By definition, a service includes several distinct characteristics. A service is intangible and difficult to store. In a service, customers are extensively present as participants in the process. The inseparability of a service is due to the fact that it is simultaneously produced by the provider and consumed by the customer. This is because services are heterogeneous and known to vary from service – provider to service – provider, from customer to customer, and from day to day (Shetty & Ross. 1987). Shetty and Ross (1987) Shetty et al, (1987).
Services have been categorized as being either consumer services (e.g, department stores) or professional services (Fitzsimmons and Sullivan, 1982). On a product service continuum, professional services (e.g. J Medical Care, Legal Services) come close to being pure services. Professional Services are offered by professionals such as doctors and lawyers.
Frequently no tangible good is exchanged, the service is produced and consumed relatively simultaneously for each consumer, the service is non storable and the consumer is an important part of what actually is delivered. The consumer is an integral part of the service; he or she is a co producer (Brocon and Scheneider, 1988)
“While quality in tangible has been described and measured by marketers, quality in services is largely undefined and unresearched”(Parasuraman, Zeitharnl and Berry, 1985).
Traditionally service quality has been defined as the difference between customer expectation and perception of service. The researchers believe that measuring service quality as disconfirmation (the difference between perception and expectations) is a valid and allows service providers to identify several gaps in the service provided (Gronroos, 1983; Parasuraman, et al 1988, 1991; Yongsul wang and Hing – Po Lo, 2002).
Perceived service quality has been defined as Customers’ overall impression of the relative inferiority / superiority...