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Automotive maintenance quality of service influencing factors

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Large majority of manufacturers, and among them car manufacturers are the most typical example, recognize more and more the importance of after-sales activities, implementing them into the company core business offer. Automotive maintenance is one of them. The reasons are manifold and to achieve them they need to primarily ensure the high quality of those services.This was the basic reason for initiating the research presented in this work, whose main objective was to define quality factors for assessment of after-sales services in automotive business activities. The paper presents the procedure and the accomplished results of the research. Nine quality factors have been defined and their significance was determined. It is believed that these results could facilitate automotive service station management, since it would primarily analyze and improve those segments that were assessed by users as the most significant. Keywords: after-sales services; automotive maintenance; quality factors; quality of service
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D. Velimirović i dr. Utjecajni faktori uporabne kvalitete održavanja vozila
Tehnički vjesnik 23, 5(2016), 1431-1438 1431
ISSN 1330-3651 (Print), ISSN 1848-6339 (Online)
DOI: 10.17559/TV-20140402074657
AUTOMOTIVE MAINTENANCE QUALITY OF SERVICE INFLUENCING FACTORS
Dragana Velimirović, Čedomir Duboka, Predrag Damnjanović
Original scientific paper
Large majority of manufacturers, and among them car manufacturers are the most typical example, recognize more and more the importance of after-sales
activities, implementing them into the company core business offer. Automotive maintenance is one of them. The reasons are manifold and to achieve
them they need to primarily ensure the high quality of those services.This was the basic reason for initiating the research presented in this work, whose
main objective was to define quality factors for assessment of after-sales services in automotive business activities. The paper presents the procedure and
the accomplished results of the research. Nine quality factors have been defined and their significance was determined. It is believed that these results
could facilitate automotive service station management, since it would primarily analyze and improve those segments that were assessed by users as the
most significant.
Keywords: after-sales services; automotive maintenance; quality factors; quality of service
Utjecajni faktori uporabne kvalitete održavanja vozila
Izvorni znanstveni članak
Mnogi proizvođači danas, a među njima proizvođači automobila kao tipičan primjer, uviđaju značaj postprodajnih usluga i implementiraju ih u svoju
osnovnu ponudu. Održavanje vozila je primjer ovih usluga. Razlozi su višestruki, a da bi se oni postigli potrebno je da se prvenstveno osigura njihova
visoka kvaliteta. Upravo iz tog razloga je pokrenuto istraživanje prikazano u ovom radu čiji je osnovni cilj bio da se utvrde faktori kvalitete postprodajnih
usluga u automobilskoj industriji. U radu je prikazan postupak i rezultati istraživanja, imenovano je devet faktora kvalitete i utvrđena je njihova
značajnost. Smatra se da bi ovi rezultati mogli olakšati upravljanje kvalitetom usluga u autoservisima, jer bi rukovodstvo prvenstveno analiziralo i
unapređivalo one segmente koje su korisnici procijenili kao najznačajnije.
Ključne riječi: faktori kvalitete; održavanje vozila; postprodajne usluge; uporabna kvaliteta
1 Introducton
The service sector has become very significant,
particularly in the developed world economies. At the
end of the 20th century over 60 % employees were
engaged in the service sector in the most developed
market economies. This percentage is even higher
nowadays, naturally in favour of service industry [1].
Structural changes and the increasing tendencies of
the role of service industry are present on a global scale.
The significance and role of service industry keeps
increasing in the developed, but also in the developing
countries. It is indicated more and more often that the
modern society has been taken over by the domination of
services, terms such as "service economy" or "service
society" have been introduced. The growing significance
of service industry is evident in its increasing contribution
to building the social product.
Pursuant to the growing significance of quality in
modern business operation, Quality of service is
established as a priority for organizations wishing to
differentiate their services in the highly competitive
environment. Two trends have generally been present:
services have become a dominant sector in the economy
of the highly developed countries and the offered products
are at the same time more and more often a combination
of products and services as an answer to the increasing
understanding of user needs.
From a scientific perspective, Quality of service is
frequently a topic in modern management theory and
practice. Marketing researchers have significantly
contributed to the understanding of the nature of services
and the nature of user satisfaction. The following
hypothetical views on Quality of service is considered in
last decades:
it is more difficult for users to assess Quality of
service as compared to product quality,
perceptions of Quality of service are the result of
users’ comparison of their expectations with the
actually performed services,
Quality of service performances assesment comprise
working characteristics of the product during the life
cycle, but also the quality of logistic support
operations comprising service activities related to
their maintenance and
quality assessment is not only based on the outcome
of the service process, but includes also an evaluation
of the delivery process itself.
The automotive industry has recognized the
previously mentioned fact that in order to meet growing
customer demands there is a need to offer services
together with their products and they implement the
services into their core offering. Services in the focus of
present research are after-sales vehicle maintenance
services, where we wanted more specifically to determine
factors that best represent their quality. All the research
shows that those services are of great importance for the
automotive industry.
2 Theoretical background of the subject of research
In modern business operation conditions where
"focus is on users", Quality of service has become a
priority for service organizations. In other words, the
quality of delivered services is recognized as having such
significance for business operation that its concept is
requested not only for the purpose of achieving success,
but also in some cases, in order to survive on the market.
Quality of service achievement and maintenance, based
Automotive maintenance quality of service influencing factors D. Velimirović et al.
1432 Technical Gazette 23, 5(2016), 1431-1438
on the principle of understanding user expectations, is
believed to be the basic strategy for successful provision
of user satisfaction and their retention [2,3].
Although automotive industry is popular for research
in the field of operative management, the automotive
service industry is not often mentioned. Activities related
to vehicle maintenance belong to service industry and the
entire set of these activities is desribed in literature by the
common term of after-sales services. After-sales services
may also be defined as "all initiated activities in the
direction of providing vehicle quality and reliability,
undertaken after users take over their vehicles in the aim
of providing user satisfaction" [4].
The main reasons for inclusion of after-sales services
into basic product offer could be divided into three
categories: after-sales economy, user demands and
competitive advantage [5].
Firstly, the after-sales services market is considered,
from the economic point of view, in some industries as a
four to five times greater market than the market of the
products themselves. Some authors indicate that after-
sales could generate a three times greater turnover than
the sales themselves.
On the other hand, the continuous increase of user
demands with respect to services, induces manufacturers
to provide value added services and to leave support
processes to outsourcing, achieving thereby greater
flexibility and efficiency.
The third significant reason is the gain of competitive
advantage. After-sales services represent a source of
profit in the context of global competition and reduced
profits from product sales, and thus they are also the
differentiation key for manufacturing companies. Some
authors even indicate after-sales as a way to cover losses
in profit due to sales prices, which have to be reduced,
because of enormous competition.
Automotive manufacturers have included after-sales
services in their basic product offer. These services
include: instructions for use, automotive maintenance,
spare parts delivery, warranties, etc. [6]. One of the
slogans, which may be frequently heard in automotive
dealerships, is that it is the sales department that sells the
first car and the after-sales department that sells every
following one.
However, quality is an abstract concept in service
industry, thus also in after-sales services and it is
therefore difficult to define and measure it. The specific
properties of services must be considered and understood
properly in order to understand the quality concept in
service industry. Many researchers believe that quality is
based in customer perception on a long-term, cognitive
company evolution, whereas satisfaction is a short-term,
emotional reaction to a specific experience with a
delivered service. Research has been conducted in service
industry in the aim of generalizing a model for Quality of
service assessment. The SERVQUAL model is the result
of such efforts, according to which Quality of service is
evaluated through a five dimensional concept: reliability,
assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness.
SERVQUAL has found supporters among a large number
of authors and has been applied, with certain
modifications, in many service industries [7].
However, just as it had its supporters, this model has
also been subject to a lot of criticism from the moment of
its formation. Another approach to Quality of service
measurement has been formulated and consolidated in the
SERVPERF model [8], in the aim of disputing the basis
on which the SERVQUAL model was formed, in which
measure of quality is based on expectation-perception
gap. SERVPERF model advocates the use of direct
performance measures at the moment of service delivery
as better quality measurement approach. Furthermore,
many scientists believe that it is not possible to introduce
a uniform scale for quality measurement in all service
industries and that the number and kind of dimensions
should instead be adjusted to specific service contexts [9].
The approach enabling better quality assesment by
means of performance measurement in service industry is
used in this study. In order to fulfill the research task it is
necessary to empirically and accurately identify key
quality indicators and factors for assessment of performed
services from customer perspective and to determine their
significance. Using such findings managers in automotive
service stations, as in all other organizations, may focus
their attention on the segments of the greatest importance
to users and thus define the priorities for further
advancement [10, 11]. This is exactly what has been done
and the results are presented in this paper.
The importance of this research can be also verified
from the point of the fact that many organizations today
measure customer satisfaction and use it with other
indicators of business performance for making future
management decisions. Thus, the frequently used
framework in practice, the BSC (Balanced
Scorecard)[12], classifies the business operation success
indicators into four groups: financial perspective, internal
processes, learning and growth and customer perspective,
including also measurement of their satisfaction. As
researchs shows Quality of service is the base of customer
satisfaction. It is believed that all perspectives are
important and that only organization management
approaches, which include all these four segments, may
lead to long-term success.
3 Research method
The selection of research method was determined by
the nature of the subject of research. Special scientific
methods have also been used in the subject research,
besides general scientific methods.
General scientific methods are immanent in all
scientific knowledge acquisition, thus also in this
research. The statistical method was the dominant one
among the general scientific methods used in the research
[13].
The descriptive "survey-research" method was used
among the special research methods, since this form of
scientific description entails an active inclusion of
respondents in giving information about phenomena,
which are the subject of research, based on which it is
possible to get to the essence of the subject of research
and determine its state, and also discover the cause and
effect relationship. However, this does not mean that the
use of other research methods had been entirely ignored;
on the contrary, in order to be able to answer all questions
D. Velimirović i dr. Utjecajni faktori uporabne kvalitete održavanja vozila
Tehnički vjesnik 23, 5(2016), 1431-1438 1433
designated in the subject research, it was also necessary to
apply theoretic and historic methods, making thus the
subject research more comprehensive and reliable.
The following research techniques were used in the
practical realization stage of the research:
questionnaire technique,for collecting data on users
of automotive service stations i.e. on their social (gender,
age) and andragogy (education level) features, and
scaling technique, for evaluating specific aspects of
offered services in automotive service stations by users.
4 Research results
In order to define quality factors, which was the basic
goal of the subject research, it was necessary to firstly
define quality determinants i.e. indicators [14].The system
for measuring quality indicators for offered services in
automotive service stations, represents a set of metric
information, from the aspect of customer perspective,
used to quantify service effectiveness and efficiency. In
order to properly define this system, it was necessary to
pay special attention to indicator validity, objectiveness,
reliability and accuracy.The methodological procedure for
validity determination was validation by knowledge [15].
4.1 The research procedure
The procedure of the research is presented in flow
diagram, Fig. 1. Detailed description is also shown in
following paragraphs.
First of all an initial list of quality indicators for
automotive station services was completed, based on the
opinion of automotive station service users and providers.
Explanation was given to users of a given automotive
station services about what quality of work perfomance
in automotive service stations entails, and then 63 of them
were asked to write down on a sheet of paper, their
opinion of all the individual aspects of the offered
services which could describe the quality of work
performed in automotive service stations. The same was
asked from 14 service providers in automotive service
stations. Based on the defined quality indicators for
services provided by automotive service stations, a scale
was comprised of opinions on the individual aspects of
offered services in automotive service stations (48 items),
which was used for a sample of 64 respondents - users of
automotive services. The task was to express their
agreement with the statements (individual quality aspects
of the quality of provided services) on a Likert scale from
1 to 5. It was determined on the basis of the data collected
in this way, that some items were not clear enough, while
others were not offering what was expected of them. For
this reason 6 of them were excluded from this instrument.
The final version of the scale was defined following
consultations with experts (providers of automotive
station services with the highest professional
qualifications and longest work experience). They
excluded the other three items from the opinion scale, so
that there are 39 items in the final version.
The indicator validity was also confirmed by
statistical analysis of variables in the opinion scale,
defined on the basis of previously defined indicators. The
obtained communalities range from medium to high
values, i.e. from 0,597 to 0,827, whereby validity of the
defined indicators had been confirmed.
Figure 1 The research flowchart
Indicator objectivity was secured by the manner in
which the list of indicators was comprised and later by
their use within the opinion scale, by which respondents
expressed their evaluation of the individual quality
aspects of the offered services (on a rating scale of 1 to 5).
Such approach to indicators and opinion scale,
constructed on their basis, eliminated any possible doubt
about biased conduct of researchers.
Accuracy which is also required to provide scientific
basis to indicators was provided by strict and careful
definition of the meaning of the individual indicators,
whereby the necessary requirements were established for
the determination of significant and often difficult to
perceive nuance manifestations of certain quality
variables of offered automotive station services.
Conducted methodological procedure leads to the
definition of 39 quality indicators for automotive station
services from customer perspective:
1) staff responsiveness to customers,
2) staff kindness,
3) effort to find out as much as possible about
customers,
4) adjusting time schedules for execution of works on
vehicles to customer requirements and wishes,
Automotive maintenance quality of service influencing factors D. Velimirović et al.
1434 Technical Gazette 23, 5(2016), 1431-1438
5) reminding customers of service appointments,
6) prompt telephone call answering by responsible
persons,
7) respect of appointments,
8) pleasant atmosphere at service stations,
9) staff conduct at service stations inciting confidence,
10) competence for giving answers to posed questions,
11) expressed interest and readiness to solve customer
problems,
12) opting for the most acceptable solutions for
customers,
13) service receptionists attentively take note of
customers’ comments on cars,
14) service receptionists describe to customers the works
to be performed on cars,
15) service receptionists explain to customers the reasons
for the anticipated works on cars,
16) promptness of information on the completion of
works on cars,
17) customers get information on the prices of anticipated
works,
18) customer consent is requested for additional works,
19) unnecessary works on cars are avoided,
20) service departments make an effort to complete
works within agreed time frames,
21) performed works on cars are good quality and do not
require rework,
22) customers are given replacement cars to use until
completion of works on their own cars,
23) customers get advice about how to make best use of
their cars,
24) adequate and tidy work clothes for staff,
25) tidiness of service station premises,
26) attractiveness of service station advertising material,
27) available parking place for service station customers,
28) clear direction markings for customer orientation,
29) pleasant ambiance where customers wait for
comletion of servicing works,
30) written assurance of completed quality control of
performed works,
31) delivery of clean cars to customers,
32) service receptionists deliver cars to customers,
33) respect of working hours,
34) car delivery to customers even after working hours,
35) it does not take long to prepare documents for
performed services,
36) transparent and clear invoices,
37) invoices are explained to customers,
38) collecting feedback information on customer
satisfaction with offered service and
39) Quality of service at service stations has an impact on
the purchase of a a specific vehicle brand.
The reliability of the opinion scale was determined by
classic summary methods and ranged from 0,8843 to
0,9449, as follows:
a) Cronbach's Alpha coefficient = 0, 9395;
b) Guttman Split-halfcoefficient = 0,8843;
c) Guttman coefficient:
Lambda 1 =
0,9154
Lambda 2 =
0,9449
Lambda 3 =
0,9395
Lambda 4 =
0,8843
Lambda 5 =
0,9291
It has been determined based on the obtained
reliability coefficients that the used instrument has a very
high reliability and internal scale agreement for the used
sample considering the number of items, covered by it
and could therefore be used in the subject research.
Besides having social-andragogy features, the
obtained indicators have been included in the
Questionnaire given to customers to fill in. The sample
used in the research consisted of customers who were
direct users of automotive station services. A total of 146
people were questioned. Testing was done in authorised
services of the following car manufacturers during year
2012: BMW, Audi, Toyota, Volkswagen, Škoda, and
Citroen. Customes were asked to fill-in the Questionairre
when taking their car after the service work was done.
After all data were collected, factor analysis was then
used to ensure reliable identification of the quality factors
which objectively express customer satisfaction with
services performed. Thus, all manifest variables
indicators were summarized to a smaller number of latent
variables factors, based on mutual relation and
according to predetermined mathematical-logic
conditions. Considering that an inter-correlation matrix of
all manifest variables forms a starting basis for quality
factor definition, it was necessary to subject it to
significance tests in order to verify justification of the
used factor analysis. A sampling adequacy index was
obtained thereby, amounting to 0,777 [16], which was
considered a very good indicator. The value of Bartlett’s
Test of Sphericity was also high (r = 0,000), representing a
reliable basis for the use of factor analysis (see Tab. 1).
Table 1 Tests of statistical significance of the correlation matrix for
Factor analysis
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin "Sampling Adequacy Index"
0,862
Bartlett’s Test of
Sphericity
Approximation Chi-square test
3391,956
Number of degrees of freedom
741
Significance
0,000
To ensure higher realiability of applied method Cattell
"Scree" Test was also used. The essence of this test makes
a graphical representation of characteristic roots in order
of their separation and identification of the turning point
after which the curve becomes a straight line. Ordinal
number corresponding to that point, suggests the number
of factors that needs to be kept in further analysis.
Figure 2 Cattell’s Scree Test
D. Velimirović i dr. Utjecajni faktori uporabne kvalitete održavanja vozila
Tehnički vjesnik 23, 5(2016), 1431-1438 1435
Thus, factor analysis, with the use of Cattell’s Scree
Test, undoubtedly points out to a nine factor solution, i.e.
that nine factors of satisfactory quality of performed
automotive station services have been singled out from
customer perspective, representing all 39 manifest
variables quality indicators for performed services.
The eigenvalues for these nine factors are:13,939;
2,531; 2,239; 2,027; 1,717; 1,565; 1,360; 1,192 and 1,093
(see Fig. 2). They cover 70,933 % of the cumulative
proportion of total variance.
4.2 Automotive service station Quality of service factors
Tab. 2 shows factor configuration and factor structure
matrices of the Quality of services performed in automotive
service stations from customer perspective, based on which
quality factors were defined. Only those quality indicators
for performed services with a factor weight value above
0,3 and which were in correlation with factors above 0,3
have been taken into consideration here [17]. However,
some of the indicators which had factor weight values
and/or coefficients of correlation with those factors
smaller than 0,4 are not presented in the text below.
Factor #1 is mostly defined by indicators (manifest
variables) related to assurance of automotive service
station capability to provide the promised services in an
appropriate manner. As Tab. 2 shows, this factor is
determined by the following quality indicators for
performed services: (1) responsible individuals promptly
answer telephone calls (6/0,814; 0,807-the first number is
the number of the indicator in the Questionnaire, the
second number indicates the weight factor, and the third is
the correlation coefficient of the variables and factors),
(2) service departments respect appointments for works to
be performed on cars (7/0,808; 0,791), (3) customers get
timely information about when works will be completed
on their cars (16/0,755; 0,734), (4) customers do not wait
long at vehicle delivery for preparation of documents
related to performed services (35/0,715; 0,799), (5) staff
conduct at service stations gives assurance to customers
(9/0,709; 0,774), (6) service station staff respects the
prescribed working hours (33/0,605; 0,705), (7) service
departments make an effort to complete works within the
agreed time frame (20/0,579; 0,682), (8) the performed
works on cars are good quality and there is no need for
rework (21/0,564; 0,639), (9) service station staff has the
knowledge and experience to answer all customer
questions (10/0,551; 0,681), (10) the atmosphere at the
service station is pleasant (8/0,468; 0,647) and (11) service
stations have available free parking space for customers
(27/0,467; 0,609).
All of the above mentioned indicators have a
significant projection on the first factor and indicate that
their impact is primarily directed towards assurance of
automotive service stations users of the automotive
service stations staff’s readiness to always provide them
with assistance and appropriate quality. It is possible,
based on this, to define the first factor as Reliability
(capability of delivering requested services in a satisfac-
tory manner). This finding is also in agreement with
earlier research. The earlier mentioned SERVQUAL scale
singled out this factor in its five dimension concept [7].
Factor #2 is mostly defined by the following
indicators: (1) service stations offer replacement carscars
which customers may use while works are performed on
their own cars (22/0,757; 0,776), (2) cars may be delivered
to customers even after working hours (34/0,730; 0,635),
(3) service departments contact customers to find out
whether they are satisfied with the offered services
(38/0,721; 0,818),(4) service departments contact
customers to remind them of servicing appointments
(5/0,440; 0,652) and (5) service station employees make an
effort to get to know customers better (3/0,418; 0,621).
This factor may be defined, considering the above
mentioned indicators, as Special features. Earlier research
confirms also the singling out of this factor. Thus, David
A. Garvin in his definition of product quality dimensions
from consumer perspective, included also Special
Features among eight of the most significant ones [18].
They refer to properties which make basic product
functions complete.
Factor #3 is defined by quality indicators for
performed services indicating readiness of automotive
station service providers to provide assistance to
customers. The most significant among these are: (1)
service station staff expresses interest and readiness to
solve customer problems (11/0,764; 0,835), (2) service
receptionists listen carefully to customer comments
related to cars (13/0,761; 0,827), (3) service receptionists
explain to customers why repair works are required
(15/0,748; 0,716), (4) responsible staff at service stations
takes into account customers’ interests when proposing
problem solution and suggests the best solution for
customers (12/0,694; 0,774), (5) customers always get
good advice for using their cars (23/0,535; 0,713) and (6)
unnecessary works on cars are avoided at service stations
(19/0,481; 0,680).
It is possible to see, once all factor elements have
been analysed, that they are directed towards showing
responsiveness and empathy to customers. Therefore,
there are good reasons to designate it as Responsiveness
and empathy. Furthemore, one of the general principles of
business ethics is also based on the recognition of and
experience with the above mentioned, indicating that
candour, openess, truthfulness, keeping promises and
transparency contribute to facility and efficiency of
business transactions [19].
Factor #4 is mostly represented by the following
quality indicators for performed services: (1) customers
get transparent and clear invoices (36/0,829; 0,783), (2) if
additional works are required, service station staff
contacts customers to request consent (18/0,696; 0,743),
(3) competent service station staff explains invoices to
customers (37/0,482; 0,673) and (4) performed works on
cars are good quality and there is no need for rework
(21/0,468; 0,612).
Fourth factor is defined by manifest variables,
pointing out provision of truthful information about
performed services. Therefore, the subject factor may be
defined as Transparency. Transparent systems have clear
procedures for making decisions of interest to automotive
station service users and for open communication with
them [20].
Automotive maintenance quality of service influencing factors D. Velimirović et al.
1436 Technical Gazette 23, 5(2016), 1431-1438
Table 2 Configuration and Structure Matrices
Performed
services
quality
indicators
CONFIGURATION FACTORS
STRUCTURE FACTORS
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX
1.
0,392
-0,104
0,109
0,400
0,084
0,019
0,658
0,222
0,550
0,207
0,460
0,624
-0,072
2.
0,339
-0,102
0,158
0,185
-0,151
0,413
0,605
0,118
0,614
0,193
0,489
0,493
-0,195
3.
0,164
-0,022
-0,099
0,063
-0,110
0,267
0,552
0,621
0,613
0,326
0,228
0,340
-0,104
4.
0,247
0,137
-0,020
-0,025
-0,267
0,773
0,433
0,169
0,458
0,308
0,236
0,225
-0,178
5.
-0,046
-0,129
-0,111
0,122
-0,129
-0,015
0,427
0,652
0,535
0,240
0,196
0,330
-0,123
6.
0,814
0,170
-0,212
0,011
-0,030
0,133
0,807
0,318
0,438
0,390
0,106
0,306
-0,080
7.
0,808
-0,133
0,100
-0,225
0,034
0,013
0,791
0,316
0,513
0,158
0,303
0,187
-0,004
8.
0,468
0,331
0,255
0,027
-0,120
0,160
0,647
0,244
0,513
0,522
0,498
0,439
-0,234
9.
0,709
0,332
0,043
-0,226
-0,001
0,084
0,774
0,389
0,519
0,542
0,277
0,202
-0,039
10.
0,551
-0,033
0,121
-0,175
-0,165
-0,004
0,681
0,203
0,619
0,250
0,374
0,275
-0,223
11.
0,386
-0,184
0,022
-0,178
0,050
-0,062
0,683
0,330
0,835
0,204
0,340
0,235
0,017
12.
0,179
-0,119
-0,203
0,015
0,088
0,086
0,565
0,450
0,774
0,250
0,165
0,269
0,080
13.
0,186
0,114
0,079
-0,017
0,175
-0,004
0,556
0,303
0,827
0,409
0,388
0,336
0,066
14.
0,059
0,213
0,295
0,121
0,155
0,105
0,346
-0,122
0,501
0,350
0,503
0,322
0,093
15.
-0,122
0,089
0,011
0,118
0,413
-0,241
0,346
0,318
0,716
0,358
0,284
0,278
0,308
16.
0,755
0,013
-0,060
-0,126
0,400
-0,098
0,734
0,400
0,455
0,250
0,134
0,128
0,338
17.
-0,096
-0,041
0,323
-0,180
0,441
0,020
0,176
0,251
0,402
0,133
0,343
-0,042
0,474
18.
-0,265
0,696
0,382
-0,105
0,073
0,032
0,153
0,229
0,463
0,743
0,475
0,187
0,004
19.
0,059
0,279
-0,115
0,075
0,040
-0,053
0,499
0,612
0,680
0,562
0,211
0,363
-0,056
20.
0,579
-0,141
-0,107
0,128
0,358
0,181
0,682
0,348
0,570
0,145
0,184
0,312
0,280
21.
0,564
0,468
-0,159
-0,107
0,207
-0,061
0,639
0,499
0,371
0,612
0,055
0,142
0,160
22.
-0,052
-0,010
0,008
0,032
0,045
0,061
0,295
0,776
0,332
0,251
0,149
0,194
0,039
23.
-0,065
0,193
-0,092
-0,052
-0,099
0,161
0,433
0,580
0,713
0,501
0,226
0,256
-0,089
24.
0,104
0,024
0,866
-0,088
0,110
0,124
0,327
0,132
0,331
0,190
0,838
0,275
0,038
25.
-0,032
0,200
0,821
-0,073
0,041
0,032
0,295
0,302
0,413
0,368
0,820
0,340
-0,088
26.
0,346
-0,166
0,235
0,070
-0,341
-0,255
0,585
0,525
0,387
0,169
0,443
0,471
-0,463
27.
0,467
0,134
0,209
0,256
-0,129
-0,258
0,609
0,320
0,286
0,345
0,432
0,557
-0,318
28.
-0,023
-0,015
0,247
0,635
0,100
-0,049
0,358
0,315
0,307
0,218
0,502
0,708
-0,099
29.
-0,140
0,118
-0,281
0,998
0,133
0,072
0,263
0,196
0,284
0,283
0,141
0,821
-0,084
30.
0,023
-0,016
-0,012
0,127
-0,102
0,131
0,320
0,296
0,253
0,201
0,199
0,222
-0,033
31.
0,330
-0,125
-0,009
0,000
0,091
-0,174
0,569
0,312
0,538
0,183
0,254
0,252
0,055
32.
0,047
0,357
0,059
0,228
0,777
-0,159
0,232
0,209
0,351
0,404
0,172
0,204
0,611
33.
0,605
-0,132
0,122
0,388
0,015
-0,065
0,705
0,228
0,437
0,142
0,424
0,649
-0,203
34.
-0,061
-0,052
0,217
0,045
0,185
0,101
0,206
0,635
0,301
0,149
0,266
0,203
0,115
35.
0,715
-0,031
-0,036
0,302
-0,013
0,106
0,779
0,256
0,453
0,234
0,305
0,564
-0,162
36.
0,188
0,829
0,014
0,103
0,279
0,052
0,325
0,185
0,269
0,783
0,166
0,234
0,158
37.
-0,200
0,482
0,017
0,240
-0,018
-0,039
0,321
0,460
0,489
0,673
0,308
0,424
-0,098
38.
0,121
0,046
0,048
-0,071
-0,006
0,029
0,441
0,818
0,383
0,335
0,206
0,192
-0,007
39.
-0,113
-0,081
0,332
0,058
0,165
0,658
0,071
0,347
0,079
0,025
0,311
0,079
0,256
Factor #5 is not a single meaning one. However it is
mostly represented by indicators related to staff and
premise tidiness: (1) service station staff is properly
dressed and tidy (24/0,866; 0,838) and (2) service
premises are clean and tidy, (25/0,821; 0,820), Tab. 2.
This factor is defined as Visual impression. This
result has also been confirmed by earlier findings about
Quality of service dimensions [7,21].
Factor #6 is mostly represented by the following
quality indicators for performed services: (1) plesant area
where customers can wait for completion of services
(29/0,998; 0,821), (2) clear direction markings for
customer orientation (28/0,635; 0,708) and (3) service
station staff pays equal attention to all customers
(1/0,400; 0,624).
Above mentioned indicators are contributed to the
comfort of service users, to which we can also add the
time of service delivery from the aspect of respect of
working hours of staff and duration of motor vehicles
delivery, Tab. 2. Pursuant to this, it is possible to define
this factor as Comfort. Similar results have also been
obtained in earlier studies. Johnston mentions comfort as
a quality dimension in his study [22].
Factor #7 is represented by the following quality
indicators for performed services: (1) customers get
written assurance that quality control of performed works
has been effected (30/0,900; 0,856), (2) service
departments contact customers to remind them of
servicing appointments (5/0,430; 0,619) (3) clean cars are
delivered to customers following performed works
(31/0,421; 0,613), (4) competent service station staff
explains invoices to customers (37/0,350; 0,536) and (5)
service station receptionists describe to customers the
works to be performed on vehicles (14/0,334; 0,417).
Based on the expressed influence of the above
mentioned variables, it is possible to define this factor as
Confidence and assurance. This result has also been
obtained in some earlier research, as is the case in the
research of Bouman M. and van der WieleT. [23].
Namely, they dealt with the issue of Quality of service in
automotive service stations and defined thereby three key
factors: staff kindness, tangible elements and confidence,
with which the subject findings are in agreement.
Factor #8 is associated with the following quality
indicators for performed services: (1) service station
receptionists deliver vehicles to customers following
performed works (32/0,777; 0,611), (2) customers are
informed about the price of the agreed works (17/0,441;
0,474), (3) service station receptionists explain to
customers why repair work is required (15/0,413; 0,308)
D. Velimirović i dr. Utjecajni faktori uporabne kvalitete održavanja vozila
Tehnički vjesnik 23, 5(2016), 1431-1438 1437
(4) customers get timely information about when works
will be completed on their vehicles (16/0,400; 0,338) and
(5) service stations have available attractive advertising
material (26/0,341; 0,463).
It can be seen that the eighth factor is mostly defined
by Quality of service indicators related to communication.
It is possible for this reason to define this factor as
Communication. Singling out this factor is quite
understandable, since success in business operation is
largely determined by the quality of the relationship
between service providers and users [7, 20, 22]. However,
the indicator related to attractive advertising material was
in negative correlation with this factor. The reason for this
could be an insufficient or inadequate use of automotive
service station advertising material. It is thus possible to
look here for possibilities for improvement of service
station communication with customers.
On the ninth factor for the quality of performed
services in automotive service stations from customer
perspective the following manifest variables have the
greatest influence: (1) receptionists try to fulfill customer
requirements when making appointments for works to be
performed on vehicles (4/0,773; 0,779), (2) the quality of
services provided by service stations influences customer
decisions to buy a certain vehicle brand (39/0,658; 0,619)
and (3) service station staff is kind to customers (2/0,413;
0,495).
Quality indicators for services performed in
automotive service stations, which explain the ninth
factor, such as promptness, incentive aspect of Quality of
service and staff kindness, are in agreement with the
above mentioned.Thus, this factor can be defined as
Additional service dimension. It comprises indicators that
are also important for full customer satisfaction.
Table 3 Quality factors for services performed in automotive service
stations from customer perspective
Factor description
Percentage of
explained total
variance
Cumulative
proportion of
total variance
1
Reliability
35,741
35,741
2
Special features
6,490
42,232
3
Responsiveness
and empathy
5,741 47,972
4
Transparency
5,198
53,170
5
Visual impession
4,402
57,572
6
Comfort
4,012
61,584
7
Confidence and
assurance
3,488 65,073
8
Communication
3,057
68,129
9
Additional service
dimension
2,803 70,933
Therefore, quality factors for performed services in
automotive service stations from customer perspective
have been identified by factor analysis. It is necessary to
mention hereby that all identified factors are not of the
same significance (Tab. 3). Namely, all nine quality
factors for performed services in automotive service
stations explain, from customer perspective, the total
variance of 70,933 %. It has been found that the first
factor Reliability is of particular significance, having a
share of 35,741 % in the interpretation of the total
variance. It is justified to say that this is the key factor,
since customers always count on automotive service
stations which are capable of delivering requested
services in a satisfactory manner.
The following five factors have quite a smaller, but
not negligibly small share of the explanation of total
variance. They refer to Special features (6,490 %),
Responsiveness and empathy (5,741 %), Transparence
(5,198 %), Visual impression (4,402 %) and Comfort
(4,012 %). The remaining three factors, although having
an even smaller share of the explanation of total variance,
cannot be entirely ignored in enlightening the quality of
services performed in automotive service stations from
customer perspective.
Those are factors which refer to Confidence and
assurance (3,488 %), Communication (3,057 %) and
Additional service dimension (2,803 %).
5 Conclusions
There is no doubt that quality has one of the key
roles today, regardless of whether it is a question of
manufacturing or service industry organizations, in
securing long-term survival of any organization on the
market. Considering its significance, to be able to manage
quality, it is necessary to measure and assess it. Quality
factors are defined in the aim of conducting this
procedure. The abstract feature of the quality of services
certainly makes this procedure difficult. There have been
attempts in the past to make a uniform model for
measuring the quality of all services. However, a large
number of scientists support the approach that it is
necessary to adjust such model to specific service
contexts, stressing thereby the specific aspects of this kind
of activities.
The subject of this research dealt with after-sales
services in automotive industry. The aim was to define
quality factors and detemine their significance, which has
also been accomplished. Nine quality factors: reliability,
special features, responsiveness and empathy,
transparency, visual impression, comfort, confidence and
assurance, communication and additional service
dimension have been singled out in this research.The
significance of each factor has also been determined and
presented in the subject work.
These results are significant for all those who are
engaged in automotive services, because it is possible to
manage the quality of performed services by these
specific factors and to determine priorities with respect to
procedures for its further advancement by taking into
account the significance of the obtained factors.
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Authors’ addresses
Dragana Velimirović, mr. mech. ing.
High Business School of Professional studies "Čačak",
Gradski park 2, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia
E-mail: vps.draganavl@gmail.com
Čedomir Duboka, prof. dr. sc., ret.
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Belgrade,
Kraljice Marije 16,11000 Belgrade, Serbia
E-mail: cduboka@eunet.rs
Predrag Damnjanović, prof. dr. sc.
Faculty of Business Economics and Entrepreneurship,
Mitropolita Petra 8, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
E-mail: damjanovic.p@sbb.rs
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This text provides a broad and integrative introduction to the conduct and interpretation of scientific research in geography. It covers both conceptual and technical aspects, and is applicable to all topical areas in geographic research, including human and physical geography, and geographic information science. The text discusses all parts of the research process, including scientific philosophy; basic research concepts; generating research ideas; communicating research and using library resources; sampling and research design; quantitative and qualitative data collection; data analysis, display, and interpretation; reliability and validity; using geographic information techniques in research; and ethical conduct in research.
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Pierre Auger The mere association of the two expressions, scientific research and organization, raises grave problems, both cultural and social, spiritual and material. Many thinkers consider such an association positively dangerous: the spirit bloweth where it listeth and its visitations, insistences or renunciations are not to be organized; organize research, take away its complete liberty and it may wither and die. Yet contrary — and highly respectable —opinions are not wanting. La Rochefoucauld, for example, pointed out that it is not enough to possess great qualities, one must know how to order them. And order implies organization. Some will argue that such organization is an individual matter, a question of self-discipline, and that organization imposed from without must be harmful. This argument I consider fallacious. A man can organize his own gifts only within some broader social organization, a scientific and cultural tradition into which he fits — and here we notice at once that there are two aspects to this interaction between two forms of organization: one spiritual and the other material. The creative power brought into play in research is necessarily based on something acquired through education and communication, and it operates within an organized whole to extend, modify or even completely transform it. But even a thorough-going transformation has value only in relation to tradition; nothing can be reformed unless it already exists and is familiar. Many ideas, whose only fault was that they were too foreign to the pre-existing organization, have been utterly lost, or rediscovered long after they were first put forward — and then only if they had been recorded and preserved. Here, then, we already have two elements of great importance in good organization, whether of mind or of matter: first, a readiness to accept out-of-the-ordinary ideas and, if they cannot be integrated forthwith into the system, to preserve them. The problem is to discard the many unproductive trains of thought without risking the loss of something rare and precious.
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