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Measuring customer satisfaction based on service quality gap at a local bank in Vietnam.

INTRODUCTION

The global trends and challenges in services in today's business Today's Business is a show on CNBC that aired in the early morning, 5 to 7AM ET timeslot, hosted by Liz Claman and Bob Sellers, and it was replaced by Wake Up Call on Feb 4, 2002.  world showed that "services companies are under a constant and dynamic change" while "customers are becoming less loyal, more price sensitive and discerning dis·cern·ing  
adj.
Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.



dis·cerning·ly adv.
 ..." (Sigala & Christou, 2006).

It is the common knowledge that customers are the lifeblood life·blood  
n.
1. Blood regarded as essential for life.

2. An indispensable or vital part: Capable workers are the lifeblood of the business.
 of any company's business nowadays. Because of their importance, customers perceive that they have the power to demand high service quality (Macdonald Mac·don·ald   , Sir John Alexander 1815-1891.

Canadian politician and the first prime minister of the Dominion of Canada (1867-1873 and 1878-1891). He is considered the organizer of the Canadian confederation, established in 1867.
, 1995). This leads all companies to the battle competing for customers. Moreover, customers are now more aware of other service providers as well as the range of financial products available for them in the marketplace. Customer expectations rise accordingly, thus they are "more critical" when choosing the service (Akan Akan (əkän`, äk`ən), people of W Africa, primarily in Ghana, where they number over 7.5 million, Côte d'Ivoire, and Togo. They speak languages of the Twi branch of the Kwa subfamily. , 1995). As a result, service providers must redouble re·dou·ble  
v. re·dou·bled, re·dou·bling, re·dou·bles

v.tr.
1. To double.

2. To repeat.

3. Games To double the doubling bid of (an opponent) in bridge.

v.
 their efforts if they want to be winners in this battle (Edvardsson, Thomasson & Ovretveit, 1994). And financial service providers are not exceptions for that.

In that context, service quality (SQ) is a prerequisite pre·req·ui·site  
adj.
Required or necessary as a prior condition: Competence is prerequisite to promotion.

n.
 for the survival and development of any company (Parasuraman, Berry Berry, former province, France
Berry (bĕrē`), former province, central France. Bourges, the capital, and Châteauroux are the chief towns.
 & Zeithaml, 1988). Many authors backed up this statement since the early of the 1980s until now. Their reasons are as followed.

First, it is a critical factor in achieving competitiveness in most service industries (Galloway Galloway, district, Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland. The Rhinns, or Rinns, of Galloway is a rocky double peninsula that juts into the North Channel of the Irish Sea; its southern extremity is called the Mull of Galloway and is the southernmost point in Scotland.  & Ho, 1996). Only when SQ is paid enough attention to can the company differentiate itself from other rivals in the marketplace and gain a lasting competitive advantage in the long run (Galloway & Blanchard Blanchard may refer to: People
  • Barry Blanchard, a Canadian mountaineer and presenter
  • Dale V. Blanchard, a United States politician from Ohio
  • Doc Blanchard, an American college football player
, 1996; Gounaris, Stathakopoulos & Athanassopoulos, 2003).

Second, SQ is a key to long-term profitability as it affects the repurchase re·pur·chase  
tr.v. re·pur·chased, re·pur·chas·ing, re·pur·chas·es
To buy (something) again.

n.
The act of buying something that one previously sold or owned.

Noun 1.
 intentions of both existing and potential customers (Anderson Anderson, river, Canada
Anderson, river, c.465 mi (750 km) long, rising in several lakes in N central Northwest Territories, Canada. It meanders north and west before receiving the Carnwath River and flowing north to Liverpool Bay, an arm of the Arctic
, Fornell & Lehmann Leh·mann   , Lotte 1888-1976.

German-born American soprano known for her performances in operas by Richard Strauss. She sang with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City (1934-1945).
, 1994; Caruana & Pitt, 1997; Leverin & Liljander, 2006). Furthermore, if customers stay long with the company, more profit can be gained by reducing customer acquisition costs and lowering costs thanks to serving repeat customers (Heskett, Jones, Loveman, Sasser & Schlesinger Schles·in·ger   , Arthur Meier 1888-1965.

American historian whose works include The Rise of the City (1933). His son Arthur Meier, Jr. (born 1917), also a historian, was an adviser to President John F.
, 1994; Mittal Mittal is a gotra of the Agrawal community, often used as a last name. It may refer to:
  • Arcelor Mittal — steel company, formerly Mittal Steel Company
  • Lakshmi Mittal — Indian steel entrepreneur
 & Lassar, 1998; Roig Roig is a Catalan surname, it means red, may refer to:
From father
  • Arturo Andrés Roig, Argentine philosopher
From mother
  • Juan Ramón Epitié Dyowe Roig, footballer from Equatorial Guinea, born in Catalonia
, Garcia Gar·ci·a   , Jerome John Known as "Jerry." 1942-1995.

American musician who gained fame as the cofounder and lead guitarist of the folk-rock group the Grateful Dead (1965-1995).
, Tena & Monzonis, 2006).

And finally, SQ can be used to fan word-of-mouth advertising (Julian Julian
 or Julian the Apostate Latin Julianus Apostata orig. Flavius Claudius Julianus

(born AD 331/332, Constantinople—died June 26/27, 363, Ctesiphon, Mesopotamia) Roman emperor (361–363), noted scholar and military leader.
 & Ramaseshan, 1994). This powerful tool can help the company to recruit new customers with lower cost. It is estimated that attracting new customers is about four times more expensive than retaining the current ones (Wang (Wang Laboratories, Inc., Lowell, MA) A computer services and network integration company. Wang was one of the major early contributors to the computing industry from its founder's invention that made core memory possible, to leadership in desktop calculators and word processors. , Lo & Hui Hui

Muslim people of western China. They number about nine million. Their ancestors were merchants, soldiers, craftsmen, and scholars who came to China from Islamic Persia and Central Asia from the 7th to the 13th century and intermarried with the Han Chinese and other local
, 2003). The research topic, measuring customer satisfaction based on service quality gap, has been widely discussed by many researchers for years. In the scope of this research, the authors intended to provide insights into the gaps between customer expectations and customer perceptions towards the SQ which the local bank was offering. The researchers also explored the relationship between the age, gender of the respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy.  and their bank visit frequency.

The hypotheses the researchers aimed at testing including (1) There is a gap between customer perception and customer expectation towards the bank's SQ, and (2) There is an association between age/ gender of customers and the frequency of their bank visits.

