FINAL RESEARCH PROJECT On

FINAL RESEARCH PROJECT
On

“MEASUREMENT OF SERVICE QUALITY USING SERVQUAL SCALE: A CASE STUDY AT DADA MOTORS, LUDHIANA”
Submitted to Punjab College of Technical Education
In fulfillment of the final project submission requirements
Of the degree of
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (2007-09)

BY
Abhishek Pandit
[MBA – 2A]

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
PUNJAB COLLEGE OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION, BADDOWAL
Certificate

This is to certify that the report entitled, “Measurement of service quality using SERVQUAL scale: A case study at DADA MOTORS in Ludhiana” submitted in fulfillment for the degree of M.B.A., of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, is a bonafide research work carried out by Abhishek Pandit under my supervision and that no part of this report has been submitted for any other degree.
Mr. Sandhir Sharma
(Deputy Dean & Faculty)
(Major Advisor)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I express my sincere thanks and acknowledgements to my Professor Mr. Sandhir Sharma who has been my mentor in this research project. I am thankful to him for taking pains to provide me the necessary guidance and support. While preparing the report I have kept in mind all the major details he has provided me during the course of the project. He helped me overcome my confusions during the project because of which I was able to prepare a concrete and findings oriented report. I am also thankful to DADA MOTORS, Ludhiana, for providing me the opportunity to do this project. In the end I would like to thank all the staff members at DADA MOTORS and customers for cooperating and providing honest responses that ultimately helped in coming out with true findings in the project.

Abstract
Competitiveness and search for profits have called more attention towards customer’s satisfaction and increased researcher’s interest on the topic of service quality. In this context, this study applies SERVQUAL for assessing service quality in an automobile service centre, DADA MOTORS in Ludhiana. The main objective is to assess quality service dimensions that are delivered through the perspectives of managers and customers. A questionnaire was developed based on the service quality dimensions from which results was analyzed. The results of this study show the quality dimensions and characteristics that call managerial attention.
Responsiveness and assurance were found the most relevant to shop managers and customers, respectively. Quality improvement initiatives were proposed to enhance the service rendered by the car repair shops. The paper concludes that there are differences among the perspectives of shop owners and customers with regard to quality dimensions and suggests further work to continue this research.
INDEX

Contents of the report page no.

1. Introduction of the report

2. Review of literature & Objectives of the research study

3. Research methodology

4. Findings

5. Implications

6. Bibliography

7. Annexure
INTRODUCTION

Research project – Title

The research title is “Measurement of service quality using SERVQUAL scale: A case study at DADA MOTORS in Ludhiana”. The title aims at measuring the quality of services using a 22-item rating scale.

Since the 90’s many service companies have pursued to enhance their performance and effectiveness in search of achieving differentiation in the market. An example of that is the attempt to convince customers that their quality is superior to the competitors. In addition, the importance of service sector has sharply increased at both developed and developing countries.
India’s automotive industry is one of the key drivers of the country’s economy. With an estimated size of around USD 38 billion, it accounts for 5 percent of India’s GDP. The industry has been growing at a rate of 11.5 percent CAGR over the past 5 years (2002-03 to 2007-08), with both domestic and export markets growing during the period. The Government’s Automotive Mission Plan 2016 envisages the industry to grow to approximately USD 145 billion by 2016, thereby contributing 10 percent to the GDP. The automotive service market is estimated between Rs.40, 000 crores to Rs 50,000 crores, in terms of turnover. As a consequence Service quality is one of the major issues facing operations managers but it is an area characterized by debate concerning the need for assessing customer expectations and service quality assessment.
In this sense, the objective in this study is to identify which quality dimensions are most important to customers of an automobile service centre (DADA MOTORS). In addition, it also assesses the service that is delivered to them. In order to accomplish to these objectives, the study is conducted at DADA MOTORS, Ludhiana.

SERVICES
Services as commodities that cannot be stored or disappear in use, or as activities that require personal contact. The distinct characteristics of services are intangibility, perishability, heterogeneity of the product, and simultaneity of production and consumption.
Two economic units are required for a service to be produced – the consumer and the producer. While the consumer cannot retain the actual service after it is produced, the effect of the service can be retained. Managing a service operation requires the manager to understand the service concept, service delivery system, and service levels. As the consumer has a key role in the definition and evaluation of all three elements, it is imperative that service managers have a clear understanding of consumer expectations and perceptions. Services may be provided by private or public agencies. These characteristics enhance the importance of certain marketing strategies that are unique to services marketing, such as service customization, managing evidence, making the service tangible, and synchronizing supply and demand patterns.

