Global Journal of Management and Business Research Marketing

Volume 13 Issue 6 Version 1.0 Year 2013 Type: Double Blind Peer Reviewed International Research Journal Publisher: Global Journals Inc. (USA) Online ISSN: 2249-4588 & Print ISSN: 0975-5853

SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research
By Mohd. Adil, Dr. Odai Falah Mohammad Al Ghaswyneh & Alaa Musallam Albkour
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India

Abstract - In India, the service sector has assumed greater economic importance over the past decade and enjoys the largest share in GDP. Banking and financial services, being an important part of service sector, are facing critical challenges to compete with the international players while satisfying customers by offering quality services. As delivering quality service to customers is a must for success, it needs to be continuously evaluated. Extant literature on the subject supports the contention that SERVQUAL and SERVPERF are the two most prominent scales forming the genesis for service quality assessment in different service sectors. Present paper attempts to present a review of the above mentioned two scales in an elucidative, concise and thoroughly documented manner. It also tries to posit the best approach of evaluating service quality in a more efficient and valid method for marketing managers/researchers in Indian context. Keywords : SERVQUAL, SERVPERF, service quality, scale, India. GJMBR-E Classification : JEL Code: M00, M31

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© 2013. Mohd. Adil, Dr. Odai Falah Mohammad Al Ghaswyneh & Alaa Musallam Albkour. This is a research/review paper, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Thus. the banking industry in India has undergone a radical change. Introduction During the last decade the commercial-banks in India underwent through significant qualitative and quantitative changes and manifold growth. to identify borrowers and lend money at a subsidised rate to the economically weaker sections. E-mail : adilcms07@gmail. Department of Commerce Aligarh Muslim University. considering that. The dynamic process of development and diversification coupled with structural. Booms and Tetreault. SERVPERF. Author α : Department of Business Administration Aligarh Muslim University. identify. satisfaction and keeping them intact with the service provider in a longer run. scale. O I. not only among banks but also from non-banking institutions. to anticipate. i. being an important part of service sector. India. service quality. which emphasised that banking system had to be fitted into the scheme of development to make the process of saving and their utilisation 'socially purposive'. (US) a) Indian Banking Industry and Financial Services Global Journal of Management and Business Research ( E ) Volume XIII Issue VI Version I As the generation of income for banks revolves around the customer. The range of services offered by a commercial bank in India varies from advances to commercial and industrial sector to advances to priority sector. recommendation. in their future researches. increased competition. loyalty. along with the rapid growth in the Indian economy followed by strong contribution from government. Therefore. Aligarh. financial and technological changes have led to an ever growing competition. it needs to be continuously evaluated.In India. it was asked to be concerned about level of profitability. Numerous organizations have started embarking into multifaceted approaches to improve the quality of their services as they begin to grasp the verities behind what manufacturing sector learned in the past few decades that. E-mail : alaa_albkour@hotmail. technological blend and attitudinal transformation lead bankers to be more sensitive towards customers’ needs and their ultimate satisfaction. As delivering quality service to customers is a must for success. elsewhere in the world. E-mail : odai_ghasawneh82@yahoo. Therefore. LeBlanc and Nguyen. the growth of banking industry has been phenomenal and has no parallel anywhere in the world. increasing market size. Author ρ : Research Scholar. Aligarh. SERVPERF has outperformed SERVQUAL as it not only cut down the number of variables but also reduced the work load of customer survey and helped in generating unbiased responses. 1990. Odai Falah Mohammad Al Ghaswyneh σ & Alaa Musallam Albkour ρ economic importance over the past decade and enjoys the largest share in GDP. while on the other hand. It also tries to posit the best approach of evaluating service quality in a more efficient and valid method for marketing managers/researchers in Indian context. is a key for subsistence and success. word-of-mouth etc. it is high time that banks should create new financial services in order to improve banker-customer relationship. The spectrum of services offered by banks is the widest in this country.‘quality does not improve unless it is measured’. deregulation. Present paper attempts to present a review of the above mentioned two scales in an elucidative. effectively and profitably. This measure. concise and thoroughly documented manner. it is expected that the paper will serve as a useful of source information for researchers interested in selecting the most efficient service quality scale for assessing service quality in a developing economy like India as also solving complex issues related to service quality and other behavioural outcomes such as customer satisfaction. Saudi Arabia. The crucial role that the banking system played in India to foster institutionalised savings and channel funds in desired directions was recognised in the First Five-Year Plan. specialisation is more of the order. are facing critical challenges to compete with the international players while satisfying customers by offering quality services. 1988). bank had to shoulder the social responsibility to take a leading role in the balanced socio-economic development of India. private and foreign banks transformed the banking sector in India. India. Abstract . wing to liberalization and globalization measures initiated since 1991. After independence. Adil α. Literature shows that in Indian context. 65 Year 2013 . Zeithaml and Parasuraman 1985.SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research Mohd. from a pragmatic viewpoint. trust. the topic of service quality has increasingly been recognized as one of the key strategic values of organizations in both the manufacturing and service sectors alike ( Author σ : Department of Business Administration. rendering quality service. Further. India. reciprocate and satisfy their needs efficiently. the service sector has assumed greater Keywords : SERVQUAL. Extant literature on the subject supports the contention that SERVQUAL and SERVPERF are the two most prominent scales forming the genesis for service quality assessment in different service sectors. Northern Borders University-Arar. a © 2013 Global Journals Inc.e. On one hand. Banking and financial services.

