The following study is conducted in the form of quantitative research. Its main objective is to obtain an overall picture of customer satisfaction and establish a relation to service quality, as well as employee performance, at Dubai Courts.
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Thus, the study mainly aims at determining the number of satisfied customers of the Dubai Courts and the degree of satisfaction they commonly display. Additionally, the study tries to confirm the relation of performance of Dubai Courts employees, its quality of services, and innovation to customer satisfaction which is suggested by the sources in the literature review. The quantitative research method allows minimizing ambiguity and presenting the findings in a clear and approachable format.
The primary data collection is conducted in the form of a survey. This method allows for a comprehensive and objective data to be obtained and speeds up both the retrieval and the analysis of the data. It also fits well within the defined goals since the degree of customer satisfaction can be conclusively measured by a differential scale that forms the majority of the survey. The survey consists of 15 close-ended questions, four of which are aimed to determine the sample’s demographic characteristics.
The remaining questions are constructed to assess different areas of customer satisfaction and help in decoding the results. Specifically, two of the questions are meant to evaluate the overall satisfaction, three address the affective and cognitive satisfaction, three evaluate various aspects of organization’s performance and service quality, one provides an overview of customer retention rate, one aims at isolating specific factors responsible for customer satisfaction, and one attempts to determine the weight of innovation in attaining customer loyalty.
Allocating innovation to a separate question is partially justified since Dubai Courts are known for its prominent emphasis on innovation and implementation of smart devices in its operations (Dubai Courts, 2016). Consequently, the direct relationship between the use of informational technology and the perceived value of service has been specifically addressed in the literature review, and the result is expected to correlate with the findings of the study.
The demographic data includes gender, age, education level, and employment status to determine the applicability of collected data to the expected customer stratum. The survey was scrutinized to confirm that none of the questions contain sensitive data or are otherwise unethical. The data was collected using an online tool (Google Forms), which assures anonymity, data uniformity, security, and integrity.
A sample used for the survey is a non-probability convenience sample selected by applying a snowball selection method. While the convenience sample is not randomized and creates a less accurate picture during the analysis, it has two advantages for the particular research. First, the study relies on the previous experience of the participants with the services of Dubai Courts, thus effectively limiting the sample to its past and present customers.
While the public perception of service also contributes to customer retention and referrals, the relation between it and customer satisfaction has not been conclusively established, making it relatively insignificant for the study. At the same time, there is no reliable data on the percentage of Dubai Courts customers among the general population (and the intuitive assumption is that they are uncommon), and sample size restrictions suggest the possibility of seriously undermining the credibility of findings by an unpredicted amount.
Second, the time limitations of data collection procedure discourage randomization or seeking a stratum representative of the intended sample which could be accurate enough. Thus, the purposeful snowballing method is preferred, i.e. each participant refers to the next possible respondents. This introduces bias – mainly in the form of a possible similarity of responses grounded in a similarity of views. Besides, one of the likely ways of obtaining information about using court services is a previous referral, which limits respondents to initially satisfied ones.
The survey was conducted for three days using the in-person approach. The respondents were given a tablet with access to Google forms survey form which they completed on site. In six instances, the interview was sent via e-mail since the researchers could expect a timely response. On average, the procedure took fifteen minutes. All participants were introduced to the form of consent before the survey. Data collection method excluded deanonymization.
To confirm the obtained data and strengthen its validity, additional effort was put into researching external sources. The focus of secondary research was on reports of satisfaction of Dubai Courts customers in recent years. Additionally, the strategies and approaches of fostering customer loyalty utilized by Dubai Courts management were explored. The secondary data was mostly obtained from periodicals and journals and whenever possible verified. Additionally, the studies researching the relation between service quality, performance, perceived value, and customer satisfaction were reviewed to establish common trends and strengthen the findings.
The data were analyzed by calculating the average number of responses given in each question. Since the questions convey a different meaning and, therefore, have different weights about each other, they were separated into three distinct categories. The questions which evaluate the overall impression with the organization (questions 2 and 5) were separated to serve as a baseline for comparison. The questions aimed at assessing specific factors responsible for fostering customer satisfaction (question one, three, six, seven, eight, nine, and fourteen) were united in one category to calculate an average satisfaction coefficient which could be viewed against the baseline to confirm a discrepancy suggested by the secondary research.
Finally, the questions which required additional interpretation (question 4 and 10) were separated, their meaning coded to produce meaningful results, and compared to the results obtained during the quantitative analysis. The five-point differential scale used throughout the survey allowed us to categorize the answers as strongly negative, negative, neutral, positive, and strongly positive. Possible issues of relative scalability and applicability of measurements were ignored bearing in mind the generalized nature of the study.
The analysis highlighted four superordinate themes among the results. First, the common trend which could easily be observed throughout the responses was indicative of higher than the average rate of satisfaction in all responses except for the eighth one. The positive response was the most popular one, leading in questions two, three, five, seven, nine, and thirteen and sharing the leading position in questions one and six. The average percentage of positive responses was 40.3%.
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The negative and strongly negative answers were the rarest choices, comprising 6.08 and 7.5 percent of the total, respectively. From highest to lowest, the frequency of the responses is thus the following: positive, neutral, strongly positive, negative, and strongly negative. Such an outlook confirms the situation reported in Dubai Courts annual report, where the stated customer satisfaction rate stays between 82 and 85 percent (Dubai Courts, 2015).
