Monitoring Customer Perceived Service Quality and Satisfaction during the Construction Process
Service quality has been studied across many construction related disciplines but little has been done concerning how it effects customer satisfaction during the day-to-day dynamics of onsite construction services. The research explores this setting in Australian housing construction projects. A highly detailed single case study methodology was used with a view to facilitating theory development for a targeted customer type displaying service quality oriented expectations, high involvement, but low construction experience. Gaps scores for perceived service quality and customer satisfaction were systematically monitored during construction. Concurrently, interviews were used to obtain incident data linked to the scoring data. It was found that service incidents, service quality and customer satisfaction were linked at each stage of construction. Related aspects included the ratio between positive and negative incidents; a saturation point regarding negative incidents; and an end of process/product realisation factor. The importance of identifying active service quality dimensions during construction was identified (especially reliability and care in execution of work). An incident coding structure was developed whereby frequently recurring incident features included spontaneous situations, site observations, personal interaction, subcontractor involvement, progressive product quality, progressive construction activity and defensive customer action. The research recommends that construction contractors aim to control the above features by creating orchestrated incidents and controlling exposure to perceptions via fast and seamless onsite construction.
Paper type: Research article
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