Customer service of convenience stores
Kleynhans, Karin Belinda Margerete
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This study researches the topic customer service of convenience sores. Two objectives are set, namely to measure the customer service levels of convenience stores, and then to determine if any differences exist between customer perceptions and customer expectations. The literature review covers two models of service quality, namely the Kano model and the SERVQUAL model. Both the Kano model and the SERVQUAL model are client service models that currently exist in practice. The Kano model provides insights into the dynamics of customer preferences and their needs, which ensures the delivery of successful products and services. The SERVQUAL method is a technique that can be used for performing a gap analysis of an organisation's service quality performance against customer service quality needs. Because of SERVQUAL's strong empirically based methodology and popularity amongst services organisations who aims to improve their service quality, SERVQUAL is the research methodology of choice. The empirical research was done by collecting primary data from a selected group, using the SERVQUAL questionnaire to measure customer expectation and customer perception. The sample size is 65 respondents, and they all responded by completing the structured SERVQUAL questionnaires. A seven-point Likert scale was used in the questionnaire. A "1" was labelled as "strongly disagree" while a "7" was labelled as "strongly agree". The reliability of the data was confirmed by means of Cronbach alpha and a-values of 0.879 (customers' perceptions) and 0.906 (customers' expectations) showed satisfactory reliability. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to calculate mean values of the criteria while principle factor analyses were employed to extract factors from both groups of data. The factors pertaining to the perceived service has been identified as Employee Mind-Set (explaining the variance of 29.72%), Excellent Service (19.14%) and Display (8.92%). Regarding the factor analysis of the expected levels of service, the factors identified are: Employee Mindset (35.78%), Service Reputation (25.22%) and Transactions (5.90%). From the research it became evident that the three major recommendations to managers of convenience stores who aims to improve their service quality are managerial actions focussed at: *Internal training. *Induction programmes *Surveys (further research and monitoring).