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New Ways of Listening to Library Users: New Tools for Measuring Service Quality

A. Parasuraman University of Miami Washington, DC November 4, 2005

Defining, Assessing, and Measuring Service Quality: A Conceptual Overview

A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Multi-Phase, Multi-Sector, Multi-Year Program of Research to Address the Following Issues


How do customers perceive and evaluate service quality? What are managers perceptions about service quality? Do discrepancies exist between the perceptions of customers and those of managers? Can customers and managers perceptions be combined into a general model of service quality? How can service organizations improve customer service and achieve excellence?
A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Determinants of Perceived Service Quality


Word of Mouth Personal Needs Past Experience

Expected Service Service Quality Gap Perceived Service

External Communication to Customers Perceived Service Quality

A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

A GAPS MODEL OF SERVICE QUALITY


CUSTOMER Market Information Gap SERVICE ORGANIZATION Organizations Understanding of Expectations Service Standards Gap Organizations Service Standards

Customers Service Expectations Service Quality Gap Customers Service Perceptions

GAP 1 GAP 2

GAP 5
GAP 3 GAP 4

Service Performance Gap Organizations Service Performance

Organizations Communications to Customers

Internal Communication Gap

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POTENTIAL CAUSES OF INTERNAL SERVICE GAPS


[GAPS 1 - 4]

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GAP 1
Customer Expectations Key Factors: Insufficient marketing research Inadequate use of marketing research Lack of interaction between management and customers Insufficient communication between contact employees and managers Management Perceptions of Customer Expectations
Lack of Upward Communication

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GAP 2 Management Perceptions of Customer Expectations Key Factors: Inadequate management commitment to service quality Absence of formal process for setting service quality goals Inadequate standardization of tasks Perception of infeasibility -- that customer expectations cannot be met Service Quality Specifications

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GAP 3 Service Quality Specifications Key Factors:

Lack of teamwork Poor employee - job fit Poor technology - job fit Lack of perceived control (contact personnel) Inappropriate evaluation/compensation system Role conflict among contact employees Role ambiguity among contact employees
Service Delivery

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GAP 4 Service Delivery

Key Factors: Inadequate communication between salespeople and operations Inadequate communication between advertising and operations Differences in policies and procedures across branches or departments Puffery in advertising & personal selling External Communications to Customers
Lack of Horizontal Communication

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SUGGESTIONS FOR CLOSING INTERNAL SERVICE GAPS


[GAPS 1 - 4]

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Suggestions for Closing the Market Information Gap


Conduct systematic marketing research

Make senior managers interact with customers


Make senior managers occasionally perform customer-contact roles Encourage upward communication from customercontact employees

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Suggestions for Closing the Service Standards Gap


Make a blueprint of the service and standardize as many components of it as possible

Institute a formal, ongoing process for setting service specifications


Eliminate perception of infeasibility on the part of senior managers Make a true commitment to improving service quality

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Suggestions for Closing the Service Performance Gap


Invest in ongoing employee training Support employees with appropriate technology and information systems Give customer-contact employees sufficient flexibility Reduce role conflict and role ambiguity among customer-contact employees Recognize and reward employees who deliver superior service
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Suggestions for Closing the Internal Communication Gap


Facilitate effective horizontal communication across functional areas (e.g., marketing and operations) Have consistent customer-related policies and procedures across branches or departments Resist the temptation to promise more than the organization can deliver

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Process Model for Continuous Measurement and Improvement of Service Quality


Do your customers perceive your offerings as meeting or exceeding their expectations?
NO YES

Continue to monitor customers expectations and perceptions

Do you have an accurate understanding of customers expectations?


YES

NO

Take corrective action

Are there specific standards in place to meet customers expectations?


YES

NO

Take corrective action

Do your offerings meet or exceed the standards?


YES

NO

Take corrective action

Is the information communicated to customers about your offerings accurate?


