Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer a framework based on analytic hierarchy process to ocean container carriers operating in India, with a view to assist them in benchmarking their service quality. Design/methodology/approach – To explore various service attributes, review of carrier selection literature, customer satisfaction survey questionnaires, SERVQUAL, telephonic interviews and focus groups were used and to cluster the attributes into various criteria, another focus group was conducted. This focus group also carried out pairwise comparisons of criteria by using a questionnaire. This paper has used the expert choice 11.5 software for benchmarking. Findings – Indian shippers use 48 attributes in the carrier evaluation process and they cluster these attributes under seven meaningful criteria, namely rate, customer service, operations, reputation, infrastructure, scheduling and information technology orientation and communication. Out of these, rate is considered as the most important criterion. Then it is explained how the focal firm shall identify the benchmark by using the framework in a step‐by‐step manner. Practical implications – By using the framework, the container carriers operating in India shall carry out benchmarking of their service quality in order to win over competition and ensure breakthrough performance. Originality/value – The paper presents premier research in the area of Indian container carrier industry and is expected to widen the knowledge base of the transportation literature. The framework is complete in all respects, incorporating sensitivity and gap analyses and it shall be generalized to any service firm for its competitive service quality benchmarking needs.
Benchmarking: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 30, 2010
Keywords: Benchmarking; Customer services quality; Analytic hierarchy process; Containers
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