The impact of service contact type and demographic characteristics on service quality perceptions

Ganesan-Lim, Cheryl, Russell-Bennett, Rebekah, & Dagger, Tracey (2008) The impact of service contact type and demographic characteristics on service quality perceptions. Journal of Services Marketing, 22(7), pp. 550-561.

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This study aims to develop and test a service-based demographic framework for studying service quality perceptions. Specifically, the effect of level of service contact and key demographic variables of age, gender and income on service quality perceptions is examined.


A total of 224 customers of high and low contact passenger transport services were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire.


The findings indicated that service quality perceptions differed according to the level of contact inherent to the service. Consumer age was also found to affect service quality perceptions, however, no differences in service quality perceptions on the basis of gender or income were found.


The results of the study enhance our understanding of service quality perceptions and provide useful insight for the management and delivery of service quality. Overall, the results suggest that managers in the train travel industry need to take the level of contact as well as the views of certain demographic segments into account if they want to maximize perceived service. Demographics provide managers with a means of determining which segments of the market are feasible in terms of achieving greater market penetration. The findings of this study show the importance of considering variables relating to individual characteristic or the service itself when investigating service quality.


Prior research has not empirically examined whether service quality dimensions vary on the basis of service type thus this paper contributes to knowledge in this field.

Impact and interest:

25 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 15274
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: service quality, demographics, contact type, travel
DOI: 10.1108/08876040810909677
ISSN: 0887-6045
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing not elsewhere classified (150599)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Emerald
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 21 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2013 00:50

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