The customer gap between patients expectations and perceptions of service quality in optometric practices

Snyman, Christine (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Optometric practices, as every other organisation, are becoming more aware that the ability to address your patients' needs is the latest challenge and secret to future success. The purpose of this study is to determine the gap between the patients' expectations and their perceptions of the services rendered in the optometric practice. When the patients' perceptions of the service received meets or exceeds their expectations, the patient will be satisfied and will be encouraged to visit the practice again, increasing the long-term profitability of the practice. Most patients lack the knowledge to evaluate the quality of optometric services. As a result, they rely on the integrity and competence of the service provider. Service excellence is a combination of service promptness, quality, and design with the perception of value for money. Reliability is the most important of the five dimensions in determining patient evaluations of service quality. Since the tangible attributes are often the only element of a service that can be evaluated prior to service delivery, managers should pay a lot of attention to this dimension in order to reflect a positive image. As patients become more informed, practices should continuously research and update their strategies for the delivery of quality service. Not only do practices need to understand the current expectations of their patients, but also the future expectations desired. A key issue for future research concerns the relationship between internal service quality and external customer satisfaction as well as employee service orientation, and external service quality.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Oogkundige praktyke, soos elke ander organisasie, raak toenemend bewus dat die nuutste uitdaging en geheim tot toekomstige sukses afhang van die vermoë om pasiente se behoeftes aan te spreek. Die doelwit van hierdie studie is om die gapings te bepaal tussen die pasiënt se verwagtinge en hul persepsies van die dienste gelewer in die oogkundige praktyk. Indien die pasiënte se persepsies van die gelewerde diens, hulle verwagtinge aanspreek of oorskry, sal dit pasiënt tevredenheid bevorder en die pasiënt aanspoor om die praktyk weer te besoek, en derhalwe die langtermyn winsgewendheid van die praktyk bevorder. Die meeste pasiënte beskik oor gebrekkige kennis om die kwaliteit van die optometriese dienste te evalueer. Gevolglik vertrou hulle op die integriteit en vaardigheid van die diensverskaffer. Uitstekende dienslewering kombineer stiptelikheid, kwaliteit, en die samestelling van die diens met die persepsie van waarde vir geld. Betroubaarheid is die belangrikste van die vyf dimensies om die pasiënt se evaluasie van die kwaliteit van diens te bepaal. Aangesien die tasbare eienskappe dikwels die enigste element van die diens is wat voortydig deur die pasient evalueer kan word, behoort bestuurders baie aandag daaraan te bestee ten einde 'n positiewe beeld te weerspieël. Aangesien pasiënte toenemend meer ingelig is, behoort praktyke voortdurende navorsing te doen om hulle strategies op te skerp vir die lewering van kwaliteit diens. Praktyke moet nie net slegs die huidige verwagtinge van hul pasiënte verstaan nie, maar ook die verlangde toekomsverwagtinge. 'n Sleutelaspek vir toekomstige navorsing is die verhouding tussen interne dienskwaliteit en eksterne kliëntbevrediging, asook die werknemer se oriëntasie tot dienslewering en eksterne dienskwaliteit.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18187
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