While SERVQUAL SERVQUAL Service Quality  framework is the most widely used SQ measuring tool in developed countries (Blanchard & Galloway, 1994), it has not been applied in developing Asian countries as popularly as it has been in developed countries in Europe Europe (yr`əp), 6th largest continent, c.4,000,000 sq mi (10,360,000 sq km) including adjacent islands (1992 est. pop. 512,000,000).  and in the U.S. The authors put this powerful tool in a real organizational setting in Vietnam Vietnam (vēĕt`näm), officially Socialist Republic of Vietnam, republic (v), 128,400 sq mi (332,642 sq km), Southeast Asia. Occupying the eastern coastline of the Southeast Asian peninsula, Vietnam is bounded by China on the north, by Laos , one of the developing Asian countries, with the hope to contribute to the literature to some extent. Furthermore, the research also helped the local bank managers to gain deeper understanding of their business and their customers.

This paper began with a brief review of the relevant literature developed earlier, followed by the researchers' hypotheses and the methodology explanation. In later parts, the results were presented, and discussed before the conclusions were drawn.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Understanding the concept of service quality

SQ is a multi-dimensional concept (Jamal JAMAL Just Another Macro Language  & Naser, 2002); it means different things to different people (Bennington Bennington, town (1990 pop. 16,451), seat of Bennington co., SW Vt.; chartered 1749, settled 1761. It includes the villages of North Bennington and Old Bennington.  & Cummane, 1998). Firstly, service is abstract (Sureshchandar, Rajendran & Anantharaman, 2002). As a result, service is difficult for suppliers to explain and for customers to assess (Edvardsson et al., 1994). Secondly, no global definition of quality has been established until the time of speaking even though this has been the focus of discussion throughout history. Rather, different definitions are accepted under different circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
     2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or
 (Reeves & Bednar, 1994). The search for this definition carried out by Bennington and Cummane (1998) showed that quality has been defined variously as excellence (Pirsig, 1974 & Kitto Kitto may refer to:
  • Frank Kitto (1903-1994), Australian high court justice
  • H. D. F. Kitto (1897-1982), British classical Greek scholar
  • John Kitto (1804-1854), British bible scholar
  • Kitto, Australian rock singer/guitarist/songwriter, living in Stockholm
, 1951), value (Feigenbaum Feigenbaum (meaning "fig tree" in the German language) is the surname of:
  • Armand V. Feigenbaum (born 1922), American quality control expert
  • Edward Feigenbaum (born 1936), American computer scientist known as the "father of expert systems"
, 1951 & Abbott, 1955), conformance con·for·mance  
n.
Conformity.

Noun 1. conformance - correspondence in form or appearance
conformity

agreement, correspondence - compatibility of observations; "there was no agreement between theory and
 to specifications (Levitt, 1972 & Gilmore Gilmore is a surname, and may refer to: People
  • Alan C. Gilmore
  • Art Gilmore
  • Artis Gilmore
  • Bob Gilmore
  • Bryan Gilmore
  • Charles W. Gilmore, American paleontologist of the early 20th century
  • Daniel Gilmore
  • Don Gilmore
  • Eamon Gilmore
, 1974), conformance to requirements (Crosby Crosby, town (1991 pop. 54,116), Sefton metropolitan district, NW England, on Liverpool Bay. Formed in 1937 from the urban districts of Great Crosby and Waterloo-with-Seaforth, Crosby is primarily residential. The town's history dates back more than 1,000 years. , 1979), fitness for use (Juran, 1974, 1988), loss avoidance (Taguchi Taguchi is a common surname of Japanese origin. Taguchi may refer to:
  • Genichi Taguchi, engineer and author of the Taguchi statistical methods
  • Hiroko Taguchi, a Japanese voice actress
  • Nobutaka Taguchi, an Olympic gold medalist in swimming
 cited in Ross, 1989) and meeting and/or exceeding customers' expectations (Gronroos, 1982 cited in Parasuraman et al., 1988). Quality is also defined as "a measure of the extent to which the service delivered meets the customers' expectations" (Ghobadian, Speller spell·er  
n.
1. One who spells words: students who are good spellers.

2. An elementary textbook containing exercises that teach spelling.

Noun 1.
 & Jones, 1993) which was supported by Harrison Harrison, town (1990 pop. 13,425), Hudson co., NE N.J., an industrial suburb on the Passaic River opposite Newark; inc. 1869. The town has several foundries. Its manufactures include plastics, paperboard, and metal products.  (2000). Among many definitions, Reeves and Bednar (1994) stated that the most popular definition of quality was meeting and/or exceeding customers' expectations. And this definition was adopted within the scope of this paper.

SERVQUAL model--a SQ measuring instrument

A sound measure of SQ is necessary in any organisation, especially service organisations for a number of reasons. Firstly, it identifies the aspects of service requiring performance improvement. Secondly, it assesses how much improvement is needed on each aspect, and evaluates the impact of improvement efforts (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2003). Lastly, the right measurement method also helps to guide management's decisions to achieve the maximum impact on customers with limited resources (Bennington & Cummane, 1998; Machauer & Morgner, 2001).

What do customers consider when they judge SQ? This question has been addressed by many researchers over the years. Now it is safe to conclude that customers do not perceive quality in a uni-dimensional way. Instead, they judge it based on a number of factors relevant to the context (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2003). Hemmasi, Strong and Taylor Taylor, city (1990 pop. 70,811), Wayne co., SE Mich., a suburb of Detroit adjacent to Dearborn; founded 1847 as a township, inc. as a city 1968. A small rural village until World War II, it developed significantly in the second half of the 20th cent.  (1994) said that the most widely used and tested SQ instrument has been SERVQUAL. Moreover, it is also the most frequently applied model in international settings (Newman, 2001; Kassim & Bojei, 2002, Sureshchandar et al., 2002; Zhou Zhou or Chou or Chow  

A Chinese dynasty (traditionally dated 1122-221 b.c.) characterized by great intellectual achievements, including the rise of Confucianism and Taoism and the writing of the
, 2004). Cronin Cronin is a surname, and may refer to
  • A.J. Cronin, Scottish novelist
  • Anthony Cronin, Irish poet
  • Breeda Moynihan Cronin, Irish politician
  • Cornelius Cronin, Medal of Honor recipient during the American Civil War
  • Daniel Cronin, Illinois State Senator
 and Taylor (1992) even concluded that this model fit well with the banking industry. The research focused on the performance of a bank; therefore, SERVQUAL was adopted.

This framework was based on the gap theory developed by Parasuraman et al. (1985). In the earliest stage of SERVQUAL, there were ten components of SQ. They were tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, communication, credibility, security, competence, courtesy, understanding/ knowing the customer, and access (Parasuraman et al., 1985). Later on, these determinants were consolidated into SERVQUAL instrument with five dimensions: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy empathy

Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing.
 (Buttle Buttle refers to:
  • Jeffrey Buttle, figure skater
  • Greg Buttle, linebacker
  • Buttle Lake, Vancouver
  • Robert D. Buttle, U.S. marine
  • The name of the family in Brazil (film)
, 1996). These five dimensions were also considered as the skeleton skeleton, in anatomy
skeleton, in anatomy, the stiff supportive framework of the body. The two basic types of skeleton found among animals are the exoskeleton and the endoskeleton.
 of SERVQUAL (Bahia Bahia, state, Brazil
Bahia (bäē`yə), state (1991 pop. 11,867,991), 216,612 sq mi (559,921 sq km), E Brazil, on the Atlantic Ocean. Salvador (also called Bahia) is the capital.
 & Nantel, 2000). In their works in 1988, its authors, Parasuraman et al. defined them as followed.

Tangibles: "the appearance of physical facilities, equipments, personnel".

Reliability: "the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately".

Responsiveness: "the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service"

Assurance: "the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence".

Empathy: "the caring, individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize  
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.

2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.

3.
 attention the firm provides its customers".

Thus, while SERVQUAL refers to only five dimensions, it still covers all ten original components as mentioned earlier (Parasuraman et al., 1988; Zeithaml et al., 1990).

The survey asks customers to provide different ratings on the level of service which they expect from the company and on their perception of service delivered by the company in two separate parts. The first part of the measuring process is to establish customer expectation (CE) of the service they want and the second part is about customer perception (CP) of the services actually provided. During the measuring process, customers will use a 22-statement questionnaire based on the above-mentioned five dimensions. In each statement, the 7-interval Likert scale Likert scale A subjective scoring system that allows a person being surveyed to quantify likes and preferences on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the least important, relevant, interesting, most ho-hum, or other, and 5 being most excellent, yeehah important, etc  is applied to measure customers' expected quality and customers' perceived quality. By contrasting these two measurement profiles from customers, the difference between what the customers expected from the bank and what the bank has done to meet those expectations can be clearly seen (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2003).

Besides the authors, other researchers such as Sasser, Olsen Olsen may refer to:
  • Fred. Olsen & Co., a large shipping company with worldwide headquarters based in Oslo, Norway
  • Olsen (surname), people with the surname Olsen
See also
  • Olsen Brothers, a Danish rock/pop music duo
  • Olsen Gang
 and Wyckoff
  • Wyckoff, New Jersey
  • Peter Wyckoff
  • Ralph Walter Graystone Wyckoff
  • Richard Wyckoff
  • Weldon Wyckoff
  • Wyckoff-Garretson House
  • Wyckoff positions
 (1978 cited in Parasuraman et al., 1988) all agreed that SERVQUAL measures perceived quality or the discrepancy DISCREPANCY. A difference between one thing and another, between one writing and another; a variance. (q.v.)
     2. Discrepancies are material and immaterial.
 between CE and CP. In the SQ literature, customer expectations are understood as "desires or wants of consumers" (Zeithaml, Berry & Parasuraman, 1993) or "what they feel the service provider should offer rather than would offer" (Parasuraman et al., 1988). Customer perceptions are defined as "the customer's judgement of the service organization's performance" (Llosa, Chandon & Orsingher, 1998).

The importance of demographic information

Today organizations have to manage their activities within limited available resources. Thus, how to allocate To reserve a resource such as memory or disk. See memory allocation.  those resources effectively is always the question set for any management team. The more they understand their customers, the better their decisions could be. Demographic information such as age, gender, income, marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state.
, education, etc. could be of great help (Kaynak & Harcar, 2004). It is definitely helpful information for the bank managers because their respondents of different gender and age group could have different decisions when doing business with the bank (Spathis, Petridou & Glaveli, 2004; Palmer & Bejou, 1995).

Hypotheses

H1: There is a gap between customer perception and customer expectation towards the bank's service quality.

H2: There is an association between age/ gender of customers and the frequency of their bank visits.

METHODOLOGY

Due to the uniqueness of the study focusing on a local bank in Vietnam and the necessity of valid and reliable data to gain an insight into the situation, collecting quantitative data from a primary research was the researchers' choice. The primary data were collected through a point-of-sale self-administered questionnaire survey with the sample size of 1,000 in three weeks' time with the help of the bank staff at all branches of the bank in Vietnam.

Sampling plan

Convenience sampling was applied. Thus, every customer who came to the bank during business hours BUSINESS HOURS. The time of the day during which business is transacted. In respect to the time of presentment and demand of bills and notes, business hours generally range through the whole day down to the hours of rest in the evening, except when the paper is payable it a bank or by a  (8.00-16.00) from Monday Monday: see week.  to Friday Friday: see Sabbath; week.

Friday

young Indian rescued by Crusoe and kept as servant and companion. [Br. Lit.: Robinson Crusoe]

See : Servant
 and Saturday Saturday: see week; Sabbath.  morning (8.00-11.30) over the period of three weeks' time was offered to participate in the study.

Validity of the questionnaire content

In developing the questionnaire, previous studies in the data collection method by using point-of-sale self-administered questionnaire (Oppenheim, 1992; Hiles, 1993; Zikmund, 2003; Hill, Brierley Brierley (Pronounced as "bry"-"early") is a town and a civil parish in the metropolitan borough of Barnsley (part of South Yorkshire, England), on the border with West Yorkshire.  & McDougall Mc·Dou·gall , William 1871-1938.

British-born American psychologist who theorized that human behavior is determined by both instinctive and intentional strivings.
, 2003; Chisnall, 2005), designing questionnaire (Crouch & Housden, 1996; Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill Thornhill may refer to:
  • Thornhill, Cardiff, Wales
  • Thornhill, Cwmbran, Wales
  • Thornhill, Cumbria, England
  • Thornhill, Derbyshire, England
  • Thornhill, Southampton, England
  • Thornhill, West Yorkshire, England
  • Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
, 2003; Robson See Robson cache. , Pemberton & McGrane, 2005) were seriously considered.

A pilot study was needed for some reasons. First, SERVQUAL model was developed in the West. As a result, it would be best suited to be applied in that culture (Winsted, 1997). Second, cultural differences can affect the way people evaluate SQ because they lead to various dimensions of SQ accordingly (Malhotra, Francis, Agarwal & Baalbaki, 1994 cited in Winsted, 1997). Third, the banking practices are different in each region of the world, in most cases in each country. Thus, the same measurements could not be used directly in the banking sector in an Asian country Noun 1. Asian country - any one of the nations occupying the Asian continent
Asian nation

country, land, state - the territory occupied by a nation; "he returned to the land of his birth"; "he visited several European countries"
 (Cui, Lewis & Park, 2003). However, researchers are still on the way to quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue

look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the
 the instrument with universally applicable dimensions of SQ (Bolton & Myers, 2003). In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile
, SERVQUAL can be employed.

Because the survey was conducted in Vietnam, the questionnaire was translated into Vietnamese for the benefit of Vietnamese respondents. Although two experienced senior managers in that local bank checked and approved the content validity content validity,
n the degree to which an experiment or measurement actually reflects the variable it has been designed to measure.
 (wording and meaning) of the questionnaire, the researchers still decided to carry out a pilot study to test the potential effectiveness and limitations of the questionnaire (Robson et al., 2005).

Based on the pilot study results with 30 bank customers, the researchers made necessary adjustments to the questionnaire before distributing it to the potential respondents in the main survey. Pilot studies have also been performed with other banks which have employed SERVQUAL (Bahia & Nantel, 2000).

Measurements

The refined version of the questionnaire included seven questions carefully designed in terms of content and answer strategies.

Question 1 asked the branch visit frequency level of the respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests. .

Question 2 asked about the respondent's opinion of different service attributes using the five SERVQUAL dimensions, as suggested in the Literature--reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles.

Question 3 asked the respondent to rate the importance of each SQ dimension.

Question 4 asked the respondent to specify whether the overall SQ has changed over the last six months.

Question 5 asked whether the respondent would recommend the bank to their family members/friends

Question 6 asked about the gender of the respondent.

Question 7 asked about asked the age of the respondent.

FINDINGS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

In the scope of the main survey, 1,000 questionnaires were distributed in all bank branches nationwide. After three weeks' time, 284 questionnaires were collected (28.4% out of the total number of questionnaires distributed). Out of 284 questionnaires returned, 268 were considered to be valid and usable USable is a special idea contest to transfer US American ideas into practice in Germany. USable is initiated by the German Körber-Stiftung (foundation Körber). It is doted with 150,000 Euro and awarded every two years. . The invalid Null; void; without force or effect; lacking in authority.

For example, a will that has not been properly witnessed is invalid and unenforceable.


INVALID. In a physical sense, it is that which is wanting force; in a figurative sense, it signifies that which has no effect.
 ones caused by the failure to answer all the questions required. The data collected from 268 questionnaires were later used to analyse an·a·lyse  
v. Chiefly British
Variant of analyze.


analyse or US -lyze
Verb

[-lysing, -lysed] or -lyzing,
 the bank situation.

Reliability Analysis

Before analyzing any data collected, the researchers had conducted the scale's reliability test for the main items of the questionnaire. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, they were 32 items (both CE and CP scores). For all of the items, The Cronbach's alpha Cronbach's (alpha) has an important use as a measure of the reliability of a psychometric instrument. It was first named as alpha by Cronbach (1951), as he had intended to continue with further instruments.  value ranged from 0.836 to 0.848, which are greater than suggested criterion 0.7. The measurements can be considered reliable with the sample (See Appendices ap·pen·di·ces  
n.
A plural of appendix.
, Table 1, 2 & 3).

Testing Hypothesis 1--There is a gap between customer perception and customer expectation towards the bank's SQ.

The researchers aimed at comparing three groups of respondents on five SQ dimensions, in terms of expectation and perception levels. Based on the 7-point Likert scale, the mean difference between the perception and the expectation statements measured the perception-expectation gap (PE gap) (Coulthard, 2004). As suggested by Parasuraman et al. (1988), if the P-E gap has the value of 0, there is no difference between CE and CP towards the SQ; if CP-CE<0, then customer expected more than what the customer perceived the bank offered or the bank did not meet CE; if CP-CE>0, then the performance of the bank exceeded the customer expectation.

The researchers adopted the order of importance of five service quality dimensions as suggested by Parasuraman et al. (1988) when designing the questionnaire. Thus, reliability was the most critical dimension, followed by responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles. In the scope of this research, the authors aimed at measuring the respondents' satisfaction of each dimension. Thus, only the percentage of answers with P-E gap [greater than or equal to] 0 would be taken into consideration. As stated earlier, when P-E gap = 0, how customer perceived from what they offered by the bank matches with their expectation. Therefore, only P-E gap with value >0 would be discussed further.

In terms of the first dimension, reliability, group 3 had the highest percentage of respondent having P-E gap [greater than or equal to] 1, especially in statement 2 and 3. 35.95% of group 2 also had P-E gap with regards to statement 3.

Evaluating the second dimension, responsiveness, group 3 continued ranking the highest percentage group. 18.3% of group 2 was notable when assessing statement 2. Even though P-E gap existed across all statements, the respondents were quite satisfied with the bank performance. For the third dimension, assurance, answers of group 2 and 3 showed that a large number of respondents were not happy with the bank. Group 1 was quite satisfied except for the 26.56% who expected more from statement 3.

The results obtained when evaluating the fourth SQ dimension, empathy, showed that group 2 was the group with highest percentage of respondents having the gap.

Assessing the last SQ dimension, tangibles, group 2 expressed their opinions through the lowest percentage of respondents having the P-E gap. But it was not the case with group 1 and group 3, especially with three statements from 2 to 4.

The results could give the bank evidences to see how respondents perceived the bank's SQ and the importance of making necessary improvements to bridge their P-E gap.

The P-E gap width varied across all five dimensions of SQ. And it was necessary for the bank to know how wide it was in each statement. The percentage of each respondent group having the P-E gap was subdivided into smaller groups based on the P-E gap value. For e.g., the gap value may be large, but the percentage of people having answers with that gap was small or it did not make much sense compared to the total number. It meant it might not be very necessary for the bank to give it the top priority in their agenda. This could be vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides.  as well, say, the gap was small but the majority of respondents shared that opinion.

Testing hypothesis 2: There is association between age/ gender of customers and the frequency of their bank visits.

To serve their customers best, the bank managers need to know how frequently their customers visit the bank branch to allocate the resources (i.e., capital, labor) in the bank more effectively. The researchers also needed that information to analyse the profile of the local bank's customer in relation to their frequency of the bank visits. Besides, the frequency of their bank visits definitely influence their perception towards the bank's SQ. The more they come, the more precise their perceptions are.

Respondents were grouped under three categories:

Group 1: Respondents visited the branch once a week or more often

Group 2: Respondents visited the branch less often than once a week but once a month or more

Group 3: Respondents visited the branch less often than once a month

The findings provided an overview of the branch visit frequency level of respondents. Group 2 was the largest group with 57.1%, followed by Group 1 with 23.9%. The group with the lowest frequency was Group 3 with 19%.

The researchers also employed the Chi-square test to check the "age and frequency" as well as the "gender and frequency" relationship.

Age--Frequency relationship across 6 age groups

The researcher employed Chi-square test here. The significant value was 0.000 (<0.01), and by the usual decision criteria the null hypothesis null hypothesis,
n theoretical assumption that a given therapy will have results not statistically different from another treatment.

null hypothesis,
n
 stating that there was "no association exists between age and frequency level" was accepted. In other words, no significant association at 1% significance level (because this overrides 5%) existed between respondents' age and their frequency level.

