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Service Quality Design through a Smark Use of Conjoint Analysis

Stefano Barone (Department of Technology, Production and Managerial Engineering, Viale delle Scienze – 90128 Palermo)
Alberto Lombardo (Department of Technology, Production and Managerial Engineering, Viale delle Scienze – 90128 Palermo)

Asian Journal on Quality

ISSN: 1598-2688

Article publication date: 17 April 2004



In the traditional use of conjoint analysis, in order to evaluate the relative importance of several elements composing a service, interviewed customers are asked to express their judgement about different scenarios (specific combinations of elements). In order to reduce the number of possible scenarios, design of experiments methodology is usually exploited. Previous experiences show that, even a limited number of proposed scenarios cause difficulty in answering for the interviewed customer if the scenarios differ for elements of very low interest to him/her. Consequently, a high rate of abandon of the interview has been observed. In this study it is assumed that a service can be decomposed in several improvable elements and/or enriched with new “optionals”. In both cases, what under study is assumed to be a set of dichotomous attributes. For each of these attributes, its marginal contribution to customer satisfaction has to be modelled and estimated. To obtain the required information, an opportune questionnaire is proposed to a sample of interviewed customers. An interviewing procedure consisting in a customer driven design of scenarios is followed, starting from the full‐optional scenario and eliminating one by one the less satisfying elements. for each interviewed customer, a ranking of attributes is so obtained. Then, by asking the interviewed customer to evaluate on a metric scale the scenarios he previously selected, a rating of attributes can also be obtained. A case study conducted in collaboration with a public transportation company is presented. Contrarily to previous experiences, the abandon rate proved extremely reduced.



Barone, S. and Lombardo, A. (2004), "Service Quality Design through a Smark Use of Conjoint Analysis", Asian Journal on Quality, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 34-51.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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