Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Organisation & Professional Development

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


This research study is an exploratory examination of customer services, which traces its developments to the modern day, evaluates its impact on corporate strategy, and analyses its effect on organisations performance. This study also investigates customer engagement to ascertain if technological changes has impacted on it, causing it to evolve, and the effect if any, these changes have had on customer services. The research explores the loyalty status of a customer, the availability of best practice models to aid organisation employing these concepts, and to evaluate if components are transferrable from large organisations to small to medium enterprises.

A qualitative research approach was undertaken in this study using semi-structured interview methods to capture the experiences, beliefs, and opinions of senior people working in executive or consultative roles within customer services. A ‘grounded theory’ of qualitative analysis was utilized to identify patterns, trends, and facts which enabled the researcher to produce the findings that this research is based on. This research is exploratory, and inductive, and was aided by the diverse nature, and skill-set of the interviewees which allowed for a real-time, and practical overview of the concepts.

The main findings from this study are that customer services is having a significant impact on the corporate strategies of companies in today’s business environment, and can be the difference between an organisation been successful or having a bleak future. Customer engagement has been impacted in a positive way with technological changes resulting in the concept evolving to the point where it is now ‘the tool’ to facilitate organisations getting closer to their customers. This research has identified a direct correlation between the success of a customer services strategy, and the implementation of an effective customer engagement program. A significant finding has been the absence of a holistic customer engagement best practice model to assist organisations in implementing a customer engagement strategy. This study has subsequently developed a model to fill this gap in academic literature, and provide organisations with a model that is built in stages, allowing them to progress to ‘best in class’ status. Other notable findings include the identification of transferrable components to small to medium enterprises, and recommendations for future research.

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