YES

NO

Take corrective action

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SERVQUAL: Development, Refinement, and Empirical Findings

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Determinants of Perceived Service Quality


Dimensions of Service Quality 1. Access 2. Communication 3. Competence 4. Courtesy 5. Credibility 6. Reliability 7. Responsiveness 8. Security 9. Tangibles 10. Understanding/Knowing the Customer
Word of Mouth Personal Needs Past Experience

Expected Service

External Communication to Customers

Service Quality Gap

Perceived Service Quality

Perceived Service
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A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Correspondence between SERVQUAL Dimensions and Original Ten Dimensions for Evaluating Service Quality
Original Ten Dimensions for Evaluating Service Quality TANGIBLES RELIABILITY RESPONSIVENESS COMPETENCE COURTESY CREDIBILITY SECURITY ACCESS COMMUNICATION UNDERSTANDING/ KNOWING THE CUSTOMER
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SERVQUAL Dimensions
TANGIBLES RELIABILITY RESPONSIVENESS ASSURANCE EMPATHY

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Definitions of the SERVQUAL Dimensions


Tangibles: Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials. 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.
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Relative Importance of Service Dimensions When Respondents Allocate 100 Points [Study 1]
RELIABILITY 32%

TANGIBLES 11%

RESPONSIVENESS 22% EMPATHY 16%

ASSURANCE 19%
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Relative Importance of Service Quality Dimensions [Study 2]


Mean Number of Points Allocated out of 100 Points 37
33 11 23 15
All Companies

32

23
18 13

21

14 15

Computer Manufacturer

19

Retail Chain

18

29 12 23 17
Auto Insurer
Reliability Responsiveness Assurance

28 12 23 18
Life Insurer
Empathy Tangibles
22

19

20

A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Mean SERVQUAL Scores by Service Dimension [Study 1]


1.00

0.00

-1.00

-2.00 Tangibles Reliability Responsive- Assurance ness


A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Empathy

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Nature of Service Expectations


Level Customers Believe Can and Should Be Delivered

Desired Service

Zone of Tolerance
Adequate Service
Minimum Level Customers Are Willing to Accept
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A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

The Two Levels of Expectations Imply Two Corresponding Measures of GAP 5:

Measure of Service Adequacy (MSA)

Perceived Service

Adequate Service

Measure of Service Superiority (MSS)

Perceived Service

Desired Service

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TWO APPROACHES FOR MEASURING MSA AND MSS


Two-Column Format Questionnaire
Direct measures of MSA and MSS

Three-Column Format Questionnaire


Difference-score measures of MSA and MSS

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TWO-COLUMN FORMAT
Please think about the quality of service ________ offers compared to the two different levels of service defined below:

MINIMUM SERVICE LEVEL - the minimum level of service performance you consider adequate. DESIRED SERVICE LEVEL - the level of service performance you desire.

For each of the following statements, please indicate: (a) how ______s performance compares with your minimum service level by circling one of the numbers in the first column; and (b) how ______s performance compares with your desired service level by circling one of the numbers in the second column.

Compared to My Minimum Service Level ____s Service Performance is:

Compared to My Desired Service Level ____s Service Performance is: The Same No Opinion

When it comes to

Lower

The Same

No Higher Opinion

Lower

Higher

1. 2.

Prompt service to policyholders

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Employees who are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 consistently courteous

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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THREE-COLUMN FORMAT
We would like your impressions about ________s service performance relative to your expectations. Please think about the two different levels of expectations defined below:

MINIMUM SERVICE LEVEL - the minimum level of service performance you consider adequate. DESIRED SERVICE LEVEL - the level of service performance you desire.

For each of the following statements, please indicate: (a) your minimum service level by circling one of the numbers in the first column; and (b) your desired service level by circling one of the numbers in the second column; and (c) your perception of ___________s service by circling one of the numbers in the third column.

My Minimum Service Level is:

My Desired Service Level is:

My Perception of ____s Service Performance is: No High Opinion

When it comes to

Low

High

Low

High

Low

1. 2.

Prompt service to policyholders

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Employees who are consistently courteous

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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Measurement Error: Percent of Respondents Answering Incorrectly


Type of Company
Computer Manufacturer Two-Column Format Three-Column Format

8.6%

0.6%

Retail Chain

18.2%

1.8%

Auto Insurer

12.2%

1.6%

Life Insurer

9.9%

2.7%
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A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Mean Service Quality Scores (Combined Across All Companies)


TWO-COLUMN FORMAT QUESTIONNAIRE MSA Scores MSS Scores 6.8 6.7 6.8 6.5 7.1 5.9 5.7 5.9 5.6 6.4 THREE-COLUMN FROMAT QUESTIONNAIRE MSA Scores 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.2 1.1 MSS Scores -1.0 -1.1 -0.9 -1.2 -0.2

SERVQUAL Dimensions

Reliability Responsiceness Assurance Empathy Tangibles

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Revised SERVQUAL Items


Reliability 1. Providing services as promised 2. Dependability in handling customers' service problems 3. Performing services right the first time 4. Providing services at the promised time 5. Keeping customers informed about when services will be performed