SERVICE QUALITY
Quality is a strategic tool for attaining operational efficiency and improved business performance. Importance of quality to service firms and have demonstrated its positive relationship with profits, increased market share, returns on investment, customer satisfaction, and future purchase intentions. Service quality has been described as a form of attitude, related but not equivalent to satisfaction, which results from the comparison of expectations with performance (Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry 1988). Service quality involves a comparison of expectations with performance: it is a measure of how well the service level delivered matches customer expectations on a consistent basis. Service quality has been conceptualized as a function of consumer expectations towards the service situation and process, and of the output quality they perceived themselves to have received. The ultimate goal of service quality measurement is to assist managers in ensuring service quality and customer satisfaction (Webster, 1988). Measurement is a necessary step towards devising any action plan. However, because of its elusiveness and indistinctness, explication and measurement of quality also present problems for researchers, who often bypass definitions and use unidimensional self-report measures to capture the concept.
The emergence of service quality and its assessment has attracted the attention of numerous researchers in the past two decades or so. In this sense, there are two main lines of thoughts on measuring service quality an American and an European perspective. The focus on functional quality attributes is referred to as the American perspective of service quality while the European perspective suggests that service quality considers two more components.
The European perspective considers the quality of a service as perceived by customers consists of three dimensions: functional (the process of service delivery to customers), technical (the outcomes generated by the service to the customers), and image (how the customers view the company). Considering those dimensions, the quality of the service is dependent upon two variables: the expected service and the perceived service.
Functional quality of a service is often assessed by measures of customers’ attitudes, as in customer satisfaction questionnaires. The process of identifying customers’ attitudes begins with determining customers’ requirements or quality dimensions.
The author explains two ways of identifying important quality dimensions of services: quality dimension development approach and critical incident approach. The first one uses different sources of information, such as opinions of providers and literature. The other one is a process to obtain information from customers.
The 10 determinants of service quality established by Parasuraman et al. (1985) provide a list that can guide investigation on the first approach. The authors subsequently developed SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al., 1988), a two-part instrument for measuring service quality that was refined later (Parasuraman et al., 1991). SERVQUAL provided a means of measurement for researchers to determine how well service level is delivered and how it matches customer expectations on a consistent basis.
Parasuraman et al. (1988) developed a 22-item measurement instrument called SERVQUAL for assessing customers’ perceptions of service quality in service and retailing organizations. Respondents are first asked to provide the level of service expected from a service firm on the 22-item expectations scale. Perceived service quality is obtained by subtracting the expectation rating from the perception rating for each of the items. The perceived quality is assessed based on service quality dimensions that correspond to the criteria used by consumers when assessing service quality. There are 10 potentially overlapping dimensions: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, communication, credibility, assurance, competence, courtesy, understanding/knowing the customer, and access. Afterwards, these dimensions were reduced to five, namely: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy. The SERVQUAL instrument may be used individually or may be averaged across the 22 pairs of items to obtain an overall service quality score.
Using these 5 dimensions as the evaluation criteria the specification of service quality becomes the gap between customers’ expectations and their perceptions (Parasuraman et al). The five key gaps or discrepancies on the service provider’s side that are likely to affect consumers’ perceptions of service quality are:-
Gap 1: Consumer expectation-management perception gap, which is the gap between consumer expectations of service quality and management perceptions of these expectations
Gap 2: Management perception-service quality perception gap, that is, the gap between management perceptions of consumer expectations and the firm’s service quality specifications
Gap 3: Service quality specifications-service delivery gap, the gap between service quality
specifications and actual service quality.
Gap 4: Service delivery-external communications gap, or the gap between actual service delivery and external communications about the service
Gap 5: Expected service-perceived service gap, which is the gap between expected service and perceived service.

Applications of the SERVQUAL scale have been made to measure service quality in hospitals, hotels, travel and tourism, telecom companies, insurance companies and banks, business school placement centre, retail stores and acute care hospital physicians, dentists, attorney, financial and banking institutions, laundry/dry cleaning and automobile companies.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Review of literature is the most useful and simple method of formulating the research problem. The researches done by previous researchers are reviewed and their usefulness is evaluated to serve as basis for further research. Thus researcher reviews and builds upon the work of others. The reviews that are collected by the researcher should give an insight into the field under study. The reviews must explain the need and scope of the study under consideration.

Sasser et al. (1978) has defined services as commodities that cannot be stored or disappear in use, or as activities that require personal contact. The distinct characteristics of services are intangibility, perishability, heterogeneity of the product, and simultaneity of production and consumption Two economic units are required for a service to be produced – the consumer and the producer. While the consumer cannot retain the actual service after it is produced, the effect of the service can be retained. Managing a service operation requires the manager to understand the service concept, service delivery system, and service levels. As the consumer has a key role in the definition and evaluation of all three elements, it is imperative that service managers have a clear understanding of consumer expectations and perceptions. Services may be provided by private or public agencies. These characteristics enhance the importance of certain marketing strategies that are unique to services marketing, such as service customization, managing evidence, making the service tangible, and synchronizing supply and demand patterns.
Service quality is more difficult for the consumer to evaluate than goods quality. Perceptions of
service quality result from a comparison of consumer expectations with actual service performance. Quality evaluations are not made solely on the outcome of a service; they also involve an evaluation of the process of service delivery.

Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985) emphatically pointed out that the concept of quality
prevalent in the goods sector is not extendable to the services sector. Being inherently and essentially intangible, heterogeneous, perishable, and entailing simultaneity and inseparability of production and consumption, services require a distinct framework for quality explication and measurement.

