The objective of this dissertation to present a coordination of shifting dynamics of the sales staff behavior along with the consequential factors affecting customer’s respond. Here the study ground is the credit card sales staff in Penang, Malaysia and their associated customers of the location. The organizations concerned with sales practice of credit card in Penang is most likely to use temporary staff, individual contractors, and outsourced employees. Due to accelerating number of player in the market, there is solid base of perfect competition and the sales agents are under pressure to gain competitive advantage by dropping cost that leads them to use temporary employees, or outsourced contracted staff for sales of credit card. Such alignment of sales staff has generated huge scandal of unethical conduct with the customers the pointed serious ethical dilemma for the credit card industry in Penang.
This study identified that unethical behavior of the sales staff is not only caused from the limitation of the personal attributes of the sales staff but there is a number of organizational and legislative factors those lead sales staff to align with unethical behavior with customers. With complex nature of customer’s behavior, the ethical behavior of the sales staff has absolutely interlinked with the customer’s responds including their trust on the organization, customer orientation, and satisfaction maximisation that can generate a strong base of satisfied customers. The sales staff’s customer orientation is a vital area that unavoidably needed to address for successful business entries in the credit card industry of Penang and it has evidenced that unethical behavior of the sales staff has harmfully crashed the effectiveness and profitability of an organization. The paper has concluded with vital recommendation to standardise the ethical standard with regulatory amendments.
This dissertation critically illustrates the perceptions and attitudes of the sales staff behavior connecting the customers’ responds and factors touching the customer’s motivation and exploration within the existing practice of sales staff behavior that emerged and experienced in the market of credit card sales in Penang, Malaysia. The prescriptions and regulations those issued by the BNM1 up to 2011, the Malaysian credit card issuers are under pressure to integrate most of them, but there is no evidence to establish any sustainable standard of adopting fair and responsible sales approach to consumers by the credit cards sales staff in Penang. To examine and explore these issues, this dissertation has structured and contained with the six major episodes presented below-
- Problem Statement: This part of the dissertation has well thought-out with a study in wide-ranging among the selected area of customers’ responds, endow with the underlying problems of the rules that govern staff behavior in Malaysia. It also addresses the hypothetical principles of staff behavior connecting with customer’s reaction and responds, pointed out to the agendas for this research; raises the research questions and affirms the limitations and scope of the study used within this present dissertation;
- Literature Review: This part of the dissertation launches with a chronological indication to the existing sales behavioral practice that have been emerged and developed linking with the motivation of the interest groups; then, recites too more up-to-date literature integrating modern measures of customer relationship management and marketing standards with the aim to theoretically arguing to the research questions. Moreover, the expression on accomplishment of conceptual framework of customer behavior in Penang, Malaysia has engaged to ensure suitable credit card market situation with sustaining customer’s confidence while the influencing groups are continuously shaping the existing practice of staff behavior;
- Research Methodology: The most essential objectives of this section is to demonstrate the course of action on how the chosen research methodology will set out with the foremost goal of the present dissertational inquiry and how it will complete throughout this contemporaneous study pointed to the engaged methods. The author of this dissertation has aimed to conduct the research in accordance with the case study approach and it should point out the grounds that provide the researcher to adopt applicable research methodology. This episode of this dissertation furnishes the justification and way out on how the present research would be conducted, describes arrangements and population selection, data assembly and treatment, develops a qualitative analysis of the data, gives an explanation of the process and states limitations of this study towards staff behavior in Malaysia connecting with customers reaction;
- Findings: This segment of the dissertation stipulates on the collected data, refine and denotes unanticipated results by concreting on the findings as well as hypothetical uses for the information delivered from the concurrent practice of staff behavior in Penang, Malaysia and proposes idea generation for the research from primary data from the customers responds. This section would then statistically analysis the collected data to generate the outcomes from the interview and processing them to pointing out the results with the intention to present primary research outcomes;
- Discussion: Moreover, this section also enlightens the results in reflecting the outcomes of the research and discuss on validation of findings that will ultimately argue to justify the findings from the real life perspective linking to practical evidence of influencing trend of customer’s respond to the sales staff behavior in Penang, Malaysia;
- Conclusions: This is the final chapter of the dissertation that summaries the process, advises sensible outcomes, formulate and construct the key recommendations; and promotes conclusions as well as implications of this study pointing to the further research with the sales staff behavior connecting customer’s respond in Penang, Malaysia.
Background of the problem
Shopping & Sales Queen (2009) presented a customers experience with the cheating of a credit card sales staff of the Standard Chartered Bank Credit Card that demonstrate the critical situation of the credit card sales and marketing in Penang and all over Malaysia. The story was like that, while the customer was shopping in the Curve Mall, a sales staff approached to sign up for a credit card but the customer refused for several times. The sales staff constantly followed the customer and continued sales approaches, though the customer was irritated, but the sales staff did not let him free until he forced to sign up for a credit card. The sales staff said that by using the credit card of Standard Chartered Bank he would get many opportunities to enjoy such as great discount in shopping at the Curve, 50% discount at Marche and Japanese restaurants in Penang, Malaysia and so on. At last, the customer signed up and within ten day the customer received and SMS from the bank that his application has approved and soon she received the card.
Then the customer went to the Marche for dinner by using the card, after dinner when the customer went to made payment with the credit card of Standard Charter, the casher did not allowed any discount. When the customer soughed for discount, the casher informed that the discount was a one-time and one-day promotional program that had expired long before. The customer also got same shock with his initiative to get great discount at the Curve Mall. The customer could understand the cheating of the sales staff and his lying, so he decided to cancel the card. While the customer arrived to the standard chartered outlet, expressed the cheating story of the sales staff, and asked for cancellation, the customer service department informed that for each signed up application the sales staffs are authorized to get commission. If the customer cancels the card, it does not affect upon the sales staff, at once, the sales staff will get commission, and the burden would be imposed on the customer’s account.
The Malaysian Insider (201, p. 21) reported that the Malay police have arrested seven postal workers with other thirteen individuals who were connected with a large syndicate liable for cheating of Malaysian Ringgit one million through credit card interception. The further investigation of the police has identified that the syndicate used the postal workers to cut off envelops of the credit cards of victims in exchange of bribe from RM50 to RM100 for each successful capturing. The Star-Asia News Network (2011, p. 1) pointed out that the credit card cheating syndicate has organized with governmental officials from the anti-corruption including national registration department and police where the postal workers were just pawn and there is some evidence of the involvement of credit card sales staff with this unethical gang.
CGAP (2009, p. 5) pointed out that under Malaysian legislation for credit card has been regulating under the supervision of central bank BNM, at the same time consumers credit and hire purchase including retail credit card sales administered by the MDTCC2 while money lending and pawn bankruptcy administered by the MHLG3. The major risk of credit card sales in Penang, Malaysia have concerned with excessively aggressive sales practices that resultant increasing sales of incompatible credit cards with increasing complains of hidden terms and condition while a large part of credit cards go in the market all the way through intermediaries like agents. Such sales and marketing practice of the bankers or credit card issuers has been escalating confronts, and rising complain with the lack of transparency as well as accountability. Thus, the associated risk with the credit card sales has been increasing in a growing rate while the Malaysian consumer associations have long been demanded for a unified legislation for consumer credit to endow with further the oversights of credit card issuers.
CGAP (2009, p. 1) also added that BNM has deeply concerned with the risk-based approach of the credit card customers safeguarding them by balancing financial education along with market intelligence pointing to the unethical practices of sales staff posing gratuitous risk to customers due to aggressive credit-card marketing including the increasing risk of becoming bankrupt. The Malaysian credit card sector has turned gradually more diverse and complex with the unethical sales drive and the central bank has drawn its attention to the market conducts that have generated huge complain while the customers have lacking with financial education that may assist them to encounter with fair treatment to overcome the associated risks. Moreover, the supervisory function of the BNM has included the market conduct inspection, identifying the ambiguity of credit card sales staff together with and media surveillance with the aim to supervise disclosures that the credit card issuers mention in their advertisements including the marketing and sales strategy that they practice. Under such unsteady market situation in 2009, the BNM has introduced guidance for credit card sales and marketing that included the instructions for both customer and credit card issuers to prevent aggressive and unethical promotional drives of the credit card including pricing and repayment policy. Nevertheless, the unwilling ness and unparalleled competitions among the credit card issuers and marketers and lack of observation has still growing the unethical sales behavior in Penang and ultimately growing bankruptcies among the customers.
Lim (2010, p.4) investigated with the consumer credit of Malaysia and acknowledged there are a number of legislation like Hire-Purchase Act-1967, Moneylenders Act- 1951, Pawnbrokers Act- 1972, Banking and Financial Institutions Act- 1989, along with Islamic Banking Act- 1983 to administer consumers credit, but none of them are solely effectual to regulate credit card sales and marketing. At the same time, there are diverse administrative bodies for the above-mentioned legislation while there is no integrity among them administrative bodies. In fact the credit card issuing organizations are mainly deals with consumer credit structured for different purpose such as personal financing, hire purchase, micro financing, housing loans, and other customised loans by means of credit cards.
The guideline for credit card sales and marketing introduced by the central bank has concentrated for risk-based approach to protecting the customers and pointed to the interest rate for credit cards in Malaysia at the rate of 1.7 % to 2% per month while it also mentioned that the minimal monthly repayment would be 5% of the credit utilised. Rather than the interest rate and repayment slots, all other terms and conditions of credit card sales and marketing has predetermined and implicated by the credit card issuers through loan agreement. As the credit card market in Penang Malaysia is going through a more complex situation when it considered that the loans granted by means of credit cards is a consumer credit action but the existing legislation does not take it into account. Such unregulated credit sales are also practiced by various big retail outlets in Penang for durable goods like furniture, electronics and other household products while customers have to pay back weekly or monthly instalments and the original price stands two times upper than the existing cash price in the market. It cleanly indicates that a very ridiculous interest has imposed upon the inexperienced customers both the credit card issuers and sales staff hides such dilemmas to increase their sales while the ultimate burden goes on the customers.
The unethical performance of the sales staff and their hidden term of credit card sales have twisted more complex when the increasing number customers in Penang, Malaysia turning into bankrupt and some time thinking to commence suicide. Joseph (2011) reported in The Borneo Post that a number of credit card customers have expressed their intention to commence suicide due to the unethical behaviors of the credit card issuer and sales staff while a customer purchased 15 credits cards from the sales staff and trapped with a liability of RM 250,000 to banks. However, such of dangerous alignment of customers the central bank has set up a wing AKPK4 that helps the customer with consultation, educate and negotiation to overcome the fatal circumstances but it could not be an ultimate solution. Considering the data of AKPK in 2009, there were almost 110000 customers complain and only 35000 were resolved through negotiation. Thus, it is essential to study with the sales staff behaviors and their concerned response of the customer to implement sustainable credit card sales in Penang, Malaysia.
The Asian Banker (2011) mentioned that BNM is going to proclaim a new-fangled course of action on credit cards due to uninterrupted pressure to inspire healthy financial products as well as debt management along with credit card users in Malaysia while such has designed to endorse fair and accountable practices by the credit card issuers and their sales staff. Moreover, the immoral and corrupt behavior of the credit card sales staff has raised the question for additional improvement of the credit cards security infrastructure in Penang with immediate implication. BNM also guided for dependable business practice for the credit cards issuers and their sales staffs by adopting fair treatment to the customers with conscientious and accountable marketing and sales approach and further more care would be needed for credit card offering to the consumers. The existing guidance of credit card sales by the BNM has not yet addressed the gaps of credit card sales staff behavior at their sales drive and its consequence upon the customers’ complex response.
Sail and Alavi (2010) conducted another research with the sales staff behavior along with social skills and values in Malaysia including knowledge sharing requirements in accordance with the Malaysian government’s strapping emphasizes upon the enormity of human capital expansion with the aim to formulate a wide-ranging background to the development of sales and marketing standards in this region. Based on the empirical outdoor learning activities along with huge interactions, long discussions and apposite reflections among the participants and facilitators, the research pointed out that the associated features of customer’s behavior interacting with employees’ behavior in Malaysia including with social and a political phenomenon. With such in a study, there is no evidence of investigating to the historical evidences incorporating with serious study those views there are many factors play vital role for customers respond towards sales staff’s action.
Ahmed et al (2010) conducted a landmark study in the area of Malaysian consumers’ credit card usage behavior linking their uniqueness, economy, and political sustainability of the Malaysian Credit card issuers and argued that the size and age of firm, debt-ratio, and profitability, criteria of ownership are the major factors that influence the voluntary disclosure of the companies. This also study has contributed the fact that supported for to the theoretical expectations presented in the earlier researches mentioned in the literature and argued that the significance of the credit card issuers are to assist their managers to have an enhanced understanding of the Malaysian credit card customer’s attitude and behavior toward the utility of credit cards. This study also drooped out to examining the historical and critical school of thinking that pointed to the factors those play vital role in the staff behavior.
Within this above scenario, the governing rules, and concurrent practice of credit card sales staff behavior system in Malaysia has been passing through an unstable situation facing different changes, and generating huge complicated situation connecting the sales and marketing managers of the financial institutions while the management and regulators are suffering from risk of volatility to safeguarding the customers. With this background problem, this researcher has decided to conduct a study with the emergence and the development of the rules that govern staff behavior in Malaysia and considered that such a research would determine the way out for the regulators of Malaysia to coming out from the existing dilemmas of credit card sales and the develop a suitable solution.
Rationale for the research
Many scholars tried to find out the solution of the question how staff behavior in a certain company’s marketing practice could influence the customers in the credit card market to ensure growth of market share of that company, and how the appropriate marketing drive could increase sales revenue by increasing customers confidence. There are also some researches those kept attention to stabilise the credit card market of Malaysia under the recent global financial crisis connecting the previous Asian financial crisis. Most of the remarkable contemporary researchers have concentrated on the marketing standards, customer relationship management and regulatory reform in the credit card market, but no overarching research agenda has yet been proposed on whether the manipulated and unethical staff behavior is a conscious drive of the credit card issuers for deliberated cheating or they value for customers respond. Laczniak and
Murphy (2006) presented a study connecting the ethical and socially accountable marketing where the organizations find out the needs, wants, and interests of the customers and then strive to transmit greater value chain to the customers through safeguarding and improving the customer’s satisfaction including the development of the society. Though there are enough debate with the marketing operation and social wellbeing, the corporate culture and both the internal and external environment has a vital influence on the customers and as a whole to the society, thus marketing system has the opportunity to reshape the society in various contexts. As a result, the modern corporations are considerate to take into account of ethical marketing drive rather than aggressive marketing, while the ethical drives would pursuit to accomplish economic and financial goals of the company focusing on an assortment of micro-level factors of sales and marketing just emphasising on the sales staff behavior. Most of the marketing literature has long been emphasised on the customer behavior analysis to fix their marketing strategy but elapsed to integrate customer’s responds linking with sales staff’s behavior.
Kennedy and Smith (2006) pointed out that both the customers and sales staff have vital emotional role on marketing and sales while the companies have strong alignment with the sales staff emotions to promote sales, the customers are willing to see that the corporations would value to their emotions cordially. The interaction between customer and sales staff may contain positive or negative emotion, but the ethical treatment with out emotional harass could turn a negative attitudinal customer into a loyal customer and the sales staff needed to have a well understanding to overcome and handle customers emotions.
The rationale of this research is to analyze the roles of the sales staff behavior in Malaysia experience by observing the real scenario of Malaysian Credit card Market to evaluate to what extent the existing practice of sales staff behavior is effectual to retain customers and increase market share by taking into account of existing guidance introduced by the BNM. In addition, this research has aimed to escalate the awareness of regulators to take control over the customers’ responds tools while the global financial crisis already socked the Credit card Market of Malaysia and the policy makers are anxious to bring back the customer’s confidence. Moreover, this dissertation has aimed to assist the academia, regulators, policy makers, and customers with better understanding about the lacking of sales staff behavioral practice and related fraudulent practice including its driving force such as non-holy alliance with the marketing managers and sales staff of the outsourcing agents of credit card marketing. Through this investigation and its outcomes, the credit card issuers and marketing companies will get a potential investment environment in the credit card market of Malaysia and get a better level of inventor’s confidence, which will endow with the companies a practical advantage over the sales staff and marketing managers who are involved with the present unethical practice.
Research Question and Objectives
There are so may research already conducted with the nature and shape of staff behavior standard and practice in Malaysia, but there is no research agenda has been raised with the historical complexities of staff behavior as well as the fundamental marketing standards and their practice linking with customer’s respond. The legislation of Malaysia is eager to upraise the capabilities of the companies to be capable represent their business and financial status based on their current knowledge and prospects to the future with international standard for credit card marketing with any unethical conduct to the customers. The objective of the governmental policy is to supporting both the customers and credit card marketers with ethical standards of marketing that may reflect the economic and business reality through which the companies will assist the customers to formulating investment decisions.
While the staff behavior misrepresent the economic and business reality of a credit card company, the capital flow would be misguided to the improper entry and such misallocation of resources would hamper the financial market environment and the customers have to carry higher opportunity cost more than their return. Consequently, the optimistic business sector of credit card may suffer from lack of customer’s confidence and will deprive from proper allocation while the customers, employees, and card issuers would make their strategic decision depending on the faulty or manipulated scenario. Such situation would give birth of new evidence of corporate failure, which is quite unacceptable to the stakeholders, and to bypass similar risk, it is essential for the regulators to ensure appropriate staff behavior enclosure for credit card marketers and issuers. Thus, it is most essential to investigate why the current credit card issuers, marketers, and policy makers are very much concerned with the roles sales staff behavior in Malaysia, why the marketing standards and disclosures are facing chronological development and quick shift, and what the regulators are trying to accomplish radical shifts.
It has evidenced from the global scenario of the credit card market and recent socks of global financial crisis that disclosure requirements around the world have emerged and developed because of social, economic, and political factors rather than the internal factors of the credit card issuers (Keller and Lehmann, 2006). As an integral part of global economy, Malaysia cannot keep itself to apart from the impact of global financial crisis and its consequential collapse in the credit card market while the sales staff behavior is not poles apart from other countries in its disclosure requirements that has emerged and developed connecting to the customers responds. This study scrutinizes the understanding of the emergence and development of the roles of sales staff behavior in Malaysia by adopting the political economy of accountancy along with globalization approach as the base of theoretical framework to deliver a sustainable credit card sales approach.
This dissertation aimed to investigate, does the historical perspectives of sales staff behavior linking with customers responds with the watchful drive of credit card issuers towards unethical marketing in credit card market of Malaysia? The more refined and highly structured aim of this dissertation has been designed to respond to the following six research questions; the answer to these questions would facilitate the legislators and regulating authority to organise the policy and towards a greater motivation for increased confidence of customers in Penang, Malaysian with its historical performance, six research objectives are listed below-
- To what extent the theoretical framework of the sales staff behavior encouraged and developed Customers loyalty?
- How does the ethical behavior of sales staff has differentiated among the permanent and temporary staffing?
- How does the sales staff satisfaction can ensure optimum level of customer’s satisfaction?
- What are the underlying factors those are Influencing unethical behavior of sales staff in Penang?
- How the customers react to the overuse of marketing of credit card in Penang?
- How the sales of credit card in Penang would ensure the interest of customer, marketer and sales staff.
Scopes of the study
The researcher of this dissertation has unlimited scopes to develop the topic area, for example –
- The author has the opportunity to observe to what extent existing credit card regulations of Malaysia complied the rules of International Marketing Standards (IASs);
- In addition, this paper has the chance to observe internal sales staff behavior system in Malaysia considering the BNM’s guideline for Best Practice , Business Indicator Report, Financial Standards Report of Malaysia;
- This researcher also scrutinise with Hire-Purchase Act-1967, Moneylenders Act- 1951, Pawnbrokers Act- 1972, Banking and Financial Institutions Act- 1989, along with Islamic Banking Act- 1983,
- This paper concentrates on the principles of customer relationship management, international standards on marketing, objectives and principles of existing listing rules, performance in global best practice indices, taxation policy, and key standards to sound financial systems of Malaysian financial sector;
- However, this study has also scope to give the theoretical framework of staff behavior, the effectiveness of loyal customers, the impact of the regulations on the credit card market, and the influence to resolve conflicts among in the Malaysian market;
- The entire dissertation will assist to give a fruitful, realistic and applicable suggestions and recommendations to improve the existing credit card marketing regulation to reduce sales staff fraud in Malaysia;
- In addition, the researcher has the opportunity to collect the primary data with the aim to analyse the significance roles and current position of sales staff behavior in Malaysia Credit card Market, and other relevant issues.
