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The effects of service quality on internet service provider customers’ behaviour: A mixed methods study

Thu Nguyen Quach (Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Charles Jebarajakirthy (Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Park Thaichon (S P Jain School of Global Management, Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 13 June 2016

3476

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to identify the dimensions for evaluating the service quality of internet service providers (ISPs); second, to investigate the relationship between service quality and customers’ behavioural intentions; and third, to investigate the influence of ISP customers’ usage patterns on their perceptions of ISP’s service quality dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs a sequential exploratory mixed method design incorporating quantitative and qualitative elements. Data in Study 1 was obtained from 2,059 internet users using an online survey. The relationships between the constructs of the proposed conceptual model were tested using structural equation modelling and the bias corrected bootstrapping technique. Also, the moderating effect of internet usage was examined. Study 2 featured 30 in-depth interviews with internet users.

Findings

The findings reveal that dominant service quality dimensions for ISPs were network quality, customer service, information quality and privacy. The contribution of these factors to overall service quality was moderated by the internet usage. Results of Study 2 indicate that most respondents with heavy usage found network quality indifferent among ISPs and demonstrated hesitation in direct contact with customer service, making information support the most significant dimension. Additionally, service quality directly influenced customers’ complaining and switching intention. It was clarified in Study 2 that intention to continue the contract also depended on factors such as switching barriers, value and promotional offers.

Originality/value

This study is original in that it is among the first studies to attempt to investigate the dimensions of an ISP’s service quality, and its influence on ISP customers’ behaviours. An additional contribution of the study stems from the incorporation of a sequential explanatory mixed methods approach.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to express the appreciation and gratitude to Robert Johansson for his valuable help editing and final proof reading.

Citation

Quach, T.N., Jebarajakirthy, C. and Thaichon, P. (2016), "The effects of service quality on internet service provider customers’ behaviour: A mixed methods study", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 435-463. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-03-2015-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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