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Client perceived service and satisfaction in business to business professional tax consultant services

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UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS HO CHI MINH CITY International School of Business Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong Client perceived service and satisfaction in business-to-business professional tax consultant services ID: 22110046 MASTER OF BUSINESS (Honours) SUPERVISOR: Dr Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy Ho Chi Minh City- 2014 Master thesis Acknowledgement I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Dr Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy, for the patient guidance, encouragement and advices she has provided throughout the time preparing this thesis In addition, I would like to thank all the members of committee and professors at International School of Business and my colleagues for their great orientation, instructions and comments for my further improvement of my thesis Thanks to all participants in the research survey for their kind support and cooperation Finally, I also would like to thank family and friends who always support and encourage me a lot Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong March 2014 Master thesis Abstract This thesis attempts to empirically confirm the applicability of La et al.' s (2009) conceptual model regarding client perceived value in professional business-to-business service in professional tax services in the context of Vietnam It endeavors to expand the concept of value and satisfaction in business-to-business professional tax services in the context of Vietnam This is the first research representative in the context of Vietnam that is a theoretical contribution to the research on value and client satisfaction from an Asian behavior perspective The results show that in the context of professional tax consultant services m Vietnam, clients tend to perceived performance and value in the same stage called perceived service There are five factors which are empirically confirmed having positive effects to perceived service i.e technical skills, interpersonal skills, customer orientation, reputation and relationship with tax authorities In addition, perceived service is a key contributing factor to client satisfaction The results also indicate that the impacts of reputation and relationship with tax authorities on perceived service are not different in terms of firm's international experience and nature of engaged services, respectively In addition, the research aims to provide managerial implications Based on the finding, discussion and recommendations in the research, professional tax firms can have further actions to address client's need and more improve the level of customer satisfaction ii Master thesis CONTENTS Acknowledgement i Abstract ii Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Research background 1.2 Research problem 1.3 Research objectives 1.4 Scope ofthe research 1.5 Significance ofthe research 1.6 Structure of the thesis Chapter 2: Literature review 2.1 Literature review 2.2 Qualitative analysis 16 2.3 Hypothesis 22 Chapter 3: Methodology 26 2.1 Methodology 26 2.2 Measurement 27 Chapter 4: Data Analysis 32 3.1 Purifying data 32 3.2 Measurement analysis 32 3.3 Hypothesis testing 38 3.4 Moderator testing 45 Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusion 48 4.1 Results Discussion 48 4.2 Managerial implication 52 4.3 Conclusion 53 4.4 Limitation and Further research directions 53 lll Master thesis REFERENCE 55 APPENDIX 57 • LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Tables Table 1: Summary of qualitative analysis' results 20 Table 2: Summary of indicators of the constructs used in the research model 28 Table 3: The Cronbach alpha coefficients of components 33 Table 4: Exploratory Factor Analysis 34 Table 5: Extracted Factors 37 Table 6: The Cronbach alpha coefficients of new components 38 Table 7: Summary of regression results: Factors having impacts on Perceived Service 41 Table 8: Relationship among independent variables (Technical Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Customer Orientation, Reputation, Relationship with Tax Authorities) and dependent variable (Perceived Service) 42 Table 9: Summary of regression results: Factor having impact on Client Satisfaction 44 Table 10: Relationship between independent variable (perceived service) and dependent variable (client satisfaction) 44 Table 11: Summary of Chow test results 46 Figures Figure 1: Summary of qualitative analysis' results 22 Figure 2: Proposed Conceptual Model of Client Perceived Value and Satisfaction in Business-to-Business Professional Tax Services in Vietnam 25 Figure 3: Conceptual Model of Client Perceived Value and Satisfaction in Business-toBusiness Professional Tax Services in Vietnam 39 Figure 4: Regression results: Factors having impacts on Perceived Service 43 Figure 5: Summary ofthesis results 47 lV Master thesis Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Research background In the intensively competetive landscape of the world's economy in general and Vietnamese' in specific, almost all industries have faced many challenges and difficulties The professional tax consultant service industry is not an exception In order to gain competitive advantage, service firms today are required to deliver superior client value (Flint, Woodruff and Gardial, 2002) Value has been linked to loyalty, increased profits, long term survival and competitive advantage (Khalifa 2004; Woofruff 1997; Hamel and Prahalad 1994; Day and Wensley 1988) However, the definition of value is often vague and the interpretation might be very different between the client and the service provider due to different perspectives This might be the reason why many scholars state that 'how" clients interpret value is more important than 'how' service providers believe what value is supposed to be (Blois, 2004) This concept is further complicated when studying professional services, which are more complex and intangible than regular services, meaning clients often have difficulty in confidently evaluating performance outcome (La, Patterson and Style, 2009) Understanding clients' view of value which links to the comprehension of clients' perceived performance is a one of critical success factors for almost of the firm especially professional firms La, Patterson and Style (2009) find significant strong positive relationship from performance that completely mediates the relationship to satisfaction through value to satisfaction in professional business-to-business services Professional tax services are professional services provided by professional tax firms whose staff- tax consultants- are experts in tax law Together with the growth of economy and the complex of many types of business and transactions, tax law become more complicated than ever, especially in emerging countries where there are frequent changes in tax regulations and practices Professional tax services advise or consult clients based on Master thesis interpretation of the most updated tax law and experience on current practices which many clients not have inside their organizations Therefore, except the company with extremely simple financial affairs, the others are about to seek to appoint a firm to provide tax services 1.2 Research problem In line with the difficult economic environment as well as the growth in both quality and quantity of many professional tax service firms in Vietnam, clients have more choices to satisfy their needs The competition in this industry becomes fiercer Thus, almost these firms more focus on how client perceives the firm's service performance and value which is proved having connections to client satisfaction that in turn should be the ultimate goal of all firms (Morgan et al, 2005) In recent years, substantial research has examined the client perceived performance, client perceived value (and its determinants) in business-to-business professional services Research has also found empirical support for the relationship between client perceived performance and client satisfaction through value (La, Patterson and Style, 2009) In addition, previous research show the evidence indicating that client satisfaction in turn connects to repurchase, loyalty, and willingness to maintain a long-term relationship with the service provider (Iacobucci et al., 1994; Athanassopoulos et al., 2001 ) Consequently, many researchers desire to examine the determinants of client perceived performance and to confirm the relationship between client perceived performance and client satisfaction through value in various professional services in particularly However, most of the research has focused on examine antecedents of value and what value means as well as what impacts on client satisfaction in business-to-consumer professional services using Parasurama (1985 and 1988) and Gronroos (1984)measurement model and its dimensions Little research has been devoted to examine client perceived value and client satisfaction in business-to-business professional services sector Currently, researchers have made some recent attempts to Master thesis investigate and develop alternative B2B specific scales in some specific industries such as engineering consultant, software, etc The most significant contribution to this era has been the conceptual model for client-perceived value and satisfaction in an international perspective in developing economies developed by La et al (2009) 1.3 Research objectives Given the unique characteristics of the professional tax services which are provided on a basis of tax regulations and current practices, a study focus on examining client perceived value and client satisfaction in professional tax services sector applying La et al.' s (2009) conceptual model would be useful for both practitioners and researchers Since the level of development of tax regulations and practices are different among countries, this study specifically focus on business-to-business professional tax services in Vietnam Further to the above discussion, this study aims to obtain following objectives: 1) To examine the antecedents of client perceived performance; 2) To test the effect of client perceived performance to client perceived value in professional tax services in Vietnam; 3) To test the effect of