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Dissertation project Emirates Airline

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction. 5

1.1 Theoretical motivation for study. 5

1.2 Discussion of case study. 7

1.3 Research objectives and research questions. 7

1.4 Methodology. 7

1.5 Rationale of project 8

1.6 Importance to an organization or business sector. 8

1.7 Plan of dissertation. 8

2.0 Literature review.. 9

2.1 Introduction. 10

2.2 Customer relationship management 11

2.2.1 Evolution and lifecycle. 12

2.2.2 Implication. 13

2.2.3 Processes. 13

2.2.4 Technology. 14

2.2.5 People. 14

2.2.6 Advantages. 15

2.3 Service marketing. 15

2.3.1 Intangibility. 16

2.3.2 Inseparability. 16

2.3.3 Variability. 17

2.3.4 Perishability. 17

2.3.5 Market orientation. 17

2.3.6 Relationship management 18

2.4 Customer mystery. 21

2.4.1 Country of origin (COO) 21

2.4.2 Perceived risk. 21

2.4.3 Decision making process. 22

2.4.4 Accountable relationships. 22

2.5 Gaps in existing research and usability of literature review.. 23

3.0 Emirates airline. 23

3.1 Introduction. 23

3.2 Airline Industry. 24

3.3 Emirates Airlines. 24

3.4 Economy Class Travelers. 25

4.0 Research methodology. 28

4.1 Target audience. 28

4.2 Problem statement 28

4.3 Research objectives. 29

4.4 Research questions. 29

4.5 Research hypothesis. 29

4.6 Data collection methods. 29

4.7 Sampling methods. 30

4.8 Data interpretation methods. 30

5.0 Research Findings. 31

5.1 Introduction. 31

5.2 Analysis of Primary Data. 31

5.3 Secondary data and discussion. 47

5.4 Implementation. 49

6.0 Recommendations. 50

7.0 Conclusion. 52

8.0 Reflection and future research. 54

References. 55


1.0 Introduction

This chapter would present the basic overview of the current research which pertains to customer relationship management aspects in special reference to Emirates Airline. Theoretical motivation for the present study would be given in order to understand the relevant theories for customer relationship management aspect of Emirates airline. Brief overview of the organization would be presented along with objectives for which this study is conducted. Methodology section would brief up the primary and secondary research methods which would be used in the present research. Project rationale and its importance in context to business sector would be highlighted. Final section of the chapter would contain the plan for entire dissertation project.

1.1 Theoretical motivation for study

Present section of the research would give the key concepts of marketing, customer relationship management and airline marketing etc. Modern age marketing has higher focus towards the particular customer and portrays this as the strong distinction point from the traditional marketing strategies (Ancona et al, 2011). This marketing tactic is known as relationship marketing and allows business organizations to compete in market based on their relationship with consumers. Modern marketing tactics are characterized by three C’s which are convenience, customer benefits and total customer cost. Further CRM techniques adopted by the organizations would ask for three important parameters which are change in thinking process for the employees of the organization, implementation of the latest technological tools in order to analyze effective functioning of relationship marketing and measurement of the CRM processes in the organizational context through consumer feedback.

Customer relationship management is the process for understanding consumer needs and developing the products in order to satisfy their needs. Further customer relationship management would maintain continuous contact with the consumers in order to incorporate their feedback for improving products and services offered by the organization (Biswas, 2006). This strategy of marketing has lead to transformation from the product oriented strategy to customer centric strategy. Customer relationship marketing offers answers to the key questions such as “what are the customer’s expectations?”, “What are the criteria for satisfying consumers?”, “whether customers create profitability for the organization?” and “whether company takes care of the customer needs?”In addition to implement customer relationship strategies, measurement of the effectiveness for the CRM strategies would be of vital importance in order to ensure that the marketing efforts made by the organization are going into right direction. There would be three parts to the consumer needs and these are “must be”, one dimensional and attractive. Must be attributes needs to be included in the product in order to ensure that customer buys the product. One dimensional aspect would ensure that in case these aspects are fulfilled then customer satisfaction would be enhanced. Attractive features of a product or service would lead to higher level of satisfaction among the consumer base of the organization.

In recent time, airline marketing has been developed as a separate field of marketing wherein along with 4P’s (product, price, place and promotion) there are 5 different stages which are interconnected and develops the base of airline marketing framework and these are given as under:

  • Relationship marketing: Airline players need to develop good relationship with the consumer in order to ensure that they are developing continuous communication with them. Relationship marketing would not only be limited to the consumer feedback but also to incorporate this feedback for the product and service development.
  • Product/service analysis: In airline marketing it is important to analyze the product & service with features such as cabin configurations, fleet related, networking frequencies and punctuality etc (Dobson, 2005).
  • Airline and marketing strategies: Airline marketers need to understand their positioning in the market and depending on that they would choose for the particular marketing strategies such as focus strategy, cost effective and differentiation strategy.
  • Marketing environment: There are several major issues in the airline industry and marketing environment need to be assessed. Some of the major factors in airline industry which needs to be assessed would include terrorism and deregulation from the airline industry.
  • Consumers: Airline marketers need to understand their consumer base, size of the market, demographic variables pertaining to the consumers and customer requirements which can be fulfilled by the organization (Chlebovský, 2012).

1.2 Discussion of case study

“Emirates airline” is Dubai based Airline Company and is considered as one of the fastest growing airline organization in the world. Emirates was launched in year 1985 and since its launching company has got more than 250 service excellence awards. Customer segment chosen by Emirates airline is low budget and caters mainly to the Middle East countries. Emirates have highly competitive positioning in terms of the service offering and pricing aspect as well. Emirates tend to develop its competitive strength by training its employees so that they can serve consumers for developing good relationship. This would help them to enhance consumer satisfaction and get repeat consumers for their business.

1.3 Research objectives and research questions

Research objectives for the present context of Emirates can be given as under:

  • To understand whether Emirates meet customer demands
  • To explore the service recovery system of Emirates so as to enhance loyalty of consumers
  • To enhance customer satisfaction for Emirates products & services

Research questions confronted in the present research can be given as under:

  • Whether Emirates understand and meet consumer demand for airline services?
  • Whether customer relationship management system and service recovery system for Emirates are efficient enough to maintain customers for lifetime?
  • Whether Customers of Emirates are having high degree of satisfaction towards their services?

1.4 Methodology

Present project would determine the customer relationship trend followed by Emirates airline. Research methodology adopted in present context would be exploratory in nature wherein with the help of primary and secondary research data would be collected. Questionnaire selected would be validated so as to ensure that it has been obtained through reliable sources and would produce effective results for the organization.

1.5 Rationale of project

This research is being conducted in order to enhance the competitive position of Emirates airline so that by implementing efficient customer relationship management tactics, Emirates can out-compete its rivals in airline industry. By managing CRM, Emirates have the opportunity to enhance their business revenue as customers would be brand loyal towards the organization. Emirates can charge premium pricing from their consumers if they are satisfied and this would lead to the higher profitability for Emirates airline. Further, customer relationship management process would help Emirates to combat the increasing threat of high degree of competition and price war in airline industry (Kotler & Armstrong, 2003). Emirates can develop improvements in their internal processes such as high quality customer care as focus of CRM would be consumers only. This would also demand for better service quality and service delivery in airline industry. Emirates would train its employees so that they can give higher attention to consumers and enhance customer satisfaction index among them for developing loyal customer base for the organization.

1.6 Importance to an organization or business sector

There would be several important implications of present research for the organization in context and airline business segment as a whole. For Emirates and entire airline industry there would be higher level of service delivery as organizations would be striving to improve service delivery for acquiring higher competitive edge. CRM would be a key factor of the marketing strategy in the new markets or for the development of new products in the existing as well as new markets.

1.7 Plan of dissertation

Plan of the current research project would be divided as per the chapters wherein each chapter would include specific details pertaining to the research. There would be seven chapters in the present research and detail for the each can be given as under:

Chapter-1 Introduction: This chapter would contain brief overview of the research along with theoretical framework pertaining to the research context. Details of Emirates airline and objectives would be collected in this chapter.

Chapter-2 Literature review: This chapter would contain the theories in field of customer relationship management and airline marketing. Clear research gaps would be identified and focus would be to fulfill gaps in the literature through present chapter.

