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Dimensions of Service Quality and their impact on Relationship Quality, and Referral Intention: a study of a High-credence Service

Bennett, Andrew (2017) Dimensions of Service Quality and their impact on Relationship Quality, and Referral Intention: a study of a High-credence Service. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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What persuades a person to recommend a high-credence service provider to a family member, friend, or work colleague? Their own reputation will suffer if such a recommendation has a poor outcome. There are surely discrete dimensions of service quality, that perhaps when aggregated have such an effect on relationship quality (comprising customer trust and satisfaction), and referral intention, that recommending the service provider proves irresistible. The importance of client word-of-mouth (‘WOM’) referral for providers of high credence services cannot be overstated. Re-patronage in most goods or services industries is the overriding objective. However, in certain highcredence service industries, such as residential architecture services, WOM referral is the objective. This is due to the one-off nature of these services. Extant services marketing research is teeming with evidence of the positive connections between, service quality, relationship quality, and referral intention. However, deconstructing service quality into its component parts of technical and functional service quality, we find that these are multidimensional constructs. This paper selects eight service quality dimensions, four each from functional and technical service quality, to test their impact on satisfaction and trust levels, and ultimately on client WOM referral intention. These components are brought together in a proposed conceptual model that is tested using a case study approach on a highcredence service provider. The case study encompassed focused interviews of the service provider’s Directors, and their clients. The research finds that the significant antecedents of relationship quality are indeed multiple, and that functional dimensions of service quality play a much bigger role in deciding customer WOM referral intention than the literature advances. Furthermore, many gaps in the services literature, and flawed presumptions on the service provider’s part, are exposed. Hence the recommendations, for the company Directors and further research, are many and varied.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Customer Service
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2017 11:50
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2017 11:50

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