Essay on E-Service Quality

2856 Words Apr 13th, 2011 12 Pages
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The main objectives of this report were to:

1. Evaluate and compare the e-service quality of five websites in the utilities sector on the dimensions of control, two-way communication and responsiveness on the basis of a given questionnaire. The companies examined were British Gas, Scottish Power, Scottish Hydro Electric, EDF Energy and E.ON Energy.

2. Critique the content of the questionnaire, developing an argument for why the questionnaire is comprehensive, or how it can be improved by deleting and/or adding dimensions to assess e-service quality.

To begin addressing these objectives, secondary research was carried out in order to gain a sound understanding of e-service quality concept and its
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WebQual has 12 evaluative dimensions. This scale originally had 14 dimensions, but given the ‘customer service’ and ‘fulfilment’ categories were removed, WebQual is now more relevant to measuring effective website design, rather than e-SQ (Lociacono et al., 2000).
E-SERVQUAL has seven e-SQ dimensions, grouped under two main categories. The first forms the core e-SERVQUAL scale which measures the website user’s perceptions of the service quality provided online. The second focuses on recovery situations, which can occur if the user has any questions or encounters a problem (Zeithaml et al., 2002).
Another e-SQ scale, which is not directly based on the SERVQUAL framework, is .comQ which concentrates on four dimensions: website design, reliability, privacy and security, and customer service (Wolfinbarger and Gilly, 2002). (For more details please see Appendix C).

1.2 Industry Background
British Gas is the UK's traditional gas supplier. In the 1990’s, the energy market was deregulated, allowing other companies to supply gas and electricity to the UK, where before it had only been British Gas. Despite this, British Gas still have the largest share of the UK gas and electricity market, and are also involved in telecoms services, and gas shipping and exploring.

Figure 1.1 shows the main providers of electricity by region across the UK, excluding British Gas.

Scottish Power provides energy to more than 5 million homes and business in

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