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An Evaluation of Customers’ Expectations and Perceptions of Service Quality: Case of Saudi Banking System

Wided Ragmoun, Hanan Saidi

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The customer satisfaction has been broadly considered as driver of company's success and financial performance in all types of businesses. So, Services' firms have been improving the provided services to meet their customers' expectations which increase customer satisfaction. Thus it is obligatory for those companies to assess continuously the disparity between customers' expectations and perceptions of service quality. This disparity has been studied in many services' organizations including banks in the developed countries and using SERVQUAL. However this type of study has never been investigated in the Arabic banking systems and especially the Saudi one. So the aim of this research is to investigate using SERVQUAL the difference between customers' expectations and perceptions of service quality in the women branches of Saudi banks. After discussing the literature review of service quality, customers' expectations and perceptions, Saudi banking system as well as SERVQUAL model, data were collected from 200 Saudi women branches’ customers. The study shows that the level of perceived service quality of Saudi women branches is lower than its customers' expectations of service quality. Essentially the perceived empathy, reliability as well responsiveness of the studied banks are very low and they have the biggest gaps between the customers' expectations and perceptions compared with tangibles and assurance dimensions, . It is therefore recommended to minimize the founded gap that banks improve the perceived service quality by making current operating hours more convenient for customers, giving more personal and individual attention to the customers, enhancing the current capability to understand their specific needs, giving them prompt service in the promised time, solving their problems, as well as telling them when services will be performed.

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