Gender--Frequency relationship

Chi-square test was used again here. The significant value was 0.117 (>0.05), and by the usual decision criteria the hypothesis stating that there was "no association exists between gender and frequency level" was rejected. In other words, the chi-square test of independence of the relationship between gender and frequency level found a statistically significant relationship between the variables. It can be seen clearly that 17.3% of Group 1, 63.5% of Group 2 and 19.2% of Group 3 were males while 28% of Group 1, 53% of Group 2 and 18.9% of Group 3 were females.

The Chi-square test results clearly suggested that there was no association between age and frequency level of respondents while there was an association between respondents' gender and their frequency level.

Other findings

The researchers also took a further step to find out the distribution pattern of respondents in terms of age and gender. This demographic information was analyzed an·a·lyze  
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.

2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.

3.
 for the purpose of giving the bank managers another reference source for better decisions.

The age distribution showed that there were 5 age groups instead of 6 (Table 11). The majority (61.6%) of the bank customers were young people (31.7%) between 24 to 35 years old and middle-aged people (29.9%) between 36 to 49 years old. Respondents between 50 and 59 made up the third largest group (15.7%), followed by the youngest respondent group between 18 and 23 (13.4%). The smallest group (9.3%) were people over 60 years old.

It can be seen clearly from the gender distribution that out of 268 bank customers 61.2% were females while males accounted for 38.8%.

From the above statistical numbers, the researchers could conclude that the majority of respondents with high frequency level were the second youngest group (24-35) and middle-aged people (36-49), followed by other groups. In terms of gender, female respondents always accounted for the majority compared to male ones.

CONCLUSION

This study found that P-E gaps of different widths existed across all five SQ dimensions. Though the majority of respondents were quite satisfied with what they perceived from the bank, the gap was not too broad to be bridged. The width of the gap (or the value of P-E gap) varied depending on each particular aspect of these five SQ dimensions. It is true that no bank can be the best for all customers (Zineldin, 1996). In addition to the first finding, the study proved that there was an association between gender and frequency level of respondents while there was no association between age and the frequency of their bank visits.

Besides the main findings, the research also produced some other findings giving the bank a deeper insight into their customers. The study helped the bank management team to know that (1) the majority of respondents with high frequency level were the second youngest group (24-35) and middle-aged people (36-49); (2) female respondents (61.2%) always accounted for the majority compared to male ones (38.8%).

RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS

SERVQUAL framework has not been applied in developing Asian countries as widely as it has been in developed countries such as the U.S. or European countries. Throughout an in-depth study of the application of SERVQUAL as a SQ measuring tool in a real organizational setting, this research contributes to knowledge to some extent.

To a lesser or greater degree, this study was also beneficial for the bank managers. They could gain deeper understanding of SQ dimensions concerned by bank customers. Also, the study provided them with further information of the frequency level of customers in association to age and gender. This could be employed as the background to develop the best suited strategies to maximise customer satisfaction.

MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS

In the light of the literature mentioned in the early part of this paper and the findings revealed from the customer survey, the researchers strongly suggested that the bank should:

* allocate more resources to upgrade the service quality offered to the most frequent customer groups.

* bridge the present P-E gaps to fully satisfy and retain the customers in the era which they are vital to the business success (Quinn & Humble, 1993).

* develop the right strategies to please different groups of customers based on what they value and expect, in other words, this is the way to augment aug·ment  
v. aug·ment·ed, aug·ment·ing, aug·ments

v.tr.
1. To make (something already developed or well under way) greater, as in size, extent, or quantity:
 the services and differentiate the bank from its competitors.

* effectively communicate with its customers to pave PAVE Cardiology A clinical trial–Post AV Node Ablation Evaluation  the way for managing and exceeding their expectations (Groth & Dye, 1999).

* periodically conduct customer surveys to best use this invaluable source of information for generating continuous SQ improvement (Lin & Jones, 1997) as required by the nature of financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
 (Rose & Watkins, 1997).

LIMITATIONS

It is difficult to find a framework with a set of SQ dimensions that can apply across culture while cultural differences can give the same statement different meanings when it is read by different people (Winsted, 1997). To improve the model validity and to reduce the risk of cross-cultural application of this model when applied in Vietnamese cultural context, a pilot study was carried out before launching the main survey. However, it is still the weakness of this study.

Another weakness of this study is the use of a convenience sample. It is because people who did not come to the bank during the three weeks did not get an equal chance to take the survey.

The other limitation related to the fact that the researchers relied on data provided by the local bank. The researchers were in the U.K. during the time the data collection process took place. In an effort to control the situation and minimise the limitation of this research, they forwarded the questionnaire design and clearly stated the requirements of the sampling plan to the local bank. However, it was impossible to say for sure that there were no mistakes made all the way through this process.

FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

The relative importance of SQ dimensions in customers' eyes was identified from the primary research results. This suggested the researchers to look further into the nature of each SQ dimension and pay more attention to the most important service aspects ranked by customers. In doing so, the services can be improved in the directions which customers highly value.

Vietnamese people belong to high-context culture (Rodrigues, 1997). This makes the researchers think that the answers collected from Vietnamese customers in their study are less straightforward than the answers other studies found for the western customers?

National culture plays an important role in the way customers judge the services provided or the company's efforts in satisfying the needs and wants of customers (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2003; Laroche et al., 2004). Further studies should be done to find out how culture is so powerful, what kind of cultural elements have magnified the impact on the way customers perceive SQ in Vietnam and how to utilise these factors to develop the best suited strategies to minimise the P-E gap and maximise the bank's ability in satisfying its customers.

Customers normally think that price is an indicator of quality. For example, they may think that the more they pay, the better the service should be (Kangis & Passa, 1997). Thus, the price factor and its influences on CE should also be taken into consideration.

