An Impact Assessment of the Effect of Physical Evidence on Customer Perception of Service Quality

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Abstract

There has been a growing trend where most Zimbabwean private hospitals are fervently investing significant material and financial resources in beautifying their service environments. The trend is largely inspired by the blanket academic assertion implying that physical evidence catalyzes customers’ positive perception of health service quality. This, they believe enables rms in the sector to charge premium rates for the actual services, and improve their bottom lines significantly through perception-driven purchase action culminating in higher sales volumes, profitability and market share, among other marketing performance metrics. Research enquiries elsewhere provide varying signals, and still no socially recorded empirical studies in Zimbabwe had before this been conducted to vindicate the assertion that physical evidence has a high positive impact on customers’ perception of service quality in the sector in question. Invited by need to provide empirical answers to this conundrum, the researcher projecting a population of 350 potential participants, while assuming a positivist paradigm, embarked on a quantitative research inquiry featuring a survey stratied random sample of 175 patients drawn from three leading private health institutions based in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe). Only 100 usable questionnaires were returned. This implied a 57% response rate. The survey adopted the tangibles segment of Parasuraman et al, 1988’s standard SERVQUAL Likert-type questionnaire, to test the impact of physical evidence dimensions namely, ambience, spatiality and signage and symbols on perception of service quality using descriptive statistical measures – frequency tables, graphs, the mean and the standard deviation. The study concluded that ambience has a high moderate positive impact on patients’ perception of service quality with a depicted mean of 3.46 or 69 percentage points. Spatiality was found to have a slightly lower impact level than ambience with a 67% rating illustrated by a mean of 3.35. Signage and symbolic conditions posted a subdued effect level at 56% from a mean of 2.58. In the end, with an aggregate mean of 3.65 and 75.4% regression level, this study confirmed that physical evidence has a rewarding effect on patients’ perception of service quality while leaving about 24.6% to other factors not assessed in this study. As such, marketers should plough more resources in improving their servicescape appearances and celebrate the potential economic benets emanating from positive customer perception of their service offerings.

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APA

Mhaka, M. (2023). An Impact Assessment of the Effect of Physical Evidence on Customer Perception of Service Quality. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/mkt1

MLA 8th

Mhaka, Munyaradzi "An Impact Assessment of the Effect of Physical Evidence on Customer Perception of Service Quality" Afribary. Afribary, 23 Jan. 2023, https://afribary.com/works/mkt1. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

MLA7

Mhaka, Munyaradzi . "An Impact Assessment of the Effect of Physical Evidence on Customer Perception of Service Quality". Afribary, Afribary, 23 Jan. 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. < https://afribary.com/works/mkt1 >.

Chicago

Mhaka, Munyaradzi . "An Impact Assessment of the Effect of Physical Evidence on Customer Perception of Service Quality" Afribary (2023). Accessed January 31, 2023. https://afribary.com/works/mkt1