Dissertation Writing Example — 5

Literature Review


Customer satisfaction is the end goal of business and marketing ventures. It greatly affects service management for both marketers and scholars. As such, satisfaction of clients serves as a point of reference from which business owners can assess their services and make adjustments to increase customer satisfaction.  Several experts have presented their individual definitions of customer satisfaction.  For example, Vavra (1997) defined it as the leading determinant of the quality of services and products rendered to customers. Dube et al. (1994) also stressed his own meaning of customer satisfaction as an indicative mark of whether services and products are repeatedly asked for by clients. But with all  the different definitions, the most accepted one was the provided by Oliver (1980), stated that it is an indicator about whether customers will confirm or positively disconfirm services and products with which they are presented.. Oliver’s (1980) definition of customer satisfaction sprang from his own theory, which can be summarized into three terms, namely: confirmation, positive disconfirmation, and negative disconfirmation. Confirmation takes place when customers find a product or service within the level of their expectation.  Positive disconfirmation also occurs when services or products  exceed the customer’s level of expectation;negative disconfirmation occurs when clients feel dissatisfied with the products and services  (Hwang & Zhao, 2010).

Tam (2000) posited the close relationship of customer satisfaction and quality of service noting that service quality is important in maintaining and amplifying satisfaction of the customers. To reinforce the  significance several academic and marketing practitioners  studied in depth service quality face to face to customer satisfaction. Baker & Crompton, (2000) added that customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are directly related to the quality of service and ultimately boosting the organization’s profits.  Parasurman et al. (1988) introduced SERVQUAL as the most widely used measuring tool for service quality. Since its introduction, it has been employed and utilized in various industries to assess customers’ views on quality of service. He even added that customers’ perceptions about service quality can be diagnosed through the performance-level perception and customer expectation’s gap. As a measuring instrument, SERVQUAL has 29 statements of specific operations with five different dimensions or domains. These realms include Assurance, which emphasizes employee’s courtesy and knowledge, and attributes of trust and confidence; empathy  stresses  employee’s character  to individually attend to and care for each customer; reliability amplifies the employee’s performance in rendering service with accuracy and quality; responsiveness  centers on employee’s agility to willingly attend to every customer’s request; Tangibility regards employees and facilities’ physical availability to give rightful service to the clients (Hwang & Zhao, 2010).

With the simplicity and efficacy of SERVQUAL in measuring service quality, it has been prevalently applied in diverse contexts and fields. As an effective diagnostic tool, it helps identify which areas of service need to be improved.  However, a modification of SERVQUAL has been introduced by Stevens et al. (1995) who designed DINESERV as SERVQUAL’s modifications to make it applicable to businesses that cater food services.  The contention of the proponents of DINESERV is that SERVQUAL missed food quality as one of the vital factors when assessing restaurant customers’ total experience.  In application, the combined SERVQUAL and its modified tool which is DINESERV, Mohsin (2005) conducted a study on how customers are influenced, and he found out at least four influencing agents, namely: service quality, atmospherics, food quality, and other essential elements such as location or ambiance, price affordability, and parking space (Hwang & Zhao, 2010).

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Dissertation Writing Example — 4

Dissertation Survey

Taste, quality and experience Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
I regard high importance to the taste of the food served
I prefer a wider variety of foods to choose from.
The quality of the food is the most important thing.
All of the above are important to me
I prefer freshly cooked meals to “off the shelf” ones.  


Service and Customer satisfaction Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
I pay importance to the quick and fast service (quick meal)
It is important to have a relaxed atmosphere and hence I prefer to spend time in the restaurant (I am not a quick meal person)
Courteousness and fine treatment is what I would expect from the staff of the restaurant.
Customer complaints must be held with high regard and attended to immediately
I prefer my food replaced if ever there is something wrong with it.
I would like a nonstandard menu (changed periodically) to a standard one.
Hygiene point of view Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
Cleanliness of the restaurant is of high importance for me
I would like it if the staff of the restaurant are properly groomed and dressed.
The restaurant must be free of unwanted odors
I put high regard to the cleanliness of the tables and of the utensils
Hygiene and cleanliness of the restaurant is more important for me than of its taste and experience.
Customer’s expectations Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
I prefer to bring my own drink to the restaurant
I eat in this area because of its proximity to my house.
I would like to eat in this area because I work here
I prefer to deviate from the menu and customize my food (Example, extra spicy, additional Onion and so on)
Fine dining is my priority and I would like to eat out for the ambience
I am willing to pay extra money for nice ambience and experience
Taste and quality is my priority over dining experience.
On ABC restaurant Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
I would look forward to this restaurant even if they move to a different place
I like this restaurant because it does not belong to any chain.
I like to go to restaurant chains only because service and quality is guaranteed and food quality is predictable.
The location of the restaurant is very good
This is the first time we came here; someone recommended this place.
My office colleagues and friends are aware of this restaurant and they know restaurant ABC exists.
It’s not a typical restaurant and I feel at home when I eat here. I see it as positive thing.
It’s not a typical restaurant and I feel at home when I eat here. I see it as a negative thing as I expect restaurant food not to taste like home food
I like it because it is a vegetarian restaurant
Quality of beverage is good
You get a good mix of south Indian, north Indian, Chinese and western vegetarian food.
The owner of the restaurant is very friendly and he remembers the customers personally
The food here is a good value for money
I visit the restaurant every day, I order the same and I expect them to remember and serve the same food as soon as I enter the restaurant.
I like their policy of no tips
I would look for these items in any restaurant that I go (food, checklist etc)
What do you like about this restaurant?
What you don’t like about this restaurant?
What is your single most expectation from any restaurant situated in this area?
What is your preference when it comes to eating out as far as Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is concerned? Breakfast or Lunch or Dinner or 

Breakfast and Lunch or

Lunch and Dinner or

Breakfast and Dinner

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Any other comments


Kindly rate the following factors as to which one you regard higher or more important. 1 as the most important and 5 as the least important


____ Taste of Food

____ Quality of Food

____ Excellent Environment

____ Quick and Excellent Customer Service

____ Dining experience












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