Fitzgerald and Voss 1990.  Enhanced corporate image. customers who have actually observed the quality of these services. 1990). Teas (1993). specifically with regard to banking sector. Cronin and Taylor (1992). de Ruyter. 2012. 1988). Benkenstein and Studhldreier. Reichfeld and Sasser. 1991. 1990. Caruana. the customer is the centre of attention and customer service has to be the distinguishing factor. for which a researcher is supposed to assess service quality. Grönroos. 1990. Adil.  Reduced costs and increased profit margins and business performance. that is. Previous researchers have proven its effect/linkages on/with satisfaction and retention of customer. Silvestro and Johnston. 2013a. Adil & Ansari. Silvestro. Service quality researchers like Le Blanc and Nguyen (1988). Berry. 1996).SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research Year 2013 commercial bank has to perform mass banking and at the same time class banking for overall development of the country. (US) . recommendation and switch overs (Yavas. 1993. Newman. Edvardsson and Gustavsson. increase efficiency. Major research contributions to defining service quality and establishing its determinants have emanated from North America (Berry. • Literature Review b) Service Quality 66 c) Objectives • The aim of the paper is to identify the most prominent and frequently used scales for measuring the service quality. is the tangible component consisting of dimensions like timeliness. 2004. A number of these contributions have been reviewed by Lewis (1989a). Thus. Extant studies suggest that there are two broad dimensions to it i. 1991. Zeithaml and Berry. Adil. 1999. accuracy. when customers enter the bank and come into face-toface contact with bank staff (Chakravarty. Zeithaml and Parasuraman 1985. 2004. The significance of quality service in commercial retail banking is well documented in the service quality literature (Buttle.. Adil. Zeithaml and Berry (1988). Parasuraman. 1993. Service quality is increasingly recognized as being of key strategic value by organizations. Parasuraman.  The attraction of new customers. 1990). LeBlanc and Nguyen. (1994). 2013b) may be summarized as relating to:  Satisfied and retained customers and employees. 1996). and how well the service delivered matches customers’ expectations. • Based upon the extant literature. Perceived service quality is a global consumer judgement or attitude. This element is more subjective and essentially is based on how the Global Journal of Management and Business Research ( E ) Volume XIII Issue VI Version I © 2013 Global Journals Inc. there has been much interest in hypothesizing the relationship between service quality and other consumer behavioural outcomes. Service quality has been variously defined as focusing on meeting needs and requirements. II. 1984. Banking. Adil. 2003. and Peeters . 1988. The paper also aims at highlighting the conceptual framework of SERVQUAL and SERVPERF scales along with the steps of their development. 2003. Zeithaml and Parasuraman 1985. Morgan and Piercy. Lee and Hwan. 1996) and financial services inherently being intangible.e. 2004). (2003) argued that with technical services becoming more standardized. 1991. Booms and Tetreault. from Scandinavia (Edvardsson. While this component has been largely studied by the researchers. Rust and Zahorik. 1991. Zeithaml. 2001. loyalty (Anderson and Sullivan. outcome aspects and relational aspects (Parasuraman. 1985). Avkiran. Outcome or operational. Grönroos. Bahia and Nantel (2000) and Wang. relating to service and results from comparisons by consumers of expectations of service with their perceptions of actual service performance (see. 2005). 1984). Adil. 2012) and profitability (Duncan and Elliott. an attempt has been made by the researchers to draw a line of comparison between both the scales related to the efficacy. for example.  Development of customer relationships. difficult to evaluate and rely heavily on experience and credence qualities of customers (Zeithaml. Zeithaml and Berry 1985. it primarily impacts current customers with whom the bank already has an ongoing customer relationship. Lo and Hui. Nataraajan and Jaheera (1999). Gustavsson and Riddle 1989. the relational aspect becomes even more important. 2002. Jones and Farquhar. 1988. Bitner. 1981.  Opportunities for cross-selling. robustness and parsimoniousness of the scales in measuring the quality of service both in India as well as in other countries. Parasuraman and Berry. positive word-of-mouth (Lewis.  Increased sales and market shares. 2013a). being a customer-oriented services industry. Oliver. while improving the quality of their service. 2012. 2012. 1998. Benkenstein and Studhldreier. Wang Lo and Hui. Relational component is intangible and may be described simply as customer treatment. Levesque and McDougall. Angur. and increase customer satisfaction. The challenge for banks is to lower costs. Yavas. Zeithaml. 1992. 1988. Attention has now turned to improving the quality of service encounter. The costs and major benefits to be derived from successful service quality are highlighted by several authors (Crosby. Berry and Parasuraman. convenience which is centrally related to bank’s operations and delivery systems. Bloemer.. Adil & Khan. complaints. and from the UK (Johnston.

