A review of Perceived Service Quality : An empirical investigation of grocery stores’ customers in Växjö, Sweden

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Ekonomihögskolan, ELNU; Linnéuniversitetet/Ekonomihögskolan, ELNU; Linnéuniversitetet/Ekonomihögskolan, ELNU

Abstract: Service quality and customer satisfaction are important concepts to grocery industry.  It is therefore important for companies to know how to measure this construct of expectations and perceptions because consumers’ expectations of service quality are increasing and people are becoming more and more critical of the quality of service they experience. The service quality model SERVQUAL is discussed in this study and how it can be applied in the context of grocery stores. The data in use were gathered from consumers in a southern Swedish town, called Växjö and the goal was to measure their expectations and perceptions of the services provided to them. After going through a significant number of articles and literature, the SERVQUAL model was altered by adding more variables (products, location, and waiting time) to its five dimensions. The aim was to find out if consumers are satisfied with the services been provided to them by grocery stores. Purpose – The purpose of the paper was to identify the dimensions influencing consumers’ perceived service quality in the grocery retailing. Method/approach – Using a sample of 200 respondents, a self-completion questionnaire was given out to consumers in Växjö, to determine their expectations and perceptions of service quality in grocery stores. Findings – The results show that expectations exceeded perceptions, denoting gaps in service quality, which means that grocery stores do not provide the level of service demanded by customers. This entails that customer satisfaction is rather low and that there is still room for grocery stores to improve on their performance. Managerial implications – The findings show that the SERVQUAL model can be a very useful instrument in measuring service quality in grocery stores. The additional variables proposed show a strong correlation to customer satisfaction, with products and waiting time being of high importance to overall service quality. Managers can use this tool to understand how customers assess service quality in grocery stores and in turn enhance their service experience. Originality/value – We introduce three new variables in the SERVQUAL model which, we believe, complete the assessment of service quality in the context of grocery stores.

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