INFLUENCE OF CUSTOMER ORIENTED ATTITUDE ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE IN BUSIA COUNTY GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTERS, KENYA

Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research
© Oasis International Academic Journals, 2017 (ISSN: XXXX-XXXX) www.oasiseduconsulting.com
INFLUENCE OF CUSTOMER ORIENTED ATTITUDE ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE IN BUSIA
COUNTY GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTERS, KENYA
1Lucy
Agola Oduor’, 1Dr. Caroline Sitienei Koech, 1Dr. Fronica Monari
Department of Business and Economics
Oginga Odinga university of Science and Technology
P.O. BOX 210-40601 BONDO, KENYA.
1
Corresponding Author: Dr. Caroline Sitienei Koech
1Jaramogi
Received on 16th June 2017
Received in corrected Version 15th August 2017
Accepted 21th August 2017
Abstract
Influence of customer oriented attitude on employee performance. The theory captured in the study included happiness
and success theory. The study employed explanatory research design and the target population was 587. Stratified,
simple random, and purposive sampling were used to get samples from the subgroups within the population to arrive
at a study sample size of 285. To ensure reliability of the instruments, the researcher carried out a pilot study and
employed a test-retest technique to help identify areas of weakness for modification. Reliability coefficient was
calculated by use of Cronbach’s alpha and a value of 0.79 was obtained. Quantitative data was analyzed using
descriptive statistics and inferential statistics was used to test relationships between the variables, data was then
presented in the form of tables. Karl Pearson’s coefficient of correlation was used to establish the relationships between
the variables and regression analysis presented the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variable.
Customer oriented attitude had a significant influence on employee performance (β=.240; P<.05). The study
concluded that performance contracting implementation through customer oriented attitude was efficiently
implemented to achieve employee performance.
Key Words: Customer Oriented Attiture, Employee Performance, Contracting, Organizational Support
Busia County
1. Introduction
A service employee’s Customer Oriented Attitude (COA) is a potentially critical antecedent to surface and
deep acting (Allen et al. 2010). The current research specifically recognizes the attitudinal component of
customer orientation. Stock and Hoyer (2005). A COA may reflect such things as the service employee’s
affinity for being in contact with customers and the employees understanding of the importance of effective
customer interaction for the performance of his or her service role. Consistent with Stock and Hoyer (2005),
as well as Zablah (2012) and Allen (2010), the current conceptualization proposes COA to be a psychological
variable (trait), as opposed to a behavioral variable. Organizational Support, COA, and Emotional Labor
Perceived organizational support (POS) is defined as an employee’s perception that his or her organization
is positioned to develop and nurture employee growth and job satisfaction Piercy (2006).
According to McIntosh (1991), as well as Chan and Wan (2012), organizational support would meet the
definition of a form of social support that may be viewed as a coping resource available from one or more
others withinan organization to assist a focal employee in the management of stressful experiences while
increasing the perception of well-being. As described by Zablah (2012), such a posi-tive environmental
condition may strengthen employee values, attitudes, and behaviors in relation to customers by
demonstrat-ing the organization’s own value and support for its employees (in a concept similar to that
proposed in the service-profit chain). In such instances, the employee may attribute human-like
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
characteristics to an organization Levinson (1965), view-ing favorable treatment from the organization as
being indicative that the organization ‘‘likes’’ him or her (Rhoadesand Eisenberger 2002), thereby
potentially prompting recipro-cal liking and positive behavioral and attitudinal outcomes Blau (1964).
The development of a strong COA would be alogical outcome of such a process, ultimately promoting a
positive interpretation of, and potentially positive reaction to, service environment variables among welltreated employees and promoting deep over surface acting Grandey (2000). Similarly, House (1981)
identifies organizational support as a resource that enables individuals to cope with stress, thereby building
dedication to the support provider. Thoits (1986) complements such a view, noting that organizational
support can help an employee exert situational control through the provision of instrumental aid or advice
about how to modify a situ-ation to make it less stressful. Support also can diver temployee’s attention
away from potent stressors and help employees reinterpret a stressful situation so that it seems less
threatening, thereby positively motivating work behaviors. By providing feedback that connotes caring,
understanding, or affirmation, support may decrease the distress that employees suffer when faced with
difficult situations.
In building the relationship between COA and emotional labor, Peccei and Rosenthal (1997) found a
positive relation-ship between customer orientation and customer-oriented behaviors. Relatedly, recent
service management research focuses on the role of emotions in service delivery, particularly emotional
labor performed by service employees. Frontline employees for instance are expected to engage in
emotional labor by dis-playing certain emotions (for instance happiness) and suppressing others (like
anger) in their daily interactions with customers as part of complying with job requirements and
organizational expectations for dealing effectively with customers
Fundamental to the success of any organization is the undertaking of its customers and their needs and
levels of satisfaction with the goods and services provided. Some may argue to include this as a position of
program evaluation, however, it should be kept separate. Customer impact emphasizes the customers’ role
in the performance process. High performance is a laudable goal, however if the state neglects the interests
of the customer during the performance process, the entire pursuit may prove futile. (Jay & Kiedrowski,
2010) Yet, determining levels of customer impact is steadily gaining ground; diverse collection of county
governments now routinely use citizen surveys to establish priorities, get feedback from residents
regarding city services, and examine community perceptions regarding quality of life indicators Neil,
(2008).
Introduction of Results Based Management (RBM) is to ensure that the public sector is transformed into
being more focused and to find responsive to the needs of those it serves. The result will be a sector
directing it’s energies towards delivering targeted results for Kenya and utilizing resources more
productively (Akaranga, 2008). Customer oriented attitude can be achieved through a positive relationship
between the customer and service provider. Research has supported that customer orientation leads to
increase in organizational performance (Asikhita, 2010, Liu, 2003).
Statement of the Problem
High performance is a laudable goal, however if the state neglects the interests of the customer during the
performance process, the entire pursuit may prove futile. (Jay & Kiedrowski, 2010). Determining levels of
customer impact is steadily gaining ground; diverse collection of county governments now routinely use
citizen surveys to establish priorities, get feedback from residents regarding city services, and examine
35
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
community perceptions regarding quality of life indicators Neil, (2008). The purpose thus being to examine
the influence of customer oriented attitude on employee performance.
Objectives of the Study
To determine the influence of positive customer oriented attitude on employee performance in County
Government of Busia Headquarters, Kenya.
The Study Hypotheses
H01 Customer oriented attitude has no influence on employee performance in County Government of Busia
Headquarters, Kenya
2. Literature Review
Employee Performance
Employee performances are behaviors which employees display which are observable, measurable and are
valued by the organization because of their relevance to organizational goals. It has often been confused
with activities and measures over which employee have little or no control such a productivity, efficiency
and output Campbell, (1999). Output for instance is a measure which has been used for individual
performance but which is in fact a reflection of many factors a part from the individual workers efforts such
as the work environment, availability of equipment, standard of equipment, resources, management
support and other systematic issues as pointed out by the total quality management literature Hakala,
(2008). The measurement of job performance is also complicated by the fact that what counts for job
performance is itself complex, changes over time and varies according to situation and organizations as
commended by Economic Commission for Africa (2003).
However according to (Viswesvaran and Ones, 2000) individual employee performance for a long time
received little attention when compared with other relevant variables. Little attention that employee
performance received over the years has been attributed in part to more emphasis on wider systematic
issues in attempting to understand organizational performance as posited by (Addison and Belfield 2001)
and also because researchers tend to put more emphasis on independent variables. Campbell et al (1990)
further argued that the measurement of employee performance as a variable tends to be controlled by
people who are the employee other than the researcher. The issue here is that employees tend to rate
themselves highly.
