The SERVQUAL Model

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Comparing service quality performance with customer service quality needs. Explanation of the SERVQUAL Methodology of Zeithaml, Parasuraman, and Berry. ('88)

Contributed by: Paul Fedoroff

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SERVQUAL Gaps ModelWhat is SERVQUAL? Description

The SERVQUAL method from Valarie A. Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman, and Leonard L. Berry is a technique that can be used for performing a gap analysis of an organization's service quality performance against customer service quality needs.


SERVQUAL is an empirically derived method that may be used by a services organization to improve service quality. The method involves the development of an understanding of the perceived service needs of target customers. These measured perceptions of service quality for the organization in question, are then compared against an organization that is "excellent". The resulting gap analysis may then be used as a driver for service quality improvement.

SERVQUAL takes into account the perceptions of customers of the relative importance of service attributes. This allows an organization to prioritize. And to use its resources to improve the most critical service attributes.

The data are collected via surveys of a sample of customers. In these surveys, these customers respond to a series of questions based around a number of key service dimensions.

The methodology was originally based around 5 key dimensions:

  1. Tangibles. Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials.
  2. Reliability. Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
  3. Responsiveness. Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service.
  4. Assurance. Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence.
  5. Empathy. The firm provides care and individualized attention to its customers.

This has been adapted later by some to cover:

  1. Tangibles. Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials.
  2. Reliability. Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
  3. Responsiveness. Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service.
  4. Competence. Possession of required skill and knowledge to perform service.
  5. Courtesy. Politeness, respect, consideration and friendliness of contact personnel.
  6. Credibility. Trustworthiness, believability, honesty of the service provider.
  7. Feel secure. Freedom from danger, risk, or doubt.
  8. Access. Approachable and easy of contact.
  9. Communication. Listens to its customers and acknowledges their comments. Keeps customers informed. In a language which they can understand.
  10. Understanding the customer. Making the effort to know customers and their needs.

Origin of SERVQUAL. History

The authors conducted a qualitative study, from which they concluded that customers ranked the importance of two SERVQUAL dimensions consistently. Regardless of service industry. Reliability is the most important contributing factor to service quality and tangibles is the least important.


Usage of SERVQUAL. Applications

  • SERVQUAL is widely used within service industries to understand the perceptions of target customers regarding their service needs. And to provide a measurement of the service quality of the organization.
  • SERVQUAL may also be applied internally to understand employees' perceptions of service quality. With the objective of achieving service improvement.

Steps in SERVQUAL. Process

The method essentially involves conducting a sample survey of customers so that their perceived service needs are understood. And for measuring their perceptions of service quality for the organization in question.

Customers are asked to answer numerous questions within each dimension that determines:

  • The relative importance of each attribute.
  • A measurement of performance expectations that would relate to an "excellent" company.
  • A measurement of performance for the company in question.

This provides an assessment of the gap between desired and actual performance, together with a ranking of the importance of service criteria. This allows an organization to focus its resources. To maximize service quality whilst costs are controlled.
 

Strengths of SERVQUAL. Benefits

Most users would agree that a comprehensive and thorough examination of service needs and service quality provides an invaluable approach to improving service quality. SERVQUAL provides detailed information about:

  • Customer perceptions of service (a benchmark established by your own customers)
  • Performance levels as perceived by customers
  • Customer comments and suggestions
  • Impressions from employees with respect to customers expectations and satisfaction

Limitations of SERVQUAL. Disadvantages

There have been a number of studies that doubt the validity of the 5 dimensions. And of the uniform applicability of the method for all service sectors. According to an analysis by Thomas P. Van Dyke, Victor R. Prybutok, and Leon A. Kappelman, it appears that the use of difference scores in calculating SERVQUAL contributes to problems with the reliability, discriminant validity, convergent validity, and predictive validity of the measurement. These findings suggest that caution should be exercised in the use of SERVQUAL scores and that further work is needed in the development of measures for assessing the quality of information services.


Assumptions of SERVQUAL. Conditions

  • The results of market surveys are accurate. The validity of the model is based around the results of empirical studies. A number of academics have since performed further empirical studies that appear to contradict some of the original findings.
  • Customer needs can be documented and captured, and they remain stable during the whole process.

Book: Zeithaml Parasuraman Berry - Delivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations. -

Journal: Parasuraman, Berry, and Zeithaml (1988) - SERVQUAL: A multiple-item scale for measuring customer perceptions of service quality - Journal of retailing 64 (1) Spring. 12-40 -

Journal: Parasuraman, Berry, and Zeithaml (1991) - Refinement and reassessment of the SERVQUAL scale - Journal of retailing 67 (4) Winter. 420-450 -

Journal: Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1985) - A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research - Journal of marketing 49 (4) Fall. 41-50 -

Journal: Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1994) - Alternative scales for measuring service quality: A comparative assessment based on psychometric and diagnostic criteria - Journal of marketing 70 (3) Fall. 201-230 -




SERVQUAL Forum (34 topics) Help
  SERVQUAL for Evaluating Customer Perception on ELearning Systems
I am working in a research on student's perception towards e-Learning systems like MOODLE s in a university context. Can I use SERVQUAL effectively in my area?
Is it okay if I add another variable with the existing five?...
     
  Is the SERVQUAL Model Free to Use? License?
Are any cost/fees/rules associated with using the SERQUAL model?...
     
