International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences

2006, Vol. 18, No. 1, 39-58.
ⓒ Korea Institute of Sport Science
The Influence of Service Quality Factors
on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase Intention
in the Korean Professional Basketball League
Hyun-Duck Kim
a
, David LaVetter
a
, & Jeoung-Hak Lee
b

Arkansas State University, USA
a
, & Kyung Hee University, Korea
b
Achieving success as a sport organization has been linked to customer
satisfaction and repurchase intention achieved through higher quality service
(Chelladurai, 1999). Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the concept of
service quality and the Korean male professional basketball league. Therefore, this
study was primarily designed to identify the effects of five factors of service quality
on customer satisfaction, and repurchase intention for spectators in attendance at
the Korean professional basketball league. The questionnaire utilized for measuring
perceptions of service quality included the following factors: (1) tangibles, (2)
reliability, (3) responsiveness, (4) assurance, and (5) empathy as identified by
Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988). Each of the instruments measuring
outcome variables including customer satisfaction and repurchase intention had five
items.
The findings of analysis of variance indicated that demographic variables
including education, income, and season ticket status were significantly related to
the mean levels of service quality. The results from the regression model considered
the five factors of service quality to be independent variables and customer
satisfaction, the dependent variable, indicated that the factors of reliability and
assurance were the most influential factors on overall customer satisfaction. This
finding indicates that the performances of service encounters have substantial
potential for making a significant impression on customer perceptions of service
attributes at the professional sport event.
The regression model involving the five factors of service quality and repurchase
intention revealed that the factors of tangibles and assurance were identified as the
most critical related to overall repurchase intention.
key words: Service quality, Customer satisfaction, Repurchase intention
1)
Received : 27 September 2005, Accepted : 12 June 2006,
Correspondence : Jeoung Hak Lee (leex0472@khu.ac.kr)
40 H. D. Kim et al.
Introduction
Services provided at a sport setting are quite different from other forms of
services (Mullin, Hardy, & Sutton, 2000). Mullin, et. al.’s study described a sport
product as “any bundle or combination of qualities, processes, and capabilities
(goods, services, and/or ideas) that a buyer expects will deliver wanted satisfaction”
(p. 12). In fact, all products consist of both tangible and intangible components that
contribute to the core benefit. Berry and Parasuraman (1991) provided a superior
explanation for distinguishing a service from a tangible product. They acknowledged
that if the core benefit source is more intangible than tangible, it would be
considered a service (Berry & Parasuraman, 1991). In accordance with their
description, many sport and recreation organizations are involved in the production
of services rather than that of goods. In a sport setting, Stotlar (1993) emphasized
that “professional and amateur sports teams, health and fitness centers, arenas, and
country clubs are all engaged primarily in providing sport-related services” (p. 22).
Service providers should develop a professional attitude to maximize the benefits of
their business.
The needs and wants of sport customers are constantly changing and
unpredictable, making quality services in sport more elusive than most realize. Thus,
sport marketers involved in the basketball league should understand the importance
of providing quality services to their customers and the causal relationships with
relevant constructs such as service quality, customer satisfaction, and repurchase
intention(Lee, et al, 2000).
In the professional Korean basketball league, fan attendance is a major source of
revenue which is heavily linked to concession sales at an event. By understanding
what factors are engaged in the formation of the overall service in the service
context, sports marketers are able to provide a quality service experience for their
customers. As a brief descriptor of the league, there are nine host cities which
continually provide their fans with healthy, fun filled, and family oriented
entertainment for people of all ages in South Korea (KBL, 2005). The Korean
basketball league has experienced rapid growth with an increasing number of
spectators, media channels, printed publications, and news coverage as the
popularity of the game of basketball increased, especially in the past decade in Asia
(Kim, Shin, & Song, 2005). Due to the increasing popularity, the league has
attracted an ever increasing number of corporate sponsors which make strong
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 41
financial investments and aggressive marketing efforts (KBL, 2005). However, there
is a limited amount of research studies regarding the nature of the relationship
between service quality, customer satisfaction, and repurchase intention due to
unique features of a service product in the sport setting (Cho, 2001; Kim et al.
2005; Beck 2005).
This study was primarily designed to identify the influence of service quality
factors on customer satisfaction and repurchase intention for spectators in attendance
at the Korean professional basketball league. Additionally, this study was also
designed to measure levels of service quality in terms of a) age, b) gender, c)
education, d) income, e) involvement, and f) season ticket holder status.
