Title: Relationship between service gap and perception for mapping of quality attributes into four service quality factors

Authors: Mal-Kong Sia

Addresses: School of Technology, Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman, 53300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Customer satisfaction has been found to be multi-dimensional, with four service quality factors, namely criticals, satisfiers, dissatisfiers and neutrals. Many methods, among them the critical incident technique and content analysis of complaints and compliments, have been used to identify its factor structure. This paper proposes the relationship between service gap and perception for the empirical determination of service quality factors. Using a 37-item questionnaire developed from Gronroos| Perceived Service Quality model, a survey was carried out to measure the students| perceptions of service quality in a private higher education institution. Service gaps were computed from the difference between students| perceptions of the services they received and their expectations of the same services. The mean service gap was plotted as the horizontal axis whereas the mean perception score was plotted as the vertical axis. It appears that the relationship can be used to map quality attributes into four service quality factors.

Keywords: customer satisfaction; customer expectations; service gaps; mapping; quality attributes; multi-dimensional factors; criticals; satisfiers; dissatisfiers; neutrals; critical incidents; content analysis; complaints; compliments; factor structure; Christian Gronroos; perceived service quality; student perceptions; private education; higher education; universities; Malaysia; economics; service industries; service quality management; developing nations; newly industrialised nations; quality of service; QoS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2011.037177

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.36 - 61

Published online: 30 Nov 2010 *

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