client perceived value to client satisfaction with professional tax services in Vietnam; and 4) To explore factors/ situations (moderators) leading to the different influence of these factors to client perceived service in the context of Vietnam 1.4 Scope of the research Initially, the qualitative analysis will be conducted to confirm whether the factors having significant effect to client perceived performance and client perceived value as well as the factors/ situations leading to the different influence of these factors to client perceived performance and value in La et al.'s (2009) conceptual model are applicable in professional tax services in the context of Vietnam Through this process, the analysis is expected to Master thesis identify factors that reflect the unique characteristics of the professional tax service in Vietnam Then, data for quantitative analysis are collected to confirm the identified factors and their moderators The sampling frame for this study was clients of tax consultant firms in Ho Chi Minh City where most of the largest tax consultant firms place their offices Their clients can spread from Da Nang to Ca Mau and are engaged in various industries 1.5 Significance ofthe research This thesis attempts to confirm the applicability of La et al.' s (2009) conceptual model are applicable in professional tax services in the context of Vietnam It is expected that this model will be further modified to reflect the reality of the professional tax services in Vietnam through qualitative analysis to confirm/ disconfirm the applicability of the factors/ relationship and/or introduce of new factors/ relationship relative to client perceived • performance, value and satisfaction Then quantitative analysis is conducted to provide empirical evidence to strengthen the results of qualitative analysis It endeavors to expand the concept of value and satisfaction in business-to-business professional tax services in the context of Vietnam This is the first research representative is in the context of Vietnam that is a theoretical contribution to the research on value and client satisfaction from an Asian behavior perspective In addition, the research aims to provide managerial implications This finding is expected to help professional tax firms understand deeply about the factors having significant effect to client perceived performance and value in a client's perspective such as technical skills, interpersonal skills, customer orientation, relationship with tax authority, and reputation Based on this understanding and finding, professional tax firms can have further actions to address client's need and more improve the level of customer satisfaction In addition, exploring the factor leads to different influence of factors having significant effect Master thesis to client perceived performance and value is extremely important for the firms in this sector to identify their relative competition in comparison with others Further to that, the firms can set up strategy in order to be more competent and successful 1.6 Structure of the thesis This thesis comprises chapters Chapter is the introduction which gives an overview of research background, problems, objectives, scope and significant ofthe research The next section is Chapter which provides a review of the literature on client perceived performance and its factors; client perceived value and satisfaction in service, qualitative study and hypotheses Then the thesis continues with Chapter - the discussion about methodology followed by empirical investigation and its results in Chapter The thesis ends with Chapter - discussion about the results, managerial implication and limitation Master thesis Perceived performance (PER) Alpha: 833 PER20 18.30 11.721 710 784 PER21 18.26 11.572 727 781 PER22 18.48 12.799 396 854 PER23 18.14 12.405 659 797 PER24 18.38 11.842 671 792 PER25 18.49 12.497 527 822 Client perceived value (CLI.PER) Alpha: 870 CLI.PER26 7.61 2.014 816 758 CLI.PER27 7.59 2.320 813 763 CLI.PER28 7.74 2.667 644 908 Client satisfaction (CLI.SA T) Alpha: 882 CLI.SAT29 7.57 2.266 798 808 CLI.SAT30 7.55 2.325 704 892 CLISAT31 7.68 2.200 812 794 In which: TEC - Technical skills INT - Interpersonal skills CUS - Customer orientation REP - Reputation SER- Service fee REL - Relationship with tax authorities PER - Perceived performance CLI.PER - Client perceived value CLI.SAT- Client satisfaction 72 Master thesis Appendix 4: Results ofEFA KMO and Bartlett's Test 872 Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy Approx Chi-Square Bartlett's Test of Sphericity 2223.148 df 465 Sig .000 Total Variance Explained Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Initial Eigenvalues Component Total /o of Variance Cumulative % Total % of Variance Cumulative % 11.997 38.699 38.699 11.997 38.699 38.699 2.575 8.307 47.006 2.575 8.307 47.006 1.721 5.550 52.556 1.721 5.550 52.556 1.632 5.264 57.820 1.632 5.264 57.820 1.416 4.567 62.387 1.416 4.567 62.387 1.249 4.030 66.417 1.249 4.030 66.417 1.179 3.802 70.220 1.179 3.802 70.220 935 3.015 73.235 847 2.733 75.968 10 738 2.381 78.349 11 704 2.270 80.619 12 699 2.253 82.872 13 584 1.884 84.756 14 558 1.801 86.557 15 475 1.534 88.091 16 431 1.391 89.482 17 429 1.385 90.867 73 Master thesis Initial Eigenvalues Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings % of Variance Cumulative % Total Component Total 18 369 1.189 92.056 19 354 1.141 93.198 20 330 1.063 94.261 21 250 805 95.066 22 234 754 95.820 23 220 711 96.531 24 195 630 97.161 25 181 583 97.744 26 146 470 98.214 27 139 449 98.663 28 120 388 99.052 29 109 350 99.402 30 100 323 99.725 31 085 275 100.000 % of Variance Cumulative % Scree Plot 12 'i 10 > c ::> m z0 $ $ 910111213141S161718192021Z:2Z324:ZSU'Z7:Z6-Z9303'1 Component Number 74 Master thesis Appendix 5: The Cronbach alpha coefficients of new components TEC1 8.00 2.094 735 561 TEC2 8.08 2.266 631 680 TEC3 8.01 2.500 489 833 Interpersonal skiDs (INT) Alpha: 829 INT4 11.21 5.284 549 INT5 11.00 5.019 616 INT6 0.97 4.763 723 754 INT7 11.00 4.434 744 742 831 Customer orientation (CUS) Alpha: 852 cuss 7.58 2.227 713 801 CUS9 7.73 2.048 777 739 CUS11 7.53 2.346 679 833 Reputation (REP) Alpha: 881 REP12 14.99 7.896 591 886 REP13 15.01 7.387 744 849 REP14 14.79 7.585 777 842 745 848 SER16 14.65 7.379 Relationship with tax authorities (REL) Alpha: 802 4.113 672 REL18 6.78 4.270 680 REL19 6.54 4.949 596 704 781 Perceived performance (PER) Alpha: 874 PER20 22.51 16.818 710 848 75 Master thesis PER21 22.48 16.573 736 845 PER22 22.69 18.178 397 895 PER23 22.36 17.458 687 852 PER24 22.60 16.922 678 853 CLI.PER26 22.36 16.706 723 847 CLI.PER27 22.35 17.455 718 849 Client satisfaction (CLI.SA T) Alpha: 882 CLI.SAT29 7.57 2.266 798 808 CLI.SAT30 7.55 2.325 704 892 CLISAT31 7.68 2.200 812 794 In which: TEC -Technical skills INT - Interpersonal skills CUS -Customer orientation REP -Reputation SER- Service fee REL - Relationship with tax authorities PER - Perceived performance CLI.PER- Client perceived value CLI.SAT - Client satisfaction 76 Master thesis Appendix 6: Descriptive analysis Minimum Maximum Mean Std Deviation Skewness Statistic Statistic Statistic Statistic Statistic TEC1 4.05 851 -.464 TEC2 3.96 857 -.478 TEC3 4.04 879 -1.009 INT4 3.51 862 -.044 INT5 3.73 875 -.472 INT6 3.76 856 -.335 INT7 3.73 927 -.516 cuss 3.84 814 -.339 CUS9 3.69 840 -.237 CUS10 3.79 847 -.520 CUS11 3.89 793 -.606 REP12 3.52 872 -.464 REP13 3.50 851 -.155 REP14 3.73 784 -.198 SER15 3.90 764 -.341 SER16 3.86 852 -.566 REL17 3.16 1.253 -.189; REL18 3.38 1.203 -.5151 REL19 3.62 1.104 -.474 PER20 3.71 901 -.179 PER21 3.75 912 -.235 3.53 1.058 -.721 PER22 - - - - - - 77 Master thesis • Minimum Maximum Mean Std Deviation Skewness Statistic Statistic Statistic Statistic Statistic PER23 3.87 825 -.264 PER24 3.63 917 -.082 PER25 3.52 945 -.205 CLI.PER26 3.86 905 -.417 CLI.PER27 3.88 798 -.232 CLI.PER28 3.73 784 042 CLI.SAT29 3.83 795 -.262 CLISAT30 3.85 833 -.409 CLI.SAT31 3.72 810 -.092 In which: TEC - Technical skills INT- Interpersonal skills CUS - Customer orientation REP - Reputation SER - Service fee REL - Relationship with tax authorities PER- Perceived performance CLI.PER- Client perceived value CLI.SAT- Client satisfaction 78 Master thesis Appendix 7: Summary of results of regression testing (Regression analysis for factors affecting Perceived Service) Appendix 7A: 1st regression Model Summaryb Change Statistics Std Model R R Adjusted Error of Square R Square the R Square Change Estimate I 717 .514 490 101 a 21.357 514 48800 df2 dfl F Change Sig F Change 000 a Predictors: (Constant), REP, REL, TEC, INT, CUS b Dependent Variable: PER.SER ANOVA" Sum of Squares Model Mean Square df Regression 25.430 5.086 Residual 24.052 101 238 Total 49.482 106 Sig F 21.357 ooob a Dependent Variable: PER.SER b Predictors: (Constant), REP, REL, TEC, INT, CUS Coefficients" U nstandardized Standardized Coefficients Coefficients Sig t Model Std B • Collinearity Statistics Error (Constant) 305 345 TEC 148 076 INT 228 cus 239 Tolerance Beta VIF 882 380 155 1.952 054 761 1.313 084 239 2.699 008 616 1.625 087 250 2.739 007 576 1.735 79 Master thesis • REL 101 052 148 1.924 057 810 1.234 REP 205 089 204 2.315 023 619 1.616 Casewise Diagnostics" Case Number Std Residual PER.SER Predicted Value Residual 3.684 5.00 3.2022 1.79783 23 3.562 5.00 3.2619 1.73813 Appendix 7B: 2"d regression ANOVA" Model Sum of Squares df F Mean Square Regression 28.798 5.760 Residual 17.480 99 177 Total 46.279 104 32.620 Sig .ooob a Dependent Variable: PER.SER b Predictors: (Constant), REP, REL, TEC, INT, CUS Statistics Standardized Residual Valid 105 N Missing Std Deviation 97566545 Skewness -.207 Std Error of Skewness 236 Kurtosis 274 Std Error of Kurtosis 467 80 Master thesis Histogram D endent Variable: PER.SER • Mean = 44E-15 Std Dev = 0.976 N = 105 Regression Standardized Residual Normal P-P Plot of Regression Standardized Residual 1.0-r-_ _Dependent _ :., _ _Variable: _ _ _ _PER.SER _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ::_ 0.8 a .0 Q E 0.6 ::::J "CC uGl Gl D 0.4 )C w 0.2 o.o-IS!~ r -, -,, , 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 Observed Cum Prob 81 Master thesis Scatterplot Dependent Variable: PER.SER • R2 Linear= 30 iii :I "0 2- 0 'iii Gl a: "0 Gl 'boo 1- .co "0 "0 c co 0 oo 0 lb (/) 'iii - -1- 00 % r:o C) • 0 ':b Gl a: 0 oooo q, o Ill Gl coo 0 Q 00 r o o v~o 'Uq, 0 00 0 0 00~ 0 00 oOoo c 0 N
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