CUSTOMER CARE PRACTICES AND CUSTOMER PATRONAGE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS FIRMS IN PORT HARCOURT
Keywords:Customer Care Practices, Customer Patronage, Repeat Purchase, Theory of Reasoned Action
Gracious treatment will turn a customer into a walking advertisement, hence, the holy grail of many successful businesses is excellent customer care. This study examined the relationship between customer care practices and customer patronage of Telecommunications Firms in Port-Harcourt. The population of the study consists of the four (4) telecommunications firms in Port Harcourt. To achieve accuracy, the entire population was adopted as the sample size due to its small size. The study respondents were five (5) top management staff (General Managers, Marketing Managers, Relationship Managers, Customer Care Managers and Front Desk officers) from each of the firms making it a total of twenty (20) respondents. Data obtained via the questionnaire method were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and the hypothesis was tested using Pearson product moment correlation with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 22.0). From the analysis, it was found that the relationship between customer care practices and customer patronage was positive and statistically significant. Based on the findings, the study concludes that customer care practices are vital tools for achieving customer patronage. Therefore, the study recommends that, telecommunications firms in Port Harcourt should implement established social and ethical customer care practices in terms of etiquettes when handling customers before, during, and after all purchases to encourage repeat purchases and customer retension.