Customers’ Expectations and Perceptions of Service Quality: The Case of a Retail Pharmacy Chain in South Africa
Recent legislative changes have permitted rapid expansion of pharmacy chains in South Africa. The early effect of this appears to be lowered prices and greater competition amongst pharmacy chains. Whilst research has been conducted on general aspects of customer service quality in various industries, there appears to be few studies on customer satisfaction within the South African retail pharmaceutical sector in particular. This paper therefore seeks to assess customer satisfaction at a selected pharmacy chain within the greater Durban area. A study was conducted among 400 customers, using the SERVQUAL model as the measuring instrument. The results indicate that there are gaps between customers’ expectations and perceptions on the five service quality dimensions. The chi square test was performed to determine significant differences between four biographical variables viz. gender, age, educational level of respondents and frequency of shopping versus the five dimensions of service quality, on both expectations and perceptions. Recommendations are presented on how the pharmacy chain can enhance service quality in order to offer superior customer service in the face of growing competition.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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