Original Research

Black customers' perceptions of service quality in the life assurance industry

Merle Sandler, Mike Bendixen, Riri Elfassy
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 26, No 3 | a831 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v26i3.831 | © 2018 Merle Sandler, Mike Bendixen, Riri Elfassy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 October 2018 | Published: 30 September 1995

About the author(s)

Merle Sandler, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Mike Bendixen, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Riri Elfassy, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

With this research we sought to evaluate black customers' perceptions of service quality in the life assurance industry. Personal interviews were conducted nationwide with 165 policy holders of a company. Altogether 18 of the company's managers from various regions filled in the questionnaire for comparison purposes. The difficulties experienced in doing research in disadvantaged communities were highlighted. This could be a challenging area for future research as the specific needs of consumers in this important market are still largely unknown to marketers and service providers. The pilot study revealed that it was necessary to simplify the scales that are usually used, to phrase the questions in the terminology used by the consumer and to rescale the responses. It was established that the criteria used by black customers in the life assurance industry to assess service quality were different from those of Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry but the generally held view that expectations of service quality are higher than perceptions was upheld. Cluster analysis and ANOVA revealed that perceptions of service quality varied among customers with different socio-economic backgrounds.

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