Limitations of the study
Besides the scopes to conduct this research, the researcher has suffered numerous problems with the staff behavior in Malaysia, for instance –
- The topic of this dissertation has mixed with legal aspects, for instance, it is essential to concentrate on government rules and regulation, and central bank’s guidance to discuss emergence and the development of the sales staff behavior connecting with customer’s responds in Malaysia. As a result, it is complicated issue to deal with legal issues because of limitation of data sources and lack of knowledge on specific area;
- In this case, sales staff and marketing managers of the large Malaysian credit card companies are not interested to disclose the real situation of the development of existing practice, so some answers of survey report become confusing;
- In addition, most of the sales staff and marketing managers were either busy with their occupation or they are reluctant to give their opinion on their customer’s respond due to their service offering in Malaysia; therefore, the low response rate from the respondents was another problem to complete the result section as some respondent completed their questionnaire after completing the whole dissertation;
- On the other hand, the researcher has not get enough time to carry out face-to-face interview with the sales staff and their handled customers to complete the dissertation;
- However, limited budget for conducting research was another major difficulty for the author to collect both secondary data and primary data from respondents, recently, there are many journal articles with sales staff behavior in Malaysia that apparently seem imperative to the author, but the price of the entire articles were not affordable;
- Furthermore, numerous secondary sources were accessible in the internet, e-books and journals, but most of them were not directly relevant with the topic; for instance, there were many articles on sales staff behavior, but most of them were for the UK, USA or other countries rather than Malaysia.
Conceptual Framework of the Sales Staff Behavior
Models of Sales Staff Behavior
Stock and Hoyer (2005, p. 2) pointed out that the modern literature of marketing has persistent on the market orientation while the organizational behavior at the individual intensity connects with the interpersonal skills and communication among sales staff and customers along with the capabilities of a sales staff to gratifying the customer wishes correctly. Both the managerial and an academic viewpoint, most of the scholars have classically persistent on the customer-oriented behaviors of the sales staff like considering the customers’ desires, assisting and influencing them by providing information, motivation and support without any sorts of pressure or misconduct.
Hochschild (1983, p. 3) identified the dilemma of commercialisation of the human feeling pointing that the sales staff may take action in accordance with the prescribed manner of the organization but they do not build up any positive attitude or real enthusiasm for the customer oriented policies and practice though they pretend fake obviousness towards customers. The supervisory employees who manage the sales staff, it is their duty to conduct training to manage and neutralise the anger and frustration pointing to the nature and properties of emotional labour. While in the modern corporate world, the emotional labour is no more a private function but a public conduct purchased by an organization and sold on the customers, sales staff have enduring emotional job and are no longer treated as individuals but paid, selected and managed to encounter with the customers at their emotional stage to commence sales.
Hochschild (1983, p 26) also argued that the feeling rules of the sales staff are no longer just an affair of private prudence practiced in the individual level but positively spelled out freely in public where the marketing and sales managers would guide the sales staff at their training programs and set out standard of discourse. The social exchange of sales staff has kept continuous pressure to broaden the limits of hiding places individuals allowing less room for personal navigation in the emotional stages while the entire structure of emotional exchange in the personal existence has just treated as an ostensible function for the interests and delight of the customers at commercial setting of profit motivation.
Jonesa et al (2003, p. 2) conducted a rear research on market orientation and its impact on sales staff’s attitudes to their jobs and customers under the emergence that the sales staff are the initial point where the customers get in touch with the company and consider that employee’s values and attitudes as the company’s real picture. In the imperial investigation, they continued investigation with the sales manager’s control over the sales staff’s perceptions and attitudes and presented their model of sales staff behavior connecting the sales managers, organization’s market orientation, and sales staff’s customer orientation along with job satisfaction and service quality. The model has demonstrated below –
The above model of market orientation of the organization and customer orientation the sales staff towards customer retention and service quality has demonstrated the conceptual framework of the influence and control of the sales manager upon the sales staff’s awareness of organization’s market orientation linking with customer orientation, attitudes, and job satisfaction comparing the different relationships all together (Engel, Blackwell & Kollat, 1995). Meanwhile the model also included the role ambiguity, conflicting situations, service quality, managerial commitments, in the model because previous studies suggest that the job attitudes of salespeople, as service providers, and sales staff’s service delivery in due course while sales manager’s insight of the market orientation of the organization has certainly related to the sales staff’s perception. Siguaw et al (1993, p. 2) added that the agreement of orientations in the model has openly condensed and mitigated the role conflict and ambiguity by enhancing the job satisfaction of the sales staff along with organizational commitments (Hochschild, 1983, p. 21)
Qualification of Salesperson and Customer prospect
Webb (2004) presented the procedure of on the road to recovery the principle and practice of quality management for sales and marketing occupation pointing to the expansion of qualification criteria that would assist to winning the customers. The qualification of sales staff would drive them towards best possible practice in context of the organization and such qualification criteria would facilitate the sales staff to identify solid predictions of the products and services along with involving as a rule of cost-effective solution (Engel, Blackwell & Miniard, 1995) The course of action sales that that the sales staff and customers of an organization would pursue, the qualification of the sales staff would bridge them by occurring successful sales by designing both business value and sales process for the customers of that organization. The business value mapping would support the sales staff to categorise which value he would convey to the customers in an assortment of marketing and sales purpose while his qualification criteria would make possible for him to recognize which customer needed which value.
Roman and Iacobucci (2010) pointed out that the sales staff would be familiar with qualification prospects such as somewhat he has already in practice by any existing process, some of them he will improve with his learning outcomes that possibly will enable him to get better sales performance ever before. Thus, the organization could anticipate a reduced amount of confrontation from sales staff for qualification criteria and the organization could look forward to business value mapping connecting the sales process design. Moreover, the preliminary qualification criteria could be occupied very soon with a small number of training session or panel discussion and could adopt on the sales drive devoid of burdensome escorts of the sales staff. At the same time, qualification criteria correspond to the introductory data for not only to attending sales calls but also to generating marketing strategies connecting the CRM systems as well as just beginning innovative product line addressing the new customers and markets.
Pre-approach Customer and Sales Staff Preparation
Kundu (2010, p. 35) pointed out that if a sales staff fail to demonstrate benefit and utility maximisation logic regarding the product or service to the customer then there is no cause to go to customer for approaching those products or services. The prospective customer either would reject the offer otherwise does not allow any further time for approaching while the customer ends up the offerings with frustration and no sales would occur. Thus, it is essential to have sales staff’s preparation before going on further to the customer, the sales staff would first evaluate for spending a particular amount of money, to what extend the customer needed to have utility from the product or service prospect and to so, it will require to some preparation. By identifying a prospect of the product or service, the sales staff gets ready for the sale, while the preparatory phase engross with two major function like pre-approach groundwork and generating calls to the customer for face to face interaction or over phone (Bowden, 2009).
Moncrief and Marshall (2004, p. 2) presented seven step sells process while the classical views of marking approached six steps starting from the product prospect, pre-approach level before going to the customer, approaching or offering, demonstration, presenting arguments to occur sales and close the deal but the modern approaches haven’t agreed to ending the deal but emphasised on relationship marketing. The pre-approach stage would incorporate with information congregation that generates essential learn outcomes of the applicable facts and findings regarding the prospect of the product or service that necessitates to address customer’s desired situations. This stage would reveal the customer’s needs and their capabilities to purchase by providing information those would facilitate the sales staff to adapt and modify the appearance of the product prospect. The pre-approach would also represent that information which will prepare the sales staff more than enough serious with strategic errors for the duration of the presentation and ultimately the well designed pre-approach possibly will boost the sales staff’s confidence to encounter with the situation raised during the sales.
Domain of Sales presentation, demonstration, and product marketing
At this stage organising affinity with the product and service prospects, the sales staff carry out the proper sales presentation with the intention of demonstrate and give explanation to what extends the offered product or services would congregate the particular requirements of the target consumers. Here the duty of the sales staff is to let customer to know the prospects with reference to the quality, aptitude, and accessibility of the offered product or service, to make sure that the demonstration has successfully educated the customer with better understanding of the prospects, the sales staff would positively make certain through communication. It is essential to organise the presentation with very attractive manner to draw the consideration of the product and service prospects whether it is automated or unstructured but would successful to influence customers decision making process (Kotler, 2003).
Kundu (2010, p. 39) added that the demonstration is the central part of the sale procedure where the sales staff in point of fact convey the positive information as well as endeavour to change customer’s mind the panorama of successful product demonstration to formulate viewer into a customer. The most influential factors those are essential to take into account to arrange a product or service demonstration are the cautiously practise to diminish the opportunity all sorts of breakdown while the industrial sales staff are emphasised to take support of the technical personnel.
Customer Approach and opening Sales Staff dialogue
After having the sufficient pre-approach information and satisfactory prospect of the product and services, the sales staff would drive to the next phase, which is the authentic approach of offering to the customer; this phase would often create or crack the complete arrangement of sales. In real life practice, if the approach fails, the sales staff possibly will not get any scope to offer a demonstration to exhibit to the customers to draw their attention to the product or service prospects that instantaneously inspires the customer’s decision making criteria. The fundamental criteria of approach or product offering has consist with several common decisive factor while in the preliminary approach would deliver with the sales staff’s own introduce to the panorama of the organization that he represent arguing with strapping self image.
At the customer approach, the interaction between the customer and sales person would consist with pointing to the product or service prospects and it would be huge successful while the product or service is enough exceptional along with drawing attention at one glance. The sales staff would switch on the sale with the point where the consumer would enjoy benefits and come closer to the offer through explaining the prospect of the product or service pointing to the each advantage that would delivered with sales In other words, directs the prospects attention toward the benefits the firm has to deliver. Moreover, within the customer approach, the indication of referral looms those were successful and generated strong customer base would be more effective in accomplishment of the listeners through prospects that is complicated to witness directly by the customer, for such referral it is essential to take prior permission from the past customer.
Achieving objections and problem-solving domain of Sales Staff
Bolvako (2011, p. 123) argued that the achievement of objections and problem-solving domain of sales staff has organised pedestal on the theoretical framework of integrating mutually the consultative selling scheme along with the classical model with the tools of spelled out oppositions that come out from the customers concerns connecting the repeated benefits from the product and services. The functional plan that set up for objections has integrated with this domain while closing and satisfying customers needs at the next stage. Thus, this domain is a joint collaboration of customer and sales staff that ultimately indicate relationship-marketing stage.
Hopkins and Laaman (2003) positively argued that the grand sales staff is the great problem solvers in the business world and the literature of marketing has exposed that individual sales staff who regularly expand his lexis through reading literatures and participating in different social events, playing games and solving crossword puzzles are more successful to gain problem solving capabilities. It has also evidenced that listening to classical music assists to increase the mental stamina of the sales staff by stimulating the parts of the brain that boosts healing and motivating capabilities though the thing looks like unrelated to the sales drive most of the successful sales staff has designed their regular life with such attributes and get tremendous outcomes.
Closing and satisfying Customers Needs
AMA (2003) pointed out that subsequent to having come back with and overcome customers interaction, at this stage the sales staff would ask the customer to place his order from the assortments of offering. If the customer does not place order at once, there is nothing to dishearten or consider the entire efforts has wasted if not the sales staff get hold of customer’s assurance to purchase the offered product or services. The sales staff would keep in mind if the customer has satisfied with interaction and both for quality and the price, he must back, thus this is the stage to closing the deal with that customer and look for another. In practice there are quite a few techniques to closing the deal with customer, the sales staff would select any of them depending on their particular circumstances.
Bolvako (2011, p 126) mentioned that there are huge array of closing and satisfying customers needs while the direct asking for purchased has emphasised at the to and argued for not to wasting huge time for a single customer who is under uncertainty to making purchase decision. At the same time, contrary to the classic theoreticians, modern scholars has emphasised to keep room with customer for further negotiation with the aim to generate future sales based on the present relationship which would be right use to time And effort and resources.
Follow-up and relationship maintenance with Customers
Bolvako (2011, p. 67) explained that the function under the this domain is to rely upon the major two resources from a lot of factors those involved for promotional activities of sales service along with product support keeping up a correspondence to the techniques of the engagement of customer service practice. Within the area of follow-up and relationship maintenance with customers, the sales staff’s activities would engage with a lots of entertainingly of numerous significant conducts aimed to ensure customer satisfaction, for instance sales staff would send thank notes and communicate with the customers to get feedback and follow-up the satisfaction of the customers who already served. The area of follow-up domain has founded with at least three essential elements like thanks giving, appreciation notes and regular scrutinising the status of customer satisfaction through handling customer’s complains and objections efficiently with the intend to bring their satisfaction.
The action of performing maintenance would be investigated with the tools that the customers usually adapt by means of the activity installation while such duty has also pointed out in the company’s job descriptions and the supervise integration has tailored to serve by the consultants for providing technical support. Such function of Follow-up and relationship maintenance could also be delivered through technical workshops arranged for the customers by the company organised with technical sales staff who are nominated for consultation and providing suggestion. The effectual handling, writing up, and expediting orders by the sales staff are together called follow up while ensuring appropriate payment method, order management, and customer feedback have linked with the process.
Internal coordination and Personal development Sales Staff
Serdaroglu (2009, p. 107) argued that the internal coordination area would perform internal harmonization duties like information management with operational tasks, order handling, team management, sales staff performance, initiating training program, call recording including sample management where sales force automation is an effectual tool for group performance. To integrate sales force automation, it is essential to have a large database where the regular performance of the sales staff would be exchanged for not to overlap target customer visit and other sales function and it will ensure a high quality operational system with a state-of-the-art database that supports both the groups and individual performance. At the same time, this process would also utilise for administrative purpose including booking, and management information system to develop further organizational strategies supporting the core value chain of the organization.
The internal coordination is a system of straddling procedure that is essential to match up the commitment to employ market information to generate supervisory values for customers through order-fulfilment practice along with relevant customers’ service duties where sales force automation would positively enhance internal coordination dimensions. This process would keep extended significance on the personal development of the sales staff by organising training to improve the capabilities of the sales staff with accurate information and organizational values that would generate greatest potentials for personal development of the sales staff.
Determinants of sales Staff Ethical Behavior
Roma´n and Munuera (2005, p. 14) explored that the determinants of ethical behavior of the sales staff and placed the mode of compensation along with control system at the top priority for significant determinants of ethical behavior where the age of the sales staff is also another imperative factor to deliver ethical behavior at the first tire. The educational qualification of the sales staff, his job satisfaction, conflict resolution method of the organization and performance measures are also interlinked with the ethical behavior of the sales staff at second tire. The significance of the second tire factors are less imperative than the first tire where ethical behavior of the sales staff leads to inferior stage of conflicting role and superior intensity of job satisfaction without delivering higher stage of performance, their model has presented as follows-
Roma´n and Munuera (2005, p. 3) that the reward and control system of an organization is the most influential managerial factor that seriously have an effect on the sales staff performance and it has already determined that this factors significantly influence the customer-oriented selling which has strongly based upon ethical behavior. There are huge researches with the reward and control system, and most of them identified the relationship connecting the compensation system and ethical standard and acknowledged noteworthy relationship that the reward structure of an organization appreciably prejudiced the ethical behavior of the sales staff.
Cadogan and Lee (2009, p. 10) studied the consequence of control system upon the sales staff’s ethical decision-making and their ethical judgments rather than their behavior that the sales staff testimonies and pointed out the relationship of control system ethical behavior. It has been argued that the ethical behaviors would be engaged and motivated to attain sales staff’s individual goals connecting with organizational objectives. They advocated for salary and commission both for the sales staff’s compensation plans and for called attention to adopt an enduring orientation along with devote time and efforts to comprehend the future sales and enhance the ethical climates and it has proved that the higher preset salary of the sales staff produce more ethical behavior.
Roma´n and Munuera (2005, p. 5) added that the demographic variables like age and education are the alternatives that together traits and attitudinal features of the sales staff would produce ethical behavior while the younger sales staff has more opportunity to motivate than older for ethical decision making and more educated sales force produce more ethical attitude.
Ethical Behavior of the Permanent and Temporary Sales Staff
Defining Unethical and Ethical Behavior of Sales Staffs
Haron et al. (2011, p. 7) clarified the unethical behavior of a sales staff, as a most simple form that is the immoral performances relate to ambiguity role with extreme burden of sales target and intention to making prosperity in short cut leads to performing unethical behavior. To reducing unethical behavior of sales staff, most influential forces are involved in constant monitoring, support along with motivating and encouraging role to construct transparent performance roles. For more details, there are six key factors that promote unethical task of sales staff namely at the time of advertising, marketing, and conduct sales effort convey disingenuous presentation of the target goods and services. Theses factors involved with fail to knock with consumer’s desired goods and services and recommend as well lacking of proficiency to performing competently individual’s assigned duties integrating with the matter of inconsistency that minimise individual financial gains. The unethical conducts also make parallel to the supplementary personal benefits or individual performance rewards against one’s responsibilities, misrepresentation of individual expertnesses in the area of service delivery management and finally, endorse disparaging remarks about rival’s status as well as their products, services employees or agents.
In responding to these forces, several research reports identified that there are nine ethical issues5 while the biggest organizational dilemmas obstructing staff’s ethical attitudes and accessibility of employee’s ethical behavior identified four major catalysts that play behind for instance, compare to usual compensation and reward. The settlement of claims pay significantly lower, without knowledge of an employer engaged with a part time business, discouraging feedback from prior sales staffs and discouraging practises of regional manager that obviously brought kickbacks from existing and potential rivals. On the contrary, defining ethical behavior, hypothetically it has emergent to familiarise with planned behavior where sales staff’s performances are namely guided through three attributes like behavioral beliefs included behavioral outcomes and evolutions, normative beliefs involved with complying optimistic motivation and sound expectation and lastly, control beliefs attributed through execution of impede performances as well as conduct with perceived power. Alternatively, these three ingredients of ethical behavior delivered either favourable or unfavourable attitudes, subjective norms to perceiving social pressure and persistence of control behavior gradually. In experience of ethical ingredients there have several unavoidable control variables where age and experience are considered most significant (Haron et al. 2011, p. 7).
Ethical Sales Staff Behavior
Tweedie (2011 p. 1) added that the ethical sales staff behavior (ESB) has consisted with eight imperative attributes6 influenced the buyer and seller relationship and additionally, involved defining circumstances of sects of ethical behavior. At earlier stage, ESB has influenced valued buyer’s trust and commitment conforming two crucial ingredients those delivered most strong sales leadership potentiality with consistent with the empirical model of constructing positive buyer seller association. Alternatively, buyer trust is a primarily condition of resulting effective ESB during constructing significant block of buyer commitment and in gaining buyer trust expert sales staff should to demonstrate reliability as well as high integrity. Consequence of this, buy building foundation of trust buyers confidence have increased gradually hence their observable behavioral blocks easily grasp five circumferences7 since, buyer’s lower incline monitoring on ethical sales staff’s activities proportionately tends towards more valuable buyer seller affiliation thus make them save valuable time and anguish tasks.
Tweedie (2011 p. 2) also pointed out that, during the middle phase ESB effectively influenced concept of the share of customer that denoted volume of consumer’s devotion for a particular firm as well as their particular product or service. In another word, percentages of share of consumer is equivalent to the economical advantages of reinvestment along with brand loyalty but there have not any direct affiliation with ESB and share of consumer to building positive buyer relationship commitment proportionately by anticipating higher future returns. Another mid level phase of ESB influences the buyer’s communication where ESB has passively knock buyer communication to transmitting judicious and on time delivering information from buyer to seller. Under this approach, buyer and seller’s affiliation advance communication conveyed rich benefits both the parties as well as effectively grow strong networks of buyer’s commitment and trust because buyers who trust on ethics of a sales staff more comfortably and frankly communicate and in addition, forced by a tendency sharing more information for a continuous relationship development. At last, ESB influenced for positive communication through word of mouth, which is an interpersonal communication mode to elaborating optimistic business reviews by buyers positive sharing with their associated peers, and thus this interpersonal communications carried rather greater weight that recommended significantly optimal level of trust on the way of buyer trust. Following figure demonstrates dynamics of ESB –
Engagement of Permanent and Temporary Sales Staff
Manpower Inc. (2006, p.15) explored that in aggregate form, the engagement as well as managing employees have treated under workforce management that included both permanent and temporary sales staff of an organization. Consequently, motivation and performance mobilisation of aggregate workforce has derived through a dozen of engagement forces where performance evaluation has concentrated on two key dynamics for instance, clear vision of entire expectation and treated under a meaningful working atmosphere. Meanwhile, sales staff’s chief engagement forces are encompassed sequentially as utmost performance factors effectively patronized by proper treatment of entire staffs with respect that effectively as well as efficiently able to recover frustration and hence covey glowing reviews towards both employer and employees.
In order to supervise contingent employee’s expectancy executing best efforts to do an assignment as well as removal of ambiguous matters fix up an expectation parameter. Establishment of sense of belongingness so that employer’s would successfully able to pay significant leadership role as well as motivate sales staffs to convey utmost performances therefore staffs felt stronger emotional affiliation with their employer. In engaging employees most of the organization has significantly suffered lack of equal treatment practice and policies where temporary employees are sourced through either contract or outsource and usual tendency of the organization has not permitting temporary workers, attending regular teamwork activities along with has delivered unconvincing workplace attitudes that has not go with the employee’s code of conduct.
The engagement of workforce permanent employees have enjoyed rather superior facilities than temporary consequently, required tools and resources are also delivered following a discriminatory manner that resulted serious frustration of job security but delivering equal work tools and resources effective to engaging all type of employees as well as boosts their performances. Promoting worker’s performance and engaging them for long both on job training and off job training is crucial where authority should to be frank, responsible, honest, and appreciate two ways feedbacks for fair judgment along with encouraging critical forces of the organization fluently. At the end of describing diversified employee engagement, strong team work, fair recognition, abandon opportunities for regular learning, development and progress, under stability to develop success of business effectively and efficiently and lastly, ensure proper security for the entire sales staff would recover all of workforce engagement difficulties (Manpower Inc. 2006 11–20)
Effect of Outsourcing Temporary Sales Staff
Erickcek et al (2002, p 11) mentioned that the outsourcing temporary sales staff is an essential ingredient of an organization’s entire workforce to conduct selling performances. The significance of prioritising temporary sales staff of an organization is that there have abandon scope of practicing low skilled labour market working conditions like wages and benefits. In addition, many intensive case studies on diversified industries defined that outsourcing temporary sales staff either adversely affected or highly benefited in consistent with low skill labour market strategy. In brief, adverse effects of temporary sales staffs compensation package would effective and unambiguous if numerous substitute agencies followed a long-term low skill labour market compensation policy and consequently, outsourcing temporary staffs get high compensation, wage benefits, and assign management functions. For instance, within last decade, number of outsourced temporary employment has increased by 10 % and function of these employments has increased dramatically by means of innovative sales and managerial tasks.
Erickcek et al (2002, p. 39) also illustrated the effects of outsourced temporary sales staff, this part has crafted numerous key issues involved with long–term substitution, low union status, loss of regular wages, potentiality to switch as permanent employee, employer’s motivation to hire temporary staffs. The reduction of employer’s constrains during employment form, screening core competency, ensure and restore quality of well tested systems, control of high employment costs, reduction of layoffs by prioritising enhance staff’s productivity and increase of entire organizational productivity, figure below presented the way by which outsourced staff provide competitive advantage for the organization-
Theory of Planned Behavior
Alt and Lieberman (2010. p. 3) explained that the theory of planned behavior (TPB) is analytically a hypothesis on human behavior that connected and concern on human attitudes with action. More specifically, the TPB accessed on the way of individual’s beliefs on a specified –behavior, beliefs on social norms connected with specified–behavior and belief on controlling approach regarding to the result of a specified–behavior. In reference with this argument, the TPB has composed through three ingredients individual behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs and lastly control beliefs. In broader form, intention of the behavioral beliefs involved to assuming direct precursor of an actual action and in addition, empirically, effective for well supported in transmitting diversified behavioral approaches, social domains inn relevance with advertising, marketing, communication, and cognitive social psychology. Recent overview on individual behavioral beliefs discipline articulated numerous features namely, authentic, repeatable along with practicable social simulations. In defining normative beliefs TPB mostly emphasise on decision making procedures of public policies significantly including investigations of changes in the beliefs, values as well as interests8 where as control beliefs is a motivation tool that engaged to recover depressing movement of human being with the society whole whether expectation of any action fail to convey positive result. Alt and Lieberman (2010. p. 5)
Outsourcing Sales Staff Behavior Problem and Prospect
Rajagopal (2007, p. 3) argued that the significant ingredient of entire workforce of an organization, outsourcing sales staffs are featured with both prospect and problematic issues. To illustrating prospect of an outsourced sales staff, at earlier stage it should to notice that they have played a dramatic role on building inter–personal communication bridge along with enhance pre–purchase arousal motivation for organization’s product or service thus manufacturing and marketing department of an organization enriched swiftly. Alternatively, prospect of an outsourced sale staff involved to define and analysing core behavioral motivations of valued consumers that influenced assessing leisure shopping behavior as well as investigation of empirical consumer values. In thus way, outsourced staffs are he significant promoter stimulating consumer interests to buy product or service and additionally, influenced for product attractiveness. Meanwhile, consumer cantered business organizations like financial institutions enthusiastic to appoint greater number of outsourced staffs for superior market coverage as well as boost sales volume make strongest competitive position during the industry.
On the other hand, outsourced staffs are typically termed as promoters to performing specialised target activities to expand service network of the organization as well as disseminate organization’s brand image to attracting more satisfied consumers and the outsourced staffs can be deployed organization’s strategic distribution networks or the supply chain management. Another significant issue is that direct interaction with the consumer during delivering services outsourced staffs have wider scope of reducing cost structure and consequently enlarged equity of the organization. Moreover, employment of outsourced staffs are also a matter of dilemma for several organization for instance, narrow scope of post-purchase consumer relationship, wrong impression of company image as well as product and service, no clear direction of wages and salary along with fringe benefits and for more details following figure demonstrates problem and prospects of an outsourced staff (Rajagopal, 2007). Figure below illustrates the problem and prospect of outsourced sales staffing –
Standards of Sales Staff ethical Behavior
DHFS (2011, p. 7) illustrated that the diversified attributes in marketing profession experts define the ethical standards addressing numerous performance qualities of technical skills. In sequence of this, sales staffs should to subscribe towards several ethical principles as well as standards to stimulating individual along with team or group decision-making procedures and actions as well. Typically, ethical principles of a sales staff are composed through three components integrity, value, and loyalty. Effects of these three principles establish sales staff’s ethical standards in this way that encourages extreme devotion for an inflexible ethical behavior, expansion of awareness as well as acceptance of ethical conducts and finally, emphasise on the key role of ethics during formulating selling decisions. These three motivations are worked for structuring ethical behavior standards too stimulating entire sales department and in addition, ethical standards of sales staff are not assign to displacing organization’s policies but passionate to modelling considerations. It has common to all that every sales staff is officially recommended to striving a sound structure of acceptability and adherences in favour of these ethical standards.
Meanwhile, an organization itself is an encouraging dynamic that significantly develop, publish and make enforceability for an ethics policy in favour of the ethical standards. In addition, ethical policies should to be carved up with the entire sales staffs as well as external suppliers of the organization. Alternatively, it should to continue that virtually not all of situation does covered through ethical standards and guidelines where sensitivity to cultural diversity, laws, customs and suitable practices have taken places. Considering sales staffs ethical behavior there are ten chief ethical behavioral standards involved in perceived such impropriety, conflicts of interest (COI), issues of influence (IOI), convey responsibilities to the employer as well as superior. The other standards are building effective buyer seller relationship, construct sustainability as well as positive social responsibility, reciprocity, assembling applicable commercial and industrial laws, regulations along with trade agreements, building professional competencies with dealing of confidential plus proprietary information with loyalty (ISM, 2008, p.13).
Islamic Ethical Standard
In consistent with the case of this paper, this part has involved with Islamic ethical standards in selling financial products or services towards the Malaysian consumer in Penang. In order to engage with the Islamic ethical standards, here significant assessment has executed to draw the religiosity role as well as perceived ethical values to fulfil the demand of marketing and advertisement ethics of an organization. Regarding this point, idealism, relativism, and religious faith has focused in the light of Malaysian business atmosphere. In this study, it has revealed that both the factors idealism and relativism has moderated by means of individual’s religious belief and strength as well. In short, significant under stability of marketing ethics should to discover diversified cultures as well as inter–organizational practices. In reference with globalisation, marketing tasks has transformed and expanded rapidly since repeated change in consumer demand and because of globalisation during profit maximisation and high competitive atmosphere companies required to cover greater geographical areas than before in terms of international sales. Attach with this truth, multi–domestic companies obligatorily required to focus on host country’s own religious practices, potential consumers’ perceptions and moderate judicious factors.
Ghani et al (2011, p. 12) religious has influenced one to draw their ethical beliefs by distinguishing right or wrong and for the entire society. In considering this fact, business holders have also in emergent to learn that besides homogeneous societies and countries multi–cultural nations have ethnic groups with diverse religious beliefs as well as practice and hence, diverse moral values are also essential to consider in developing marketing ethics. To highlight the Islamic ethical standards earlier facts should to account before developing in an Islamic country like Malaysia. For an example, Islamic nations have strictly prohibited alcoholic drinks and other product or service due to their religious directions and in numerous sates of India prohibited marketing of beef products.
Sales Staff Ethic in Penang
This paper has already addressed that Malaysia has three ethnics groups who are strongly influenced through religious beliefs but in workplace that organised the sales staffs ethics in Penang, Malaysia has not yet significantly influenced and moderated through religious radicalism. Alternatively, idealism and relativism is strong moderator by religion on composing marketing and advertising ethics. Literally, high marketing ethics possessed thorough high idealism and conversely, idealism is a positive dynamic where as relativism focused on negative influencers. An assessment on 22–26 years sales staffs group of Malaysia identified that they are keener to accomplish their job responsibilities and duties rather than practicing religious moderator. Moreover, young sales staffs are more enthusiastic to making money within first third years of their job experiences. At last, major portion of the sales group agreed that religious faith is obviously a significant moderator but in their workplace and performing job responsibilities, religious belief has influenced at lower volume than their superiors do (Ghani & Rehman, 2011, p. 6).
Sales Staff’s Satisfaction Connecting to Customers Satisfaction
Critical Role of Sales Staff’s Service Delivery
Gima and Micheal (1998) illustrated the critical role of a sales staff in time of service delivery it has emergent to know about flow of service delivery management (SDM) as well as essential ingredients of the SDM. Before detail account of critical role of a sales staff, it is indispensable to have a look on essential service delivery elements those compose sales staff’s critical role as following diagram represents-
Mehta (2006, p. 3) explained in consistent with the above figure, consumer, resources, projects and program are the four core fundamentals those have treated as heart of SDM and the rest of nine ingredients9 patronised sales staff’s behavioral role that significantly crafted consumer satisfaction. At beginning in defining critical role, crisp, clear and unambiguous communication is the most crucial responsibility of a sales staff with the fundamentals of SDM where consumer should get utmost priority and since valued consumers are considered SDM as primary solution tool hence cordial relationship with consumer as well as superior authority. After effective communication and relationship, knock consumer’s crisis and recommend accordingly make the relationship durable as well as loyal. Organised planning is effective for conducting project activities as well as scheduling of the sales staff and in addition planning is assign to define and structure execution procedure of scope of the sales project, constraints during selling, forecast assumptions of sales target, discover and pick associates risks of the project, endorsement plans and finally, resource planning. In executing 24 X 7 supports, it has emergent to attach with online business system where sales staffs should to proficient providing a clear guideline of consumer demand. Alternatively, 24 X 7 is appropriate for automation of sales services where CRM10 practice is much easier through attributing three core dynamics namely; frequently change requests, inquiry on desired services that carried potentiality of change requests and appropriate problem management.
All of these phenomenons should involve in analysing performance issues of SDM as well as potentiality of statistical techniques, scope of RFC11 deployment, work–log,12 and UAT13. In the area of SDM, technology has covered significantly role by delivering ease B2C functions like ERP, SCM (Supply Chain Management), planning of production, managing contents, business intelligence and EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) and additionally, ensuring high return on investment. After adaptation of technology, growing companies as well as their sales staff should to implement modern technology and continuous upgrading them for a fruitful service management performance. Quality the key performance indicator of SCM along with the sales staff that proficiently reflect client’s expectations and rich benchmarks in consistent with the SLA (Service Line Agreements). Finally, integration of client application considering three forces namely, integration of gathered data and information, integration of application for a specific service and integration of available product and services (Mehta 2006, p. 5).
Sales Staff’s Motivation and Compensation (Reward) System
Warner (2000, p.14) argued that strategically, compensating employees is an effective motivation tools that mobilise an organization’s selling objectives as well as make flexible accountability to define individual differences along with deliver a fair perceived value, effort and entire procedures towards the available sales staff. In another word, sales person motivation via compensation as well as rewards has worked following an hierarchy of worst to best where worst compensation denoted as salary including only bonus where as best compensation packages involved with a high flexible salary payment where pool, commission and bonus has combined together to motivate existing sales staff. For more clarification, goals and objective of a well–designed compensation system has enthusiastically included assisting in execution of organization’s strategic mission, vision and goals, assisting in communicating organization’s corporate goals, well-defined performance standards or benchmarks, and assessing expectation level, attach a direct compensation package that can motivate current sales performance. The position and positions, attracting and grow with good people, generating high motivation towards the current sales staff, continuous involvement to analyse sales staff’s potentiality, account coverage planning, as well as allocation of selling time, be fair to employees and organization, delivering management control and finally, stimulate superior teamwork as well as cooperative efforts.
Warner (2000, p.6) also added that considering sales staff’s duties and responsibilities there are numerous stimulating effects of well design compensation system namely, increase consumer volume, new business development (NBD), keep attach as well as significant growth of existing business, dramatic expansion of consumer loyalty. And in doing so, compensation and reward motivate the sales staff’s to perform on the way of several selling strategies namely, reduction of advertisement dilemmas by increase of selling, highlighted value of advertising hence individual medium of selling, create value for every individual product or service, make sense to be the preferred supplier and be innovative. Above all, there have several difficulties in motivating through compensation packages and two of them are most drastically, hampered positive motivation of compensation system and they are, violation of sales objectives and assisting an organization to achieve their strategic goals and objectives through communicating corporate goals performance benchmark and match expectation. These two dilemmas are commenced through two ways; at earlier stage make complication in sales management by attaching a direct sales compensation as strategic objective and lack of unambiguous long-term sales tasks, objectives, goals, standards, and expectations.
Sales Staff’s Job Satisfaction and Quality of Performance
Gima and Micheal (1998, p.17 ) explored that in the area of marketing communication process, sales staffs are the most crucial ingredient and under specific circumstances if any organization wised to introduce a new product or service because of diffusion as well as acceptability among existing and potential buyers. Hence, several studies examined crucial role of a sales staff that consequence respectable sales staff’s effort, their satisfaction areas, and impact on performance by job satisfaction. Meanwhile, significant intra–organizational changes in the area of business and product development have also focused on sales staff’s effectiveness lead towards a successful consumer segment to defining influences of sales staff job satisfaction on their performances remarkable effects of a sales staff has focused at earlier significantly. In attached with the hypothetical view of sales staff’s effort followed by arrangement of adjustments significant organizational changes, scope of training, reward and compensation packages in order to enhance sales staff’s psychological acceptability as well as deliver stimulating forces in increasing selling efforts.
On the other hand, success rate of a sales staff in the case of Penang has entirely linked with expansion of their effort and hence, job satisfaction and superior performances but this avenue does not follow simple stimulus responses. Because of higher performance delivery dose not essentially require potential consumer resistance as well as optional market conditions to move towards contingency approach on under stability of sales staff’s efforts to sell a product or service. More specifically, at earlier stage, examination of impacts of sales staff’s effort scheduled on satisfaction along with performance in selling target product or service and investigation of the degree of chosen environmental forces moderating linkages with sales staff. To draw proper linkages between staff’s job satisfaction and job performance following are the obligatory sales forces for a sales staff. (Gima and Micheal 1998, p. 11)
In summarise form, in consistent with the above figure, parameter of sales staff’s efforts those influences of job satisfaction and job performances are mobilised through three obligatory dynamics product factors, sales staff’s and market competition or rivalry intensity. Among these product forces are conceived through self-advantages by selling, degree of synergy and resources of a sales staff where as characteristics of a sales staff included education status, experiences, ambiguity in consumer role and attitude to sale new product or service. In thus way, examination of linkage between job satisfaction and superior job performance fundamental premises those tends towards forthcoming greater potentialities to draw ambiguities as well as stresses for a sales staff and inversely, in elaborate form efficacy of sales staff’s efforts on satisfaction and performance would have ameliorate by job related stresses.
Customer Orientation of Sales Staff
To draw right scenario on sales staff’s consumer orientation, an analysis by JCM14 has represented that principally there are two key conditions namely, meaningful work experiences of sales staff rationally motivated them to covey enrich consumer orientation and on other side, two more effective moderating forces are present employee’s view towards organizational values with assessment of payment received from organization. Thakor and Joshi (2005) argued that consequence to this, several research reports appraised that pay satisfaction as well as meaningful work experiences optimistically motivated employees to influencing satisfactory consumer orientation. For more clarification, sales staff’s function is also a helping tool of consumer that fostered purchasing decision making as well as ensured satisfied consumer preferences.
In doing so, sales staff has strategically followed two sales approaches either consumer oriented selling or sales oriented selling and this two forms are functionally diverse from each other. In the light of consumer oriented selling, sales staff’s functions have required deal with both instant and long lasting consumer preferences and usually, instant preferences have felt and articulated clearly but the long lasting preferences are cantered with suppressed circumferences. In order to satisfy customer orientation, a sales staff functions should to determinant to discover latent preferences of a consumer and at the same time, urgent ensuring prompt sale potentiality. In defining impact and influence of staff’s function on consumer orientation, key difference between sale orientation and consumer orientation is that sales orientation deal with the opportunistic means where as consumer orientation possessed thorough listening consumer’s preferences. Moreover, to be enthusiastic in executing consumer orientation tasks, sales staffs should to be expert in intrinsic activity performances as well as extrinsic tasks consecutively (Thakor & Joshi, 2005, p.1–8).
Customer Convincing Appearance of Sales Staff
In this part of the paper, influences of a sales staff on consumer have discussed where function of a sales staff is five times more essential rather than advertising and promotional actions. To define the coupled interactions and influences between a sales staff and consumer numerous researcher has termed as the interaction dyad (Cho, 2001). In the area of selling financial product or service or in another retail atmosphere, sales staff is the most influential dynamic during consumer’s decision-making process due to representing satisfactory loyalty, staff’s efficacy and characteristics. Numerous assessment on staffs appearances defined that there has strong potentiality for an absolute anticipation of buying a product or service but a consumer may switch if sales staff did not convey satisfactory performances as well as appearances. In order to featuring sales staff attributes most of the consumer focused on clothing to denote identity, mood, and attitude and on another hand, a segment of consumer group emphasis on age limit to specify diversified attitudes, values as well as behavior.
Prioritising key requirement of the part, conceptual model has both hypothetically and from practical evidences, consider most significantly age and clothing type of a sales staff and hence influenced as well as assessed sales staff’s performances and assessment of expectancy on confirmation or disconfirmation between expectation and appraisal. In reference with the statement, the study on sales staff’s appearances principally circled through three dynamics two types of age group either adolescents or elderly, types of clothing either formal or informal and attitudes towards sales staff’s performances and make differences between expectation and appraisal. Consequence of this circumstance, it has affirmatively denoted that there has significantly positive affiliation of consumer attitudes to define sales staff’s performance where higher expectation as well as assessment of a sales staff’s performance closely linked with high satisfaction of a consumer. Alternatively, to draw the relationship status, assessment of expectancy conformation or disconfirmation along with consumer evaluation of consumer satisfaction reflect more satisfied consumer group and meanwhile, if a sales staff’s performance is equivalent or better than consumer expectation consumers are also respond as highly satisfied. (Cho, 2001)
Typically, functions of a sales person and development of trust of their valued consumer required to consider a set of critical elements to delivering as well as nursing effective, durable seller buyer relationship. This part of the paper has involved to illustrating common sales staff’s functions those proficient to conceive successfully consumer’s trust in the way of Meta Analysis Model (MAM) where fundamentals of trust along with sales oriented trust consequences have taken place. Under this circumstances, motto of the sales staff function is obligatorily required to considering judicious as well as beneficial influences15 in developing consumer trust and on other hand, sales staff should to modest in influencing trust over valued consumer and themselves as well. Point should to note that consumer trust in a sales staff is a key determinant assessing quality of seller buyer relationship.
In the light of MAM, sales staff is a curial rationale that accountable for building trust in the area of B2B (Business–to–Business) marketing where fundamentals of trust and unavoidable consequences of trust has conducted. More briefly, ancient nature of sales staff’s function is numerically proportionate with the level of consumer trust hence, there have a positive interaction exists among them to magnify sales volume. Meanwhile, sales staff has dramatic influence–ability in intensifying consumer’s level of trust and the post MAM stage resulted that other than common factors modest affiliation is more effective in building positive consumer trust as well as intentions and actions on sales staff. Finally, the MAM reported that the coupled affiliation between consumer and sales staff has also magnitude by competency and benevolence where sales staff’s engagement has faced several limitation of magnitude since of traditional selling techniques attributing negative effects. In the end, hypothetical definitional issues of consumer trust accounted affect, cognition, risk factors to decreasing sales volume, suspicion, examination of sales person attributes including experience, training and gender, sales staff’s behavior prioritising presenting product or service attributes (Swan et al., 1998, p.1–14).
To illustrating linkage among sales staff satisfaction or job satisfaction of consumer contact staffs as well as consumer satisfaction it has still a matter of debate which one is stronger or is sales staff job satisfaction weaker consumer satisfaction. In defining linkage among these two forces balance theory of consumer and staff satisfaction have first of all analysed unique attributes of consumer and employee to identify common attributes in order to address influences and impacts of employee satisfaction on consumer behavior. To locate consumer behavior attributes balance theory has enlisted consumer loyalty, preferred pricing strategies, and emergence of required products and services where as sales employees circumstances involved with reliability, empathy, and expertises. In consistent with the balance theory, these attributes has assign to elaborate the circumstances that either stronger or weaker relationship among sales person and consumer satisfaction and consequently, contingency factors of a sales staff has reconciled to systematic strengthen or weaken the connectivity with their valued consumers. Several researches on this study has revealed that currently, online business organizations are more favoured towards both staffs as well as consumers, for instance, consumer loyalty and emergence of products and services reflects positive sign towards their preferred suppliers company and conversely, awareness of pricing strategies treated as negative moderator. In reference with this example, key relationship of consumer and sales staff tend towards to notify positive influences but low empathy of a sales person rationally weaker the connectivity and in addition, ignorance of consumer demand of product and services has also weaker this relationship as well. And finally, managerial viewpoint addressed that handsome payment along with satisfactory working atmosphere are greater encouraging forces to ensure consumer satisfaction still there have several points of ambiguity in the discipline of relationship management (Homburg & Stock, 2005).
Factors Influencing unethical behavior of sales staff in Penang
This part of this literature search would investigate to identify the factors influencing unethical behavior of sales staff in Penang and to do so, it is essential to have a look towards the economy of Penang. Evers (2011, p. 5) argued that Penang State is the most influential knowledge hub of Malaysia where the density of knowledge industries and knowledge workers demonstrate the pragmatic landscape of Malaysia which is fragmented and overlapped knowledge industry clusters and derived to safeguard the knowledge-based economy of the country. Under the federal Constitution of 1957, Penang enjoys all the portfolios of government. The 1957 Federal Constitution gave nearly all the portfolios of government to be administering beneath the federal ministries, keeping some of the jurisdiction under the local government like religion, land matters and within such exercise, Penang has contributed double GDP growth of Malaysia. Idrus (2011, p. 23) mentioned that the Economic Transformation Programme of Malaysia has aimed to accelerate its speedy economic growth by creating 3.3 million new job opportunities and raising per capita income US$ 15,000 through 73% of the investment from Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) rather than Foreign Direct investment.
SERI (2011, p. 4) pointed out that that the GDP growth of Penang has evidenced 8 % while Malaysia aggregately has gained only 6.5% including the other states, while the contribution of GDP during 2006 to 2009 was in double digits. With huge balance of trade the state Penang has been flourishing with both domestic and multinational manufacturing industry while there is scarcity of resourcefully experienced and technically qualified human resource SERI (2011, p. 9). The workforce of Penang comes with innovativeness and technologically advanced society and the economy runs under labour intensive mode rather than capital-intensive alignment. Rather than the traditional logic of multitudes of employees, the workforce of Penang has structurally highly qualified while the employees has to shift themselves from production to technical phase of manufacturing in order to accomplish superior incomes in the economy of Penang where unemployment is a minor issue to take into consideration.
Ghani et al (2011, p. 3) explored the characteristics of religiosity linking with alleged ethical values of the marketers of Penang upon their marketing ethics, and identified that the relativism along with idealism touching the magnitude of ethics restrained by the religion alignment of this region where large segment of the demography inherited from Muslim. It has demonstrated that people of Penang having far above the ground idealism posed with superior ethics while it has also evidenced that sky-scraping relativism has not evidenced any drop off ethics although the idealism linking with relativism had moderated by religion configuration.
Haron, Ismail & Razak (2011) conducted a study to identify the factors manipulate the unethical behavior of insurance agents in Penang, Malaysia and argued that the external variables like supervisory influence, role ambiguity and the pressure of sale targets are the most dominating factor that drive a sales staff to conduct unethical behavior. This model has considered while age sex, education, and experience as control variable, the model has demonstrated as follows-
Haron et al (2011) bring into being that while sales manager has a propensity to favour sales staff for ethical behavior but predetermined punishment for unethical behavior has evidenced to be easy-going by the managerial alignment towards unparallel competition for sales generation. Noor and Muhamad (2005, p.16) identified that the supervisor influence has established by keeping full attention and getting opinions from the all individual sales staff while it could carry on an unfavourable psychological along with behavioral injury by distressing job satisfaction, extreme stress and motivational deviation of the individual sales staff. Meanwhile the sales target relays on the quantity of rewards that the sales staffs receive with consequential impact on the motivational level while there is a momentous association involving supervisory influence to entrust the unethical behavior.
Role Ambiguity in the Job
Safaria et al (2011, p. 1) conducted a research with the Malay academia staffs to identify role ambiguity linking with job insecurity and pointed out that the wave of globalisation has influenced to alter all feature of human heritage together with the nature and how the organizations would operate their human resource. Such changing dynamics of business operation has generated too much nervous tension, stress among the staff of business both manufacturing, and service sector. Consequently, ambiguity and conflicting situation posed on how a task of business operation would be conducted whether they would utilise the traditional staffing or engage outsourced freelance staff. Under this circumstance, employees suffer from invisible pressure of losing job and get in the way to carry out better performance of their jobs while there are reconciling belongings to the job insecurity and stress among the staffs.
This model demonstrates that job insecurity is a negotiator to generate job stress despite the fact that the role ambiguity along with role conflict does not have a straight consequence on job stress, but has tremendous roundabout consequence via intervention of job insecurity derived from job stress where the co-worker’s social support could contribute to reduce stress. (Ismail et al 2010, p. 7)
Moral Obligation & Behavioral Control
Strutton et al (1997, p. 1) argued that sales staff posses some extends of moral obligation to nourish the panorama of customers, uphold the objectives of the organization and fulfilling on ambitions. To coordinate these three dimensional obligations, they continually suffer from dilemma of truth telling (Strutton, Hamilton & Lumpkin, 1997). Such dilemma generates from ignorance and conflicting interest of the stakeholders that usually obstruct the pathway to conduct morally acceptable sales behaviors where implementation of standard ethical codes at organizational level is the most successful preventive measure to keep a stopple toward unethical sales behaviors.
Krishnan et al (2010) conducted a landmark research with job satisfaction as an impending mediator linking motivational job characteristics and employees behavior and identified that the staffs are always aligned with self-interest at the top of priority among the other obligations. Their second priority is the corporate concern while they look to the customer’s needs at the third choice of their obligations along with other obligations like the nature and mode of the transactions. At this level, it is essential for the sales staff to emphasis on the concern of dealing too many mixed motives at a time without any moral hazards complying with ethical standards.
In Penang, Malaysia up to till now, there is no standard of ethical code sales staff has been introduced that could be suitably utilised to conquer the distinctive situations that donate guidance for moral dilemmas that sales staffs repeatedly encounter at their sales drive. For the credit card sales, the concurrent situation demands to have an ethical code, which will provide appropriate guidance towards the ethical paths under an assortment of sales drivers and it would also clarify the rationales of associated spending for moral learning to remove ignorance and conflict. Such ethical code would be valid in context of the globally accepted wisdom of customer expectations along with sales staff’s behavioral reputation to point up the reason why, when, and how the sales staff are ethically essential to speak out the truth keeping attention to the corporate interest, personal interest, and customers’ needs.
Extreme Sales Target
Ahmad et al (2010, p. 9) pointed out that sales target is a dominating force that accelerate the financial performance and profitability of an organization keeping strong interdependency between the sales staff’s commitments and organizational commitment. The linkage between job performances of sales staff along with their persistence commitment has an inverse relation with sales performance, while extend of commitment increases sales generation decreases with dependable variables like target and commitment fulfilment (Ahmad et al, 2010). Sales target always act as a threat to reduced earning or losing job, thus some researches delivered negative relation correspondence among the measures of organizational commitment and the sales generation of the sales staff.
Salleh and Kamaruddin (2011, p. 4) added that sales staff who carry out better sales performance, has higher self-efficacy to negotiating and motivating the customers for the reason that they consider that they pose proficiency to gaining the sales targets without any unethical conduct. Thus, the successful sales staff emphasis on their interpersonal skills to reach their sales target while the reluctant newcomer sales staff point to the extreme pressure of sales target. Penglase (2010, p. 1) added that the sales staffs always look for excuse for not to reaching their sales target and identify uncompetitive price, inferior product or service quality than the competitors, territorial hazards, and weak CRM system but urge that enough sales are in the pipeline.
Lower profile of socio- Cultural orientation
Smith (2004, p. 41) mentioned though the modern corporate has been aimed towards global operation, culture and cultural diversity still carry on as a significant factor how corporations would act in global context in spite of the debates between the academia scholars and business practitioners regarding the magnitude of culture among the nations. The multinationals operating globally has been continuing to solicit the consultants and talents of culture to progress their cultural alignment in different countries while culture plays a predominantly applicable role surrounded by the domain of sales staff and their communication and relationships within the customers (Johansson, 2008).
Smith (2004, p. 18) added that the culture keeps a significant responsibility to determine how the individuals would behave at the workplace, the way in which staff would interact with each other, what the values they perceive and care for each other keeping an effect on their manner, degree of coordination among their shared vision. Within the sales orientated companies, contacts stuck between managers and sales staff could be more than ever critical than any other type of business orientation in view of the fact that they pose greater closeness along with significance to the sales and profit of the company. Thus their relationship has usually persistent on the ordinary demographic variables like their age, sexual category, and race by taking into account of the internal features of the sales staff linked with their cultural orientation in the workplace domain.
Smith et al (2002, p. 11) added that the actual behaviors observed within sales companies has evidenced that the culture may represent both conventional values along with the sales manager’s strong prognostic and prevailing values with linkage to the sales staff behavior. The culture is the context of overall communication framework of people that replicate the underlying meaning of communicated information and the perceptible structure may interpret in accordance with the both high versus culture along with low dichotomy. The high framework of culture corresponds with extremely imprecise means and usually spells out mutually pointed out set of delicate, indirect, but predetermined messages, while the low paradigm of culture communicates with more open meaning that naturally expressed by simple sign with verbal encounters. Lower level integration of culture among the sales staffs necessarily demand to have training to realise identities, taking motivational spirit along with most wanted outcomes of interactions (Weng and De-Run 2010, p. 5).
In context of credit card sales in Penang, the sales staff exhibit differences in culture and their values, though their beliefs and faith oriented from Islamic values with respect to Malaysian local moderate environment while the diversity of culture put into a practice of momentous influence on the sales staff’s behavior. Among the credit card sales organizations, the existing culture has developed with the values that they put into practice, assumptions that trust, and the way of interpretation at their organizational level with the most common set of the factors influence individual behavior psychologically along with organizational framework. Among the sales staff in Panang, culture played a three dimensional influence where culture in the credit card companies have supported the fundamental principles of sale revenue maximising trend rather than emphasising on human behavioral factors while culture without any doubt an irrevocable factor of exchange among the sales staff and customer.
Lack of Education
Abdullah et al (2007, p. 3) explored that the socio-economic progress of Malaysia has the highest degree of influence by human resources performance mutually in the governmental and nongovernmental sectors, while the recent national development plan of the country has kept highest emphasise to deliver the growth strategy through knowledge-driven human resource development. Fleming and Søborg (2010) pointed out that the emerging economy of Malaysia urged for skill human resource development especially in professionals and technical categories while 28 % of the existing staffs are under this categories. In the knowledge incentive jobs, females have the grater share, with such a characteristic of the job market there are huge domestic and foreign Universities working to address the needs of skilled human resource in Penang.
OECD (2010, p. 26) presented the involvement of academia in provisos of teaching and learning with the aim to meet the necessity of skills for the labour market though there is no specific strategy for student defined to recruitment and job market in the state of Penang. The Universities are independent to set up their individual strategy to address the job market needs and to attract students with brilliance of educational programme for both graduate and postgraduate level. There are some Universities in Penang with global reorganization for their contribution in the knowledge world. Conventionally, the PECC16 is the state governmental agency to design and develop the system for rational objectives of the educational policy in Penang though it is merely a private sector higher educational institution of the state Penang. The Universiti Sains Malaysia of Penang has dedicated to the postgraduate research aimed to accelerate the socio economic development of the state by producing competent human resources for the both private and public sector along with the multinationals. There is a remarkable joint effort and alliance among the Malaysian Universities to meet the needs of job market.
In credit card marketers in Penang, are under pressure to engage skill and competence sales force but the shortage of accomplished human resource they are involving less educated sales staffs, even just coming from high school. Due to lack of education, such sales staffs easily align with unethical conduct with customer, which already generated huge scandal in the market. It is thus essential for the credit card companies to immediately introducing huge training and supervision among the sales staff to accelerate their learning outcome in the industry.
Lack of Motivational drive in the Job
Hong and Waheed (2011, p. 3) investigate the consequence of motivational drivers on the job satisfaction of sales staff in the Malaysian and argued that sales staff have an explicit and everlasting impact on the customers respond that produce loyalty to the organization or to the brand. In the concurrent Malaysia, the corporations spend millions of Ringgits to recruit, educate and paying the sales staff as an attempt to encourage the sales force that ultimately accelerates sales revenue in every year with a stable growth of business volume. The sales and marketing companies engage a great deal of sales staff with lower pay rate of freelancer, part-timer, or independent contracting staff that donates very lower morals along with extremely high turnover rate in the company. The ultimate result of this malevolent situation of the staff has generated higher rate of voluntary turnover and lower extend of retention in Penang while job searching has turned into a culture in this region that indicates lack of motivational drive in the job.
For the credit card sales in Penang, it is essential to identify the motivational factors of the sales staff and ranking the level of their job satisfaction, with this identification, managers would be benefited to adjust and amend the compensation, and incentive system for enhanced motivation of the sales staff that would generates privileged job satisfaction along with enhanced performance. Hong & Ismail (2011). Hong and Waheed (2011, p.5) added that the most influential motivational driver to generate is the sales staff’s love for money, thus the credit card sales staff would demand for financial benefits for their motivation.
Regulatory Control over the Private sector employees
ILO (2007, p. 1) explored that both the public and private sector employees without discrimination of gender, colour and race in Malaysia has been regulated under the Employment Act-1955 along with Industrial Relations Act-1967 and Employment Regulations-1980 while the common law of the country has a greater influence in the staff regulation. All the legislation of Malaysia relation to the employment has safeguarded by fixing the minimum wage and exploring the way of dismissal and termination, which has directed allow at least one month to two-month prior notice with fifteen to twenty days additional payment.
Lo (2010) added that there is a continuous movement among the Malaysian employees union and the government to settle a minimum wage but the business community opposed and convinced the government to do so and argued that the wage should be determined based on the market demand through PLWS17. Some of the union leaders supported PLWS arguing that it will bring better pay for the workers. For instance, the sales staff would earn RM 500 in context of minimum wage rate but by fulfilling his sales target, he would be capable to earn around RM 3000 per month and the organization would drive to a higher productivity.
Customers Reaction towards Overuse of Marketing Effort
The term consumer ethnocentrism is expresses consumers’ beliefs about foreign brands in replacing domestic products and services and in broader from, tasks of consumer ethnocentrism assign to amass responsibilities, consumer loyalty and ethical behavior during purchasing international branded products and services (Keller, 2009). Alternatively, consumer ethnocentrism concept has also represented effects of COO18 either positive or negative impacts on international branded products and services to stimulate consumer purchasing decision making process where external environmental factors19 of an organization act as significant dynamics that proficient to learn about consumer ethnocentric tendencies which also termed as made in concept of foreign products and services. For more details, business analysis’s has developed “Consumer Ethnocentrism Tendencies Scale (CETSCALE)” for a sound comparative measure of customer behavior tendencies either in favour or against domestic product and services versus international products or services. In doing so, product development analysts are required to conduct a set of homogeneous validity tests in order to categorise consumer’s belief and ethics, attitudes, key purpose of purchasing and process of ultimate purchases and assessment of such tests revealed that diversified culture and country people represent diverse attributes20 of consumer ethnocentrism.
Meanwhile, consumer ethnocentrism has also focused on nationalistic emotions that significantly influence on consumers’ attitudes to define product and service status as well as purchase intentions. Another involvement of consumer ethnocentrism is that few cases of foreign product and service purchasing treated as an unpatriotic matter; therefore, purchase of international brands might be injure domestic industrial growth and its an assessment module of understanding a comparative view of potential consumers and corporate buyers behavior in order to justify significant cases of biasness as well as error. Alternatively, highly ethnocentric consumers are enthusiastic to perform more to focus on amazing virtues of international brands like discount offer rather horizontally discover the positive virtues of domestic products and services. At the end of this discussion, key observation of the issue expressed that consumer ethnocentrism has conveyed both responsibility and morality during acquiring international branded products and services and in addition, loyalty on domestic products and services. For more details, following is the chart of consumer ethnocentrism in different nation utilising the CETSCALE approach (Lim, Arokiasamy & Moorthy, 2010, p.6).
Social and Value Perceptions
From view point of an organization, concept of the social and value perceptions is assign to elaborate consumers thought on both domestic and international products and services where several critical rationales21 should to be justified in favour of conducting innovative marketing strategies that boosts brand sales volume as well as enlighten brand image significantly. Meanwhile, social and value perceptions are also effective approach to define consumers view towards branded products and services that has an intimate attachment with organization’s marketing strategies. In short, consumer’s social and value perceptions is an assessment module through which an organization has easily overlook impact of socio–environmental factors on consumer’s buying behavior, consumption decision making strategies, needs fulfilment modes and impact of globalisation as well. For instance, form view point of the paper’s demand, Malaysian as an Asian country has passed through a quick change of socio–environmental factors and hence, consumer’s life style has also changed promptly and in addition, current challenging economic atmosphere of world has played a significant role during making purchasing decisions. Conversely, social and value perceptions is a study approach through which an organization has promptly appraised quick change of consumer’s needs and demand or in another word, study of undersatbility of consumer’s frequent changing needs and demand during executing market operations.
Escape from significance of social and value perceptions lets have a hypothetical look on the core concept on social and value perceptions that refers a complete package of manufactured goods or services which has a significant influence on consumer’s purchasing behavior by ensuring satisfactory price and product or service quality. Another hypothetical view addressed that, consumer’s perceived values considering quality and price has discussed under the PMS22 study that eagerly consider and compare aggregate utility of delivered products and services and hence competitive success of a brand established through consumer behavior that highly influenced by external business factors as well as supply mode of product and services. Alternatively, modern value perception has dramatically shifted from traditional functional requirements of satisfaction and more interest to enjoy of liberty, pleasure and entertainment and in addition, modern consumer behavior parameters are now attached with product attributes, consumer knowledge, consumer functional satisfaction needs and demand and finally, consumer’s cultural and motivation factors. In short, consumer’s social and value perception towards brand possessed through symbolic properties carrying three phases namely, broad cultural motivation, shared social meanings by team or group management and building individual self-concepts focused on prestigious social status. At the end of this segment, positive sign of brand’s product and service significantly reduced research costs of the valued consumer and consequently level of purchasing risks of high quality products that purveyor several benefits of economic as well as high profile symbolic social value. (Lim et al. 2010 1, 9–14)
Green Marketing Ethics and Social Responsibility
Key purpose of illustrating green marketing ethical issues and social responsibility is to justify parameter of safety of the industrial modern technologies and in addition, focus advertising ethics in order to criticise several marketing functions conducts through prioritising greed and mismanagement of corporate activities those are cause of permanent ecological injures. More specifically, the term green marketing refers development and distribution of environmentally friendly or ecologically safe products and services which are attributed through a smaller amount of toxic, better durability, sound reusability and proper utilisation of recyclable raw materials (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006). Alternatively, modern life style as well as advance social standard of human being should to be aware of significant socio–environmental aspects like finite natural resources preservation and protection, environmental pollution reduction at significant level, protection of endangered species and strict control of excessive land use (Kotler & Keller, 2006). Meanwhile, green policies have included 3Rs namely, reducing, reusable and recycling and in recent time, few more corporate giants have evaluated that modern consumers as well as young generation are enthusiastic to pay more for any green product rather than traditional.
Alternatively, the term social responsibility of an organization expresses awareness of the business people in executing social functions that securing organization’s existence as well as survival growth as another sole functions23 and here it should to notice that earning profit is not the only function of an organization. For more clarification, social responsibility or the CSR24 integrating with the competitive advantages and strategies should to keep two major things where business functions should not be treated as charity and any single acts of an organization should not harmful for someone. To illustrate integration of CSR with the competitive strategies, interests groups25 of the organization has obliged to consider several issues for instance, public image involved with the goodwill and positive reputation by engaging social welfare programs, government regulations a medium to attached with socio–environmentally friendly values. In this connection, survival and growth is essential to supply available resources26 for well being of society since society is the chief supporting area of business survival and economic growth where employee’s satisfaction with handsome remuneration package and sound working atmosphere employees are necessary. The expectation of expect several fringe benefits to enhance company’s productivity 27 and profitability and finally, consumer responsiveness to secure consumers’ right through supply of quality products at most competitive price among the aggregate market Pranee, 2010, p.11)
Service Quality and Customers Satisfaction
The term service quality has developed globally through explosively and in recent time, it is the most effective approach of outlining an organization’s corporate marketing strategies as well as financial performances and better parameter of service quality would deliver an extensive outcome to an organization. Conversely, customer satisfaction denoted that emotional/cognitive responses of a consumer through a holistic assessment to define performance of purchased products and services. Alternatively, post purchase and post consumption responses has shaped customer satisfaction attributes and regarding this view consumer satisfaction can also be termed as the consumption experience that delivers end state results which might be reflected either positive or negative impression to define scale of consumer satisfaction scale.
In reference with the case analysis of the paper, literal overview of connectivity among service quality and customers satisfaction has focused on banking services where proficient banking services are crafted to draw sound consumer need fulfilment model. In another word, in order to earn customer satisfaction common approach of banking industry is to convey Structural Equation Models (SEMs) and through which justification of correlation among service quality and consumer satisfaction and in addition, assessment of perceived service quality through exploring future influence on the relationship (Tsoukatos, 2007). Alternatively, superior service quality of an organization acts as an essential success factors of any organization and modern demand for online or electronic banking services are switched to more focus on high touch/tech dynamics that has already demonstrated a high consumer satisfaction. Meanwhile, corporate cultures, pricing strategy, advertising approach in consistent with corporate and social values are the chief dominator of service quality and hence an enrich consumer satisfaction. For more clarification, following diagram revealed connectivity among service quality and consumer satisfaction (Mishra et al 2010, p.10).
Traditional Framework of Customer Behavior
In defining customers reaction towards overuse of marketing effort, traditional framework of customer behavior is an effective marketing strategy that worked for screening consumer behavior during available marketing channels as well as diversified business culture. Houghton (2001) argued that development of consumer behavior has typically known as the buying behavior that involved in two major segments namely, consumer activities and consumer responses. Alternatively, traditional structures of the consumer behavior involved in defining consumer decision-making procedures during buy of any product or services. In broader form, consumer activities is a component of consumer behavior that included three ingredients namely, purchasing factors, use or consumption factors and disposal of products and services factors and conversely, consumer responses involved in three phases emotional responses, mental responses and behavioral responses.
For more details, three fundamental consumer activities are considered as stimulating factors of consumer that guided them when to buy, how to buy and from where to buy. Alternatively, the purchasing activities is a medium through which a consumer can acquire desired products and services and in addition assists to evaluate and gather necessary information to make right purchases with modern value added and customised services like home delivery, online consultation and order. The use and consumption activities scrutinises three stimulating sources like where, when and how to make consumption as notice earlier. At last, disposal of product or service factors involved in post consumption tasks where recycling, reuses and resale has significantly integrated. On the other side, consumer responses are centralised through emotional responses, which also termed as affective responses, which reflects emotions, feelings and moods to define excitement and probable uncertainties during to make purchases. The mental responses well-known as consumers cognitive response that weighting pros and cons28 of any purchase and here it has to be pointed that mental responses can be neither evaluative or non–evaluative and may fond of particular brand’s product or service. Finally, the behavioral responses that almost similar to the tasks of consumer behavior activities as earlier described and in another word, it’s a stage of consumer for overt decision-making process during make purchases (Houghton, 2001, p.1–4).
Besides earlier description of consumer behavior featuring with two major segments, conceptual structure can be modelled through grounded theory with the aid of marketing channels along with diversified cultures and new dimension of the consumer behavior outline would allow managing diversified consumer segments, selling attributes as well as desired services fulfilment. Key objectives of this modelling are to draw a comparative scenario among typical consumer behavior and new concept of marketing strategies. Consequence of this, modern consumers are in emergence of proper e–CRM29 for sound acquiring, great challenge of availability of third generation (3G) and P2P (peer–to–peer) networking as crucial communication modes and significant limitation of wireless Internet services where as typical consumers enjoy trouble free purchasing medium, less conscious customer service and user friendly responsiveness. Finally, new concepts of consumer behavior entered into market to counter traditional thought through bargaining power of buyer and seller, loyalty, security, lack of availability and smart Internet pricing. (Houghton, 2009, p. 3)
e-Customer Behavior Model towards e-Marketing
In defining E–consumer behavior in the season of digital market development or online business building, it has emergent to have a business Website of an organization to convey vital services required by target consumers. In order to address E–consumer behavior, online companies has faced tough challenges due to rapid change of Internet surfer accessibility attributes during conduct of Internet marketing tasks and meanwhile, exploration of an e–business marketers are obliged to concentrate on two issues consumers view on product awareness and consumers view on expansion of product purchasing commitment significantly. Moreover, this study has also required focusing on delivering diversified consumer preferences that attributed with traversal patterns and hence, learning of an online business able to discover with the aid of synthesizing greater volume of accessible Web data by means of highly compressed information that instruct to producing optimal access patterns towards the target E–consumers.
During explaining E–consumer behavior this part of the paper has chosen the OLAM model30 since several favourable dimensions namely, transformation of E–consumers, psychological scenario of E–consumer behavior, reasons why E–consumers switch towards another and so on. Here it should to notice that E–consumer behavior has primarily composed marketing strategies prioritising B2C (Business to Consumer) approaches and under this circumstances E–consumer behavior model gathered knowledge on both feasibility and advance Web server delivering. In consistent with the OLAM model, analysis of E–consumer behavior identified that typical core marketing principles has significantly required vast re–examination to restructuring consumer behavior in times of Internet marketing and in addition, this analysis provide superior undersatbility of on–line consumer’s experiences. For instance, initial entry modes, attributes of Web pages to foster decision making processes with huge purchasing options and additionally, it has significant to articulating potential routes of E–consumer’s travelling zones within the Company’s Website in times of constructing online marketing planning. Being a psycho centred model OLAM has also enthusiastic to knock individual preferences along with group choices and describe hassle free decision making procedures, potential inferences of experience.
The competence to bring change of decision making during change of consumer’s choice, smart control of complex operation execution and most importantly arrange of experience sharing proxy models to define generic surfers models with aid of E–consumer behavior diagrams. Consequence of this, several arrangements has demonstrated diverse surfer interactions modes that defines consecutive series of online sites as well as gathered correlated demands within an individual session of marketing. Alternatively, typical requests options31 with diverse surfers exhibited multiple navigation modes as well as request options to different Web pages featured with multiple-choice options additionally various frequencies. Conversely, a group of buyers are categorised as frequent buyers and on other hand some are occasional buyers and common attribute of them is that they browse extensively but commitment to purchasing products and services occurred seldom from online sites of the organization. Hence, analysis of E–consumer behavior towards e–marketing has integrated through three phases namely, awareness of the E–consumer, exploration of the E–consumer and commitment of the E–consumer and in short, online or Internet marketing has categorised their surfer requests through three form awareness32, exploration33, commitment34 that reflects E–consumer behavior as well as their potential intentions. Finally, the e–marketing motivation tools inspire the target consumers discover through awareness as well as exploration then settle in the commitment level and cordial relationship among three phases make easier for the valued consumers to identify right track of the critical Web pages with continuous change of online marketing behavior. (Kwan et al. 1–9)
Excessive Marketing and its Impact
From early 90s decade, marketing researches have identified several embarrassing impact of marketing those are coherently intimated with mainstream marketing practices as well as unavoidable social issues (Sheth and Sisodia, 2005). In this part of the paper, central issue is impact of excessive marketing on consumer behavior and consequently organizational performance or profit margin. Early of describing diversified marketing impacts, it has well known that marketing is a vital wing of an organization’s business function with abandon unique role which highly patronised through consumer’s trust and loyalty and conversely, considerable corporate social responsibility with pleasant sales services. In defining excessive marketing impact, many marketing researchers have addressed that high ignorance of societal issues during marketing tasks execution would have delivering significant crisis on organization’s entire performances and in recent time, modern consumers are feared of marketing of any goods and services. For instance, a survey report published that over 60 % respondents hate marketing and conversely 70 % of them favoured marketing as much as possible.
Alternatively, 50 % of the respondents pointed that there have depressing impact of excessive marketing on their regular life35, which has seriously resister company’s advertising procedures. Considering this view, it can be argued that marketing is an essential wing of an organization but excessive marketing would indulge product and service image even if it doesn’t carry anything harmful. Escape from these pessimistic experiences, there have also several depressing news of marketing and advertising approach that conveyed surprising data on consumer’s hostile view and this identification revealed that excessive marketing has much cantered to covey managerial agenda rather than representing social norms, values and traditional cultures. More specifically, current marketing and advertising has primarily considered temporary corporate interest on boosting profit margin. On another hand, amplification of free market economy system inspires reducing self control as well as moral connectivity, hence, today’s consumers are keep away from over marketing and advertising. Hypothetically, to recover this dilemma of marketing, an organization as well as academies should instruct and trained potential marketing executives to speak as the voice of target consumers with conveying moral hazard to free from excessive negative impact on their daily life (Sheth and Sisodia, 2005).
Solution towards Marketplace
Earlier hypothetical discussion has focused on excessive marketing and advertisement impact on consumer behavior and following above, existing part has assign to discuss on necessary solutions to resolve market crisis. Considering organizational structure or business types, aggregate sales, marketing and advertising procedures required vast technical arrangements as well as unavoidable change in consumer’s demand and hence, articulation of right solution would brought greater win rates in the competitive market in terms of high revenue generation along with low cost structure attributes and thus ultimate operational efficiency would also developed. More specifically, it has smarter to switch from typical marketing approach to electronic form of advertising and another hand, entire investment outcome is also an important determining factor that effectively shaped organization’s obligatory needs and functional strategies. Meanwhile, the considering factors are listed as pattern of the business firm either service provider or product manufacturer or both, product documentation style and product line specification with pricing sheets as well as legal documents, product development and movements of dynamic forces that forced to transforming marketing and advertising strategies.
The workflow of three organizational wings legal, financing and marketing as well as their documentation status, approvals and updating and finally, availability of current technological platform within the organization. All of these forces are strategically unique to recommend right track for any marketing, sales, and advertising dilemma and subsequently there have several supplementary technical approaches those also enough efficient resolving marketing crisis as early described. For instance, availability of shared drives separated from organization’s website for advertising, marketing and sales, effective solution for official document management featuring integration availability with related group technologies36, system available to web content management in order to concern marketing and sales requirements of the organization, system available to collateral management through. It may which hostile consumer behavior towards excessive marketing would be neutralised by specialised storing method, organising, distribution of goods as well as tracking materials and at last, available hybrid or collaborative solutions to convey Web based marketing collaborative opportunities that would effectively compose bridge among employees and valuable consumers through coordinate, communication and collaboration (RDA Corporation, 2011, p.2).
Credit card sales staff and Customers in Penang
Job Resources and Job Demands in Penang
Zinnov (2009, p. 1) pointed out that the electronic and manufacturing sector have treated as a major job resources in the past but in the concurrent era BPO37, ITES38 PDH39 and techno-professional human resources are the top contributor in the Penang while there are elevated focus of R&D centres in Penang. In the Scrutinising, the Malaysian labour market it has evidenced that wage rate in Kuala Lumpur is at the top indicator while wage rate in Penang scored at the lowest level, more specifically the wage rate in Penang has assessed fifteen percent lesser in relation to the national average.
Lee (2010) makes it clear that Penang has been moving in the direction of a high-income level economy emphasising on advanced value-added attributes, knowledge predestined economic actions but failed to encounter with the high turnover rates of the staffs while recruiting, and retaining skilled and talented human resources is a greater challenge for the companies. Malaysian staffs always look for better job, switch to the multinationals or any other company without any obligation to their employer while the migrated foreign staffs demonstrate lower productivity, and hamper the usual growth of the business.
Cheng (2010) argued that that the development and growth of Penang has deeply concerned upon its rich supply of well-educated and trainable workforce to create a centre of attention of the investors towards the export-oriented electronics manufacturing for last four decades, by this time the skills of workforce has already gained enrichment of human resources. With the changing dynamics of Malaysian’s integration in the AFTA40 and WTO41, today Penang faced serious challenges of both reducing productivity and scarcity of skilled human resources.
The academia of Penang has drawn attention to address the rising need for skilled human resources but failed to respond appropriately, as a result shortage of skilled personnel, lack of highly qualified HR, deficiency of entrepreneurial expertise has increased in the state while bureaucratic barrier, brain drain, shortage of production force has threaten the growth of the country. Penang the Silicon Island of Malaysia is under serious challenge to encounter with the changing dynamics of human resource and to respond to this crisis, the local corporations have to look for the foreign migrant workers with lower payment. Following table shows the sector wise number of employed human resource that demonstrates the highest number of staff is serving at the sales and marketing service, which was 15.2 % of the employed human resource in the second quarter of 2010-
Cultural Diversity in Penang
Ahmad (2006, p. 1) indicated that the culture and heritage of a geographical location are always measured as an elementary factor to understand the foundation of national uniqueness and sovereignty of that realm. The uniqueness of the culture of Penang has exposed as an exciting long-established communities are thriving with their culture of broad-mindedness, harmony, multiplicity and stability and modernisation along with societal transformation. For the rich cultural resources and wealthy historical sites, UNESCO has declared Penang as one of the World Heritage while the capital city Georgetown has wonderful universal values illustrating with the architectures of eighteenth to twentieth century the Europeans, Chinese, Indians along with local rulers.
Mohamed et al (2001) identified that the culture of Penang has organised from the colonial influence Europeans along with the neighbouring Asian counties like China and India while core values has been inherited from the ruling of Sultans of Malaysian Peninsula. The local population of Penang consists of different Malay groups, large part of Indians, Chinese, Thai, and Filipinos with different ethical background and generates a multicultural society with moderate ethical standard to fit with the needs of competent human resources for the modern business. The people of Penang are well mannered and easygoing with foreigners without any complexity where the degree of cultural incorporation has wide-ranging for long time and the ethnicity have shaped the key standard for culture.
Values, Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction in Penang
After describing sales staff’s ethics in Penang, this part has involved drawing a scenario on values, attitudes and job satisfaction in Penang. Regarding this view, an intensified research on sales staffs in Penang focused that job satisfaction has significantly involved with superior management supportive role, salary structure and scope of promotion opportunities where as moderating dynamics influenced through age, gender, job experience and relationship with the superior management. In another word, three factors salary structure, scope of promotion and work experience has not only shape structure of job satisfaction in Penang but also outlined values and attitudes in several cases. Meanwhile, Malaysian academic atmosphere has also an influential source where a monetary reward is not as exclusive as job satisfaction demand. Another empirical study addressed that rather than temporary job status permanent guarantee is most dominant in drawing values, attitudes and job satisfaction in Penang emphasising two forces work experience and cordiality of superior management. Regarding this view, it should to disclose that values, attitudes and job satisfaction are also govern through leadership quality that intimately liked with organizational phenomena like organizational commitment, employee motivation, employee performance improvement and fairs appraisal of employee performances (Ch’ng, Chong, & Nakesvari, 2010, p.1–5).
Sales Staff‘s perceptions of Malaysian Managers
This part has involved in addressing perceptions of Malaysian mangers during marketing and selling and attached with the demand, in the light of typical leadership style several intensified research report focused that organizational commitment and the influences of Malaysian managers has strongly reflected transformational attitudes rather than transactional. Moreover, Malaysian managers are expert in building positive connection between two forms of leadership transformational and transactional those deliver satisfactory organizational commitment. In defining Malaysian geography and cultural diversity, Malaysia is an Asian country with Islamic values and perception among the populace but moderate with global context while the inhabitants are grouped into three ethnics groups42. More specifically should to address that highest number of Malaysian natives allied to Malay of Islamic values as well as lifestyle, which are a demonstrating fact of enormous influences on workplace ethics and ideology by Islamic values along with Islamic HRM43. On another hand, considering hypothetical view, organizational commitment is stated through Malaysian worker’s psychological affection to the company or workplace meant for something pledges, which proficiently draw undersatbility of relationship with leadership style and commitment of the Malaysian sales managers. Regarding to this state, entire outline of leadership style noticed that Malaysian sales staffs and mangers perception is more depends on transformational rather than transactional that shaped their organizational commitments (Marmaya et al, 2011).
The Organization System HR Policies of Credit card Companies
Financial institutes like credit card Company’s organization system demands adopting strategic human resource management (SHRM) for an effective practice of HRM policies as well as specify proactive managerial attitude, labour framework and major industry dynamitic of financial institutes. Meanwhile, HRM policy and practice of a credit card company influenced through domestic industry atmosphere along with competent policies for compensation and performance appraisal. Conversely, illustrative analysis of Company’s industrial relation (IR) following a complete appraisal of personnel policy within domestic entire operations as well as industrial atmosphere. HRM policies and practices has involved with four phase components namely, staffing, appraising, compensating and developing and these items are assign to perform controlling, reporting and monitoring employee tasks conducting business issues required exercising financial functions of managing credit card. However it should to be aware of that alike other financial institute credit card companies are also required to occupy official recruitment and training as well as exercising managerial development but credit card industry has much ardent to recruiting young people practising top management’s subsidiaries.
It would act like team performance, considerable group achievements, autonomy, direction, and individual achievement as well and these subsidiaries are treating as personnel autonomy under HRM policies. Compensation and performance appraisal of credit card companies is typically obligatory to regulate under CAPB44 due to nits compatibility of shaping employee’s payment structure and additionally, has significant leeway of practicing fair performance appraisal approaches. Now it should to address significantly that compensation and salary policy in the credit card industry featured through flexibility since legal elements are key dominator here. Industrial relationship another HRM policy that assists through analysing domestic market demand, resolving labour or stales staffs conflicts and simplify complicated industry atmosphere to the staffs at earlier of their job. On another hand, managerial actions has an effective role structuring HRM policies and practices where personnel management is absolutely free from top level management as well as facts of industrial relation. Finally, the abundant training scopes and commitment has linkage with high turnover in terms of attracting consumers of credit card and conversely, reduces tough competition with rivals. In details, following is the complete structure of HRM policies of a credit card company (Alboreca, 1998, p.198–217).
Strategic Approach to CRM at Credit card Companies in Penang
Strategically, credit card companies in Penang approaches to CRM (Consumer Relationship Management) in terms of service quality along with value added or customized product or services. Alternatively, electronic forms of customised services like Internet service or online service, ATM45 facilities and service delivery via phone are modern forms of consumer satisfying approaches in the credit card industry and hence, these forms of strategic service approaches have significant role on effective CRM as well as building consumer loyalty in Penang, Malaysia. Several rich researches on credit card companies in Penang reported that common tendency of the companies are preferred SERVQUAL model in delivering most modern strategic services to their valued consumer. In defining CRM status in Penang it has assessed that gradual improvement in service quality enhanced consumer loyalty and dimensions of service quality that get scope playing impressive role through three forms46 though existing credit card consumers are still now passed through numerous complexity. Meanwhile, consumer loyalty has also reflected through consumer’s intention on repurchasing and in Malaysian credit card history they have ten local commercial service providers along with sixteen international commercial institutes but current rush economic status as well as increasing competition forced them to involving with merger and deregulation therefore delivering service quality along developing positive CRM has hampered. In order to rescue from this criticise financial institutes with credit card service providers have recently amended BFIA 198947 and additionally, to convey dedicated service providers form a human intellectual body in terms of ICLIF48 in 2004 (Kheng, 2010, p.5).
The main objective of this chapter is to illustrate how the preferred research methodology would go with the prime purpose of the dissertation, and to provide clear idea about the data sources. This dissertation would mainly consider the research approach of Sekaran, six major steps of Malhotra, research methodology of Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis, Zikmund and methods of other renowned researchers.
Many researchers including Sekaran (2006), Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis (2006), Miles & Huberman (1994) and Malhotra (2009) pointed out that there are mainly two research methods, for example, qualitative and quantitative approach. However, Malhotra (2009) and Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis (2006) further stated that the former research approach is an unstructured exploratory research methodology based on small samples that gives insights and sympathetic of the problem setting; on the other hand, quantitative approach seeks to quantify the data by applying some form of statistical analysis, such as excel tools. However, Marshall & Rossman, (1999) and Malhotra (2009) stated that the difference between these two methodologies depend on the objective of the research, sample size, data collection method, questionnaire design, data analysis process and outcome of the research. According to the marketing researchers like Malhotra, it should use both qualitative and quantitative research approach to get successful outcomes, where former approach would help to explain the findings obtained from quantitative research. However, the following table would assist the researcher of this dissertation to select research approach for this research –
|Characteristics||Qualitative research||Quantitative research|
|Objective||To gain a qualitative understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations||To quantify the gathered data and simplify the results from the sample to the population of interest|
|Sample||Small number of non-representative cases||However, large number of non-representative cases|
|Data collection||It would be unstructured||It would be structured and it would be depend on the questionnaire|
|Data analysis||Non statistical and useful for descriptive research paper||This method is more statistical and the researcher have the opportunity to select data analysis method|
|Outcome||This approach develop an initial understanding||On the other hand, this approach recommend a final course of action|
Table 1: Difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Source: Self-generated from Malhotra (2009, p.137).
Considering the above discussion, the researcher of this study has decided to apply both qualitative and quantitative research approaches to deliberate the research. At the same time, the researcher would use both primary and secondary data to formulate the paper and discuss the sales staff behavior and customers’ respond.
Sekaran (2006) and Malhotra (2009) pointed out the purpose of generating primary data by stating that it need to collect to get the proper outcomes from the research focusing research problems. In this context, the researcher has decided to gather primary data to get accurate results regarding the factors affecting the credit card sales staff, such as, remuneration of the employees, leadership problems, sales target, duration, behavior of the customers and so on. In order to do so, the researcher would consider two major respondent groups to interview and he would collect data from Penang, Malaysia. However, the following table provide more information about the target respondents –
|Selected respondent groups||Number of contacted respondents||Number of respondents who provide feedback||Educational background of the respondents||Country||More details|
|Credit card sales staff||900||500||School level to University level students, graduates and post graduates||Malaysia, Penang||Respondents group consists of both temporary and permanent staff|
|Customers of credit card||1550||1000||No question would ask to know educational background of the customers||Malaysia, Penang||Customers have one or more than one credit cards|
Table 2: – Selected Respondents for interview. Source: Self-generated.
According to the Sekaran (2006) and Zikmund (2006), face-to-face interview is the most effective method of primary data collection though it is time consuming and costly process. Here, it is important to note that the sample groups or target respondents for this research is extremely large, therefore, it is quite difficult to use face-to-face interviewing method for this purpose. As a result, the researcher would use different technological approach to interview credit card sales staff and the customers of credit card in Penang. However, Malhotra (2009, p.170) and Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis (2006) mainly classified four methods to collect primary data from the respondents to formulate the research, for instance, telephone interviewing method, personal, mail and electronic interviewing system. To gather instant primary data, the researcher of this paper would consider instantaneous methods rather than face-to-face interviewing or field survey, as it would collect data from more than 1500 respondents to analyze the behavior of the credit card sales person and customers’ responds.
Cohen, Manion & Morrison (2007) and Malhotra (2009, p.37) stated “secondary data collected for some purpose other than the problem at hand” and this data have already published and accepted by the renowned authors, universalities, and publications. Therefore, this data sources are more reliable in accordance with the view of Malhotra (2009, p.37) and Yin (2003). However, the rationale to use such data is this data are available at lower cost or free of costs while data collection process is time consuming and expensive procedure (Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis, 2006). As the researcher of this dissertation would follow both qualitative and quantitative research approach, it is essential to collect significant part of secondary data particularly this paper mainly focuses on published data and computerized database to formulate the paper. However, Miles & Huberman (1994) argued that secondary data has numbers of positive factors, for instance, it is easy to collect, and less expensive. In order to formulate the paper, it would use Computerized Database and Published Secondary Data including general business sources. However, the following figures give an idea about the secondary data sources –
However, the dissertation mainly focused on the internet databases because this is an easy and less expensive system of data collection. Here, Emerald Journal is an excellent source, which properly analysed the credit card sales staffs behavior and measured possible responds of the customers though most of the journal address the problems of different areas. At the same time, Journal of Business & Economics Research, International Journal of Business and Social Science, and Asian Academy of Management Journal are good sources for this research.
It should mention that prepared different questionnaire would be dispatched to the 1550 customers and 900 credit card sales staff to collect data. Among 2450 respondents, it can assume that 600 sales staff and 1200 customers would be completed the questionnaire and return on the timeframe. However, this dissertation would use at least 1000 survey forms those fill up by the customers and it would use about 500 questionnaires those completed forms by the credit card sales staff of Penang.
Data Analysis process
It can assume that many customers and credit card sales staff would not be completed the questionnaire or survey form in recommended way, thus, it would full of error. As a result, it needs to apply several techniques in order to analysis the data without error and get fruitful outcomes. In this context, the researcher of this dissertation would verify all the survey form in order to edit unintentional mistakes, incompatible and fabricated information about the behavior of credit card sales staff and the customers’ responds in this regards. For the purpose of inspection, the variables would be coded in such way that would not be difficult to analyze the data and it would be easy to the readers, for example, the independent variable in each of the model would be considered by following some special techniques. As the questionnaire has designed with directional options and recommend selecting one option from multiple choice, it would be considered error if any respondent mark on more than one option in a particular question. At the same time, if any respondent forget to answer any question or give incomplete questionnaire, then it needs to edit to remove such mistakes. After completing the editing the primary data, it would be analyzed and graphically presented by using Microsoft excel.
According to the Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis (2006) and Malhotra (2009, p.281) pointed out that preparing a questionnaire to interview is one of the most difficult tasks as it plays vital role to reach conclusion and provide recommendation in accordance with the research problem. They further added that the researcher has the opportunity to use own discretion as it is not pure science Malhotra (2009, p.281). In addition, it is not essential to follow specific direction (Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis, 2006). The motivation behind the designing a questionnaire is to avoid unreasonable observation and opinion of the respondents as questionnaire binds the respondents to focus only on the particular problem area. However, it is essential to consider survey objectives, data collection method and question response format to measure the required deadline and output to collect data and conduct research work.
In addition, Malhotra (2009, p.289) pointed out that questions can be formatted structured and unstructured way; therefore, this dissertation would consider structured format in order to concentrate on the cardinal issues, such as, sales staff behavior, customer behavior and credit card sales in Penang. Malhotra (2009, p.295) expressed that it is necessary to avoid leading or biasing questions, implicit alternatives, implicit assumptions and generalisations. Here, it is important to mention that the wording of the questions would not be complicated because Malhotra (2009, p.293) stated that questionnaire should consist of ordinary words with unambiguous words. Moreover, Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis (2006) argued that the researcher should design questionnaire considering the vocabulary level and educational background of the respondents, otherwise, most of the respondents would not be address the importance of the question. In this context, the researcher of this dissertation would consider the educational background of the sales staff and the customers of credit card in Penang to design the content of the questions to avoid misunderstanding. However, the following figure shows ten important factors to formulate a questionnaire, such as –
However, the researcher emphasised the above-mentioned factors because at least four chapters (particularly chapter four and chapter six) of this dissertation have direct connection with the reply of the respondents. In addition, the sales staff and the customer respondents groups are busy with their own tasks, therefore, the questionnaire would be consist with simple questions to build their interest to fill up the entire questionnaire, which will help to get proper outcome. However, the subsequent table explain the main elements of this questionnaire for better understanding –
|Contents of the questionnaire|
|First Part||The purpose of the first part of the questionnaire is to interview Credit Card sales staff. However, the first five questions are introductory questions those design to communicate with the credit card sales staff easily due to knowing the personal background like name, age, address, background education, and job status, duration of service and so on. The subsequent questions concentrate on the compensation and rewards policy, difference between the facilities of permanent staffs and temporary staffs, and compare the connection of remuneration with sales target achievement. As the behavior of credit card sales staff depend on the external factors, this questionnaire would focus on the risks of this job, communication system with the customer, etc. It also measures the relationship between credit card sales staff and customers, the success of repeated sales approach, customer’s willingness, sales staffs annoyance to the customer, rationale to threatening the customer, consequence of misbehavior, training system of the employers, knowledge about the Code of Conduct for credit card sales staff in Penang, ethical behavior and so on;|
|Second Part||Second part of the questionnaire has designed in order to know the customers’ opinion. Initial two questions are introductory questions and rest questions are related with the behavior of the credit card sales staff in Penang and customers responds. However, this part concentrates on the number of cards of the customers, the provision of BNM regulation, the major driving force of unethical behavior of the sales staff, and communication with the sales staff, cooperation for getting undue approval of credit cards, disturbing behavior of sales staffs and many other issues.|
Table 3: – Contents of the questionnaire. Source: – Self generated.
Critical Appraisal for Qualitative Research Approach
As this dissertation would also consider qualitative research approach, it is important to find out some scholarly articles those followed qualitative research method to formulate the paper and deal with similar topics. However, these articles would also be uses in the present research, as most of the articles have studied on the customer and sales staff behavior.
The article of Ferrell and Ferrell (2005) is too interesting as they tried to find out the origin of the crisis related with staff behavior. The rationale to use this article in literature is the topic “what your mother never taught you: how to teach business ethics” gives an idea about the basic problem of the sales staff with relevant examples of research area. However, Ferrell and Ferrell have formulated the paper only with qualitative approach to address research questions and objectives but they have not considered quantitative approach or any hypothesis. According to Ferrell and Ferrell, present business trend shows that top level management have more propensities to engage with higher degree of unethical behavior than the ordinary sales staffs those are responsible for their performance to the higher authority. On the other hand, no one raise questions about the activities of the unethical behavior or poor performance of the higher authority in most of the cases when the sales down in the marker. However, the ultimate goal of the top-level management’s course of action and organizational culture is to assess the performance considering sales volume though they should concentrate on the ethical perspective to prevent unethical behavior. The writers of this paper concentrate on both the managerial course of action and organizational discipline and focus on quantifying sales volume to measure the performance rather than protecting unethical behavior. However, it gives importance on ethical issues connected with the corporate governance approach, ethical decision-making procedure for compensation package, workplace environmental factors, and ethical leadership for the sales employees including CSR.
At the same time, Murphy (2002) used qualitative research approach and he only used secondary data in his article “Marketing Ethics at the Millennium: Review, Reflections, and Recommendations” as he believed that there are many published journal articles to research on this issue.
However, there are many other examples where the researchers have applied qualitative research approach, such as, Mehta (2006) followed this method in “Service Delivery Management”, Hasnah et al (2011) applied this qualitative approach in their journal article “Factors Influencing Unethical Behavior of Insurance Agents”.
Critical Appraisal of this dissertation
Ahearne & Schillewaert (2001) researched on the effect of information technology on salesperson performance where they clearly formulated hypothesis in order to find out research gap and the solution of the problems by analyzing collected data. In this case, the researchers used quantitative research approach to quantify data, and they interviewed 238 respondents, among them 209 respondents were sales representative and 29 respondents were managerial job position. However, the researchers of above mention study identified that the IT provides huge intermediates and intangible advantages and add extended value towards the performance of sales staff and make it easy to interact between the customer and sales person.
Bass, Tim and Gene (2001) conducted study upon the topic “the moral philosophy of sales managers and its influence on ethical decision-making” and identified that the moral philosophies of the sales managers have major influence on the sound ethical environment within the corporate practice that can similarly influence both sales and marketing staff. However, the researchers supplied questionnaire to the 2000 members of American Marketing Association, but only 187 respondents were replied in initial stage and total 602 respondents were replied final step, but rest of the respondents were reluctant to incomplete the questionnaire form. Bass, Tim and Gene (2001) identified the major factors those affected the moral values and unethical sales practice of the sales staff in terms of the age, and race. They also addressed the problem area with clearly formulated hypothesis along with quantitative approach because the former researchers discussed the topic considering this research method.
On the other hand, Damnjanovic and Krulj (2006) studied on the important factors for salesperson evaluation using quantitative approach along with simple questionnaire, which distributed to the 100 sales staff along and sales managers but 80 replied the questionnaire. However, present dissertation will use the outcomes of the Damnjanovic and Krulj’s research as they identified that the behavior based assessment of sales staff performance is intensely concerned with three most influential factors, for instance, internal, external and personal factors. These factors related with individual attributes and the model also provide the opportunity to assess the sales staff performance. At the same time, the organizational factors such as guiding principle towards the sales staff, concerned manager’s control over them, rising sales volume, their knowledge about the competitors and the buyers, understanding about the objectives and compensation package and eagerness to attain these goals are the attributes to evaluate sales staff performance.
Cadogan et al (2007) in their research “Sales manager and sales team determinants of salesperson ethical behavior” interviewed 1313 respondents, among them 923 respondents were sales staff and 390 interviewees were sales managers. In findings of the research Cadogan et al (2007) has provided a milestone model with the individual moral philosophy of sales manager that generates enhanced ethical standards of sales staff behavior concerning to their rewards, job certainty, team spirit and potential results. They also mentioned that without any rewarding program, the sales managers do not enough aware regarding the standards of their sales staff behavior or do not watch over unethical behavior but keep effort only on target sales volume and profitability of the company.
However, Homburg and Stock (2005) researched on this area and they have identified that the workers’ job satisfaction has an extensive link with the increased clients’ satisfaction. In their research “Exploring the Conditions under Which Salesperson Work Satisfaction Can Lead to Customer Satisfaction”, they selected 1305 sales employees though only 221 respondents give feedback who regularly communicate with the customers and they recognised that sales staff satisfaction has huge impact upon the customer’s relationship management.
Limitation of Data Collection Process
To deal with two distinct questionnaires for two distinct groups was one of the most difficult tasks. In addition, data collection procedure was time consuming as the sample groups such as credit card sales staff and customers were large for this research. In many cases, the customers were reluctant to co-operate to fill up the questionnaire though sales staffs were keen to complete the questionnaire with due time. On the other hand, data collection process was expensive issue and it was more difficult in this case.
Findings and Results
The main idea of the findings chapter is to scrutinize the results of the actual survey carried out in Penang of Malaysia and to evaluate the investigation of the customers’ responds to the sales staff behavior together with conducting a vast research on the credit card sales in concerned state of the country. In order to do so, the researcher would carry out the survey between two separate groups of respondents, that is between the credit card sales staff and their respective customer groups. It is essential to state that the researcher had distributed the questionnaire initially to 2450 interviewees, out of which the feedback has received from 1500 people. The rest 950 interviewees were either reluctant to cooperate or busy with their daily works and to fill up the survey questions. A substantial amount of respondents was also there who refused to fill up the questionnaire because of their job positions, connections with the company, or the fear of potential job loss.
It is important to note that among 2450 interviewees, the researcher handed over 1550 forms to the customer groups of those sales persons who had previously served them. The researcher was able to do this by collecting the phone number, e- mail address, and residential address of the customers from the sales staff of different companies in Penang, and distributing the questionnaire to those customers by different mediums. However, it is arguable that only 1000 questionnaire have sent back to the researcher. The rest 550 customers showed lack of interest to fill up the forms as; firstly, they were afraid of their personal information to be leaked to untrustworthy people, and secondly, they had little time to fill it up because of their busy life style. Conversely, the major issue that caused them not to fill the forms was that they were not interested with disclosing the fact on how many credit cards to they really have and what actually is their current income pattern (that is whether their income patterns are insufficient to have so many credit cards). This is because they always try to avoid potential hazards or any legal troubles that may appear after disclosing all material facts, as they do not have any assurance of the security of personal information.
On the other hand, as the researcher intended the interview to cover two separate groups of respondents, the questionnaire had also provided to the credit card sales persons of Penang. Amongst a sum of 900 forms delivered to the sales persons in the state, only 500 of them were able to send back the completed forms. It is imperative to note that almost 400 forms were left unfilled by these people. A number of possible factors of why such a large group of sales persons were reluctant to answer the questions were that they had fears that some of their secret facts about unethical practices during sale related activities would unveil in front of the law enforcement agencies of Malaysia, which may in turn cause them to suffer from lawful barriers. Disclosing such facts about their working practices may also mean potential threats to their jobs and a rise of dissatisfaction among customers resulting in fall of sales. Therefore, even after supplying the questionnaires to 2450 respondents (with 1550 forms to the customers and 900 forms to sales staff), only 1500 questionnaire has received back by the researcher (1000 forms from customers and 500 forms from sales staff).
Findings and Results from the Survey on the Credit Card Sales Staff
Information About the Respondents
Name, Address, Company Name, and Phone number of the Respondents
This was a common question, which was essential to carry out a brief introduction with the respondents of the survey.
The Highest Education Level of the Interviewees
This general question has asked to the respondents with the intention to know the number and frequency of people who have done their intermediate studies, received their university degrees, college level certificates, school level certificates, or other any educational degrees in order to join in their respective job positions. A better knowledge about the educational background of the respondents will help the researcher to find out the most reliable feedbacks in order to construct the prospective results. The survey has indicated that about 19 percent employees are present who are done with their university degrees, 29 percent people with college level certificates, 41 percent people with school level certificates, and 11 percent people with some other educational degrees.
Result: – The result shows the fact that different people has employed in this job position having come from diverse education backgrounds. However, in conducting the research, the researcher has emphasized more on responses from the interviewers who possess the highest qualifications.
The Time for Which the Sales Staves are serving in the Credit Card Industry of Penang
Finding out the experience level of the respondents is imperative in the appraisal procedure of the results as it assists to discover the most precise and dependable answers. It is arguable that the survey has suggested that the numbers of employees with experiences below three years and with experiences below one and five years are more than that of employees who are experienced for over five years. Amid all the respondents, 46 percent employees had an experience of one year or less, 34 percent respondents had experience of three year or less, and 14 percent employees had experience of five years or less. Conversely, only six percent employees had experience for above five years or so.
Result: – Although, the most experienced people were low in number, the researcher tried to concentrate more on the feedbacks from the experienced people. Most of the time it has expected that the interviewees with high job experience will be having a better knowledge about the credit card industry of Penang.
Who are the Employers of the Sales Staff – Credit Card Issuer Bank or Their Outsourcing Card Sales Agency
In order to make an evaluation of the card-issuer banking sectors or the outsourcing sales agencies that each company belongs to, it is important for the researcher to ask this question deliberately to all the interviewers. Identification of the banking sectors or the outsourcing sales agencies in which different staves possessing different level of skill, experience, and education will be present would help the researcher to sort out the exploration of the customers’ responds to the sales staff behavior in the concerned state of the country. In many cases, these data would be useful to find out how well or how badly the banks and the outsourcing sales agencies are performing in Penang and to what extent they are successful to motivate the employees in a way that supports ethical behavior while dealing with customers. It has to be noted that in order to carry out the survey, the researcher has predominantly taken 65 percent respondents from the banking sector, and 35 percent respondents from the outsourcing sales agency sectors.
Result: – The figure shows the fact that the interviewees selected for carrying out the survey has chosen randomly from the banking sectors and the outsourcing sales agency sectors. However, the number of interviewees selected from the banking sector was higher in number.
Whether the Sales Persons are Permanent Staff, Temporary Staff, Contract Staff, Commission Based Staff, or Card Sales Freelancer Selling All Other Banks Cards
This question has frequently asked to the interviewees in order to assess the extent to which they have commitments for the respective organizations (i.e. banks and outsourcing sales agents) and to find out how much, if any, these staves are willing to carry out their jobs ethically by emphasizing on customers. These is because temporary staves tend have less commitments for their organizations and therefore less regards for carrying out their jobs honestly in comparison with the permanent staves. According to the survey, 30 percent of the respondents were temporary staves, where as the rest 16 percent were permanent staves. On the other hand, about 13 percent of the respondents were contract staff, and 13 percent of the respondents were card sales freelancer selling all other banks cards.
Result: – The figure illustrates that there are higher numbers of temporary staves other than permanent staves; this indicates the fact that there are higher chances of these employees to suffer from lack of motivation, commitment, sand ethics.
Whether the Compensation and Rewards of the Sales Staff Look Like Permanent Staff or Individual Contractors or Both
This common question has kept forward to the respondents with the aim to recognize the type of motivation of the employees who are working in the banking sectors or the outsourcing sales agencies. A superior understanding about the type of motivation of the employees will assist the research work by discovering the extent to which the staves are misbehaving with the customers in Penang. This is because staves who receive compensations as a permanent staff are more likely to have some level of commitment for the business’s reputation, whereas in case of individual contractors, the compensations and the reward schemes tend to be lower and they are considered as theory X employees. These individual contractors receive negative motivations and threats of getting fired, which in turn reduces their commitment for the firms and creates unethical practices while serving the customers. It is important to argue that amongst 500 staves, about 75 percent of the employees receives compensations and the reward schemes like a individual contractor, whereas 25 percent employees receives compensations and the reward schemes like a permanent staff.
Result: – The result shows that the largest part of the respondents receives compensations like individual contractors.
Whether the Remuneration of the Sales Staff Depends on Sales Target Achievement
This question has asked in order to assess the extent to which the employees get paid from their employer. This is important because if the employees have a fixed salary, then they would not conduct any unethical practices with the customers in order to increase sales. Conversely, with sale related payment, the employees start to think about their daily survival and that no ways are there to get paid rather then selling in higher number. In response to the survey, about 67 percent people said yes, 21 percent people said no, whilst the rest 12 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – It has noticed that the major percentage of the respondents has commented yes on the survey page.
Whether the Sales Staff Thinks this as an Extra Burden and High Risk of Job Certainty to Achieve Sales Target Achievement
In most number of cases, the employees argued this as an extra burden and high risk of job certainty to achieve sales target achievement. About 59 percent of the employees agreed to this statement, whilst 27 percent disagreed, and the rest 14 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – The figure shows the fact that a large percentage of the employees think this as an extra burden.
Whether or not the Sales Staff Explain All Terms and Condition Along with Charges to the Customers When they Place A Sales Approach
It has generally accepted that sales staves should explain all terms and conditions along with charges to the customers when they place a sales approach. In most of the cases, the respondents said yes to this question. As per the responses, 73 percent employees agreed to this statement. On the other hand, 9 percent said no, whilst the rest 18 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – The respondents specially pointed out the importance of well-defined terms and conditions along with charges to the customers when they place a sales approach. In fact, the largest number argued in favour of this. However, chances are there that the staves went on to state this in order to hide their unethical practices. Therefore, some responses could not be accurate.
Whether the Sales Staff Thinks that the Customers Are Willing To Effort Time for Sales Approach
The feedbacks received from this question have been a mix reaction from the side of the respondents. Many of them have argued in favour or in disfavour of the customer’s willingness. About 38 percent said yes. However, a good number of the surveyed population provided the view that the customers do not show enough interest to grant them enough time for the sales approach. Therefore, 57 percent people stated that they believe that the customers lack sufficient willingness, whereas 5 percent chose not commenting anything to this.
Result: – In majority of cases, a trend has observed amongst the employees to be deeply troubled with the fact that very few numbers of customers actually allow them to sit into conversation.
While the Customers are not willing to hear the Sales Staff, Whether or not they go for Re-Approaching Repeatedly
In most of the cases, the employees suggested that they go for re-approaching customers repeatedly if they are not willing to hear them. About 55 percent employees went on to say yes, where as 25 percent said no, and 20 percent said no comments.
Result: – It has clearly noted that in most of the circumstances, the employees start to insist the customers if they do not listen in the first time. This has represented in the figure above.
Whether the Sales Staff Thinks that Repeated Sales Approach Works Good For Successful Sales
Amid 500 respondents, 58 percent suggested that by approaching customers repeatedly, in most of the cases, the sales rate increases. This is because most of the customers do show any interest when approached for the first time. On the other hand, 16 percent suggested not whist the rest 26 percent have not commented anything on this.
Result: – It is arguable that although a good number of the interviewees believe that repeated sales approach works well for successful sales, an essential part of them has not commented anything on this.
If the Repeated Sales Approach Does Not Work, Whether the Sales Staff Feel Angry with the Customer
There has been a wide range of feedbacks as responses to this question. The employees stated that it is a general human behavior to feel angry with the customer if the repeated sales approach does not work, thus trying to justify their anger. Others tried to hide their feelings about the customers because of the fact that they do not want to create any bad impression about themselves. Therefore, 41 percent stated yes, 31 percent stated no, where as 28 percent said no comments.
Result: – Although it is widely believed by the people working at this industry that achieving higher sales is not possible without such a staff psychology, many had been diplomatic to state this confidently.
Whether or not the Sales Staff expresses their Annoyance to the Customer
The researcher has put forward this question to the respondents with the aim to find out what the respondents do when the customers do not listen to them, as in many cases, they start to misbehave with them. However, many staves were present who did not address this matter or tried to avoid it consciously. Amongst the total population, 31 percent of the interviewees tried to pursue that they express annoyance. About 26 percent of people have disagreed to this, whilst 43 percent did not comment anything.
Result: – The figure above shows that the majority of respondents tried to avoid the question.
Whether or not the Sales Staff Thinks That It Is Rational to Threatening the Customer
This question has intended in order to assess whether or not the employees believe that it is rational to threaten the customers in order to find out the extent of their ethical behavior. As per the survey suggests, 47 percent of the surveyed respondents have argued that they agree that it is irrational. On the other hand, 22 percent people have stated this as rational. In context, 31 percent respondents have not commented anything.
Result: – It is clearly visible from the figure above that the respondents feel that it is irrational.
Whether or not the Sales Staff considers that the Misbehavior Would Ultimately Build Negative Attitude of Customers to Your Organization
It is quite natural for the customer to get tremendously disturbed if the sales staves continuously misbehave with them for forcing them to buy the credit cards. As a result, the customers start to feel adversely about the staves and their concerned firms, believing that these disturbing strategies to sell the credit cards were set by the company itself. In effect, the staff’s misbehavior would ultimately build negative attitude of customers to the organization. Many respondents have showed their interests in appreciating the fact that the bad behaviors can awfully hamper the firm’s reputation, which can in turn lower down the company’s good will and thus lower down its sales and profits. At least 79 percent people suggested that misbehavior would ultimately build negative attitude of customers to the organization, where as 19 percent people disagreed to this. the logic of the people who have stated no was that the businesses on which they work on are extreme huge possessing a great reputation and handsome annual turnover. These businesses also possess countless employees; so, the bad behaviors of a few numbers of sales staves would hard have any true Impact over such giant firms. It is arguable that no one has selected the “no comments” section in the questionnaire.
Result: – Indeed, it is widely accepted that there is a necessary connection between employees’ bad behavior and the gradually declining reputation of the company.
Whether or not the Organizations of the Staff Have Provided Any Training for Sales Approach
There has been a range of responses received as answers to this question. Moreover, the respondents have provided their feedback both in support and in disapproval of the idea proposed. In addition, it is important to argue that there has been a group of people with some confusions or limited understandings regarding the fact that it is an important duty for the firms to train up their employees. This group of respondents has noticed to have more and more interest over providing responses by selecting the “no comments section”. The researcher has made the use of the rest of the responses in order to build up accurate results. In the middle of 500 respondents, 28 percent of the surveyed populace agreed that the organizations of the staff have provided training for sales approach. On the other hand, 18 percent people said no, where as 54 percent people stayed away from commenting anything.
Result: – The figure indicates the fact that many people tried to avoid disclosing the fact that whether any training had carried out by the companies or not. However, as per the rest of the respondents, the majority stated that they had sufficient training for their jobs.
Whether or not the Sales Staff are Familiar with the Code of Conduct for Credit Card Sales Introduced by the BNM
The survey suggested the fact that about 52 percent of the surveyed population are familiar with the code of conduct for credit card sales introduced by the BNM. Conversely, the percentage of people who had no knowledge regarding the code of conduct for credit card sales introduced by the BNM was about 38 percent, whereas merely 10 percent people stayed away from commenting anything.
Result: – Although the largest potion have knowledge regarding this, it has a widely accepted by a significant number of credit card sales staves that they do not have any adequate knowledge about the code of conduct for credit card sales introduced by the BNM. Here, it is essential to point out that not just the credit card sales staves do not have any adequate knowledge about the code of conduct for credit card sales introduced by the BNM, rather surprisingly, many firms are present that lack such an essential knowledge about the code of conduct. Therefore, although it is important to recommend the companies to further train up their concerned employees and let them know about the code of conduct for credit card sales introduced by the BNM, what is far more important is for the companies to explore deeply through BNM’s code of conduct.
Whether or not the Respondents Think that Guideline for Credit Card Sales by the BNM is Sufficient for Ethical Sales Behavior of the Credit Card Sales Staff in Penang
The aim of this question was to identify what exactly the credit card sales staves in Penang think about the code of conduct for credit card sales by the BNM. With their point of views about this matter, it would be easier to sum up what exactly has required to ensuring good behavior from the part of the sales staff. About 44 percent people replied that the code of conduct for credit card sales by the BNM is sufficient for ethical sales behavior of the credit card sales staff in Penang. This portion of the surveyed populace had pointed out the fact that if it were possible for the sales staves to carry out and completely comply with this code of conduct, then ensuring the ethical sales behavior in Penang would not be a difficult task. On the other hand, about 37 percent of the respondents stated that the code of conduct for credit card sales by the BNM is not at all sufficient for ethical sales behavior of the credit card sales staff in Penang. Although some of the people who said no had, lack of knowledge about what was the code of conduct of the BNM all about, others pointed out an extremely essential matter. This group believed that no code of conduct should be sufficient to ensure ethical behavior until the staves are sufficiently getting training about ethical motivation from the part of the respective companies. However, it is notable that about 19 percent people have not commented anything on this matter.
Result: – As per the figure above, many people believe the code of conduct for credit card sales by the BNM as sufficient to ensure ethical behavior.
Whether or not the Respondents Think that Job Security without Unparallel Sales Competition Along With BNM Regulation Would Reduce Unethical Behavior of Sales Staff in Penang
The feedback from this question has been unpredictably surprising. This was one of the most important question from where the researcher wanted to put a great level of emphasize in the organization of the results of the conducted survey owing to the fact of what the sales employees believe as “important” that should include in the workings and efforts to reduce unethical practices. Most interestingly, this was the only question where the highest number of staves has selected “yes” on the survey page. In the middle of 500 respondents, almost 96 percent people went on to suggest that job security without unparallel sales competition along with BNM regulation would reduce unethical behavior of sales staff in Penang. On the other hand, about 1 percent people have said no, where as the rest 3 percent remained neutral by selecting “no comments’.
Result: – According to the above figure, the statement that job security without unparallel sales competition along with BNM regulation would reduce unethical behavior of sales staff in Penang is supported by the highest number of people in the survey.
Whether or not the Respondents Think that the Customer’s Reaction towards Overuse of Marketing Effort Gradually Turning Difficulties of Credit Card Sales
It is important to note that about 45 percent of the population have said yes, 36 percent have said no, where as the rest 19 percent refused to make any comments.
Result: – As per the collected data, the majority have suggested yes.
Findings and Results from the Survey on the Credit Card Customers
Information About the Respondents
Name, Address, Company Name, and Phone number of the Respondents
It was a general question, which was indispensable to carry out a brief introduction with the respondents of the survey.
Number of Credit Card of each of the Respondents
This question has asked to the respondents with the intention to know whether they have excessive number of cards or not. Many people tried not to give true statements about it because of the fear of getting involved in legal barriers. The survey has indicated that 44 percent people selected two or less, 29 percent selected five or less, 15 percent selected ten or less, whereas 12 percent selected more than ten.
Result: – Many people have not suggested the true statements, as most have selected the range of two or less.
Do All of the Credit Cards of the Respondents Individually Cover their Annual Income Level
Owing to the fact that the people wanted to avoid any lawful barriers, 34 percent interviewees have suggested “yes”, whilst 15 percent selected “no” and 51 percent stated no comments.
Result: – Most people tried to make no comments to this question.
Whether or not the Respondents Use Same Income Statement for Several Credit Card Issuing
About 69 percent people have stated yes, whilst 22 percent chose no, and the rest 9 percent selected no comments.
Result: – The figure points out that numerous interviewees use the same income statement.
Whether or not the Respondents Know That The BNM Regulation Has Guided For Not To Keeping More Than Two Credit Cards At A Time
About 55 percent peopled selected yes, 36 percent selected no, whilst 9 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – Though most people know about it, still a substantial number have no knowledge about it.
Whether or not the Credit Card Sales Staff Made the Respondents Aware Regarding the Risk of Becoming Bankrupt
Surprisingly, 7 percent people stated yes, 88 percent stated no, whilst 5 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – The staves have not told them in most cases.
Whether or not the Credit Card Sales Staff Cooperate or Inspire the Respondents For Getting Undue Approval of Credit Cards
About 76 percent people stated yes, 12 percent stated no, whilst 12 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – In most cases, the employees cooperated them.
Whether or not the Respondents Think That the Behavior of the Sales Staff Is Quite Ethical
About 87 percent people stated yes, 5 percent stated no, whilst 8 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – The behaviors are mostly unethical.
Are the Sales Approach Made the Respondents Irritated and Disturbed at Regular Works
Approximately 69 percent people stated yes, 14 percent stated no, whilst 17 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – Respondents get highly irritated.
Whom do the Respondents Think Is Responsible For Sales Staff’s Unethical Behavior
About 33 percent people stated sales agents, 35 percent stated card issuers, 10 percent stated central bank (BNM), and 22 selected “all together “section.
Result: – Most people think card issuers to be liable.
Whether or not the Respondents Think That Pressure of Sales Target Is the Major Driving Force of Unethical Behavior of The Sales Staff
Approximately 79 percent people stated yes, 13 percent stated no, whilst 8 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – People recognised pressure of sale target as the major issue.
What Are the Other Factors, According to the Respondents, which Influences Unethical Behavior of the Sales Staff
About 45% selected low pay and job uncertainty, 12% selected lack of organizational standard, 19% selected lower educational and cultural orientation, 5% absence of regulation, and 19% selected all above
Result: – Respondents chose low pay and job uncertainty as the main factor.
Whether or not the Respondents Think That the Islamic Ethical Standard Works In the Credit Card Sales Approach
Approximately 21 percent people stated yes, 75 percent stated no, whilst 4 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – Most of the customers do not think Islamic standards to be sufficient.
Whether or not the Respondents Think That Sales Staff’s Satisfaction Could Ensure Customers Loyalty Connecting to Customers Satisfaction
About 91 percent people stated yes, 3 percent stated no, whereas 6 percent have not commented anything.
Result: – Most customers agree with the point.
In the light of the literature review, this chapter would investigate and argue on the customers respond to the sales staff behavior in context of credit card sales in Penang, which is indispensable to assess by the marketing community of Penang to draw the attention of the prospective marketer to increase their sales and accelerate profitability. This part of the dissertation also argues on the findings that contribute a new learning outcome for the new sales staff and sales agents who are interested in get entry in the credit card market of Penang market to formulate their entry strategies to draw impending attention and eager to explore their career and business in Penang with ethical standards.
Changing Nature of Credit Card in Penang
Bahari (2009, p.1) mentioned that Malaysia been establishing insistently the Islamic financial system with the aim to be attractive to turning itself as the focal point for global Islamic financing while the speedy enlargement in the financial industry has encouraged foreign banks to prefer Malaysia as their safe investment destiny to carry out business of Islamic banking. Such trend in the Malay economy has generated an indirect competition among the financial institutes to align with Islamic banking instruments, this kinds of unhealthy struggle to integrate Islamic financial product or services even as to change some existing product or service name into Islamic term keeping full attributes unchanged and comparable with the general baking norms in global standard. It is just a cheap strategy to cash the Mohammedans religious sentiment and there is nothing wrong to the financial institutes as they are producing accelerated profit by integrating Islamic financial products.
Ferdian et al (2008, p.4) added that to respond to this rising needs the Bank Negara Malaysia has established Shariah Advisory Council and in 2003, Bank Islam Malaysia has introduced the first Islamic credit card in the county to attract Mohammedans by suing European smart card and chip technology. As the Islamic values oppose the concept of interest, the Islamic credit cards are charging their customer profit instead of interest after the 20 days grace period where there is basic difference with the conventional banking (Lian, 2011). The issuers of Islamic credit card enjoy huge opportunity to block customers fund in their Wadiah account and taking the profit money in advance, which generate greater opportunity for the banker to generate more profit than the conventional baking. Moreover, the Islamic credit card is limited for use, restricts to make payment of bars, nightclubs, and for hard drinks that would reduce the rate of transaction and overall people may not go to use them. On the other hand, the spending through credit card illustrates luxury and encourages redundant and unplanned consumption in the economy which is contrary with the core teaching of Islam, Islam always suggested to avoid debt, thus the Islamic credit card may not keep any new contribution to the economy rather than exploring religious radicalism in Penang.
Credit Card Market in Penang
Ponnu and Tennakoon (2009, p. 21) argued that the ethical magnitude of the organizational leadership’s ethical behavior upon extends of the commitment of staff to the organization has tremendous missing norms on the practice of Penang and as whole Malaysia where there is no way to avoid the influence of leadership behavior on the sales staff. In the case of Malaysia, it has evidenced that there is greater association between the ethical behavior of leadership linking with employee’s behavioral outcomes while there is superior organizational commitment of the sales staff along with trust on their leaders. Thus, the unethical behavior of the management and co-workers drive the sales staff to breach the ethics code of conduct and the sales staffs always try to follow the peers along with the top management and learn to respond to the unethical behavior with individual conduct. For instance, while the sales staff found that the co-workers are reworded for better performance through misconduct with customers, what message the over all sales staff receives, obviously they would get the message that the management encourage unethical behavior by rewarding for performance rather than punishment for misconduct with customers.
Ramayah et al (2002, p. 1) mentioned that the credit card was first issued by BankAmerica in 1960 in USA which is familiar worldwide as VISA and in Malaysia it was in seventies first introduced credit card. At present there are nine hundred thousand credit card users in Malaysia, which is growing at a speedy rate of 89.3% per annum, and it reached over several millions due to increased confidence at user level, political constancy, excellence in the economic growth, and social progress. At the beginning of eighties the process of credit card sales in Penang, Malaysia were totally different from today, customers were willing to get the credit card from banks by paying all costs and they don’t mind to be charged very high annual fee along with joining fees. People, who have credit cards at that time, were well thought-out that they are financially successful along with indication of prestigious status as the banks charged very high cost for annual fee and joining fee. In nineties, credit cards turned into easier accessible to the mass people while foreign banks started and intensified their operation in the Malaysian credit card market. At this stage, consumers still like to apply credit card from foreign banks due to their lots of promotion to attract customers and the local people also started to own foreign bank credit cards with high annual charges and joining fees.
Credit Card Sales Staff and Customers Behavior in Penang
The nature of the practice of credit card sales in Penang has transformed a lot during in 2000; most of the banks waived their annual fee and joining fees to create a centre of attention of the customers. The antagonism among the credit card issuer banks has intense especially the foreign banks and the customers became very choosy and careful; it is not easy to promote any new credit card to customers of Malaysia. As a result, credit card sales in Malaysia has shaped as a curb crucial job and it necessitate to having very good sales people in order to convince customers to apply for credit card. Under the current market scenario, customers do not in actual fact care about local or foreign banks but much more concerned about the card features and benefits and the issuer banks urged for credit scoring of the applicants based on their historical data (Ibrahim and Wah 2010, p. 3).
Ponnu and Tennakoon (2009, p. 17) added that due to the strong competition among the credit issuer banks in Malaysia, incredible number people enabled to achieve credit cards without any efforts due to the bank’s careless investigation of the customer’s credit history. At this moment, banks have engaged some screening procedures such as using credit scorecards for their decision making while it is essential for the credit card sales vendor who evaluates new applications in favour of the issuer banks. Thus, it is most important to identify and measure the new applications with very careful manner to protect any misrepresentation about the new credit card issue and to ensure right use of financial resources for the competent individuals rather than any fake or illicit applicant in context of police record.
Consequently, the credit sales in Penang, Malaysia has turned into a very tough and complicated job while omission of annual fee and joining fee seriously reduced the profitability for both the issuer banks and common for the sales vendors. This situation make the sales vendors bound to look for low paid sales staff as a cost reduction strategy and they drive for hard sales option. Subsequently the customer’s trend just before the credit card sales staff has distorted and they would like to avoid sales staff at road show, at shopping complexes and any other possible places where sales staff face them. With the mutual aid of such sales staff, most of the customers during this time at least own several credit cards without any hard effort and the credit card issuer banks are under serious pressure to reduce concerned sales cost to sustain in the competitive market of Malaysia. As a result, banks are deeply concerned with credit card sales and started to look for outsourcing service agents from the private sector of Malaysia with very marginal credibility to the customers. The Outsourcing Companies is thus, needed to have a very good sales strategy and tactic with dynamic sales staff in order to finding new customers and sign up them, which is a very tough job in the competitive market of Penang, Malaysia.
The conceptual framework of credit card sales by bankers in Penang has shifted significantly over the few decades and lost its glorious tradition. Several years back, it was a very sophisticated and socially respected sales job for the preceding generation, but now it turned into a vicious job and the competent jobseekers treat it as a nasty job and never want to do such job. In the preceding era, huge number of dynamic individuals joined in credit card sales carrier, they already been promoted to the top management position in the issuing banking, some of them are head of the card sales division and overseeing the sales function in South East Asia. Unfortunately, these individuals have forgotten where their roots and where they come from along with long struggle. During their time, they used to promote credit card in a very professional and ethical manner with the consumers, due to high competition they forgotten their learning outcome and allow to drive the current sales staff to do it completely different way from what they did all through their time. They strongly present the logic of survival to the competition and personal objectives to bring highest personal benefit from the company, they create pressure and made them found to do different unethical things and meeting the difficult sales target. The young jobseekers join in the credit card sales with the dream of career advancement, promotion, bonuses they entitle for achieving, but very a few sales agents in Penang allow sales staff such opportunities, most of them impose prefixed targets in exchange of a nominal commission rather than any fixed salary.
The ancestors of the credit card sates staff in Penang, those who are now at the top management of credit card division of credit card marketer, do not see any more the needs of consumers to have a good perception headed for credit card sales staff but they are arrogant to reduce sales cost. With the scope of engaging low cost sales staff, the number of outsourcing agencies involved with credit card sales in Penang have severely increased and there exist an unparallel competition to offer lower bids to the banks for their credit card sales. To sustain under this unethical market competition, outsourcing agencies engage low grade, less educated and poor paid or unpaid staffs on a nominal commission or target orientated payment basis were deprived youths from the backward communities of the society join in this job. Such of this profiled staff are not familiar with corporate culture and lead to conduct different unethical happening and misconduct with the customers which ultimately injures the banks’ image and have been discoloured the glorious past as far as credit card sales is alarmed.
The consumers for the most part try to avoid credit card sales staff nowadays for a number of reasons as they generally have a very poor and negative perception headed for credit card sales staff from banks and their outsource companies. In the marketing literature, most of the bank always speaks out regarding how important to safeguard its corporate image but on the other hand, they allow unethical, inexperience and unprofessional frontline credit card sales staff from all channels to mess up their image every day. The banks have all to a great extent derived to increase the number of their credit card sales without caring whatever sales method has engaged to achieve their sales target. Now in Penang, one of the mostly applied sales tactics is hard selling and this technique of selling has annoyed and irritated many consumers from all occupation but the banks take no actions and indirectly supporting it because this method still can contribute significantly to certain target as required and by rewarding for sales performance with unethical conduct.
Local Regulation for Credit Card Business in Penang
The legislation for credit card marketing in Malaysia has been considered as the regulatory framework for credit card sales in Penang, there is no different local regulation in this regards. The Bank Negara Malaysia (2011, p. 1) pointed out that it is compulsory for the Credit card issuers in Malaysia to bring into practice of fairness, transparency, and accountability to the credit card customers with their marketing approaches and offerings and they have to ensure that they do not increase the credit limit without any proper credentials or customer’s request. In Penang, the Credit card issuing banks also urged for not to engage any malpractice of taking any credit advance like “cheque payable” without the request of customers and they requisite to eliminate all hidden fees and publish all fees and payment terms in the advertising of different media. The Central Bank of Malaysia has also made it clear that the Credit card issuing banks would exactingly follow the applicant’s minimum income level at RM 24000 per year and may not allocate more than two cards for the customers’ income level at RM 36000, and would put back the extra cards more than two by the end of 2011. At the same time, the Malaysian legislation made it restricted to increase the credit limit two times more than the monthly income while the guiding principal of the coexisting regulation is to facilitate the customers from all unethical burdens of credit card marketers in this region.
The regulatory authorise of Malaysia has seriously investigated with the credit card marking drives by the issuers and their vendors complicated with nuisance and threats by debt collectors with the customers, imposing high collection charge upon customers, confusing nature of advertisement, antagonistic and cruel marketing mix, unauthorised product line, annoying credit advance and unauthorised limit incensement out of the guidance. The Credit card sales agents in Penang also aligned with missing of accountability, transparency, unclean terms, higher charges, fees and interest rate, hidden fees and violating customer’s privacy without any obligation for customer care. Lian (2011, p.7) acknowledged that increasing stipulation to protecting the credit Card and financial product customers from the challenge of innovative but multifarious financial instruments, escalating number of non-traditional bodies of financial product marketing, innovative business model simultaneously with delivery channels, irregularities of Information inflow, low profile of financial literacy and borderless and effective operation without border barrier and suspense.
It is also noteworthy that the credit card regulation in Penang involved with many parties such as Central Bank of Malaysia, Finance Ministry, Politician, Cabinet, and stakeholders including issuers, salesperson, marketers, and interest groups. In recent times, the politician, Finance Minister, Central Bank of Malaysia have taken quite a few unpopular initiatives to control credit card business in Malaysia, in the name of “To promote prudent spending” but from the credit card vendors point of view all these are bull shit, ridiculous, and with own agenda to establish central bank’s control over the market. In reaction, the credit card vendors argue that the credit card matter is a very sensitive issue that affected many people while the politician, central bank, and ministers always resembling to make unintelligent announcement, some comment absolutely not make any sense, very stupid and invalid comment to gain publicity at the expense of card vendors and making difficulties for jobseekers. The association of credit card sales companies have talked many things about credit card in the press, interview, and cabinet without proper evident and further research in context of prudent spending.
Promote Prudent Spending in Penang
Jalil and Zafarullah (2009, p. 6) examined with the prudent spending behavior imposed by the governmental fiscal policy together with political influence institutional features, and legislative directives, identified that such spending has been enabled to pressure, convince the central government to restructure the financial decisions while the state government of Penang is under serious stress of higher spending and deficits. It has subjective with the situation that the central government of Malaysia possibly will think to restructuring the existing legislation in the parliament or may govern the situation through central bank regulation. The significant factors laid behind this scenario are that during 1990 the economics of Malaysia was not doing well while the government of Malaysia took many initiatives to encourage the desired growth of the economy.
Malaysian government has taken enough initiatives in order to stimulate and speed up the local economy and urged that it is necessary to increase the spending of mass people. To do so, the first initiatives was facilitating the mass people through credit card by which they would be encouraged for more spending, the government made it uncomplicated for credit card holders to pay less for what they spend on credit card. The government has altered the monthly minimum payment of credit card from 15% to 5%, it means that while an individual spends $1,000, he only need to pay $50 and the balance of $950 outstanding balance will be charged interest by the issuer banks. Because of this imitative, the credit card sales become very popular and competition intensified in the market, and the credit card business has flourished in anticipation of 2009. In the annual budget of 2009, the government made an unexpected announcement for Government Service Tax49 and mentioned that GST would be effectual by 2010, with is this option it was confirmed that $50 would be imposed on each credit card own by cardholders. The logic that was presented from the central government of Malaysia is that the imposition of this GST would pick up the pace of ‘Promote Prudent Spending’. Jalil and Zafarullah (2009, p. 11) has pointed out that the state government and central government both are allied with the similar ideological ground with the fiscal policy for prudent spending but there were a objection and debate among the people against promoting prudent spending in Malaysia.
Within short period of government assertion, the Prime Minister of Malaysia admitted that the imposition of $50 GST has expected to engender greater income for government, urged for not to make any question as it is a source of income for government, and will contribute further perfection of the country’s economic growth. With the introduction and improvement of GST ruling, the credit sales business has seriously injured in different aspects. through the procedure of the GST, the credit card sales become extremely difficult and customers turned very unenthusiastic to apply for any new credit card while the huge number of existing credit card holders were busy cancelling their credit card to stay away from paying GST. There was a lot of debates and arguments flourishing regarding the GST ruling, while this author as the Managing Director of CMS Card Services Sdn Bhd called a press conference to show own disagreement to this new verdict of GST. The Author strongly argued that in order to promote prudent spending, the government should modify the credit card monthly minimum payment from 5% to 20% or 30% and pointed out that by imposing the GST, it will not in actual fact ‘promote prudent spending’ but impose extra burden of liabilities upon the cardholders of the country. On the other hand, the government dare not to lay a hand on monthly minimum payment issue, no matter what happen, business still need to go on and all the stakeholders of credit card business in Penang working very hard to encounter with this challenging features.
- To make recommendation on the unethical behavior of credit card sales staff in Penang and their consequential response of the customers, first of all it is essential to stop rewarding the sales staff for his sales performance, if he aligned with any misconduct or misrepresentation with the customer. The sales managers may not provide any privilege to the sales staff if they engage with any unethical behavior while it is essential to create evidence for the sales staff for engaging with activities with customers. For any complain against any sales staff the managers should conduct free fair and impartial investigation without looking to the personal relationship or sales performance while the punishment may not be rigid process without any ethical education.
- The organizations concerned with credit card sales in Penang has suggested to create a health culture environment within the organization that encourages sales staffs to come forward to produce highest extend of rational behavior with customers as well as report the breaches of ethical standards and mitigate with ethical norms. The sales managers would ensure a cooperative workplace environment for the sales staff where sales staff knows that they may not be undermined for co-workers reporting if there is no alignment of unethical conduct.
- The job satisfaction of the sales staff is another dominating factor where all the features of the job including working environment evidence as rewarding by gratifying and pleasing the sales staff and mitigating their frustrations. In the credit card, sales organization, to unsatisfying sales staff in comparison to the non-sales context, would align them to conduct unethical behavior and it is very much common within the credit card industry of Penang. Thus it is suggested that the players of the card industry of Penang would be more careful to ensure the job satisfaction of the sales staff and the unethical conduct would be reduce while the sales staff would perceive that their company is careful regarding ethical conduct and rewarding for steady performance with ethical conduct. It is general norms for the sales staff that while the organization would provide higher job satisfaction, the sales staff would demonstrate their highest honesty and sound performance with ethical standards.
- For the customer who would like to report unethical conduct of the sales staff, the credit card sales agents would cooperate them to ledge complain at the office and would be facilitated to place their complain by setting global ethics hotline through online. The organization would keep prompt action to mitigate and resolute and demonstrate to the customers that the organization is enough caring about the unethical conduct and do not bother to impose any kind of punishment to the sales staff. The organization would be careful regarding some customers who are always arrogant and at all time look for misusing the organizational commitments by misinterpreting the core essence of ethical behavior, in some case they misrepresent their annual earning and lead the sales staff to having more credit card that their income level.
- The credit card sales agents in Penang needed to set up ethical training centre to develop the personal morals of the sales staff where they organise the standards of their ethical code of conduct that would enable the sales staff for ethical decision-making. The objectives of the training session would be teaching moral philosophy in the course action of socialisation in the midst of friends and family rather than formal education and would influence societal, business, and corporate cultures by which they would be enable to encounter with any challenging situation to communicate more efficiently with the customers. Moreover, the training would also facilitate the sales staff to create consciousness regarding their rights or duties regardless to the outcome of sales performance.
- The marketing practice and sales of the credit card industry in Penang already been aligned to engage temporary staffing, individual contractors, and outsourced agents and has proven it’s solid base and resilience by encountering with the domestic economic challenges encompassing with reformation, liberalisation and perfect competition among the industry players. As, the credit card issuer and sales agents are under pressure to gain competitive advantage by reducing cost, there is no way to keep a stopple to the use temporary employees and outsourced staff for sales but it is essential to produce a standard format of contract where the ethical operation of sales would be emphasised. It is also emergence to impose obligatory terms on the outsourcing agents mentioning that if there is any scandal of unethical behavior of sales staff, they have to take the liability and it needed to have punishment clause in the agreement. Meanwhile the outsourcing agents are eager to bid lower price to win the contract with minimum profit margin, so it would be effective to allow a certain percentage of the contract value as cost of ethical standard maintenance depending upon the total contract value.
- In Penang, the payment card industry all-inclusive debit, credit, electronic card, and online payment have long been associated with hard sales drive, which is required to change with customer’s loyalty program, and the sales agents would shift to the modern approach adopting more emphasise on loyalty and using it as a novel tools for card sales. To attain and sustain strong customer base, the credit card industry of Penang needed to align with three-dimensional approach of customer’s loyalty such attitudinal, behavioral, demo-graphical loyalty approach and it is indispensable for the credit card marketers of Penang to concentrate on the behavior of sales staff to ensure customers satisfaction.
- By introducing prudent financial management, the central bank of Malaysia has taken the opportunity to increase government’s earning from the credit card industry without contributing any terms for market enhancement, while ‘prudent spending’ has generated high risk of reducing customers due to increasing tax. Moreover, the guideline has restricted the use of multiple card use, which directly affects market volume by reducing the numerous credit cards exist in the market. It is statutory obligation for the Bank Negara Malaysia to contribute the credit card industry some scope of accelerating the market by amending the existing regulatory control over the industry.
- Meanwhile, the guideline issued by the BNM regarding the responsible business practices for the credit card industry has mentioned for not to misrepresent offering through advertising or sales approach and urged for transparent product disclosure but there is no single indication what would happen if anyone violates this provision. Thus, it is necessary to amend such regulatory guidance with very specific clause to penalise for violating ethical standards, as the existing legislative framework of Malaysia for credit card sales is not enough to administer the sales staff behavior.
Throughout this dissertation with sales staff behavior in Penang, Malaysia has identified that factors like outsourcing sales staff, unparallel competition among the industry players, lack of organizational ethical code of conduct, unsatisfactory job and regulatory lickings with governmental policies are most influential factor for unethical behavior. At the same time, Sales staff’s personal attributes like education, moral values, cultural orientation, job satisfaction are another source unethical behavior. The scenario of customers respond to the sales staff’s is very complex in nature, some time they react vigorously and some time they collaborate with the sales staff to get more than one credit card by annual income misrepresentation. There is no standard coder of ethical be sales staff behavior policies which is emergence to put into practice which has suggested in the recommendations with out any prior measure. The challenging dynamics of quick shifting in Penang while the society is arguing to represent optimistic technological needs, social psychology, encouraging incentives, and affirmative sales to the approach. Due to the vast area to cover in short space and time, it may kept some issues to address, which would be explored through further research in this area with the essences of present research with contemporary the sales staff behavior to enhance the management process improvements.
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Questionnaire for Credit Card Sales Staff
- Your name : _____________________________
- Address : _____________________________
- Phone number: _____________________________
- Company Name: _____________________________
- Please select your highest education level:
- School level [ ]
- College level [ ]
- University degree [ ]
- Other [ ]
- How long you are serving in the Credit card Industry of Penang?
|One year or less||three year or less||Five year or less||Above Five Year|
- Who is your employer, Credit Card issuer Bank or their outsourcing card sales agency?
|Credit Card issuer||outsourcing sales Agent|
- Are you permanent staff, temporary staff, contract staff, commission based staff, or card sales freelancer selling all other banks cards?
|Permanent Staff||Temporary Staff|
- Does your compensation and rewards looks like permanent staff or individual contractors or both?
|Permanent Staff||Individual contractors|
- Does your remuneration depends on sales target achievement?
- Do you think it as an extra burden and high risk of job certainty to achieve sales target achievement?
- When you place a sales approach, do you explain all terms and condition along with charges to the customers?
- Does the customers are willing to effort time for sales approach?
- While the customers are not willing to hear you, do you do for re-approaching repeatedly?
- Do you think repeated sales approach works good for successful sales?
- If the repeated sales approach does not work, do you feel angry with the customer?
- Do you express your annoyance to the customer?
- Do you think that it is rational to threatening the customer?
- Do you consider that the misbehavior would ultimately build negative attitude of customers to your organization?
- Does your organization have provided any training for sales approach?
- Do you familiar with the Code of Conduct for credit card sales introduced by the BNM?
- Do you think guideline for credit card sales by the BNM is sufficient for ethical sales behavior of the credit card sales staff in Penang?
- Would you consider to job security without unparallel sales competition along with BNM regulation would reduce unethical behavior of sales staff in Penang?
- Do you think that the Customer’s Reaction towards Overuse of Marketing Effort gradually turning difficulties of credit card sales?
Questionnaire for Credit Card Customers
- Your name : _____________________________
- Address : _____________________________
- Phone : _____________________________
- Job position : _____________________________
- How may Credit Card do you have? (a) Two or less (b) Five or less (c) Ten or less (d) more than ten
|Two or less||Five or less||Ten or less||more than ten|
- Do all of your credit cards individually cover your annual income level?
- Do you use same income state for several credit card issuing?
- Do you know that the BNM regulation has guided for not to keeping more than two credit cards at a time.
- Does your credit card sales staff made you aware regarding the risk of becoming bankrupt?
- Does your credit card sales staff cooperate or inspire for getting undue approval of credit cards?
- Do you think that the behavior of the sales staff is quite ethical?
- Are their sales approach made you irritation and disturb regular works?
- Who is responsible for sales staff’s unethical behavior: (a) Sales staff individually (b) Sales Agents (c) Card issuers (d) Central Bank (BNM) (e) All together?
|Sales staff individually||Sales Agents||Card issuers||Central Bank (BNM)||All together|
- Do you think pressure of sales target is the major driving force of unethical behavior of the sales staff?
- What are the other factors influencing unethical behavior of the sales staff? (a) Low pay and job uncertainty (b) Lack of organizational Standard (c) Lower educational and Cultural orientation (d) absence of regulation (e) all above
|Low pay and job uncertainty||Lack of organizational Standard||Lower educational and Cultural orientation||absence of regulation||all above|
- Does the Islamic Ethical Standard works in the credit card sales approach?
- Do you think sales staff’s satisfaction could ensure customers loyalty connecting to customers satisfaction?
- Bank Negara Malaysia.
- Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative, and Consumerism.
- Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
- Agensi Kaunseling Dan Pengurusan.
- Misrepresent, Down Selling, Letter, Twisting, Rebating, Non Licensed Agent, Equivalent, Lowball & False Information.
- Honesty, Fair play, Full Disclosure, Promoting the Welfare of the Customer, Providing Factual Communications, Selling Only Those Products & Services Believed to Benefit the Customer, Promising Only What Can be Delivered & Treating Customer Information in a Confidential Manner.
- Consistency, Honesty, Fairness, Responsibility & Benevolence.
- Communication, Relationship, Identifying Problems/Providing Solutions, Planning, 24 x 7 Support, Technology, Implementation, Quality & Integration.
- Customer Relationship Management.
- Requirement for Change.
- Estimated Time for Completing the Change, Current Status, Action Taken.
- User Acceptance Testing.
- Job Characteristics Model.
- Positive Customer Attitudes, Intentions, & Behavior.
- Penang Educational Consultative Council.
- Productivity-Linked Wage System.
- Country Of Origin.
- Socioeconomics, Demographic & Regional Economic Factors.
- Strength, Intensity & Magnitude.
- Consumer of Origin, Quality Signals, Value Perceptions & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
- Profit of Impact Marketing Strategies.
- Survival Like – The Owners, Investors, Employees, Consumers & Government in Particular & The Society & Community in General.
- Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Owners, Investors, Employees, Consumers, Government & Society or Community.
- Power, Water, Land & Roads.
- Proper Accommodation, Transportation, Education & Training.
- Processes, Opinions, Beliefs, Attitudes & Intentions.
- Electronic Consumer Relationship Management.
- Online Analytical Mining.
- Login, Home Page, Browse, Search, Register, Select, Add to Shopping Cart or Pay.
- Request Entry, Home Page, Browse Page.
- Login Page, Registration Page, Search Page.
- Select Page, Add to Shopping Cart Page, Payment Page.
- Noise Pollution, Customer Irritation, Excessive Consumption, Unhealthy Lifestyles.
- Creation, Capture, Indexing, Storage, Retrieval & Disposition of Information Assets.
- Business process Outsourcing.
- Information Technology Enabled Services.
- Proximity To Manufacturing Hubs.
- Asean Free Trade Area.
- World Trade Center.
- Malay, Chinese & Indian.
- Human Resources Management.
- Collective Agreement of Private Banking.
- Automated Teller Machines.
- Reliability, Empathy & Assurance.
- Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989.
- International Centre for Leadership in Finance.