Using s e rv q ua l: A Case Study of
the Croatian Hotel Industry
s u z ana m ar k ovi c
Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija, Croatia
s an j a r as p o r
Polytechnic of Rijeka, Croatia
The purpose of the study is to examine customers’ perceptions of service quality in the Croatian hotel industry. The aim is to assess the perceived service quality of hotel attributes and to determine the factor structure of service quality perception. A modiﬁed s e rv q ua l scale was used to assess service quality perceptions from the perspective of domestic and international tourists. Data were collected in 15 hotels in the Opatija Riviera (Croatia), using a self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistical analysis, exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis were conducted. The study results indicate the rather high expectations of hotel guests regarding service quality. ‘Reliability,’ ‘empathy and competence of staff,’ ‘accessibility’ and ‘tangibles’ are the key factors that best explained customers’ expectations of hotel service quality. The results of the quantitative assessment of perceived service quality may provide some insights on how customers rate the service quality of a particular hotel. Thus, the ﬁndings can be used as a guide for hotel managers to improve the crucial quality attributes and enhance service quality and business performance. Key words: service quality, servqual, factor analysis, reliability analysis, hotel industry
In the highly competitive hotel industry, service becomes one of the most important elements for gaining a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. Consequently, the efforts of service managers and academic researchers are directed towards understanding how customers perceive the quality of service. Customers are likely to view services as a variety of attributes that may, in different ways, contribute to their purchase intentions and perceptions of service quality. Although researchers (Grönroos 1984; Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml 1985, Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry 1988; Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry 1990) have focused m anag e m e n t 5 ( 3 ) : 195–209
Suzana Markovic and Sanja Raspor
on different aspects of service quality, they all agree that the emphasis should be on customers. The most common deﬁnition of the concept is attitude, which results from a comparison of customers’ expectations with perceptions of performance (Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml 1985, Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry 1988). What is more, customers perceive service quality as a multidimensional concept.
The speciﬁc nature of services makes it difﬁcult to provide, measure and maintain their quality. However, Parasuraman Berry and Zeithaml and Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985, 1988) presented the s e rvq ual scale, which became the most popular instrument for measuring service quality. The model has been applied in various service industries, including tourism and hospitality. In most of the researches the instrument was modiﬁed to suit the features of a speciﬁc service.
The study has several objectives. The ﬁrst objective is to determine the level of perceived service quality in Croatian hotels. The second aim is to establish the number of dimensions of perceived service quality in the hospitality industry, using the modiﬁed s e rvq ual model. Finally, the third objective is to test the reliability of the modiﬁed s e rvq ual model. Conceptual Background
p e r c e i ve d s e rvic e q ual i t y
The service quality construct is mostly conceptualized in the context of service marketing literature (Lee, Lee and Yoo 2000). Therefore, it deals with the concept of perceived service quality. According to Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry (1990), perceived service quality is the extent to which a ﬁrm successfully serves the purpose of customers. Customers determine the perceived or cognitive...