A description of Vietnam Airlines

The national airline of Vietnam, a nation of 85 million people and 330 000 square meters, is Vietnam Airlines. It served solely internal flights when it was founded by the government in January 1956, heralding the start of Vietnam’s aviation industry. Vietnam Airlines began operating international flights, including to China and South East Asian nations, in 1976, following the end of the Vietnam War. 1993, when Vietnam Airlines became the country of Vietnam’s flag carrier, was another pivotal year for the airline. Vietnam Airlines currently connects 19 cities across the nation with 42 overseas locations in Asia, Europe, the US, and Australia.

Mission: As a flag carrier, Vietnam Airline seeks to “present Vietnam culture to the globe” and serve as a bridge between Vietnam and other nations.

Chan (2000) cites the International Air Transport Association as predicting that 40% of air travel in the Asia-Pacific region will take place in 2010. Due to rising middle class populations, expanding economies, and tourism’s appeal, this airline market’s potential is increasing. Surface transportation, such highways and railways, is not as good in Asia as it is in Western countries, which can make air travel the only and quickest option.

The market in Vietnam has great potential and is mostly untapped, similar to other Asian nations. Vietnam welcomed 4.2 million foreign tourists in 2007, 16% higher than in 2006. (Sydney Morning Herald, 2008). The World Tourist and Tourism Council also ranked Vietnam as the fourth-fastest growing travel destination in the world, according to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2008.

Due to the uncompetitive surface transportation infrastructure in Vietnam, the domestic market has a lot of potential. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, it takes more than 30 hours to travel by train, compared to just under 2 hours for a regular aircraft. Coaches are another option, although they are extremely time- and inconvenience-consuming. Despite the fact that the average Vietnamese household income in 2007 was only 835 US dollars (General Statistics Office of Vietnam, 2008), less than that of neighboring Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, the income has been steadily rising over the past few years, increasing by 7% annually, demonstrating the airline’s potential for tourism in the Vietnam market. The need for business travel is also quite high because of the high population density and business opportunities in Vietnam’s two main economic centers, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam’s aviation service quality, however, falls significantly short of the global average. Numerous articles detailing client grievances about Vietnam’s three local airlines—Vietnam Airlines, Indochina Airlines, and Jetstar Pacific—can be easily found online. Even Vietnam Airlines, the country’s flag carrier and full-service airline, delivers services primarily in a product-oriented manner, which has trained the management board to think significantly differently from customers. Customer dissatisfaction can range from inadequate catering, irate flight attendants, and luggage delivery services to poor booking services.

General purpose of the research

Assess Vietnam Airlines’ customer satisfaction and service quality using the SERVQUAL model.

Research issues

How would you sum up customer satisfaction with Vietnam Airlines?

How happy are customers with Vietnam Airlines’ services?

How can management at Vietnam Airlines raise consumer satisfaction with the company’s services?

Investigating consumer satisfaction in the airline business is the primary goal of this study. The author’s goal is to investigate what customer happiness means to airline passengers and identify ways to increase it in the case of the chosen carrier, Vietnam Airlines. Customer satisfaction levels will be assessed through the analysis of surveys and customer interviews, and new tactics and suggestions will then be made for Vietnam Airlines to improve service quality. The management of Vietnam Airlines hopes that this study would aid in a more accurate assessment of the wants and demands of the clientele. It will also be useful in assessing this flag carrier’s current state and recommending potential future plans for improving customer service.

The significance of client satisfaction

Three primary customer behaviors—word-of-mouth, repurchase intention, and positive feedback—can have an impact on a company’s profitability and market share thanks to strong services and customer satisfaction levels.

The first consumer activity is “word of mouth,” which Saha and Theinge define as the dissemination of information about goods and services from one client to another and as a reliable resource for assessing suggestions (mouth to mouth marketing). Although customer happiness does not always result in word-of-mouth advertising, it is necessary for positive word-of-mouth. Babin’s research demonstrates that very disgruntled consumers have a negative impact in addition to happy customers spreading the word.

