Creating customer value in an educational environment
Linda, Thulani Allan
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This study researches the topic creating customer value in an educational environment. Two objectives are set, namely to measure the student service levels of the selected secondary schools, and then to determine if any differences exist between student perceptions and student expectations. The literature review covers two models of service quality, namely the Kano model and the SERVQUAL model. Both the Kano model and the SERVQUAL model are client service models that presently exist in practice. The Kano model gives insights into the dynamics of customer choices and their needs, which ensures the delivery of successful products and services. The SERVQUAL method is a technique that is used in performing a gap analysis of an organisation's service quality performance against customer service quality needs. This model is an indispensible model and a familiar methodology too amongst services organizations whose purpose is to improve their service quality, therefore SERVQUAL is the research methodology of choice. The empirical research was done by collecting primary data from a selected group, using the SERVQUAL questionnaire to measure students' expectations and perceptions. The sample size was 120 respondents, and they all responded by completing the structured SERVQUAL questionnaires. A seven-point Likert scale was used in the Service Quality Questionnaire (Appendix A). A "1" was labelled as "completely dissatisfied" while a "7" was labelled as "completely satisfied". The reliability of the data was confirmed by means of Cronbach's alpha, and a-values of 0.57 (students' perceptions) and 0.85 (students' expectations) revealed satisfactory reliability. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to calculate the mean values of the criteria while principal factor analysis was employed to extract factors from both groups of data. The factors of the perceived service have been identified as Teachers' Mind-Set (explaining the variance of (33.3%), Excellent Service (15.5%) and Display (12.5%). Regarding the factor analysis of the expected levels of service, the factors identified are: Teachers' Mind-set (38.7%), Service Reputation (28.7%) and Contact session (7.5%). From the research it was clear that the three major recommendations to managers of secondary schools who intend to have sustainable competitive service quality, have managerial actions focused at: 1. Internal training. 2. Induction programmes 3. Surveys (further research and monitoring).