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Customer perceptions of quality: a study in the SPA industry
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Mechanical Engineering and Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5545-5457
Linnaeus Univ, Dept Mkt, Kalmar, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: European Business Review, ISSN 0955-534X, E-ISSN 1758-7107, Vol. 28, no 6, 657-675 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this study is to explore dimensions of customer perceptions of factors important for a quality experience in the SPA industry and to assess service quality implications for these dimensions. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical study involved seven Swedish SPA hotels. The first part was qualitative, consisting of seven focus-group interviews with hotel guests. In addition, service providers’ perceptions of customer quality were collected through seven quality cafes. The qualitative parts were analysed with the constant comparative technique from the grounded theory approach. Based on the findings from the interviews, a questionnaire was delivered to 400 randomly accessed women. The responses were analysed with exploratory factor analysis and cluster analysis. Findings - The focus-group interviews showed that the customers’ perception of quality could be expressed in the following dimensions: physical effects, mental effects, pleasure and flexibility. The dimensions for customer quality seen from the staff’s perspective were treatments, climate and the SPA facility itself. The exploratory factor analysis defined the following underlying factors: enjoyment, treatments, practicality, fitness, cost and calm. The cluster analysis resulted in four groups of customer profiles: the more of everything group, the enjoyers, the savers and the fitness freaks. Research limitations/implications - Alimitation is that the study has only been carried out in one country. The main implication for research is a better understanding of quality dimensions and perceptions of service quality in the SPA industry. Practical implications - The study provides a comprehensive insight into the dimensions of quality for SPA visitors. Moreover, four distinct groups of customers have been identified. This knowledge should be useful for SPA managers. Originality/value - Only limited amounts of research have previously been carried out in the SPA industry. The paper provides a framework depicting perceptions of quality dimensions in SPA hotels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 28, no 6, 657-675 p.
Keyword [en]
Service quality; Grounded theory; Quality dimensions; SPA hotels; SPA industry
National Category
Business Administration Reliability and Maintenance
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration; ENGINEERING, Quality management
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-10346DOI: 10.1108/EBR-05-2016-0070ISI: 000386792300003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84992018166OAI: diva2:1057915
Available from: 2016-12-19 Created: 2016-12-19 Last updated: 2016-12-22Bibliographically approved

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Lagrosen, Yvonne
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