As against the goods sector where tangible cues exist to enable consumers to evaluate product quality, quality in the service context is explicated in terms of parameters that largely come under the domain of ‘experience’ and ‘credence’ properties and are as such difficult to measure and evaluate (Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, 1985; Zeithaml and Bitner, 2001).
One major contribution of Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1988) was to provide a terse definition of service quality. They defined service quality as ‘a global judgment, or attitude, relating to the superiority of the service’, and explicated it as involving evaluations of the outcome (i.e., what the customer actually receives from service) and process of service act (i.e., the manner in which service is delivered). In line with the propositions put forward by Gronroos (1982) and Smith and Houston (1982), Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985, 1988) posited and operationalized service quality as a difference between consumer expectations of ‘what they want’ and their perceptions of ‘what they get.’ Based on this conceptualization and operationalization, they proposed a service quality measurement scale called ‘SERVQUAL.’
The SERVQUAL scale constitutes an important landmark in the service quality literature and has been extensively applied in different service settings.

Boulding et al. (1993) perceived the dimensions of service quality as a function of a customer’s prior expectations of what will and what should transpire during a service encounter, as well as the customer’s most recent contact with the service delivery system. These perceptions of quality
dimensions form the basis for a person’s intended behavior. Their findings suggest that the two different types of expectations have opposing effects on perceptions of service quality and that
service quality perceptions positively affect intended behaviors.

Zeithaml et al. (1993) explored the gap between expectations and perceptions to better understand expectations as they pertain to customer assessment of service quality and to extend the theoretical work that exists in the customer satisfaction literature. Based on their study, the gap between customer expectations and perceptions as proposed by Parasuraman et al. (1985) can be conceptualized to reflect two comparison standards: desired service which reflects what customers want, and adequate service which indicates the standard that customers are willing to accept.
The comparison between desired service and perceived service or the level of service customers believe is likely to occur, called perceived service quality (PSQ) is the perceived service superiority gap. The comparison between adequate service and perceived service, called PSQ Gap 5 is the perceived service quality adequacy gap. The smaller the gap between desired
service and perceived service, the higher the perceived superiority of the firm. The smaller the
gap between adequate service and perceived service, the higher the perceived adequacy of the service.

Lowndes and Dawes (2001) have found that Service quality is commonly thought to comprise of five generic dimensions – responsiveness, assurance, tangibles, empathy and reliability. These dimensions form the basis for service measurement tool SERVQUAL. This tool predominantly focused on customer perceptions and expectations of quality and helps the organizations to improve upon their service quality resulting in greater customer retention.

Jain and Gupta (2004) have done a comparative analysis of two major service quality measurement scales: SERVQUAL and SERVPERF. An ideal service quality scale is one that is not only psychometrically sound but is also diagnostically robust enough to provide insights to the managers for corrective actions in the event of quality shortfalls. This study assesses the diagnostic power of the two service quality scales. Using data collected through a survey of consumers of fast food restaurants in Delhi, the study finds the SERVPERF scale to be providing a more convergent and discriminant valid explanation of service quality construct. However, the scale is found deficient in its diagnostic power. It is the SERVQUAL scale which outperforms the SERVPERF scale by virtue of possessing higher diagnostic power to pinpoint areas for managerial interventions in the event of service quality shortfalls. SERVPERF scale should be used for assessing overall service quality of a firm because of its psychometric soundness and greater instrument parsimoniousness. One should employ the The SERVPERF scale should also be the preferred research instrument when one is interested in undertaking service quality comparisons across service industries.
Arasli et al (2005) has analyzed and compared service quality in the commercial banking sector of a small island economy – Cyprus. The author with others investigated the relationship between overall bank customer satisfaction in the Turkish- and Greek-speaking areas of Cyprus and positive word-of-mouth about their banks. There is disparity in the banking sector of a divided Cyprus, where banks in the South have undergone significant restructuring before EU accession and banks in the North are affected by the economic crisis and need to restructure if they want to join the EU.
After descriptive and factor analysis, multivariate regression was used to estimate the impact of service quality dimensions on overall customer satisfaction and word of mouth.
It was found that the responsiveness dimension failed to load and thus the SERVQUAL scale proved to be of a four-dimensional structure in this study. Research results revealed that the expectations of bank customers in both areas were not met and that the largest gap was found in the empathy dimension. The assurance dimension had the largest influence on customer satisfaction and overall satisfaction of bank customers in both areas of Cyprus had a positive effect on their word-of-mouth. The study helped the banks in both areas of Cyprus to redefine their corporate image to one that is customer-focused and driven by service quality.

Prajapati and Kachwala (2006) in their study have found out that the delivery of information i.e. knowledge transmission in the case of Management Education Institutes (MEI) is intangible in nature. Therefore, the inputs in terms of delivery of this knowledge – faculty, equipment and the entire environment and infrastructure are very important for quality.
A gap was found between the quality rendered by faculty and service provider, and quality required by students. It is essential to understand the exact quality required by the students to develop a course and curriculum that suit their requirements. Service quality needs to be quantified and thus it can be described in terms of objective and perceptual characteristics: Objective characteristics include things like, lecture time, wait time, etc., and can be easily quantified. Perceptual characteristics on the other hand, depend on the students’ perceptions, which include dimensions of service quality based on the SERVQUAL and other service quality instruments. The study encompassed Business Schools in Mumbai as perceived by students are evaluated.
The questionnaire is on the basis of a hypothesized model for service quality. Factor analysis of the responses helped to develop a working model for the perceived service quality factors in Management Education Institutes. This helped in identifying the improvements in Service Quality in Management Education Institutes.

