Public Relations As Tool For Enhancing Consumer Satisfaction: A Case Study Of Nigerian Airways
In this era of social and economic instability in which the public must be given a convincing why they should part with their hard earned money, the role of the public relations practitioners cannot be over emphasized.
The study also analyse the public relations strategies and policies management of the organization in question. The study set out further to know how the various Nigeria airways, Enugu consumers perceive the organization. It proceed to examines the importance of the study and then delve into detailed exposition of relevant literature, formulated of researchs and hypothesis out of which three received support while one did not receive support.
Moreover, the history of Nigeria airways Enugu also received due explanation to make the study more understandable. To make the research workable, the researcher use survey method in collecting the data. This is so because considering the nature of the research population and the kind of data needed by the researcher. The researcher further adhered to summarize, conclude and put forward recommendations which hopefully will go a long way in charging the nation of people regarding the Nigeria airways Enugu.
1.1 Background of the Study
In any organization the need to maintain the image of the organization is in our contemporary society a favorite one; hence this study surveys the whole of public relations in enhancing consumer satisfaction in fullness. It set out to find out whether Nigeria airways Enugu, has in any satisfied or dissatisfied his various customers. It will also identified his various customers. It will also identified the total number of people and customers that have been satisfied or dissatisfied by the organization. The study will also x – ray how a PR practitioner have helped or will help to coordinate the organization and its various customers. If the customers perception and the Nigeria Airways image when determined is bad, then the researcher could be in a better position to advise and make necessary recommendations in the organization to enhance its image. And also to contribute to the knowledge of mass communications and indeed to the knowledge of generating Nigeria in their quiet further effect of consumers satisfaction on government parastatals. The Nigeria airways is of public interest and business enterprise and has such as required to succeed through the help of public relations activities.
As public institution deviated to the servicing of the public interest, it must have its consumer satisfaction as its prime motive to enhance and achieve public co – operation and acceptance. As a business institution, the Nigeria airways must use business principles to operate in such a way that it becomes economically, strong enough to depend and sustain its independence against rumbling, against the background, the Nigeria airways Enugu institute. The public relations department to help faster the activities of the organization in order to achieve its aims and objectives.
This is so because no business oriented organization can make any meaningful achievement without the help and use of public relations man. It is easily identifiable that basic underlining public relation practice is of prime importance in all spheres of activities of organizations.
The public relations man engaged himself in doing good and trying to get credit for the good he has done. This involves making friends, keeping them and influencing them as well as others. It also involves looking good in building and sustaining good image or good will through good deeds that will favorable consideration for Nigeria airways Enugu among members of the public.
For better understanding of the background of this study, let me make definitions by some scholars in the field of public relations. Public relations by definitions according to frank Jefekins states;
Public relations is the process of accessing consumers wants, establishing communication, fostering good will so that the consumers wants or needs can be profitably satisfied. Among definitions of public relations according to the editions of public relation news, PR is the process of using communication to influence and lure more consumers in patronizing a particular product, organization with the aim of attaining and eliciting favorable actions where necessary as a results of this consumers satisfaction in the activities of Nigeria airways Enugu, among others should be pursued. One way of doing this is to map out a programme of action that is consumer oriented and favorable to the generating of the people. In actual sense, Nigeria airways Enugu cannot exist in a vacuum. It cannot gain maximally if it neglect the existence of its consumers. It must function as an institution ready to compute the philosophy and function of management which evaluate public interest and execu6te a programmed of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.
From these definition, it is obvious that the public relation man blends the public interest with that of the organization for actual achievements. It also identified the much to evaluate the public attitude and conception of the consumers. This includes expressing the policies and practices through communication for proper and tested awareness.
However, this communication can best be performed if public relations managers is given its appropriate place in the management of Nigeria airway Enugu and fast recognize the enormous functions which public relation would perform if allowed into the strategic decision making level of the Organization. In this contemporary society, the public scrutiny and accountability is on the increase. It is imperatives there, that good public relations should enhance good will and consumers satisfaction in the organization.
The image of the Nigeria airways Enugu depends on their behaviour and financial performance, her marketing policies and the qualities of her productions or services, the management style approach and the resultant satisfaction. The protection, promotion and maintenance of the Nigeria airways Enugu image is the fundamental responsibility of public relation. As the conscience of the organization and its public, monitors the diffusions of the programme of the organization to know when its impact opinion and welfare.
George Flangan state that; “if an individual contact and experience with co-operation, the extensive and proposed image of the corporation is likely to be strong, positive and relatively stable, if on the other hand the individuals familiarity with corporation is slight, as is most of the case, the image will possibly be weak (negative) lazy and unstable”.
The only meaning drawn from the statement is that the level or degree of consumer’s satisfaction in any organization is that, if the satisfaction is high, the consumer tends to maintain more cordial relationship and vice-verse.
It is the image of the organization that attracts the population among the potential consumers in this sense, the only image that can last is the one that its stand is valid true and authentic. Candidly no organization can satisfy its numerous consumers without being perceived first by the consumers as trusted and dependable, so far Nigeria airways Enugu maintain the line of dependability, its policies, performance and public relations have in limited interaction with a company constitutes to the attitude the forms about it.
The dependability and progress of the organization depends in the of first impression it gives to her consumers on her good will. As regards to this facts Walter Lipman assets that;
“no administrative scheme is workable without goodwill and good will about strange practices is impossible education. “in other words, any new development in Nigeria airways Enugu, that is not communicated to the potential consumers in clear terms and with clear evidence show so as to elicit favorable actions mutual understanding will be on effort in faculty.
It is therefore important that Nigeria airways Enugu should acquaint itself with the customers/consumers for cordially though continues and systematic public relations practice. It is essential that all public relations activities of the Nigeria airways Enugu are within the framework often agreed and understood the corporate personality.
The modern business organization, quick to recognize the changes in the environment, has adjusted; it has more comprehensive and positive programmes by responding to community expectation and pressures. This for short, is the spring board of the concept of goodwill and consumers satisfaction. However, the activities of Nigeria airways and prospects can better understood when examined from the point of view of its origin. To this end, below is marked off point of the Nigeria airways Enugu.
The History of Nigeria Airways Enugu.
The history of the organization would be traced to 1945 when it was incorporated as West African Airways Corporation (WAAC) to undertake operation which the Royal Airforce left behind at the end of world was II. It was then jointly owned by the former British colonies namely – Nigeria, Ghana Gambia and Sierraloan. The West Africa Airway Corporation (WAAC) was then managed by the West Transport Authority (WATA). On attainment independence in 1957, Ghana pulled out to set up its own Airline Ghana Airways, leaving Nigeria British overseas Airways corporation (NBOAC) and Elder Dempster lines as the owner of what remained of (WAAC). The Federal government of Nigeria took control of the share of its partners, the B.O.A and Elder Dempster lines, in this sense, the airline because 100% Nig earned and the name changed to Nigeria.
In the same vain, after some years federal government started establishing in different state of the country which metamorphosed Nigeria airways Enugu.
1.2 Objectives of Nigeria Airways Enugu
The objectives of the airline as a natural earner is to operate a scheduled and chartered air transportation services for the carriage of passenger, cargo, mail and any other related business in most reliable, efficient and international route. Apart from its commercial objectives, the organization also has social defense, security and people of Nigeria as the nations natural carrier.
For example, the airline could give back up services to the military authorities as a transportation auxiliary in a period of natural emergency such as war. In other word, the airline as a rule is different from other commercial airline services, why? Because it must perform government function without profit when directed to do so by the authority . For the above reasons, Nigeria airways is duty bond to operate in. the country whether it is commercially viable or not. In a situation where communication gap by transporting people, goods and mails through the length and breath of the country. This is a great social economic responsibility to the nation.
Based on these reasons, the federal government offers its protection to the airline through diplomatic channel international traffic negotiations guarantees the airline to secure local and foreign loans to purchase aircraft and equipment. Due to the numerous aims and objectives of the Nigeria airways and their zeal towards making them a reality, the organization is departmentalized to ease activities and foster development in a way of satisfying its consumers.
1.3 Statement of Research Problem
There have been a good number of complaints from the Nigeria airways, Enugu. There is an inefficient of effective and systematic and well planed public relations activity in the establishment. As a result of this, the Nigeria airways, Enugu does not communicate to its consumers as and when due.
The Nigeria airways Enugu seems to be undergoing image problem. The problem of financial comst5raints deferring regulatory policies lay down by the governments negative attitude of employed to work , management problems, flight delays and conciliation, inefficient services and generally rising cost of goods and services seems to point out to the fact that public relation has failed its function or role in finding out what have actually satisfies or dissatisfies the consumers of Nigeria airways Enugu. There have been absence of direct incentives to customers which now bring about low persuasive sales strategy.
The acceptance of forged ticket defense tickets and checking adult passengers with infants or children tickets affect the consumers satisfaction badly. The refund of unused tickets takes a very long time, hence the consumer involved usually get displeased because of the undue time spend before they are finally satisfied. Another problem is that the management of the parastatals makes it impossible for airline public relations manager to do his job satisfactorily . The resultant effect here is that most of the time public relations manager is compelled to take action and executive some.
1.4 Objective of the Study
Any organization who fail to recognize the existence of its customers will definitely fail or fold up. And if any organization fail to take cognizance of public relations department of the organization, such organization will not accomplish its aims and objectives. To this end, the Nigeria airways Enugu should always give the public relations manager his proper place in the organization and should also help him function fully by giving him the necessary tools, equipment and support needed foe his operations . To identify total number of people or consumer that have been satisfied and dissatisfied by the organization.
Furthermore the study will avail how public relation activities have help in solving problem or inadequate communicate in the organization. To know how far public relations roles will help to coordinate the organization and its various consumers . To ascertain how the consumers perceive the image of Nigeria airways Enugu, if the consumers perception of the organizational image when determined is bad, then I would be in better position to advice and make necessary recommendation in order to enhance its image. To know some of the communication barriers faced by the public relations department in the organization.
Finally, to contribute to the knowledge of the mass communication and indeed to the knowledge of generality of Nigeria in their quest for the effect of consumers satisfaction in government parastatals.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of public relation has not yet been well recognized in Nigeria as it is in developed countries. In America for instance, the success recorded by most establishment have been attributed to effective role of public relation but in Nigeria it is not the same. Against this background there is every need to show the public, the impact and role public relations have or the enhancing the consumer satisfaction.
Another significance of this study specially, is that it revealed the role public relations played in enhancing customer satisfaction in Nigeria airway, Enugu and the impact public relation has made on the relationship between Nigeria airways Enugu and its consumers. It also recommended ways to improving it. In other words this study helped to show the effectiveness of public relation and therefore, the need for it in public corporations. This was; achieved through an appraised of the roles it has played in building the image of Nigeria Airways, Enugu.
Furthermore, this study also showed positive ways of correcting the shortcomings satisfaction in the Nigeria Airways Enugu.
1.6 Research Questions
- Does PR a tool for enhancement of consumer satisfaction?
- Does PR play a role in improving the image of the Nigeria airways Enugu?
- Does government policies affect the PR activities of the Nigeria Airways?
- Does the cost of boarding the flight affect people perception of the airways?
- Does the PR activities in the airways Enugu outstanding?
1.7 Research Hypothesis
- Hi: public relation as a tool go along way for enhancement of consumers satisfaction in Nigeria airways.
No: public relations as a tool does not go along way fo enhancement customers satisfaction in Nigeria airways Enugu.
- H2: pr plays a role in improving the image of Nigeria airways Enugu.
No: pr does not play a role in improving the image of Nigeria airways.
1.8 Conceptual and Operational Definitions
Definition of Terms Conceptually
Particular section of the community
2) Public Relation
The procedure of programmed of activities of ensuring a link between an organization and its customers.
This is mental picture, idea of concept of somebody or something. It could also be seen as a sensual thing perceived as an identity or a coherent which does not necessarily have something to do with reality of a situation.
This is a person who buys thing or patronize an organization.
5) Customers Satisfaction
This is the state where the customers are pleased and contented with the product or services given to them.
This is a group with special purpose of coming together as one to operate a business ventures. It could be government or private owned.
Definition of Terms Operationally.
the number of customers or people who received the services of Nigeria airways, Enugu.
2) Public Relation
the number of deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between Nigeria airways Enugu and its public, carried out by the relations department.
the mental picture that the public of Nigeria airways Enugu have on the effect efficiency of services varied by the number.
Those who patronize the Nigeria airways Enugu by traveling with them.
5) Customers / Consumers
the extent to which the services of the Nigeria airways Enugu are pleased.
this means the case under study which is the Nigeria airways, Enugu.
government owned parastatals known as the Nigeria airways, Enugu.
Scares made on question on self – discount of tickets by each respondents.
It is assumed the after this study, the public relations officer would be in a better position to know the best strategy to get its external and internal public satisfied.
He would be in a position to make very nice goodwill for the organizations, as to increase its profits.
However, the management of the organization would be in apposition to equip the public relation officer, so he can discharge his duties efficiently.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The main purpose of this study was to assess public relations as a tool for customer satisfaction in Nigerian airways, Enugu. It also reveals how customers of Nigerian airways, Enugu perceive public relations, see the perception of customers on the PR used by the Nigerian airways, Enugu using its dimensions to measure public relations , factors hindering satisfaction in Nigerian airways, Enugu and what to be done to improve customer satisfaction in Nigerian airways, Enugu. Knowing how customers perceive public relations and being able to measure public relations will benefit management of service organizations including Nigerian airways, Enugu. Measuring public relations helps management to provide reliable data that can be used to monitor , maintain and improve public relations. Findings show that Nigerian airways, Enugu customers expects more than what they perceive therefore Nigerian airways, Enugu must strive hard to improve all the public relations dimensions for improved customer satisfaction.
- Nigerian airways, Enugu should conduct ongoing research on public relations and customer satisfaction to understand the changing customers satisfaction levels against offerings on what should be done and what strategies to be implemented in order to achieve customer satisfaction goals.
- Nigerian airways, Enugu and other airlines operators should not just rely on profit margins as good indicator of business performance, rather; they should develop strategies that will assist them to capture customers’ perceptions on demand.
- Customer satisfaction strategy will help companies to compare their performances against customer standards against internal processes, industry benchmarks and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Nigerian airways, Enugu infrastructures like network towers should be improved. More investment should be made in new modern technologies. On the customer access levels fiber optic backbone networks are recommended for improved service and reliability.
- Nigerian airways, Enugu should provide more trainings about public relations to customer serving staffs for more understanding of the offering as this has direct impact to customers expectations
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