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Defining and Measuring the Quality of Customer Service

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Abstract

The importance of service quality as an indicator of customer satisfaction and organisational performance is widely acknowledged and has led to a major research thrust which has focused on a number of industries within the service sector. Some of the research relating to defining and measuring service quality is reviewed and a number of suggestions are made as to how measurement instruments such as SERVQUAL might be improved.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning
Defining and Measuring the Quality of Customer Service
Barbara R. Lewis Vincent W. Mitchell
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To cite this document:
Barbara R. Lewis Vincent W. Mitchell, (1990),"Defining and Measuring the Quality of Customer Service", Marketing
Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 8 Iss 6 pp. 11 - 17
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(1998),"Customer-service provider relationships: an empirical test of a model of service quality, satisfaction and
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(1996),"SERVQUAL revisited: a critical review of service quality", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 10 Iss 6 pp. 62-81
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DEFINING
AND
MEASURING
THE
QUALITY
OF
CUSTOMER SERVICE
11
R
eviews the literature relating to both
theoretical and practitioner-based
studies.
Defining and
Measuring
the Quality
of Customer
Service
Barbara R. Lewis and Vincent W. Mitchell
Introduction
The role of service quality as an indicator of customer
satisfaction and organisational performance is now widely
acknowledged and has led to a major research thrust in
recent years. In this article, the authors give initial
attention to the growing importance of customer service
and service quality, and consider the frequently used
terms:
"expectations", "satisfaction", and "quality".
Discussion is then focused on the existence of service
quality gaps and the various dimensions or determinants
of service quality which have been postulated and
researched
by
both academics and practitioners.
A
number
of service quality studies are cited, and the most well-
known service quality measurement tool, SERVQUAL,
is presented together with discussion of
its
limitations
and suggestions for improvement.
Customer Service and Service Quality
Customer service within service industries continues to
gain in importance. Consumers are becoming more aware
the alternatives on offer, and
rising
standards of service,
prompted by competitive trends, have increased cus-
tomers' expectations (see, for example, Leonard and
Sasser, 1982; Takeuchi and Quelch, 1983). In addition,
customers are becoming increasingly critical of the quality
of service they experience (Albrecht and Zemke, 1985).
Expectations are desires or wants of consumers
what
they feel a service product should offer which are
formed on the basis of previous experience with a
company and its marketing mix inputs which include
physical evidence, process and people (Booms and Bitner,
1981).
The physical environment comprises facilitating
goods and tangible clues which may be essential or
peripheral to the service being
bought;
process refers to
service delivery systems; and "people" comprise those
service personnel (both customer-contact and back-room)
who are integral to the production of a service.
Management too are much more aware of
the
consumers'
needs and advances in technology have enabled organ-
isations to facilitate the customer-company exchange at
the point of
contact,
e.g. using
ATMs
and EFTPOS. Also,
increasingly sophisticated marketing/management
information systems have allowed management to
implement some customer orientated ideas which would
have been near impossible ten years ago, e.g. customer
databases.
As a consequence of these trends, together with an
increasingly competitive environment in most service
industries, many organisations consider the quality of
service they provide to be a critical factor in achieving
a differential advantage over their competitors. Leonard
and Sasser
(1982)
claim that "quality
has
become a major
strategic variable in the battle for market share". This
is echoed by Berry
et al.
(1989) who believe that service
excellence is
a
key strategic
weapon.
Thus, quality
is
often
a key variable in strategic planning and organisations which
are becoming leaders in quality service are characterised
by the commitment of top management and a corporate
culture that encourages a consumer and quality focus
throughout the company.
Service Encounters
Before
moving
on to define service quality, mention should
be made of the notion of the "service encounter", also
referred to as "moments of truth" or "critical incidents"
(see,
for example, Albrecht and Zemke, 1985). A service
encounter
is the
interaction between
a
service organisation
and its customers/clients, and may take varying forms:
face-to-face, over the telephone,
by
letter, or
by
automated
means (e.g. ATM). Every time a customer comes into
contact with any aspect of the organisation he/she has an
opportunity to form
an
impression of the service provided.
A characteristic of most service provision is the simul-
taneous production and consumption which necessitates
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MARKETING INTELLIGENCE
&
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8,6
interpersonal interaction between an organisation's
employees and its customers: such encounters typically
have a high "impact" on the consumer and the quality
of the service encounter is thus a vital ingredient in the
overall quality of service experienced by the customer.
Recent perspectives and research activities relating to
service encounters are reported by Bitner, 1990; Bitner
et
al.,
1990; Larsson,
1990;
and Lewis and
Entwistle,
1990.
Defining Service Quality
Although it is now well accepted that service quality is
important for corporate strategy and planning, there are
no clear cut definitions of
quality.
Many of the suggested
definitions focus on meeting customer needs and
requirements. For example, Lewis and Booms (1983)
believe that service quality is a measure of
how
well the
service level delivered matches customers' expectations.
Creedon (1988) says his own corporate objective is "to
meet or exceed our customers' expectations", and
"providing a better service than the customer expects"
was
a
comment from
a
recent study in the banking sector
(Lewis, 1988). Additionally, a number of definitions refer
to comparisons by consumers of expectations of service
with their perceptions of
actual
service performance (e.g.
Gronroos, 1982; Berry et al., 1985; 1988).
The term "expectations", as used in service quality
literature, differs from the
way
it is used in the consumer
satisfaction literature. In the satisfaction literature,
expectations are viewed as "predictions" made by the
customer about what is likely to happen during an
impending transaction. According to Oliver
(1981,
p. 33):
"It is generally agreed that expectations are consumer-
defined probabilities of the occurrence of positive and
negative events if the consumer engages in 'some
behaviour'". In contrast, in the service quality literature,
expectations are viewed as desires or
wants
of consumers,
i.e. what they feel a service provider should offer rather
than would offer. The consumers' expectations or wants
will be influenced by past experience. It has been found
that, if expectations are held constant, higher levels of
performance lead to higher evaluations (Oliver, 1977). One
then
has
a situation where if expectations are greater than
performance, the perceived quality is less than satis-
factory. That is not to say the service is of low quality.
The tautology exists that if expectations are greater than
performance, for example
in an
expensive restaurant, then
although perceived quality
may
be
low,
the actual standard
of service, in absolute terms will still be higher than in
a cheap restaurant. This tautology adds confusion to any
discussion of good or bad service quality using an
expectation versus performance model.
The difference between quality and satisfaction has also
been a point for debate. Oliver
(1981,
p. 27) defines
satisfaction as being a "summary psychological state
resulting when the emotion surrounding disconfirmed
expectations is coupled with the consumer's prior feeling
about the consumption experience". Almost
all
definitions
of satisfaction relate to a specific transaction, while an
attitude towards a product is a much more enduring
characteristic and is less situationally orientated. In
Oliver's
(1981)
words, "satisfaction soon decays into one's
overall attitude toward purchasing products". Consistent
with the distinction between satisfaction and attitude is
a distinction between service quality and satisfaction:
perceived service quality
is a
global judgement, or attitude,
relating to the service, whereas satisfaction is related to
a specific transaction (Parasuraman
et
al.,
1988). In fact,
Parasuraman et al. (1985) have reported several
illustrations of instances where respondents were satisfied
with a specific service, but did not feel that the service
was of high quality.
Quality Gaps and Dimensions
Parasuraman
et
al. (1985) defined the quality perceived
in a
service
to
be
a
function of the
gap
between consumers'
expectations of the service and their perceptions of the
actual service delivered by the organisation, and suggested
that this gap is influenced by several other discrepancies
or gaps which may occur within the organisation. Their
research among company executives led to the identi-
fication of four key gaps/shortfalls:
(1) Management's perceptions of both internal and
external customer expectations are different from
actual customer desires, i.e. managers do not
necessarily know what customers want and expect
from the company.
(2) Actual service quality specifications are different
from management's perceptions of customer
expectations, i.e. even if consumer needs are
known, appropriate specifications of service may
not always be set, possibly because of lack of
resources, organisational constraints or an absence
of management commitment to a service culture
and service quality.
(3) The service that is delivered is different from
management's specifications for service, i.e.
guidelines
may
be set, but high quality may not be
certain due to (for example) variations in per-
formance of contact
personnel:
employees not being
able or willing to perform at a desired level.
(4) What is said about the service in external
communications is different from the service that
is delivered. External communications such as
advertising and promotion can influence consumers'
expectations and perceptions of the delivered
service and so it is important not to promise more
than can be delivered.
