Career Episode 1:
1.1. The subject of the first career episode is ‘Measuring The Service Quality on Websites in E-Commerce’. I worked on this project for 2 months from September 2010 to November 2010. Completion of this project was necessary for me to pass successfully in Statistics course which is one of the basic courses of Industrial Engineering department from Eski?ehir Osmangazi University, Eski?ehir, Turkey. The Project took place in Eski?ehir/Turkey, where my university is located. I worked alone on the project.
1.2. In this research, I aimed to investigate the effect of the service quality of websites on customer loyalty. Beyond revealing this relationship, I also aimed to find out whether eleven quality variables that I had already determined influenced the service quality of the websites. I established hypotheses for these purposes. There are many studies in the literature about the relationship between the factors that affect the service quality of websites and the service quality. However, there are a few studies related to the relation of service quality with sustainability. For this reason, besides the factors that affect the service quality of websites, I also modeled the sustainability of the customer’s loyalty in the new model and I established the model in this way. Before the model was set up, I collected the data to be used in the model by conducting a survey. I analyzed the data using Binary Logistic Regression with the PASW 18 package program.
With the help of the information obtained by the survey method;
• Whether there is a relationship between dependent and independent variables is investigated,
• Determine what the important arguments are,
• New hypotheses are created according to this information and new investigations are planned.
1.3. I performed various responsibilities for this project. My duties included the following:
1.3.1. Searching different sources of information to collect the required details for the project.
1.3.2. Planning of the project in accordance with the project requirements.
1.3.3. Creating research model.
1.3.4. Creating survey questions.
1.3.5. Conducting the survey.
1.3.6. Entering the survey results to the related programme.
1.3.7. Analyzing the output of the program.
1.3.8. Preparing essential project reports and making project presentation.
Personal Engineering Activity:
1.4. I started my work by making literature research. I went to the university library and read articles and journals. I also made internet research to get more details on the topic. I examined the models in the literature, including the relationship between service quality, customer loyalty, sustainability, and factors affecting service quality.
1.5. After this research, I established the research model to demonstrate the relationship between the service quality and customer loyalty of websites. Accordingly, the simplest version of the research model that contains the main hypothesis is as follows.
There were also some sub-variables that affect the main variables in the study. The wider research model that includes these variables is as follows.
The research model consists of two main and eleven sub-variants as follows.
· Service quality of websites
Service quality of websites can be measured with the help of some determinants. These determinants were also the eleven sub-variables described above as seen in the research model. Sub-variables were reliability, productivity, flexibility, accessibility, quick response, the quality of information provided, usability, confidence, empathy, suitability entertainment (reactivity).
· Sustainability (Customer loyalty)
I used four questions in the measurement of this variable by making use of the literature. These were the questions that measure the customer’s preferences. Specifically, I didn’t define the sub-variables for the sustainability variable.
1.6. After establishing the research model, I created the relevant hypotheses. I classified hypotheses as main and sub-hypotheses. Accordingly, the first hypothesis was the relationship between the service quality and customer loyalty of websites and it was the main hypothesis. The sub-hypotheses were between customer loyalty and the factors that constitute the service quality of websites respectively; reliability, efficacy, flexibility, accessibility, quick response, quality of information provided, usability confidence, empathy, suitability, and entertainment. All hypotheses are based on the positive relationship between the variables.
1.7. The model’s first and most important variable was the service quality of its websites. It is clear in the model that the service quality of the websites was the main variable affecting customer loyalty. But considering all the models, the service quality of websites was also a dependent variable. The most challenging part of the project was that I had to measure the service quality of websites, which is a variable that is an implicit and direct measurement, with the help of some determinants. These determinants were sub-variables. I created eleven sub-variables shown in the research model as a result of intensive literature studies.
1.8. In this project, I used the survey method which was used in many types of research to collect data. I collected data from young people with different demographic and socio-economic characteristics reading in different parts of the universities within the borders of Eski?ehir. The total number of participants was 102.There were 53 questions in the survey. I asked respondents to respond to survey questions by thinking of any website they were shopping for. I conducted the survey by e-mail. In this method, I didn’t use any interviewer.
I asked 4 or 5 questions about each of the eleven variables of the service quality in this survey.
I used 5-point Likert Scale while surveys were generating. Each of the five responses below has a numerical value which would be used to measure the attitude under investigation.
1. Strongly disagree
3. Neither agree nor disagree
5. Strongly agree
1.9. After completing the survey, I used SPSS (PASW) 18 package program to analyze the results. I have used Binary Logistic Regression Analysis and Factor Analysis for this survey. I first performed Normality Test, The Cronbach Alpha Method for reliability tests, Skewness and Kurtosis Examinations and got basic statistical information. Then, I examined the relationship between each independent variable and the dependent variables. I proved the compatibility of the model with Hosmer and Lemeshow Test and Correlation Matrix showed a positive correlation between variables and customer loyalty. All the hypotheses I set up were accepted.
1.10. I performed Binary Logistic Regression Analysis separately for each factor in order to find the factors that affect customer loyalty most and I noticed that some factors were more influential than others. In conclusion, I have reached the result that all the factors affect together service quality and customer loyalty positively. I applied Factor analysis to each data group collected from the participants and analyzed by the answers given to the questions of customer loyalty. As a result of the study, if companies are to improve their quality of service and quality of their websites, customers will feel more confident in the e-commerce environment they are in. So whether they are product or service providers, all companies can actually get rid of a huge advertising cost considering the quality dimensions they use on their website. This presents the economic direction of the study. Also, the results should be evaluated in systems such as e-school and e-government.
1.11. I learned about the practical application of various aspects of the job such as how to execute a project, do statistical analysis, do the designing work, and communicate with people. I also gained knowledge about project management which helped me in my development as an Industrial Engineer.