Marketing 570 Proposal

Marketing Research Project Proposal I proposed to do my final course project on market research on service quality at Starbucks Coffee restaurants. Background on Company Beginning in 1971 with only one shop in Settle’s historic Pike Place Market for coffee and tea, Starbucks has managed to become one of the most successful companies in the world. It has become number one in the coffee industry. As of June 2012 Starbucks owns 19,763 coffee shops in 59 countries which includes 12,848 in the United States, 1,264 in Canada, 973 in Japan, 778 in Great Britain, 621 in China, 441 in South Korea, 350 in Mexico and 269 in the Philippines.

Offering to its consumers’ different coffees with unique flavors, tea and beverages, including food snacks and coffee accessories Starbucks has attracted consumers and turned them into loyal customers. (Starbucks Coffee Company, 2012) Introduction Recently, the new trend that is developing is narrowed toward offering to the customer good service despite the good product. Having high service quality is accepted as one strong competitive advantage that is difficulty built but it brings high success for the company if managed properly.

Service quality is following the perceptions of the customer of what he/she thinks that quality of service is about and meeting exactly their experience. So the question is what factors are there that are shaping service quality at Starbucks? Theoretical Background Service Quality Defining service quality may mainly be based on assumptions because of the intangible nature that services have. Moreover, there are many circumstances that might shape the definition of service quality differently. Brown, 1999) Despite the intangibility that describes the services, the second very important element when giving theory based on service quality is that services are heterogeneous. Presenting them varies from producer to producer or from client to client. Finally, the last characteristics describing the services is the inseparability of the production and the consumption. Mainly, in most of the cases service quality arises in the duration of the process of interaction between the customer and the provider. (Berry, 1990)

The latest definition for what service quality stands for according to Javadi (2011) is: “The extent to which the customer’s perceptions of service differs from his/her expectations. ” Javadi (2011) has described 10 dimensions of service quality which regularly are used in constructing the customer’s opinions on services: 1. Tangibility- The appearance of the facilities where the service is provided. 2. Reliability- How consistent is the service? 3. Competence- Employees’ speed of delivering the service in the appropriate way. 4. Responsiveness- Personnel’s capabilities and skills for servicing the customer. . Courtesy- Employees’ good manners and politeness. 6. Credibility- Confidentiality and honesty of staff. 7. Security- 8. Access- Convenience of services. 9. Communication with the customer. 10. Understanding the customer- Perception of customers’ needs and wishes. Importance of Marketing Research for Service Quality Conducting marketing research in order to examine service quality in any business is very important, because the high service quality will bring customer satisfaction, and the customer satisfaction will create loyal customers which is a very important part for a company in order to make profits.

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According to Siddiqi (2010) customer satisfaction is the most important part of marketing, it connects the purchase of a product or service with the post purchase phenomena that reflects into a repeated purchase. Moreover, by managing to create repeated purchase, the loyal customer will operate as a positive word of mouth. Research Objectives 1. Examine the customer’s Starbucks experience. 2. What are the factors that are shaping service quality in Starbucks? 3. Are customers satisfied by Starbucks’ offers? 4. Identify employees obstacles to improve service quality.

Methodology The research of service quality for Starbucks will be structures in a survey questionnaire format. In order to make statistical research by using questionnaires, the formal standardized questionnaires type must be followed. Meeting the research objectives is the aim of a successful survey. For the purpose of examining the service quality in Starbucks store in the area of Northwest Indiana, 10 different closed ended questions will be used. By doing this the respondents are going to have the option of choosing from the given alternatives.

By giving this kind of questionnaire the information that is going to be gathered is easier to analyze, bearing in mind that specific answers are needed for statistical research. The questions that are included are from various types such as: Dichotomous questions (influencing audience to reply with specific answers like Yes/No, True/False or Agree/Disagree responses). Example of questionnaire as follows: 1. Age Group & Occupation ( This will be the only open-ended question on the survey) 2. How often do you visit Starbucks? Here I would ask 1-2 times per week, 3-4 times per week and so on) 3. What products do you purchase? ( Multiple answers given to choose from) 4. Are you currently satisfied with the menu selections? 5. How satisfied are you with the cleanliness of the store? 6. How satisfied are you with the staff? 7. How convient is the locations of the Starbucks store? 8. How satisfied are you with the prices that Starbucks are currently offered? (Scale of 1-10) 9. Would you recommend Starbucks to friends and family? 10. Would you choose Starbucks over the competitors?

Secondary Data Sources Much of my data will be taken from Government statistics such as population censuses, social surveys, family expenditure surveys and production statistics. I would also utilize commercial services which would show publish market research reports and other publications that are available from a wide range of organizations that are similar to Starbucks but, this information may have a small charge for their information. Target Population My target population would consist of the working adults and college students.

The reason for this target population is because these individuals are on the go every day. Many of them prefer to utilize fast food restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This population is also known as the individuals who would spend multiple dollars for cappichino, flavored coffees and pastries. This group is more technology savvy where they use cloud computing and they rather sit in coffee shops and etc. to complete work and school assignments throughout the day and establishments like Starbucks is a good source for these individuals.

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