Theoretical Background
Service Quality
The importance of service has obtained a significant amount of attention by
many managers and academic scholars in a variety of fields. Identifying the nature
of the relationship between service quality and relevant constructs appears to be
advantageous as it assists in the development of better managerial decisions. This
realization is reflected by the increasing number of publications devoted to such
topics as customer satisfaction, service quality, customer service, and service
marketing (e.g., Beck, 2005; Chang, 1998; Choi, 2001; Cho, Lee, & Chon, 2004;
Petrick & Backman, 2002). Prior to discussing the concept of service quality and its
relationships with other constructs, it is necessary to be concerned with the three
fundamental characteristics of a service product.
Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988) stated that, “Service quality is an
abstract and elusive construct because of three features unique to services:
intangibility, heterogeneity, and inseparability of production and consumption” (p.
13). Services are different from goods (tangible products) in terms of how they are
produced, consumed, and evaluated. First of all, consumers can judge or experience
the quality of tangible goods such as a new set of golf clubs and golf balls prior
to purchasing those tangible products. However, they are not able to judge the
quality of intangible service products such as acquiring the experience in a stadium,
new golf resort, hotel, or amusement park. Secondly, services, especially those
42 H. D. Kim et al.
involving high labor are heterogeneous: their performance often varies from
producer to producer, from customer to customer, and from day to day (Zeithaml,
Parasuraman, & Berry, 1990). Lastly, production and consumption of most services
are inseparable (Zeithaml et al., 1990). In other words, quality of service is often
seen during service delivery, usually in an interaction between the customer and the
provider, rather than being engineered at the manufacturing plant, and delivered
intact to the customer (Zeithaml et al., 1990).
According to Berry and Parasuraman (1991), “services are dominated by
experience qualities, attributes that can be meaningfully evaluated only after
purchase and during production- consumption” (p. 7). In addition, customers do not
evaluate service quality solely on the outcome of a service. They also consider the
process of the service delivered whenever the event is completed (Zeithaml et al.,
1990).
The definition of service quality may vary and may depend on theoretical
assumptions. For instance, service quality has been defined by various academic
scholars under their own theoretical assumptions. For instance, Parasuraman,
Zeithaml, and Berry (1985) who developed the SERVQUAL instrument, which has
been most widely adapted as a service quality measurement tool defined perceived
service quality as “a global judgment, or attitude relating to the superiority of a
service” (p. 16). Parasuraman et al. (1985) pointed out that “the judgment on
service quality is a reflection of the degree and direction of discrepancy between
consumers’ perceptions and expectations” (p. 1). Asubonteng, McCleary, and Swan
(1996), defined service quality as “the difference between customers’ expectations
for service performance prior to the service encounter and their perceptions of the
service received” (p. 64). As discussed earlier, there has been no consensus in
defining service quality among researchers engaged in the study of service quality.
As a matter of fact, every business is associated with providing service, but
depending on the type of business, the portion of service may vary. Berry and
Parasuraman (1991) provided a superior explanation for the conceptualization of a
service in comparison with tangible goods. In terms of their explanation, if the
source of a product’s core benefit is more intangible than tangible, it would be
considered a service (Berry & Parasuraman, 1991). It means that virtually all
products are comprised of both tangible and intangible elements that contribute to
the core benefit. The central or core products of the Korean basketball League, the
game itself and customers’ service experiences are noticeably more associated with
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 43
the the intangible product than with the tangible product.
Mullin et al. (2000) described several unique features of sport services. First,
sport differs from other forms of entertainment because it induces high levels of
emotional involvement. Secondly, not only does sport form and strengthen
relationships with individual consumers, it also fosters a sense of community in
terms of sport marketing. Thus, sport marketers should be able to recognize the
central role of social facilitation. Lastly, the needs and wants of sport customers are
constantly changing and unpredictable, making sport service more elusive than most
realize. According to Milne and McDonald (1999), sport services are categorized
into two distinct segments including spectator and participant services. For instance,
spectators’ services (e.g., attending professional basketball games and golf
tournaments) deliver various kinds of entertainment values and beneficial
opportunities for socialization during the period of the sport event. On the other
hand, participant service (e.g., services provided at commercial fitness clubs and
private golf courses) delivers a range of beneficial sport experiences that can result
in physical, mental, and social benefits for participants. There are various potential
motivational factors such as physical fitness, risk-taking, affiliation, stress reduction,
and social facilitation for sport participants and spectators (Milne & McDonald,
1999).
Recent research by Kelley and Turley (2001) attempted to investigate the
importance of service attributes sports fans use when evaluating the quality of the
service experienced at sporting events. They initially generated a pool of 35 service
attributes of sporting events. In addition to the 35 service attributes, a set of
classificatory items was also added on the survey. The sample for this study was
collected from fans attending four basketball games during the month of February,
including two men’s games and two women’s games. After the data was collected
from the sporting events, a series of statistical methods were utilized for the data
analysis. According to the mean importance value for each of the sports marketing
service quality attributes, the quality of the game and outcome of the game were
identified as the most important attributes in the study (Kelley & Turley, 2001). By
conducting an exploratory factor analysis, they (2001) identified nine important
dimensions of service quality in sporting events: (1) employees, (2) price, (3)
facility access, (4) concessions, (5) fan comfort, (6) game experience, (7) showtime,
(8) convenience, and (9) smoking.