APPENDICES

Here is the output of the Reliability test for 32 main items in the questionnaire (obtained from SPSS A statistical package from SPSS, Inc., Chicago (www.spss.com) that runs on PCs, most mainframes and minis and is used extensively in marketing research. It provides over 50 statistical processes, including regression analysis, correlation and analysis of variance. )
Table 1: Case Processing Summary

                              N           %
Cases    Valid               268       100.0
         Excluded(a)           0          .0
         Total               268       100.0

Table 2: Reliability Statistics

Cronbach's Alpha     N of Items

     .847                32

Table 3: Item-Total Statistics

            Scale Mean      Scale Variance
              if Item          if Item
              Deleted          Deleted

S1D1E          176.41          145.778
S1D1P          176.68          140.557
S2D1E          176.69          143.952
S2D1P          177.07          134.460
S3D1E          176.57          148.830
S3D1P          176.60          140.922
S1D2E          176.28          147.049
S1D2P          177.07          135.190
S2D2E          176.10          150.049
S2D2P          176.54          143.867
S3D2E          176.37          147.133
S3D2P          176.97          138.467
S1D3E          176.44          147.813
S1D3P          176.65          141.696
S2D3E          176.37          149.327
S2D3P          176.63          142.975
S3D3E          176.77          143.203
S3D3P          176.63          144.662
S4D3E          176.39          146.725
S4D3P          176.44          145.438
S1D4E          176.82          144.507
S1D4P          176.83          141.826
S2D4E          176.44          144.862
S2D4P          177.06          135.206
S1D5E          176.60          144.428
S1D5P          176.77          141.315
S2D5E          176.46          147.897
S2D5P          176.46          146.571
S3D5E          176.75          145.025
S3D5P          177.03          138.692
S4D5E          176.48          150.265
S4D5P          176.44          147.857

             Corrected       Cronbach's
             Item-Total        Alpha if
            Correlation      Item Deleted

S1D1E           .355             .843
S1D1P           .515             .838
S2D1E           .414             .841
S2D1P           .532             .836
S3D1E           .164             .847
S3D1P           .377             .842
S1D2E           .320             .844
S1D2P           .477             .839
S2D2E           .164             .847
S2D2P           .349             .843
S3D2E           .321             .844
S3D2P           .414             .841
S1D3E           .243             .845
S1D3P           .423             .840
S2D3E           .188             .846
S2D3P           .389             .841
S3D3E           .509             .839
S3D3P           .386             .842
S4D3E           .362             .843
S4D3P           .290             .844
S1D4E           .349             .843
S1D4P           .354             .843
S2D4E           .459             .841
S2D4P           .480             .838
S1D5E           .348             .843
S1D5P           .395             .841
S2D5E           .257             .845
S2D5P           .290             .844
S3D5E           .388             .842
S3D5P           .416             .841
S4D5E           .101             .848
S4D5P           .212             .846

Table 4: Explanation of A

Abbreviation    Explanation             Statement content

S1D1E           Customer Expectation    When the bank promises to
                towards Statement 1,    do something by a certain
                Dimension 1             times, it does so.

S1D1P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 1,
                Dimension 1

S2D1E           Customer Expectation    When you have a problem,
                towards Statement 2,    the bank shows a sincere
                Dimension 1             interest in solving it.

S2D1P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 2,
                Dimension 1

S3D1E           Customer Expectation    The bank performs the service
                towards Statement 3,    right the first time.
                Dimension 1

S3D1P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 3,
                Dimension 1

S1D2E           Customer Expectation    Employees in the bank give
                towards Statement 1,    you prompt service.
                Dimension 2

S1D2P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 1,
                Dimension 2

S2D2E           Customer Expectation    Employees in the bank are
                towards Statement 2,    always willing to help
                Dimension 2             you.

S2D2P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 2,
                Dimension 2

S3D2E           Customer Expectation    Employees in the bank are
                towards Statement 3,    never too busy to respond
                Dimension 2             to your request.

S3D2P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 3,
                Dimension 2

S1D3E           Customer Expectation    The behavior of the employees
                towards Statement 1,    in the bank instils
                Dimension 3             confidence in you.

S1D3P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 1,
                Dimension 3

S2D3E           Customer Expectation    You feel safe in your
                towards Statement 2,    transactions with the bank.
                Dimension 3

S2D3P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 2,
                Dimension 3

S3D3E           Customer Expectation    Employees in the bank are
                towards Statement 3,    consistently courteous
                Dimension 3             with you.

S3D3P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 3,
                Dimension 3

S4D3E           Customer Expectation    Employees in the bank have
                towards Statement 4,    the knowledge to answer
                Dimension 3             your questions.

S4D3P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 4,
                Dimension 3

S1D4E           Customer Expectation    The bank has employees who
                towards Statement 1,    give you individual
                Dimension 4             attention.

S1D4P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 1,
                Dimension 4

S2D4E           Customer Expectation    Employees of the bank
                towards Statement 2,    understand your specific
                Dimension 4             needs.

S2D4P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 2,
                Dimension 4

S1D5E           Customer Expectation    The bank has modern-looking
                towards Statement 1,    equipment.
                Dimension 5

S1D5P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 1,
                Dimension 5

S2D5E           Customer Expectation    The bank's employees
                towards Statement 2,    appear neat.
                Dimension 5

S2D5P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 2,
                Dimension 5

S3D5E           Customer Expectation    Materials associated with the
                towards Statement 3,    service (such as pamphlets
                Dimension 5             or statements) are visually
                                        appealing at the bank.

S3D5P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 3,
                Dimension 5

S4D5E           Customer Expectation    The bank has convenient
                towards Statement 4,    business hours.
                Dimension 5

S4D5P           Customer Perception
                towards Statement 4,
                Dimension 5


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Table 1: Percentage of respondents having answers with P-E gap [greater
than or equal to] 1 across all statements

Dimensions     No.     Statements                   Percentage of
                                                  respondents having
                                                   answers with P-E
                                                        gap > 1

                                                   Group 1    Group 2

Reliability       1    When the bank promises        6.25       4.58
                       to do something by a
                       certain times, it
                       does so.

                  2    When you have a              10.94      15.03
                       problem, the bank shows
                       a sincere interest
                       in solving it.

                  3    The bank performs the         9.38      35.95
                       service right the
                       first time.

Respon-           1    Employees in the bank         4.69       5.23
siveness               give you prompt
                       service.

                  2    Employees in the bank         6.25       8.5
                       are always willing to
                       help you.

                  3    Employees in the bank         7.81      18.3
                       are never too busy to
                       respond to your
                       request.

Assurance         1    The behavior of the           4.69      24.84
                       employees in the bank
                       instils confidence in
                       you.

                  2    You feel safe in your         3.13      32.68
                       transactions with the
                       bank.

                  3    Employees in the bank        26.56      35.95
                       are consistently
                       courteous with you.

                  4    Employees in the bank         9.38      37.91
                       have the knowledge to
                       answer your questions.

Empathy           1    The bank has employees       17.19      39.87
                       who give you individual
                       attention.

                  2    Employees of the bank         1.56       18.3
                       understand your
                       specific needs.

Tangibles         1    The bank has modern-         20.31      10.46
                       looking equipment.

                  2    The bank's employees         48.44      15.03
                       appear neat.

                  3    Materials associated         26.56      13.08
                       with the service (such
                       as pamphlets or
                       statements) are
                       visually appealing at
                       the bank.

                  4    The bank has convenient         25      13.72
                       business hours.

Statements                          Percentage of respondents having
                                        answers with P-E gap > 1

                                                  Group 3

When the bank promises                              27.45
to do something by a
certain times, it
does so.

