Measuring Service Quality Using SERVQUAL
Measuring the quality of a service can be a very difficult exercise. Unlike product where there are specific specifications such as length, depth, width, weight, colour etc. a service can have numerous intangible or qualitative specifications. In addition there is there expectation of the customer with regards the service, which can vary considerably based on a range of factors such as prior experience, personal needs and what other people may have told them.
SERVQUAL – a methodology for measuring service quality
As a way of trying to measure service quality, researchers have developed a methodology known as SERVQUAL – a perceived service quality questionnaire survey methodology. SERVQUAL examines five dimensions of service quality: •
Tangible (e.g. appearance of physical facilities, equipment, etc.) For each dimension of service quality above, SERVQUAL measures both the expectation and perception of the service on a scale of 1 to 7, 22 questions in total. Then, each of the five dimensions are weighted according to customer importance, and the score for each dimension multiplied by the weighting. Following this, the Gap Score for each dimension is calculated by subtracting the Expectation score from the Perception score. A negative Gap score indicates that the actual service (the Perceived score) was less than what was expected (the Expectation score). The Gap score is a reliable indication of each of the five dimensions of service quality. Using SERVQUAL, service providers can obtain an indication of the level of quality of their service provision, and highlight areas requiring improvement.
Outlined below are the instructions for carrying out a SERVQUAL survey, and a sample of the questions used in the questionnaire. In this sample, a bank is surveyed however, any service organisation can be surveyed using this questionnaire. All that needs to be done is to substitute the word "bank" with the particular organisation or industry being surveyed. 1.
Select the bank whose service quality you want to assess. Using the questionnaire (see Appendix A below), obtain the score for each of the 22 Expectation statements, then obtain the score for each of the 22 Perception statements. Calculate the Gap Score for each of the statements where the Gap Score = Perception – Expectation (see Table 1 below). 2.
Obtain an average Gap Score for each dimension of service quality by assessing the Gap Scores for each of the statements that constitute the dimension and dividing the sum by the number of statements making up the dimension (see Table 1 below). 3.
Sum the averages calculated in step 2 above and divide by 5 to obtain an average SERVQUAL score. This core is the unweighted measure of service quality for the area being measured. 4.
If you want to have a weighted score, calculate the importance weights for each of the five dimensions of service quality constituting the SERVQUAL scale. The sum of the weights should add up to 100 (see Table 2 below). 5.
Calculate the weighted average SERVQUAL score for each of the five dimensions of service quality multiplying the averages calculated in step 2 above by the weighted scores calculate in step 4 above (see Table 3 below). Sum the scores calculated in step 5 above to obtain the weighted SERVQUAL score of service quality for the area being measured.
Average for Dimension Tangibles
Unweighted Average SERVQUAL score:
Table 1 - Calculation of SERVQUAL Scores
SERVQUAL Importance Weights
Listed below are the five sets of features...
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