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Bank service quality: empirical evidence from Greek and Bulgarian retail customers Eugenia Petridou, Charalambos Spathis and Niki Glaveli
Department of Economics, Division of Business Administration, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, and
Received September 2005 Revised February 2006 Accepted May 2006
City Liberal Studies, Thessaloniki, Greece (Afﬁliated Institution of the University of Shefﬁeld, UK) Abstract
Purpose – Despite the rapid growth and internationalisation of the services sector, particularly ﬁnancial services, managers today realize that to successfully leverage service quality as a global competitive tool, they ﬁrst need to correctly identify the antecedents of what the international consumer perceives as service quality. This paper aims to assess and compare the level of bank service quality provided in Greece and Bulgaria and to identify the dimensions of quality service in the two countries. Design/methodology/approach – In 2000 Bahia and Nantel proposed a speciﬁc scale, the BSQ, (Bank Service Quality) for measuring perceived service quality in retail banking consisting of six dimensions: effectiveness and assurance; access; price; tangibles; service portfolio; and reliability. This tool was used for the collection of data related to the banking services provided in the two countries (Greece and Bulgaria). Statistical methods, such as the t-test, chi-square, Cronbach’s-alpha and factor analysis, were then employed to answer the research questions. Findings – The results suggest that the Greek customers’ perception was that they received higher quality services compared to the perception of the Bulgarian clients. Differences between the countries were also reported regarding the dimensionality of quality service. Practical implications – The results have signiﬁcant implications for banks in developing operational, marketing and human resource strategies in the two countries. Originality/value – Greece and Bulgaria – two countries with different economic, political and socio-cultural backgrounds – give the opportunity for cross-country research in the area of service quality, an area where research is not very mature. Keywords Service quality assurance, Banks, Customers, Quality management, Greece, Bulgaria Paper type Research paper
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management Vol. 24 No. 6, 2007 pp. 568-585 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0265-671X DOI 10.1108/02656710710757772
Introduction Domestic or international service ﬁrm managers are aware that service quality in banking is a route to competitive advantage and corporate proﬁtability. More precisely, quality superiority has been found to provide signiﬁcant performance related advantages such as customer loyalty, responsiveness to demand, market share growth and productivity (Berry et al., 1985; Capon et al., 1990; Berry and Parasuraman, The authors wish to thank the Editor and the anonymous reviewers of the International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management for their constructive and insightful comments.
1991; Anderson et al., 1994; Rust et al., 1994; Barnes and Cumby, 1995; Lassar et al., 2000; Roberts et al., 2003; Jabnoun and Al-Tamimi, 2003). Bank service quality is commonly noted as a critical prerequisite for satisfying and retaining valued customers (Taylor and Baker, 1994). Thus, service managers realise that to successfully leverage service quality as a competitive edge, they ﬁrst need to correctly identify the antecedents of what the consumer perceives as service “quality”. Service encounters are ﬁrst and foremast social encounters, thus rules and expectation related to them vary considerably across countries (Malhotra et al., 2005). Consumers of services in different countries are expected to have different perceptions of what...
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