SME Customer Service Excellence: A Singaporean Case Study

Open access


In Singapore, service sectors are dominated by SMEs. This study set out to investigate customer satisfaction as a critical factor in SME survival and indeed in helping to maintain the overall health of the economy. In this study, data were collected from a Singaporean SME which supplies and installs glass for construction projects. Departments involved were Sales & Marketing, Administration, and Installation. A questionnaire survey was administered to every customer of the company in 2013 in order to evaluate the services provided by the three departments. Customers were categorized into five groups: main contractors, designers/sub-contractors, property managers, home owners and commercial owners. Data were analyzed in terms of thirteen customer service variables identified from the literature. Statistical methods were applied to data analysis and findings were arrived at. Findings were found to be sufficiently significant to permit the formulation of a Total Customer Service Excellence Model for SMEs in Singapore.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Adam R. (2010). Understanding customer experience. Harvard Business Review.

  • Aghdaie S. F. A. Karimi R. & Abasaltian A. (2015). The evaluation of effect electronic banking in customer satisfaction and loyalty. International Journal of Marketing Studies 7(2): 90-98. Canadian Centre for Science and Education. Online published: March 28 2015.

  • Al-Eisa A. S. & Alhemoud A. M. (2009). Using a multiple-attribute approach for measuring customer satisfaction with retail banking services in Kuwait. International Journal of Bank Marketing 27(4): 294-314.

  • Babbar S. & Koufteros X. (2008). The human element in airline service quality: Contact personnel and the customer. International Journal of Operations & Production Management 28(9): 804-830.

  • Ennew C. & Waite N. (2007). Financial services marketing: An international guide to principles and practice. New York: Butterworth-Heinemann.

  • Feinberg R. & Kadam R. (2002). E-CRM web service attributes as determinants of customer satisfaction with retail web sites. International Journal of Service Industry Management 13(5): 432-451.

  • Gruber T. Szmigin I. & Voss R. (2009). Handling customer complaints effectively. Managing Service Quality 19(6): 636-656.

  • Harris E. G. Ladik D. M. Artis A. B. & Fleming D. E. (2013). Examining the influence of job resourcefulness on sales performance. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 21(4): 405-413.

  • Ho H. T. & Svein O. O. (2012). Certainty risk and knowledge in the satisfaction-purchase intention relationship in a new product experiment. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics 24(1): 78-101.

  • Hoque Z. & Hopper T. (1997). Triangulation approach to management accounting research: A new direction? 20th Annual Conference of European Accounting Graz April 23-25 1997.

  • International Labour Office Report (2004). Bureau of Statistics International Labour Organisation.

  • Iwaro J. & Mwasha A. (2012). The effects of ISO certification on organization workmanship performance. Quality Management Journal 19(1): 53-67.

  • Karna S. Junnonen J. M. & Sorvala V. M. (2009). Classifying and clustering construction projects by customer satisfaction. Scholarly Journals Facilities 27(9/10): 397-398.

  • Ku H. H. Kuo C. C. & Chen M. (2013). Is maximum customer service always a good thing? Customer satisfaction in response to over-attentive service. Managing Service Quality 23(5): 437-452.

  • Lee A. S. (2014). A study on the correlation between furniture product knowledge and consumers’ satisfaction by fuzzy linguistics. International Journal of Organizational Innovation 6(3): 130-143.

  • Lopez-Alarcon J. S. (2003). The dimensions of customer satisfaction in the financial services industry. PhD Thesis Lynn University.

  • Luong A. (2007). Gender and the under-expression of friendliness in the service context. Journal of Management and Organization 13(2): 102-113.

  • Mitchell A. (1998). Concentrate on how to serve your existing customers better. Management Today January: 84-86.

  • Moon H. K. & Choi B. K. (2014). How an organization’s ethical climate contributes to customer satisfaction and financial performance: Perceived organizational innovation perspective. European Journal of Innovation Management 17(1): 85-106.

  • Nasermoadell A. Ling K. C. & Maghnati F. (2013). Evaluating the impacts of customer experience on purchase intention. International Journal of Business and Management 8(6): 128-138.

  • Normans Media Ltd (2013). Manufacturers fail to realize the importance of ERP’s role in customer experience. M2 Presswire 17 July.

  • Palmer A. (2004). Principles of services marketing (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

  • Pandey S. K. & Devasagayam R. (2012). Responsiveness as antecedent of satisfaction and referrals in financial services marketing: Empirical evidence from an emergent economy. Journal of Applied Business Research 28(1): 115-131.

  • Sarlak M. A. & Fard R. S. (2009). The impact of CRM on the customer satisfaction in agriculture bank. American Journal of Economics and Business Administration 1(2): 167-172.

  • Sanjuq G. (2014). The impact of service quality delivery on customer satisfaction in the banking sector in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Business Administration 5(4):77-84. Online Published: July 4 2014 Sciedu Press.

  • Seidman A. M. (2001). An examination of the relationship between employee behavior and customer satisfaction in quick service restaurants. Nova Southeastern University ProQuest UMI Dissertations Publishing.

  • Simon H. (1996). You don’t have to be German to be a hidden champion Business Strategy Review 7(92): 1-13.

  • Smith D. A. (2000). Smart or art?: Is product knowledge the key to sales success? Trusts & Estates 139(8): 22-26.

  • Stanworth J. & Gray C. (1991). Bolton 20 years on: The small firm in the 1990s. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

  • Treytl K. J. (2002). The impact of employee satisfaction on customer satisfaction with the sales interaction. San Jose State University ProQuest UMI Dissertations Publishing.

  • Ubeja S. K. (2013). Customer satisfaction in organized retailing: An empirical study with special reference to Dewas city. International Journal of Retailing & Rural Business Perspectives © Pezzottaire Journals 2(3): 499-409.

  • Verma H. V. (2003). Customer outrage and delight. Journal of Services Research 3(1): 119-133.

  • Warren C. J. (2011). Understanding the impact of core product quality on customer satisfaction team identification and service quality. University of Minnesota ProQuest UMI Dissertations Publishing.

  • Zainordin Z. (2007). Total customer service - A priority of ensuring results. Retrieved from