Title

The Effects of Intraencounter Changes in Expectations on Perceived Service Quality Models

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

February 1999

Abstract

Models of perceived service quality traditionally have measured consumers’ expectations of a service provider before a service encounter and used these preencounter expectations, along with service performance, to predict and explain consumers’ perceptions of service quality. However, there exists considerable evidence suggesting that consumers’expectations continuously change during a service encounter. The present study proposes a realtime updating (RTU) model of perceived service quality that accounts for the intraencounter changes in consumers’ expectations. The article presents experimental data that demonstrate support for the RTU model and suggest that updated expectations are better predictors of perceived service quality than are preencounter expectations or service delivery. These findings suggest that consumers’ perceptions of service quality are heavily based on updated expectations; therefore, intraencounter management of consumers’expectations is deserving of increased attention from researchers and practitioners.

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