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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Rodrigo Guesalaga, Meghan Pierce and Daiane Scaraboto

– The purpose of this paper is to explore cultural sources of variation on consumers’ expectations and evaluations of service quality within local emerging markets.

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2706

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore cultural sources of variation on consumers’ expectations and evaluations of service quality within local emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employ a multi-method approach. The multi-method research design utilizes: first, netnography to examine foreign consumers’ blogs and online communities; second, interviews with local and foreign consumers to unveil critical incidents in service encounters; and third, an online survey of 139 foreign consumers living in Chile and 460 Chilean consumers to map differences in their expectations and evaluations of services.

Findings

A general analysis of local and foreign consumers living in an emerging market reveals that these two groups do not differ significantly in their expectations of service quality. The authors also find that differences in expectations and evaluations of service quality within a local emergent market are only partially explained by aggregating consumers according to their country or region of origin. Finally, the findings demonstrate that examining cultural differences at the individual level generates a better understanding of how cultural factors impact consumer expectations and evaluations of service quality within emerging markets.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to one emerging market (Chile) and focusses largely in one industry (banking). Further research should be conducted to examine the findings in other contexts, including developed markets, and to identify how other cultural differences (e.g. language mastery) within local markets may impact consumer expectations and evaluations of services.

Practical implications

Service companies operating in emerging markets should account for cultural differences when determining service standards and protocols. These differences may cut across the local-foreign divide and suggest that profiling foreign customers depending on their country of origin is not the most adequate approach for providing excellence in service and enjoying the benefits that follow.

Social implications

Foreign consumers living in a local market are frequently considered a homogeneous group distinct from local consumers, and are treated as such by public and private service providers. The study demonstrates that foreign consumers may be more or less similar to local consumers depending on their cultural values, and should not be considered as a uniform group.

Originality/value

The findings extend research on consumer expectations and evaluations of service quality to account for cultural diversity within local emerging markets. The authors demonstrate that a cluster-approach to examining consumer expectations and evaluations of service quality better accounts for variations due to cultural values within local markets.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2010

Mark F. Toncar, Ilan Alon and Everlyne Misati

The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the role of price and price expectations in service quality evaluations based on a study of the US hotel sector.

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3782

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the role of price and price expectations in service quality evaluations based on a study of the US hotel sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an experimental study to test service quality and price congruency through randomly assigned treatments to a quota sample of 120 students.

Findings

The research shows that the degree to which subjects' price expectations are met influences their evaluations of service quality. This is especially true in the case of a price loss; when the actual price exceeds the expected price. However, when there is a price gain, subjects' evaluations of service quality were not affected.

Research limitations/implications

The experiment sacrificed external validity for internal control; an artificial stimulus was used in a carefully controlled experimental setting to control the subjects' exposure to price and service manipulations. A small sample size of student subjects was used; only 20 subjects in each treatment group. The results obtained were based on subjects' evaluation of a written script, and not an actual service encounter. By virtue of using an experimental design, the experiment did not consider a broad range of potential factors.

Originality/value

The paper uses an experiment to test the effects of price gains and price losses on consumers' perceptions of the quality of a service encounter.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Meena Chavan, Jana Bowden-Everson, Erik Lundmark and Jan Zwar

The purpose of this paper was to identify similarities and differences between domestic and international student’s expectations of their tertiary experience, as well as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to identify similarities and differences between domestic and international student’s expectations of their tertiary experience, as well as the way in which they evaluate the quality of the service that they receive from their tertiary provider. The paper develops an augmented model of service quality which is adapted to suit the tertiary education context.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a qualitative research approach. A total of six focus groups were conducted with a total of 36 International students and domestic students. All students were enrolled in the third year of an undergraduate degree at one large metropolitan university in Australia. The data were analyzed using qualitative analytic techniques and coded using NVIVO.

Findings

First, the study found that there are significant challenges with regard to the use of student expectations as the foundation for assessing students’ service quality evaluations. This is because students were found to have vague expectations, and limited prior experience of the service from which to shape their expectations. In addition students were found to form their expectations as they consumed the service, throughout their degree program which often spanned three to four years. Second, the study found that traditional dimensions of service quality were not sufficient to capture the depth of international and domestic students’ service evaluations. The study proposed the inclusion of an additional two service quality constructs, namely, social benefits and co-creation/participation.

Originality/value

Two new dimensions of service quality emerged from this study, “Social benefits” and “Co-creation/Participation”. The study therefore suggests that the tertiary experience should be enhanced through the provision of additional opportunities for student to staff and student to student interactions. In addition, tertiary institutions should also enhance opportunities for engagement within both the academic and industry environment.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Ravi S. Behara, Warren W. Fisher and Jos G.A.M. Lemmink

Effective measurement and analysis of service quality are an essential first step in its improvement. This paper discusses the development of neural network models for…

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3188

Abstract

Effective measurement and analysis of service quality are an essential first step in its improvement. This paper discusses the development of neural network models for this purpose. A valid neural network model for service quality is initially developed. Customer data from a SERVQUAL survey at an auto‐dealership network in The Netherlands provide the basis for model development. Different definitions of service quality measurement are modelled using the neural network approach. The perception‐minus‐expectation model of service quality was found not to be as accurate as the perception‐only model in predicting service quality. While this is consistent with the literature, this study also shows that the more intuitively appealing but mathematically less convenient expectation‐minus‐perception model out‐performs all the other service quality measurement models. The study also provides an analytical basis for the importance of expectation in the measurement of service quality. However, the study demonstrates the need for further study before neural network models may be effectively used for sensitivity analyses involving specific dimensions of service quality.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 22 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Deise de Araújo Batista and Denise Dumke de Medeiros

Improvements in quality have a very important role to play in services because such improvements add greater flexibility and give clients greater confidence in the services

Abstract

Purpose

Improvements in quality have a very important role to play in services because such improvements add greater flexibility and give clients greater confidence in the services provided. Therefore, this paper aims to describe a framework for measuring quality in the provision of the service by using a SERVQUAL scale and fuzzy operators.

Design/methodology/approach

In this approach, a framework to assess quality in service provision is put forward which applies the SERVQUAL scale as an instrument of data collection. Fuzzy set theory is proposed and applied within this framework as a technique to make a quantitative assessment of the quality of the provision of services. A case study is used to illustrate how to apply this framework for this purpose. The data were processed and transformed into a fuzzy environment, and fuzzy numbers and operators were applied to the analysis of customers' assessment with regard to the dimensions of quality in the service provided.

Findings

The study demonstrated the differences between evaluations of the dimensions of quality assessed, and differences of the same customer in relation to these dimensions. The main points raised were the importance given by customers to the dimensions, and the gaps between customers' perceptions and expectations, when fuzzy numbers were used to assess levels of service quality, and to evaluating the prioritization of service quality.

Originality/value

This paper proposes the use of fuzzy theory within a framework by making a linguistic analysis when dealing with data collected in a SERVQUAL scale so as to assess service quality. The data were measured by examining the gap between customers' perceptions and expectations. The framework describes the phases of this assessment, and uses fuzzy operators.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Lawrence O. Hamer

The paper seeks to provide a theoretical and empirical investigation of the relationship between consumer expectations and consumer perceptions of service quality.

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5607

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to provide a theoretical and empirical investigation of the relationship between consumer expectations and consumer perceptions of service quality.

Design/methodology/approach

The theory of cognitive reference points, adaptation‐level theory, and assimilation‐contrast theory are used to formulate hypotheses concerning the relationships between perceived service quality, consumer expectations, and perceptions. These hypotheses were empirically investigated through an experiment that manipulated expectations and perceptions while measuring perceived service quality.

Findings

The principal finding is that consumer expectations are positive predictors of perceived service quality (i.e. higher expectations lead to higher perceptions of quality). Another finding is that the relationship between expectations and perceived service quality is much stronger than prior literature suggests.

Practical implications

The practical implication of this study is that practitioners should seek to actively manage their customers' expectations to increase those expectations.

Originality/value

This paper is valuable to practitioners who are seeking to use expectations to achieve higher perceptions of quality among their customers. It is also valuable to researchers who are seeking to understand the relationship between expectations and quality perceptions.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Kenneth E. Clow and Douglas W. Vorhies

Reports on research into measurement of consumer expectations.Examines the stability of consumer expectations and considers whetherthe measurement of expectations should…

Abstract

Reports on research into measurement of consumer expectations. Examines the stability of consumer expectations and considers whether the measurement of expectations should occur before or after the service encounter. Discusses the measurement issue as a way of building competitive advantage by meeting consumer expectations of the service.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Kenneth E. Clow, Karen E. James, Kristine E. Kranenburg and Christine T. Berry

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of the visual element in a print advertisement to service quality expectations and to the source credibility…

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7281

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of the visual element in a print advertisement to service quality expectations and to the source credibility score when a model or spokesperson is used in a service ad.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 230 college students at three different Midwestern universities using an experimental design. Three different ads were designed promoting a fictitious brand of automobile insurance, Top Tier. While the copy remained the same, the visual was changed to reflect three different types of visual strategies.

