The determinants of service quality: satisfiers and dissatisfiers

Robert Johnston (University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Publication date: 1 December 1995


Briefly describes five current debates in the service quality literature. One debate, of importance to operations academics and managers, is the identification of the determinants of service quality. Seeks to investigate whether there are some quality determinants that are predominantly satisfiers and others that are predominantly dissatisfiers. The analysis is based on 579 anecdotes, from personal account customers of a major UK bank, collected using the critical incident technique. The study′s main findings are that the predominantly satisfying determinants are attentiveness, responsiveness, care and friendliness; and the dissatisfiers are integrity, reliability, responsiveness, availability and functionality. Responsiveness is identified as a crucial determinant of quality as it is a frequent source of satisfaction, and the lack of it is a major source of dissatisfaction. Contrary to the existing literature, shows that the causes of dissatisfaction are not necessarily the obverse of the causes of satisfaction and, furthermore, that reliability is predominantly a source of dissatisfaction not satisfaction.



Johnston, R. (1995), "The determinants of service quality: satisfiers and dissatisfiers", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 6 No. 5, pp. 53-71.

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Copyright © 1995, MCB UP Limited

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