When you have a                                     43.14
problem, the bank shows
a sincere interest
in solving it.

The bank performs the                               49.02
service right the
first time.

Employees in the bank                               23.53
give you prompt
service.

Employees in the bank                               19.61
are always willing to
help you.

Employees in the bank                               17.65
are never too busy to
respond to your
request.

The behavior of the                                 31.37
employees in the bank
instils confidence in
you.

You feel safe in your                               25.49
transactions with the
bank.

Employees in the bank                               50.98
are consistently
courteous with you.

Employees in the bank                               27.45
have the knowledge to
answer your questions.

The bank has employees                              23.53
who give you individual
attention.

Employees of the bank                                7.84
understand your
specific needs.

The bank has modern-                                17.25
looking equipment.

The bank's employees                                33.33
appear neat.

Materials associated                                 54.9
with the service (such
as pamphlets or
statements) are
visually appealing at
the bank.

The bank has convenient                             50.98
business hours.

Table 2: Percentage of respondents having answers with P-E gap
[greater than or equal to] 0 across all statements of the first
dimension--Reliability

1st Dimension    No.     Statements            The P-E gap width
                                               ([greater than or
                                                   equal to] 0)

                                                       Group 1

Reliability         1    When the bank               From 0 to 1
                         promises to do           50% had P-E gap=0
                         something by a          6.25% had P-E gap=1
                         certain times,
                         it does so.

                    2    When you have a             From 0 to 1
                         problem, the bank       51.6% had P-E gap=0
                         shows a sincere         10.9% had P-E gap=1
                         interest in             0.65% had P-E gap=2
                         solving it.

                    3    The bank performs           From 0 to 1
                         the service right       68.8% had P-E gap=0
                         the first time.         9.4% had P-E gap=1
                                                 5.88% had P-E gap=2

Statements                   The P-E gap width ([is greater than
                                          or equal to] 0)

                              Group 2                  Group 3

When the bank               From 0 to 1              From 0 to 2
promises to do             72.6% had P-E gap=0      45.1% had P-E gap=0
something by a certain      4.6% had P-E gap=1      27.5% had P-E gap=2
times, it does so.

When you have a             From 0 to 2              From 0 to 2
problem, the bank           7.71% had P-E gap=0     29.4% had P-E gap=0
shows a sincere            14.4% had P-E gap=1      25.5% had P-E gap=1
interest in solving it.    17.7% had P-E gap=2

The bank performs the       From 0 to 2              From 0 to 2
service right the first    39.2% had P-E gap=0     23.5% had P-E gap=0
time.                      30.1% had P-E gap=1     21.6% had P-E gap=1
                           27.5% had P-E gap=2

Table 3: Percentage of respondents having answers with P-E gap [greater
than or equal to] 0 across all statements of the second dimension--
Responsiveness

2nd           No.    Statements                 The P-E gap width
Dimension                                       ([greater than or
                                                   equal to] 0)

                                                    Group 1

Responsiv     1      Employees in                 From 0 to 1
eness                the bank                 45.3% had P-E gap=0
                     give you prompt          4.7% had P-E gap=1
                     service.

              2      Employees in                 From 0 to 1
                     the bank                 60.9% had P-E gap=0
                     are always               6.3% had P-E gap=1
                     willing to
                     help you.

              3      Employees in                 From 0 to 1
                     the bank                 48.4% had P-E gap=0
                     are never too            7.8% had P-E gap=1
                     busy to
                     respond to your
                     request.

Statements           The P-E gap width ([greater than or equal to] 0)

                           Group 2                  Group 3

Employees in             From 0 to 2              From 0 to 2
the bank             41.2% had P-E gap=0      49.0% had P-E gap=0
give you prompt       4.6% had P-E gap=1      17.7% had P-E gap=1
service.             0.65% had P-E gap=2      5.88% had P-E gap=2

Employees in             From 0 to 1              From 0 to 1
the bank             49.7% had P-E gap=0      66.7% had P-E gap=0
are always            8.5% had P-E gap=1      19.6% had P-E gap=1
willing to
help you.

Employees in             From 0 to 2              From 0 to 1
the bank             30.1% had P-E gap=0      70.6% had P-E gap=0
are never too        17.0% had P-E gap=1      17.7% had P-E gap=1
busy to              1.31% had P-E gap=2
respond to your
request.

Table 4: Percentage of respondents having answers with P-E gap
[greater than or equal to] 0 across all statements of the third
dimension--Assurance

3rd          No.    Statements              The P-E gap width ([greater
Dimension                                   than or equal to] 0)

                                                  Group 1

Assurance      1    The behavior of             From 0 to 1
                    the employees           62.5% had P-E gap=0
                    in the bank             4.69% had P-E gap=1
                    instils
                    confidence in
                    you.

               2    You feel safe               From 0 to 1
                    in your                 42.2% had P-E gap=0
                    transactions            3.13% had P-E gap=1
                    with the
                    bank.

               3    Employees in                From 0 to 2
                    the bank are            54.7% had P-E gap=0
                    consistently            20.3% had P-E gap=1
                    courteous               6.25% had P-E gap=2
                    with you.

               4    Employees in                From 0 to 1
                    the bank                32.8% had P-E gap=0
                    have the                9.38% had P-E gap=1
                    knowledge to
                    answer your
                    questions.

Statements          The P-E gap width ([greater than or equal to] 0)

                          Group 2                 Group 3

The behavior of         From 0 to 2             From 0 to 2
the employees       33.99% had P-E gap=0    51.0% had P-E gap=0
in the bank         20.3% had P-E gap=1     19.6% had P-E gap=1
instils             4.58% had P-E gap=2     11.8% had P-E gap=2
confidence in
you.

You feel safe           From 0 to 2             From 0 to 1
in your             31.4% had P-E gap=0     66.7% had P-E gap=0
transactions        32.03% had P-E gap=1    25.5% had P-E gap=1
with the            0.65% had P-E gap=2
bank.

Employees in            From 0 to 2             From 0 to 2
the bank are        37.3% had P-E gap=0     43.1% had P-E gap=0
consistently        34.6% had P-E gap=1     35.3% had P-E gap=1
courteous           1.31% had P-E gap=2     15.7% had P-E gap=2
with you.

Employees in            From 0 to 2             From 0 to 1
the bank            49.7% had P-E gap=0     56.9% had P-E gap=0
have the            34.6% had P-E gap=1     27.5% had P-E gap=1
knowledge to        3.27% had P-E gap=2
answer your
questions.

Table 5: Percentage of respondents having answers with P-E gap
[greater than or equal to] 0 across all statements of the fourth
dimension--Empathy

4th          No.     Statements             The P-E gap width ([greater
Dimension                                    than or equal to] 0)
                                                    Group 1

Empathy      1       The bank has                 From 0 to 2
                     employees               39.06% had P-E gap=0
                     who give                 12.5% had P-E gap=1
                     you individual           4.69% had P-E gap=2
                     attention.