Chapter-3 Case study: This chapter would present case study based on the Emirates airline and customer service strategy adopted by the company in order to attract their consumers.

Chapter-4 Research methodology: This chapter would contain the details of methodology adopted in order to carry out the research. Both primary and secondary research methods would be included so as to collect the data pertaining to current research.

Chapter-5 Research findings: Findings from the primary as well as secondary research methods would be gathered.

Chapter-6 Recommendations: Conclusion chapter would contain the main content in order to meet objectives of the research.

Chapter-7 Conclusion: Recommendations would be given in order to improve upon CRM strategies adopted by Emirates airline.

Chapter-8 Reflection and future research


2.0 Literature review

This chapter of the dissertation project would explore the existing theory pertaining to the current research topic. Based on the existing theories and concept in service marketing and airline marketing, present chapter would present the parameters such as customer relationship marketing, marketing mix for service marketing, characteristics of service marketing and the customer mystery (Al-Alawi, 2004). Further present paper would identify the gap in research which would be fulfilled through present research so that this research act as the vast information sources for the scholars in the field of service marketing.

2.1 Introduction

Similar to the many service marketing field for airline marketers valuation of the firm is done based on the customer base of the organization. Customers who have availed services from the airline in past 1 year are considered to the current consumers and consumer base of the company is being calculated on this basis. Consumer base of the organization would provide a rough evaluation of the profit and revenue potential for the organization. Hence any organization would try to serve their consumers in such a manner that customer retention can be enhanced (Bitner, 1990). Customer retention and customer recovery is done keeping in mind the fact that customer acquisition is much more costly as compared to the customer retention. This main aim of present chapter is to present the theoretical foundation on which present research is based at (Sheth, 1994). This chapter forms the roots for customer relationship and theories pertaining to the service marketing. Customer purchase behavior would also be explored in the current research context in order to take into account customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. In combination with the following chapter on airline industry present chapter would help in answering the research questions related with the customer relationship management and service marketing for the Emirates Airline (Samanta, 2010). Business organizations manages good customer relationship management in order to attract consumers towards their product offering while at the same time consumers also tend to evaluate the relationship behavior of the organization in order to evaluate future purchase. Looking into the concept of service profit chain the major element would be service quality but consumers also gives high emphasis to the relationship concept (Bloemer & Poiesz, 1989). For example, in airline industry frequent flyer program designed by the organization are considered as the major driver for the service profit chain but these are not the only element of the overall consumer value offered by the organization. Further such elements would not be exhibited through the single interaction between customer and organization.

2.2 Customer relationship management 

Customer relationship management (CRM) has evolved as the attitude, philosophy and systematic process in the organizational context. The importance of CRM can be derived through the fact that it is being used in every business sphere wherever customer interaction is involved. CRM can be further evaluated as the technological tool in order to maintain relationship with consumers and fulfill their promise to the consumers (Rust & Zahorik, 1993). Customer relationship management is considered as the technological tool which can help in developing customer relationships in organized manner (Smith & Chaffey, 2001). For some businesses, customer relationship management can be considered as the process for identification of their best customers, generating quality sales leads, planning & implementation of the marketing campaign and offering high level of customer service to the highly profitable customers of the organization. In technological terms, CRM includes the software and browser based applications in order to collect and manage consumer information for extracting important relationship between the data (Riessman, 1993). Based on the consumer information an organization can derive the customer satisfaction level for particular service or demand for any new service which is not currently offered by the organization. CRM would focus on the development of marketing mix elements (product, price, place and promotion) along with developing strategies for winning customers. With increasing importance of customer relationship management, the focus is shifting from the customer acquisition to the customer retention (CIA, 2011). CRM is considered as the long term efforts in order to gain system enabled information regarding customer in order to own the particular consumer base.

Increasing level of customer satisfaction in the organization would be highly beneficial in order to enhance customer retention, acquisition and organizational profitability as well. Hence a paradigm shift has been made from the traditional marketing to the present age marketing which is referred as customer relationship management. Customer relationship is enabled through people, processes and technology and helps in understanding consumers and their purchase behavior (Reichheld & Sasser, 1990). Customer relationship management can be further considered as the business strategy adopted by the organization in order to understand the current and future need of the existing and potential consumer base of the organization. It helps in developing systematic process for collecting information pertaining to consumers and using this information through several touch points of the organization so as to balance profit and revenue in the business organization (Constantinides, 2002). CRM applications would be having important differentiation from the other marketing efforts of the organization as they would be having their focus towards the relationships more than business transactions.

2.2.1 Evolution and lifecycle

CRM is the specific domain in market which is also known as the relationship marketing and it mainly concerns with the development of individual customer relationship with careful examination of the target consumer base in the organization (Wheeler, 2003). Customer relationship management is considered to be aimed at enhancing customer life value. There is shift in marketing from the activities to create the customer acquisition phenomenon to the customer retention activities. Relationship between consumers and organization has to be equally rewarded and beneficial for both the parties involved in it (Constantinides & Geurts, 2005). Both these parties are under a bond wherein each party would tend to strive for the mutual benefits. Issue of trust between the organization and customer arises as the organization has responsibility to maximize consumer satisfaction while maintaining sufficient profitability for the business organization as well (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990).

Need for relationship management can be considered from the fact that consumers have different level of preferences, need and desire which needs to be fulfilled by the business organization by maintaining sufficient profitability with them. It is important to first understand consumers and then analyze their need for offering specific product/service suiting to their need. Information sought from the customers would be helpful in order to understand their need and design marketing campaign for fulfilling their needs (Prahalad & Hamel, 1994). Customer relationship can be managed by first understanding consumer needs and then modifying the product or service offering as per consumer need so that overall satisfaction for the consumers can be enhanced. One to one communication need to be established with the consumers so that high level of customized services can be offered to the consumers in order to fulfill their needs. Hence sequence of marketing activities would help in order to move from the mass marketing to one- to-one communication (Dubois et al, 2010). This would help the marketers to understand consumers and mould their offering as per consumer requirements. Hence customer relationship management activities are based at the lifetime value, customer satisfaction and retention strategy adopted by the organization. Customer relationship management is considered as the effective tool in order to tailor communications with the customer. A series of applications are included in this so as to manage specific business functions for sales, marketing and finance etc (Perkins, 1991). At the initial stage, marketers would explore the view of client and their needs. Further organization would develop their strategy and would manage the change in order to meet these consumer needs. There is lot of difference between marketing and market led strategies as the later would include various departments in order to attain the marketing objectives of the organization. Integration of the various functional departments in the organization would be important in order to implement technology for defining value for the organization (Fabre, 2011).

2.2.2 Implication

Adopting customer relationship management would require organization to involve the senior management so as to take care of the relationship marketing and building focus of the organization towards customer relationship (Payne, 2009). CRM is generally understood as an important concept but sometimes the senior management of the organization is not having clarity on the cost effective implementation of the CRM activities. Further senior management generally does not take interest in implementation of the technology, process and people related activities so as to successfully execute the CRM efforts (Oliver & Swan, 1989). It implies that for effective implementation of CRM efforts in the organization can’t be completed without the active involvement of senior management team of the organization. Engagement of senior management team would develop focus and urgency towards the customer relationship management and involvement of senior management team would also incorporate customer relationship in the mission and vision of the organization (Newman, 1973).

2.2.3 Processes

 It is important for the business organizations to re-engineer their business activities so as to adopt the customer driven approach for customer relationship management. For focusing business efforts on the customer it is essential that business processes are redesigned and developed as per the need of consumers. In order to manage the change culture in organization it is important that organizations manage the culture of resistance to change (Naumann, 1995). It has been revealed that such business transactions are not only in terms of the business investments but also in terms of the requirement for today’s competitive marketplace.

2.2.4 Technology

Technology is an important tool so as to integrate various organizational functions and incorporate methods for fulfilling gap between consumers and the organization. With help of the technology business organizations are able to collect, organize and interpret available data so that key trends available in the data can be recognized (Morrow & Smith, 2000). Recognition of these business trends would be important so as to develop product/services in accordance with consumer needs and make consumer communication to fulfill these needs (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Customer relationship management technologies are highly cost effective in nature and this cost effectiveness is much more efficient as compared to the traditional technological tools. Current age CRM technologies are much more efficient in terms of collecting relevant customer data with high profitability (Wilkie, 1991). Internet has helped the business organizations to develop effective communication with the consumers. Intranet technology used in the organization allows various stakeholders of the business organizations to make use of the customer information so as to take advantage of the data. This also helps in integrating various business functions and avoids redundancy in organization for collecting data at multiple times (McNamara, 1999).

2.2.5 People

One of the major trends in marketing efforts in recent time has come with consideration towards the people employed in organization. Present age organizations are considering people as brand and put their best efforts in order to recruit and train employees so as to manage their organization in efficient ways. Focus towards training and development has increased highly for the business organizations and organizations are spending heavy amount of money in order to train their workforce (McKenna, 1991). The attitude of customer relationship management needs to come through organizational culture so as to develop practice of customer retention. All these efforts need to be developed from the management team of the organization so that lower level management people can understand the value of focus towards such initiatives. It is important for top management team to evaluate need for training and development among workforce so that suitable training program can be promoted in order to meet training related needs for the workforce deployed in the organization (Levitt, 1990).

2.2.6 Advantages

Higher revenue or lower operational costs can be derived through strong relationship management in organizational context and this would be further converted into the high customer retention rate (Wong & Ahuvia, 1998). Customer retention rate for any brand would define the supremacy of a particular brand over its competitors prevailing in the market. A brand needs to have high customer satisfaction rate in order to have big customer base (Lee-Kelley et al, 2003). A profitable customer base for the organization would stay for longer time period offering constant income base for the organization. In addition to this with increasing revenue for the business organization it would be suitable to enhance the business profits by catering to the most profitable customers with highly customized products and services designed by the business organization (LaBarbera & Mazursky, 1983).

2.3 Service marketing 

One of the important characteristics for the services is intangibility and this is lead by the process outcome feature (Kvale, 1996). There is clear difference between the production concept and service concept wherein business organizations have tangible product while in service industry there is no presence of the product as such. Service marketing would be related with intangible products developed for fast consumption wherein consumers’ business organizations would seek high degree of customer satisfaction through catering services to them. Service marketing consists of the product which is bundled around the service elements. The basic or core product offered to the customers would meet the need of consumers while additional product would enhance the usability of this product or service for the consumers. Addition of the complementary products would help in order to enhance value of particular product or service and develops distinctive competitive advantage which can’t be imitated by the rivals of the organization (Kutner & Cripps, 1997).

2.3.1 Intangibility

The intangible nature of the service offering made by an organization for its consumers would differentiate between various suppliers available in the market for particular service. Different services are having varying degree of intangibility with them and due to the intangibility aspect their service capacity would decay. For example, services are perishable and can’t be stored for the future usage (Kotler, 2004). Transportation can be considered as an example of the service which can’t be carried out with the means and people. This is a major challenge for the business organizations in order to deal with the service quality and create good customer experience. Services are consumed and produced simultaneously. For example, when a flight is over the services are already consumed.

2.3.2 Inseparability

Due to intangible characteristics services are consumed at the same time they are produced. There are two factors which clarifies difference between tangible and intangible products. The two differences would include participation from the consumers in production of service and requirement for interaction between business organization and consumer enjoying the service (Kordick, 1988). Relevance of the service provider is being enhanced in the service delivery process due to attachment of customer satisfaction in the delivery of services. Time, place and service delivery methods are important in order to shape the consumer response towards a particular service offering of the organization. Service is being affected by three important factors and these factors are external environment in which service takes place, consumers who are end consumers for the service and people involved in delivery of services. It is important to note that all parties involved in the service delivery would be important in order to ensure that service delivery and service quality in organizational context (Klee & Thurau, 1997). Recruitment, retention and training are three important functions which business organizations should manage appropriately so as to develop trained staff offering high quality services to the consumers of the organization. Consumers are important part of the service delivery as their feedback would help in order to shape the overall services and determines the overall profitability of the organization.

2.3.3 Variability

It is really difficult to measure the quality of service as constancy of the service delivery can’t be ensured all the time. Variability for a business organization would define the level of standardization for the services delivered so that services offered are having same quality and provide same customer satisfaction level (Khanna, 2001). There are several elements which do not allow a business organization to regulate the services and these elements are customer, environment, place and people etc. Customers may have subjective and objective criteria in order to evaluate the services offered by the business organization and business organization need to consider these methods for service quality evaluation. This will help the business organization to understand overall service quality and customer satisfaction level which would be attained through desired customer quality level. Business organization need to evaluate the value offering given by them to their consumers and way in which these value offerings are being made to enhance customer satisfaction level (Grönroos, 1994).

2.3.4 Perishability

Perishability element of the service marketing is related with the demand and supply concept for the services. With intangibility of services it is important for the business organizations to manage the fluctuations of the demand & supply. Purchase of services can’t be stored for future hence services need to be produced & consumed at the same time. Business organizations need to manage the competencies and efforts so that dynamic changes in the business environment can be dealt with (Gilbert & Powell-Perry, 2000). In context to the airline marketing business organizations need to develop specific strategies such as use of part time staff, multi tasking for the employees and stimulation of the peak demand.

2.3.5 Market orientation

Looking into the present market orientation importance for understanding consumers and their relationship management is greatly enhanced. In the international organizational context it is important for the business organizations to manage service quality, marketing services successfully and managing staff productivity. Customer relationship management is considered as the most important and most difficult aspect of the present age marketing scenario. Depending upon the type of services offered by business organizations overall need for consumers would be much lower (Gierl, 1993). Customer focused marketing for the business organizations can be done through offering value. While interacting with the consumers it is important to understand the parameters which are valued by the consumers. Looking into the airline industry which falls into the augment service category there is need of additional services from the core service of transportation so that these features can help the customers to choose particular airline company among the available airline companies. Economy class and business class consumers would be having different demand levels and airline company need to understand these demands. There is very low scope of customization in airline industry as airline companies would target large number of consumers from different consumer segments. Airline companies can improve upon both core product as well as complementary products in order to enhance customer satisfaction level. Consumer response need to be obtained and feedback would be incorporated into the service offering designed by the organization (Ghavami & Olyaei, 2006).

2.3.6 Relationship management

In general, services are offered with the objective of maintaining good relationship with the consumers of the organization. In some business services such as the airline services relationship management is of utmost importance as they would involve frequent interaction with the consumers. Quality of interaction between the organization and consumer would define the retention capability of the organization and loyalty for customer base of the organization. There are three conditions under which business organizations need to make use of the relationship marketing concept and these three are:

  1. In businesses where periodic demand for service exists
  2. When customer control the selection of service providers among the available pool of service organizations
  3. When customer has large number of alternates to choose from

Looking into the three conditions mentioned above airline marketing fits into the framework of service and it is of high importance to exercise service marketing in the airline industry. For business organizations relationship management would help in maximizing customer lifetime value, enhance revenue and reduce operational cost of the organization (Fornell et al, 1996). For consumers relationship marketing would reduce the perceived risk for the service quality of the business organization, reduce switching cost and helps in obtaining much higher service quality. There are mainly four parameters for managing services in the business organizations and these are employee productivity, service quality, customers and positioning of the organizations in consumer mind. There are five main elements in order to define service marketing and these are given as under:

  1. Bonding: There are three levels at which a firm can establish good bonding with its consumers. First level of customer and business boding is through the financial incentive offered to the consumers in form of discounts. This bonding level does not form the competitive advantage and can’t be used to differentiate between various service providers in the organizational context. Financial incentives are considered good for attracting consumers at first time and social bonds would be the second level of bonding which exists between business and consumers. In social bonds efforts are made in order to customize communication with the consumers so as sot boost the services. Creation of prestige club with the business class passengers of Airline Company can be considered as the effort for developing social bond (Fornell, 1992). In third level of bonding structural relationship are developed and bonding is tightened between customer and business organization. By making use of the financial and social bonds it is viable for the business organization to create the sustainable competitive advantage. Offering services such as internal transportation for goods inside the airport can be considered as an example for such services from the business organizations in airline industry.
  2. Internal marketing: Business organizations should carry out internal and external marketing for converting their marketing efforts into sales. Internal marketing would emphasis more on the internal stakeholders of the organization i.e. employees. Organizations should focus more on the recruitment, selection and training of the employees who would be involved in imparting services to the consumers of the organization. Staff retention is equally important for the business organization and can be linked with the customer retention strategy of the organization. Loyal employees in the organization would portray and develop loyal consumer base for the organization. Looking into the airline marketing it is important to develop internal marketing as right type of employees would help the organization to develop appropriate marketing efforts starting from the passenger arrival to the inside plane (Chu & Pike, 2002).
  3. Promise fulfillment: In service marketing customer retention would require an organization to make realistic promises and keeping these promises by making suitable efforts. The business efforts made by the organizations would be related with the staff capability to deliver such promises (Chu & Pike, 2002). Customer and business interaction can be called as “moment of truth” and this would be affected by time and place of interaction. There are several factors which are related with the service providers and can impact upon the moment of truth in order to lead them to failure. Provision and added service level offered by the business organizations would impact upon the strengthening or weakening of relationship.
  4. Build trust: Development of trust is important for the business organizations and in order to build trust among the consumers firm need to regularly nurture their relationship (Christopher et al, 1991). There are different possibilities for building trust such as engaging in two way communication, development of the feeling for closeness with consumers and offering business guarantee to ensure confidence of consumers in the offered services.
  5. Service recovery: Service recovery can be defined as the specifics which are designed by the business organizations in order to restore consumer confidence solve problems and improve upon the service quality. Service recovery is important for the business organizations involved in service marketing such as airline marketers (Cataldo, 2006). Due to fierce competition every service organization gives high focus to the service marketing concept so that overall service delivery to the consumers can be enhanced. There are two important elements in order to develop service recovery strategies and these are tracking through systems so as to identify the mistake and development of business capability through training & other ways in order to respond to the service complaints.

2.4 Customer mystery

2.4.1 Country of origin (COO)

Services offered by a service provider can be significantly influenced through country of origin and this is one of the major elements used in order to measure the service quality or product quality. Country of origin is considered as an entry barrier by providing consumers with the information pertaining to the service quality. COO is one of the major elements determining functional, technical and relational service quality for the service providing firm (Braun & Victoria, 2006). Type of attitude hold by an organization to a particular country would decide on the service quality delivery to that country from the service provider. Since service quality assessment is very difficult hence COO can be used in order to assess the service quality of the international firms. Degree of ethnocentrism with the consumers would vary according to the country and it is one of the important aspects in order to compare the domestic and foreign services.

2.4.2 Perceived risk

Risk perceived by the consumers for purchase of a product can be linked directly with the degree of ethnocentrism of culture. Assessment of the service can’t be done in advance until the deed has been performed. Customer relationship and trust building would help in reducing perceived risk in the service delivery. There are several perceived risks for the consumers such as functional, financial, life style, physical and time uncertainties’. Financial risk for the consumers would relate with the price to service quality for the consumers. Functional risk for the consumers would include difference between the features promised by the service organization and actual delivery of the service parameters. Augmented services need to be offered to consumers in order to enhance customer satisfaction level (Boston Consulting Group, 2011).  Physical safety for the consumers would be of utmost importance and consumers would be having perceived risk for ensuing physical safety during the time of availing services. Social uncertainty risk for the consumers would be in form of obtaining references from the people in their circle. In context to airline services the risk for the consumers would reduce once the airline company has delivered their services.

2.4.3 Decision making process 

Decision making for the service would be subjective decision from the customers and would vary according to different buying situations faced by the customers. Difference in buying situations would be defined by the initial purchase decision and these can be beneficial or unfortunate for the business organizations. There are mainly three stages for the service decision making. First phase for the decision making is pre-purchase and important factors for the business organization in this phase would include competitive advantage, quality of service delivery and recommendations made by external reference group (Bolton, 1995).  This would help in collecting information about the service provider and a firm needs to have good reputation so as to induce consumers to attract towards a service purchase. Second phase for the decision making process is interaction phase in which customer would evaluate the quality of interaction with the service firm. This phase would define the customer satisfaction level for the service offered by the firm and would help in order to develop relationship with the consumers. Post purchase phase of the decision making process would allow customer to evaluate the overall service interaction with the firm wherein customer would match the perceived service quality and actual service quality (Baxter & Jack, 2008).

2.4.4 Accountable relationships

Services would survive and create competitive advantage based on the relationship between customer and service provider. It is important for service firms to need high retention rate for the services offered by them to the consumers. In airline industry service provider need to exhibit accountable relationship with consumers. Service organizations need to be in touch with the consumers so as to evaluate their services and communicate them on the changes made by these organizations for the augmented services so as to build a loyal customer base. Since services are not static in nature hence business organizations need to cope up with the dynamic nature of the market, life cycle of services and customers etc (Barney, 1991). Service organizations these days are having appropriate technological tools in order to collect relevant data to the customers and extract the trends which would help in understanding consumers and this was not possible without these technological tools. Service organizations are not concerned with CRM as a process since it’s not the direct business generation function and service organizations would be focused more on lead generation, sales and expense to revenue ratios which can be considered as the traditional marketing tools adopted by the business organizations. Similarly, loyalty and customer lifetime value calculation are not also on the priority list for the companies as these are not the business generation function for business organizations.

2.5 Gaps in existing research and usability of literature review

There is vast amount of literature present in the field of service marketing and airline marketing wherein characteristics to services as exhibited by these organizations can be revealed. Further existing research shows different characteristics of service marketing such as intangibility, inseparability, variability and perishability (Amit & Schoemaker, 1993). But there is not much literature available on the parameters which are of immense importance for the consumers in airline industry. In addition to this decision making parameters for consumers in service industry would differ from one industry to other and there are not enough evidences in literature which suggest on the basic decision making parameters for the marketers in airline industry. Also present paper would fill gap in literature pertaining to the financial or other incentives offered by the airline companies in order to attract them defining overall bond between an organization and their consumers.

3.0 Emirates airline

Present chapter would examine the specific case of Emirates airline in the entire airline industry. Overview of the airline industry would be presented in this chapter along with brief details on the Emirates airline. Further marketing strategy adopted by Emirates airline for economy class travelers would be reviewed through present chapter.

3.1 Introduction

The present chapter helps to understand the concept of customer relationship management practices in case of Emirate Airlines. The study involves a review of the reports and information on the airlines that leads to identification of the need for such customer relationship management (CRM) practices in the organizations. Various references to key studies regarding customer satisfaction have also been included in the present paper. Overall, this chapter will provide a complete understanding of the contribution of airline industry with regard to customer services and their satisfaction (Samanta, 2010).

3.2 Airline Industry

There are various internal and external factors that affect the functioning and growth of an organization. In airline industry also, numerous factors such as structure of the organization, competition in the market, customer’s behavior and changing needs etc. compels the organization to adopt changes so as to attain its objectives. Flexible business models are adopted by airline industries to provide better services to its customers so that their maximum satisfaction can be achieved (Wheeler, 2003).

The airline companies have constantly regulated by government authorities in terms of prescribed and protected routes, provide funds in case of need, restriction of foreign ownership. Thus, it seemed to be a controlled industry offering high price services to the public. But later on, after 1980s, the whole scenarios got changed which created a competitive environment among airline companies to capture greater market share. The deregulation of industry took place which lead to various business arrangements in form of consolidations and liquidations. All the companies now make effort to expand their capacity, quality of service, connectivity of routes to attract customers. Emirate Airlines also provided differential price offers to seek a large number of customers, raising demand level and maximizing profit by charging high prices from sale of first class seats to the customers who are willing to pay for them.

3.3 Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airlines is one of the fastest growing corporation based on Dubai having an annual passenger growth rate of 16%. It was established in 1985 has emerged as a biggest contributor in tourism sector. It discovered Dubai as a stopover destination between Asia and Europe. Approx 25 million passengers were landed at Emirates Airport in 2006. Moreover, revenue of around $6.6 billion was recorded from approx. 14.5 million passenger s covering a distance of 2295 Kilometers. Apart from this, Emirates has been awarded with various international awards for its supreme customer service (Riessman, 1993).

International Air Transport Association IATA also believes that the airline industry has lead to the growth and development of domestic and international tourism sector. Passender traffic and air travel demand will continue to rise at an average growth rate of 5.2%. Moreover, single-aisle airplanes have also shown a growth of 58% in the air travel demand. Presently, low operating costs business models are developed to tie up with the needs of the passengers. This can be achieved through maximizing the aircraft assets, reducing distribution costs, no-frills offer of ticket less travels etc.