Oldfield and Baron. accounting firms. Angur. Parasuraman. Zeithaml and Berry (1985). Fick and Ritchie. Zeithaml and Berry (1988) introduced the SERVQUAL instrument. and 1994) led to the development of a service quality model-SERVQUAL. 1991. extended and developed this 22-item scale to study service quality in different sectors of the services industry (Avkiran. 1996. 1996). 1996). This component affects both current and new or prospective customers (i. and their influences on bank reputation in the banking industry of China where link amongst service quality and product quality and bank reputation was observed. a performance-only index. Fick and Ritchie. Smith. how a given service provider performs against these criteria). The original SERVQUAL instrument. Buttle. 2001. 67 Year 2013 . SERVQUAL Instrument SERVQUAL comprises 22 items (Likert-type) with five dimensions namely. (US) Global Journal of Management and Business Research ( E ) Volume XIII Issue VI Version I customer is made to feel when interacting with the institution and staff.  compare an organization with its competitors. 1991. 1995). Bilgin and Shemwel (1997) investigated the relationship between service a) SERVQUAL Table 1 : Dimensions of Service Quality Source : Adopted from Soteriou and Zenios (1997). Since Parasuraman. The works of Parasuraman. 1992. those who come in to see someone in the bank about a banking service). Later. The quality gap (Q) is calculated by subtracting the expectation (E) from the perception (P) value i. tangibles (4 items) which refers to the appearance of physical factors such as equipment. medical services etc. 2002). 1994. Yavas. 2000). Sureshchandar.SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research Service quality is known to be an important factor in banking. Summation of all the Q values provides an overall quality rating which is an indicator of relative importance of the service quality dimensions that influence customers’ overall quality perceptions. Many other researchers have used the SERVQUAL dimensions as the basis for their research. quality. Newman. and SERVQUAL provides a technique for assessing and managing service quality (Buttle. reliability. East. 1996. P-E = Q. Zeithaml and Berry (1985. many researchers have used. Models have been developed to assess the determinants of service quality. © 2013 Global Journals Inc.e. 2000. what firms should provide in the industry being studied and their perceptions viz.e. Zeithaml and Berry (1988) suggested that SERVQUAL may be used to:  track service quality trends over time.  compare branches within a bank or building society. assurance and empathy. Nataraajan and Jaheera (1999) determined service quality in banking industry in India where they found that the SERVQUAL instrument was four dimensional structure and more helpful in addressing service deficiencies. i.tangibles. responsiveness. Rajendran and Anantharaman (2003) examined service quality in public. Lo and Hui (2003) evaluated the antecedents of service quality and product quality. and has been said to be “insightful and [to remain] a practical framework to use in service quality management” (Christopher. Their study was later replicated by Brady. 1997 argue that SERVQUAL measures service quality through customers’ expectations i. which compares expectations and perceptions of customers regarding a particular service. One to measure expectations about firms in general within an industry and the other measures perceptions regarding the particular company whose service is being assessed. and  categorize customers into perceived quality segments based on their individual SERVQUAL scores. Payne and Ballantyne. complaint behavior and commitment in the banking industry of Turkey and found that customer contact personnel played a vital role in the delivery of high quality service. empathy (5 items) which involves providing individual attention and care to customers. Cronin and Taylor. proposed by Parasuraman. SERVQUAL has been applied to other sectors also. Cronin and Taylor modified the gap-based SERVQUAL scale into SERVPERF. Similarly. and finally assurance (4 items) refers to the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence. in a further study. Using structural equations model. responsiveness (4 items) is the willingness to provide help and prompt service to customers. and consequently SERVQUAL “has undoubtedly had a major impact on the business and academic communities” (Buttle. Lam. tourism sector services. in different countries such as higher education institutions. Babakus and Boller. identified ten components of service quality. customer satisfaction. Cronin and Brand. private and foreign banks in India. 1988. airport services. Numerous research had been carried out in the banking industry using SERVQUAL model. Each item in SERVQUAL instrument is of two types. Zeithaml and Berry (1985) and then further developed for the next eight years by the same researchers. (Buttle. 1994. Wang. Lim and Tang. In addition to the banking sector. Wong and Yeung 1997. 1991. reliability (5 items) which is the ability to perform the service in an accurate and in dependable manner. facilities and personnel. those ten components were merged into five dissimilar dimensions viz. The concept was conceptualised and proposed by Parasuraman.e.

