The Impact of Internal Marketing Activities on Customer Service Performance in Healthcare Industry

The Impact of Internal Marketing Activities on Customer Service Performance in Healthcare Industry

Amirhosein Abbasi (University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran), Mohammad Haghighi (University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran), Babak Hazaveh Hesar Maskan (University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran), Mahdi Ashkani (Department of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran) and Ali Mohammadi (Allameh Tabatabei University, Tehran, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRMM.2017070102
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Abstract

A look at the situation of competition in healthcare industry indicates that it is very important to provide high quality services in this industry, something which can be regarded as a success factor. Therefore, hospitals are more successful if they pay more attention to internal marketing in order to maintain their customers. Thus, this study is an investigation about the relationship between internal marketing plans and measures based on human resources, employee perception of the internal marketing strategy and employee job performance in healthcare industry. For this purpose, 249 subjects were selected from the personnel and administration department as a sample. To answer the research questions, a questionnaire was then used for data collection. All of the 11 research hypotheses were confirmed. In addition, research variables and their relationships were analyzed and investigated in SPSS 22 and PLS. According to the research findings, internal marketing and internal market orientation plans had both direct and indirect impacts on the customer-oriented behavior.
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2. Literature Review

2.1. Internal Marketing (IM)

Barry stated that internal marketing was introduced 30 years ago to achieve the quality of service for a significant problem that existed in the area of services (Barry, 1981). Grönroos maintained that, to have satisfied customers, the company should first have satisfied its employees, those who motivate and represent the quality of the services they provide. This motivation comes from the employees who are considered as customers, which is a method to job designing and service branding for supplying the market (Grönroos, 1993). Since long ago, Day and Wensley argued that marketing performance should focus on the initiating, negotiating and managing exchanges between internal and external areas of the company. Barry expressed that the concept of internal marketing in which companies and employee are regarded as market and internal customers respectively was introduced in 1980s. As noted by Ambler, in many businesses, especially service sector businesses, employees are the first customers. Consumers are likely to be the final customers, but the brand of employee comes at the beginning. Culter defines internal marketing in terms of success in the employing, training and motivating the employees capable of providing services for customers. George and Gronroos have also stated that, therefore, in some cases, internal marketing reflects the desirable performance of human resource management. Heskett et al. said that, the loyalty of external customers stems from external customers’ satisfaction, which in itself depends on the loyalty of internal customers (Nigel, Michael and Leyland, 2003).

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