Theodorakis and Kambitsis (1998) have had success in the measurement of
44 H. D. Kim et al.
service quality in the sport setting. They developed the service quality instrument
called SPORTSERV, which measures spectators’ perceptions of service quality in
professional sports. The 22 items on the instrument include the following
dimensions of service quality: (1) access (four items: for example, parking being
available outside the stadium), (2) reliability (four items: for example, the team
delivering its services as promised), (3) responsiveness (six items: for example, the
team’s personnel providing prompt service), (4) tangibles (six items: for example,
the stadium being visually appealing), and (5) security (two items: for example,
feeling safe inside the stadium). The SPORTSERV scale is a
perception-performance based measurement.
While it may be comparatively easy to identify adequate dimensions for a
specific service, researchers have sought to identify whether there are generic
dimensions of service quality that can be identified (Jennifer, 1998). In this regard,
the five dimensions of service quality proposed by Parasuraman et al. (1988) have
been considered as the most widely accepted dimensions of service quality in
various settings. The five dimensions of service quality and their definitions are
illustrated in Table 1.
Table 1. Five Different Dimensions of Service Quality
Dimensions Explanations
Tangibles Physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of personnel
Reliability Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately
Responsiveness Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service.
Assurance
Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and
confidence
Empathy Caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers
Note. From "SERVQUAL: A multiple-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of s service
quality," by Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry, 1988, Journal of Retailing, 64(1), p. 23.
Berry and Parasuraman (1991) emphasized that “among the five dimensions of
service quality, reliability is the foremost criterion customers consider in evaluating
a company’s quality of service” (p. 16). For this study, the five dimensions of
service quality proposed by Berry and Parasuraman (1991) have been adopted as the
factors of service quality for the assessment of perceived value of service quality.
To satisfy the fundamental objectives of a service-based organization, which are
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 45
the formations of high levels of customer satisfaction and customer retention, Rust
and Oliver (1994) suggested that “managing service quality basically involves three
distinct processes: designing the service product, designing the service environment,
and delivering the service” (p. 3). It is critical to note that if a service-based
organization desires to be successful in the market, the organization should do the
smaller things better than their competitors and always be aware of what its
employees and customers want and need (Berry & Parasuraman, 1991).
Customer Satisfaction
Understanding how satisfaction is generated has important implications for
management (e.g., product design, service delivery, and marketing mix allocations)
(Anderson & Fornell, 1994). Bhote (1996) indicated that:
“A full 90% of top managers from over 200 of the largest corporations in America
were convinced that “maximizing customer satisfaction maximized profitability and
market share” (p. 30)
Taylor and Baker (1994) emphasized the importance of understanding the
potential determinants of customer satisfaction. The researchers acknowledged that
“satisfaction” is a major outcome of marketing activity and serves to link processes
culminating in purchase and consumption with post purchase phenomena such as
attitude change, repeat purchase, and loyalty” (p. 491).
In Anderson and Fornell (1994), customer satisfaction is described as “a
postconsumption evaluation of perceived quality relative to expected quality” (p.
245). In this regard, expectation and perceived quality of a product or a service
provides a baseline or anchor for the evaluation of a customer’s level of satisfaction
in terms of the expectancy-disconfirmation paradigm.
Therefore, if managers or administrators working in service-based organizations
are able to identify how components of a product or service affect customer
satisfaction of their customers, they may be able to provide their customers with a
better customer experience to maximize customers’ satisfaction (Petrick & Backman,
2002).
Williams (1999) conceptualized consumer satisfaction as a cognitive appraisal of
the degree to which a product or service performs relative to a subjective standard.
Oliver (1997) indicated that “satisfaction is a judgment that a product or service
feature, or the product or service itself, provided (or is providing) a pleasurable
46 H. D. Kim et al.
level of consumption-related fulfillment, including levels of under or
over-fulfillment” (p. 13). Choi (2001) also mentioned that “one simple approach to
the concept of customer satisfaction is to understand it as a perceived value” (p.
26). Oliver (1997) also pointed out that that “satisfaction itself is a desirable end
state of consumption or patronization; it is a reinforcing, pleasurable experience” (p.
