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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the potential of importance‐performance (IP) analysis as a decision‐making tool for service management, employing IP analysis to assess the performance of Greek insurance in delivering quality services. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected in a two‐stage survey. In both stages, respondents were asked to provide importance and performance scores, in identical seven‐point Likert scales, for the 25 service attributes identified for Greek insurance. In order to qualify for the sample, individuals had to be over the age of 25 and have at least one insurance policy and one service encounter with their insurers within the previous three months. The two methodological streams of IP analysis, “gap analysis” and IP maps, were employed to analyse the data. Findings – The value of importance‐performance analysis as a tool for managerial decision making in services was reaffirmed. Contrary to previous findings on insurers' reluctance to respond to their customers' quality requests, Greek insurance was found to have adequate reflexes in this respect. In stage one, the dimensions Responsiveness and Assurance were positioned in the “keep up the good work”, Reliability in the “concentrate”, Empathy in the “low priority” and Tangibles in the “possible overkill” quadrants of the importance‐performance map. In stage two, the industry was found to have taken actions towards keeping‐up with its customers' requirements. Research limitations/implications – The main limitations of this study are that it was based on a single service industry and that convenience sampling was used. However, its methodology and results are valid for various industries in the service sector and provide a solid basis for future research. Originality/value – Service managers can exploit the approach taken by this study to improve service management. Greek insurers have to keep considering the needs and wants of their customers regarding service delivery.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 18, 2008
Keywords: Customer services quality; Insurance; Greece
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