3.4 Economy Class Travelers

Economy class travelers are group of persons who contributes major part of the overall revenue of the air travel business. These groups of people are generally affected by the price offered and are frequent users of the services. A study emphasized on building such strategies that would create brand loyalty among this target group of people. By framing policies keeping in mind these consumers, the organization can successfully attain its targets.

This customer group has less potential of choosing between airlines because of destination places and time factors. Various associations and units were developed to know about the benefits of FPPs. Uncle and Goh found that a major part of these economy class group people are members of various loyalty program conducted by the organization. The needs and demands of this customer group should be identified as they possess high involvement purchase behavior. For e.g. Leisure travelers are commonly involved in buying situations while deciding about the suitable carrier. They select the air carrier according to their judgment, destination and personal belief rather than being accustomed to a particular brand. They have much time to get the information about various air carriers from various travel agencies (Naumann, 1995).

The above discussion clearly point out that the behavior of this group is completely different from other passenger’s group as stated in Ehrenberg and Goodhart’s model. This group of people has wide choice of alternatives present in the market that suits to their need. The key variables that affect the decision of economy class passenger is time and destination place.

The economy class passengers are required to provide with superior services than the one which competitors offer.  These people easily switch over to the alternate brand and feel comfortable when associated with various FFPs. Loyalty is a behavioral aspect whereas satisfaction is directly related to the attitude. The loyalty of economic class travelers can be considered as split-loyalty. To handle this issue, the air travel companies developed the ides to get united so that their profitability level can be increased and customer loyalty and commitment can be achieved.

The alliances in form of consolidations have resulted in increase of customer loyalty. Moreover, this has lead to increase in motivation among customers to become members of various loyalty programs. The behavioral characteristics of the customers like brand reputation inspire the customer to stay with a particular service provider. Airline companies have constantly doing efforts to get differentiation by offering amplified services with good quality.

By performing efficient yield management, wide access to routes and air mile accumulation only, the firm’s objective of seeking customer’s loyalty cannot be achieved. The benefits of various alliances between air carriers are quite effective but there is a continuous requirement of providing quality services and Customer relationship management to get differentiation.

The present airline industry offers the chance to the passengers to give shape to the market. Their diversified needs are aimed to fulfill by air travel corporations. The air travel companies undertake various studies so as to anticipate and understand the possible expectations of the customers from their services (Gilbert & Powell-Perry, 2000). The brand image of the service provider and quality of service offered form the base of customer loyalty aspect. The study shows the impact of customer behavior and attitude in creation of customer loyalty to a particular brand. Moreover, the study also revealed that prevent situational factors like overbooking, destination, shortage of time affects the decision making of the business class travelers. Brand loyalty can be termed as retained preference at the time of making a choice. If a customer is loyal to a particular provider, he will recommend it to other users depending of his level of satisfaction gained.

The study reveals that personal service and continuous interactions with the customers through conducting loyalty program determines the overall quality of the service. The differences between various service providers are generally same in context of the fulfillment of basic needs of the customer by providing quality services. All the air travel companies are aimed at attaining maximum satisfaction of the customers and maintaining the brand image as well with value services. Brand image would have higher impact than that of customer satisfaction. The company’s image plays a vital role in decision about purchase behavior. The study also explains that the loyalty and satisfaction, both are different things.

Zins (2001) clearly specifies that there are several other factors which have not been covered in the present study that would have created a better understanding of the relationship between user and the service provider. These factors includes price considerations, customer’ perception, quality services, frequency of the air travel and personal behavior of the customer. All these factors if studied deeply would help to understand the reasons and situations of creation of brand image. It will also aid in analyzing the customer’s decision making process while selecting the air carrier.

At last, the airline services are considered as a composite service package. Some of the auxiliary service providers support the airline travel business in their expansion. These auxiliary services includes services offered by tour and travel agents, reservation of seats and ticket booking, catering services, providing lounges services and many others. All these services aid the core service in executing their operations. These service providers should also provide quality services as their constitutive effort will develop the brand image. Thus, after analyzing customer’s needs and demands, theses ancillary services are considered to meet them. For analyzing the pattern of customer’s behavior, the data collected was affected by Airtrack’s survey model which was conducted on European people who were frequent air travelers (Fornell, 1992). This survey is conducted annually by HI Europe Global Market Research and Consulting Company on the people of fifteen countries who frequently use the services of air travel companies. The goal of this survey is to help the air travel companies to understand the satisfaction level of the customers, pattern of their usage and demand, impact of brand image on their decisions etc. However, the author of the present study did not get any helpful and important information about this survey.

4.0 Research methodology

This chapter would explore the research methodology adopted in order to carry out present research pertaining to customer service parameter for Emirates airline. This chapter would provide the target audience for the present research, problem statement, research objectives, research questions, research hypothesis, data collection methods, sampling techniques, data interpretation methods.

4.1 Target audience 

Research carried out in the present research context would be targeted on the consumers of airline industry for organization named Emirates Airline. Present research would help airline marketers to understand customer service parameter and need assessment for consumers so that their demand can be meet (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Airline marketers can asses consumer satisfaction of their organization and can consider Emirates airline as role model so as to implement model for customer satisfaction enhancement in their organization. Further present research would also help the research scholars in the field of airline marketing being a source of rich literature. Further present research would also help consumers and business organizations to know about the efforts made by airline marketers for persuading their consumers.

4.2 Problem statement

In the present age when airline industry has stiff competition among the major players prevailing in the industry, it is important to develop the ways through consumer segment of an organization can be kept intact so that there are no impacts of competition on financial health of the organization. Further customer retention is considered as highly beneficial for the organization as compared to the acquisition of new customers. Customer satisfaction assessment is important for the airline marketers to know about their own performance in consumer mind and present research would assess customer satisfaction and demand assessment would be done so that consumers get the desired services from their supplier. Overall, present research context highlight the problem of customer satisfaction assessment and maintaining competitive advantage through developing loyal customer base for the airline companies.

4.3 Research objectives

Research objectives for the present context of Emirates can be given as under:

  • To understand whether Emirates meet customer demands
  • To explore the service recovery system of Emirates so as to enhance loyalty of consumers
  • To enhance customer satisfaction for Emirates products & services

4.4 Research questions

Research questions confronted in the present research can be given as under:

  • Whether Emirates understand and meet consumer demand for airline services?
  • Whether customer relationship management system and service recovery system for Emirates are efficient enough to maintain customers for lifetime?
  • Whether Customers of Emirates are having high degree of satisfaction towards their services?

4.5 Research hypothesis

Alternate Hypothesis 1: Emirates airline understand needs of the consumers and their service offerings are able to satisfy consumers

Null hypothesis 1: Emirates airline does not understand needs of the consumers and their service offerings are able to satisfy consumers

4.6 Data collection methods

Data collection for the present research context would be done from both primary as well as secondary sources. Primary data collection method for the present research would include questionnaire through which specific information from the respondents pertaining to consumer satisfaction and demand of consumer would be assessed. This data would be helpful to know about consumer satisfaction parameter pertaining to the Emirates Airline and need assessment for enhancing consumer satisfaction for the consumers of Emirates Airline. Further service recovery methods deployed by Emirates Airline would be explored through primary research methods (Morrow & Smith, 2000).

Secondary data would be an important source of information and would be collected through multiple resources such as journals, existing literature, case study and newspaper etc. Existing literature in the field of airline marketing would be an important source of information in order to collect information pertaining to airline marketing and consumer satisfaction assessment. Further case study pertaining to Emirates airline would be assessed in order to know the particular ways adopted by Emirates Airline for enhancing their consumer satisfaction. Collection of data through multiple sources would be helpful in order to test the outcomes collected through one resource.

4.7 Sampling methods

Sampling technique used for primary data collection in the present research would select respondents on random basis in convenience sampling method. This sampling method would be deployed in order to ensure unbiased results for the present research context. A sample of 100 respondents would be selected in order to get the data. Sample for the present research would include customers who have ever travelled through Emirates or any other airline company (McNamara, 1999). Data collection for the research would be done by asking consumers to fill questionnaire through email and physical form filling.