10). With regard to the fundamental concept of satisfaction, Anderson, Fornell, and
Lehmann (1994), noted that satisfaction has direct effects on profit through its
influence on customer retention. In contrast, dissatisfaction has the effect of
increasing the search for alternatives, resulting in a larger brand consideration set
than would have existed previously (Anderson et al., 1994). From a managerial
perspective, it seems reasonable to be concerned with such questions as, “When a
customer is dissatisfied, how can he or she be retained?” In accordance with the
question, Fornell and Wernerfelt (1987) suggested that firms should encourage
customers who are dissatisfied with their products or services to complain and then
management should respond to complaints in order to retain the customers. One
example would be the use of a 1-800 number to handle potential complaints from
customers (Anderson & Fornell, 1994). Thus, while preventing dissatisfaction is a
worthy and necessary goal, management should be more interested in what it can do
to foster satisfaction (Oliver, 1997).
Theodorakis et al. (2001) attempted to identify relationship between service
quality and customer satisfaction of spectators in professional sports. They found
that all five factors of service quality, including: (1) access, (2) reliability, (3)
responsiveness, (3) tangibles, and (5) security were positively correlated with
satisfaction of the spectators. In the study, the regression model, with the use of all
five factors of service quality as predictors, was statistically significant with 40% of
overall customer satisfaction explained by service-quality factors.
Repurchase Intention
Achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction may require a manger to be
concerned with such aspects of a service product as price, convenience, or
availability. Current literature supports satisfaction as a reliable predictor of
repurchase intentions (Bitner, 1990; Cho et al., 2004; Novatorov & Crompton, 2002;
Patterson & Spreng, 1997; Tian-Cole et al., 2002; Yoo, Cho, & Chon, 2003). For
instance, Tian-Cole et al. (2002), who conducted a study on service quality,
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 47
satisfaction, and behavioral intentions in the leisure and recreation field, found that
visitors’ future behavioral intentions were expected to be influenced positively by
both overall service quality and overall satisfaction.
Taylor and Baker (1994) examined the specific nature of the relationship
between service quality and consumer satisfaction, as well as how these two
constructs combine to impact consumer purchase intentions in four unique service
industries including health care, recreation (amusement park) services, transportation
(airline), and communications (long-distance telephone) services. The results of their
study indicated that satisfaction appeared to moderate the relationship between
service quality and purchase intention in the proposed models for the formation of
consumers’ purchase intentions (Taylor & Baker, 1994).
According to Petrick (1999), “the more loyal a consumer is to a service, the
more likely they will be satisfied with the service and the more likely they will
repurchase the service” (p. 28). Thus, loyalty has been directly related to intention
to repurchase.
In order to have a better understanding of the concept of repurchase intention, it
is critical to be concerned with potential difference between a pre-consumption
situation and post-purchase situation. Patterson and Spreng (1997) pointed out that
in a pre-consumption situation, customers are more likely to be influenced by such
extrinsic indications as brand image, price, store name, and market communication.
In contrast, in post-purchase situations, the customers now have the consumption
experience and are already familiar with those indications so the customers are less
likely to make a purchase decision under the influence of those extrinsic indications.
Specifically, the customers in post-purchase situations make a purchase decision on
the basis of their own satisfaction/dissatisfaction evaluations.
Much research indicated statistically significant and positive relationship between
customer satisfaction and repurchase intention. However, the managers in the
Korean basketball league should be aware of the fact that even when customers are
satisfied, nothing guarantees that they will be repeat customers (Bhote, 1996).
Attaining and maintaining high levels of repurchase intention should be an ongoing
process or a journey without end (Bhote, 1996).
In conclusion, the literature clearly demonstrated positive relationships between
service quality, customer satisfaction, and repurchase intentions in various settings.
Thus, the managers in the Korean Professional basketball league should be aware of
the various factors of service quality (i.e., tangibles, reliability, responsiveness,
48 H. D. Kim et al.
empathy, and assurance) that can ultimately predict customers’ satisfaction and
purchase intention.

Methodology
Sample and Data Collection
Data for this study was collected from the basketball stadium located in South
Korea during the professional basketball season of 2004 and 2005. The sample was
randomly drawn from spectators attending three men’s games held in Seoul during
the Korean Professional Basketball League of 2004 and 2005. Mail-back surveys
were distributed at the main gate of the basketball stadium. At the gate, every 3
rd

individual was selected and received the survey packet. Participants were asked to
complete and mail back the questionnaire by using the pre-paid postage envelope
addressed to the researcher. Among the 1000 surveys distributed in the stadium, a
total of 745 surveys were returned, accounting for the final response rate of 73%.
The sample consisted of about 54% of male and 46% of female respondents.
Twenty-two incomplete questionnaires were excluded from the data analysis. Thus,
a total of 723 surveys were included for the final data analysis. Their participation
in this study was voluntary and the researcher ensured the confidentiality of their
responses.
Instrument Purification
The service quality instrument for this study was modified from Cronin and
Taylor’s (1994) performance-based service quality scale called SERVPERF. The
service quality instrument was originally composed of 20 items of five dimensions
of service quality. As proposed by Parasuraman et al. (1988), the five dimensions
for this study include: (1) tangibles, (2) reliability, (3) responsiveness, (4) assurance,
and (5) empathy.
Customer satisfaction and repurchase intention questionnaires were modified
from Chang’s (1998) instrument. Each of the questionnaires had five items.
A six-point Likert type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 49
agree) was utilized for scoring the study instrument. Items in the demographic
information questionnaire were selected by the researcher to yield descriptive
information of the subjects. The demographic information questionnaire includes
such questions as gender, age, education, annual income, the number of attendance,
and season ticket holder status.
A panel of five American experts received the questionnaires to ensure construct
validity evidence. For the validation process, a panel of experts were selected
because of their extensive amount of knowledge and practical research experience in
the field of sport management. As suggested by Chatterji (2002), the panel of
experts was asked to perform a structured review of individual items on each factor
to ensure their content relevance and content representativeness.
The service quality scale modified from SERVPERF (Cronin & Taylor, 1992)
was required to be translated from English into Korean for research purposes due to
the language difference. The questionnaires written in English were translated by
two Korean experts who worked as sport management professors in American
Universities. Once the questionnaires had been translated into Korean, the same
questionnaires were translated back into English again by other Korean experts. The
intention of this back-translation process was to identify potential disagreements on
the underlying constructs that were influenced by the translation process as
suggested by Bracken & Barona (1991). The translated questionnaires were regarded
as representative of the original questionnaire.
Pilot Testing and Reliability of Each Factor
After the translation process, a pilot test was conducted with 70 spectators from
the basketball stadium. The samples for the pilot test were selected as planned for
the final data collection. As suggested by Patten (2002), the sample size for a pilot
study should be at least 20 respondents. In all, 65 spectators provided their
responses to the questionnaires. The results from the pilot test (n = 65) helped to
verify the utility, validity, and reliability for the questionnaires. Especially, the
potential respondents in the pilot test were asked to provide their comments about
the instrument in terms of wording, clarity, scoring routine, and adequacy as
recommended by Babbie (1998). Based upon the results of the pilot test, the
researcher made slight changes to the items on the instrument.
In order to estimate internal consistency among items within each dimension, the
50 H. D. Kim et al.
internal consistency reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s alpha) was computed on each
of the dimensions of the service quality scale, customer satisfaction scale, and
repurchase intention scale by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS,
v12.0) after the final data was collected. The reliability coefficients for each of the
five dimensions of the service quality scale and customer satisfaction and repurchase
intention scale were as follows: 1) tangibles (.88), 2) reliability (.90), 3)
responsiveness (.79), 4) assurance (.85), 5) empathy (.88), 6) customer satisfaction
(.92), and repurchase intention (.73). Since all of the Cronbach’s alpha coefficients
for the scales were greater than .70, the scales were deemed acceptable as suggested
by Cortina (1993).
Data Analysis
SPSS (v12.0) was used to compute and analyze the data. One-way analysis of
variance and post hoc test using Tukey’s HSD were primarily used to find out
whether significant differences existed among the mean levels of service quality in
relation to various demographic variables. Multiple regression analysis was
performed to examine the relationships between service quality, customer
satisfaction, and repurchase intention. The five dimension of service quality factor
was examined by factor analysis. Additionally, a regression coefficient from multiple
regression analysis was primarily used to identify the influential levels that service
quality factors have on measures of customer satisfaction. All the statistical
significance tests were performed at an alpha level of .05.
Results
The mean score of the overall service quality was 4.44 with a standard deviation
at 0.87. The overall mean score for the service quality scale, including the five
service quality factors was calculated by 1) combining the scores of all the items in
a scale and 2) dividing the combined scores by the number of items. Among the
five dimensions of service quality, the service assurance factor showed the highest
mean score of (M = 4.63, SD = 1.04), closely followed by the tangibles factor (M
= 4.61, SD = 1.05), the reliability factor (M = 4.58, SD = 1.06), and responsiveness
(M = 4.27, SD = .98). The mean score of the customer satisfaction scale was 4.69
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 51
(SD = 1.06) whereas the mean score for the repurchase intention scale was 4.50
(SD = .94). The results of descriptive statistics are as shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Number of Items, Mean, Standard Deviation, and Reliability Coefficient on Each Factor
Measurements Factor N M SD Alpha
Service Quality Tangibles 4 4.61 1.05 .88
Reliability
5
4.58 1.06 .90
Responsiveness
4
4.27 .98 .792
Assurance 3 4.63 .1.04 .85
Empathy 4 4.13 1.11 .92
Customer
Satisfaction
5 4.69 1.06 .73
Repurchase
Intention
5 4.50 .94 .88
The results of the analysis of variance indicated that there were statistically
significant differences in the mean levels of service quality in terms of Gender (F
(1,722) = 14.380, p < .05), Age (F (4,719) = 5.120, p < .05), Education (F (4,719)
= 6.664, p < .05), Season ticket holder status (F (1,722) = 11.476, p < .05).
According to the results, male participants perceived the overall service quality
higher than female participants.
The age distribution of the respondents was categorized into five groups: 1) less
than 25 years old (n = 11), 2) 26 to 35 (n = 83), 3) 36 to 45 (n = 161), 4) 46 to
55 (n = 151), 5) over 55 (n = 28). The results of post-hoc test using Tukey’s HSD
shows statistically significant mean differences between the groups of less than 18
years (M = 4.74), 19 to 25 years (M = 4.40), and 26 to 35 years (M = 4.31).
The highest educational level was categorized into five different levels: 1) Less
than High School Graduate (n = 131), 2) High School Graduate (n = 175), 3)
2-year College Graduate (n = 154), 4) Attending University or Bachelor’s Degree (n
= 243), and 5) Graduate Degree or Higher (n = 23). The results of the multiple
comparison test indicated that the mean score for the group of less than high school
graduate was statistically significant and higher (p < 0.5) than the mean scores of
other categorical variables in the groups of education.
52 H. D. Kim et al.
Statistically significant mean difference was also found for the season ticket
holder status. For more detail, participants who purchased a season ticket (M =
4.57) perceived the overall service quality higher than the non-season ticket holders
(M = 4.57).
The final five dimensions of service quality factors were based on the following
criteria: (a) a factor had an eigen-values equal to or greater than 1; (b) an item had
a factor loading equal to or greater than .40 without double loading. The results
showed that five factors were extracted for service quality factor. A total of 20
items were retained, the factors loading are showed in Table 3.
Table 3. The Factor Analysis for Five Dimension of Service Quality
Item F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
SQ1
SQ2
SQ3
SQ4
.672
.568
.529
.594
SQ5
SQ6
SQ7
SQ8
SQ9
.615
.600
.624
.608
.588
SQ10
SQ11
SQ12
SQ13
.403
.716
.674
.471
SQ14
SQ15
SQ16
.481
.710
.703
SQ17
SQ18
SQ19
SQ20
.801
.804
.653
.705
Note: F1: Tangibles Factors, F2: Reliability Factors, F3: Responsiveness Factors
A multiple regression analysis was performed to examine the relationships
among service quality, customer satisfaction, and repurchase intention for the
spectators in attendance at the games. The results of the regression analyses
indicated that the effects of the five service quality factors on the customer
satisfaction was statistically significant (F (5,718) = 198.18, p < .05) while 58% of
the overall customer satisfaction was explained by the five factors of service quality.
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 53
Additionally, a regression coefficient from multiple regression analysis was used to
identify the influential level that service quality factors have on the overall customer
satisfaction. The coefficients indicated that the factors of assurance ( β = .38, p =
.000) and reliability ( β = .21, p = .007) exerted the strongest influence on the
overall customer satisfaction, closely followed by the factors of tangibles ( β = .11,
p = .007) and empathy ( β = .10, p = .001). The factor of responsiveness did not
show a statistically significant unique relationship with the overall customer
satisfaction (see Table 4).
Table 4. The Influence of the Five Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction
Variables Beta t Sig.
Model 1
Tangibles .112 2.698 .000
*
Reliability .211 4.602 .007
*
Responsiveness .067 1.554 .121
Assurance .389 9.954 .000
*
Empathy .106 3.221 .001
*
Note. *p < .05
To investigate the influential levels of five service quality factors on the overall
repurchase intention, the multiple analysis method was also applied. This regression
model considered repurchase intention to be a dependent variable and the five
factors of service quality to be an independent variable was statistically significant
(F (5, 718) = 103.828, p =.00), and 42% of overall repurchase intention was
explained by the five factors of service quality. The regression coefficients revealed
that the factors of empathy ( β = .27, p = .000), assurance ( β = .22, p = .000),
responsiveness ( β = .11, p = .017), and tangibles ( β = .10, p = .028) indicated
statistically significant unique relationships with the overall repurchase intention as
illustrated in Table 5.
54 H. D. Kim et al.
Table 5. The Influence of the Five Service Quality Factors on Repurchase Intention
Variables Beta t Sig.
Model 2
Tangibles .107 2.197 .028
*
Reliability .065 1.213 .226
Responsiveness .112 2.397 .017
*
Assurance .223 4.861 .000
*
Empathy .271 6.974 .000
*
Note. *p < .05
Discussion
This study provides some interesting findings that help us further our knowledge
of various services provided within the Korean professional basketball league.