Cauchick Miguel et al (2007) have highlighted the fact that competitiveness and search for profits have called for more attention towards customer’s satisfaction and increased organizations interest in service quality.
SERVQUAL technique is applied on a multinational company service chain including one hundred shops located throughout the country, to assess quality service dimensions that are delivered through the perspectives of managers and customers. It was found that the certain quality dimensions and characteristics call for managerial attention. Responsiveness and assurance were found to be the most relevant to shop managers and customers, respectively. Quality improvement initiatives were proposed to enhance the service rendered by the car repair shops. The paper concludes that there are differences among the perspectives of shop owners and customers with regard to quality dimensions.

Hii Geng Hing (2007) has examined Service Quality (SERVQUAL) variables from the perspective of hotel guests in Sibu. Since Sibu is an emerging market for tourism industry so the information obtained from hotel guests can be utilized to attract more guests. Stanley has used Gap 5 (Gap between expected service and perceived service) and factor analysis to analyze the data obtained in order to determine satisfaction and perception of the guests. Data obtained from 189 respondents revealed a negative Gap 5 perception and a rich expectation and perception factors. Recommendations for managers and future studies are presented.

Saravan and Rao (2007) have highlighted that in service firms the practitioners are interested to know the customer perceptions of service quality for identifying shortfalls and improving service delivery. This study has analyzed the discrimination among the three groups (customer oriented, employee oriented and technology oriented) of overall service quality from the customers’ perspective.
The results indicate that both the technological factors and the people-oriented factors appear to contribute more in discriminating the three groups of overall service quality. Further, the service quality indices in the Indian automobile service sector as a whole indicate a satisfactory performance.

Swaid and Wigand (2007) in their study have found that to satisfy and retain customers the organization has to offer a superior service quality. The study indicates that the key dimensions of ecommerce service quality are website usability, information quality, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and personalization.
Secondly customer satisfaction is influenced mostly with the perception of reliability, while customer loyalty is affected by the perception of assurance and customer retention is predicted by the customer satisfaction index.

Rajagopal (2008) has analyzed the impact of market orientation strategies and performance of customer services on customer acquisition, retention and sales of automobiles which reveals overall performance of automobile dealers in Mexico. The study comprehends understanding on customer-dealer relationship in the automobile market segment referring to key factors which establishes service quality encompassing tangibility, responsiveness, trust, accuracy and empathy. It was found that the customers perceive better quality of relationship in a given frame of functions that are performed effectively by the dealer lowering the extent of conflicts thereof. High conformance quality services of dealers and value added customer relationship to offer high customer satisfaction develop life time customer value and strengthen the customer-dealer relationship.

Chapter 3- Research Methodology

Research design
A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. It is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted. It constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. My research design is descriptive in nature as it involves studying the perceptions and expectations of customers in order to measure the service quality provided by the service provider. The study thus finds out the major areas of improvement so that company services to the customers can be improved.

Scope of the study
The study is limited to the city of Ludhiana.

Method of Data Collection
The primary data was collected with the help of a structured, non disguised questionnaire.
Secondary data was collected from journals, magazines, newspapers, books & internet with a view to supplement the primary data. The study of secondary sources made the structuring of questionnaire easy. The collected data was analyzed by using SERVQUAL scale.

Sampling Plan
1. Universe of the study: This involves all the people using the product or the service. For this project all the people who are availing automobile services from authorized TATA MOTORS/FIAT service stations in the world, forms the universe.
2. Population of the study: This involves all those people using the product/service residing in a particular area. So here the population will be all those people who are availing the service from authorized TATA MOTORS/FIAT service stations in Ludhiana.
3. Sampling frame: The sampling frame is the list of respondents from where the researcher draws the sample. In this research study, sampling frame is the database provided by the DADA MOTORS.
4. Sampling technique: The sampling technique applied is judgmental sampling technique.

Sample Sizes
The sample size undertaken in this research study is 50.

Sampling Unit
Every single individual undertaken in the research study is called the sampling unit. In this research study sampling unit is every single individual who gets his vehicle serviced at DADA MOTORS.
PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT
The purpose of this project is to utilize the SERVQUAL scale to assess customers’ perceptions of the service quality offered by DADA MOTORS .The various dimensions of service quality of the automobile services, the overall level of service of DADA MOTORS and the relative importance of each of the dimensions in influencing consumers’ perception of service quality
will be examined. Service quality is more difficult for the consumer to evaluate than goods quality. Perceptions of service quality result from a comparison of consumer expectations with actual service performance. Quality evaluations are not made solely on the outcome of a service; they also involve an evaluation of the process of service delivery. In judging quality of service provided, consumers perceive the actual service performance in the context of what they expected. Thus the perceived service quality is the result of the consumer’s comparison of expected service with perceived service.
It is to be noted that the dimensions of service quality as a function of a customer’s prior expectations of what will and what should transpire during a service encounter, as well as the customer’s most recent contact with the service delivery system. These perceptions of quality
Dimensions form the basis for a person’s intended behavior. Their findings suggest that the two
different types of expectations have opposing effects on perceptions of service quality and that
service quality perceptions positively affect intended behaviors.
The gap between expectations and perceptions should be studied to better understand expectations as they pertain to customer assessment of service quality and to extend the theoretical work that exists in the customer satisfaction literature. the gap between
customer expectations and perceptions as proposed by Parasuraman et al. (1985) can be conceptualized to reflect two comparison standards: desired service which reflects what customers want, and adequate service which indicates the standard that customers
are willing to accept. The comparison between desired service and perceived service or the level
of service customers believe is likely to occur, called perceived service quality (PSQ) is the
perceived service superiority gap. The comparison between adequate service and perceived service, called PSQ , is the perceived service quality adequacy gap. The smaller the gap between desired service and perceived service, the higher the perceived superiority of the firm. The smaller the gap between adequate service and perceived service, the higher the perceived adequacy of the service.

METHODOLOGY

This study used the SERVQUAL scale designed by Parasuraman et al. (1988) to measure the perceived service quality of DADA MOTORS automobile service users. This approach has practical appeal, operational simplicity and potential for immediate and long-term strategic impact. This study follows closely the steps taken to measure the unweighted average SERVQUAL scores and the weighted average SERVQUAL .In computing the unweighted average SERVQUAL scores and the weighted average SERVQUAL scores, the 22 items of SERVQUAL (as listed in the Appendix) in both the expectations and perception statements have been grouped according to the five basic dimensions of tangibles (items 1 to 4), reliability (items 5 to 9), responsiveness (items 10 to 13), assurance (items 14 to 17) and empathy (items 18 to 22).
To measure the unweighted average SERVQUAL scores and the weighted average SERVQUAL scores, several steps were taken. The first step was the calculation of the SERVQUAL score for each of the 22 pairs of expectation/perception items. The SERVQUAL score was defined and computed as follows:

SERVQUAL score = Perception – Expectation score

The next step was to compute the SERVQUAL score for each dimension by adding the SERVQUAL score for each item pair obtained in the first step, across all the items which pertain to that dimension and dividing by the number of items. In step 3, for each dimension, the SERVQUAL scores were then added for all the respondents and divided by the total number
of the respondents. In step 4, the overall SERVQUAL score was then obtained, the five SERVQUAL scores obtained for each of the five dimensions were added up and divided by 5. This gave the overall SERVQUAL score which was an unweighted average of the five
scores computed in step 3. The points allocated to the five dimensions (tangibles, reliability,
responsiveness, assurance and empathy) were used to compute a weighted SERVQUAL score. The SERVQUAL scores obtained in step 2 were multiplied by the corresponding weights of the dimension. The weight was the number of points allocated to each dimension divided by 100.

In step 6, respondents’ weighted scores were added across the five dimensions and then divided by the total number of respondents to give the overall weighted SERVQUAL score.

The questionnaire utilized to gather the data comprised three main sections. Section 1 consists of
22 items to measure customers’ expectations of automobile services in general while Section 2 consists of a corresponding 22-item scale to measure the customers’ perceptions of the services actually offered by DADA MOTORS. The scores for each item ranged from “1” for strongly disagree” to “7” for “strongly agree” on a seven-point Likert scale. According to recommended procedures for scale development (Churchill 1979), approximately half of the 22 items
were worded negatively. In Section 3, respondents were required to indicate the importance of each of the five dimensions of service quality, that is tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy, by allocating a total of 100 points to these dimensions as well as to rank their importance.

Dimensions of Service Quality

The perception minus expectation gap scores for the 22-item SERVQUAL was factor analyzed to identify the dimensions or factors of DADA MOTORS users’ perceptions of its service quality.
SERV1 to SERV22 are the perception minus expectation scores of item 1 to item 22 of the SERVQUAL instrument.
Factor 1, which is the tangibles dimension, had four items (SERV1 to SERV4). SERV1 to SERV4 concern statements on physical facilities, up-to-date equipment and well-dressed employees.
Factor 2, the reliability dimension, has all the items identified in the study by Parasuraman
et al. (1988)
Factor 3, the responsiveness dimension, had four items (SERV10 to SERV13) as extracted in the study by Parasuraman et al.
Factor 4, the assurance dimension had four items (SERV14 to SERV17) as studied by Parasuraman et al. (1988),

The last factor, Factor 5, has 5 dimensions (SERV18 to SERV22) as extracted in Parasuraman et al.’s (1988) study.

Service Quality Scores
In following the study by Parasuraman (1991), the 22 items of SERVQUAL in both the expectation and perception scores have been grouped according to the
five basic dimensions as follows:
Dimensions Statements

Dimensions Statements

Tangibles Items 1 to 4
Reliability Items 5 to 9
Responsiveness Items 10 to 13
Assurance Items 14 to 17
Empathy Items 18 to 22

The SERVQUAL scores have been calculated with and without the weighting factors for the five dimensions grouped according to the statements above.
OTHER ANALYSIS TOOLS USED:-
The analysis of the data forms crucial part of the research.
1. Likert scale: – this is a type of graphic rating scale where some points are usually put along the line to form a continuum and the ratings are indicated by marking a circle or a tick at the appropriate point on a line which runs from one extreme to the other. Scale points with brief descriptions are indicated along the line so as to assist the researcher in doing the research. Likert scale/ summated scale consists of statements that express either a favorable or an unfavorable attitude towards the given object to which the respondent is asked to react. The respondent indicates his agreement or disagreement with each statement in the instrument. Each response is given a numerical score indicating favorableness or unfavorableness, and the scores are totaled to measure the respondent’s attitude. So the scale is able to tell the respondent’s position in terms of favorableness & unfavorableness towards an issue.
The likert scale used in the study consists of 7 degrees. At one end of the scale there is strongly disagree rating and at the other is strongly agree and in between lie intermediate points. This is illustrated as under:-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
__________________________________________________________
Strongly disagree strongly agree
Each point on the scale carries a score. Response indicating the least satisfying degree is given the least score and the most satisfying is given the highest score. The statement is then calculated on the basis of the responses received to reach the objective.

2. Mean scores: – mean score can be represented by the following formula
Mean Score = ? Sn * FN / N.
Where, Sn =score awarded to a particular point of the scale (1 to 5)
FN= frequency of that point, i.e. number of respondents in favor of that point
N= number of respondents, i.e. (20 or 15) .The satisfaction is measured amongst the various parameters of the total experience. The parameter scoring the mean is the most satisfying to the customer, and the parameter with the lowest mean score is the least satisfying.

FINDINGS
Table 1. shows the results of the unweighted SERVQUAL scores. The unweighted average of the SERVQUAL scores is a positive integer implying that the respondents’ expectations of automobile services have been fully met by DADA MOTORS. Examining each of the
five dimensions, the SERVQUAL scores are all positive suggesting that there is no gap between
the respondents’ expectations of what the automobile services should be and their perceptions of the service quality actually offered by DADA MOTORS. The service quality of the reliability
dimension was the highest with an average unweighted score of 0.548 while the lowest was for empathy with score of 0.36.
SERVQUAL DIMENSION Average tangible score 0.455 Average reliability score 0.548 Average responsiveness score 0.54 Average assurance score 0.8 Average empathy score 0.36 TOTAL 2.703 Average unweighted SERVQUAL score 0.5406
The results point towards the need for DADA MOTORS to formulate management policies such as training of staff to give individual customer attention and to understand the specific needs of the customers.

When respondents were asked to allocate 100 points across the five SERVQUAL dimensions reliability emerged as the most important SERVQUAL dimension followed by reliability, responsiveness, tangibility assurance and empathy, as shown in the following table
Dimension No. of points allocated out of 100 points Tangibility 20 Reliability 30 Responsiveness 21 Assurance 15 Empathy 14
This suggests that DADA MOTORS automobile service users place more emphasis on the reliability, responsiveness and physical facilities, appearance of DADA MOTORS rather than assurance and empathy. This is probably because most DADA MOTORS automobile service users want prompt service (due to shortage of time) as a measure of reliability. The weighted service quality scores are shown in table 3 below

TABLE 2: weighted SERVQUAL scores
SERVQUAL dimension Score from table 1
(A) Importance weight( score from table 2)
(B) Weighted scores
A*B Average tangible score 0.455 19.8 9.009 Average reliability score 0.548 31.64 17.338 Average responsiveness score 0.54 21.72 11.728 Average assurance score 0.8 14.92 11.936 Average empathy score 0.36 14.22 5.119 TOTAL 55.13 Average weighted SERVQUAL score 11.026
The weighted average value which took into account the weights attached to the five dimensions indicates that in there is no shortfall in services provided.

The levels of expectation and perception among the respondents with respect to the five dimensions were also examined and are shown in the following table:-

SERVQUAL dimensions Perception score Expectation score Tangibility 22.14 20.32 Reliability 26.7 23.96 Responsiveness 20.26 18.1 Assurance 22.64 19.44 Empathy 25.42 23.62
The level of expectation was highest for reliability and lowest for responsiveness, while for perception of service quality of DADA MOTORS, the highest score was again for reliability and the lowest for responsiveness.

The dimension scores are as follows:-
SERVQUAL dimensions Average dimension score Tangibility 22.75 Reliability 27.4 Responsiveness 27 Assurance 40 Empathy 18
The scores show that respondents give assurance the utmost importance while going for automobile service followed by reliability, responsiveness, tangibility and empathy.
IMPLICATIONS

The findings of this study have important practical implications to management of quality of the
DADA MOTORS automobile services. This study demonstrates the usefulness of the SERVQUAL approach as a measure of service quality. The results of the study indicate that the SERVQUAL scale could make a valuable contribution by enhancing the understanding of the perceived service quality of automobile services. The measurement scale also serves to identify symptoms and the underlying problems that inhibit the effective provision of quality services in automobile sector.

Once the attributes of automobile services from the customers’ perspective are more clearly known and understood, its service providers will be in a better position to anticipate consumer requirements rather than to react to consumer dissatisfaction. The attributes of reliability, responsiveness and assurance have been identified by respondents to be the most important dimensions of service quality. These dimensions have been assigned the highest weights by the respondents thus bringing out the fact that DADA MOTORS should focus more on these aspects.
Empathy and tangibility are found to have the lowest weighted SERVQUAL scores. This brings out that DADA MOTORS management should improve upon the tangibility aspects like improving physical facilities. It should provide individual customer attention and understand the specific needs of the individuals.

In view of the intense competition in the automobile sector with the coming of new competitor like GARRISON MOTORS it is imperative that the management of DADA MOTORS carry
out more research to discover any shortfalls in service quality and to take necessary corrective
measures in case of a shortfall. This could ensure that the service quality of DADA MOTORS provides the best to its consumers in order to compete effectively. As the consumer plays a key role in the definition and evaluation of the quality of automobile services offered, managers of DADA MOTORS should incorporate consumer expectations and perceptions in the formulation of effective long-term marketing strategies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arasli, Huseyin; Katircioglu , Salih Turan; Smadi ,Salime Mehtap ,A Comparison of Service Quality in the Banking Industry :Some Evidence from Turkish- and Greek-speaking Areas in Cyprus. International .Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 3, No. 7, pp. 508-526, 2005.

Cauchick Miguel, Paulo A; Terra da Silva, Márcia ; Chiosini, Elias L. and Schützer Klaus, Assessment of service quality dimensions: a study in a vehicle repair service chain

Hii Geng Hing, Stanley , Hotel Guest Satisfaction: A Gap 5 Study in Sibu. The Icfai Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 18-38, September 2007.

Jain ,Sanjay K and Gupta, Garima, Measuring Service Quality: SERVQUAL vs. SERVPERF Scales, Vikalpa ,Volume 29 , No 2 , April – june 2004

Lowndes, Michelle; Dawes John , Distinct SERVQUAL dimensions: A measure of service quality. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, Vol. 16, 2, 2001 pp. 41-53

Prajapati, B.A.; Kachwala Tohid, Service Quality Measurement in Management Education Institutes .The Icfai Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 35-52, November 2006

Rajagopal , Effects of customer service efficiency and market effectiveness on dealer performance http://www.geocities.com/prof_rajagopal/homepage.html

Saravan, R and Rao, K.S.P, Service Quality From the Customer’s Perspective:
An Empirical Investigation, Quality Management Journal ,VOL. 14, NO. 3, 2007.
Swaid, I.Samar; Wigand, Rolf T., Key dimensions of E-commerce service quality and its relationships to satisfaction and loyalty .20th Bled e-Conference e-Mergence: Merging and Emerging Technologies, Processes, and Institutions June 4 – 6, 2007; Bled, Slovenia.

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do?contentType=Article&hdAction=lnkpdf&contentId=1556618

ANNEXURE

QUALITY OF SERVICE – Questionnaire
Based on your experiences as a customer in an automobile service centre, please think about the kind of automobile service centre that would deliver excellent quality of service. Think about the kind of automobile service centre in which you would like to receive treatment. Please show the extent to which you think such an automobile service centre would possess the feature described by each statement. If you feel a feature is not at all essential for excellent automobile service centre such as the one you have in mind, circle the number 1. If you feel a feature is absolutely essential for excellent automobile service centre, circle 7. If your feelings are less strong, circle one of the numbers in the middle. There are no right or wrong answers – you are just required to circle the number that truly reflects your feelings regarding automobile service centre that would deliver excellent quality of service.
Strongly Strongly
Disagree Agree

1. Excellent automobile service centre will have
modern looking equipment. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2. The physical facilities at excellent automobile
service centre will be visually appealing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3. Personnel at excellent automobile service centre
will be neat in appearance 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

4. Materials associated with the service
(such as pamphlets or statements)
will be visually appealing in an
excellent automobile service centre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

5. Excellent automobile service centre
delivers the vehicle on time as promised
at the time of reception of vehicle. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

6. When a customer has a problem,
excellent automobile service centre will show
a sincere interest in solving it. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

7. Excellent automobile service centre will get
things right the first time. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8. Excellent automobile service centre will
provide their services at the time
they promise to do so. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

9. Excellent automobile service centre will
insist on error-free records. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Strongly Strongly
Disagree Agree

10. Personnel in excellent automobile service centre
will tell customers exactly when
services will be performed.
(Delivery time how well explained
& received by customer) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

11. Personnel in excellent automobile service centre
will give prompt service to customers.
(Delivery on time/before time) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

12. Personnel in excellent automobile service centre
will always be willing to help customers.
(Explaining the facilities available) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

13. Personnel in excellent automobile service centre
will never be too busy to respond
to customers’ requests. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

14. The behaviour of personnel in excellent
automobile service centre will instil confidence
in customers.
(Seeking commitment for next service) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

15. Customers of excellent automobile service centre
will feel safe in their dealings with the
automobile service centre.
(Explaining the Quality as differentiation) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

16. Personnel in excellent automobile service centre
will be consistently courteous with
customers. (Meet and greet)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

17. Personnel in excellent automobile service centre
will have the knowledge to answer
customers’ questions.
(How well explained what all jobs were
done, clarity in communication) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

18. Excellent automobile service centre will give
customers individual attention. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

19. Excellent automobile service centre will have
operating hours convenient to all
their customers. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

20. Excellent automobile service centre will have staff
who give customers personal attention.
(Interaction with customer on any
approval or information) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

21. Excellent automobile service centre will have
the customers’ best interests at heart. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

22. The personnel of excellent automobile service centre
will understand the specific
needs of their customers.
(Exploring option for cross selling) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Listed below are five features pertaining to automobile service centre and the service they offer. We would like to know how important each of these features is to you when you evaluate the service offered by an automobile service centre. Please allocate a total of 100 points among the five features according to how important each feature is to you – the more important a feature is to you, the more points you should allocate to it. Please ensure that the points you allocate to the five features add up to 100.
1. The appearance of the automobile service centre’s physical facilities,
equipment, personnel and communication materials. _____ points
2. The automobile service centre’s ability to perform the promised service
dependably and accurately. _____ points
3. The automobile service centre’s willingness to help customers and provide
a prompt service. _____ points
4. The knowledge and courtesy of the automobile service centre personnel
and their ability to convey trust and confidence. _____ points

5. The caring, individualised attention the automobile service centre
provides its customers. _____ points
TOTAL points allocated 100 points
____________________________________________________________________________
Which one feature of the above five is most important to you ? _____
(Please enter the feature’s number)
Which feature is second most important to you ? _____

Which feature is least important to you ? _____

The following set of statements relate to your feelings about the DADA MOTORS automobile service centre you have attended. For each statement, please show the extent to which you believe the DADA MOTORS automobile service centre has the feature described by the statement. Once again, circling a 1. means that you strongly disagree that the automobile service centre you have attended has this feature and circling a 7. means that you strongly agree. You may circle any of the numbers in the middle that show how strong your feelings are. There are no right or wrong answers – you are just required to circle the number that best shows your perceptions about the DADA MOTORS automobile service centre.
Strongly Strongly
Disagree Agree

1. DADA MOTORS has modern-
looking equipment. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2. The physical facilities in DADA MOTORS
are visually appealing. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3. Personnel in the DADA MOTORS are
neat in appearance. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

4. Materials associated with the service
(such as pamphlets or statements)
are visually appealing. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

5. When DADA MOTORS promises
to do something by a certain time
it does so. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

6. When you have a problem,
DADA MOTORS shows a sincere
interest in solving it. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

7. DADA MOTORS gets things
right the first time. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8. DADA MOTORS provides its
services at the time it promises
to do so. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

9. DADA MOTORS insists on
error-free records. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Strongly Strongly
Disagree Agree

10. The personnel in DADA MOTORS
tell you exactly when services
will be performed.
(Delivery time how well explained
& received by customer) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

11. Personnel in DADA MOTORS give
you prompt service.
(Delivery on time /before time) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

12. Personnel in DADA MOTORS are
always willing to help you.
(Explaining the facilities available) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

13. Personnel in DADA MOTORS are
never too busy to respond to your
requests. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

14. The behaviour of personnel in
DADA MOTORS instils confidence in you.
(Seeking commitment for next service) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

15. You feel safe in your dealings with
DADA MOTORS.
(explaining the quality as differentiation.) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

16. Personnel in DADA MOTORS are
consistently courteous with you.
(Meet and greet) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

17. Personnel in DADA MOTORS have
the knowledge to answer your
questions.
(How well explained what all jobs were done
,clarity in communication) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

18. DADA MOTORS gives you
individual attention. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

19. DADA MOTORS has operating
hours convenient to all its customers. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

20. DADA MOTORS has personnel
who give you personal attention.
(Interaction with customer on any
approval or information) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

21. DADA MOTORS has your best
interests at heart. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

22. The personnel of DADA MOTORS
understand your specific needs
(Exploring option for cross selling)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Thank you for the time you have spent in completing this questionnaire. The results will help us to provide you with the best possible service in the future.

Appendix: SERVQUAL procedures
Dimensions

Statements 1-4 Tangibles
Statements 5-9 Reliability
Statements 10-13 Responsiveness
Statements 14-17 Assurance
Statements 18-22 Empathy
Procedures

1. Compute the ‘gap’ for each statement pair for each consumer.

SERVQUAL score = Perceptions Score – Expectations Score
2. Compute the dimensions scores for each respondent by averaging the gap score over the relevant number of statements (either 4 or 5 statements)
3. Derive SERVQUAL respondent’s scores in the following way:

Unweighted scores Sum dimensions and divide by 5

Weighted scores Tangibles * (Tangibles Weight/100) +
Reliability * (Reliability Weight/100) +
Responsiveness * (Responsiveness Weight/100) +
Assurance * (Assurance Weight/100) +
Empathy * (Empathy Weight/100)

4. Derive total SERVQUAL scores by totalling the scores and dividing by N of
Respondents