Purpose – This study aims to identify the dimensions recognised by customers when assessing quality in the automotive repair industry. It further examines potential variations in customers' perceptions of service quality based on their purchase behaviour designating different loyalty patterns. Design/methodology/approach – The SERVPERF instrument and the patronage behaviour were utilised to measure service quality and loyalty respectively. A total of 949 questionnaires were personally administered to customers of nine automotive repair companies in Greece. Findings – Exploratory factor analysis revealed three service quality dimensions. These are: holistic customer consideration, infrastructure, and empathy. T‐tests were also utilised to reveal possible differences in terms of the identified dimensions. Controlling for customers' loyalty showed significant differences in 11 of the service quality items. Research limitations/implications – Distributing questionnaires personally did not allow the creation of a completely representative sample of customers of the Greek automotive repair industry. Practical implications – Measuring customers' perceptions in terms of the three service quality dimensions that emerged can support decision making regarding initiatives to be taken. Moreover, findings suggest that managers should customise the holistic bundle of services offered. Originality/value – The findings of this study provide insight into customers' priorities in the automotive repair industry. Furthermore, they reposition service quality construct within the customer satisfaction framework.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 15, 2009
Keywords: Customer services quality; Customer loyalty; Automotive industry; Greece
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