Among the six demographic variables, four demographic variables, including
gender, age, season ticket holder status, and education level were found to be
significantly related to the overall perception of service quality. That is, it is
concluded that the demographic variables which showed statistically significant
differences in the mean levels of service quality are influential factors on the overall
service quality. It may be beneficial for managers in the sport organization to
develop new strategies based on these findings. In other words, segmenting
customers on the basis of their gender, age, season ticket holder status, and
education level should be considered for marketing efforts to be targeted
appropriately. Mullin et al. (2000) acknowledged that market segmentation is one of
the key strategies that creates the bridge between managerial analysis and
managerial action. Knowing customers from the demographic data can assist sport
managers to pinpoint areas that need improved quality of service.
The findings from the regression model considered the five factors of service
quality as independent variables and customer satisfaction as the dependent variable
suggested that the factors of assurance and reliability were the most influential
factors on the overall customer satisfaction. The factors of assurance and reliability
are primarily associated with human performance (Parasuraman et al., 1988). For
instance, the factor of assurance refers to knowledge and courtesy of employees and
their ability to inspire trust and confidence. Additionally, the performances of
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 55
service encounters have considerable potential for making a significant impression
on customer perceptions of service attributes at the sport event. Thus, education and
training for the managers who are in charge of training and educating their staff
members should be taken into consideration by the management. Most importantly,
the managers in the sport context should utilize management audits to continually
evaluate and monitor the overall service environment from the customers’
perspectives. The management audits will facilitate sport managers’ knowledge
about the services they offer and the performances of service encounters as
suggested by Bhote (1996).
The findings of the regression model involving the five factors of service quality
and repurchase intention indicated that the factors of empathy, assurance,
responsiveness, and tangibles were identified as most critical factors in the overall
repurchase intention (see Table 4).
Whether it may be a point of sale for goods, directions to a particular service,
or resolving a customer complaint, managers in the Korean basketball league may
improve the quality of service and increase customer satisfaction and repurchase
intention by establishing a sound managerial philosophy of practicing appropriate
responsiveness, assurance and empathy to spectators.
According to Theodorakis et al. (2001) who found the tangible aspect of service
quality as an important predictor of customer satisfaction and repurchase intention,
managers in a service based organization should make major improvements in all
the aspects of service in order to enhance the level of overall service quality when
the resources are limited. To be effective, the factors of service quality should be
prioritized based on the findings of this study to provide competitive advantages in
delivering superior levels of customer satisfaction that may positively influence the
overall repurchase intention.
Additionally, because tangible aspects of service were also identified as one of
the most influential factors on the study variables, managers may implement a
reward system for each single game attended by a consumer in order to retain
repeat season-ticket holders and encourage potential season-ticket holders. The
rewards may be food or merchandise coupons for arena purchases or coupons to be
used off-site. This managerial action could stimulate customers to increase
repurchase intentions (i.e. future season-tickets, merchandise and concession sales) at
future events.
Although results in this study indicated tangibles, assurance, empathy, and
56 H. D. Kim et al.
reliability as predictors of service quality, researchers can extend studies to
incorporate other demographic variables such as fan involvement, loyalties to
particular players or teams, attitudinal preferences, and number of years of
season-ticket holders to more closely examine how they interrelate with factors of
service quality, customer satisfaction, and purchase intention. The sport service
marketers should manage the five dimension service quality of service marketing in
order to reinforce the desired attitudes and behavior during service delivery.
Additionally, researchers can also enrich the theoretical foundation for the
relationships among the study variables by utilizing structural equation modeling
(SEM).
References
Anderson, E.W., & Fornell, C.(1994). Customer Satisfaction Research Prospectus. In Rust, R.,
T., Oliver, R., L., Service quality (pp. 241-268). Thousand Oaks, Sage.
Anderson, E.W., Fornell, C., & Lehmann, D. R.(1994). Customer satisfaction, market share, and
profitability: Findings from Sweden. Journal of Marketing, 58, 53-66.
Asubonteng, P., McCleary, K.J., & Swan, J.E.(1996). Servqual revisited: A critical review of
service quality. Journal of Services Marketing, 10(6), 62-81.
Babbie E.(1998). Survey research methods (2nd ed.). California, Belmont: Wadsworth.
Beck, J.W.(2005). The impact of service quality in public sport centers on repurchase and
word-of-mouth intention. Journal of Korean Sport Management, 44(1), 455-465
Berry L.L., & Parasuraman, A.(1991). Marketing services: Competing through quality. New
York, NY: The Free Press.
Bitner, M. J.(1990). Evaluating service encounters: The effects of physical surroundings on
employee responses. Journal of Marketing, 54, April, 69-82.
Bracken, B. A., & Barona, A.(1991). State of the art procedures for translating validating and
using psycho-educational tests in cross-cultural assessment. School Psychology International,
12, 119-132.
Behote, K. R.(1996). Beyond customer satisfaction to customer loyalty: The key to greater
profitability. New York: American Management Association.
Chang, K.(1998). A systems view of quality on fitness services: Development of a model and
scales. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.
Chatterji, M.(2003). Designing and using tools for educational assessment. Boston: Allyn and
Bacon
Chelladurai, P.(1999). Human resource management in sport and recreation. Champaign, IL:
The Influence of Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase
Intention in the Korean Professional Basketball League 57
Human Kinetics.
Cho, B. H., Lee, C. W., & Chon, T. J.(2004). Effect of customers’ service quality satisfaction
for repurchase of golf range user. Korean Journal of Physical Education, 42(2), 179-188.
Choi, J. P.(2001). The influence of service quality on customer satisfaction and repurchase
intentions at fitness club in South Korea. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of
New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Cronin, J. J., & Taylor, S. A.(1992). Measuring service quality: A reexamination and extension.
Journal of Marketing, (July) 56, 55-68.
Finn, D. W., & Lamb, C. W.(1991). An evaluation of the SERVQUAL scale in a retailing
setting. Advance in Consumer Research, 18, 483-490.
Fornell, C., & Wernerfelt, B.(1987). Defensive marketing strategy by customer complaint
management: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Marketing Research, 24, 337-346.
Jennifer, R. (1998). Quality measurement in the public sector: Some perspectives from the
service quality literature. Total Quality Management, 9(2/3), 321-334.
Kelly, S. W., & Turley, L.W.(2001). Consumer perceptions of service quality attributes at
sporting events. Journal of Business Research, 54, 161-166.
Kim,H.D., Shin, H.B., & Song, S.H.(2005). The effects of service quality on customer
satisfaction and repurchase intention in Korean professional basketball league. Paper
presented at the meeting of the Sport Marketing Association, Tempe, AZ.
Korea Basketball League(2003). Brief history of KBL. Retrieved July 21, 2004, from
http://www.kbl.or.kr/
Lee, J.H & Lee, J.S.(2000). Physical and social surrounding factors in sports services marketing.
Journal of Korean Sociology of Sport, 13(2), 493-502.
Miline, G. R., & McDonald, M. A.(1999). Sport marketing: Managing the exchange process.
Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Mullin, B. J., Hardy, S., & Sutton, W. A.(2000). Sport Marketing. Champaign, IL: Human
Kinetics.
Oliver, R. L. (1997). Satisfaction: A behavioral perspective on the consumer. New York:
McGraw-Hill.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L.(1988). SERVQUAL: A multiple-item scale for
measuring consumer perceptions of service quality. Journal of Retailing, 64(1), 12-40.
Patterson, P. G., & Spreng, R. A.(1997). Modeling the relationship between perceived value,
satisfaction and repurchase intentions in a business to business, services context: an empirical
examination. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 8(5), 414-434.
Petrick, J. F.(1999). An examination of the relationship between golf travelers’ satisfaction,
perceived value and loyalty and their intentions to revisit. Unpublished doctoral dissertation,
Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
Petrick, J.F., & Backman, S.J(2002). An examination of the construct of perceived value for the
prediction of golf travelers’ intention to revisit. Journal of Travel Research, 41(1), 38-46.
58 H. D. Kim et al.
Rust, R. T., & Oliver, R. L.(1994). Insights and managerial implications from the frontier. In
Rust, R., T., Oliver, R., L., Service Quality (pp. 241-268). Thousand Oaks, Sage.
Stotlar, D.K.(1993). Successful sport marketing. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications.
Taylor, S. A., & Baker, T. L.(1994). An assessment of the relationship between service quality
and customer satisfaction in the formation of consumers’ purchase intentions. Journal of
Retailing, 70(2), 163-178.
Theodorakis, N., Kambitis, C., Laios, A.,& Koustelios, A.(2001). Relationship between measures
of service quality and satisfaction of spectators in professional sports. Managing Service
Quality, 11(6), 431-438.
Tian-Cole, S. T., Crompton, J. K., & Willson, V. L.(2002). An empirical investigation of the
relationships between service quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions among visitors to
a wildlife refuge. Journal of Leisure Research, 34, 1-24.
Williams, C.(1998). Is the SERVQUAL model an appropriate management tool for measuring
service delivery quality in the UK leisure industry? Managing Leisure, 3, 98-110.
Yoo, Y. S., Cho, K. M., & Cho, S. S.(2003). The effect of customer satisfaction on repurchase
intention at golf practice ranges in South Korea. Korean Journal of Sport Management, 7(2),
1-13.
Zeithaml, V. A., Parasuraman, A., & Berry, L.L.(1990). Delivering quality service. New York,
NY: Free Press.