4.8 Data interpretation methods

Data interpretation for the present research would be done through statistical technique and content analysis method. Data collected through primary methods would be analyzed through statistical techniques while qualitative data collected in the present research would be analyzed with the help of content analysis methods. Data analysis done through content analysis and statistical analysis methods would be based on the research objectives framed in the present research and hypothesis testing (Naumann, 1995).

5.0 Research Findings

Present chapter would discuss the findings derived from both primary as well as secondary research methods of collecting data pertaining to the research related to Emirates Airlines. Further the research findings about the customer’s response and satisfaction level from Emirates Airlines would be examined and analyzed through present paper.

5.1 Introduction

The present chapter helps to understand and analyze the result of customer’s responses about Emirates airlines. This analysis is very important to determine whether Emirates Airlines follows the measures to attain complete customer satisfaction and to know whether Emirates Airlines follows the current trend related to Airline Marketing, Management and customer relationship management. For successful analysis, data is collected both by primary research method and secondary research method. Primary data collection method would be done with the use of survey taken by questionnaire while the secondary research would be done through literature review. Questionnaire paper would be developed and filled by 100 respondents having experience on air travelling and who often use flight services. The respondents for the questionnaire will be selected through method of random sampling. In the survey respondents of age group of above 20 is taken. For applying secondary research technique, literature review from various sources such as Journals, research papers and existing research in area of customer satisfaction assessment relating to airline services has been taken.

The data collected through questionnaire needs to be analyzed to accomplish the objective of the research project. As the research theme of the present paper lies in the research questions framed, a proper analysis of each question and the responses thereof have to be done for concluding the results.

5.2 Analysis of Primary Data


The data collected through the survey questionnaire from various respondents about Emirates Airlines customer service and other features can be analyzed as given below

Section- A General

Question1.  In the past 12 months did you fly with Emirates Airlines?

          100            70       18

 If yes, then how often did you fly with Emirates Airlines in these months?

Only 1 time 2-5 times 5-10 times 10 or more
    10      36     14    10

Explanation: In this question, an effort has been made to study those passengers who have used the Emirates flights recently i.e. in the past 12 months and that too for how many times so as to know their travel frequency with Emirates.

Interpretations: It is found from the study that out of 100 respondents only 70% are using the services of Emirates Airlines and among them around 14% people are using it very rare i.e. for one time in 12 months. However, the study shows that mostly people are using it for around 2-5 times in a year and that sound not bad for Emirates.

Question2. Which travel class do you prefer to travel with?

Respondents Economy Class Business class First class Neutral
Female passengers 20 14 6 0
Male passengers 6 28 12 14

Explanation:  This question indicates most preferred class by the passengers. There are three type of travelling class in airlines viz. economy class, business class and first class. First class is the most expensive and has numerous facilities like endless leg room, better service and meals while business class is little less expensive from first class with less facility. Economy class is the cheapest class and has fewer facilities.

Interpretation:  The above study shows the different choice percentage regarding flight classes for females and males. It shows that around 50% females (20 out of 40) prefer to travel through economy class as the rates there are very low as compare to other classes while males prefer business class the most for its moderate price and comfortable features. In totality, business class is the most preferred by the respondents. So, Emirates must look in the prices of its First class for attracting more customers.

Question3. For booking tickets for the flight, do you prefer online ticket booking?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
15 70 9 3 3

Explanation: This question is about knowing the popularity of online ticket booking system in Emirates Airlines in the customers. In online ticket booking system, company has created its own website on internet where customers can know the flight timings and the ticket prices and can book their ticket also.

Interpretation: The study clearly shows that 70% of the respondents prefer for online ticket booking while purchasing the tickets for Emirates Airlines.

Section- B Customer demand

Question4. Do you agree that customer demands are taken care during the flight?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
21 66 13 0 0

Explanation: This question is framed to know the level of customer demand fulfilled by Emirates Airlines. Customer demand is fulfilled in terms of service offered during the flight, prices of flight, food quality inside the flight, timeliness of the flight.

Interpretations: It is found from the study that 21% of the respondents strongly believe the fact that Emirates airline is able to meet customer demand for various factors while 66% of the respondents also agree for meeting considerable customer demand by the airline company. Thus, Emirates Airlines must give importance to demand of customers while designing their service offerings. But 13% of the consumers believe that consumer demands are not taken care by the Emirates Airline.

Question5. Do you get your preferred quality of food in Emirates Airline?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
13 74 10 3 0

Explanation: This question explore whether consumers are able to get the desired type of food and good food quality during their flight in the Emirates Airline. This would help in ensuring that consumers are able to get the food, beverages and other services as per their choice. These factors would be able to enhance the consumer satisfaction factor for the Emirates Airline.

Interpretation: It is clear from the data that 13% of the respondents strongly think that consumers get desired food quality during their flight and 74% of the respondents also agree with the fact. Only 13% of the customer considers that Emirates Airline is not able to provide desired food quality as per their requirement. This shows that high numbers of customers are in favor that Emirates Airline takes care of the consumer demand.

Question 6 Do you agree price and service factor for Emirates are as per your requirements?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
23 51 19 7 0

Explanation: This question explore whether consumers are able to get the desired level of prices and customer service during their flight with Emirates Airline. The response would showcase that Emirates Airline is targeting right set of consumers for their service offering with offered price and customer service level.

Interpretation: It was explored that 74% of the customers are in favor that they are getting desired level of prices and service quality while only 26% of the consumers are not in favor of present fact. This showcase that prices offered and service imparted are as per consumer desired level. These factors are the key to enhance the customer service level for airline industry.

Question7. Emirates Airlines ticket price influence your decision for selecting it.

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
16 48 23 9 4

Explanation: In this question, evaluation is done regarding the effect of tickets price on the customers as mostly customers tend to attract toward Airlines companies having low cost or cheap tickets price. This evaluation will help Emirates in deciding the pricing policy suitable for the customers and the company as well.

Interpretation: The above study shows that around 65% of the respondent rate price as a major influencing factor for selecting an airline service. Thus, Emirates Airlines must consider the price it is offering to the customers as compare to its competitors.

Question8. Type of offers and discounts on the ticket price influence your purchasing decision.

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
53 33 4 7 3

Explanation: The above question is asked to know the customer tendency to attract toward discounts and offers on the tickets price as most of the customers wait for discounts and offers to book tickets with the company.

Interpretation: The study from the above research shows that most of the people (85% of the respondents) prefer to buy tickets at the time of offers and discounts. It clearly denotes that in order to attract more customers Emirates Airlines can consider providing discounts and offers on the ticket price to its customers. Such concessions in ticket rates will generate more sales for Emirates as more customers will book their flights then.

Question9. Emirates Airlines should pay more attention on the quality of services.

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
26 31 16 15 12

Explanation: This question was asked to know the percentage of negative answers for improving the quality of services being provided by Emirates Airlines to the passengers. This way the analysis will generate a better understanding on the level of improvement for Emirates.

Interpretation: The above analysis shows that about 60% respondents believe that the quality of services provided by Emirates Airlines should be improved. Thus, quality is the main aspect that is to be considered in terms of satisfaction of customers. To satisfy the customers Emirates Airlines should make efforts for improvement and for providing quality and best services to its customers.

Section-C Service recovery and customer satisfaction enhancement

Question10. The speed of response to any query or complaint influences you in selecting Emirates Airlines over other Airlines.

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
30 40 20 3 7

Explanation: This question was being asked to know the customer’s response regarding the frequency of complaint resolving by the complaint handling department of Emirates. The study will provide a proper way to monitor the concerned department as per the requirements of the customers.

Interpretation: Almost 70% respondents want that their queries and complaints should be resolved at the earliest. So, Emirates Airlines must make ensure that customer grievances should be handled effectively so as to retain the existing customers.

Question11. On time performance of scheduled flights of Emirates Airlines influence customers in their flying decisions.

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
48 25 20 2 5

Explanation: The above question was asked to know the effect of punctuality of Emirates Airlines on the customer decision of preferring it. The analysis will help in improving and managing the timings of scheduled flights by Emirates for the convenience of its passengers so that this factor may not create any hurdle in gaining customer confidence and preference for Emirates Airlines.

Interpretation: Almost 75% of the respondents feel that maintaining proper time table by Emirates Airlines influence their choice for flying. On time performance for scheduled flights laid a positive and better impact on customers and helps in building the image of Emirates airlines.

