Browsing by Subject "service quality"

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  • Hellén, Katarina (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010)
    Economics and Society
    A Continuation of the Happiness Success Story: Does Happiness Impact Service Quality? The effects of long-term happiness on various outcomes for the individual and society have been studied extensively in psychology but the concept has so far received limited research attention in marketing. Happiness is defined as a summary judgment of one’s life. Previous research has shown that happiness is a relatively stable perception of happiness in one’s life. Thus, happiness in this thesis is long-term and more global as a phenomenon than in the marketing literature, where happiness is commonly conceptualized as an emotion, feeling or momentary state of happiness. Although there is plenty of research on consumer affect and its impact on service responses, there are no studies on the effect of long-term happiness on service evaluation. As empirical evidence suggests that happy people perceive smaller and bigger events in life more positively than less happy people and that happy people are more prone to experience positive feelings and less of negative feelings it was hypothesized that happiness affects service quality directly but also indirectly through mood. Therefore, in this thesis, it was set out to explore if happiness affects customer-perceived service quality. A survey method was adopted to study the relationship between happiness, mood and service quality. Two studies were conducted with a total of 17 investigated services. Out of the 17 different investigated cases, happiness was found to positively affect service quality in only four cases. The results from the two studies also provide weak support for a positive relationship between mood and service quality. Out of the 17 cases, mood was found to positively affect service quality in only three cases and the results provide additional evidence for the stream of literature arguing that affect plays no or only a minimal role in service quality. Based on the collective results in this study, it can be concluded that the evidence for a positive relationship between happiness, mood and service quality is weak. However, in this thesis, it was recognized that the happiness concept is relevant for marketers and serve potential to explain marketing related phenomena. Marketing researchers who are interested in studying happiness are advised to focus research attention on consumer well-being.
  • Storbjörk, Jennica (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The objective of this thesis was to explore how customers relate to the increase of technology-based selfservices. The subject was first approached by figuring out how to determine self-service and service quality. After that it was examined how customers build their expectations towards services and what their roles in them are. Next objective was to investigate how customers form their attitudes towards self-services and what affects their intentions to use them. The empirical study was made as a web-based survey distributed with the help of the Facebook network. The original focus group was asked to answer the questionnaire and forward the questionnaire to their Facebook contacts. A total of 348 answers from Finns over the age of 18 years were this way obtained. The answers were then studied with the help of analysis of variances, principal component analysis and regression analysis. The findings of this research were that customers have positive attitudes towards self-services and the increase of them in services. A positive attitude doesn’t necessarily mean that customers feel that service quality has increased. Most of the customers feel that self-services can be added as a part of the service. But that selfservice can and should not replace traditional service channels or encounters entirely. According to this research customer attitudes towards self-service are affected by demographic factors, selfservice attributes, customer individual attributes and situational influences. Of customers individual attributes, the resistance towards self-services, beliefs of their own capability to use self-services and the need for interaction in service encounters affects customers intention to use self-service technologies the most. Customers intention to use technology-based self –services can be modified by situational factors. Especially price and time are factors that can change a customer’s intention to use self-services considerably. When introducing self-services it is essential to remember the most important factor, which is customer experience. This is why companies should develop self-service technologies so that they are suitable and attainable for all demographic groups. They should also focus on marketing the advantages of using selfservices to inspire customers to start using them in the future.
  • Riel van, Allard; Liljander, Veronica; Lemmink, Jos; Streukens, Sandra (Inderscience, 2004)
    The paper explores the effect of customer satisfaction with online supporting services on loyalty to providers of an offline core service. Supporting services are provided to customers before, during, or after the purchase of a tangible or intangible core product, and have the purpose of enhancing or facilitating the use of this product. The internet has the potential to dominate all other marketing channels when it comes to the interactive and personalised communication that is considered quintessential for supporting services. Our study shows that the quality of online supporting services powerfully affects satisfaction with the provider and customer loyalty through its effect on online value and enjoyment. Managerial implications are provided.
  • Ilmoniemi, Timo (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on tutkia asiakkaiden havaintoja palvelun laatuun ja yrityksen imagoon liittyen. Laatuun ja imagoon liittyvät näkökohdat liittyvät tutkimuksessa Metso konsernin OneMetso konseptiin. Tutkimuksen kohteena olevat asiakasyritykset edustavat sellu- ja paperiteollisuutta sekä voimantuotantoa. Käsitteistöltään tutkimus perustuu laatua ja yrityksen imagoa käsittelevään kirjallisuuteen. Kirjallisuuskatsaus esittelee laatuun ja erityisesti palveluiden laatuun liittyviä erityispiirteitä. Olemassa oleva palveluiden laatua koskeva kirjallisuus perustuu pitkälti yritysten ja yksityishenkilöiden väliseen suhteeseen ja teoreettiselta pohjaltaan SERVQUAL tai Nordic model malleihin. Edellä mainittujen mallien ulottuvuuksia on hyödynnetty myös tässä tutkimuksessa, mutta painotus on yritysten välisessä (B2B) asiayhteydessä. Tämän alan tutkimuksia on tehty viime vuosikymmenenä. Tutkimuksen tulokset perustuvat kyselytutkimukseen joka on tehty Metson sellu- ja paperi sekä voimantuotannon asiakkaille. Kyselyn on tehnyt puhelinhaastatteluihin erikoistunut yritys. Kyselytutkimuksen vastaukset on tässä tutkimuksessa tilastollisesti analysoitu käyttäen ei-parametrista testausmenetelmää. Perustuen vastausten jakaumaan käytetty testausmenetelmä kaikille kysymyksille oli riippumattomien näytteiden Mann-Whitneyn U testi. Tilastollisen testauksen tuloksien perusteella nollahypoteesi hylätään kahdessa asiakkaille esitetyssä kysymyksessä kaikkiaan neljästätoista. Automation ja Power segmenttien asiakkaiden havainnot ovat yhteneviä useimmissa laatuun liittyvistä kysymyksistä. Saadut tulokset tukevat Metson One Metso konseptia. Jatkotutkimuksen aiheena toimisi keskittyminen yrityksen nykyisiin muuttuneisiin segmentteihin syventäen samallamkyselyn laatunäkökohtia.
  • Medberg, Gustav (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2016)
    Economics and Society – 295
    In recent years, value has become a central topic of marketing research and business practice and is now considered to be a foundation of all effective marketing activity. Value, however, is also one of the most debated and challenging concepts in contemporary marketing theory. The elusive nature of value has contributed to the difficulty for marketing researchers to define the concept. Several streams of value research exist within marketing literature, contributing to the fluid conceptualizations of value. The definition of value adopted by the recent service perspective on marketing theory is value as value-in-use. A fundamental principle of value-in-use is that value is always created and determined during use of products and services. But what is value-in-use, really? This thesis set out to explore what it means for customers in service contexts. Surprisingly little attention has been given in prior service marketing research to the question of how customers understand and interpret value-in-use. Such knowledge is essential for future research about value-in-use as well as for generating customer-centric marketing insights based on a service perspective on marketing theory. The aim of this study was to address this gap and further our understanding of value-in-use from the service customer’s point of view. To achieve the purpose of the thesis, the Value Chart Technique (VCT) was created. The VCT is a research method that captures customers’ perceptions of positive and negative value-in-use throughout service episodes. The method utilizes a graphical tool called the Value chart to track how value-in-use evolves. The VCT’s unique set of features makes it particularly suited for studying value-in-use as a dynamic phenomenon. For the empirical study, 26 informants were recruited, and they shared a total of 53 positive and negative bank service stories, which were analyzed using the VCT. The findings of the study show not only how value-in-use evolves positively and negatively over time, but also that customers understand and interpret value-in-use in service episodes as features of the service process, the outcome of the service, and economic features of the service, i.e., functional, technical, and economic service quality. Hence, this thesis contributes to service marketing theory by demonstrating that service quality and value-in-use in service episodes represent the same empirical phenomenon, despite their different theoretical traditions. As the findings indicate that service quality is the way in which customers understand and interpret value-in-use in service contexts, service managers are recommended to focus on continuous quality management as a way to facilitate the creation of value-in-use.
  • Kauppinen-Räisänen, Hannele; Grönroos, Christian; Gummerus, Johanna (2009)
    Scholarly research has produced conceptual knowledge that is based on real-life marketing phenomena. An initial aim of past research has been to produce marketing knowledge as a base for efficient business operation and for the improvement of productivity. Thus, an assumption has been that the knowledge would be applied by organisations. This study focuses on understanding the use of marketing knowledge within the field of service marketing. Hence, even if marketing knowledge about service-oriented principles and marketing of services is based on empirical research, there is a lack of knowledge on how this marketing knowledge is in fact applied by businesses. The study focuses on four essential concepts of services marketing knowledge, namely service quality, servicescape, internal marketing, and augmented service offering. The research involves four case companies. Data is based on in depth interviews and questionnaire-based surveys conducted with managers, employees, and customers of these companies. All organisations were currently developing in a service-oriented and customer-oriented direction. However, we found limitations, gaps, and barriers for the implementation of service-oriented and customer-oriented principles. Hence, we argue that the organisations involved in the study exploited conceptual knowledge symbolically and conceptually, but the instrumental use of knowledge was limited. Due to the shortcomings found, we also argue that the implementation of the various practices and processes that are related to becoming service-oriented and customer-oriented has not been fully successful. Further, we have come to the conclusion that the shortcomings detected were at least in some respect related to the fact that the understanding and utilisation of conceptual knowledge of service-oriented principles and marketing of services were somewhat limited.
  • Hämäläinen, Taija (2004)
    This study aimed at researching the quality of social and health care services from minority ethnic older persons' perspective. This was done by identifying the dimensions of the services where quality was experienced as poorest as well as studying the factors that influenced the experienced quality of the services. The client based quality was analysed as the congruence between the clients' expectations and perceptions. The information gathered from elderly people belonging to ethnic minorities was compared with data from social and health care service personnel. With the help of the analyses of experienced quality, the study aimed at identifying ways to develop and organise the social and health care services so that they would provide high quality services also for the elderly clients belonging to ethnic minorities. The data of this study consisted of two samples. The service user sample included constructed interviews with 119 Russians, 50 Vietnamese and 126 Sami respondents. The service provider sample consisted of 71 respondents, from whom data were gathered by postal survey with a questionnaire. Both of the samples were analysed by using quantitative, statistical methods. The area where quality was experienced as poorest, both among the service users and service providers, was access to services. The individual aspect that was most connected to the quality experiences of the service users, was the experience of racial harassment in the services. In the service user data, differences in the experienced quality of care were strongly connected to the ethnic group. This was the case partly because the respondents in different ethnic groups had different expectations and perceptions about the services, and partly because they emphasised different aspects of the services as being important to them. The results highlight the importance of equal treatment, cultural sensitivity and the principles and praxis of non-discrimination in the health and social services, in order to guarantee high quality care for all the service users. This forms a challenge to be taken into account in basic education and in the in-service training of social and health care professionals. Also the service design and culture should be developed towards care based on the individual. In order to provide high quality services for the aged, the unique situation of the individual should always be thoroughly examined and taken into account. This includes also acknowledging the ethnic background of the client.