Customer experience and customer churn management in Zimbabwe, A Lafarge Cement
Zimbabwe Case Study
By BERNARD TAPIWA SITHOLE
A proposal submitted in partial fulfilment of requirements for D.Phil Marketing Management to
Zimbabwe Open University.
Supervisor(s) ……………………………………………………………………….Prof T Njaya
1.0 Background to the problem…………………………………………………………………..5
1.1 The statement of the problem:
1.2 Purpose of the
1.3 Objectives of the
1.5 Research Questions…………………………………………………………………………..13
1.6 Significance of the study……………………………………………………………………..14
1.7 Definition of special terms……………………………………………………………………
2.0 Review of related
2.1 Conceptual framework ………………………………………………………………………17
2.2 Theoretical framework……………………………………………………………………….18
2.3 Empirical studies undertaken on customer experience and customer churn…………………
2.4 Research Gap
3.0 Research Methodology and Design …………………………………………………………29
3.1 Research philosophy…………………………………………………………………………29
3.1.2. Ontology issues and how they will affect the research
3.1.3 Epistemology issues and how they will affect this research study………………………...33
3.1.4 Axiology issues and how they will affect this research study……………………………..35
3.2. Qualitative Research methodology……………………………….........................................35
3.3 Research Design ……………………………………………………………………………..38
3.3.1 Exploratory research….........................................................................................................39
3.3.2 Exploratory research: Case study………………………………………………………….39
188.8.131.52 Sampling unit…………………………………………………………………….............41
184.108.40.206 Sample Frame……………………………………………………………………………41
220.127.116.11 Sample Size………………………………………………………………………………41
3.5 Sampling Procedure …………………………………………………………………….....43
18.104.22.168 Non- Probability Sampling………………………………………………………………43
22.214.171.124 Purposive or judgmental sampling……………………………………………………….43
126.96.36.199 The convenient sampling technique …………………………………………………......44
3.3.6 Data generation methods…………………………………………………………………...44
188.8.131.52 Semi-structured interviews………………………………………………………………44
184.108.40.206 Focus groups interview…………………………………………………..........................45
220.127.116.11 Documents analysis………………………………………………………………………
3.3.7 Instrumentation – data collection instruments……………………………………………..47
3.3.7 .1 In-depth Interviews guide……………………………………………………………….47
18.104.22.168 Focus groups interviews guide…………………………………………………………..47
22.214.171.124 Observations guide………………………………………………………………………48
3.3.8 Data collection or generation procedure ……………………………………………..........48
126.96.36.199 Semi structured interviews………………………………………………………………48
188.8.131.52 Focus groups……………………………………………………………………………..49
3.3.9 Explication of the data (Data analysis……………………………………………………..51
184.108.40.206 Data Presentation…………………………………………………………………………
3.4 Trustworthiness and transferability…………………………………………………………..54
3.5 Delimitations of the study……………………………………………………………………59
3.6 Limitations of the study ……………......................................................................................59
3.7 Ethical and legal considerations …………………………………………………………......60
3.8 Organization of the study…………………………………………………………………….61
4.0 Action plan/Schedule…………………………………………………………………….......62
1.0 Background to the problem
Definition of Customer experience
Meyer and Schwager (2007) defined customer experience as the internal and subjective response
customer have to any direct or indirect contact with a company Abbott (1955) and Alderson
(1957) focused on the broader notion of customer experience by noting that what people really
desire are not products but satisfying experience. Furthering this path, Pine and Gilmore (1998)
conceptualized the idea of experiences as distinct from goods and services, noting that a
consumer purchases an experience to spend time enjoying a series of memorable events that a
company stages to engage him in an inherently personal way. In support of this notion Gentile,
Spiller, and Noci (2007) also added that Customer experience is a set of interactions between a
customer and a product, a company, or part of its organization, which provoke a reaction. The
researchers went on to note that, most of the reasons customers switch have nothing to do with
the product or pricing but customer experience including poor adoption, process fatigue, and
Definition of Customer churn
Loudon and Laudon, (2012) defined customer churn as the number of consumer who stop
purchasing or consuming a product or services from a particular firm. These researchers
indicated churn rate is an essential indicator of growth or decline in any company’s consumer
base. In support Reicheld (1996) postulates that an increase in the defection rate results in
dwindling cash flow to the business,this will occur even if the organization is able to replace lost
customers by acquiring new ones. A report by the consulting company McKinsey estimated that
reducing churn could increase earnings of a typical USA wireless carrier by as much as 9.9% .In
the words of Lemmens and Croux, (2006) churn as a term related to marketing, it is used to
characterize current consumers who decide to take their business to some other supplier in short
switches from one provider to another. In support Matrics, (2013) noted that customer churn
also known as customer defection or consumer attrition, is loosely defined as the rate at which a
business is losing consumers or revenue through customer defection.
Customer churn as global phenomenon
Customer churn is a persistent global phenomenon and a challenge on both the cost and revenue
sides of a business. Even highly developed countries like USA has not been spared the scourge of
customer churn, (Lemmens and Gupta 2013) in their study Managing Churn to Maximize Profits
in the USA proposed a predictive model that accounts for all these churn inducing elements.
They noted that Customer churn is a widespread phenomenon that threatens firms across a
variety of industries with dramatic financial consequences,. A recent report estimated 20%
annual churn rates for credit cards in the USA, and 20%- 38% annual churn rate for mobile
phone carriers in Europe (Bobbier, 2013).
Another study carried in Thailand by Thamsaranasakul (2008) whose objectives was to identify
the high impact factors that cause customer churn of Mobile Service Provider Industry in
Bangkok revealed that there are relationship between demographic profiles and some of
marketing mix factors or Company Responsiveness factors.
Customer churn in Sub Saharan Africa
In Sub Saharan Africa Abaidioo (2011) carried out a study titled “Predicting customer churn in
the mobile Telelecomminication industry a case study of MTN Ghana the objective of this study
was to find out the extent of customer churn in MTN Ghana, the causes and effects of customer
churn and to develop a predictive model for churn in the telecommunication industry. The
findings were that the propensity for a customer to churn was found to be 1.03 times which is
extremely high, it was also noted that Data Mining Techniques customer service calls, day call
and international calls were the major characteristics exhibited by the churners.
Still on the continent Oyeniyi and. Adeyemo (2015) carried out at study named Customer Churn
Analysis in Banking Sector of Nigeria the problem was customer churn has become a major
problem, in order to detect early warning signs in customer's behavior such as reduced
transactions, account status dormancy and take steps to prevent churn. The study presented a data
mining model that can be used to predict which customers are most likely to churn .The results
obtained showed the methods used can determine patterns in customer behaviours and help
banks to identify likely churners and hence develop customer retention modalities.
In Kenya a notable study was done by Kirui (2013) in the study Predicting Customer Churn in
Mobile Telephony Industry Using Probabilistic Classifiers in Data Mining ,noted that customer
churn in the mobile telephony industry is a continuous problem owing to stiff competition, new
technologies, low switching costs, deregulation by governments, among other factors. The
findings were that customer churn prediction is plays a central role in churn management in
mobile telephony industry and to reduce the various costs associated with customer churn, it is
imperative that mobile service providers deploy churn predictive models that can reliably
identify customers who are about to leave, then intervention strategies should be put in place.
Closer home in Zambia`s telecommunication industry Banda (2016) proposed a system
dynamics approach to customer churn management in the mobile Telecommunication industry
the study proposes a model that uses system dynamics, a simple yet aggressive approach that
gives important insights into managing customer churn in the Telecommunication industry. The
data used was collected through surveys and interviews from seven hundred mobile subscribers
in six districts of Zambia, the three Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Zambia Information
Communication & Telecommunications Agency (ZICTA). The results of the survey showed that
on average, MNOs on the Zambian telecommunication sector experience annual churn rates
between 3.73 and 9.14 percent. The model shows that if the MNOs apply recommendations
suggested in this model, annual churn rate can reduce to about 1.02 percent after twenty
interactions. Churn rate has the potential to soar to about 86 percent within the same period if
MNOs do not take action. The researcher also noted that the pattern of churn changes over time,
arising from different factors that may be known or unknown. The complexity of these factors
makes churn management challenging.
Musasa (2014) in South Africa carried out a related study titled Customer service and its impact
on consumer purchasing behaviors at supermarkets in the greater area of Ethekwin ,the primary
goal of this study was to ascertain the influence of customer service on buying behaviour of
customers at supermarkets in the greater area of Durban. To meet objectives of this study, a
quantitative research was conducted at supermarkets namely Pick and Pay Berea, Shoprite West
Street and Cambridge Market. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from
respondents selected, non-probability convenience sampling was utilized in selecting
respondents. A gap between what customers expect and what they perceive was currently offered
at these supermarkets was revealed. Problems were identified in customer service offered
pertaining staff attitude, operating hours, and speed of service delivery.
Still in South Africa (Hoffman, 2013) did a research titled Reducing churn from price increase;
an experimental intervention the study took an in depth look into successful interventions that
assist a business in retaining customers while increasing prices. The findings were that by
simultaneously offering a customer an additional benefiting and adding a personal touch by
communicating personally the reasons for the increase the increase has a positive impact on
Customer churn in Zimbabwe
Literature on customer churn is very scarce in Zimbabwe except for a distant research titled
Customer Retention Strategies: A Panacea to Reducing Attrition in the Zimbabwean Airline
Industry carried out by Mandina and Karisambudzi (2014) for Midlands State University. The
authors took a post-positivism approach in order to uncover the truth about the effectiveness of
customer retention strategies in reducing attrition in the Zimbabwean Airline industry. Findings
revealed that customer retention strategies if fully implemented, result in effective retention as
customers want airlines to provide efficient frequent flyer programs, practice service recovery
and fulfil the promises made to customers through reliable schedules and lucrative in-flight
services as well as the need to settle claims on time. The industry may continue to take advantage
of the current frequent flier retention strategies and also explore other strategies like promise
fulfillment and service recovery in maximizing retention.
Perhaps the closest study ever done on customer churn and distance related to customer
experience in Zimbabwe was done by Basera (2014) in the study Maximizing Customer
Retention through Loyalty Programs in Perfect Competition Markets: A Case of Fast Foods retail
businesses in Masvingo Urban, Zimbabwe. The researcher noted that concentration on customer
acquisition has since seen its prevalence slowly fading into thin air as firms are now battling to
retain customers who have become highly sensitive to various marketing stimuli in highly
competitive markets. This study therefore sought to examine the extent to which the three major
Fast Food retailers in Masvingo use loyalty programs as the means and end for harnessing
customer retention in highly competitive markets such as perfect competition. The major
findings indicated that retailers in this sector least use loyalty programs to retain customers and
that there is need for firms in perfect competition markets to use loyalty programs so as to
maximize customer retention.
Customer churn in the Zimbabwe cement manufacturing industry
The industry is comprised of three major international companies namely Pretoria Portland
Cement (PPC) owned by PPC South Africa based in Bulawayo, Lafarge Cements Zimbabwe
owned by LafargeHolcim based Switzerland based in Harare and Sino Cement Zimbabwe owned
by Chinese Sino based in Gweru and new entrant Livetouch also owned by China which is
based in Kwekwe . It must also be noted that there is a growing influx of cheap cement imports
from Zambia South Africa, DRC as well as far as Pakistan thus cheating fierce competition in a
mature market. The companies have difficulty to acquire new customers thus the business
strategy has been changed from market development to engaging customer from other
This situation is made worse by the fact that the Zimbabwean economy has not been performing
of late The International Monetary Zimbabwe's states that gross domestic
product (GDP) growth declined from 1.1% in 2015 to an estimated 0.5% in 2016 although it is
projected to increase by 1.3% to 1.8% in 2017. The cement manufacturing sector of Zimbabwe
has not been spared of the negative effects of customer churn with an average of 25% whereas
15% churn rate is the global Cement industry norm. (Global Cement News, 2016).
Customer churn at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe
According to Lafarge Cement business Newsletter on Business Performance and Market
Overview December (2016) the company has recorded an annual rate of 28% churn rate which is
very high in an industrial setting whose average churn rate is 25% inevitably this churn rate has
affected profitability in terms of volumes and revenue, customer lifetime value, increase in costs,
decline in Net promoter index and general image of Lafarge brand .Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe
has reported a loss after tax of US$1.97m year-on-year in 2015 as contained in Lafarge Cement
Financial Annual reports (2015).
A number of approaches have been taken by Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe in order to prevent or at
least mitigate the churn effects, these include offer deals, discounts, distribution of branded
materials, freebies, call center initiative, coming up with a CRM department, sales force training,
limited time offers, personalized emailing and numerous other tactics to entice customers and
keep them as part of the subscriber base .Sterman (2013) openly criticizes the approach of
offering incentives when he argued that it alters the state of the system, and competitors react to
restore the balance that gets upset.
The unprecedented increase in customer churn and customer complaints at Lafarge Cement
Zimbabwe has lead the researcher to inquire into the probably relation between customer
experience and customer churn as supported by (Anaman, 2010) who noted that retaining high-
value and profitable customers is a major strategic objective for most companies. In mature
markets where growth has slowed, the defection of customers has intensified and is strongly
fueled by poor Customer Experience. Therefore finding what touch points in the Lafarge
customer experience setting has a bearing on customer churn particularly at Lafarge Cement
Zimbabwe is the aim of this research.
1.1 The statement of the problem
Sales and marketing departments are perennially spending considerable time and money
winning new customers, and those customers are not sticking around long enough for the
company to recoup the cost of acquisition leading to higher cost of sales which yield decreasing
profit levels .Making matters worse, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe has to invest additional
resources to retain the customers it currently has, as studies have suggested that the longer a
customer stays with a firm, the greater the profits that accrue this generate additional new
revenue through repeat purchases, upsells and referrals (Reichheld ,1996). A study by Reichheld
and Sasser Jr. (1990) also indicated that profits could be raised by at least 25% and as much as
85% if a firm were able to reduce customer defection by just 5%.
The main research question is, what touch points in the Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe customer
experience could be leading to customer churn?
1.2 Purpose of the study
The aim of this study is to explore the effect of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe customer experience
on prevailing high customer churn.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1. To ascertain the categories of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe customers.
2. To determine why customers are terminating their relationship with Lafarge Cement
3. To ascertain interactions in the customers’ experience that customers consider important at
Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe.
4. To explore the effects of previous customer experience touch points on propensity to defect to
other cement supplier at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe.
1.5 Research Questions
1 .What are the categories of customers at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe?
2. Why are customers terminating their relationship with Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe?
3. What interactions in the customers experience are considered important by Lafarge Cement
4. What is the effect of previous customer experience touch points on propensity to defect to
other cement suppliers at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe?
1.6 Significance of the study
This study has multi-fold benefits from theoretical perspective; firstly, it will fill important
literature gaps, secondly. It will also enlighten the current and future researchers to further
explore the subject matter based on findings of this study. Apart from the above new knowledge
shall be brought to the university adding variety to literature at the college providing a source of
information to other students. Lastly the research is for the partial fulfilment of the requirements
of Doctor of Philosophy in marketing management which the researcher is partaking.
This study is critical to Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe in particular as focus on consumer churn will
safeguard the monetary gains and client base for the company. The research can be a tool upon
which relevant managers and policy makers in the cement manufacturing industry mine
information to make decisions that will benefit their respective companies. Country- wide the
study of consumer churn investigates and determine the consumers who in the near future are at
the risk defecting, such study help corporations to decide which consumers are worth retaining
and how it must direct its promotion activities. Khan, Jamwal and Sepehri (2010), claimed that
research cost of acquiring an innovative consumer can be 5 time higher than cost of reducing
churn of the current consumers. This makes understanding the factors which lead to customer
Globally Churn undermines all the other work the company does to grow a business. Reducing
churn by just 5% can improve profits by 25-125% as noted by Paul (2014). Therefore in order to
reduce churn, one must understand customer experience touch points that contribute to customer
churn and renewal, with that knowledge, one can set up for success and maximize customer
1.7 Definition of special terms
Customer satisfaction is the outcome of a cognitive and emotional evaluation made after the
tangible perceived experience on all levels and processes are compared to the expected
Churn rate, also known as the rate of attrition, is the percentage of customers who discontinue
their relationship to that service within a given time period.
Touch points is individual contacts between the ﬁrm and the customer at distinct points in the
Consumer buying Behaviour Buying Behavior is the decision processes and acts of people
involved in buying and using products.
Cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds
two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a prediction of the total value (mostly expressed in net
profit) generated by a customer in the future across the entire customer lifecycle.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of every experience a customers have with a
company. It helps to tell the story of a customer's experience with a brand from original
engagement and into hopefully a long-term relationship.
2.0 Review of related literature
The researcher shall review related literature from a number of authors through four sections
namely conceptual framework of the study, theoretical framework, empirical studies undertaken
on customer experience and customer churn and research gap analysis.
2.3 Conceptual Framework of the study
According to Robson (2011) conceptual frame work is a system of concepts, assumptions,
expectations, beliefs, and theories that supports and informs research, it is a key part of design.
Customer experience customer churn
Fig 2.1 Conceptual Framework
The researcher is convinced that there is a relation between customer experience and customer
churn and that an understanding of that relation through phenomenological qualitative research
can bring about facts that can reduce or eliminate customer churn at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe.
Filip (2017) further suggested that customer experience is the new differentiator, customer
experience is particularly important to preventing churn in emerging markets, and a good
customer experience can help companies compete globally.
In addition prior research by Bolton, Lemon, and Verhoef (2004) suggested that the customer’s
assessment of an experience inﬂuences key outcomes such as customer satisfaction, customer
retention, customer loyalty, word of mouth, customer proﬁtability and Customer Life Value, and
customers’ behaviour is shaped in terms of surrounding environment and prior positive or
negative experiences (Yoon and Nilan 1999).
2 .4 Theoretical Framework of the study
The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study it
introduces and describes the theory that explains why the research problem under study exists
(Bolton, 1998) .The research stream followed by the researcher emphasizes the link between
customer experience with behavioral outcomes in this case customer churn. The researcher has
identified the Behavioral Perspective Model in explaining this link.
Behavioral Perspective Model
Foxall (2007 postulates that the importance of previous behavior is explained by its essential role
in shaping part of future behavior, especially for customers who rely heavily on their satisfactory
previous experience with the purchased object or the seller (Corbitt et al. 2003). Thus, previous
behavior is essential for explaining future behavior when a customer plans to renew or switch
Pre behaviour Post behaviour
Figure 2.2: Summarized Behavioral Perspective Model - Foxall (2007)
The BPM developed by Foxall (2007) give a clear explanation of consumer behavior in a variety
of situations. The model has been built on defining many pre-behavior and post-behavior factors.
Pre-behavior factors are divided into behavior setting elements which include physical, temporal,
social, and contractual and, those that interact with consumers' accumulated experience which is
called 'learning history' by many scholars, specifically( Foxall and Goldsmith ,1994). This is the
phase that combines the interaction between discriminative stimuli and the consumers'
accumulated previous experience that characterizes the consumer’s situation (Foxall,
1997).Behaviour setting elements interact with a consumer’s learning history through which
he/she can assess the behavior situation based on experience of similar or previous situations
gained before involvement with the current behavior setting (Oliveira, 2008).
The post-behaviour elements have been divided into four categories: utilitarian consequences,
utilitarian punishments, informational consequences and informational punishments.The BPM
has been built as a new version of the idea that behavior might be simplified to a stimulus-
response formulation (S-R) (Kendler, 1961), and at a later stage translated as a stimuli-behavior
reinforcement (S-B-R) relationship (Foxall, 1995).
Accordingly, this study aims to investigate the second element of behavior antecedent
discriminative stimuli which is the learning history of a consumer that shapes part of the
behaviour. Thus, it is crucial to investigate customer’s experience in predicting what he/she will
buy according to the direct and indirect customer interaction with the purchased object,
especially on defecting to other alternatives .That is because a consumer’s experience includes
accumulated prior knowledge, skills and information which both directly and indirectly interact
with one another to shape future purchasing (Hwang, 2003). Also, customer experience is
illustrated as the internal and subjective responses a customer has to any direct or indirect
contacts with a company, which encompasses all facets of a supplier’s offerings. (Meyer and
Experience plays a vital role in the continuous learning process, which is known as knowledge
acquisition in choosing what to expose, interact with, and choose (Peng and Gero, 2006). This
issue has been defined as the accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct
participation in events or activities (Jain, 2003) as cited in (Kankanhalli 2006). Customers’
practical experience and knowledge relating to environment-related elements, such as specific
products or direct relationship with suppliers, is derived from a distinct output of information-
processing acquired in the relevant context such as frequency of purchasing product/service and
any other related experience such as product familiarity and involvement (Toften and Olsen
Accordingly, customers’ behaviour is shaped in terms of surrounding environment and prior
positive or negative experiences (Yoon and Nilan, 1999).
Based on this, the BPM will be useful for explaining how previous experience is employed by
marketing management to retain both contractual and non-contractual customers with respect to
many future contextual, relational and environmental considerations especially when it plays an
essential role in defining future benefits and punishments like customer defection.
2.5 Empirical studies undertaken on customer experience and customer churn
Akamal (2017) focused on exploring the drivers of Customer churn in Pakistan telecom industry.
The findings suggest that customer churn is caused by price, voice quality, spam messages,
network quality, international roaming and hidden charges.
Another research was conducted in India by Rajeswari and Ravilochanan, (2014), they claimed
that churn rates are dramatically higher in the prepaid segment and repeated efforts of
incentivizing have failed to reduce churn rates. The authors stressed on the need of developing a
proactive strategy to address churn and identification of factors which fuel the defect rate in the
prepaid segment. They also addressed the consequences of excessive churn rates, and mentioned
that consumer churn have adverse consequences on companies. Telecommunication companies
loose a great deal of revenue and price premium, attrition lead to higher cost of sales which yield
decreasing profit levels. Excessive churn rate tends to reduce referrals and lack of network
consequence future fuel consumer churn.
Thamsaranasakul ( 2008) also carried out a the study whose objectives were to identify the high
impact factors that cause customer churn of Mobile Service Provider Industry in Bangkok
Thailand,. The research results revealed that demographic profiles and some of marketing mix
factors or Company Responsiveness factors were the main causes. The collected data was
analyzed by using descriptive statistics. Hypotheses were tested by using t-test, and one-way
ANOVA at 0.05 levels of significance.
Abaidioo (2011) carried a related study to find out the extent of customer churn in MTN Ghana,
Kumasi, the causes and effects of customer churn and to develop a predictive model for churn in
the telecommunication industry. The findings were that the propensity for a customer to churn
was found to be 1.03 times which is extremely high, it was also noted that Data Mining
Techniques customer service calls, day call and international calls were the major characteristics
exhibited by the churners.
Carneiro (2009) studying customer defections from a major Brazilian newspaper publisher with
the objective to identify variables (relationship-related, geographic, socio-demographic and
loyalty-related) that might be associated with customer defection and to determine the profile of
most likely to be defectors. The finding were that applying a logistic regression model to analyze
the data ,a firm may allocate in a much more efficiently manner its efforts towards customer
churn reduction instead of spreading such efforts uniformly across its customer base and,
moreover, it might better define which types of customers to target in the first place.
Nigerians Oyeniyi and Adeyemo (2015) noted that churn has become a major problem within the
banking industry and in order to detect early warning signs in customer's behavior such as
reduced transactions, account status dormancy and take steps to prevent churn. This paper
presents a data mining model that can be used to predict which customers are most likely to
churn. The study used real-life customer records provided by a major Nigerian bank. The raw
data was cleaned, pre-processed and then analyzed using WEKA, a data mining software tool for
knowledge analysis. Simple K-Means was used for the clustering phase while a rule-based
algorithm, JRip was used for the rule generation phase. The results obtained showed that the
methods used can determine patterns in customer behaviours and help banks to identify likely
churners and hence develop customer retention modalities.
Banda (2016) noted that the pattern of churn changes over time, arising from different factors
that may be known or unknown,the complexity of these factors makes churn management
challenging. This study proposes a model that uses system dynamics, a simple yet aggressive
approach that gives important insights into managing customer churn in the telecommunication
industry. The data used was collected through surveys and interviews from seven hundred mobile
subscribers in six districts of Zambia, the three Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Zambia
Information Communication & Telecommunications Agency (ZICTA). The model uses factors
that led to customer churn between 2010 and 2015, and allows for a simulation of a forecasted
customer churn rate when mobile network operators take action and when they do not. The
results of the survey show that on average, MNOs on the Zambian telecommunication sector
experience annual churn rates between 3.73 and 9.14 percent. The model shows that if the MNOs
apply recommendations suggested in this model, annual churn rate can reduce to about 1.02
percent after twenty iterations and churn rate has the potential to soar to about 86 percent within
the same period if MNOs do not take action.
In Kenya Kirui (2013) noted that customer churn in the mobile telephony industry is a
continuous problem owing to stiff competition, new technologies, low switching costs,
deregulation by governments, among other factors. To address this issue, players in this industry
must develop precise and reliable predictive models to identify the possible churners beforehand
and then enlist them to intervention programs in a bid to retain as many customers as possible.
The findings were that customer churn prediction is plays a central role in churn management in
mobile telephony industry. In order to reduce the various costs associated with customer churn, it
is imperative that mobile service providers deploy churn predictive models that can reliably
identify customers who are about to leave. After the possible churners are identified, intervention
strategies should be put in place with the aim of retaining as many customers as possible.
Mandina and Karisambudzi (2014) took a post-positivism approach in order to uncover the truth
about the effectiveness of customer retention strategies in reducing attrition in the Zimbabwean
Airline industry. A sample size of 200 business class travelers on the
Harare/Johannesburg/Harare route and 40 employees from four airlines was used. Simple
random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used as authors took advantage of
respondents conveniently located and willing to participate in the survey. Questionnaires and
semi-structured interviews were used as research instruments. Findings revealed that customer
retention strategies if fully implemented, result in effective retention as customers want airlines
to provide efficient frequent flyer programs, practice service recovery and fulfil the promises
made to customers through reliable schedules and lucrative in-flight services as well as the need
to settle claims on time. The industry may continue to take advantage of the current frequent flier
retention strategies and also explore other strategies like promise fulfillment and service recovery
in maximizing retention.
Basera (2014), noted that concentration on customer acquisition has since seen its prevalence
slowly fading into thin air as firms are now battling to retain customers who have become highly
sensitive to various marketing stimuli in highly competitive markets. The study therefore sought
to examine the extent to which the three major Fast Food retailers in Masvingo used loyalty
programs as the means and end for harnessing customer retention in highly competitive markets
such as perfect competition. The major findings indicated that retailers in this sector least use
loyalty programs to retain customers and that there is need for firms in perfect competition
markets to use loyalty programs so as to maximize customer retention.
In a study by Anaman (2010) describes a strategic approach to the use of Information Systems as
a means of improving Customer Experience. Using Action Research in a mobile
telecommunications operator, a Customer Experience Monitoring and Action Response model
(CEMAR) was developed that evaluates disparate customer data, residing across many systems,
builds experience profiles and suggests appropriate contextual actions where experience is poor.
The model provides value in identifying issues, understanding them in the context of the overall
Customer Experience (over time) and dealing with them appropriately. The novelty of the
approach is the synthesis of data analysis with an enhanced understanding of Customer
Experience which is developed implicitly, in real-time and in advance of any instigation by the
customer. The finding was that retaining high-value and profitable customers is a major strategic
objective for many companies. In mature mobile phone markets where growth has slowed, the
defection of customers from one network to another has intensified and is strongly fueled by
poor Customer Experience.
Another related research was carried by Juthamard and Tocquer (2012) whose objective was to
investigate the relationship between customer experience, brand image and customer loyalty in
telecommunication services in Singapore, the findings reveal that different telecommunication
brands provide significant different customer experiences and have different images.
Parasuraman (2008) provided an overview of the existing literature on customer experience and
expanded on it to examine the creation of a customer experience from a holistic perspective, a
proposal of a conceptual model, in which a discussion of the determinants of customer
experience was put forward.
Another related study was done in Thailand by Wijaithammarit and Taechamaneestit (2012) the
aim of this study was to examine the impact of customer experience management components
that affected customer , the study found that customer experience management components had
some influences over loyalty behavior i.e. increased purchase, cross-buying, up-buying, re-
buying, word-of-mouth, and share of wallet through affective experience, cognitive experience,
and customer satisfaction and customer loyalty had highest correlation coefficient which
represented a strategy resulting in a win- win value exchange between the retailer and its
Thndieki (2011) undertook another related study that sought to establish the effect of the
customer experience strategy on the performance the study indeed found out that the
performance of the company, as measured by the key performance indicators, has improved
since the inception of the strategy in 2008. The growth of customer numbers, loans and deposits
and profit before tax was phenomenal, the research a descriptive case study used both primary
and secondary data. Primary data was collected from senior managers of the bank by way of an
open ended interview. This was the most appropriate method of collecting data as it involved the
key people involved in the implementation and monitoring of the strategy. The study also found
out that with the changing business environment, progress in service industry and the focus on
customer service, has forced the bank to change their focus from customer acquisition to
customer retention by building relationships with customers and adding more value to goods and
2.6 Research gap analysis
•There is limited empirical work directly related to customer experience and the customer
churn in Zimbabwe and indeed the world over as supported by Abaidoo (2011), as the
researcher noted that little emphasis has been placed on how customer experience does
influence customer churn.
•Attention in customer relationship management has mainly centered on customers’ value
creation for ﬁrms, with a focus on metrics such as customer lifetime value instead of value
creation for customers (Kumar and Reinartz ,2016) so the researcher has chosen customer
experience as a tool of value creation for customers.
•Customer experience is a fairly new concept with limited literature The Marketing Science
Institute,(2016) views customer experience as one of its most important research
challenges in the coming years likely because of the increasing number and complexity of
customer touch points and the belief that creating strong, positive experiences within the
customer journey will result in improvements to the bottom line by improving
performance in the customer journey . Therefore the researcher seek to contribute to the
said new concept, through looking at how customer experience may lead customer churn.
•Most studies conducted on customer churn (hung, et al., 2006), (Lawrence and francis,
2006), (Risselada, et al ,2010) and( Oghojafor, et al., 2012) focused on developing
extensive models for calculating, predicting churn not identifying and managing the
causes of churn, this study will seek to study the causes of customer churn and how to
•Research on customer churn has mostly focused on the service sector especially in
industries such as telecommunications (Banda, 2016), the financial and insurance
(Oyeniyi and Adeyemo 2015) . Therefore the researcher would like to extend the study of
customer churn to non–service sector by looking at the cement manufacturing sector
through a study of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe.
•Most studies on customer churn and customer experience focused on B2C (Rajeswari and
Ravilochanan 2014), therefore is the aim of the researcher to contribute literature and
knowledge in the B2B situation as Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe is mostly into a B2B
relation with its customers.
•The researcher have seen that most studies that have looked into either customer churn or
customer experience been either quantitative or mixed methods in approach (Nicholson,
2012) thus this study shall be purely qualitative approach as it is the most appropriate in
studying a phenomenon which is based on perception feelings emotions and experiences
which is apparent in the study of customer churn and its link to customer experience. As
recently as the mid-1990s Lincoln wrote that the whole area of qualitative inquiry was still
emerging and being defined, it is the researcher ` mission to be one of those that will
contribute in this new inquiry.
•Time gap- most studies on customer churn or customer experience now lacks relevance as
they were done a two or more decades ago before the growth of customer experience and
with authors now referring customer experience as the new competitive battle field or the
new marketing as advocated by (Cannon, 2016) so the researcher find it relevant to study
customer experience in the context of customer churn.
•Pine and Gilmore (1999) have emphasized that it is important for firms to focus on
customer experience, claiming that differentiation strategies based on service and price are
no longer sufficient. However, direct empirical evidence supporting these claims is scarce,
therefore it is the aim of the researcher to contribute to the evidence through a study
linking customer experience and customer churn.
•Needless to say unlike past related researches which where sectorial this research will
focus on only one company in the cement sector that is Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe. This
is because the researcher believes that a phenomenon like customer churn cannot be
generalized for all cement manufactures as they have different customer experiences.
Therefore a more in- depth findings about customer experience and customer churn is
bound to come up ,referred to as conceptual refinements with a higher validity
level( Starman ,2013)
3.0 Research Methodology and Design
3.1 Research philosophy
This study will adopt the phenomenological perspective within qualitative research,
phenomenology is a broad philosophical movement emphasizing the study of conscious
experience. Phenomenology therefore is a critical reflection on conscious experience, rather than
subconscious motivation, and is designed to uncover the essential invariant features of that
experience (Goulding, 2005). Streubert and Carpenter (2002) noted that phenomenology is a
science whose purpose is to describe particular phenomena, or the appearance of things, as lived
experiences, therefore the phenomenon under study here is customer churn.
The researcher chose the phenomenological perspective because of its characters which
suits well the research problem, these are;
•Phenomenological perspective advocates the use of qualitative methods for data
gathering and analysis. As such the researcher had made a decision to use qualitative
research because of the nature of research problem which require an in-depth
understanding of the reactions, perceptions, and feelings of an individual or group of
individuals on customer churn as the researcher looking to understand the prevailing
phenomenon purely beyond quantitative details. Thus the researcher will interview
customers and managers to understand how customer churn happened and in the context
of customer experience at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe.
•Phenomenology is inductive refers to an occurrence or experience in this case customer
churn, logical refers to a path toward understanding. So, we have an occurrence and a
path (let’s go with an individual’s experience), which leads to a way of looking at the
phenomenon from an individual’s point of view. So in this study it is the customers that
are the participants that should give the researcher a clear, first hand picture, with no firm
presumptions of how customer experiences are or are not relevant to customer churn thus
becoming an inductive approach with a framework developed and defined as new
findings are uncovered during the fieldwork (Bryman and Bell, 2007).
•The approach argues that reality is socially constructed and given meaning by people
through interpretation in this case it’s the customer at Lafarge Cement customers who
have a thorough understanding of the phenomenon under study which is customer churn
and they equally have the information and experience of how customer experience may be
affecting customer churn.
•A phenomenological research study is a study that attempts to understand people's
perceptions, perspectives and understandings of a particular situation (or phenomenon).
Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is an approach to psychological
qualitative research with an idiographic focus, which means that it aims to offer insights
into how a given person, in a given context, makes sense of a given phenomenon in this
case how Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe customers makes senses of customer churn in the
context of customer experience .
•Customer churn as a phenomenon can be best studied using phenomenology as the
purpose of the phenomenological approach is to illuminate the specific, to identify
phenomena through how they are perceived by the actors in a situation. In the human
sphere this normally translates into gathering ‘deep’ information and perceptions through
inductive, qualitative methods such as interviews, discussions and participant observation,
and representing it from the perspective of the research participant(s) who are customers
•Phenomenology is concerned with the study of experience from the perspective of the
individual, ‘bracketing’ taken-for-granted assumptions and usual ways of perceiving
things in this case a deep understanding of why customers terminating their relation with
Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe .
3.1.1 Knowledge Philosophy
According to Blanche and Durrheim (1999) philosophies are all encompassing systems of
interrelated practice and thinking that define for investigators, the nature of their inquiry along
the three dimensions of ontology, epistemology and axiology. In support (Krauss ,2005) argues
that ontology involves the philosophy of reality, epistemology addresses how we come to know
that reality while axiology is role that our own values play in all stages of the research process
and methodology identifies the particular practices used to attain knowledge of it. According to
Guba (1999) phenomenological research philosophy gave rise to issues of ontology,
epistemology and axiology.), paradigms can be characterized through their: ontology (What is
reality?), epistemology (How do you know something?)Axiology your values as a
researcher, and methodology (How do go about finding out?). These characteristics create a
holistic view of how one view knowledge
3.1.2 Ontology issues and how they will affect the research study
Durrheim (1999) and Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2006) argue that ontology specifies the
nature or essence of the social phenomena or reality being investigated, hence pure reality
cannot be known as it can only be interpreted through our senses and experiences resulting in
differing perspectives of reality. According to Cohen and Manion (1994) this leads to
questions of whether social reality is external to the individual, that is, imposing itself on
his/her consciousness from without or whether it is the product of the individual’s
consciousness. Is reality an objective nature, or the result of individual cognition? Is it given
‘out there’ in the world, or is it created by one’s mind? As a result everyone has his/her own
interpretation of reality that emerges from one’s epistemology
The ontological assumptions of this phenomenology study are that
•Realism is subjective thus holds that social phenomena are created from the perceptions
and consequent actions of those social actors concerned with their existence meaning that
that the social world is subjective; essentially a product of one’s mind.
•Research can never be objectively observed from the outside. Rather it must be observed
from inside through the direct experience of the people. (Cohen et al, 2007).Therefore the
researcher being also an insider in the Lafarge Cement will seek the experiences of the
participants in the phenomenon which are customers and managers to get their direct
experience of the effect of customer experience on customer churn
•Reality is indirectly constructed based on individual interpretation and is subjective thus
people interpret and make their own meaning of events thus social reality is seen by
multiple people and these multiple people interpret events differently leaving multiple
perspectives of an incident which the researcher being the main research instrument
should interpret and discern meaning and themes from the and come up with a theory if
possible pertaining to the problem under study.
•Events are distinctive and cannot be generalized therefore the researcher will look at
customer churn and its relation to customer experience at Lafarge Cement only and will
not try to generalize it to other cement manufactures this is supported by Gomm,
Hammersley and Foster (2013) noting that transferability can be pursued only with
caution since, as recognize, it appears to belittle the importance of the contextual factors
which impinge on the case.
•There are multiple perspectives on one incident which is customer churn as a result the
researcher will endeavor to seek information from all customers groups at Lafarge as well
as managers so as to come up with a holistic understanding of the phenomenon under
•Furthermore, uniform causal links that can be established in the study of natural science
like customer experience and customer churn cannot be made in the world of the
classroom where teachers and learners construct meaning. Therefore, the role of the
scientist in the phenomenology paradigm is to, “understand, explain, and demystify social
reality through the eyes of different participants”
3.1.3 Epistemology issues and how they will affect this research study
Epistemological assumptions concern the very bases of knowledge, its nature and forms, how it can
be acquired and how it is communicated to other human beings (Burrell and Morgan as noted in
Cohen and Manion, 1994). Epistemology, as viewed by Blanche and Durrheim (1999) specifies the
nature of the relationship between the researcher and what can be known thus showing the
researcher’s philosophical orientation.
According to Trochin and Krauss (2005) epistemology is the philosophy of knowledge or how we
come to know. Cohen and Manion (1994) explore whether it is possible to identify and communicate
the nature of knowledge as being hard, real and capable of being transmitted in tangible form or
whether ‘knowledge’ is of a softer, more subjective, and spiritual or even transcendental kind, based
on experience and insight of a unique and essentially personal nature.
The epistemological assumption in these instances determine extreme positions on whether
knowledge is something that has to be acquired on one hand, or is something which has to be
personally experienced on the other (Cohen and Manion, 1994).
Our epistemological orientation enables us to either see knowledge as absolute and separate from the
researcher and linked to a knowable external reality or to see it as part of the researcher and relative
to the individual’s experiences that are associated with his/her environment. It is how researchers
align themselves in this particular debate that affects how they go about uncovering knowledge of
social behaviour in their research studies. The researcher’s theoretical lenses play an important role
in the choice of methods because the underlying belief system of the researcher.
Epistemological Assumptions guiding this study
• Knowledge is gained through a strategy that “respects the differences between people and the
objects of natural sciences and therefore requires the social scientist to grasp the subjective meaning
of social action (Bryman as cited in Grix, 2004).
• Knowledge is gained inductively to create a theory as such the researcher might come up with a
Theory only at the end of the study
• Knowledge arises from particular situations and is not reducible to simplistic interpretation , thus
Epistemology concerns what constitutes acceptable knowledge in a field of study and argue that
the social world of business and management is far too complex to lend itself to theorizing by
definite ‘laws’ in the same way as the physical sciences
• Knowledge is gained through personal experience (Bryman as cited in Grix, 2004) therefore the
researcher will carry out interviews and observations in a bid to discover the effect of customer
experience on customer churn first hand.
3.1.4 Axiology issues and how they will affect impact this research study
Axiology is a branch of philosophy that studies judgments about values. Although this may
include values we possess in the fields of aesthetics and ethics, it is the process of social enquiry
with which the researcher is concerned with here. The role that our own values play in all stages
of the research process is of great importance if the research results are to be credible. An
interesting idea which comes from Heron’s (1996) discussion of axiology is the possibility of
writing own statement of personal values in relation to the topic under study as an employee of
Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe thus an interested part, unlike quantitative researcher, that apply
statistical methods for establishing validity and reliability of research findings, qualitative
researchers aim to design and incorporate methodological strategies to ensure the
‘trustworthiness and transferability of the findings as shall be explained later .
3.2. Qualitative Research methodology
Creswell (2003) identifies three methodologies that can be used to collect data; quantitative,
qualitative and mixed method, the researcher opted for qualitative methodology as customer
experience and customer churn being a social phenomenon that is yet to be empirically verified,
a qualitative approach was the most relevant.
Qualitative research is viewed as a collection of approaches to inquiry all of which rely on
verbal, visual, auditory and olfactory data (Ramphele, 2012). In support MacCleod (2010) as
sighted by Chindanya (2002) says qualitative methodology is defined as a process of systematic
inquiry into the meanings which people employ to make sense of their experience and guide their
actions. Veirra and Pollock in Chindanya (2002) also noted that the qualitative methodology is
intended to convey the flavor of real-life experience of participants. Qualitative research means
any kind of research that produces findings not arrived at by means of quantification Strauss &
The researcher choose a qualitative research methodology for a number of reasons mainly
•Qualitative research is concerned with the 'why' and the 'how', and seeks to grasp what is
actually happening rather than just regulations and norms. Needless to say my main
objectives is to determine why customers are switching from Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe
in the context of customer experience.
•Cognitive, emotional, physical, sensorial, spiritual, and social elements that are inherent in
the study of customer churn and customer experience cannot be quantified but can only be
observed and interpreted qualitatively as such De Keyser et al. (2015) describe customer
experience as “comprised of the cognitive, emotional, physical, sensorial, spiritual, and
social elements that mark the customer’s director indirect interaction with other market
actors in essence, the raw data contained in all direct or indirect interactions that then
come together as an overall experience.
•It makes it possible to identify the needs and anxieties of the persons involved and unlock
the real experience of others; it explores the concerns of all interested parties affected in
one way or another by the phenomenon under review in this case customer churn and the
affected being both customers and managers of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe
• Qualitative research distinguishes between what people say they have to do the rules,
what they say they do the norms, and what they actually do reality as such in addition to
semi structured interviews and focus groups interview the researcher will also use
observation to ascertain this reality as to the effect of customer experience on customer
•It takes account of the constant interaction between different points of views and processes
,and accepts contradictions as such the researcher will establish six focus groups that
brings out this interactions and contradictions that will bring about the true relation
between customer experience and customer churn
•The qualitative approach provides for the study of persons and essential elements as a
single whole and not as variables. Although 12 mangers and some18 customers will be
interviewed separately using one to one semi structured interviews the aim will not be to
explore their post experience behavior link to customer churn as individuals but as a group
of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe customers and as a whole.
•The aim of understanding lies at the heart of the qualitative methodology research with a
far greater emphasis on processes and the significance of attitudes, points of views and
actions In this study attitudes, points of views and actions of the customers and managers
regarding customer experience and churn than on their frequency which is the sphere of
•Qualitative research is a fundamentally interpretive inquiry process that is based on a
naturalistic approach where a researcher develops a complex, holistic picture, analyses
words, reports detailed views of informants and conducts the study in a natural setting
Creswell,(2007). The goal of qualitative research is to explore and understand a central
phenomenon in its real-situation in this situation a case study of Lafarge Cement
•The use of a qualitative methodology to research studies relies on the data production
methods that are flexible and sensitive to the social context that such data is derived from,
without losing any of the standardization or structure, and on data analysis methods that
presuppose the understanding of the complexity that is entailed onto the details (Mason
and Pauleen,2003).This flexibility and sensitivity is essential when researching customer
experience and customer churn because the two largely depends on perception, emotions
Qualitative analysis has been invariably criticized. In writing text, Silverman (2001) argues that
words are too ephemeral and insubstantial to be subject to scientific analysis and that textual
analysis should be left to literary critics! The researcher argues that social scientists should
concentrate on definite social phenomena like actions and the structures in which they are
implicated. In fact, text is sometimes said to be background to real analysis. Nonetheless, it was
the most appropriate methodology for this kind of study. This is because we have no prior
knowledge of this relationship between customer experience and customer churn and no theory
has been suggested
3.3 Research design
Research design provides a framework for collection and analysis of data (Bryman and Bell,
2003) Strauss (1995) defines a research design as a plan to be followed to answer the research
objectives or framework to solve the objective problem. It thus acts as a blueprint for a study as
it guides data collection and analysis. Within the context of marketing research, the research
design is defined as a master plan that specifies the methods and procedures for collecting and
analysing the needed information (Zikmund and Babin, 2007). Hair, et al. (2006) support this
view and define research design as a master plan of the methods used to collect and analyse the
data. Determining the most appropriate research design is a function of the information research
objective and the specific information requirements. The researcher therefore opted for
3.3.1 Exploratory research
Exploratory research is concerned with discovering the general nature of a problem and the
related variables (Tull & Hawkins, 1987). Exploratory research is characterized by a high degree
of flexibility which is a pre-requisite of qualitative research, the strategy is to follow each clue or
idea as far as seems profitable. Although any approach to data collection and analysis can be
used, exploratory research tends to rely on secondary data, convenience or judgment samples,
small-scale surveys or simple experiments, case analyses and subjective evaluation of the results.
Hair, et al. (2006) described exploratory research as a research that focuses on collecting either
secondary or primary data and using an unstructured formal or informal procedures to interpret
it.. The choice of the exploratory research design was due to the need to explore customer
experience and customer churn relationship through information and clues gathered from
customers and managers of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe. This is supported by Zikmund and
Babin (2007) defining exploratory research as research conducted to clarify ambiguous situations
or discover ideas that may be potential business opportunities.
3.3.2 Exploratory research: Case study
According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) a case is a phenomenon of some sort
occurring in a bonded context, which can be an individual, a small group or a nation. Walsh
(2001) further states that a case study involves an empirical investigation on a particular
contemporary phenomenon in its real life context. Descombe (2008) also points out that the case
study approach offers more opportunities to the researcher to unravel the complexities of a given
phenomenon on its natural setting in this case customer churn. Researcher Yin (2006) defines
the case study research method as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary
phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context
are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are available,
Bell (1999) states that a case study approach is particularly appropriate for individual researchers
because it gives an opportunity for one aspect of a problem to be studied in some depth within a
limited time scale. Yin (2009) noted that a case can be something relatively concrete such as an
organization, a group or an individual, or something more abstract such as an event, a
management decision or a change programme.
Other common features of case study include
Cases are studied in their real-life context; understanding how the case influences and is
influenced by its context is often of central interest to case researchers.
Cases are naturally occurring in the sense that they are not manipulated as in an experiment.
The use of multiple sources of data including interviews, observation, archival documents and
even physical artefacts to allow triangulation of findings improves trustworthiness.
When discussing the identification and selection of the population of the investigation it is
important to remember that there are two main aspects, namely the target population and the
accessible population. The target population is that vast section of the society or objects or
phenomena to which the researcher would like to generalize the outcome, the target population
of this study is 864 customers and 16 management team according to CRM customer bases and
Human resources departments of Lafarge. Total population under study is therefore 880
In phenomenology sampling is choosing informants (Cohen et al, 2000) and what is sampled is
clearly people. A sample subset of the target population from which information is gathered to
estimate something about the population.
220.127.116.11 Sampling unit
A sample unit is a basic unit containing the elements of the population to be sampled. The
sampling unit in this study comprises of former and current customers, and managers, of Lafarge
Cement Zimbabwe who have intimate knowledge on the customer churn as well as customer
18.104.22.168 Sample Frame
A sample frame is the physical material from which samples are chosen, is a type of record in
which research units and /or their attributes are registered. The sample frame for this study will
be customer data bases obtained from the Marketing departments and management data bases
obtained from the Human Resources Departments of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe.
22.214.171.124 Sample Size.
Sample Size is referred to as, the number of elements or units of the population to be sampled. A
sample size is the part of the population who really participate in the study. It refers to how many
people should be interviewed or observed in this case .Whereas quantitative research requires
sufficiently large sample sizes to produce statistically precise quantitative estimates, smaller
samples are used in qualitative research. This is because the general aim of sampling in
qualitative research is to acquire information that is useful for understanding the complexity,
depth, variation, or context surrounding a phenomenon, rather than to represent populations as in
quantitative research. According to Merriam (2009) the commonly proposed criterion for
determining when sufficient sample size has been reached in qualitative research is saturation
however, this can be problematic given researchers’ tendency to arbitrarily claim saturation in
justifying premature closure of their data collection activities
Qualitative methods authors generally agree that it is impossible to specify sample size in
advance of a study for example (Colizzi, 1978) and (Glaser and Strauss, 1967)
Sample Size for managers
Colaizzi, (1978) suggested that for phenomenology philosophy around 12 participants for
interviews is enough regarding the number of subjects selected, this depends on various factors
that must be tried out in each research project. The intensive nature of the study; whether
multiple samples are required, the inclusion of a control sample for instance; and the resources
available to conduct the study, are also important for determining sample size( Ritchie and Lewis
In this study the researcher used 12 subjects namely commercial director, marketing manager
,communication manager, human resources manager, sales manager ,production manager, supply
chain manager, customer relations manager, IT manager. Finance manager, PR manager and
Sample Size for Customers
Total of 38 customers will be selected, 20 customers for 2 focus groups to be conducted at the
Agricultural show ground Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe stand and 18 customer interviews.
The researcher opted for 2 groups of ten customers to cater for drop-offs and continuity of the
The researcher will also carry out 18 semi structured interviews with customers to bring the
overall number of interviews to 30 as supported by (Colaizzi 1978
3.3.5 Sampling Procedure
Sampling procedure are the means by which sample elements are selected from the targeted
populations after major decisions concerning the sampling unit and sample sizes have been
made. The researcher will use non probability sampling methods
126.96.36.199 Non- Probability Sampling
Is an approach in which some units of the population have no chance of being selected or where
the probability of selection cannot be accurately determined? The researcher employed purposive
or judgmental sampling and convenient sampling techniques to select research participants.
Those techniques are aspects of non-probability sampling (Maxwell (2002)
188.8.131.52 Purposive or judgmental sampling
Patton (2015) noted that the logic and power of purposeful sampling lie in selecting information-
rich cases for in-depth study. Information-rich cases are those from which one can learn a great
deal about issues of central importance to the purpose of the inquiry. Patton (2015) further
specifies that, according to his use of the term, purposeful sampling applies specifically to
qualitative research. In support Chiromo (2006) noted that the sort of sampling done in
qualitative research is usually purposeful sampling rather than random sampling. This will
involve the researcher handpicking the participants to be included in the sample thus researcher’s
judgment of their
184.108.40.206 The convenient sampling technique
Will be used for the selection of 18 customers who participate in semi –structured one –on- one
interviews. Visits will be made to Lafarge outlets and customer will be approached and asked
questions with the help of an interview guide, the idea was that, all Lafarge customers are
qualified to take part in the research as customer experience and customer churn are about
interactions and perceptions of the customer and the whole organization.
3.3.6 Data generation methods
The researcher will use semi-structured interviews focus groups interviews, document reviews
220.127.116.11 Semi-structured interviews
Cohen and Manion (1989) define an interview as a conversation initiated by the interviewer for
the specific purpose of obtaining research relevant information and focused by him on content
specified by research objectives of systematic description, prediction or explanation. Borg &
Gall (1983) say an interview involves the collection of data through direct verbal interaction
Kandall in Bogdan and Biklen (1992) further argue that even when an interview guide is
employed, qualitative interviews offer the interviewer considerable latitude to pursue a range of
topics and offer the participant a chance to shape the content of the interview, Bogdan and
Biklen’s (1992) noted that when the interviewer controls the content too rigidly; when the
participant cannot tell his or her story personally in his or her own words, the interview falls out
of the qualitative range. All this was taken cognizance of in this research. In keeping with
Bogdan and Biklen’s (1992) thinking, the semi structured interview was employed in this study.
The researcher intends to interview 30 participants 18 customers and 12 managers, In this study a
semi structured interview schedule was chosen because it has the advantage of being reasonably
objective, while still; permitting a more thorough opinion and remain appropriate for studying
customer experience and in customer churn (Best and Kahn1993). The purpose of semi
structured interviewing is not to put things in someone’s mind but to access the perspective of the
person being interviewed (Patton 1990). It provides a desirable combination of objectivity and
depth and often permits gathering valuable data that could not be successfully obtained by any
18.104.22.168 Focus Groups interviews
To get more in-depth information on perceptions, insights, attitudes, experiences, or beliefs.
Focus groups are useful for gathering subjective perspectives from key stakeholders. Focus
groups are the most appropriate method to be used for this study as the focus group method is an
interview with several people on a specific topic or issue (Brymananmd Bell, 2007). Focus
groups are typically approached with a theme or focus in mind, and questions are posed to the
group with a view of each participant sharing their thoughts, views and opinions. Advantages of
using this method can mean that the dynamics of the group discussion could lead the individuals
to define business problems and innovative ways and stimulate creative ideas for their solution.
Marketers often use focus groups to gain real life opinions on product offerings and innovations,
allowing researchers to receive valuable input resulting in modifications of offerings.
The researcher will create 6 focus groups of ten participants as supported by Colaizzi (1978) who
suggests that in qualitative research create groups that average 5-10 people each. Nevertheless, it
should not be ignored that a criticism of focus groups is that they can also often offer biased
opinions however through bracketing techniques the researcher will solve this critic.
22.214.171.124 Document review
Virtually any documents that supports the questions asked was used, print media electronic
media email, blogs, user Web pages, data bases, company magazines, diaries, compositions,
annual reports journals articles and books themes or other academic work, books, periodicals,
bulletins, syllabi, court decisions, pictures, films and cartoons and even social network profiles
have extended the data qualitative researchers can collect and analyze. The greatest challenge
offered by document analysis can be sifting through all of the data to make general observations
(Best and Kahn (1993). Documents are an important source of data in many areas of
investigation. When document analysis is used, current documents and issues are the foci. The
analysis is concerned with the explanation of the status of some phenomenon at a particular time
or its development over a period of time.
The researcher will use a variety of methods for observing, including taking general notes, using
checklists, or time-and-motion logs. The considerable time it takes for even a short observation
deters many researchers from using this method. Also, the researcher risks his or her
interpretation when taking notes, which is accepted by qualitative researchers, but meets
resistance from post-positivists. Observations are designed to generate data on activities and
behaviors, and are generally more focused on setting than other methods. Researcher will use
observations to verify the information that will have been generated through interviews and
3.3.7 Instrumentation – data collection instruments
This section will provided detailed information on the research tools adopted and the data
collection techniques which will be used, that is interview guide, focus group guide and
observations guide which gathered relevant data
126.96.36.199 Interview guide
The interview guide will enable the researcher to obtain data required to meet specific objectives
of the study and to standardize the situation to some degree (Borg and Gall 1989). The interview
guide lists the questions that are to be asked during the interview in the desired sequence and it
provides guidelines to the researcher regarding what to say at the opening and closing of the
interview. Although the questions are usually asked as they appear in the guide, the interviewer
has the latitude to pursue a range of topics.
According to Bogdon and Bricklen (1992) the important thing here is not to allow one-self or
researcher to control the content so rigidly that the interviewee fails to tell his/her story in his/her
own words. In this research the interview guide was used in the context of the remarks made
188.8.131.52 The focus group guide
The idea of a discussion guide for focus groups is to simply act as guide or prompt for
discussions and not a questionnaire (Housden, 2007). The design of the guide was put together
with the research questions in mind, ensuring that the prompt questions covered all areas.
Questions were designed to cover all five research objectives and questions
This also aided the coding process later on when analyzing the data which the researcher termed
explicitation of data. The guide also highlighted timings with distinct stages or agenda points
which needed to be covered, such as introduction, discussion phase, and summary as advised by
(Bryman and Bell 2007).
184.108.40.206 Observations guide
A good guide can include:
A list of the specific behaviors being observed. These can include verbal and physical behaviors
which indicate the outcome.
Examples of what a mild and a strong version of the behaviors look like.
A place to log how often the behavior is observed, with space to make qualitative notes
describing how the behavior was exhibited.
No more than five things to observe at group level.
Indication of when the observation should be performed.
The duration of the observation.
3.3.8 Data collection or generation procedure
220.127.116.11 Semi structured interviews
Appointments will be made with the different portfolio managers using the phone the researcher
foresees difficulties on agreeing on dates and time patients will be of essence to secure the
During the actual face to face interviews, the principal researcher will have two research
assistant who will help in recording the data.
The personal oral in-depth interviews, involving face-to-face contact were useful as they
revealed a lot about the individual. They were able to elicit underlying feelings and motivations
of the people under study
The interviews will be flexibly in structure the responses and the interviews will last for less than
30-40 minutes each.
No appointments will be made with the customers and also the researcher foresees difficulties on
agreeing on dates and time as such convenient sampling will be used.
Visits will be made to Lafarge outlets and customer will be approached and asked questions with
the help of an interview guide, the idea was that, all Lafarge customers are qualified to take part
in the research as customer experience and customer churn are about interactions and perceptions
of the customer.
Face to Face interviews will a will be widely used in this study to gather data through
conversations in which roles of interviewer and respondent continuously change. The method
will attempt to provide valid measures and reliable data from respondents through face to face
The interviews will be flexibly in structure the responses and the interviews will last for less than
20-30 minutes each.
18.104.22.168 Focus groups
Appointments will be made with customers, as a precaution the researcher will plan for ten
participants in each group for continuity in case of drop offs.
All the focus group sessions will be recorded supplemented with written notes which recorded
gestures and the interaction and dynamics of the groups. The focus groups interviews will be
done at Lafarge Agricultural Show Stand, and a fellow PHD researcher will be the moderator
Assistant Moderator who will not participate in the discussion will help through help with
equipment & refreshments, arrange the room, welcoming participants as they arrive, Sit them in
designated location, taking notes throughout the discussion, operate recording equipment, and
give feedback on analysis and reports. Both methods were chosen as to simply rely on one
method would not have recorded fully the process and interaction between participants.
If note taking was applied solely, difficulties would have been met to note down verbatim each
participant’s responses thus resulting in important points being missed. This is especially the case
if conversations are free flowing; there is also the chance of misinterpreting the notes.
By audio recording sessions this will eliminate this risk. Note taking as a supplement allows for
one to audit the whole process, factors or variables in the location that may have affected
participants responding. It is also worth noting that, as a researcher, it is interesting to record the
way people say things (Bryman and Bell (2007). The recordings will be later fully transcribed.
Time spend will depend on proceedings however a minimum of 2 hours will be required for each
Visits will be made to Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe outlets and customer sites to verify the
information that will have been generated through interviews and documents analysis, the
researcher will use a variety of methods for observing, including taking general notes, using
checklists, and time-and-motion logs. It is expected that each observation session will take an
average of 3 hours
3.3.9 Explication of the data (Data analysis)
The heading ‘data analysis’ is deliberately avoided by the researcher here because Hycner (1999)
cautions that analysis has dangerous connotations for phenomenology. The “term analysis
usually means a breaking into parts and therefore often means a loss of the whole phenomenon
whereas explicitation implies an investigation of the constituents of a phenomenon while keeping
the context of the whole.
Hycner’s (1999) explicitation process that the researcher will follow include the following;
1. Bracketing and phenomenological reduction.
No position is taken either for or against, the researcher’s own presuppositions and not allowing
the researcher’s meanings and interpretations or theoretical concepts to enter the unique world of
the informant/participant (Creswell, 1998). Here refers to the bracketing of the researcher’s
personal views or preconceptions Holloway (1997).
Hycner (1999) recommend that the researcher listens repeatedly to the audio recording of each
interview to become familiar with the words of the interviewee/ informant in order to develop a
holistic sense. Zinker (1978) explains that the term phenomenological implies a process, which
emphasizes the unique own experiences of research participants. The here and now dimensions
of those personal experiences gives phenomena existential immediacy.
2. Delineating units of meaning.
This is a critical phase of explicating the data, in that those statements that are seen to illuminate
the researched phenomenon are extracted or ‘isolated (Creswell, (1998).The researcher is
required to make a substantial amount of judgement calls while consciously bracketing her/his
own presuppositions in order to avoid inappropriate subjective judgements.
The list of units of relevant meaning extracted from each interview is carefully scrutinized and
the clearly redundant units eliminated Moustakas (1994). To do this the researcher will consider
the literal content, the number and the significance of times a meaning was mentioned and also
how non-verbal or para-linguistic cues it was stated. The actual meaning of two seemingly
similar units of meaning might be different in terms of weight or chronology of events (Hycner,
3. Clustering of units of meaning to form themes.
With the list of non-redundant units of meaning in hand the researcher will again bracket her or
his presuppositions in order to remain true to the phenomenon. By rigorously examining the list
of units of meaning the researcher will elicit the essence of meaning of units within the holistic
context. Hycner (1999) remarks that this calls for even more judgement and skill on the part of
the researcher called creative insight.
Clusters of themes are typically formed by grouping units of meaning together (Creswell, 1998)
and identifying significant topics, also called units of significance (Sadala and Adorno,
2001).Both Holloway (1997) and Hycner (1999) emphasize the importance of the researcher
going back to the recorded interview and forth to the list of non-redundant units of meaning to
derive clusters of appropriate meaning. Often there is overlap in the clusters, which can be
expected, considering the nature of human phenomena.
By interrogating the meaning of the various clusters, central themes are determined which
expresses the essence of these clusters. Coffey and Atkinson (1996) and King (1994) remark that
many qualitative analyses can be supported by a number of personal computer software packages
that have been developed since the 1980s. However, there is no one software package that will
do the analysis in itself (Coffey and Atkinson (1996) and the understanding of the meaning of
phenomena cannot be computerized because it is not an algorithmic process as noted by Kelle
(1995). Therefore the researcher decided not to use any of the software packages as supported by
Weitzman (2000) when he suggested that software will not read the text and decide what it
means; the researcher is still the main tool for analysis.
4. Summaries each interview, validate and modify.
A summary that incorporates all the themes elicited from the data gives a holistic context.
(Ellenberger as cited in Hycner (1999) noted that whatever the method used for a
phenomenological analysis the aim of the investigator is the reconstruction of the inner world of
experience of the subject. Each individual has his own way of experiencing temporality,
spatiality, materiality, but each of these coordinates must be understood in relation to the others
and to the total inner ‘world’. Once the process outlined in points 1 through 4 has been done for
all the interviews, the researcher looks for the themes common to most or all of the interviews as
well as the individual variations care must be taken not to cluster common themes if significant
differences exist. The unique or minority voices are important counterpoints to bring out
regarding the phenomenon researched.
The researcher concludes the explicitation by writing a composite summary, which will reflect
the context or ‘horizon’ from which the themes emerged Hycner, (1999) Moustakas, (1994).
5) Extracting general and unique themes from all the interviews and making a composite
According to Sadala and Adorno (2001) the researcher, at this point transforms participants`
everyday expressions into expressions appropriate to the scientific discourse supporting the
research. However, Coffey and Atkinson (1996) emphasize that good research is not generated
by rigorous data alone but going beyond the data to develop ideas.
The results of a qualitative study should include themes derived from the data, a thorough
description of the themes, and multiple perspectives from participants or detailed descriptions of
the settings or individuals to support these themes. Presenting the Data Research findings will
eventually be presented to a wider audience, typically in written format. Specific to theoretical
approach in this case phenomenology a detailed description of an experience will usher in
results. (Creswell, 2009).
3.4 Trustworthiness and transferability
Trustworthiness as Sandelowski (1993) becomes a matter of persuasion whereby the researcher
is viewed as having made those practices visible and therefore auditable. The researcher also
argued that validity in qualitative studies should be linked not to the truth or value as they are for
the positivists. Qualitative validity is based on determining if the findings are accurate from the
standpoint of the researcher, the participant or the readers (Creswell, 2009).
Lincoln and Guba (1985) noted that trustworthiness can been further divided into credibility, which
corresponds roughly with the positivist concept of internal validity; dependability, which relates
more to reliability; transferability, which is a form of external validity; and confirmability, which
is largely an issue of presentation. In carrying out this study and to foster in trustworthiness will
be guided by (Schurink, Schurink and Poggenpoel 1998) who emphasized the truth and value of
qualitative research and listed a number of means to achieve truth such strategies will include:
1. Prolonged engagement, staying in the field until data saturation occurs counters distortions
from researcher's impact on the context limits researcher biases and compensates for effects of
unusual or seasonal events.
2. Persistent observations, consistently pursue interpretations in different ways in conjunction
with a process of constant and tentative analysis, looking for multiple influences and searching
for what counts and what doesn't count.
3. Triangulation the best way to elicit the various and divergent constructions of reality that exist
within the context of a study is to collect information about different events and relationships
from different points of view for example ask different questions, seek different sources, utilize
different methods .Tuckett and Stewart (2004) note that one way of tackling the problem
stemming from sample selection bias would be to apply different techniques of data collection.
4. Referential adequacy, refers to what materials are available to document findings, tape
recorders and video tapes provides a good record but can be obtrusive.
5. Peer debriefing, this is done with a similar status colleague not with a junior or senior peer
who is outside the context of the study and who has a general understanding of the nature of the
study and with whom you can review perceptions and insights, the researcher will use fellow
6. Member Checks: is an activity that entails bringing back the results to the members of the
studied group at different levels .Guba and Lincoln (1989) regarded member checks as ‘the
single most critical technique for establishing trustworthiness .Subjects will received a copy of
the text to validate that it reflected their perspectives regarding the phenomenon that was studied
7. Negative case analysis means include negative or discrepant information; involves the
conscious search for data that don’t fit the current working hypothesis, within existing data as
well as in planned data collection.
8. Accounting for personal biases which may have influenced findings; Acknowledging biases in
sampling and ongoing critical reflection of methods to ensure sufficient depth and relevance of
data collection and explicitation.
9. Meticulous record keeping, demonstrating a clear decision trail and ensuring interpretations of
data are consistent and transparent.
10. Clarify researcher bias reflexivity; is the incorporation of the researcher’s background,
knowledge, bias, methodology, and perspective superimposed onto a study. Reflexivity
represents what the researcher knows about himself and the participants, continuously recorded
as a way to offset preconceived notions about the research which might interfere with data
analysis and interpretation (Malterud, 2001). In other words, to what extent has the researcher
worked to neutralize his or her own bias, motivation or interest as findings are reported?
11 Authenticity discussion and is strongly endorsed by many qualitative researchers (Polit and
Beck, 2011). This strategy focuses on the contextual purpose of the research, identifying the
intended value of the research. How does the research benefit participants? Are all the realities
represented to give meaning to the findings?
12. Engaging with other researchers and my supervisor to reduce research bias.
Transferability is the extent to which the findings of one study can be applied to other situations,
while the goal of qualitative research is not to produce results which are statistically
generalizable, the intent in qualitative study is to produce findings which other researchers can
interpret for similar settings, even to the point of applying the research design for their own
purposes (Trochim, 2006). Since the findings of a qualitative project are specific to a small
number of particular environments and individuals, it is impossible to demonstrate that the
findings and conclusions are applicable to other situations and populations. A contrasting view is
offered by Stake and Denscombe (2012), who suggest that, although each case may be unique, it
is also an example within a broader group and, as a result, the prospect of transferability should
not be immediately rejected. Nevertheless, such an approach can be pursued only with caution
since, as (Gomm, Hammersley and Foster 2013) recognize, it appears to belittle the importance
of the contextual factors which impinge on the case.
Bassey (2010) proposes that, if practitioners believe their situations to be similar to that
described in the study, they may relate the findings to their own positions. Lincoln and Guba
(1985) are among those who present a similar argument, and suggest that it is the responsibility
of the investigator to ensure that sufficient contextual information about the fieldwork sites is
provided to enable strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects reader
to make such a transfer. They maintain that, since the researcher knows only the “sending
context”, he or she cannot make transferability inferences. In recent years such a stance has
found favor with many qualitative researchers. After perusing the description within the research
report of the context in which the work was undertaken, readers must determine how far they can
be confident in transferring to other situations the results and conclusions presented.
To foster and promote transferability in this study the researcher used the following strategies:
•Produce a sufficient thick description of the phenomenon under investigation (Ryle ,
1949) and extended by (Geertz ,1973) to allow readers to have a proper understanding of
it, thereby enabling them to compare the instances of the phenomenon described in the
research report with those that they have seen emerge in their situations. As Lincoln and
Guba (1985) noted that by describing a phenomenon in sufficient detail, one can begin to
evaluate the extent to which the conclusions drawn are transferable to other times,
settings, situations, and people
•Conveying to the reader the boundaries of the study (Cole and Gardner, 2014). This
additional information must be considered before any attempts at transference are made.
Thus information on the following issues should be given at the outset: the number of
organizations taking part in the study and where they are based; any restrictions in the
type of people who contributed data; the number of participants involved in the
fieldwork; the data collection methods that were employed; the number and length of the
data collection sessions; the time period over which the data was collected.
•Use of purposive sampling it is the technique mainly used in naturalistic inquiry studies,
and is defined as selecting units (e.g., individuals, groups of individuals, institutions)
based on specific purposes associated with answering a research study’s questions
(Teddlie and Yu, 2007). It helps the researcher to focus on key informants, who are
particularly knowledgeable about the issues under investigation (Schutt, 2006), because
purposive sampling allows judgmental decisions about the selection of participants to be
made. In addition, it allows the researcher to decide why she or he wants to use a specific
category of informants in the study (Bernard, 2000), and it provides greater in-depth
findings than other probability samplings methods.
3.5 Delimitations of the study
The research will be carried at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe Manresa the participants being
managers according to their Human Resources Departments and customers from data bases from
their Sales department of Lafarge
Thus the study restricted itself to qualitative research methodology to explore the link between
customer experience strategy and customer churn at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe thus it shall be a
The study will cover the period January 2017 to December 2019
The study will make use secondary data sources generated between 1990 and 2019
3.6 Limitations of the study
Some of the information required for this research is regarded as confidential information so the
researcher will find it difficult to get it, the researcher will assure the respondents that the
information collected is going to be used for academic purposes only and will treated as
Now and again interviews would be interrupted so the researcher should be patient enough and
budget amble time for this interviews
Some customer organizations and managers may insist on prescribing for the researcher on who
to interview custom and practice that limits and threaten the researcher judgement on who to
The problem associated with withdrawal of some participants shall be faced but can easily be
surmounted if different methods of data collection are employed given that there would be no
need to fill replacement participants
3.7 Ethical and legal implications
Miles & Huberman (1994) ascertain that the research process can be full of ethical pitfalls.
Correct ethics have an important relationship with the trustworthiness of the data collected.
Arguably, if an interviewee does not feel the process is ethically sound, then they may feel less-
inclined to disclose information, and thus the process may be less trustworthy. Blaxter (2010)
suggests that ethical considerations should be continuing concern throughout the process of data
collection, and possibly also afterwards.For the accomplishment of research objectives, it is
essential for the researcher to eliminate all the ethical issues that may affect the validity and
credibility of the research. Throughout the study the researcher shall respect all laws of
Zimbabwe that deal with piracy and patients and intellectual property thus build trust with
To establish this trust Boeije (2010) describes the following issues as essential areas which the
researcher will take cognizance
1. Confidentiality 2. Exploitation 3. Deception 4. Protected identity
A signed confidentiality agreement shall be given to each respondent and anonymity guaranteed.
All assurances were given to all participants that their identity will not be revealed nor will any
reference to their company be printed within this research document unless agreed. This included
company logos, websites, leaflets, posters, brochures, manuals and other materials.
Complete anonymity will be given to all customers and management who will participate in this
study. To instill confidence, company and individual names of respondents will not be required
during interviews. The respondents are not endangered in any way during the course of the study
and the actual intend of the study was well be explained to all respondents.
Exploitation each interviewee will be offered the opportunity of receiving a copy of the
transcripts. Companies who participated in the research receive a copy of the framework as they
are being asked to review its usability in the final round of questions. They can then use the
framework in their own businesses if desired.
Deception to help avoid possible deception all interviewees will fully informed of the rationale
behind the research .Further as mentioned above, access to the framework will be made
available. Copies of the respondent’s transcripts will also be offered at each interview.
Protected Identity As per the confidentiality agreement, identities will be protected throughout.
Written assurances will be given to the participants that their identity would not be revealed nor
any reference to their company be printed within this research document and this included all
information through use of coding.
3.8 Organization of the study.
In Chapter 1: Background / Introduction to the study the researcher will present a summarized
outline of the study; and it will give a back ground to the research, problem statement,
objectives, research questions and significance of the study and definition of special terms. In
Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature an overview of the literature review, and the concepts
under review as a theoretical background of customer experience and its perceived contributions
to customer churn will be given, a review of empirical studies and research gap analysis will be
done in this chapter. In Chapter 3: Research Methodology and Design The research methodology
and design will be discussed. In chapter 4: Data Presentation, analysis, discussion and
Interpretation the researcher will illustrate the empirical results. This chapter will also show the
reliability and validity of the independent variables against the dependent variable and elaborates
on the data analysis methods to be used to analyze the qualitative research. Lastly in Chapter 5:
Thesis summary, Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations the researcher will summarize, as
well as conclude, the research findings. The shortcomings of the study will be stated, as well as
some recommendations for future studies
4.9 Proposed Budget
The researcher will budget $10000 for the whole project. Including
ZOU tuition $5000
Computer Supplies Computer software and hardware $500
Data Bundles $500
Rent tape recorder for interview, Video equipment $500
Telephone/Fax: Setting up appointments with respondents $500
Response follow-ups, and emergencies $500
Transport allowance $1000
Printing and Photocopying $500
4.0 Action plan-This research is expected to take up to 36 months from 1 January 2017 as
Description Due date Remarks
Stage 1: Area of interest identified 31 January 2017 Completed
Stage 2: Specific topic selected 31 July 2017 Completed
Stage 3: Proposal written and
Stage 4 Proposal defended 31 February
Stage 5 Survey of literature 31 April 2018
Stage 6 Data collection 31 December
Stage 7: Explicitation and
interpretation of collected
31 March 2019
Stage 7: Writing up First Draft 30 June 2019
Stage 8: Final draft Submitted – 31 December
Adebiyi, S. O., Oyatoye E. O., & Amole, B. B. (2015). Determinants of customers` churn
In the Nigeria telecommunication industry: An analytic hierarchy process approach,
International Journal of Economic Behaviour, 5, 81 – 104
Ahmad and Buttle, F. (2002) Customer retention management: a reflection on theory and
Practice. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 20(3), pp. 149–61.
D. Silverman, Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text and interaction,
. London: Sage, 2001.447-464
A.K. Shenton (2002) Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects
Ahn, J. H., Han, S. P.,and Lee, Y. S. (2006). Customer churn analysis: Churn determinants and
Mediation effects of partial defection in the Korean mobile telecommunications service
Alberts, L. J. (2006). Churn prediction in the mobile telecommunications industry: An
of Survival Analysis in Data Mining, Unpublished Master Thesis, and Maastricht
Barlow, J. & Moller, C (2008) A complaint is a gift (2nd ed) San Francisco California.
Basera, H.C, (2014) Maximising customer retention through loyalty programs in perfect
Competition markets: A case of fast foods retail business in Masvingo Urban Zimbabwe
Bell, E. and A. Bryman (2003). Business research methods. New York, Oxford University
Bhate, S. (2005). "An examination of the relative roles played by consumer behaviour settings
Bowes, P. (2008). Industry Customer Churn Rate increases 15 percent GeoConnexion - Pitney
Bowes Group 1, Geo: International News - 08 January 2008
Bolton R N KN lemon et al (2006) The Effect of Service Experiences over Time on a Supplier’s
Retention of Business Customers
Buttle, F (2009) Customer relationship Management Concepts and Technologies; second edition,
Byoungho, J. and P. Jin Yong (2006). "The Moderating Effect of Online Purchase Experience
Chein, I. (1981). Appendix: An introduction to sampling. In L. H. Kidder (Ed.),
Sellitz, Wrightsman & Cook’s research methods in social relations (4th ed., pp. 418-441).
Chokera, F & Dube, R (2011) Relationship Marketing Strategy, 1st edition. Booklove Publishers,
Zimbabwe. Clemer &Schneider, B. (1996) Fair Service Vol 5 Greenwich JAI Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five
approaches (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:
E.G. Guba (1981) Criteria for assessing the trustworthiness of naturalistic inquiries, Educational
Communication and Technology Journal 29 (1981), 75–91. Edition,
Engel, J., R. Blackwell, et al. (1995). Consumer Behaviour. USA, the Dryden Press
Foxall, G. (1997). "Affective responses to consumer situations." The International Review
Foxall, G. R. and G. E. Greenley (1999). "Consumers' Emotional Responses to Service
Foxall, G. R. and R. E. Goldsmith (1994). Consumer psychology for marketing. London,
Geppert, C. (2003). Customer churn management: retaining high-margin customers with CRM /
Giorgi, A. (2009). The descriptive phenomenological method in psychology: A modified
Husserlian approach. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press.
Gummesson, E. (2008) Total Relationship Marketing management, relationship strategy,
CRM and a new dominant logic for the value –creating network. Third Edition,
Butterworth, UK. Hart,
Hamelin, N., Nassali, A & Harcar, T. (2010). Determining churn drivers in Moroccan telecom
Sector. Journal of International Business Disciplines, 4(2), 16-34.
Healy, T. J. (1999). Why you should retain your customers. America Community Banker
Hennig-Thurau, T. & Hansen, U. (2000). Relationship marketing: Gaining competitive advantage
Through customer satisfaction and customer retention.
Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass (Wiley). Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldaña, J. (2014).
Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hycner, R. H. (1999). Some guidelines for the phenomenological analysis of interview data. In
A. Bryman & R. G. Burgess (Eds.), Qualitative research (Vol. 3, pp. 143-164). London:
Kamin, M (2010) “Why Satisfied Customers Defect”. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 73, pp. 88-
Karam, K A, da Silva, J F, Schmidt, F H, Teixeira, J M. Carneiro, M (2009). Customer
Insights from a Major Brazilian Newspaper Publisher.
Keaveney, S. M. (1995) Customer switching behaviour in service industries: an exploratory
study. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 59, pp.82.
Keaveney, S. M. (1995). Customer switching behavior in service industries. Journal of
59 (2), 71- 82.
Khan,Jamwal &Sepehri (2010) Applying Data Mining to Customer Churn Prediction in an
Service Provider Volume 9– No.7, November 2010
Kim, H. S., & Yoon, C. H. (2004). Determinants of subscriber churn and customer loyalty in the
Korean mobile telephony market. Telecommunications Policy, 28, 751–765
Kim, M. K., Park, M. C. & Jeong, D. H. (2004). The effects of customer satisfaction and
Barrier on customer loyalty in the Korean mobile telecommunication Services.
Kolajo, T. & Adeyemo, A. B. (2012). Data mining technique for predicting telecommunications
Industry customer churn using both descriptive and predictive algorithms. Computing
Information Systems & Development Informatics Journal. 3(2), 27 - 34.
Kotler, P and Keller KL (2012) Marketing Management 15th Edition Pearson Education Ltd.
Kumar, N. (2007). Gaining momentum towards customer centricity
Kuzel, A. J. (1999). Sampling in qualitative inquiry. In B. F. Crabtree & M. B. Miles (Eds.),
Doing qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 33–45). Thousan Oaks, CA: Sage. LeCompte,
Lombard, M.R. (2009). Customer retention strategies implemented by fast food outlets in the
Gauteng, Western Cape, and Kwazulu-Natal provinces of South Africa-. African Journal
Marketing Management. Vol (1) Management, 30, 51-62.
Modisette, L., (1999). Milking Wireless Churn for Profit, Telecommunications, and 73-74.
Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological
Research and writing. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Merriam, S. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation Revised and
Expanded from 'Qualitative research and case study applications in education').
Meyer, C. and A. Schwager (2007). "Understanding Customer Experience." Harvard Business
Moyo, Talak & Makore, Albert (2013) Customer Retention Strategies by mobile phone Service
Providers in Zimbabwe: Case of Masvingo City. Journal of Marketing Development and
Competitiveness Vol. 10(2) 2016 107
Murad, M.M.M (2011) Direct and Marketing factors affecting customer switching intentions. An
Empirical study on bank of Palestine and Cairo Amman Bank in Gaza Strip. National
Transport Policy. Ministry of Transport and communication (2012-2016).
Neslin, S. A., Gupta, S., Kamakura, W., Lu, J. X., & Mason, C. H. (2006). Defection detection:
Measuring and understanding the predictive accuracy of customer churn models.
Pal Piyali (2011) Customer retention through service recovery; International Journal of Research
Commerce and Management Vol, 2 issue 12.
Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. (3rd edition).Thousand Oaks, CA.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Designing qualitative studies [excerpt: Purposeful sampling]. In
Research and evaluation methods (3rd ed., pp. 230-247). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Pine, B. J. and J. Gilmore (1998), ‘Welcome to the experience economy’. Harvard Business.
Pine, II, B. J. and J. Gilmore (1999), The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre and Every
Business a Stage. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press pp: 30-45.
Qian, Z., W. Jiang, & Tsui, K. L. (2006). Churn detection via customer profile modeling,
International Journal of Production Research
Ramakrishnan, K. (2006). Customer retention: the key to business performance (online).
Ratner, R. and Herbst, K. (2004) when good decisions have bad outcomes: The impact of affect
in reducing customer attrition by targeted marketing for subscription services.
Reichheld, F.F. and Sasser, E. (1990), Zero defections: quality comes to services'', Harvard
Richeldi, M. & Perrucci, A. (2002). Churn analysis case study, Retrieved from:
Richins, M. L. (1983). "Negative Word-of-Mouth by Dissatisfied Consumers: A Pilot Study."
Ritchie, J., & Lewis, J. (2003). Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students
Researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Rolfe G. (2006) Validity, trustworthiness and rigor: quality and the idea of qualitative research.
Journal of advanced nursing. Feb 2006; 53(3):304-310
Sandelowski M. "To be of use": enhancing the utility of qualitative research. Nursing outlook.
May-Jun 1997; 45(3):125-132. 3.
Sandelowski M. Rigor or rigor mortis: the problem of rigor in qualitative research revisited.
Advances in nursing science. Dec 1993; 16(2):1-8. 2.
Saunders, M, Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research Methods for Business Students (5th
edt). Harlow, United Kingdom: FT Prentice Hall.
Schatzman, L., & Strauss, A. (1973). Field research: Strategies for a natural sociology.
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for
Developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Schouten, J. W., J. H. McAIexander, et al. (2007). "Transcendent customer experience and
Services customers." Managing Service Quality 17(3): pp: 298-316.
Tokman, M., Davis, L. M., and Lemon, K. N., (2007). “The WOW factor: Creating value
Winback offers to reacquire lost customers”. Journal of Retailing, Volume 83, Issue 1
Tsai, H.-T., H.-C. Huang, et al. (2006). "Why on-line customers remain with a particular retailer:
Verhoef, P. C., K. N. Lemon, et al. (2009). "Customer Experience Creation: Determinants,
Y.S. Lincoln and E.G. Guba, Naturalistic inquiry, Beverly Hills: Sage, 1985
Y.S. Lincoln, Emerging criteria for quality in qualitative and interpretive research, Qualitative.
Inquiry 1 (1995), 275–289