Responsiveness
6. Prompt service to customers 7. Willingness to help customers 8. Readiness to respond to customers' requests Assurance 9. Employees who instill confidence in customers 10. Making customers feel safe in their transactions 11. Employees who are consistently courteous 12. Employees who have the knowledge to answer customer questions Empathy 13. Giving customers individual attention 14. Employees who deal with customers in a caring fashion 15. Having the customer's best interest at heart 16.Employees who understand the needs of their customers Tangibles 17. Modern equipment 18. Visually appealing facilities 19. Employees who have a neat, professional appearance

20. Visually appealing materials associated with the service


21. Convenient business hours

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Service Quality Perceptions Relative to Zones of Tolerance by Dimension Computer Manufacturer


9
8 7 6 5 4 3

2
1 0 Reliability Responsiveness Assurance Empathy Tangibles Zone of Tolerance S.Q. Perception
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Service Quality Perceptions Relative to Zones of Tolerance by Dimension Computer Manufacturer


9
8 7 6 5 4 3

2
1 0 Reliability Responsiveness Assurance Empathy Tangibles Zone of Tolerance S.Q. Perception
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A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Service Quality Perceptions Relative to Zones of Tolerance by Dimension On-Line Services


9 8 7 6 5
6.8 8.4 7.0 7.0 8.3 7.0 6.7 8.4 6.8 8.3 6.7 6.8 7.5 6.8 5.7

4 3
2 1

0
Reliability Responsiveness Assurance Empathy Tangibles

Zone of Tolerance

S.Q. Perception
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A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

Service Quality Perceptions Relative to Zones of Tolerance by Dimension


Tech-Support Services
9 8 7 6 5
6.6 6.1 8.5 6.9 8.4 6.7 6.3 6.4 6.3 8.3 6.8

8.1

4 3
2 1

0
Reliability Responsiveness Assurance Empathy

Zone of Tolerance

S.Q. Perception
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A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

LIBQUAL+: An Adaptation of SERVQUAL

Association of Research Libraries, Washington DC (2003) A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

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MULTIPLE METHODS OF LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS


Transactional surveys* Mystery shopping New, declining, and lost-customer surveys Focus group interviews Customer advisory panels Service reviews Customer complaint, comment, and inquiry capture Total market surveys* Employee field reporting Employee surveys Service operating data capture *A SERVQUAL-type instrument is most suitable for these
methods
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The Role Of Technology In Service Delivery: Electronic Service Quality (e-SQ) and Technology Readiness (TR)

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Technologys Growing Role in Marketing to and Serving Customers: Pyramid Model

Company
Internal Marketing External Marketing

Employees
Interactive Marketing

Customers

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Ongoing Research on e-Service Quality: Conceptual Framework and Preliminary Findings

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Research Phases and Questions


PHASE 1: What is good service on the Web? What are the underlying dimensions of superior electronic service quality (e-SQ?) How can e-SQ be conceptualized? PHASE 2: How do these dimensions compare to those of traditional service quality? How can e-SQ be measured and thereby assessed?
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Definition of e-Service Quality (e-SQ)


e-SQ is the extent to which a Website facilitates efficient and effective shopping, purchasing and delivery of products and services
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Dimensions of e-Service Quality from Focus Groups


Access Ease of Navigation Efficiency Customization/ Personalization Security/Privacy Responsiveness Assurance/Trust Price Knowledge Site Aesthetics Reliability Flexibility

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Reliability
DEFINITION Correct technical functioning of the site and the accuracy of service promises, billing and product information.
SAMPLE ATTRIBUTES Site does not crash Accurate billing Accuracy of order Accuracy of account information Having items in stock Truthful information Merchandise arrives on time
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Efficiency
DEFINITION
SAMPLE ATTRIBUTES
Site is well organized The site is simple to use, Site is simple to use structured properly, Site provides and requires a information in minimum of reasonable chunks information to be input by the customer. Site allows me to click for more information if I need it

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Means-End Model

Concrete Cues

Perceptual Attributes

Dimensions

Higher-level Abstractions

SPECIFIC/ CONCRETE

ABSTRACT

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Means-End Model of e-Service Quality


Concrete Cues Perceptual Attributes Higher-Level Abstractions

Dimensions

Tab Structuring Site Map Search Engine

Easy to Maneuver through Site Easy to Find What I Need Speed of Checkout

Ease of Navigation

One-click Ordering

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Concrete Cues

Perceptual Attributes

Dimensions
Access Ease of Navigation Efficiency Flexibility Reliability Personalization Security/ Privacy Responsiveness

