Primary data was collected by mixed research method. Mixed research method is the method where both quantitative and qualitative data was collected. Quantitative data was needed for understanding the service gaps that customers of Amazon felt with respect to quality. Given this context, qualitative data was needed to understand their viewpoints on what Amazon could do in order to improve quality.
Secondary data for the work was collected from research works and journal articles. The “Service Operations Management: Improving Service Delivery” by Robert Johnston and Graham Clark was used as one of the core textbooks for this work.
The customers are the participants here. 10 customers were selected for quantitative data collection and of these a random selection of 5 customers was done for qualitative data collection.
Data Collection technique
For quantitative data collection, the survey technique was used. The questions were closed format, and were structured. For qualitative data collection, the questions were open and unstructured.
In terms of service gaps, it is observed that the service gaps are less. More customers are satisfied. However, the gaps are not eliminated completely. Some exist and at least more than one customer has leaned towards making a choice on the Likert scale. Furthermore, customers also feel that feedback system exists, but are wary about the role it plays in improving the overall customer service experience.
Zeithaml et al. (1993) presents a continuum of expectations in which customer expectations could be understood. The first of the expectation is the ideal expectation. Here the customer wants the best possible standard. The second is the ideal feasible, where some feasibility constraints in service are introduced because of the industry, because of a natural calamity, macro-environmental variables leading to increased delivery surcharges, etc. In the case of Amazon, there are different forms of charges introduced with respect to delivery based on how soon or how delayed the delivery could be. Therefore, in a way the customer arranges for the quality they want in service delivery and also pay accordingly. The next stage in the continuum is the desirable standard and this is what the customer hopes to receive. The minimum tolerable and the intolerable ranges in customer experience is something that the customers would not tolerate (Brown et al., 1993; Tsaur et al., 2002). Now as observed from the interview, the majority of the customers are in fact satisfied with the service they receive. However, in terms of the feedback for meeting expectations, they did have concerns as to what role the feedback system played in benefitting them generally.