The waiting experience and consumer perception of service quality in outpatient clinics
S. DE MAN
This is the first field study examining the link between waiting and various dimensions of service quality in outpatient clinics. We investigated pre-process waiting in 9 outpatient clinics in a single hospital to test the effect of selected waiting experience variables on the evaluation of service quality, with objective and subjective waiting times as covariates in the relationship between the variables of the waiting experience and participants’ perceptions of service quality, measured using the Servqual tool. Our results show that the waiting-related variables that we studied have more impact on tangibles (the physical attributes) and reliability than on the other service quality dimensions of Servqual. Providing information about the reasons for delay had a significant main effect on the perception of reliability and significant interaction effects with the outpatient clinic itself and with the extent to which consumers’ time was filled while waiting on the perception of the tangibles. The study contains several findings that should assist service managers to formulate more effective waiting perception strategies.
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