SERVICE QUALITY AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION OF THE BEAUTY-CARE SERVICE INDUSTRY IN DHAKA: A STUDY ON HIGH-END WOMEN’S PARLORS Parisa Islam Khan, Eastern University Ayesha Tabassum, Eastern University The beauty-care service industry is one of the flourishing industries in Dhaka, the capital and largest city, in terms of population density, in Bangladesh. The growing number of beauty-conscious women and their demand for variety of services cater to the growth and importance of this industry. This study aims at measuring the service quality and customer satisfaction level of high-end women’s parlors in Dhaka. Other purposes of this study are to assess the importance of different attributes of customer’s preference, evaluate the service quality level and the extent of customer satisfaction and reveal the final factors that create customer satisfaction. This study includes in-depth interviews of beauticians and executives and questionnaire survey of 260 customers of high-end beauty parlors of Dhaka city. The findings show that customers put utmost importance in issues such as the service provider’s behavior, knowledge, environment, counseling system and affordability of the parlors. The customers of the high-end parlors are highly satisfied with the environment, executive’s politeness, complaint handling system, trustworthiness and materials. The politeness of the service providers, knowledge level of the executives and safety and hygiene issues are also satisfactory. Factor analysis (Principal Component Analysis) has been carried out by taking sixteen variables and the result indicates that four service quality factors are creating customer satisfaction. These factors are Support & Facility Factor, Employee
Performance Factor, Customer Relation Factor and Communication Factor. Beauty is now a USD 10 billion plus industry in Bangladesh, providing employment for an estimated 100,000 women (Akter 2009). Thousands of beauty-care service providers or beauty parlors/salons have sprung up all over the country in the last decade (Akter 2008, Akter 2009), as the significance of being beautiful is increasing. At the social level, physical beauty is an advantage, as being beautiful gives a person much more confidence (Young 2011). It has even been shown that being attractive can give a person up to a tenfold increase in the chance of getting married (Young 2011). Physically attractive job candidates whose qualifications are similar to those of less attractive candidates are more likely to be hired for the same job (Gilmore, Beehr & Love 1986). Further, the beautiful are more likely to get promoted to higher positions and to be paid more (Young 2011). Thus, like any other service industry in Bangladesh, quality of service is the most important concern for the beauty-care service industry. There has been evidence that, when customers’ perceptions of service quality are positive, the behavioral intentions are favorable, which strengthens their relationship with the organization (Zeithaml & Bitner 2003). On the other hand, when service-quality assessments are negative, the customers’ behavioral intentions are unfavorable (Kouthouris & Alexandris 2005). According to Stevenson (2002), quality refers to the ability of a product or service to meet or exceed customer expectations consistently. Schoenberger (1990) found twelve dimensions that customers associate with quality products and services, although not all the dimensions of quality are relevant to all products and services. These dimensions are conformance to specification, performance, quick response, quickchange expertise, features, reliability, durability, serviceability,
Volume 12 (2010-11)
High-End Beauty Parlors
aesthetics, perceived quality, humanity, and value. For the success of any service organization, quality is critical and of paramount importance to service providers (Bebko 2000), because services are the intangible outcomes of a tangible or intangible...
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