Measuring the Service Quality of Services: TRADONIC SERVQUAL Model

Measuring the Service Quality of Services: TRADONIC SERVQUAL Model

Abhishek Vashishth (Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli, India) and Ayon Chakraborty (Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3628-4.ch009

Abstract

SERVQUAL and e-SERVQUAL have been considered the most effective and powerful approaches in evaluating the quality and gaps in the service delivered in traditional and electronic services, respectively, but neither SERVQUAL nor e-SERVQUAL can measure the overall service quality of the firm. Therefore, this chapter aims to propose and test a new scale that can measure the overall service quality of the firm.
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Introduction

Services form a considerable part of the world economy and the growth of the service sector has long been considered as an indicator of a country's economic progress. The service sector accounts for a significant proportion of GDP in most countries, including low-income and developing countries, where it frequently generates over 50 percent of GDP. For instance, service sector is the largest sector in India accounting for 57.9% of the total GDP whereas manufacturing and agriculture sector contributed for 24.2% and 17.9% respectively (Statistical Year Book India, 2015). Thus, it becomes very important for the firms to pay more attention on the service and more precisely, the quality of service to be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Given the importance of quality of service, a lot of attention has been paid on the ways and methods of measuring the quality of service and customer satisfaction. Service quality has its roots in the business and management field. Marketers realized that to retain customers, and to support market growth, they must provide high quality of service (Dabholkar, Shephard & Thorpe, 2000; Zeithaml, 2002). It is said that service quality is an important antecedent of consumer assessment of value, which in turn influences customer satisfaction, which then motivates loyalty (Babakus & Boller, 1992). There has been much debate as to what constitute service quality and how its measures can be operationalized in various service industries, yet no consensus has been reached (Chowdhary & Prakash, 2007). Since service itself is a complex phenomenon, efforts to define service quality and its dimensions have been subjected to academic debate. One of the most cited and applied concept of service quality is by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985) who simple put it as: the overall evaluation of a specific service firm that results from comparing the firm’s performance with the customer’s general expectations of how firms in that industry should perform. They introduced SERVQUAL that has been considered as the most effective and powerful approach in evaluating the quality and gaps in the service delivered and the customer expectations in traditional services. The approach defines the service quality as “the discrepancy between a customer’s expectations of a service and the customer’s perception of the service offering” (Parasuraman, 1998). The SERVQUAL helps managers in determining the service quality gaps and prioritizing these gaps that needs to be focused on and allocating essential resources to fulfill them.

Though various grounds have been identified for criticizing the SERVQUAL methodology but as per the articles published in recent decade the process has gained great importance for identifying various quality gaps and thus helps in preparing various strategies for efficiently allocating resources and terminologies for attaining better customer satisfaction along with profit maximization. Over the years, there have been many adaptations of the original SERVQUAL model to meet the specific operational characteristics of the service industry (Dowell and Long, 1998; Walker, 1996; Getty and Thompson, 1994; Knutson et al., 1991). This has led to the evolution of terms such as LODGQUAL, LODGSERV, DINESERV and GROVQUAL. All of them individually have sought to develop and build over the more generic SERVQUAL methodology.

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