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Customer expectations and perceptions of service quality at a private medical practice : an exploratory study

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. M. Mpinganjira en_US
dc.contributor.author Peer, Mohammed
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-06T07:47:29Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-06T07:47:29Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08-06
dc.date.submitted 2010-10-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5407
dc.description M.Comm. en_US
dc.description.abstract The aim of this dissertation is to investigate customer expectations and perceptions of service quality at a private medical practice. The competitive nature of the healthcare industry means that customers have a wide choice of providers from whom to choose. Thus, providers' inability to deliver an acceptable quality of service and customer dissatisfaction is more likely to lead to critical customer behaviours such as switching medical providers and/or influencing others negatively in their perception of a provider's service quality. In order to meet customers' expectations of service quality, organisations must have a system in place that enables them to identify the service expectations of their customers and, furthermore, must ensure that these expectations are met. To achieve its aims, this study utilised both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The qualitative research was in the form of in-depth interviews while a structured questionnaire using an adapted SERVQUAL instrument was used for the quantitative phase of the study. The findings of the in-depth interviews were used to adapt the SERVQUAL instrument. The sample size consisted of 220 respondents and systematic sampling was used. Data collected was analysed using the computer programme Statistical Package for Social Science. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests including the Mann-Whitney and Kruskai-Wallis tests were the main statistical tools used in the analysis. The results of the study show that patients generally perceive the service quality offered at the medical practice as good on all items. However, when the perception scores were compared to the expectations scores, the findings showed that the expectations were higher than the perceptions on most items. Furthermore, the results showed a positive relationship between patient satisfaction and positive future behavioural intentions toward a medical practice. In conclusion, it can be said that service quality provided at the medical practice is good. However, attention needs to be given to the differing expectations and perceptions of the medical practice's patients, with the aim of closing the gap identified. This can be done by better understanding the Gaps model of service quality with particular reference to provider gap 2 (selecting the right service standards) and provider gap 3 (delivering according to service designs and standards). Measures taken aimed at closing these two gaps can help ensure that customer expectations are met. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Medical practice en_US
dc.subject Medical care surveys en_US
dc.subject Consumer satisfaction en_US
dc.title Customer expectations and perceptions of service quality at a private medical practice : an exploratory study en_US
dc.type Mini-Dissertation en_US

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