Higher-Level Abstractions

Perceived e-Service Quality

Assurance/ Trust
Site Aesthetics Price Knowledge
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Means-End Model of e-Service Quality


Behaviors Higher-Level Abstractions
Purchase Loyalty Perceived Convenience Perceived e-Service Quality Perceived Control Perceived Value W.O.M

Dimensions Perceptual Attributes


Concrete Cues

Perceived Price
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Conceptual Model for Understanding and Improving e-Service Quality


Customer

Customer Web site Requirements

Customer Web site Experiences

Perceived e-SQ

Perceived Value

Purchase/ Repurchase

Company

Information Gap

Marketing of the Web site


Communication Gap

Design and Operation of the Web site Design Gap

Managements Beliefs about Customer Requirements

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Dimensions of e-SQ
Core Dimensions [E-S-QUAL] Efficiency Fulfillment System Availability Privacy Recovery Dimensions [E-RecS-QUAL] Responsiveness Compensation Contact

Source: Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Malhotra, E-S-QUAL: A Multiple-Item Scale for Assessing Electronic Service Quality, Journal of Service Research, February 2005.
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Definitions of e-SQ Dimensions


E-S-QUAL Dimensions
Efficiency: The ease and speed of accessing and using the site. Fulfillment: The extent to which the sites promises about order delivery and item availability are fulfilled. System Availability: The correct technical functioning of the site. Privacy: The degree to which the site is safe and protects customer information.

E-RecS-QUAL Dimensions
Responsiveness: Effective handling of problems and returns through the site. Compensation: The degree to which the site compensates customers for problems. Contact: The availability of assistance through telephone and online representatives.
Source: Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Malhotra, E-S-QUAL: A Multiple-Item Scale for Assessing Electronic Service Quality, Journal of Service Research, February 2005.
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An Important Implication of the Pyramid Model


An organizations ability to use technology effectively in marketing to and serving customers critically depends on the technology readiness of its customers and employees
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What is Technology Readiness [TR]?


TR refers to peoples propensity to embrace and use new technologies for accomplishing goals in home life and at work
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Multinational Research Studies on Technology Readiness


Began in 1997 in the USA and still ongoing Being conducted in collaboration with Charles Colby, President, Rockbridge Associates Have thus far involved several qualitative and quantitative studies Completed studies include three National Technology Readiness Surveys in the USA [NTRS 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004] National studies also have been done or are underway in Austria, Chile, Germany, Singapore and Sweden

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Key Insights from Qualitative Research Studies


TR doesnt just refer to possessing technical skills; TR is much more a function of peoples beliefs and feelings about technology Peoples beliefs can be positive about some aspects of technology but negative about other aspects The relative strengths of the of positive and negative beliefs determine a persons receptivity to technology
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Technology-Beliefs Continuum

Resistant to Technology

Neutral

Receptive to Technology

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Link between Technology Beliefs and Technology Readiness


High

Technology Readiness

Medium

Low Resistant to Technology

Neutral

Receptive to Technology

Technology-Beliefs Continuum
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Quantitative Survey Methodology


Each NTRS in the U.S. included a random sample of adults:
1000 respondents 1999 & 2000 and 500 respondents in 2001, 2002 & 2004

Data collected via computer-assisted telephone interviewing Survey included questions about technology beliefs, demographics, psychographics, and technology-related behaviors and preferences

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59

Key Insights from Quantitative Research Studies


TR consists of four facets or dimensions that are fairly independent of one another Peoples ratings on a set of belief statements about technology can be combined to create a reliable and valid measure of TR -- i.e., a Technology Readiness Index [TRI] The TRI is a good predictor of peoples technology-related behaviors and preferences A meaningful typology of customers can be created based on their TR scores on the four dimensions
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Drivers of Technology Readiness


Contributors

Optimism

Innovativeness

Technology Readiness

Inhibitors

Discomfort

Insecurity

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Definitions of the TR Drivers


Optimism: Positive view of technology; belief that it offers increased control, flexibility and efficiency Innovativeness: Tendency to be a technology pioneer and thought leader Discomfort: Perceived lack of control over technology and a feeling of being overwhelmed by it Insecurity: Distrust of technology and skepticism about its working properly
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The TRI: A 36-Item, 4-Dimensional Scale to Measure TR


Optimism
Innovativeness Discomfort Insecurity

10 items
7 items 10 items 9 items
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Customer Beliefs About Technology


Example of Optimism: Technology gives people more control over their daily lives
% of respondents agreeing:
61% in 1999 68% in 2000 65% in 2001 65% in 2002 67% in 2004

Example of Innovativeness: You keep up with the latest technological developments in your areas of interest
% of respondents agreeing:
68% in 1999 69% in 2000 65% in 2001 59% in 2002 60% in 2004
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Customer Beliefs About Technology


Example of Discomfort: It is embarrassing when you have trouble with a high-tech gadget while people are watching
% of respondents agreeing:
52% in 1999 54% in 2000 55% in 2001 51% in 2002 46% in 2004

Example of Insecurity: Any business transaction you do electronically should be confirmed later with something in writing
% of respondents agreeing:
87% in 1999 88% in 2000 82% in 2001 82% in 2002 78% in 2004
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TR Scores by Dimension and Overall TRI


4.5 4 3.5 3

Mean TR Scores

2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0

OPT.
1999

INN. 2000

DIS. 2001

INS. 2002

TRI 2004
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Online Acitivities of High and Low TR Customers (NTRS 2004)


Read newspaper Checked bank acct info Booked travel Bought items > US$100 Did business with govt. Applied for credit card Bought stocks 0 20 40 60 80

High TR Low TR

100

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TRI Scores by Demographics (NTRS 2004)


Less than $40K $40K to $75K $75K or More High School or Less Some College College Grad or More 60-88 years 48-59 years 34-47 years 18-33 years Female Male 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.68 2.85 3.01 3.13 2.83 3.03 2.9 3 3.1 3.2
68

2.83 2.88 3.14 2.77 2.96 3.03

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Predicted Change in TR of Age Cohorts over Time


Age Cohort X Age Cohort 1 Age Cohort 2 Age Cohort X Age Cohort 1 Age Cohort 2

Age Cohort X
Age Cohort 1 Age Cohort 2

Age Cohort X Age Cohort 1 Age Cohort 2

Age Cohort X
Age Cohort 1 Age Cohort 2

Age Cohort X Age Cohort 1 Age Cohort 2

TR
Age Cohort N

Age Range Covered in TR Surveys

Age Cohort N Age Cohort Y

Age Cohort Y

Age Cohort N Age Cohort Y

Age Cohort N Age Cohort Y

Age Cohort N Age Cohort Y

Age Cohort N
Age Cohort Y

Year 1-5

Year 6-10

Year 11-15

Year 16-20 Year 21-25

Year 26-30

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Time

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Five TR-Based Customer Segments


Optimism Innovative Discomfort Insecurity -ness

Explorers
Pioneers Skeptics Paranoids Laggards

High
High Low High Low

High
High Low Low Low

Low
High Low High High

Low
High Low High High

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Typology of Technology Customers: Percent of Population in Each Segment


30 25 20 15

10 5 0

Sk ep tic s

lor ers

ee rs

ids

Pa ran o

1999

Ex p

2000

2001

La gg
2002

Pio n

ard

2004
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A. Parasuraman, University of Miami; not to be reproduced or disseminated without the authors permission

TR Segments and Technology Adoption


High
Explorers Pioneers

Technology Readiness

Skeptics Paranoids Laggards

Low
Early

Late

Time of Adoption of New Technologies


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New Customer Composition by Age of TechnoBased Product/Service


First-time Users

Laggards Paranoids Skeptics Pioneers Explorers


ly te La

Ea r

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High-Tech versus High-Touch Customer Service


High
Explorers

Appeal of High-Tech Service Channels

Pioneers Skeptics Paranoids Laggards

Low Low Appeal of High-Touch Service Channels


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High

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In Conclusion, to Deliver Superior Service in Library Environments:


Understand customers service expectations and how well those expectations are being met Work systematically to remove organizational barriers that lead to poor customer service -- offline and online Recognize and capitalize on the increasing role of technology in serving customers, but Be cognizant of customers and employees readiness to embrace technology-based services Recognize that e-service quality as perceived by customers involves much more than having a state-of-the-art website Put in place a solid behind-the-scenes infrastructure -- information systems, logistics, and human resources -- to deliver what a websites faade promises. Continuously monitor customers and employees reactions to and experiences with your electronic interfaces
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Sources of Information about Customer Service and Technology Readiness

www.technoreadymarketing.com
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Thank You!

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