The disconnect between service quality perceptions and delivery of service quality in a company can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Improving a service process, such as the merchandise return and repair process, is crucial for company leaders who desire to improve overall satisfaction and be competitive in the marketplace. While much research exists on service quality, no researcher focused on how a power tool manufacturer might best increase customer satisfaction through improved return/repair processes. The current study of customers for a major manufacturer of power hand tools provides theoretical contributions to the literature on service quality and customer satisfaction. The SERVQUAL model is used in the context of the tool manufacturing industry by testing the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction based on the repair and return process. Results indicate that customer satisfaction is affected by perceptions of service quality. Somewhat unique to this study is that in most cases customer perceptions of service quality actually exceed their expectations. The study also gives practical recommendations to manufacturers desiring to improve their service processes by identifying relevant service quality attributes and assessing their impact on the relationship between perceived service quality and customer satisfaction.
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