Service quality and customer satisfaction are very important concepts that companies must understand in order to remain competitive in business and hence grow. It is very important for companies to know how to measure these constructs from the consumers’ perspective in order to better understand their needs and hence satisfy them. Service quality is considered very important because it leads to higher customer satisfaction, profitability, reduced cost, customer loyalty and retention. The purpose of this study was to examine customer satisfaction and service quality in the private security service sector with respect to the service quality dimensions (SERVQUAL) using Westec Security Systems Ghana Limited as a case study. To achieve the purpose of the study, descriptive and explanatory research designs were used. A minimum sample of one hundred and sixty-three estimated for the study was selected using stratified and simple random sampling technique, out of which a total of 110 responded to the study. The data for the study was obtained primarily through questionnaire. The data was analyzed using Pearson Correlation Coefficient, one-way ANOVA and Simple linear regression. The result of the study revealed a positive significant relationship between the service quality dimensions and customer satisfaction with service delivery. In view of this, it is recommended that Private security companies seeking to improve their customers’ satisfaction levels, in their effort to increase loyalty, retention rates and attract new customers should focus on providing high quality services delivery.

Background of the Study
The need for security has been a part of the human condition since ancient times. These early societies had to plan for security due to warfare and pillaging by individuals and groups. To prevent or mitigate losses of life and property, people and cities employed military personnel or designated others to perform “night watches” to maintain order and defend against attacks and losses. In the more modern sense, security has developed alongside law enforcement from the time the London Metropolitan Police became the first truly professionally managed law enforcement department nearly 200 years ago (McNally, 2012).

Adequate and effective security is the bedrock for the socio-economic development of any society. Historically, the state has been the ultimate provider of security for citizens. The state uses its security apparatus such as the military, police and the intelligence services in the control and prevention of crime. Security exhibits the characteristics of a public good for which reasons state provisioning has always been the norm. In recent times, however, state provisioning of security has been inadequate and ineffective (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung [FES], 2011).

The shift in economic policy, which occurred at the beginning of the 1980s, has led many governments to cut back on the provision of social services including security. Governments are now emphasizing fiscal prudence leading them to withdraw from providing essential services in the singular efforts to cut expenditure and rein in deficits. This has affected the ability and willingness of the state in many countries to provide security as a public good (Badong, 2010). This has created security vacuum that is increasingly being filled by private security companies. According to Funmi, Ikpe, and Badong (2009), the provision of security by the state in many developing countries has largely been inadequate hence the need for private security firms.

In Ghana, as in many developing countries, increasing urbanization combined with rising joblessness has led to an increasing crime wave. A large section of the Ghanaian population has witnessed an increase in crime and the perception of crime and insecurity since 1990 (Sule, 2009). However, the increases in crime have not been met by a corresponding increase in public security provision to guarantee the safety of citizens and property. In 2010, the total staff of the Ghana police for instance stood at 24,000. This compared to an estimated population of 24.3 million projects a low capability. In its five year (2010-2014) Strategic National Policing Plan the Ghana Police admitted that the increase in armed robberies, ethnic conflicts, cyber crimes, trafficking of narcotic drugs and increasing population pressure continue to expose the inadequacy of its existing staff strength and capability to protect life and property (FES, 2011).

According to Aning and Lartey (n.d), the increasing crime wave and the inadequacy in capacity of the Ghana Police Service to provide the population with adequate security are some of the reasons for the growth of private security organizations in the country. But the growing numbers of private security companies also reflect government’s efforts at growing the private sector and outsourcing of previously governmental functions to the private sector.

The private security industry continues to contribute to the security needs of both private individuals and businesses. The industry has also become a major source of employment particularly for young and unskilled workers. The private security personnel are commonly seen at banking premises, bonded houses, manufacturing enterprises, offices as well as residential areas. They have become custodians of lives and property (FES, 2011).

Private security companies can be put into two groups. There are those that are operated by quasi public institutions such as universities and multinational organizations. These institutions recruit and train personnel whose services are retained with the same establishment. The second category, and perhaps the most visible private security operators in the country, is the profit-oriented private security agencies. These are private security entities that recruit and train personnel whose services are demanded by private individuals and business entities. For the purpose of this study, private security workers refer to the second category: those employed by profit oriented private security agencies (FES, 2011).

Private security companies in Ghana operate like recruitment agencies by providing security personnel to individuals and firms. The common arrangement is where the private security agency remains the employer of the private security worker. Thus, the private security agency receives service charges from the client (an individual, household or a firm), from which the worker is paid. In this kind of arrangement, payment of wages and benefits to the worker become the responsibility of the private security agency (FES, 2011).

Westec Security Systems Ghana Limited is one of the profit-oriented private security companies that recruit and train personnel whose services are demanded by private individuals and business entities. The company has been in operation since 1995. The priority of the company is to provide the very best in security services thus ensuring customer satisfaction. The security operations of the company are designed to cover the staff, property, assets, equipment and the reputation of the organization with which the company has signed a contract. This responsibility is not limited to the assets and employees, but also to non-employees and guests who are invited to the premises of the organization. It is the policy of Westec Security Systems Ghana Limited to provide an excellent security service to the client throughout the contract period and to ensure service quality and customer satisfaction.

Statement of the Problem
In today’s competitive market environment, understanding of customer’s needs and handling complaints in order to provide quality service has become an important factor for service providers’ successes. Customer satisfaction, on the other hand, is of great interest to practitioners because of its importance to customer retention and loyalty as well as its long term effect on profitability and growth of business.

Westec Security Systems Ghana Limited is a private security organization, which provides security services to commercial (corporate, industry) and residential facilities. Notwithstanding its achievements in the security industry, the customers of the company of late have made several complaints about the quality of service being rendered by the company. For instance, recently, several customers of the company have been complaining about the security officers, thereby threatening to terminate their contract with the company (Annual Report, 2015).

It is, therefore, important that the company provide its customers with high quality services to avoid losing a greater proportion of its customers to their competitors. It is important, first of all, for the company to understand the attributes that the customers use to judge service quality and to determine the level of their customer’s satisfaction, as well as the needs and wants of their customers so as to improve on these attributes and to achieve customer retention. It is in the light of this that this research was conducted to assess the service quality and customer satisfaction of customers of Westec Security Services Limited using the SERVQUAL model.

Service quality and customer satisfaction has received considerable attention in the marketing literature, especially in the United States, Europe , Asian, and Africa (Kumasey, 2014; Olu, 2010; Shanaki, Ranjbar & Shakhsian, 2012; Biljana and Jusuf, 2011; Chingang & Lukong, 2010; Loke et, al., 2011). Within this research area, numerous empirical studies have reported the positive relationship between customer satisfaction and service quality (Andaleeb & Conway, 2006).

In Ghana a numerous studies have been conducted on customer satisfaction and service quality (Amoako, Arthur, Bandoh & Katah, 2011; Nimako & Azumah, 2009; Kumasey, 2014; Nimako, Gyamfi, & Wandaogou, 2013; Dankwah, 2013; Horsu & Yeboah, 2015; Donkoh, Quainoo, Cudjoe & Kaba, 2012). However, these studies have looked at customer service quality and satisfaction in other organizations and areas other than the private security sector in Ghana. This, however, has created a void in literature with respect to customer satisfaction and service quality in the private security sector in Ghana. This study fills this gap by examining customer satisfaction and service quality in the private security service sector with respect to the service quality dimensions (SERVQUAL) using Westec Security Systems Ghana Limited.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 94 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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