Smith. iii.SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research SERVQUAL service quality model consists of several quality gaps (Q) which are as follows: 68 Global Journal of Management and Business Research ( E ) Volume XIII Issue VI Version I Year 2013 Source : Parasuraman. 1990. SERVQUAL Applications and Criticisms Although many studies have used the SERVQUAL model as a framework in measuring service © 2013 Global Journals Inc. which can be adapted or supplemented to fit the characteristics or specific research needs of a particular organization. Carman. Babakus and Boller. Zeithaml and Berry (1985). 1996. .” (Parasuraman.. perceptions and gap scores. A number of researchers have reported different dimensions for expectations. Gap 6: Difference between the expectations of what firms should provide in the industry and their employee’s perceptions of consumer expectation. Gap 4: Promises made by market communication activities are not met by the delivered service. 1995. Figure 1 : Gap Model of Service Quality Gap 1: The manager perceives the customers’ expectations differently from the customers. despite the criticism. These criticisms have mainly revolved around right from its dimensional structure to the interpretation and implementation of the instrument (Buttle. there has also been theoretical and operational criticisms directed towards this model exist in the literature of services marketing. Lam Wong and Yeung. 1996).. Gap 5: Difference between the expectations of what firms should provide in the industry and their perceptions of how a given service provider performs. (US) quality. . and Gap 7: Difference between the employee’s perceptions of consumer expectation and Management’s perceptions of consumer expectation. 1988). Zeithaml and Berry. the universality of SERVQUAL’s five dimensions has been questioned (Buttle. 1997. Gap 3: Difference between quality specifications of the promised service and the final service delivered. 1992. Nevertheless. Gap 2: The service quality specifications do not agree with management perceptions of quality expectations. SERVQUAL has been widely used in various contexts throughout other studies. . 1994). Shortcomings concerning convergent and discriminant validity have also been noted (Buttle. 2001). Thus. Cronin and Taylor. Newman. 1996. The SERVQUAL instrument has been widely used because it “provides a basic skeleton.

First. © 2013 Global Journals Inc. Emerald. fast food. manual searches of leading marketing and services journals were conducted. b) SERVPERF Levelling maximum criticism against SERVQUAL scale. Thirdly. In equation form. 1988) with respect to conceptualization and measurement of service quality. dry cleaning and banking to support the superiority of their ‘performance only’ scale over SERVQUAL scale retaining the same items as had been proposed by the Parasuraman. Cronin and Taylor (1992) provided empirical evidences across four industries viz. pest control.SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research 69 c) Studies Search Source : Martinez and Martinez (2010). Figure 2 : Performance Only Model (SERVPERF) The following procedure was used to obtain an ample collection of studies reporting the use of both SERVQUAL and SERVPERF scales. Their study was later replicated and findings suggest that little if any theoretical or empirical evidence supports the relevance of the E-P= quality gap as the basis for measuring service quality. Inderscience. (US) Global Journal of Management and Business Research ( E ) Volume XIII Issue VI Version I Year 2013 Cronin and Taylor (1992) in their empirical work controverted the framework of Parasuraman. Zeithaml and Berry (1985. an electronic search of the following databases was conducted: Direct Science. and propounded a performance-based measure of service quality called ‘SERVPERF’ illustrating that service quality is a form of consumer attitude. They argued that SERVPERF was an enhanced means of measuring the service quality construct. SERVPERF service quality can be expressed as: . ProQuest (ABI/INFORM Global and dissertation abstracts). a manual examination of the articles identified from the computer-based searches was carried out. Secondly. Zeithaml and Berry (1988). The search process yielded the following studies using either the original scale in its totality or a modified version of the same (see Table 2 and Table 3).

Although. MPERF-Modified SERVPERF. Churchill and Peter. Carmen. Lewis. 1990. 1993) and perform better in assessing service quality in banking industry in emerging countries such as India (Jain & Gupta. 2013a. Cronin & Taylor’s (1992) SERVPERF scale has been empirically tested and proven to © 2013 Global Journals Inc. Adil & Ansari. a number of measures have been proposed in the past to determine customer expectations. Jaramillo and Mulki (2007). Adil. Woodruff. 2004. 2012. customer perceptions and overall satisfactions in service industries but prominent among them are SERVQUAL and SERVPERF. 2012.b. In fact. Adil. Ahtola. the marketing literature appears to offer considerable support for the superiority of simple performance-based measures of service quality (cf.SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research Table 2 : International Studies 70 Global Journal of Management and Business Research ( E ) Volume XIII Issue VI Version I Year 2013 Note: QUAL-Original SERVQUAL. a number of measurement problems have been highlighted by researchers (e. (US) be a better measure of service quality (Cronin and Taylor. and Jenkins 1983). related to performance minus customer expectation (P-E) gap model of SERVQUAL. Conclusions & Discussion Overall. Brown. Bolton and Drew 1991a. Lewis and Mitchell. Adapted from: Carrillat. Cadotte.g. Churchill and Surprenant 1982. 1993). III. 1990. Mazis. 1992. 1991. 2013b). . Adil. and Klippel 1975. MQUAL-Modified SERVQUAL. PERF-Original SERVPERF. Babakus and Boller.

and in fact elaborated that though their approach for conceptualizing service quality could be revised. 1993) while mixed results in the context of health care services (Wisniewski and Wisniewski. responsiveness. and Peter. 4 factors in the retail clothing sector (Gagliano and Hathcote 1994). To a certain extent. The complexity of service quality evaluations is evident in the many failed attempts to replicate the dimensional structure of service quality perceptions. conceptualization.e. Rohini and Mahadevappa. PERF. the performance-based measure was an enhanced means of measuring the service quality construct. uni-dimensional (Brown. Original researchers of SERVPERF argued that owing to the limitations of operationalization. for example. were difficult to replicate across diverse service contexts (Buttle 1996). namely. 2005. Researchers in the past had identified a range of factors that includes 3 factors in an automotive servicing context (Bouman and van der Wiele 1992). and assurance. 1988). However. tangibles.SERVQUAL and SERVPERF: A Review of Measures in Services Marketing Research Table 3 : National Studies 71 Source : Prepared by the researchers. later Parasuraman. Churchill.Original SERVQUAL. Note: QUAL. triggering an interesting controversy in service quality research. has been criticized. as its five dimensions. expectations) and another post © 2013 Global Journals Inc. Zeithaml and Berry 1985. one prior using the services (i.Original SERVPERF. the use of a perception scale is justified by the dynamic character of the Indian client’s expectations and by the greater effort required by the respondents to complete two questionnaires. relinquishing it altogether in preference of the alternate approaches as proclaimed by the critics did not seem justified.Modified SERVPERF. in SERVQUAL there is an overlap between the technical and functional dimensions. and 3 factors in the context of MBA students’ service quality perceptions (McDougall and Levesque 1994). Parasuraman. reliability. Role of expectations and its inclusion in the SERVQUAL measuring instrument is a cause of major concern. Furthermore.Modified SERVQUAL. In another empirical work. Zeithaml and Berry (1994a) responded to the concerns of Cronin and Taylor (1992) and Teas (1993) by empirically proving that the validity and alleged severity of many of those concerns raised by them were questionable. empathy. MQUAL. The widely applied SERVQUAL scale (Parasuraman. 2006). measurement and applications of SERVQUAL’s scale. MPERF. Zeithaml and Berry (1994b) refined SERVQUAL’s structure to embody not only the discordance between perceived service and desired service. (US) Global Journal of Management and Business Research ( E ) Volume XIII Issue VI Version I Year 2013 . but also the discrepancy between perceived service and adequate service.

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