Dr. Kuldeep Singh currently serves as Assistant Professor at G. D. Goenka University, Gurugram, India. He completed his Ph.D. from Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana, India, in 2021. His Ph.D. topic was “Service Quality, Tourist Satisfaction, Revisit Intention: An Empirical Study of Selected Tourist Destination in Rajasthan”. He is also a UGC NET (JRF) Qualified in Tourism Management. He has done MBA in Tourism from IITTM Gwalior (2012-14) and was Topper. Dr. Singh has also served the tourism industry for a couple of years before joining the academics. Dr. Singh has so far published more than 25 research articles in international and national journals and edited books in the field of Tourism. Dr .Singh is passionate about academic areas of Service Quality Management, Rural tourism, Ecotourism, and Sustainable tourism. His credential may be verified on various research platforms like Google Scholar, SSRN, LinkedIn, Academia, and Research Gate.
The ever growing tourism sector has become a vast economic, social and cultural phenomenon globally. Due to the never-ending development and strong diversification, it has developed as one of the rapidly rising segments of economy around the world. Additionally; it encourages mutual understanding among community and enlarges cultural, social, scientific and economic cooperation. Also, the blend of these dynamics also contributed in delineation tourism as the chief dynamic force in the socio-economic growth of numerous countries worldwide. In addition, the tourism sector has gradually obtained an important place in the worldwide economy by creating job opportunities, pouring exports and creating wealth across the world.
Understanding Service Industry
Every industry has the aim of attaining success and being commercial. Service industry is one of the oldest and unique industries in the world and it includes many phases. . According to Lovelock and Wirtz (2004) service is defined as “a performance or act through one party to another though the performance is temporary, procedure may be fixed to a physical product, mainly intangible in nature and there is also not any ownership of any of the factors of production”. Service quality is difficult to measure as services are intangible in nature. An organization can be successful after evaluating the services it provided to the customers and their attitudes can also be measured. There is an expectation from customers to obtain an eminence services from the service providers. Level of expectations also differs from individual to individual. There is an interaction amid the consumer and front- line service employee which shows the ability of service providers and staff.
Overview of Service Quality Concept
In service industry the concept of quality is difficult to understand. Monroe and Krishnan (1983) pointed out that researchers face problem while evaluating quality. The concept of quality can be vague and undefined but its significance to consumers and service providers is explicit. Garvin (1983) revealed that quality leads to high productivity and reduction in manufacturing costs.
For understanding, the concept of quality of service it is also essential to recognize the 3 characteristics of services i.e. inseparability, heterogeneity and intangibility. As compared to goods, services are based on performance and their quality cannot be measured. It is not easy to verified, measured and evaluated service quality. Due to its intangibility evaluation of quality of service becomes difficult. Also, it is noteworthy that service is heterogeneous in nature and there are variations in performance from producer to consumer.
Service Quality in Tourism Industry
In tourism the importance of quality is playing major part in all areas of life. The guest required products in tourism where they are assured of receiving superior quality services which are value for money. Many definitions are given several researchers which are applicable in the tourism industry. Parasuraman etal. (1985) described the term “service quality” as “the degree and direction of discrepancy between customer’sperceptions and expectations”. It is defined “as the difference between customers’ expectations for service performance prior to the service encounter and their perceptions of the service received “.
Perceived Service Quality
The concept of “perceived service quality” was proposed first time by Parasuraman et al. (1985) who tried to evaluate it according to the service provided. The ten aspects of service quality based on focus group discussion were analyzed (Parasuraman et al; 1985). Later, they founded “SERVQUAL Model” (1988) and convert the ten aspects of service quality into five factors which are responsiveness, empathy, reliability, assurance and tangibles (Parasuraman et al; 1988). It is to be noted that if the expectation of service is more than the actual performance of the service it can lead to negative perception in customer’s mind. On the other hand customers have positive perception for service quality when the service quality exceeds its expected level.
Importance of SERVQUAL Scale
This popular model was first evaluated by (Parsuraman et al; 1985, 1988) in service industry.
This model has also applied in the following sectors:
- Banking industry
- Telecommunication sectors
- Securities brokers
- Credit card companies
- Maintenance and repair sector
According to Brown et al. (1993) study ‘SERVQUAL’ scale was created for evaluating service quality and to make valid measurement in service construct. Also, Parasuraman et al. (1985) investigated in this field and found that comparison of ‘expectations’ and ‘perceptions ‘are the important factors while evaluating quality of services.
How Service Quality Leads to Tourist Satisfaction?
Satisfaction is generally used among customers to describe the satisfaction of their needs and value creation. Satisfaction is an indispensable factor that firms wants to obtain from consumers for continued existence in market. It is widely assumed that, customer satisfaction plays an important role and is a major factor in determining the level of tourist loyalty and revisit intention. Forozia et al. (2013) suggested that consumer satisfaction is an important factor which increases business in tourism sector. There are many empirical studies in tourism industry that describe the role of tourist satisfaction.
Understanding tourist satisfaction is one of the primary objectives in service sector. In tourism industry, satisfaction of tourist is very important as it has direct effect on the destination choice.
There has been a long-standing interest from several researchers in the link between both the constructs which are service quality and satisfaction. Notable researchers like Parasuraman et al. (1988) & Bolton and Drew (1991) claimed that “concept of service quality as a form of attitude”. According to them satisfaction can be formed after assessment of expectations of consumer and their perception Many researchers declared that judgment of service quality is directly associated with the approach called “disconfirmation paradigm”
It seems intuitively logical that there should be a causal link between quality of a tourism supplier’s performance, level of consumer satisfaction, and the organization’s success. Higher quality of performance and levels of satisfaction are perceived to result in increased loyalty and future visitation, greater tolerance of price increases, and an enhanced reputation.