Title: Measuring e-service quality in the context of service sites

Authors: Estela Fernández Sabiote; Sergio Román

Addresses: Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Campus de Excelencia Internacional Regional "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, 30100 Espinardo-Murcia, Spain. ' Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Campus de Excelencia Internacional Regional "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, 30100 Espinardo-Murcia, Spain

Abstract: To deliver superior service quality, managers must first understand how consumers perceive and evaluate online customer service. This is especially the case for companies offering intangible products. Therefore, the objective of this research is to develop a scale to measure customer perceived service quality in the context of service sites (e.g. insurance, retail banking and travel). In addition, contrary to most of previous service quality studies, formative instead of reflective indicators are used to conceptualise e-service quality. Our findings, from two samples of 193 and 199 online consumers lead to a short easy-to-administer scale with two versions depending if the customer has not experienced a service failure (14 items) or he/she has experienced such failure (17 items). In the former case, functionality, information, reliability/fulfilment and privacy/security explain e-service quality. In the latter case, an additional dimension named - customer recovery is included. Results show a different pattern when the customer has any problem.

Keywords: scale development; website quality; service quality; formative indicators; service sites; e-service quality; electronic services; internet; world wide web; quality measurement; managers; consumers; consumer perceptions; consumer evaluation; online services; customer services; intangible products; insurance; retail banking; banks; travel; formative indicators; reflective indicators; online consumers; service failures; functionality; information; reliability; fulfilment; privacy; security; customer recovery; electronic marketing; e-marketing; electronic retailing; e-retailing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2012.051024

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2012 Vol.5 No.2, pp.156 - 172

Received: 07 Jul 2011
Accepted: 29 May 2012

Published online: 14 Dec 2012 *

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