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DEFINING
AND
MEASURING
THE
QUALITY
OF
CUSTOMER SERVICE
13
The most important gap to consider
is
that perceived by
the consumer, Gap 5, i.e. the difference between
expectations and perceptions of actual service; but what
are the factors on which consumers evaluate the service
offering?
Dimensions
Three dimensions of service quality have been proposed
by Sasser et al. (1978). These are levels of material,
facilities and personnel. Implied in this trichotomy is the
notion that service quality involves more than just the
outcome, it also involves the manner
in
which the service
is delivered. This idea has been reiterated
in
other work.
Gronroos (1982, 1984), for example, postulated that two
dimensions exist: the technical quality of the outcome of
the service encounter which involves what the customer
is actually receiving from the service; and the functional
quality of the process
itself,
which involves the way in
which the service is delivered and is concerned with the
psychological interaction between buyer and seller. These
two dimensions come together
to
influence the corporate
image of the organisation.
Lehtinen and Lehtinen (1982) suggest that "corporate
image/quality" is a dimension
in
its own right. They refer
to three quality dimensions: physical quality, which
includes the physical aspects of the service (e.g.
equipment or
buildings);
corporate quality, which involves
the company's image or profile; and interactive quality,
which derives from the interaction between contact
personnel and customers as well as between customers
themselves. Lehtinen and Lehtinen also divide service
quality into process quality —judged
by
consumers during
the service, and output quality
judged
by
the consumer
after the service is performed.
More recently, LeBlanc and Nguyen
(1988)
have suggested
that corporate image, internal organisation, physical
support of the service producing system, staff-customer
interaction, and degree of customer satisfaction all
contribute to service quality. Further, Edvardsson
et
al.
(1989)
present four aspects of quality that affect customers'
perceptions:
Technical quality to include skills of service
personnel and the design of the service system.
Integrative quality
the ease with which different
portions of the service delivery system work
together.
Functional quality
to include all aspects of the
manner in which the service is delivered to the
customer, to include style, environment and
availability.
Outcome quality whether or not the actual
service product meets both service standards or
specifications and customer needs/expectations.
However, possibly the most widely reported set of service
quality determinants is that of Parasuraman
et al.
(1985).
They suggested that the criteria used by consumers that
are important in moulding their expectations and
perceptions of delivered service fit ten dimensions:
tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, communication,
credibility, security, courtesy, competence, under-
standing/knowing the customer, and
access.
Subsequent
factor analysis and testing led to these ten dimensions
being condensed to five (Parasuraman et al., 1988):
Tangibles
physical facilities, equipment, appear-
ance of contact personnel.
Reliability ability to perform the promised
service dependably and accurately.
Responsiveness
willingness to help customers
and to provide a prompt service.
Assurance
knowledge and courtesy of employees
and their ability to inspire trust and confidence.
Empathy caring, individualised attention the
company provides its customers.
In addition, to these five determinants of service quality,
Gronroos (1990) has added a sixth dimension, that of
recovery.
In developing the research pertaining to the determinants
of service quality, a significant contribution has been made
recently by Johnston
et al.
(1990). Following investigation
of the measures of quality used
by a
number of
large
UK
service organisations they developed a set of 12 deter-
minants of service quality: reliability, responsiveness,
appearance/aesthetics, cleanliness/tidiness, comfort,
friendliness, communication, courtesy, competence,
access, availability and security. This research team has
also carried out an empirical investigation (Silvestro, 1990)
focused on 15 service quality factors which were
categorised as either
hygiene,
enhancing or
dual
threshold
factors. Hygiene factors are those factors which are
expected
by
the customer, and failure to deliver
will
cause
dissatisfaction. Enhancing factors are those factors, the
delivery of which will lead to customer satisfaction but
failure to deliver
will
not necessarily cause dissatisfaction.
Dual threshold factors are those which are expected by
the customer: failure to deliver
will
cause dissatisfaction,
and delivery above a certain level
will
enhance customers'
perceptions of service and lead to satisfaction.
Service Quality Studies
The determinants and dimensions of service quality have
been the focus of a multitude of both academic- and
practitioner-based studies, and a variety of measurement
tools to assess service quality have been utilised. One
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MARKETING INTELLIGENCE
&
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8,6
of
the
first reported studies was that of
Gagne (1967)
who
developed
a
Student Perceptions of Teachers (SPOT) test,
which measured the quality of teaching
by
comparing what
actually happened against some expected
ideal.
This
was
subsequently used
by a
number
of
institutions
(see
Bradbury
and
Ramsden, 1975). Transport companies
involved
in
service quality programmes
and
assessment
include British
Airways
(Hamill and
Davies,
1986), British
Rail (Gilbin, 1986),
and
London Underground (Davison,
1987).
In the
health care sector,
a
substantive study was
completed by Thompson (1983)
in
which
he
investigated
a wide range
of
determinants
of
patient satisfaction;
and
doctors have been studied by Brown
and
Swartz (1989).
A
variety of
studies
have emerged
in
the financial services
sector where organisations
are
actively promoting
customer care/service quality
programmes.
Buswell (1983)
reported
the
experience
of
a bank which measured
the
quality
of
service received
by
its customers in relation
to
knowledge
of staff,
communications, staff expertise,
willingness
to
lend
and
branch design. Richardson
and
Robinson
(1986),
Tansuhaj et al.
(1987),
and Cornish (1988)
also assessed
a
range of technical and functional aspects
of
quality,
and Lewis
(1989)
researched four sets of service
quality factors: physical features
and
facilities, reliability,
personal characteristics
of staff, and
responsiveness.
Credit card companies were
the
focus of work by Larkin
(1987)
and
Garfein (1988), and insurance companies have
been investigated
by
Marshall (1985)
and
Falzon (1988).
Other documented illustrations are those of Touzin (1986)
Sheraton hotels;
and
Blout (1988)
AT&T.
Two final examples relate
to
services
and
their business
clients. Smith (1989,
1990)
carried
out
research among
small businesses
to
identify those elements which
determine
the
quality
of
bank service
to
small business
clients and the perceived performance of
the
banks across
these elements:
and
some of her findings
are
presented
in
her article in this
issue.
Finally, Morgan has
a
particular
interest
in
professional services
and in
his article
in
this
special issue
he
presents findings from
a
study relating
to the
needs,
attitudes and satisfactions/quality perceptions
of organisational clients with respect to their
legal
advisers.
The studies reported here
are
wide ranging
in
terms
of
the industries and organisations studied, and also disparate
with regard
to
research objectives, methods
and
measurement tools. Indeed,
a
number
are
reports
of a
particular company's experiences, whilst others
are
substantive empirical
and
analytical investigations.
However, service quality
and its
measurement
is a
common theme.
Service Quality Measurement
To return
to the
work
of
Parasuraman et al. (1988)
and
the challenge of developing methods
to
assess accurately
the service quality gaps (1-5) which they described. They
proposed
a
measurement instrument containing
22
statements developed from their five major dimensions
of service quality (tangibles, reliability, responsiveness,
assurance
and
empathy).
Each statement
is
recast into
two
statements
one to
measure expectations about firms
in
general within
the
service category being investigated,
and the
other
to
measure perceptions about
the
particular firm whose
service quality
is
being assessed. Approximately half
of
the statements
are
worded positively
and the
rest
are
worded negatively,
in
accordance with recommended
procedures
for
scale development (Churchill, 1979).
A
seven-point scale ranging from "strongly agree"
(7) to
"strongly disagree"
(1),
with
no
verbal labels
for
scale
points 2
to
6, accompanies each statement. Scale values
need
to
be revised for negatively worded statements prior
to data analysis. Examples
of
questions
are:
E1
They should have up-to-date equipment:
Strongly disagree Strongly agree
1
2 3 4 5 6 7
Pi Company
X
has up-to-date equipment:
Strongly disagree Strongly agree
1
2 3 4 5 6 7
The quality perception
or gap (Q) is
calculated
by
subtracting
the
Expected scale values
(E)
from
the
Performance scale values (P). Therefore,
Q = P - E.
Addition of
each
individual item's
Q
value
gives an overall
quality value, which
can be
positive,
i.e.
performance
is
better than expected,
or
negative,
i.e.
performance
is
worse than expected. Substantial time and effort has been
put into developing the 22-item scale to establish both its
reliability and
validity.
The final product, SERVQUAL
(see
Parasuraman
et
al., 1988)
is
a concise multiple-item scale
with good reliability that can be used
to
understand better
service expectations and consumer
perceptions.
One can
look
at
trends over time
or
compare branches/outlets
within an organisation.
It
gives an indication of the relative
importance
of the
five dimensions which influence
customers' overall quality perceptions. With this infor-
mation priority areas
can be
targeted
for
management's
attention
and
resources. Another application
of the
instrument
is its use in
categorising
a
firm's customers
into several perceived-quality segments
(e.g.
high, medium
and
low) on the
basis
of
their individual SERVQUAL
scores. These segments can then be analysed on the basis
of demographic, psychographic and/or other profiles.
The quality
of
these ideas depends critically
on the
accuracy
of the
measurement instrument. While
SERVQUAL
is
seemingly
a
ready-made solution
to the
assessment of
a
service organisation's performance,
are
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DEFINING
AND
MEASURING
THE
QUALITY
OF
CUSTOMER SERVICE
15
there any other ways of obtaining the same information?
What problems might
a
manager using SERVQUAL face?
In the final section of this article the suggestion is made
that although SERVQUAL can be treated as an off-the-
shelf solution, a number of improvements are possible.
Improving the Measurement of
Service
Quality
The first point to note is that SERVQUAL treats
all
items
in the scale as equally important. This assumption may
not hold in every situation. For example, is the fact that
the organisation has up-to-date equipment as important
as the organisation
being
dependable? Whilst the "should"
question of expectation will provide an indication of the
relative importance of
the
item to the individual, the gap
measurement is no more or less heavily weighted as a
result of that information. Therefore, a difference of one
scale point on the statement concerning up-to-date
equipment is treated exactly the same as
a one
point scale
difference on the dependability statement. The writers
suggest that some form of weighting of
gaps
needs to be
introduced if the scales are accurately to reflect the
magnitude of gaps.
Second, when administering the scales to consumers,
difficulties have been found as a result of half of the
statements being negatively worded. Consumers become
confused when presented with double negative questions.
For
example:
"The bank manager does not take time to
discuss
my
business'', strongly agree or
disagree.
If
given
time to work out the logic then consumers will make the
correct responses, but with a minimum of 44 scales, half
of which are seemingly repeated, respondent interest may
wane resulting in completion errors (Smith, 1990).
The two separate lists of statements for the same items
lead to additional
drawbacks.
Respondents
may
be initially
unsure about the exact difference between the two
statements, especially about the meaning of the word
"should'' because of the change of definition of expectation
used in the service quality literature. They may also have
difficulty
in
remembering to rate companies
in
general as
opposed to rating what they want or expect from that
particular
company.
Therefore, constant reinforcement
of
the points is needed if meaningful data are
to
be collected.
Further, because the statements are rated at different
times,
consumers forget
how
they
have
rated expectations
when completing their performance statements.
To
have
independent ratings may initially appear to be beneficial.
On closer examination, however, it is exactly opposite to
what is being sought, i.e. a comparison between some
general expectation/want and one company's performance
on
a
given
item.
Comparing the two at the same time must
surely give a more accurate reflection of the gap in the
consumer's mind.
To
summarise, negative statements and
the word "should" cause confusion, and independent
ratings are suggested to be less accurate than comparisons
made at almost the same point in time.
Third, restricting consumers' responses to a seven-point
scale may mask subtle variation in their expectations and
perceptions. For example, the consumer may feel his
expectation lies somewhere between points 5 and 6 on
the scale, probably just closer to 6. Six will then be
recorded as the measurement, whereas in fact a more
accurate figure would have been 5.6. On his/her
performance rating the respondent may feel the rating
should be between 6 and 7. If it is slightly closer to 6,
then
6
will
be recorded as the response, whereas his/her
true feelings were measured by the point 6.4 on the scale.
The recorded measurements
will
then show
no
difference
between expectations and performance. However,
in
truth
the difference may have been as much as 0.8 which
represents some
11
per cent of the whole scale. If this
is a particularly important item, ignoring such a mismatch
is done at the researcher's peril.
To solve this problem, a graphic scale could be used to
measure these points more accurately. However, this
would not be without its costs in data processing terms.
While values of 1-7 are easily noted and input into a data
set, graphic scales, unless they can be optically scanned,
must
be
measured
by
hand and then
input.
This increases
the time required for data processing as well as the
accuracy of the measurement.
If a graphic scale were
to
be used, it would give additional
validity to the use of parametric statistics. It is common
practice to use ordinal scales, such as the 1-7 agree/
disagree scale, as interval data (Albaum
et al.,
1977) even
though strictly these tests are inappropriate. The use of
a graphic scale provides the opportunity to measure the
responses on a continuous interval scale which does not
violate the assumption of parametric statistics, which one
would wish to use on such data once collected.
A final problem relates to the adjectives used in
SERVQUAL statements. These adjectives are crucial in
the measurement of perceptions, for they
provide
the point
of reference for the statement with which the respondent
can agree or
disagree.
The problem
lies
in how much one
can express positive or negative feelings about the
statement. Presumably, if one strongly disagrees that a
firm provides "up-to-date" equipment then one is indi-
cating that they do not, but how out-of-date is it
a few
years out-of-date or is it antiquated? Similarly, if one
strongly agrees that the firm provides up-to-date
equipment, does up-to-date include futuristic equipment
or equipment which may be seen as before its time?
As
can be seen, the choice of adjective is crucial.
Yet
even
the choice of an extreme adjective suffers from the
limitations of an agree/disagree scale to fully allow the
consumer to indicate extreme opposite viewpoints. One
way to overcome this problem is to use bipolar semantic
differential scales, for example:
Antiquated Futuristic
equipment equipment
which will allow respondents a greater freedom of
expression. Nevertheless semantic differentials have
disadvantages, in particular:
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bipolar words need to be found for each item; this
may prove difficult and time consuming;
the scales may be more difficult for consumers to
complete and the questionnaire
may
require several
examples and training questions at the beginning.
To overcome the problems highlighted with the
SERVQUAL measurement tool, researchers might
consider the use of
a
bipolar semantic differential graphic
scale. This approach to alter and improve rating scales
is referred to as the upgraded semantic differential or the
graphic positioning scale (Evans, 1980; Swan and Futrell,
1980).
For example, a typical question might be:
Indicate using a "P" how up-to-date the equipment
of company X is. On the same scale, using a "W",
indicate how up-to-date you want or expect equipment
of companies within this industry to be.
Apart from overcoming some of the disadvantages already
discussed, this approach reduces the length of the
questionnaire and is quicker to complete. In addition, it
forces the respondent to place on paper a pictorial
representation of the distance between expected and
perceived performance. Because both are considered
simultaneously and the consumer
has a
point of reference,
once the performance value (P) has been assigned, the
accuracy of the gap measurement should be increased.
In addition, the problem of the "should" confusion is
reduced by using "want" and there are no double nega-
tives.
The amount of the gap (Q) between (W) and (P)
is then weighted by the value of (W); since (W) is an
indication of
the
importance of
the
item to the consumer.
Therefore Q = (W - P)
W.
Thus, the sum of Q1 - Q22,
i.e. the weighted gaps for all the 22 items, would seem
to provide a more accurate indicator of the customer's
service quality perceptions.
Conclusions
It is hoped that the review of literature presented in this
article, relating to both theoretical and practitioner-based
studies, has provided the reader with a flavour of some
of the current service quality issues.
The importance of quality service is now well accepted,
and service-based organisations are addressing increasing
attention to service excellence
in
their corporate strategy
and
planning,
in the anticipation of
achieving a
differential
advantage over their competitors.
The determinants or dimensions of quality service are
wide ranging and measurement schemes and tools are
continually being developed. The "key challenge for
researchers...to devise methods to measure service
quality gaps accurately" (Parasuraman
et
al.,
1985,
p.
49)
is also well acknowledged.
The most widely adopted instrument used to assess
service quality, the SERVQUAL questionnaire, has been
presented together with a number of observations
concerning its limitations. Several modifications and
potential improvements to this measurement procedure
have been suggested but the proposed new method has
not yet been tested or shown to provide more accurate
data in empirical studies. The challenge for the authors
and other researchers is to carry out such tests and
experiments. But, in the meantime, SERVQUAL remains
the most reliable tool available for the measurement of
service quality in the 1990s.
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Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands Pascal PeetersResearch Assistant, Faculty of Economics and Business
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... The commonly used definition of service quality is the level to which a service fulfills the needs of customer; it also includes a comparison of customer expectations with their perceptions of actual service performance (Parasuraman et al., 1985Lewis and Mitchell, 1990). Customers who are satisfied with service quality are remaining loyal . ...
Conference Paper
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Government of India is increasingly stressing on digital economy due to enormous benefits that it derives. Plethora’s of incentives are also announced to promote and expedite its adoption. Digitization happens by leveraging technology. Digitization in economy also carries several risks and underlying challenges that are visible and several of them that are unexplored. This work aims in exploring the technical challenges underlying the digital economy and security vulnerabilities that surround digital economy particularly in Indian context. Further, this work analyzed the current state of digital economy and predicted the target that it can achieve in next five years. Accordingly, this article will be helpful for all the stakeholders to prepare for the opportunities and to address the challenges. Thereby, transition to digitization can be accomplished smoothly and with a higher pace.
... Consumer behavior research extensively discusses how individuals negatively react to a service failure (Borah et al. 2020;Day et al. 1981;Grégoire et al. 2018). Prior research noted that a data breach is a type of service failure (e.g., Goode et al. 2017;Rasoulian et al. 2017) because it compromises data security, which is a component of service quality (Lewis and Mitchell 1990;Yang and Fang 2004). In fact, a data breach constitutes the unauthorized access to an organization's information that results from a compromise in information security. ...
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Companies may face serious adverse consequences as a result of a data breach event. To repair the potential damage to relationships with stakeholders after data breaches, companies adopt a variety of response strategies. However, the effects of these response strategies on the behavior of stakeholders after a data breach are unclear; differences in response times may also affect these outcomes, depending on the notification laws that apply to each company. As part of a multi-method study, we first identify the adopted response strategies in Study 1 based on content analysis of the response letters issued by publicly traded U.S. companies (n = 204) following data breaches; these strategies include any combination of the following: corrective action, apology, and compensation. We also find that breached companies may remain silent and adopt a no action strategy. In Studies 2 and 3, we examine the effects of various response strategies and response times on the predominant stakeholders affected by data breaches: customers and investors. In Study 2, we focus on customers and present a moderated-moderated-mediation model based on the expectancy violation theory. To test this model, we design a factorial survey with 15 different conditions (n = 811). In Study 3, we focus on investors and conduct an event study (n = 166) to examine their reactions to company responses to data breaches. The results indicate the presence of moderating effects of certain response strategies; surprisingly, we do not find compensation to be more effective than apology. Further, the magnitude of the moderating effects of response strategies is contingent upon response time. We also find that the negative effects of data breaches disappear after 6 months. We interpret the results and provide implications for research and practice.
... al. 2003). Current literature on SERVQUAL applications in healthcare services describes variations of the initial model(Lewis and Mitchell, 1990). The first category of the SERVQUAL model variations deals with the definition of different dimensions and/or service characteristics in order to measure service quality(Hwang et. ...
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This book constitutes the proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Health (ICICTH), held in Samos, Greece, in July 2005.
... Therefore, perceived quality can be defined as consumers' subjective evaluations. If customers' expectations are greater than a business's performance, then perceived quality is considered low, which eventually leads to customer dissatisfaction [57]. Customers' perceptions of quality are a pivotal factor for achieving a competitive advantage and sustainable profits in the foodservice industry [58]. ...
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Instagram is used as an effective and visual marketing channel for building brand equity in the minds of consumers. Therefore, this study aims to classify Instagram marketing activities and analyze the associated effects on customer-based brand equity (brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, brand love, and Instagram re-usage intention) formation through Instagram marketing activities. To this end, data were collected from 358 coffee consumers who had visited any of the five coffee brand Instagram accounts used in this study and analyzed using SPSS and AMOS. The results showed that four sub-dimensions (interaction, entertainment, customization, and trendiness) of Instagram marketing activities affect brand equity (brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality), which in turn led to attitudinal loyalty (brand love) and behavioral loyalty (Instagram re-usage intention) towards the brand. This research comprehensively illustrates the influences of Instagram marketing activities on customer-based brand equity. The findings of this study will enable coffee brands to more accurately forecast the future purchasing behaviors of their customers through Instagram marketing activities and provide a guide to managing brand equity as well.