Gronroos involves computing the difference between the

Gronroos (1988)
defines the five key determinants of service quality as: professionalism and
skills (technical, outcome related), reputation and credibility (image
related), behavior and attitudes, accessibility and flexibility and reliability
and trustworthiness (all functional, process related). However, the most
popular is the SERVQUAL model of Parasuraman et al.
(1988) consisting of the five dimensions of service quality – tangibles,
reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy.

Initially,
only five dimensions of service quality were indicated in the SERVQUAL approach
(Parasuraman et al. 1988):

1.    Tangibles
(physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of personnel);

 

2.    Reliability
(ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately);

3.    Responsiveness
(willingness to help customers and provide prompt service);

4.    Assurance
(knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and
confidence); and

5.    Empathy
(caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers).

 

A
key aspect of this model is the customers’ determination process for perceived
service quality. Expected service and perceived service are both directly
influenced by the determinants of service quality which finally determine the
overall level of service quality. The SERVQUAL instrument is a two-part
questionnaire. The first part consists of twenty two items measuring
expectations of customers and the second part consists of twenty two similarly
worded items measuring perceptions or experience of customers. Assessing the
quality of service involves computing the difference between the ratings
customers assign to the paired expectation/ perception statements. SERVQUAL is
designed as a diagnostic instrument to identify areas of strength and weakness
in the delivery of services.

Furthermore,
the importance of SERVQUAL has been to use “gap scores” in the
measurement of service quality (Cronin and Taylor,
1992, 1994). It is the gap between perceptions and expectations that
underpins the formulation of the SERVQUAL model, the service quality measuring
instrument originally developed by Parasuraman et
al. (1988).

                             2.8.1 Criticism of
SERVQUAL

 

The
service quality gaps models can be criticized on both methodological and
conceptual grounds (Carman, 1990; Cronin and Taylor, 1992; Teas,
1993; Brown et al., 1993). Cronin and Taylor
(1992) proposed that there is a lack of evidence supporting the
expectation-performance gap as a predictive measure of service quality. They
believe that assessing customer perception is enough for evaluating service
quality and it is unnecessary to measure customer expectations in service
quality research. They oppose evaluating service quality by calculating the
difference between customer perceptions and customer expectations (P-E).
Indeed, they define Service Quality as a customer Perception (of Performance
only) without expectations. They proposed that the performance based
measurement approach (SERVPERF) is more in conformance with the existing
attitude and customer satisfaction literature and is superior to the
perception- expectation gap approach.

 

Teas
(1993) questioned the validity of perception-expectation gap with conceptual
and operational problem in the definition of the expectation. While perception
(P) is definable and measurable in a straightforward manner as the customer
belief about service is experienced, expectation (E) is subject to multiple
interpretation by different authors/ researchers (e.g. Babakus
and Inhofe, 1991; Dabholkar
et al., 2000; Gronroose, 1990; Teas, 1993, 1994). They believe that expectation
concept is doubtful and conceptualized owing to there are plenty definition for
the term expectation in service quality literature where it is defined as
„normative expectation? with concern to organization constraints such as human
resource or

facilities
and equipments limitation or „ideal expectation? without any concern to
limitation and constraint, it means what the customer would expect from
excellent service. Initially, Parasuraman et
al (1985, 1988) defined expectation as “desire or wants of customer”;
what they feel a service provider should offer rather than would offer (Jain and Gupta, 2004).

Brown
et al. (1993) raised psychometric concerns regarding the use of difference
score and felt that the gap model would display poor reliability, because
expectation and perception could be positively correlated. They also suggested
that if the statistical variance of performance score and expectation score are
different, any tests of statistical significance would become more complex. The
other criticizer claims that SERVQUAL is not applicable to a wide variety of
service contexts as the common tool for evaluating service quality (Carman, 1990).

The above
explanation provides a critical discussion of the traditional models, but it is
not convincing and it seems that this model still needs to be further
developed. In the following, other shortcomings in gaps models are addressed
and a model is developed based on the discussion. Considering the critical
discussion, more gaps are added to the previous models. The new components
which are proposed to be fitted in to the model include: (www. Macro think.Org/bms)

–  Ideal service standards;

–  Service
quality strategy and policy;

 

–  Translation
of service quality strategy and policy into service quality specifications and
service design;

–  Management
perceptions of customer perception; and

 

–  Employee
perceptions of customer perception.

 

Although
the elements listed in SERVQUAL model have been proven to be the main method
for evaluating service quality from the consumer?s perspective (Brown et al., 1993), drawbacks in using SERVQUAL
in measuring service quality has been the reason that the SERVPERF scale was
proposed by Cronin & Taylor (1992, cited
in Jain et al. (2004, p. 25-37) after they called into question the conceptual
basis of the SERVQUAL, having found it, led to confusion with service
satisfaction (Jain et al.,
2004, p. 25-37). These researchers discarded the ´E´ for ´expectation`
claiming instead that ´P´ for ´performance´ alone should be used. They meant
that higher perceived performance entails higher quality service.
Unfortunately, during this past century, customers have changed their behaviors
in ways that do not suit organizational behavior.

Conceptual Framework

 

The
general idea from the past literature is that there is a relationship between
customer satisfaction and service quality; also that service quality could be
evaluated with the use of five service quality dimensions and the most useable
is the SERVQUAL scale.

Thus,
customers in this paper are those who consume the services, satisfaction
denotes customer?s desire to maintain a business relationship with the
organization and it is also the feelings of the customers towards the services
provided to them by the organizations; while customer satisfaction in this
study is the pleasures obtained by customers for the services provided to them
by the employees of the organizations.

It
has been proven that “perceived service quality is a component of customer
satisfaction” (Ziethaml et al. 2006,
p.106-107).

Moreover,
the SERVQUAL model has been proven to be the best model to measure service
quality in service sectors especially with the customer perspective. This idea
generates an assumption that the five dimensions of SERVQUAL model could have a
direct relationship with customer satisfaction.

Service quality Dimensions

 

 

 

Figure 2. Conceptual framework of the effect of
customer service quality on customer Satisfaction

 

Source: Parasuraman et al., (1988).

The
difference between expectations and perceptions is called the gap which is the
determinant of customers? perception of service quality. Following from the
literature review done above, the relationship between service quality
variables and customer satisfaction can be shown in the diagram above. Parasuramn et.al, (1988)