Second, the average satisfaction rates derived from specific metrics correlate with the overall satisfaction stated in response to question 2 and the overall satisfaction with employees stated in response to question 5. However, such a correlation is somewhat controversial. On the one hand, the intuitive conclusion would be the confirmation of the findings by the consistency observed in the results. On the other hand, however, the in-depth inquiries mentioned in the literature review deviate from these findings.
As was previously mentioned, the overall rate of customer satisfaction usually differs from the equalized average of specific indicators, such as friendliness of staff or efficiency of operations. Despite the initial suggestion that such discrepancy can be caused by an insufficient accuracy of marketing research and subjective nature of responses which opens up a possibility of bias, the actual reason for the differences lies within the non-linear nature of mechanisms behind satisfaction.
It is important to note that the actual numerical difference exists between the results and, in one instance, between proportions of the response distribution. For example, the difference between the calculated average positive response and the overall satisfaction with Dubai Courts employees is 14 percent, which is a formidable amount (see Appendix A). Nevertheless, both metrics are more than twice as high as the neighboring one of a strongly positive answer, a tendency which is mirrored by a positive satisfaction with Dubai Court from question 2. Also, we should acknowledge the fact that the said effect is unique, with other responses demonstrating far lower discrepancy.
Thus, the said deviations should be perceived as statistical noise, the unusual magnitude of which can be explained by relatively small sample size. The deviation from the expected outcome, on the other hand, can be ascribed to the inaccuracies caused by sampling methods. For example, the demographics of the sample can be different from a representative group. Unfortunately, no information was found which could clarify the expected demographics, so this aspect of the research demands further inquiry.
Third, the participants display a clear tendency of preferring moderation in responses, choosing positive and negative answers over strongly positive and strongly negative ones, respectively. Such a tendency can be partially explained by the role of actual and perceived value in creating the general picture. It has been previously discussed that the relation between positive disconfirmation (the situation where the expectations of the customer exceed the planned outcome) and customer satisfaction is much stronger than the one between the actual employee performance and satisfaction.
In other words, the fact that employees of an organization did the required task with the expected diligence and responsibility is less impressive in the eyes of the average customer than a “surprising” element of service which does not necessarily have a value exceeding that of expected performance. Thus, it is possible to assume that the employees at Dubai Courts do their work by the planned schedule but doing this contributes to customer loyalty only on a small scale.
To support this suggestion we can turn to the results of question four which roughly describes the weight of the factors responsible for customer recognition. The first five options illustrate positive characteristics that visibly dominate across responses – “useful” being the leading option, chosen by 54% of participants, followed by “reliable” and “good value for its money” (33.3% each). The high quality was selected by 21.2% of respondents.
However, the “unique” trait was only chosen by 15.2% – the only option losing to four negative responses (18.2% each). The notable reluctance to admit the uniqueness of services conflicts with the Dubai Courts’ new era of excellence, visible throughout their vision, mission statement, and frequently reported in press releases (Za, 2015). It is possible to assume that while the level of quality of services is high enough for most customers to stay satisfied, few experience positive disconfirmation responsible for the creation of a supreme image.
By extension, we can assume that the marketing value of the said actions is low for creating a strong public image and fostering an attractive reputation, although such an assumption would be largely speculative and would deviate from the course outlined for the study. To confirm this, we can turn to the responses denoting the affective, or perceived, satisfaction (questions seven, eight, nine, and fourteen). The latter is reserved for innovation, which qualifies it as an effective factor. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that its average percentage shows little to no superiority over the total average and visibly loses to the overall perception of the quality of services (see Appendix A).
One of the possible explanations for the conflicting result is as follows: the purposeful sampling technique may create an unrepresentative nature of the group. By turning to the age data, we can see a clear dominance of younger audiences among the respondents. While it is unclear whether this is a defining factor in the observed discrepancy, it is possible to hypothesize that younger customers tend to pay more attention to outcomes rather than affective factors.
Finally, the responses to the eighth question provide additional insights into the reasons behind the inconsistencies between the projected results and the actual outcomes. While the innovative quality is not explicitly specified in the survey, the majority of participants likely associate it with the implementation of information technology in legal processes. The official website of Dubai Courts prominently emphasizes its use of IT to improve convenience and provide additional transparency for its customers (Dubai Courts, 2016).
Such an approach, however, does not visibly influence the perception of the customers. The majority of respondents characterize the Dubai Courts as “somewhat innovative” (neutral response). This is also the only response where the neutral option is chosen more often than the positive one (33.3 against 30.3 percent, respectively). The negative feedback is also unusually high with 15.2% of strongly negative and 12.1% of negative responses. Such a dramatic difference can serve as proof that the factor of innovation is among the chief causes of the absence of strong customer affiliation with the organization. However, two points should be acknowledged.
First, the suggested conclusion visibly relies on the assumption that innovation is related to information technology, which can not be confirmed based on the existing data. Second, the result is derived from a single question, which seriously undermines its credibility. Thus, the latter conclusion should be used with caution.
To conclude, the findings of the study confirm the dependence of customer satisfaction on the perceived value, performance, and innovation. However, the dynamics of the relationship are inconsistent with previous findings, which may be caused by small sample size and purposeful sampling technique.
Dubai Courts. (2015). Dubai Courts annual report 2014. Web.
Dubai Courts. (2016). Initiative falls in line with efforts to support leadership in smart transformation. Web.
Za, B. (2015). Dubai Courts department’s new era of excellence. Web.