Customer Oriented Attitude and Employee Performance
Fundamental to the success of any organization is the undertaking of its customers and their needs and
levels of satisfaction with the goods and services provided. Some may argue to include this as a position of
program evaluation. Customer impact emphasizes the customers’ role in the performance process. High
performance is a laudable goal, however if the state neglects the interests of the customer during the
performance process, the entire pursuit may prove futile. (Jay & Kiedrowski, 2010). Yet, determining levels
of customer impact is steadily gaining ground; diverse collection of county governments now routinely use
citizen surveys to establish priorities, get feedback from residents regarding city services, and examine
community perceptions regarding quality of life indicators Neil, (2008).
Introduction of Results Based Management (RBM) is to ensure that the public sector is transformed into
being more focused find responsive to the needs of those it serves. The result will be a sector directing it’s
36
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
energies towards delivering targeted results for Kenya and utilizing resources more productively
Akaranga, (2008). Customer oriented attitude can be achieved through a positive relationship between the
customer and service provider. Research has supported that customer orientation leads to increase in
organizational performance (Asikhita, 2010; Liu, 2003).
Knowledge Gap
Effective customer oriented attitude is aimed at transforming the public service delivery system and
making it a net contributor to the growth of the economy. Notwithstanding, the considerable debate and
concern about the dysfunctional aspects of performance measurements in the public sector. Positive
customer oriented attitude though have proved to be more successful in some areas than in others.
(Oliveira, Takahashi, 2012) improving the procedures lie in ensuring that the processes are in concurrence
with both organizational and employee needs. The environment within which the public sector reform is
taking place is continually changing and the current practices will continually be subjected to review and
assessment. Employee performance strategies must therefore be continually reviewed and adapted to assist
organizations improve their service delivery within the organization as noted by (Odhiambo and Obongo
2009).
The Conceptual Framework
The variables under the study were represented diagrammatically to show the relationship between them
by illustrating the influence of the independent variables conceptualized as performance appraisal,
motivated workforce, management participation and customer oriented attitude on the dependent variable
conceptualized as employee performance
Fig 2.1 Conceptual Framework
Independent Variable
Customer Oriented Attitude




Adherence to Service Charter
Record on Customer’s
enquiries
Prompt grievance handling
Display of Service Charter
Dependent Variable
Employee Performance
 Timeliness on task completion
 Target attainment
 Positive customer response
3. Research Design
Research design is a master plan that specifies the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing
the needed information. (Cooper and Schindler 2006) argue that research design constitutes the blue print
for collection, measurement and analysis of data to achieve fore stated objectives. In this study, explanatory
or causal research design was adopted. It is conducted in order to identify the extent and nature of cause
and effect relationship or to assess impacts of specific changer on existing norms. (Sekaran and Roger 2011).
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Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
4. Results
Table 4.1 : Measures of Customer Oriented Attitude
Factors
1
2
3
4
5
The organization has
18.8%(47)
20.8%(52)
20%(50)
16%(40)
24.4%(6
displayed service charter
on notice board
The organization gives
11.2(28)
16.8%(42)
21.6%(54)
27.2%(68)
23.2%(58)
services to the customers
as per the charter
The organization has
12.4%(31)
25.2%(63)
21.6%(54) 19.2%(54) 21.6%(54)
track record on customer’s
enquiries
Customer’s grievances are
15.2%(38)
14.4%(36)
25.6%(64) 22%(55)
22.8%(57)
tackled promptly and fairly.
Five point key response scale 1. Strongly disagree 2.disagree 3. Undecided 4. Agree 5. Strongly agree
Source : Research Data, 2017
From the response, it can be deduced that 7.2% of the respondents strongly disagreed that the organization
has displayed service charter on the notice board, 11.2% strongly disagreed that the organization gives
services to the customers as per the charter, 16.8% disagreed, 21.6% were undecided, 27.2% disagreed and
23.2% strongly disagreed. 12.4% strongly disagreed that the organization has track record on customer’s
enquiries, 25.2% disagreed, 21.6% were undecided, 19.2% agreed while 21.6% stongly agreed. 15.2% of the
respondents stronly disagreed that customer’s grievances were tackled promptly and fairly, 14.4%
disagreed, 25.6% were undecided, 22% agreed while 22.8% strongly agreed.
The questions were;‘Does the organization display service charter on the notice board’? The responses were that all the departmental
heads were in agreement that the service charters were well displayed in conspicous places in the County.
Another concern was ‘Does the organization have track record on customers enquiries and concerns ? The
responses were CDH1, CDH3, CDH8, CDH9 and CDH10 observed the organization has track record of
customers enquiries which were captured and stored in the pubic concern information system. CDH2,
CDH4, CDH7 observed that the organization handled customers concerns immediately and therefore had
no storage facility for them. CDH5 and CDH6 however acknowledged that they were not sure whether
such facility existed. From the above resonses therefore, it can be deduced that most of the departmental
heads agreed that enhanced customer oriented attitude was key in enhancing employee perfomance as
they acknowledged that most of the questions were emphasized by the county. Hartline et al (2000) and
Kim et.al (2004) highlighted the importance of customer oriented behaviour through making the
customer’s interest the first priority and concern for employees. As a result, long term, mutual and
profitable relationships can be established between all parties. A customer oriented firm has a greater
chance of satisfying it’s customers than do firms that lack a customer orientation approach. Dimitriades
(2007) also argues that customer oriented behaviour is considered one of the most essential tools for
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Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
employees to have direct contact with cutomers.
Correlation Analysis
Table 4.2 Correlation Analysis Table
Employee performance
Employee performance
Customer Oriented attitude
Pearson Correlation
1
Sig. (2-tailed)
N
Pearson Correlation
Sig. (2-tailed)
N
250
.459**
.000
1
250
250
Customer oriented
attitude
Source Date : Research (2017)
The predictor customer orientd attitude explain 29% of variation in employee performance as shown by R2
value of .290. This is statistically significant as shown by the F change (statistic 24.967; P<.05). Model fit is
indicated by R2 (coefficient of determination) .290 and the adjusted R sqare of 278.
Table 4.3 Coefficient table
Model
1
(Constant)
Customer oriented
attitude
Unstandardized Coefficients
B
Std. Error
1.870
.189
.240
.056
Standardized
Coefficients
Beta
.282
t
9.919
Sig.
.000
4.253
.000
Source Date : Research (2017)
The results as per table 4.3 indicate that
The hypothesis (H01) indicated that customer oriented attitude had an influence on employee performance
as indicated by the results (β=.240 P< 0.5). Thus the hypothesis was rejected. Customer consequences
include the perceived quality of products or services that a firm provides customer loyalty, and customer
satisfaction with the organizations products and services (Jaworski and Kohli 1996). Market orientation
proposes to enhance customer – perceived quality of the organization’s products and services by helping
create and maintain superior customer value (Brandy and Cronin, 2001). Market orientation enhances
customer satisfaction and loyalty because market – orientated firms are well positioned to anticipate
customer needs and to offer goods and services to satisfy those needs.
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Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
Analysis of Variance
Table 4.4 Analysis of the Variance (ANOVA)
ANOVAa
Model
Sum of Squares df
Regression
39.967
4
1
Residual
98.042
245
Total
138.009
249
a. Dependent Variable: Employee Performance
b. Predictors: (Constant)-Intervening variables
Source: Research Data (2017)
Mean Square
9.992
.400
F
24.969
Sig.
.000b
The overal regression model is statistically significant in predicting employee peformance. This is since all
predictors influence employee performance as shown by change statistic (24.969; P<.05)
Regression Model
Where
 = 0 + 1 1 + +
Y – Employee Performance
X1 - Customer Oriented Attitude
and
0, 1, 2, 3
- Constants
e-Error term
All the factors contributed positively and the Regression model takes the form
 = 1.755 + 0.2334 + 
Therefore, the results of the study show that there is a significant relationship between employee
performance and customer oriented attitude factors. In general if performance contracting implementation
factors are enhanced, employee performance also improves. Armstrong (2012) denotes that regression
analysis estimates the conditional expectations of the dependent variable given the independent variables
are constant.
5. Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations
The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of customer oriented attitude on employee
performance in Busia county headquarters Kenya. The findings are summarized in line with the study
objective which was to determine the influence of customer oriented attitude on employee performance
in Busia County government headquarters. The conclusion and recommendations were based on the
findings of the study.
Summary of Findings
The findings indicate a positive correlation between the independent variables and the dependent variable.
Customer Oriented Attitude and Employee Performance
The study found out that on the variable though there were mixed responses with majority being
undecided, a substantial number however agreed that the institution displays the service charter, providing
services to customers as per the charter, having track record on employees enquiries and customer’s
grievances are properly handled thus most employees not being sure. This was confirmed by a regression
40
Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx -xxxx)
analysis coefficient table which indicated that if β=.240 ; P<0.5 that the variable is significant to the study.
Customer consequences include the perceived quality of products or services that a firm provides customer
loyalty, and customer satisfaction with the organizations products and services (Jaworski and Kohli 1996).
Market orientation proposes to enhance customer – perceived quality of the organization’s products and
services by helping create and maintain superior customer value (Brandy and Cronin, 2001). Market
orientation enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty because market – orientated firms are well
positioned to anticipate customer needs and to offer goods and services to satisfy those needs.
Conclusion
The objective was to determine the influence of customer oriented attitude on employee performance.
It was observed that customers’ interests were well catered for by the County by displaying its service
charter in conspicuous places, addressing their grievances promptly and that they were tackled with
professional employees. That explains why the variable was significant to the study. However some
staffs were of the opinion that customers were not being served as per the charter and that some of their
concerns did not reach the expected target. It was thus deduced that it was imperative for the County
to give their customers who were the general public requisite attention to retain and uphold its image
as a public entity and improve on its employee performance.
Recommendations
The objective was to determine the influence of customer oriented attitude on employee performance.
The researcher recommends that though the organization has a significant effect on the study, it was still
important to note that any organization exists to provide services to its clients, it is imperative that
customers’ needs are catered for and their awareness enhanced. Their concerns should be well handled
to improve their level of satisfaction and thus positive response, which inturn supports the purpose of
organizations’ existence. This will in turn improe employee performance. Policy makers in the county and
other institutions both government and non governmental institutions should adhere to the
recommendations to enhance the performance of their organizations.
Areas for Further Research
The study proposes further research in other counties, profit making organizations or even non
government organizations given that this study focused only on county government of busia
headquarters. This study selected only a few attributes of employee performance which served as the
Independent Variables of the study.
Cusomter oriented attitude has many other attributes of which other researches can explore their
relationship with employee performance so as to discover the significant effect of the other variables.
The findings of such studies may serve as a platform for manpower planning in organizations. Other
studies can also delve into the relationships between employee performance and other organizational
aspects like organizational structure, organizational culture, staff training and development, staff
relations and others that influence employee performance.
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Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx xxxx)
REFERENCES
Allen, (2010).The enabling state and the role of the public service in wealth Creation: Problems And strategies
for development in Africa.
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Zallah (2012). Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences and Reform Action London: Cambridge
University Press.
Piercy (2006) The Process and Effects of Performance Contracting in Kenyan Public Sector, Unpublished
MBA Project, United states International University (USIU), Nairobi
Mc intosh. (1981). Managing performance: Performance management in action London: Chartered
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Chan & Wan. (2012). Human Resource Management Practice, (8th ed.) London: Kogan Page Publishers
Rhoadesand (2002). Employee Development on a Shoe string. American Society for Training and
Development Press, USA
Eisenberger (2002). Public Service Reform in New Zealand and its Relevance to the Developing Countrie
World Bank Observer,13(1): 103-121
th
Blau. (1964). The Practice of Social Research. (12 Ed.). USA: Chapman University.
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common cause on Excellence in thePublic. Service UNCEA: Addis
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Thoits (1986) “Serial Correlation and the fixed effects Model” Review of Economic Studes 49 (4: 533-549)
resource development 11(3):283-29
Brandy & Conin (2001). Effect on customer service perceptions and outcome behaviours. Journal of
services research, 3, 241-51. Principles Management theory and practice. TJ
Interaional Padslow Publication.
Economic Commission for Africa (2003) wwww.econs.com
Campbell (1999). The New Public Service Managerialism: An Assessment’ In Managing the New Public
Services. Manchester: Macmillan
Hakala, D. (2008). Quicker, Betther, Cheaper?: Managing Performance in American Government. Albany.
NY: Rockefeller Institute Press.
Fletcher, D. & Williams, T. (1996). Reinventing Government: How the EntrepreneurialSpirit Is
Transforming the Public Sector. New York: Penguin
Viswesvarun & Ones, J.P. (2000). Educational research: an introduction (7th ed.),Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Addison & Balfied (2000) Customer and performance: Final Report, Institute of Public Administration
of Canada and the African Development.
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Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx xxxx)
APPENDIX 2: QUESTIONNAIRE AND INTERVIEW SCHEDULE
SECTION A – BIO DATA
1. Sex
Male
2.
3.
4.
5.
(
)
Female
What is your age bracket?
Between 20-30 years
Between 31-40 years
Between 41 – 50 years
Between 51-60 years
(
(
)
(
(
)
)
(
)
)
What is your highest academic level
Pre-Primary
(
)
Primary Level
(
)
Secondary/Form Four
(
)
Secondary/Form Six
(
)
College Diploma
(
)
University (Bachelors degree)
(
)
Masters degree
(
)
PHD (Doctorate)
(
)
Professor
(
)
How long have you worked in the County Government of Busia?
3-5 years
(
)
6-8 years
(
)
9-11 years
(
)
12 years and above
(
)
What is your line of operation in the Headquarter Offices? (please choose only one)
Chief Executive Committee Member
(
)
Chief Officer
(
)
Director
(
)
Management
(
)
Supervisory (head of Department)
(
)
Accountant
(
)
Secretarial
(
)
Clerical
(
)
Support Staff
(
)
SECTION B
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Africa International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (AIJMR) 1(1): 34-47 (ISSN: xxxx xxxx)
QUESTIONNAIRE ON VARIABLES
This questionnaire indicates questions for each independent and dependent variables and
demographic information. Please fill in the questionnaire and all the information that you will
provide will be treated with confidentiality and only meant for the purposes of this study.
PART 1: CUSTOMER ORIENTED ATTITUDE AND SERVICE DELIVERY. (LIKERT SCALE)
Using the response scale below, kindly tick
beside the statement that best expresses your
opinion on continuous communication.
SD
D U
Customer oriented attitude
COA1
My institution has displayed the service charter in places that are
accessible to the customers
COA2
My institution gives services to the customers as per the Charter
COA3
My institution has track record on customer’s enquiries
COA5
Customer’s grievances are tackled promptly and fairly
SECTION C: INTERVIEW SCHEDULE
Interview Guide for the Chief Executive Committee Members and Chief Officers.
1.
Does the organization have grievance handling mechanisms ………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………..
2. Does the organization displayed it’s service charter in conspicuous
places…………………………………………………………………………............
3.
………………………………………………………………………………………..
Does the organization have track record on customer’s
enquiries?……………………………………………………………………………..
THE END
THANK YOU
44
A
SA