Second, providing excellent services encourages repeat business or client loyalty. Gaining customer loyalty is crucial since it is less expensive to keep current clients than to recruit new ones from competing businesses. Frequent flyer programs are used frequently by airlines, however because they are so expensive, cheap airlines do not frequently employ them. Low cost carriers can only keep up their customer base by providing good services at reasonable prices.

As previously indicated, one such example of consumer behavior is the communication of compliments and complaints to service providers. According to Soderlund, unsatisfied consumers are more likely to leave negative reviews than happy ones. Although it is not the most accurate tool for customer analysis, the amount of reviews is beneficial for predicting consumer behavior.

customer satisfaction in the aviation sector

Service satisfaction is the post-purchase assessment of the consumer experience, according to Tai and Chan. In contrast to material goods or pure services, airline services, like other hospitality services, combine tangible goods with high standards of passenger service. For instance, the quality of a meal at a restaurant is a combination of the food or drink (a material product), the behavior of the waiters or waitresses, and the setting of the restaurant (decoration, lighting).

The primary services provided by the aviation sector are the actual transportation of passengers and their luggage between two locations. Other flight services, such as booking and inquiring, selecting a seat, using the in-flight amenities, and handling luggage are just ancillary duties yet they can cause displeasure if done poorly.

Based on the following criteria: financial data, fares, passenger load factors, and service-related difficulties, service quality and customer happiness become crucial in the viability of the aviation sector (Sultan and Simpson, 2000). According to Sultan and Simpson (2000), airline marketing strategies should prioritize customer happiness over business profitability. Five criteria can be used to evaluate airline service: overall effectiveness, comfort, service, food, and website. However, Rhoades and Waguespack (2005) highlight operational metrics for measuring the quality of an airline’s customer service, including the frequency of flight delays, poorly managed baggage, overbooked flights, and customer complaints.

Few airlines have built a reputation for providing high-quality service. These airlines have found success promoting themselves as providing exceptional service rather than the lowest prices.For businesses in the service sector, particularly the airline industry, maintaining high service standards is a problem. Mega carriers and small airlines are cooperating these days rather than competing with one another to maintain the high level of quality standards through subcontracting, code sharing, and a global marketing network (Nejati et al, 2008). Because these agreements boost flight availability and consumer yield, they also increase the benefit of economies of scale. However, for a partnership to be successful, two airlines must provide comparable service and take the same positions in the market.

consumer contentment Measurement

Originally proposed by Parasuraman (1985) (as stated by Nejati, 2008), SERVQUAL – the gap model has been used for numerous applications: Police services (Donnelly et al., 2006), health care (Kilbourne, 2004), public services (Bryland (2001) and Wisniewski (2001), mobile communication (Lai et al., 2007), etc. The foundation of SERVQUAL is the idea that the difference between what customers desire and require in terms of services and what they actually get from service providers constitutes a measure of service quality (Donnelly, 2006). Customers rate a service as good if it exceeds their expectations; otherwise, they rate it as undesirable. It is an effective strategy because service quality is evaluated from the viewpoints of customers, and managers may understand their position in the market and how to position the service by comparing and contrasting the differences between each client group and their competitors.

Tangibles: the availability of cutting-edge machinery and facilities, qualified personnel, and communication tools.

Reliability includes delivering the service as promised, doing it correctly the first time, and handling customer care issues.

Response: Being ready to assist consumers, offering prompt service, and being open to their requests.

Assurance: The staff members’ professionalism, capacity to inspire confidence, and knowledge.

Empathy: recognizing the needs and desires of clients, providing individualized service, and offering flexible hours.

This study focuses on Gap 5, or the discrepancy between customers’ expectations and perceptions, out of SERVQUAL’s five gaps. Due to the fact that it is the only research gap that can be examined only using customer data, this constraint of the study is the cause.

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