Findings

The results of the study indicate that both source credibility and service quality evaluations have a definite impact on attitude towards the ad and purchase intentions of a service and the type of visual element used is important in the ad evaluation process.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to examine the relationship between source credibility and attitude towards the ad to determine which is the antecedent. Because of the student sample, use of only one creative message strategy, and one service industry, future research needs to replicate this study for additional creative message strategies and other service industries.

Practical implications

The findings of this research are important for creatives in designing service ads. If a model or spokesperson is used in the print ad, then source credibility is an important factor. Further, it is important to embed service quality cues in the ad to increase viewers' expectations of the service, thus enhancing purchase intentions.

Originality/value

This paper provides valuable information to creatives and researchers in the role of the visual element in evaluation of service quality expectations and source credibility. The paper provides an initial foundation for future research and future exploration.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Tripat Gill, Hae Joo Kim and Chatura Ranaweera

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the expectations and evaluations of services provided by members of an ethnic minority using the lens of ethnic stereotypes…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the expectations and evaluations of services provided by members of an ethnic minority using the lens of ethnic stereotypes. The authors also examine how ethnic service providers (ESPs) are evaluated by customers from the majority group vs the same ethnic group as the provider.

Design/methodology/approach

In Study 1, the authors measure the stereotypes about skills, abilities, and typical professions associated with different ethnic groups (i.e. Chinese, South Asians and white). The authors then measure the effect of these stereotypes on the performance expectations from ESPs in different professional services. In Study 2, the authors manipulate the service domain (stereotypical vs counter-stereotypical) and the level of service performance (good: above average performance vs mediocre: below average) of a Chinese ESP, and subsequently measure the evaluation of the ESP by the same ethnic group (Chinese) vs majority group (white) participants.

Findings

Performance expectations from ESPs closely match the stereotypes associated with the ethnic group. But the performance of an ESP (especially mediocre-level service) is evaluated differently by the same ethnic group vs majority group customers, depending upon the domain of service. A Chinese ESP providing mediocre service in a stereotypical domain (martial arts instructor) is evaluated more critically by same ethnic group (Chinese) participants as compared to white participants. In contrast, a Chinese ESP providing mediocre service in a counter-stereotypical domain (fitness instructor) is evaluated more favourably by same ethnic group (Chinese) participants as compared to white participants. There is no such difference when performance is good.

Research limitations/implications

It is a common practice to employ ESPs to serve same ethnic group customers. While this strategy can be effective in a counter-stereotypical domain even if the ESP provides mediocre service, the findings suggest that this strategy can backfire when the performance is mediocre in a stereotypical service domain.

Practical implications

The results demonstrate the need for emphasizing outcome (vis-à-vis interaction) quality where ESPs are employed to serve same ethnic group customers in a stereotypical service setting. However, when an ESP is offering a counter-stereotypical service, the emphasis needs to be more on the interpersonal processes (vis-à-vis outcome). Firms can gain by taking this into account in their hiring and training practices.

Originality/value

Prior research has primarily used cultural distance to examine inter-cultural service encounters. The authors show that ethnic stereotypes pertaining to the skills and abilities of an ESP can affect evaluations beyond the role of cultural distance alone.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2021

Chunchang Xie and Ziqi Sun

In response to the call for research on customer experience across the customer journey, this study aims to analyze and compare the effects of perceived quality on…

Abstract

Purpose

In response to the call for research on customer experience across the customer journey, this study aims to analyze and compare the effects of perceived quality on customer satisfaction among the different stages of search, experience and credence services.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper constructs a formation model of customer satisfaction based on service stages. Data on perceived quality and customer satisfaction in different stages of search, experience and credence services was collected through experiments and practical survey and the model was empirically tested through multiple linear regression.

Findings

The results show that perceived quality in the preparation and departure stages of search and credence services has a greater influence on customer satisfaction than in the delivery stage. While compared to the preparation stage, the perceived quality in the delivery and departure stages of experience service has a greater influence on customer satisfaction.

Practical implications

This research will help service firms optimize the allocation of service resources according to the importance of different service stages within the three indicated service types, promoting customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

This is the first study of its kind to compare the effects of perceived quality on customer satisfaction among the stages of search, experience and credence services.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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