The impacts of customer service on shippers`choice of maritime carrier

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Nordisk master i sjöfartsteknik
Ewerstrand, Sophie
E-services are a relatively new development in the maritime industry when companies have started to use internet in the contact with the customers. The minimum standard that has developed is to not only give the customer the ability to find the maritime carrier’s schedules online but also for the customer to be able to track the status of their container using a so called track and trace. These functions are commonly found on a carrier’s own website as well as through online shipping networks. These e-services are linked to the regular customer service that is provided by company’s employees through documentation and booking desks. This study is important as it gives us a deeper understanding of how customers are impacted on by the quality of customer service. This study evaluates the impact of provided services towards the customers by answering the following research questions:  How does the quality of customer service affect the shippers’ choice of carrier?  How would the configuration of e-services affect the customer’s choice of shipping carrier?  What should be considered in the carrier’s establishment of an e-strategy to reach the customers’ expectations of e-services? The study was performed using qualitative interviews with customers within the shipping business. The results of the study show that the quality of customer service has an impact on the choice of carrier but also on further business agreements. It is important for the customer to get a high level of service with emphasis on time of response, availability and correct information. The study has also shown that customers value the attitude of the maritime carrier’s customer service employees as it affects the relationship. Customers want to have access to e-services that facilitate their daily work, and functions as track and trace and schedules online. Other e-service functions of significance are that they will not make the work more time consuming or complicated. A maritime carrier’s implementation of e-service can both harm and also improve a customer relationship depending on the quality if distributed services.
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik , Farkostteknik , Information Systems , Vehicle Engineering
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