Sservice Quality and Customer Satisfaction

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Service quality has been recognized as a key factor in differentiating service products. Customer satisfaction can be secured through high quality products and services (Getty & Getty, 2003; Gupta & Chen, 1995; Tsang & Qu, 2000). Edvardsson (1996) reflected that the concept of service should be approached from the customer's point of view, since it was his/her perception of the outcome that constituted the service. Customers may have different values and different grounds for assessment and most of the time they may want to acquire the same service in different ways. The concept of service quality has been the subject of many research studies in variety of service industries, attention and even research towards hospitality industry has been growing. However, these research studies were mostly focused on Australia, Korea, the United States and Europe. Only a minimal number of research studies related to service quality in the hospitality industry in the Malaysian society could be found throughout the process of a literature review. Furthermore, today's tourism business environment and the multicultural diversity of international tourists points to the importance of developing a better understanding of the culturally different tourist (Reisinger & Turner, 1999). Previous studies reported that people from different cultures have different preferences, expectations and so travel consumption patterns (Wong & Kwong 2003). Cultural differences in value orientations and social behavior have direct impacts on tourist holiday experiences. The hosts' ability to respond effectively to a culturally different tourist was an important element determining positive tourist holiday experiences and satisfaction (Reisinger & Turner 1999). As mentioned by Camison (1996), poorness or non - existence of customer satisfaction measuring systems could cause the hotel companies to be lacking in market orientation. Attributes of the service and product that add value for the customer and increase his or her satisfaction might be unknown and that gives no guide to the hotel operators for improvement projects. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the expectations and the perceptions of service quality dimensions towards the hospitality industry in Malaysia from the hotel guests' perspective by applying a modified version of the SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1988). INTRODUCTION The purpose of this study is to assess the expectations and the perceptions of service quality dimensions towards the hospitality industry in Malaysia from the hotel guests' perspective by applying a modified version of the SERVQUAL model. It was mentioned by Camison (1996), poorness or non existence of customer satisfaction measuring systems could cause the hotel companies to be lacking in market orientation. Attributes of the service and product that add value for the customer and increase his or her satisfaction might be unknown and that gives no guide to the hotel operators for improvement projects. This research aims to study and to assess the expectations and the perceptions of service quality dimensions towards the hospitality industry in Malaysia from the hotel guests' perspective by applying a modified version of the SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry 1988). Based on the above mentioned research problem, the following points could be used as guidelines and focus pointsto conduct the research: Differences in terms of the levels of customer satisfaction towards their hotel stay in Malaysia according to the hotel guests' countries of residence. 1.2 LITERATURE REVIEW According to Johns and Howard (1998), quality measurements only have practical value if they are able to indicate the ways in which service was or was not satisfactory. In the eye of service providers, the measurement of service quality is made during the actual execution of the service. Much current research on service quality is rooted...
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