There are so many research studies that have been conducted relating to service quality and customer satisfaction as this topic has been the centre of attraction in the service industries. Both these words play an important role in determining the competitiveness and the survival of an organisation in the tourism or the hospitality industry. The following chapter commences with a brief look at the tourism industry, followed by the definition and explanation of service quality. This chapter also tries to provide the link between customer perceptions, expectations and satisfaction. Gaps evolving between the management of an organisation and the perceptions of the customers are evaluated in detail. The latter part of the chapter focuses on SERVQUAL which is used as a tool for measuring service quality. Five basic dimensions of service quality have been evaluated in detail from the perspective of different authors which is followed by the criticism of SERVQUAL. The determinants of service quality have been identified in terms of airline industry and the relation between delivery of service quality and customer satisfaction has been highlighted at the end. Furthermore, this paper will try to demonstrate how an airline could manage its service quality by using the ‘SERVQUAL’ as a diagnostic tool to measure the expectations of number of different passengers.
The Tourism Industry
Tourism has become a vital tool for major revenue in many countries and regarded as an important catalyst in improving the global economy. Air travel has made the world smaller and accessible in many ways. Many state of the art airlines and airports across the world have catered to the ever growing demands of the customers who wish to travel by air. Those who work in the airline industry are aware how crucial it is to have a thorough understanding of why people decide to travel to many destinations and consequently to find out the reasons why they choose to travel to that destination using a particular brand and company over another (Holloway, 1998). There are different purposes that passengers travel, for example business travel, leisure travel, visiting family and friends and assorted travel such as travelling for religious purposes or for health and well being and to visit family and friends, hence it is very important as an airline how it caters to the different needs of the passengers and what changes it should make to fulfil the customers’ expectations (Holloway, 1998). The airline industry has undergone a very difficult financial crisis in the last few years and many firms are in search of segmentation strategies taking customer services into consideration and on the lookout to satisfy different target markets.
The aviation industry is responsible for providing intangible services to its customers which means customer care and brand loyalty play a major role in the effective running of the industry but researchers state that this global airline industry has...