The Relationship between Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: A Study of Service Recipients of Pradeshiya Sabha in Kalutara District
Dilrukshi, L.A.N. and Jayathilake, P.M.B. (2017) The Relationship between Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: A Study of Service Recipients of Pradeshiya Sabha in Kalutara District, 6th International Conference of the Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
4 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2018
Date Written: November 23, 2017
The service industry plays an increasingly important role in all the economies. In today’s global competitive environment delivering a quality service is an essential strategy for success and survival. The public sector has become more vital for serving to the society. Public sector services are responsible and accountable to citizens and communities as well as to its customers. As with most “new” management practices, private sector organizations have adopted the principles of service quality at a much faster rate than those in the public sector. In particular, the primary objective of most public sector organizations is to provide a social benefit within a limited budget and minimum costs. According to Ranaweera (2015) the government administration faces critical circumstances in providing a quality government service. Further, a study carried out by the Asian Development Bank in the year 2006 has revealed significant weaknesses exist in the Sri Lankan public administrative system in terms of its productivity and quality. This is applicable to the local governments as well. However, service quality practices in public sector organizations is slow and is further exacerbated by difficulties in measuring outcomes, greater scrutiny from the public and press, a lack of freedom to act in an arbitrary fashion and a requirement for decisions to be based in law (Criado et al., 2002). In past years, sector efficiency, performance and service quality had become key issues of government administration. When going to public sector for public affairs, people often had to visit various departments, repeating filling out the similar forms or going to departments with documents in the section system with unclear responsibility division. The government service quality improvement must be evaluated in view of customer, enlarger the scope, not only some units, departments, but learn success experience of private sector, and transfer to public sector application (Hsiao & Lin, 2008). Service quality can be measured in five dimensions which include tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy (SERVQUAL instruments). Reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy are treated as the human related factors and tangibility is the non - human related factor (Hennayake, 2017). In addition, Bitner and Zeithmal (2008) stated that “Service quality is a focused evaluation that reflects the customer’s perceptions of specific dimensions of quality: reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangible”. With the above literature researchers proposed SERVQUAL instrument for the conceptual framework of the present study.
The effect of service quality on satisfaction of service seekers in local governments in the public sector is relatively an unattended area by researchers. Hence this study was carried out to evaluate the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction in the Pradeshiya Saba (Local governments).
Keywords: Customer satisfaction, service quality, reliability, responsiveness
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation