Since establishment, Thomas Make is a well-known name in the travel industry. The group's strategy has gone to enhance the mainstream of the business enterprise. Thomas Cook operates in six geographic sections in 21 countries with 22. 5 million customers. The customers are spoilt with choice of pre-designed travel deals or altering packages according to their requirement. Furthermore, the company also functions as an intermediary between your suppliers and the real estate agents to supply the ability to create holidays/travel for their customers. The primary emphasis of their business is the Customer and they have confidence in providing more than what is expected from them. To be able to live up to this objective the business engages in employing expert workers. (About us, Thomas Make)
Thomas Cook, being a market innovator in travel and travel and leisure service industry, has been chosen for the talk owing to the huge customer basic it possesses. It is vital for the company to keep its customers satisfied for the purpose of customer retention and customer acquisition. Along with the increase in consumer spending vitality and fast burgeoning of new travel organizations in the market, Thomas Cook encounters fierce competition in the market. To be able to encounter this efficiently, it is very important for the company to be cognizant of the amount of satisfaction of its existing customers, the nature of their dissatisfaction (if any) and the areas of improvement.
There are a number of both qualitative and quantitative research methods available that can be used to produce important new insights into travel action. Making effective use of 1 or more of the would increase Thomas Cook's capacity to comprehend and address problems faced by its customers. Conducting research is a greatly adopted quantitative research approach. For qualitative methods, observational data gathering, emphasis groupings and depth interviews and experimentation can be employed. It is vital to note here that the distinctions between quantitative and qualitative methods and the data produced from them have got an component of obscurity.
Having said this, the study approaches discovered to be relevant for Thomas Make are conducting Surveys (quantitative) and Concentrate Group and Depth Interviews (qualitative). Thomas Cook's studies should increasingly integrate questions about qualitative factors which could affect a customer's travel patterns - attitudes about the surroundings or orientation to leisure, for example. Data compiled using qualitative methods such as interviews and focus groups can also be quantified (although seldom are the examples large enough to produce statistically-significant results).
It is presumed that conducting Surveys is an excellent option for Thomas Make as it allows data collection from a huge range of respondents relatively cheaply, quickly and proficiently. This is specifically important for a sizable company like Thomas Make meals, due to its huge customer bottom part. Surveys can be used to understand travelers' views and behaviour towards something and can also ask about behaviors and motives, which are vital criteria in this case. Also, from a respondent's (traveler) point of view, the questions and study design is standardized and easy to answer. Furthermore, answers received post the survey can be easily quantified, implemented and additional analyzed, making the study results uncomplicated to grasp. These research would provide large test sizes which would help in the generalizability of the results and would therefore offer more reliability. Another good thing about having these research is the fact advanced statistical procedures can be used on the accumulated results which can help the introduction of models of how 'things' work.
Since there are many shortcomings associated with the quantitative methods, additionally it is recommended to couple the qualitative strategy of Focus Communities and Depth Interviews with studies. This approach would prove beneficial as an exploratory treatment to understand the customers' problems better since it contains no previous assumptions and is normally unstructured. Additionally it is useful for understanding why so when a rich understanding of perceptions is required. The decision to attempt qualitative research is motivated by the desire
"to search out what folks were seeking, experiencing, and feeling; to look at them and pay attention to them in their own words"(Poulenez-Donovan and Ulberg, 1994: 2).
Moreover, the procedure of focus categories proves to be cheap and quick in conditions of the response time from respondents. It is insightful and permits understanding the response, and therefore the problem, better as it provides in depth reasons of dissatisfaction or improvement from the respondent's side.
Surveys can only be useful if the sample represents the population appealing i. e. it is generalizable. It's advocated that Thomas Cook should utilize the Possibility Sampling Approach. To categorize further, out of the various kinds of Possibility Sampling Techniques it is advisable for the company to choose Stratified Sampling Technique.
There are several advantages linked to the use of stratified sampling technique. First, dividing the population into different strata would give the company good thing about drawing suggestions from a far more specific subgroup, which normally might have been lost in generalized examples (like in Simple Sampling Strategy). Second, it could lead to more statistical quotes. Finally, since the population is split into small strata, different sampling strategies can be used for different strata, enabling the company to choose an approach which suitable per group.
There are a few cons associated with deciding on this process. First, having such small organizations and utilizing a different approach for those, would lead to considerable intricacy in sampling and improve the cost. Second, while analyzing multiple conditions, stratifying parameters may be linked to some however, not to the others, increasing the difficulty further and therefore reducing the utility of the strata. Finally, sometimes (with large number of strata, for example) this strategy/technique would require a larger examples than other approach might require.
As Warwick and Lininger pointed out,
"The survey is highly valuable for learning some problems, such as general population impression, and worthless for others" (Warwick and Lininger, The Test Survey p. 5-6).
Though surveys end up being extremely effective (as discussed in section 2), they have got their cons as well. On one hand, where surveys provide generalizability through large test sizes, easy to manage results and a scope for the use of advanced statistical types of procedures, on the other hands they come with a package of difficulties too.
The primary problem associated with this process is the issue to develop appropriate measures predicated on the results of the surveys. Since they are not limited to the target market of the business (an example framework) and includes response from random people, it is likely to receive a misleading effect which might range greatly to the actual one. Studies also offer only limited in-depth knowledge of relationships which might prove to be superficial. They are also in conjunction with the problem of low and decreasing response rates including response and non-response biases. Furthermore, surveys might bring about the inappropriate use of statistical techniques.
To compensate the short comings of studies it's been proposed in this essay that they must be coupled with concentrate organizations and depth interviews. Though this approach hides for the shortcomings of surveys, it has its inadequacies too. Concentrate communities provide small sample sizes and therefore there is a insufficient generalizability. It is difficult to find well trained researchers, interviewers and observers to implement this approach. Moreover, the results fetched from concentrate organizations and interviews are difficult to quantify.
Quantitative methods seek the answer to the question "what" through empirical evaluation and the mathematical expressions of the results, whereas qualitative methods seek to answer fully the question "why" by concentrating on few groups explored in depth. King et al. claim that these dissimilarities are rooted in the study problems being looked into but that both approaches share the common goal of making descriptive or explanatory inferences on the basis of empirical observation (Ruler, et al. , 1994: 7). This logic of inference identifies the rules for validity, and thus provides a basis for reconciling and combining the strategies, as proposed regarding Thomas Cook here.
The following questionnaire has been prepared for Thomas Make with an try to identify the level of customer's satisfaction with its current service level. The main emphasis has been centered to seek the type of dissatisfaction and also to determine the area which needs further improvement. The study has been designed simple without very sensitive questions to avoid ambiguity in customer's response. Furthermore, both open up and shut down questions have been included as appropriate in the particular contexts. The shut down questions aim to save time and entail minimal effort for respondents whereas available questions supply the respondents certain overall flexibility to express themselves.
Was this the first time you travelled through Thomas Make meals?
Yes b) No
Approximately, how many times have you travelled through Thomas Make within the last a year?
The start for the questionnaire has been placed basic and basic in order to understand attention of the respondent and build comfort. The initial question identifies the client's devotion into the brand. The question is targeted to know if the respondent is an initial time user or he is an existing client. The response from a preexisting client and a new client both might help analyze the satisfaction level differently. Further, it is also essential to understand frequency of travel from an existing client. That provides us an idea whether the respondent has trust in the company or there is a need to make it. Once the above has been discovered the base activity of the study is done.
How does you listen to about us?
Friends or Family
Thereafter the questionnaire is designed to recognize the effective method of advertisement where in fact the company can focus on in order to enhance customer understanding. Furthermore, the friends or family among the options in the aforementioned question measures the effectiveness of "person to person" online marketing strategy and the satisfaction level in the reference point groups of the respondent.
Was it easy for you to reach us?
Yes b) No_________________________________________________________
(If No, briefly explain the situation you encountered)
This question is dependant on question 3 where the respondent hears about the business but does not know the methods to address. Hence, this question would permit the company to comprehend how convenient for a customer it is to attain them. Thomas Make might get reviews on the info available on the web site, their ease of location and market coverage.
