When determining whether service delivery is meeting service expectations, it is useful to seek the views of service users. Quite often, an organisation will use a SERVQUAL questionnaire to gain the views of service users.
SERVQUAL (Service Quality) is a self-administered questionnaire designed to measure how customers view/judge service quality. Parasuraman et al (1994) defined service quality as the degree of discrepancy between customers’ normative expectations for the service and their perceptions of the service performance.
Parasuraman made the assumption that customers judge service quality by making a comparison between their expectation of the service that they should receive and their perceptions of the service that they actually receive.
Differences between expectations and actual performance are referred to as ‘gaps’. The SERVQUAL instrument can be used to measure any or all of the following five gaps.
Gap 1: Consumer expectation – management perception gap
Understanding the difference between consumer expectations and management perceptions of customer expectations.
Gap 2: Service quality specification gap
The different service standard between management perceptions of consumer expectations and service quality specifications.
Gap 3: Service delivery gap
The difference of service performance between service quality specifications and the service actually delivered.
Gap 4: External communication gap
The difference of communications between service delivery and what is communicated about the service to customers.
Gap 5: Expected service – perceived service gap
The difference between expected service and perceived service from customers’ point of view. Based upon these gaps, five behavioural dimensions of service quality have been identified and are now used in most studies using the SERVQUAL approach.
The 5 Service Quality Dimensions.
- Tangibles – Physical facilities equipment and appearance of personnel
- Reliability – Ability to perform the service with the promised dependability
- Responsiveness – Providing a prompt service
- Assurance – Knowledge and coutesy of employees
- Empathy – caring and individualised attention to customers
Users of the SERVQUAL questionnaire rate questions on a Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree). The SERVQUAL instrument comprises 22 statements used to assess service quality across the five dimensions outlined in Table 2 with each statement used twice – once to measure expectations and once to measure perceptions.
I have attached an example of a generic SERVQUAL questionnaire as a PDF feel free to use. Also I have set up an free on-line version that you can use for your own assessments – you can find it here:SERVQUAL Questionnaire