Inger Roos and Christian Grönroos
Customer perceptions concerning service quality are traditionally measured on technical or functional dimensions, tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. The same dimensions are suggested also by the literature of Image and Relationship marketing. Lately studies on service quality related to customer relationships have been presented. These studies, however, have rarely been able to distinguish between priorities of quality dimensions concerning the effect on relationships. In a switching perspective, however, customer perception on the relationship is seen as expressed reasons for leaving it. These reasons occur as dynamic configurations of customer switching behaviour connected to influencers who are considered important for customers changed behaviour. In this article, customer actual switching behaviour is compared to customer-quality perceptions. Based on this comparison customers are suggested to constantly being on a service quality path. Such a path organises the concepts of Image and Relationship marketing into a comprehensive dialogue with the customers. The service quality path comprises the concepts of Image and Relationship by delegating different missions to the same dimensions.
Keywords: Service quality, Switching behaviour, Service-quality path, Image, Relationship marketing, Customer-perception configurations,