When compared with other travel companies that you considered for your travel programs, were we any one of the following?
Cheaper b) Quicker c) No other substitute d) Convenience e) Local physical existence f) Online portal e) Others ( Please specify) ____________
By identifying Thomas Cook's competitive benefit over its opponents, both strong and weakened aspects can be determined and if worked on can increase satisfaction and erode dissatisfaction.
How satisfied you were with your travel considering the following aspects?
Ease in booking
Online Site ( if used)
Staffs at local outlets
Cleanliness at the touch points
Quality of service
Did you get that which was promised to you
Value for money
Here, the questions were created directly to understand the areas which require immediate attention and needs improvement.
Would you'd like to travel through Thomas Make again in future?
Yes b) May be c) No
The questionnaire indirectly spots the satisfaction degree of the respondent in the above question. A respondent who is satisfied with the existing service offerings would only prefer it again in future.
If you would not trust Thomas Cook to service you again in future, which among the next would be the most appropriate reason/reasons why you feel doing this?
Poor customer service
Poor understand of your travel requirement
Decision made under agent's influence
Other (Please specify)
Here, the questionnaire provides alternatives to the respondent as well as the flexibility expressing and to touch upon the nature of dissatisfaction.
Based on your experience, how likely do you be to recommend Thomas Make meals to your family/friends?
Very likely b) Likely c) Not sure d) Unlikely e) Very unlikely
Once the nature of dissatisfaction is regarded, it is essential to understand its depth. This question will evidently serve the purpose of the questionnaire as how likely it is good for a customer to refer the services offered by Thomas Cook to his/her friend/family is the answer to how satisfied the respondent is using its services.
What reviews or suggestions can you give to Thomas Make meals to improve the current offering and service?
Above all, the last question gives the respondents complete versatility to express their views on the business's services and offerings.
The questionnaire assists the purpose of discovering the customer's level of satisfaction to a great scope. Though, it does not concentrate on the customer's experience with the company's business lovers. The questionnaire only evaluates the customer's experience in regards to to the immediate communication with Thomas Make. Although, the assistance made available from Thomas Cook's business companions such as airlines, hotels, bus carry to and from air-port, as well as others also indirectly influences the customer's dissatisfaction with the business.
Furthermore, there is no option where a respondent can touch upon the effectiveness of Grievance Redressal of Thomas Cook. It is vital to understand the effectiveness of post-sale service offered to the customer and how effectively customer's query has been solved by the business. The respondent can only touch upon these aspects on view question at the end of the questionnaire.
Was this the first time you travelled through Thomas Cook?
a) Yes b) No
Approximately, just how many times perhaps you have travelled through Thomas Make meals over the past a year?
How performed you notice about us?
b) Television Advertisement
d) Radio Ad
e) Friends or Family
f) Direct mail/Newsletter
Was it easy that you should reach us?
a) Yes b) No_________________________________________________________
(If No, briefly describe the condition you confronted)
When compared with other travel companies that you considered for your travel strategies, were we anybody of the following?
a) Cheaper b) Quicker c) No other substitute d) Convenience e) Local geographical existence f) Online portal e) Others (Please specify) ____________
How satisfied you were with your travel taking into consideration the following aspects?
Ease in booking
Online Website ( if used)
Staffs at local outlets
Cleanliness at the touch points
Quality of service
Did you get what was promised to you
Value for money
Would you'd like to travel through Thomas Cook again in future?
a) Yes b) Could be c) No
If you'll not trust Thomas Make to service you again in future, which among the following would be the most likely reason/reasons why you are feeling like that?
a) Low-quality customer service
b) While understand of your travel requirement
c) Decision made under agent's influence
d) Other (Please designate)
Based on your experience, how likely could you be to recommend Thomas Make meals to your family/friends?
Very likely b) Likely c) Uncertain d) Improbable e) Very unlikely
What feedback or suggestions is it possible to give to Thomas Cook to enhance the current offering and service?