             2       Employees of the             From 0 to 1
                     bank under-             34.38% had P-E gap=0
                     stand your               1.56% had P-E gap=1
                     specific needs.

Statements           The P-E gap width ([greater than or equal to] 0)

                           Group 2                  Group 3

The bank has             From 0 to 3              From 0 to 2
employees            46.41% had P-E gap=0    52.94% had P-E gap=0
who give             30.72% had P-E gap=1    17.65% had P-E gap=1
you individual        8.5% had P-E gap=2      5.88% had P-E gap=2
attention.            0.65% had P-E gap=3

Employees of the         From 0 to 2              From 0 to 1
bank under-          51.63% had P-E gap=0    54.9% had P-E gap=0
stand your           14.38% had P-E gap=1     7.84% had P-E gap=1
specific needs.       3.92% had P-E gap=2

Table 6: Percentage of respondents having answers with P-E gap [greater
than or equal to] 0 across all statements of the fifth
dimension--Tangibles

5th            No.    Statements             The P-E gap width
Dimension                                      ([greater than
                                               or equal to] 0)

                                                   Group 1
Tangibles        1    The bank has               From 0 to 2
                      modern-looking
                      equipment.              46.9% had P-E gap=0
                                              18.8% had P-E gap=1
                                               1.56% had P-E gap=2

                 2    The bank's                  From 0 to 2
                      employees               39.1% had P-E gap=0
                      appear neat.            32.8% had P-E gap=1
                                              15.6% had P-E gap=2

                 3    Materials                 From 0 to 2
                      associated             42.2% had P-E gap=0
                      with the service       25% had P-E gap=1
                      (such as pamphlets      1.56% had P-E gap=2
                      or statements) are
                      visually appealing
                      at the bank.

                 4    The bank has              From 0 to 1
                      convenient              62.5% had P-E gap=0
                      business hours.         12.5% had P-E gap=1
                                              12.5% had P-E gap=2

Statements            The P-E gap width ([greater than or equal to] 0)

                           Group 2                Group 3
The bank has             From 0 to 1            From 0 to 1
modern-looking
equipment.            66.0% had P-E gap=0      51.0% had P-E gap=0
                      10.5% had P-E gap=1      17.7% had P-E gap=1

The bank's               From 0 to 3            From 0 to 1
employees             64.1% had P-E gap=0      37.3% had P-E gap=0
appear neat.          13.1% had P-E gap=1      33.3% had P-E gap=1
                       1.96% had P-E gap=2
                       1.31% had P-E gap=3

Materials                From 0 to 2            From 0 to 2
associated            46.4% had P-E gap=0      35.3% had P-E gap=0
with the service       8.5% had P-E gap=1      43.1% had P-E gap=1
(such as pamphlets     4.6% had P-E gap=2      11.8% had P-E gap=2
or statements) are
visually appealing
at the bank.

The bank has             From 0 to 2            From 0 to 1
convenient            65.4% had P-E gap=0     43.1% had P-E gap=0
business hours.       11.8% had P-E gap=1     51.0% had P-E gap=1
                       1.96% had P-E gap=2

Table 7: Frequency distribution of respondents

Frequency level                        No. of respondents    Percent

Once a week or more often                     64               23.9
Less often than once a week but              153               57.1
once a month or more
Less often than once a month                  51               19
Total                                        268              100

Table 8: Chi-Square Tests (Age vs. Frequency level)

                                  Value         df          Asymp.
                                                        Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square                114.430(a)     8           .000
Likelihood Ratio                  120.53         8           .000
Linear-by-Linear Association        4.057        1           .044
N of Valid Cases                  268

Table 9: Sex vs. Frequency cross-tabulation

                                                   Frequency

                                          Once a week      Once a month
                                         or more often        or more

Sex      Male        Count                      18              66
                     Expected Count             24.8            59.4
                     % within Sex               17.3%           63.5%
                     % within Frequency         28.1%           43.1%
                     % of Total                  6.7%           24.6%

         Female      Count                      46              87
                     Expected Count             39.2            93.6
                     % within Sex               28.0%           53.0%
                     % within Frequency         71.9%           56.9%
                     % of Total                 17.2%           32.5%

         Total       Count                      64             153
                     Expected Count             64.0           153.0
                     % within Sex               23.9%           57.1%
                     % within Frequency        100.0%          100.0%
                     % of Total                 23.9%           57.1%

                              Frequency              Total

                             Less often than
                                once a month

Count                               20              104
Expected Count                     19.8             104
% within Sex                       19.2%            100.0%
% within Frequency                 39.2%             38.8%
% of Total                          7.5%             38.8%

Count                              31               164
Expected Count                     31.2             164
% within Sex                       18.9%            100.0%
% within Frequency                 60.8%             61.2%
% of Total                         11.6%             61.2%

Count                              51               268
Expected Count                     51.0             268.0
% within Sex                       19.0%            100.0%
% within Frequency                100.0%            100.0%
% of Total                         19.0%            100.0%

Table 10: Chi-Square Tests (Gender vs. Frequency level)

                                Value         df       Asymp. Sig.
                                                        (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square                4.287(a)      2           .117
Likelihood Ratio                  4.410         2           .110
Linear-by-Linear Association      1.821         1           .177
N of Valid Cases                268

Table 11: Age distribution of respondents

Age Groups        No. of respondents    Percent

Under 18                   0               0
18-23                     36              13.4
24-35                     85              31.7
36-49                     80              29.9
50-59                     42              15.7
60+                       25               9.3
Total                    268             100.0

Table 12: Age and gender distribution of respondents in 3 groups

Group    Frequency level    Group     Age group    Age (%)
                            (%)

    1    Once a week or       23.9    Under 18       0
         more often                     18-23        1.6
                                        24-35       56.3
                                        36-49       40.6
                                        50-59        1.6

    2    Less often than     57.1     Under 18       0
         once a week but                18-23       11.1
         once a month                   24-35       30.1
         or more                        36-49       33.3
                                        50-59       11.1
                                         60+        14.4

    3    Less often than        19    Under 18       0
         once a month                   18-23       35.3
                                        24-35        5.9
                                        36-49        5.9
                                        50-59       47.1
                                         60+         5.9

Group        Gender         Gender (%)

    1         Male           28.1
             Female          71.9

    2         Male           43.1
             Female          56.9

    3         Male           39.2
             Female          60.8
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Author:Chinh, Vu Thi My; Anh, Nguyen Viet
Publication:Journal of International Business Research
Geographic Code:9VIET
Date:Dec 1, 2008
Words:9039
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