SERVPERF (Service Performance) was created on basis of critique of SERVQUAL by J.J. Cronin and S.A. Taylor in 1994. They claimed that Parasuraman's study of relations between expected and experienced quality is not proper approach to quality assessment.
Evaluation of service quality is difficult, because of the difference between quality perceived by customer and expected by him/her. Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry in 1988 proposed SERVQUAL model which described five gaps between those two visions of quality. Elimination of those gaps should help the organization to improve service quality.
This approach is inconsistent with some research results, which show that customer's expectations should be based on experiences. What's more, higher level of perceived service quality only sometimes is a cause of increased consumer satisfaction. In many cases, the satisfaction is an antecedent of service quality.
According to Boldon and Drew, perceived service quality (Attitudet) is a function of residual perception of the service's quality (Attitudet-1) and level of (dis)satisfaction of the current service performance (CS/Dt).
Service quality is then a function of Disconfirmation, Expectations and Performance:
Cronin and Taylor proposed modification of SERVQUAL based on analysis of 730 enterprises offering different areas of services (banks, pest control, dry cleaning, fast food).
The SERVPERF measures quality as an attitude, not satisfaction. However it uses an idea of perceived service quality leading to satisfaction. But it goes further, and connects satisfaction with further purchase intentions.
The SERVPERF is a modification of SERVQUAL, and thus uses the same categories to assess service quality (RATER model):
In each of the categories there are statements that are evaluated on 7 step Likert scale. The SERVQUAL proposed 44 statements (expectations and performance related), while SERVPERF only 22 (performance related).
The SERVPERF questionnaire
The following statements are related to the enterprise being evaluated. Some of them are "the more the better" type, and some "the less the better":
- Has up-to-date equipment
- Physical facilities are visually appealing
- Employees are well dressed and appear neat
- The appearance of physical facilities is in keeping with the type of service provided
- When company promises to do something by certain time, it does so
- When you have problems, company is sympathetic and reassuring
- Is dependable
- Provides its services at the time it promises to do so
- Keeps its records accurately
- Does not tell its customers exactly when the services will be performed
- You do not receive prompt service from company employees
- Employees are not always willing to help customers
- Employees are too busy to respond to customer requests promptly
- You can trust employees
- You can feel safe in your transactions with company employees
- Employees are polite
- Employees get adequate support to do their jobs well
- Company does not give you individual attention
- Employees do not give you personal attention
- Employees do not know what your needs are
- Company does not have your best interests at heart
- Company does not have operating hours convenient to all their customers
Evaluation of the questionnaire
Each statement from part 1 should be compared with the statement from part 2. They describe expectations and perception.
|Dimension||Statement||Expectation score||Perception score||Gap score||Average for the dimension|
Scores are summed up and weighted. The weights are chosen based on expert assessment of top management.
|Average weighted score|
Examples of SERVPERF
- SERVPERF is used to measure the customer service performance of a business. It is often used to assess the customer experience of a particular service, such as the speed and quality of customer service, the accuracy of order fulfillment, and the courtesy of the employees.
- For example, a restaurant may use SERVPERF to measure customer service performance. They could measure how long customers wait for their orders to be taken, how quickly their orders are delivered, and how well the wait staff interacts with customers.
- Another example of SERVPERF is in the retail industry. Retailers can use SERVPERF to measure how quickly customers are served, how well the sales staff answers questions, and how satisfied customers are with their purchases.
- In the banking industry, SERVPERF is used to measure customer service performance. Banks can use SERVPERF to evaluate how quickly customers are assisted, how accurate transactions are processed, and how helpful the staff is when customers have questions.
Advantages of SERVPERF
SERVPERF has several advantages over SERVQUAL in measuring service quality:
- It is more focused on the performance of the service, rather than the perceived quality of the service. This allows organizations to measure the actual performance of the service more accurately.
- It also allows organizations to measure customer satisfaction more accurately, as customer satisfaction is directly related to performance.
- It is more objective than SERVQUAL, as it takes into account the actual performance of the service, rather than just customers' subjective perceptions.
- It measures the entire service delivery process, rather than just a few aspects, as SERVQUAL does. This allows organizations to get a more complete picture of the service performance.
- It takes into account the context of the service delivery process, such as the environment, the customer experience, and the staff. This allows organizations to identify areas for improvement in service delivery.
Limitations of SERVPERF
- SERVPERF has its own set of limitations. First, it fails to address customer satisfaction. This is because it is focused on the performance of the service, not the customer experience. Second, it is difficult to measure performance in a way that is meaningful to customers. Third, it does not consider how a customer’s expectations of a service are formed or changed. Fourth, it is limited in its ability to capture the nuances of customer experience. Finally, it fails to take into account the customer’s long-term relationship with the service provider. As such, it is not the most effective way to measure customer satisfaction.
SERVPERF is not the only approach to quality assessment. Other approaches related to quality assessment include:
- Total Quality Management (TQM) - a holistic approach to quality assessment which involves the entire organization in the process of identifying quality problems and finding solutions.
- Quality Function Deployment (QFD) - a technique used to ensure that the customer requirements are met, by translating those requirements into technical specifications.
- Six Sigma - a method of quality improvement that looks to reduce defects and improve processes.
- Lean Manufacturing - a production system that emphasizes eliminating waste, streamlining operations, and improving customer service.
In conclusion, there are a variety of approaches to quality assessment, from SERVPERF to Total Quality Management, Quality Function Deployment, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing. Each of these approaches has its own strengths and weaknesses and is used to meet different quality goals.
- Cronin Jr, J. J., & Taylor, S. A. (1994). SERVPERF versus SERVQUAL: reconciling performance-based and perceptions-minus-expectations measurement of service quality. The Journal of Marketing, 125-131.
- Jain, S. K., & Gupta, G. (2004). Measuring service quality: SERVQUAL vs. SERVPERF scales. Vikalpa, 29(2), 25-37.
- Abdullah, F. (2006). Measuring service quality in higher education: HEdPERF versus SERVPERF. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 24(1), 31-47.
Author: Slawomir Wawak