E-service quality: comparing the
perceptions of providers and
Emmanouil Stiakakis and Christos K. Georgiadis
Department of Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia,
Purpose – This study aims to identify the similarities and differences between the perspectives of
providers and customers regarding the important dimensions and attributes of e-service quality
Design/methodology/approach – Ten criteria are proposed for assessment of e-SQ in both
business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. Conﬁrmatory factor analysis
conﬁrms the validity of grouping these criteria into ﬁve proposed dimensions. The e-SQ dimensions
and criteria are then ranked in terms of their importance by a survey of respondents from small and
medium-sized enterprises with experience in conducting e-business in Greece. The results are
compared with selected surveys of customers’ perceptions from the literature.
Findings – The results indicate that the providers’ perceptions are in agreement with customers’
perceptions with regard to e-SQ dimensions, but not with regard to speciﬁc criteria (items) within those
dimensions. The study also ﬁnds that providers have similar perceptions of the importance of the
suggested e-SQ criteria in B2B and B2C electronic transactions.
Research limitations/implications – The ﬁndings should be generalised with care if extrapolated
to other socio-cultural settings and speciﬁc industries.
Practical implications – Managers should recognise that there might be differences between their
views of e-SQ and those of their customers.
Originality/value – This is one of the few studies to have focused on the perceptions of providers in
Keywords Services, Customer services quality, Electronic commerce, Business-to-business marketing
Paper type Research paper
Most studies of the concept and measurement of electronic service (e-SQ) have
identiﬁed the dimensions of the construct from either the customer’s perspective or the
provider’s perspective (Heim and Field, 2007), and the majority of these have focused
on the priorities and needs of the customer. Although it is unquestionable that the
concept of e-service quality is inherently associated with the perceptions and
expectations of customers, it is also true that these perceptions of what constitutes e-SQ
might differ signiﬁcantly from those of the service provider (Ghosh et al., 2004;
Surjadjaja et al., 2003). In a similar vein, some authors have contended that few
companies are able to understand and manage e-SQ from the user perspective and that
a holistic view that takes into account both perspectives is therefore needed for a full
understanding of e-SQ (Auer and Petrovic, 2004; Halaris et al., 2007).
Against this background, the present study contends that a comparison of the two
perspectives would provide useful insights into the nature of the dimensions of e-SQ
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Managing Service Quality
Vol. 19 No. 4, 2009
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited