The SERVQUAL Model
Comparing service quality performance with customer service quality needs. Explanation of the SERVQUAL Methodology of Zeithaml, Parasuraman, and Berry. ('88)
Contributed by: Paul Fedoroff
What 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.
This has been adapted later by some to cover:
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
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.
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:
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
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 -
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