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It is relevant to refer briefly to the previous studies and research in the related areas of the subject to find out and to fill up the research gaps. The following are the some studies conducted by the eminent authors and practitioners on the area of service quality of banks.
(Dhandabani, 2010) Examined the nature of linkage between service quality and customer loyalty in Indian retail banking. Study used confirmatory factor analysis to identify the service quality dimension. The resulted dimensions are Reliability, Responsiveness, Knowledge and recovery; and Tangibles. The service quality dimensions lead to customer satisfaction and the customers’ satisfaction leads to customer’s loyalty. The structural equation model reveals that there is no significant direct linkage between service quality and customers loyalty. At the same time, the service quality has a significant indirect impact on customer’s loyalty especially through customer’s satisfaction.
(Maya Basant Lohani, 2012) Examined on service quality in selected banks and measured in five dimensions by using SERVQUAL scale developed by Parasuraman et al (1988 and revealed that there exist a small perceptual difference regarding overall service quality with the respective banks. The study of found that banks have more concentration on the tangible factor like a computerization, physical facilities, etc. to attract the customers.
(Jain, 2012) In their study “Customer Perception on Service Quality in Banking Sector: With Special Reference to Indian Private Banks in Moradabad Region” try to learn and understand the customer perception regarding service quality and to learn and understand the different dimension of service quality in banks.
(Thakur, 2011) has presented that how service quality and customer satisfaction is related to customer’s loyalty in Indian Banking sector’s perspective. He found that customer satisfaction is significantly and positively related with customer loyalty and customer satisfaction is an important mediator between service quality and customer loyalty. In the last of the study he have discussed that banking service providers should follow right course of action to win customer satisfaction by providing better service quality in order to create loyal customer base.
(Desta, 2011) Studied by assessing and measuring the banking service quality perception of the SBI branch customers; and examining the relationship between service quality, customer satisfaction and positive word of mouth and found that the expectations of bank customers were not met and that the largest gap was found in the reliability dimension. This dimension also had the largest influence on customer satisfaction and overall satisfaction of bank customers had a positive effect on their word-of-mouth. The study also suggested that input from employees on what constitutes “service excellence” will be beneficial. The bank need to reassess “what customers expect from the bank” and provide client specific services. It needs to invest on employee training programs that will provide employees with an understanding of service culture and service excellence particularly at front line levels. Employee training programs should focus on interpersonal communication and customer care factors in order to be able to meet the customers’ need for personalized service.
(Kheng, et al. 2010) studied on the impact of service quality on customer loyalty of the banks customers in Penang, Malaysia. They opined that a lot of competitive factors in the form of substitutes are forcing bankers to explore the importance of customer loyalty. Therefore, studies need to focus on the changing role of the banking system. They also found that improvement in service quality can enhance customer loyalty.
(Dr. Rupa Rathee, 2014), studied the service quality gaps in banks after nationalization of commercial banks. With the entry of new generation, tech-savvy, private banks the banking sector has become too competitive. Gap analysis was applied to find the gaps between expected and performed service in private banks to find the difference between male and female perception and expectation. This study provided an insight into which attributes of service quality in private bank were most important in providing satisfaction to customers and areas where significant gaps existed. It concluded that the highest gap was found in the dimension of reliability and empathy and suggested that the banks have to reduce this gap giving individual personal attention to understand customer specific needs. The customers trust the public sector banks. These banks have existed in the market for a longer period than the private sector banks. The reliability factor is a positive factor for these banks. Therefore private banks should position themselves in the market on the basis of this dimension and promote themselves aggressively. It becomes imperative for the private sector banks to train their employees to treat the customers with empathy. Statement of Problem Extensive research has been done by eminent scholars, academicians and practitioners on service quality in the banking industry. All these studies have concentrated on urban areas only. No concrete study found out the perceptions of rural customers about the quality of banks’ services in India. There is a need for an extensive study on the rural customers’ perceptions on the service quality in banking service offered in rural areas. Hence this research study was undertaken.
Mosahab, et al. (2010) presented a research that was conducted in a bank in Tehran, Iran. This report aimed to determine the quality of services offered by Sepah Bank, and also to study the relationship between the service quality, satisfaction and loyalty. The results of this research showed that in all aspects, customers’ expectation, are higher than their perceptions of the Bank’s operation, and in fact the quality of offered services is low. Besides, this research findings show that the customer satisfaction plays the role of a mediator in the effects of service quality on service loyalty.
Afsar, et al. (2010) worked on the determinants of customer loyalty in the banking sector of Pakistan. They argued that banking industry needs high interaction with the customers and that’s why managers must understand the factors which influence the loyalty. They attempted to find the factors of customer loyalty and their relationships with the banking industry in developing countries. They examined and found that perceived quality, satisfaction, trust, switching cost and commitment are the factors which influence the loyalty of the customers.
J. Joshua Selvakumar (2010) studies the impact of Service Quality on Customer Satisfaction in Public Sector and Private Sector Banks. The study examines the effect of service quality determinants on the degree of customer satisfaction in public and private banks in India. By realizing the gap between the perceived and actual service quality, customer satisfaction can be extremely improved.
Dr. Manasa Nagabhushanam (2010) conducted a research study on service quality of banks in India. The study encompasses the service quality of all the banks i.e., public sector, private sector, and foreign banks and measures the attributes on SERVQUAL scale. The study was conducted to analyze the expected and perceived gap among customers and bankers.
Mukta Dewan and Dr. Sadhana Mahajan (2009) studied the study of the perceived Service Quality and its Dimensions in Private Sector Banks. The study examines that there was a significant difference in the perception of service quality and its dimensions for the private sector bank customers for different categories of demographic factors. The perception of male and female customers varied significantly for the overall service quality and its dimensions – reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. It was found that the male customers had a more positive perception of service quality as compared to the female counterparts.
Maya Basant Lohani and Dr. POOJA Bhatia (2011) studied the Assessment of Service Quality in Public and Private Sector Banks of India. The study was conducted to ascertain service quality variations across selected banks by demographic variations and to measure the customer satisfaction in selected public and private sector banks by analyzing the gap between expectations and their perceptions of banking services.
Vibhor Jain, Dr. Sonia Gupta and Smrita Jain (2014) studied customer perception of service quality in banking sector with special reference to India private banks. The study examines to learn and understand the customer perception regarding service quality and understand the different dimension of service quality in banks. The customers trust the public sector banks. These banks have existed in the market for a longer period than the private sector banks. There is an urgent need for the banking services to reaffirm themselves in view of the cut-throat competition, which is close on the anvil.
Ms. Nisha Malik and Mr. Chand Prakash Saini (2011) studied Private Sector Banks Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction by conducting an Empirical Study of two Private Sector Banks. The aim of proposed study was to find out perception of HDFC and ICICI bank customers regarding to the service quality parameter and gap analysis of expected and acknowledged quality parameters, and also revels the relationship between psychographic factors and satisfaction levels of rural and urban customers.
Akte S. and Ghosh S.K. (2006) examine the gap between expectations and perceptions of customers in Dhaka city of Bangladesh regarding banking services with a special focus on SERVQUAL model. The study concludes that in four dimensions like reliability, empathy, tangibility, assurance, the gap between perceptions and expectations is significant except responsiveness where it is insignificant means banks do not extent that level of services which will satisfy the customers expectations. The study also suggests some recommendations to minimize this gap.
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