Question12.  If you receive call for feedback on the services of Emirates, will this influence your decision for preferring Emirates Airlines?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
40 30 15 9 6

Explanation: This question will clearly depict the influence on customer when feedback calls were made to them regarding their journey with Emirates. This will give a better understanding to know the customer expectations from Emirates Airlines.



Interpretation: Around 70% respondents affirm the statement that if Emirates Airlines provide feedback service to them then it will affect their purchase decision regarding Emirates Airlines. Thus, proper and timely feedback will ensure customer attraction toward Emirates Airlines.

Question13. Have you ever got resolution for the problem shared during feedback call?

Number of respondents             YES                  NO            DON’T KNOW
          100            59               20                  21

Explanation:  In order to assess the frequency of problems resolved by the complaint handling department of emirates, this question was framed to know the customer responses. This analysis will result in improvement of the overall problem solving mechanism of Emirates.

Interpretation: As per the study, almost 60% respondents received response for their queries and complaints during the feedback call. But still 40% respondents are such who either don’t know about the feedback system or not received proper resolution for their queries.

Question14. Have you been offered some complementary services on reporting of a bad service experience?

Number of respondents             YES                  NO            DON’T KNOW
          100            38               42                  20


Explanation: The above question was asked to know whether Emirates is having any such plan for their customers and how many customers were benefitted from the complimentary services provided by Emirates Airlines Company.

Interpretation: The above study shows much negative response of respondents of around 42%  who were never offered complimentary services by Emirates Airlines in case of bad service experience. Thus, Emirates Airlines must consider the result of this finding and should bring new ways to please the customers.

Question15.  Do you think service recovery is being done by Emirates properly?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
14 36 24 20 6

Explanation: This question was framed to know that due to reporting of failure of service whether Emirates do the service recovery properly with the passengers.

Implementation: Service recovery means the action taken for a service failure by the service provider for attaining customer satisfaction. In the study 50% respondents think that service recovery is being done by Emirates Airlines and rest of the people do not affirm. Thus, there is a need for Emirates Airlines to improve its service recovery mechanism for more customer satisfaction.

Question16. Do you think loyalty program deployed by Emirates Airlines are able to enhance customer satisfaction?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
29 41 15 6 9


Explanation: By asking this question, an attempt has been made to know the overall response of its customers for the loyalty program deployed by Emirates so that a positive action can be taken in case of deficiency reported in the program or poor response of customers.

Interpretations: The loyalty program deployed by Emirates Airlines has generated a positive response among customers as around 70% respondents affirm the program and agree on the point that such programs helps in enhancing their satisfaction.

Question17.  Do you think customer services of Emirates are in accordance with your expectations?

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
12 40 19 20 9

Explanation: In order to gain knowledge on the expectations of customers and the fulfillment of their expectations with regard to the services provided by emirates, an analysis was made through above question. Such analysis will help Emirates in developing better services for the customers to gain more and more customer satisfaction.

Interpretations: As the study clearly shows that only around 52% respondents are satisfied with the customer services provided by Emirates Airlines thus implementing that Emirates needs to develop and improve its customer servicing department for better and positive responses and for retaining existing customers.

5.3 Secondary data and discussion

Secondary data is the rich information source in order to collect information pertaining to airline marketing and strategies adopted by the marketers in this field so as to enhance the customer satisfaction parameter. As revealed through relationship management is an important aspect especially into the service marketing field so as to develop active communication with the consumers of the organization and to enhance their satisfaction level. Emirates need to develop relationship management by making use of the people, technology and processes. People would be the most important source for Emirates in order to maintain customer relationship management as they would be in direct contact with the consumers of the organization. Employee training and development activities would play crucial role in order to ensure customer relationship is maintained with the consumers of Emirates Airline. Technology can be deployed so as to capture consumer information in automated manner such as previous purchase history, contact information and consumer profile. This technology would be helpful in order to understand the consumer potential for the present as well as future range of services offered by the Emirates Airline. In addition to this, Emirates would be able to develop loyal customer base by deploying customer relationship management activities. Further this would reduce the acquisition and marketing cost for Emirates airline as existing customers of the company would require lesser marketing cost as compared to the newly acquired consumers.

Further customer relationship management developed by Emirates Airline would be helpful in order to assess different needs of the consumers so that these needs are understood and offered to the consumers during the flight. This would help in enhancing actual service delivery quality for the consumers leading to higher degree of customer satisfaction parameters. Emirates need to deploy series of steps such as the assessing consumer needs, shaping service offerings in accordance to consumer needs and delivering high service quality so as to lead enhanced customer satisfaction level for the consumers. Processes need to be shaped in such a way that these can help the organization to process customer request smoothly and consumers can get convenient services by simple processes implemented in the organization. Emirates can gain advantage of higher revenue and higher profit margins by deploying customer relationship management activities.

Emirates airline is into service marketing field so the service offerings of the company are intangible, inseparable, variable, perishable and market oriented. Since services offered by Emirates Airline are intangible so it is important that entire focus of the service parameter should be on creating the pleasant customer experience. Inseparability for the services enhances the importance level of the time, place and service delivery methods. So Emirates need to deliver services according to proper time, delivery and methods in order to create good customer experience. Consistency in service delivery for Emirates Airline would ensure that every time consumers are gaining same amount of satisfaction from the services offered by the company. Perishability concept for Emirates Airline suggests need for ensuring balance between demand and supply of the services offered by the company. Company should have higher degree of focus towards consumers and assessing consumer satisfaction parameter in efforts to enhance the overall customer satisfaction index among the customers of the company.

Five key elements of the service marketing would be important for Emirates Airline and these parameters would ensure that Emirates adopt suitable processes and procedure in order to create value for its customers. Bonding with the consumers would be very important and Emirates need to develop financial as well as social bonding with their consumers in order to maintain close relationship with the consumers. Integrated efforts should be made in order to develop the internal & external marketing efforts with the customers of the Emirates Airline. Emirates should make realistic promises to their consumers so that they can be fulfilled and higher degree of customer satisfaction can be gained through that. Emirates need to build trust with their consumers so that they gain confidence in the service delivery of Emirates and chose Emirates for their future travel plans. Service recovery parameters would be important for Emirates Airline and the company need to deploy specific ways through which customer service issues can be resolved and higher degree of customer satisfaction can be gained.

Decision making process for the consumers is important to understand by the Emirates Airline in order to affect on the consumer buying behavior. Knowing consumer behavior would help the organization to take action in accordance with the expected consumer behavior for buying services. Pre purchase phase for the organization would be of high importance and it is important for Emirates airline to create the competitive advantage in this phase so that maximum numbers of consumers are attracted towards the value offering made by the organization. In the second phase it is important that interaction should take place so that active communication is developed between the organization and consumers of the organization. Post purchase action of the consumers would be important in order to decide on the overall customer experience made through the interaction and service delivery to the consumers. Customer experience would be formed on the basis of the expected level of services for the consumers and actual service delivery made by the Emirates airline. In case actual service delivery is inferior as compared to the expected then consumers would have bad experience from the service interaction and vice a versa.

5.4 Implementation

For the present paper of research on Emirates Airlines we have used survey questionnaire in which different questions were asked from the respondents to know about their perception and opinion toward Emirates Airlines Air services. Mostly questions asked in the questionnaire were related to service quality aspect of Emirates Airlines. From the responses of the respondents we came to know that service quality and price are the two main parameters that have a direct impact on the level of customer satisfaction. Passenger is also influenced by the on flight services provided by Emirates airlines which also includes the cabin staff’s treatment and behavior for the passengers. For this aspect, Emirates should provide proper training to its staff for providing better and efficient services to the passengers keeping in mind their requirements and meanwhile solving their issues speedily. It should be first priority of Emirates Airlines to resolve the queries and complaints of customers for their overall satisfaction from the Airline services.

Thus, Emirates Airlines needs to consider these essential aspects of quality service and low price derived from our analysis in order to achieve a cent percent customer satisfaction. Delivering high quality service to the passengers is very important for the survival of Emirates Airlines. So, Emirates Airlines needs to understand the expectations from their customers and should focus on its price determining factors and its team for providing good quality service to satisfy the customers. For Emirates Airlines marketing and management is very inevitable in order to maintain its position in the highly competitive aviation industry. There are various departments in Emirates Airlines which needs proper and efficient functioning for providing quality services to its customers.

Once Emirates Airlines understands the needs of its customer and the marketing environment then appropriate strategy would be chosen accordingly. As Emirates is a small company so it has to manage several factors together for forming a perfect strategy to satisfy the customer needs and increases the profits thereby.

Cost Leadership Strategy

Under this strategy Emirates must consider the expenditure incurred on the on-board services. Emirates can charge the passengers high fees for meal on the short hauls flights or for items like headphones for entertainment system. It can also provide customers a duty free sale. Emirates must lower the amount of money spend on meals packaging as it will reduce cost.

Focus Strategy

Emirates can focus on flights to India or flights for Indian communities in European cities. This type of focusing will help in building a strong customer base attracting customers from the rival companies like Air India. For this purpose emirates must consider the interests of Hindus like to provide the Hindus, Indian meals and ensuring that they can watch Indian movies on the entertainment system. Moreover, Hindi speaking crew can be employed for their satisfaction.

6.0 Recommendations

The overall analysis of the market conditions of aviation industry and Emirates’ survey it can be concluded that Emirates must easily define who its customer is and what the customer values about Emirates Airlines. Emirates need to define its mission and vision and then work accordingly. In order to attain highest possible level of customer satisfaction there should be at least one thing that passenger would remember after boarding emirates fights. Even one positive thing to remember by the customers would ensure that the CRM of Emirates works well which would help in attaining competitive advantage. For comforting their passengers Emirates must ensure good staff-cabin attendants.

Thesis Help

Emirates need to focus on several areas for attaining competitive advantage over its competitors and for Customer Relationship Management.  It should focus on proper working and time to time repairing of Entertainment System in the flight. On long-haul flights passengers get bored easily and a suitable & flawless entertainment system will help them to spend their travelling time very pleasantly. This would result in passengers remembering the flight with Emirates. No doubt, Entertainment system is very inexpensive way to attract customers. Also, magazines can be provided to the customers for their entertainment.

Secondly, Emirates should consider the behavior of flight attendants toward the passengers. It would be recommended to Emirates Airlines that funnier methods can be implemented that would be entertaining for the passengers like funny announcements by the flight attendants and gentle and polite behavior of flight attendants (Klee & Thurau, 1997). Such friendliness will be valued by the passengers and the employees too. Emirates have to create a unique Company spirit in favor of both the passengers and the employees.

For a low cost strategy and for earning more money, Emirates can sell duty free products on board of the aircraft during the flight. Emirates must also consider the comfort of passengers and must design the Business and Economy class accordingly. Emirates should improve its punctuality factor also by replacing the old and unreliable aircrafts in the company’s fleet by newer and young airplanes. Young airplanes should be monitored well to maintain smooth operation.

One of the most important areas not to be ignored by emirates is regarding solving passenger’s complaints and queries and gaining proper feedback from them. During the feedback process, passenger’s queries and complaints should be noted down as these pieces of their opinion are very important indicators of such areas of Emirates which need improvement. The complaint handling department should be so efficient so as to provide quick service recovery to those travelers who have experienced a service failure. An “advocate” relationship can be build with such customers (Kotler, 2004).

While working in this global environment, Emirates must consider the power of internet. Emirates must sell it products and services through internet and this way it can advertise itself on international level that too by a very easy, cheap and convenient manner. For being a successful organization, Emirates should treat its employees so well that the employees treat the customer right thereby satisfying the customer. For this, right set of employees should be recruited by a careful selection by the efficient managers.  In the aviation industry, arrogance and inferiority has no place. Thus, the airline company should respect the competence of all the employees and positions for developing good work coordination. In order to achieve effective coordination within the company, there must be frequent and timely solutions of problems of employees. Thus, by improving the overall mechanism and considering focus on key areas, Emirates Airlines would enable to achieve greater employee productivity, fewer customer complaints, fewer flight delays and better performance in comparison to its rivals and a better and strong place in the aviation industry.

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7.0 Conclusion

Present research has been carried out in order to explore the demand assessment and service recovery process for the Emirates Airline. This research has made use of the primary and secondary data collection methods in order to collect data based on which objectives framed in the research have been explored. As a secondary source literature review and case study methods have been deployed. It has been revealed through the research that high number of consumers believe that Emirates Airline is able to meet their demand in terms of price, quality of services, food quality and timeliness of their flight. Consumer requirements and demand are taken care while designing the overall service package by Emirates Airline and this helps in order to enhance consumer satisfaction. Further feedback calls and survey made by Emirates airline are important source for assessing consumer demand and these demands are taken care at the time of designing the service offerings of the company.

Further it has been explored that service recovery processes are efficiently deployed by Emirates Airline so that in case of any lapses in the customer service during the flight or before the flight then same is handled efficiently so as to manage customer issues. As a part of the service recovery methods, Emirates make feedback call and resolution is offered for the issues revealed by the customer during feedback call made by the Emirates Airline. This resolution given by the Emirates Airline is helpful in order to know consumer demand and make service recovery by knowing their grievances towards the services of Emirates Airline. Service recovery methods deployed by Emirates are also in terms of the complementary services offered to their clients. These methods are efficient in order to enhance customer satisfaction and maintain long term customer relationship with the consumers. In order to enhance customer satisfaction for consumers of Emirates Airline, customer service is being focused by the company along with loyalty program offered. These loyalty programs are helpful for the company in order to convey consumer importance and benefits offered for the loyalty. Customer service of the Emirates is of high quality and by offering suitable customer service customer satisfaction level can be enhanced up to high level.

Through secondary data it has been explored that step by step process needs to be followed by Emirates airline in order to know consumer demand and developing consumer services in accordance to the demand of consumers. A strong level of financial and social bonding need to be developed by airline companies so that consumers feel a strong bond with the service provider and are reluctant to shift from particular company. This would create competitive advantage for the particular organization and forms a loyal customer base. Relationship management is the key for Emirates Airline and it is important that processes, people and technology are deployed efficiently in order to manage high level of customer service for the organization. There are several benefits for Emirates Airline for deploying customer relationship management such as higher level of customer satisfaction, higher revenue, higher profitability and loyal consumer base. All these factors are important for a service provider in order to develop their niche consumer segment and maintain this consumer segment in order to attain profitability in the business. Further it has been recommended for Emirates Airline that company should try to enhance the service quality factors and should offered additional services such as entertainment system and well behaved attendants for the consumers.

8.0 Reflection and future research

Present research carried out for the assessment of service parameters for Emirates airline has helped in order to make first hand experience on the market research activities and explore issues faced and suggest resolution for these problems. Present research has allowed to work as the research consultant for an organization in order to understand practical issues faced by the company. Further entire research process has been properly adopted and learned through present research. There is lot of learning gained through present research by suitably following the each process for the research. Key activities which should be learnt by a researcher such as development of the research objective, designing research process, collecting data through multiple sources, designing questionnaire, analysis of the information and finally developing recommendations in order to resolve the issues faced by the particular organization under study.

This research has allowed learning wide range of personal and professional skills which would be helpful not only during study but also in order to become a part of the organization in future. Personal skills such as communication with their respondents, taking out critical information, exploring resolution for problem faced etc. In addition to this, current research has helped in order to enhance the professional skills such as research skills, analysis skills and research designing skills. All these personal and professional skills developed through present research are helpful to undertake any research in future so as to attain its objectives.

Present research has been done in order to accomplish the framed objectives for Emirates Airline but there is lot of scope for the future research in order to enhance the service delivery and excellence for the Emirates Airline so that it can leverage on the good customer service quality and deploys loyal customer base which would ensure the long term sustainability for the organization. Future research can be carried out in order to explore the factors which are of immense importance to the customers while selecting services from Emirates Airline. Further research can be carried out to find out the relationship between these variables and services offered by the Emirates Airline. Recommendations can be offered to the organization in order to enhance each of the factors impacting on the service parameter for Emirates Airline. Present research has been done by following proper methodology and research design in order to obtain accurate research results. But in future such research would be conducted with higher accuracy and by adopting efficient model of research. Multiple sources of primary research would be used such as the focused group discussion, one to one interview and conferencing with the Emirates employees so that primary data collected becomes highly relevant for the research and better results are gained by the research. Further in order to obtain critical observation by collection of data several data analysis tools such as SPSS can be used in order to identify trends in the data and interpret results in accordance with these trends.


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