  GAP Model versus SERVQUAL Model
Is there a difference between the SERVQUAL and Gap Model? Some literature seem to suggest they are one thing, others suggest the former is a product of the last....
     
  Explanation of the SERVQUAL Gaps
Parasuraman et al., 1985, (p.41-50) developed a conceptual model of service quality where they identified five gaps that could impact the consumer’s evaluation of service quality in four different industries (retail banking, credit card, securities b...
     
  How to analyze a Supply Chain Using SERVQUAL Model?
Can I use the SERVQUAL to analyze the interfaces in a supply chain? For example the interface between supplier-farmer or between retailer-customer. I am researching this for the organic supply chain in Badulla district in Sri Lanka.
How should I...
     
  Impact of Service Delivery on Strategy
I need your guide to justify why service delivery is important for strategy:
- Why should we put service delivery as a consideration of the company's long-term plan?
- Wat are the necessary initiatives to be available in the strategic plan...
     
  Customer Service is an Opportunity to Differentiate your Business
I am constantly amazed at the low standards of customer service here in Queensland. There are obviously a lot of people who are working in customer service positions who do not enjoy interacting with people.
In today's business world, great cus...
     
  SERVQUAL in Public Services
Has anybody done a study on application of SERVQUAL in administrative services, especially in the government sector? If yes, please let me know. It would be a very good reference for my research....
     
  SERVQUAL Method at Airlines
I am working on my thesis improving service quality to reach customer satisfaction and I am applying it in the field of VIP airlines and I want to use SERVQUAL as a tool to analyze and improve the service quality. Can you help me to how to evaluate S...
     
  Analyzing Gap 4 of SERVQUAL
How can I analyze gap 4 with the aid of a SERVQUAL questionnaire?...
     
  Analysing SERVQUAL with SPSS
How do you analyse SERVQUAL data utilising SPSS? Thanks for your advice......
     
  Referencing 12manage
May I please refer to this 12manage page as a source in my master research, adopting the figure and linking the source to this web-page? I am studying for a master in vocational pedagogy and want to study business internal development of the company'...
     
  Using SERVQUAL for Employee Satisfaction
I am eager to know if the model is recommended to use for measuring employees satisfaction throughout an organization. Do you have some experience to share?...
     
  SERVQUAL Data Analysis with Excel
I would like to analyse the data collected through SERVQUAL questionnaire without using SPSS package. I wish to do it on Excel. Can someone help me in this regard?...
     
  SERVQUAL in Production of Software
Is it possible to use SERVQUAL as a scale to measure quality services in a production software center?
...
     
  Standard SERVQUAL Questionaire
Is there a standard questionnaire for SERVQUAL?...
     
  Designing a SERVQUAL Questionaire
I need to make an evaluation of the level of services that a spare part store provides to their internal customers (employees of the same company). How can I design a questionaire in line with SERVQUAL methology?...
     
  Data Analysis Using SERVQUAL Model
How do you analyse the data obtain from this model? What statistical tool do you use and how is it done?...
     
  SERVQUAL Questionnaire Design
All the sample questions i have seen have appeared neutral and almost unfriendly. One person thought they were aggressive. The original questions were by Zeithmal et al. How much can the style of these questions be changed, i.e. to make them softer? ...
     
  Weighted and Unweighted Average SERVQUAL Scores?
If the unweighted average SERVQUAL score is 1.312, and the average weighted score is 30.606 what does that mean? I'm using the average discrepancy between a customer's expectations and the customer's perceptions for 5 SERVQUAL dimensions, likert-type...
     



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Expert Tips - SERVQUAL Premium
  Operational and Theoretical Shortcomings of SERVQUAL - Applying SERVQUAL
 
  What Exactly is Quality? Multiple Definitions - Quality Management
 
  Extended SERVQUAL model - Interactions Between the Gaps
 
  SERVQUAL for E-business? - How to Assess the Quality of E-Services
 
  Quality of Services - The Gronroos Model and Criteria
 
  3 Communication Phases in Providing Services - Services Management
 
  The ACSI Model of Customer Satisfaction - Measuring Customer Satisfaction
 

Resources - SERVQUAL Premium
Article Summaries of Zeithaml - Service Quality
Customer Analysis - External Strategic Analysis
Summary of SERVQUAL Model - Introduction to the GAPS / SERVQUAL Model
The Costs of DISsatisfied Customers - Customer Satisfaction
Customer Value Management - Organizational Management, Value Creation
Consumer Behavior in the Service Sector - Decision Making, Behavioral Economics
General SERVQUAL Questionnaire - Service Quality
SERVQUAL Diagram - Quality Management
Introduction to Services Marketing - Services Marketing, Service Sector Marketing, Hospitality Services
Introduction to Service Management - Initial Understanding of the Difference Between Service Management and Systems Management
Funny Intro to Marketing Concepts in 2 Minutes - Initial Understanding of Marketing Terms, Marketing Intro, Marketing Fun, Trainings, Workshops
The Importance of Noncustomers - Market Research, Customer Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Customer Survey Pitfalls
SERVQUAL example - Public Service Quality
E-Service Quality - Internet Banking
 

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Compare with SERVQUAL: Relationship Marketing  |  Customer Relationship Management  |  Operational CRM  |  Extended Marketing Mix (7-Ps)  |  Customer Satisfaction Model  |  Two Factor Theory  |  Total Quality Management  |  Quality Function Deployment  |  3rd Party Logistics (3PL)  |  Service Profit Chain


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