attending to the customers as and when it is necessary.
- Duopoly- a market controlled by two firms.
- Competitive market- presence of more than one firm in the market fighting for the same target market.
The telecommunication industry in the United Arab Emirates has undergone massive development over the recent past. According to a study by Cochetti (2015), within the past one decade, the number of people using internet services in United Arab Emirates has increased by over 75%. People now use internet to shop, get entertainment, to work, communicate with friends and relatives, among other tasks.
The industry is currently controlled by two main players, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Stahl, Björkman, & Morris, 2012). These two firms have a wide variety of voice and data services available for their customers.
The level of competition in the internet services market within the United Arab Emirates has remained relatively high despite the existence of only two players in the market (Kim & Mauborgne, 2015). Each of these two players has been struggling to attract and retain customers using various strategies. They understand that the only way of remaining relevant in the market is to offer products which are superior to what their rival offers (King, 2010).
The competition has helped in improving level of customer satisfaction in the market. According to Kim and Mauborgne (2015), Etisalat is considered more popular that Du in terms of the network coverage within the country. Its network is very reliable even in the remote locations in the country. However, Du offers cheaper services in the market compared to that of Etisalat.
Theoretical Frame Work
The study will use a number of theories in this study. These theories will provide a help in better understanding the environmental forces affecting these firms in the market. Porter’s Five Forces will be used to investigate the level of market competition in the country. The researcher will also use Duopoly Theory to explain the relationship between the two dominant players and how their market dominance affects the industry in general. Other competitive theories like Diamond’s Theory will also be critical in this study.
Contribution to Research
This study will make significant contribution to the existing bodies of knowledge. It will investigate the level of competition in the market and provide up to date information about what the two telecommunications firms in United Arab Emirates are doing to achieve competitiveness in the market. It will address the exiting research gaps.
It is important to discuss the method that will be used in collecting, analyzing, and presenting data in this study. The research will use both primary and secondary sources of data. Secondary data will be collected from books, journal articles, and other reliable online sources.
The population of people using internet services from Etisalat and Du companies in the United Arab Emirates is very high. It is not possible to investigate the entire population. Primary data will be collected from a sample of the population. Sampling will be done using simple random sampling (Dana, Hancock, & JoDee, 2011). The sample will be taken from customers of both Etisalat and Du companies.
Primary data collection method
The researcher will use questionnaire to collect data from the respondents. The questionnaire will be used in conducting the face-to-face interviews. As explained above, the interview will involve customers of both companies. The responses will be recorded using voice recorder for the purpose of analysis.
In this study, the researcher will use positivism as the main paradigm that will guide this study. Dana, Hancock, and JoDee (2011, p. 56) define positivism as a research philosophy that “holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism.” In this quantitative study, we will need mathematical proof about the superiority of the services offered by these two firms. That is why this philosophy was considered appropriate.
Data collected from the respondents will be analyzed quantitatively. Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) will be used to facilitate quantitative analysis of primary data collected from the participants. This statistical tool will make it possible to obtain conduct mean, median, and correlation analysis to determine how the services of the two companies compare. The findings will be presented in tables, graphs, and charts for the purpose of interpretation.
The dependent variable in this study is the level of customer satisfaction from the services offered by Etisalat and Du companies. The independent variables include cost of these internet services, reliability, geographic coverage, and speed among other quality-related factors.
Limitation and Conclusion
This research had a number of limitations which are worth mentioning. Primary data was collected from a sample of respondents in Dubai. The researcher will visit other emirates within the country. It means that making generalization of the entire country from the data collected may not be very advisable given that they have environmental forces that make them different from Dubai. Time was
The study will closely compare the level of customer satisfaction with the internet products offered by Etisalat and that offered by Du Company. The preliminary research shows that Etisalat offers superior post-paid services, with stronger network coverage that Du Company. However, Du services are cheaper compared to that of Etisalat Company. This study will help determine if this is true.
This research project is expected to take approximately eight weeks. The table below provides a summary of the activities and their timeline.
Cochetti, R. (2015). Mobile satellite communications hand book. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.
Dana, H., Hancock, C., & JoDee, P. (2011). A Research Proposal to Evaluate the Merits of Writing across the Curriculum. American Journal of Business Education, 4(5), 15-19.
Hanieh, A. (2011). Capitalism and class in the Gulf Arab states. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Keller, K. L. (2003). Strategic brand management: Building, measuring, and managing brand equity. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Ptr.
Kim, W. C., & Mauborgne, R. (2015). Blue ocean strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. New York, NY: Springer.
King, B. (2010). Bank 2.0: How customer behaviour and technology will change the future of financial services. Hoboken, NJ: Marshall Cavendish Business.
Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2012). Management information systems: Managing the digital firm. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
Stahl, G. K., Björkman, I., & Morris, S. (2012). Handbook of research in international human resource management. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Pub.
Turban, E., Volonino, L., & Pollard, C. (2010). Information technology for management: Transforming organizations in the digital economy. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons.