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Looks at unmet customer expectations in service delivery associated with service encounter problems. Problematic service encounters are compared to those which were…
Looks at unmet customer expectations in service delivery associated with service encounter problems. Problematic service encounters are compared to those which were problem free. Four services were evaluated by customers – legal consultation, hair stylist, film processing and retail store. These services covered a range of both process and outcome tangibility. Expectations, perceptions and the “gaps” between them were used to evaluate service quality across a range of service encounters. If problems were reported, customers were asked to evaluate three attribution factors: who was at fault for the problem, could it have been prevented and could it occur in future service encounters. These findings indicate that when there is a service encounter problem, and that service has some level of intangibility, unmet customer expectations are significantly greater than in services with some level of tangibility. Suggests how service providers might prevent customer perceptions of service quality from significantly diverging from customer expectations in these situations.
Among the areas which need to be addressed in service quality research is the nature of consumer expectations across the range of intangibility. Previous research has…
Among the areas which need to be addressed in service quality research is the nature of consumer expectations across the range of intangibility. Previous research has compared consumers’ service quality expectations across services, but different groups of subjects were evaluated for each different service. The problem with using different subjects for each service is that the subject’s demographic characteristics may be responsible for the significant differences in expectations of quality. This research uses a controlled, repeated measures design where subjects were each asked to evaluate three services, varying in their degree of intangibility, over a ten week period. This made it possible to look at service quality expectations without risking the problem that demographics would account for most of the differences in the data. A classification matrix for services based strictly on the feature of intangibility is proposed. The managerial implications of this simplified classification scheme for services are discussed.