G-six Hair and Beauty Salon prides on providing a high standard of customer service. In addition to the quality hair and beauty services, the customer service has been found to be one of the main reasons of clients keep coming back to the salon. Today, beauty care becomes a big business, which can contribute to an economy significantly (Peiss 2000).
Large scale production, global distribution networks, extensive advertisement efforts, scientific marketing and sales at a large scale, all these have contributed to the emergence of beauty as an industry (Peiss 2000). Beauty is always considered as an important attribute for female. From the ancient time till now, we can trace many descriptions of beauty and beauty care practices in the poetry, literature and arts (Peiss 2000). As globalization intensifies, the concept of beauty and the necessity of being beautiful have gone through an evolutionary change.
Now women tend to spend more time, energy and money on beautification by visiting beauty parlors or salons (Schwer & Daneshvary 2000; Joy, Sherry, Troilo & Deschenes 2010). Physically attractive people usually income more compared to the less attractive people (Hamermesh & Biddle 1994; Frieze, Ohlson & Russell 1991). Moreover the organizations tend to earn more revenue if they hire physically attractive employees (Bosman, Pfann, Biddle &Hamermesh (1997). Besides, being attractive can increase the possibility of getting married (Young 2011).
The growing importance and demand of beauty care vigorously raised the question on quality service issues for beauty parlors. As beauty care is a kind of personal service, ensuring service quality is challenging yet unavoidable need for the customers. It has been evident that, when customers’ perceptions of service quality are positive, the behavioral intentions are favorable, which strengthens their relationship with the organization (Zeithaml & Bitner 2003).
On the other hand, when service-quality assessments are negative, the customers’ behavioral intentions are unfavorable (Kouthouris & Alexandris 2005). For the success of any service organization, quality is imperative and of paramount importance to the service providers (Bebko 2000). As services are becoming commodity-like it can offer a source of competitive advantage for the service providers (Chowdhury, Iqbal&Miah 2010). A great haircut just isn’t enough to keep a client any more.
The country is saturated with salons and, for most, there’s a competitor only yards away who is also well equipped to offer a technically accurate and fashionable haircut (Sophieh 2008). Having regular customers is one of the most important aspects of running a successful hair salon with consistent customer numbers and satisfied customers always proving to provide strong financial returns and reviews. In today’s era of fast-changing global marketplace, customer satisfaction has been an important aspect.
With the increase of the importance of service sector in the economy of Myanmar, the measurement of service quality became important. Moreover, customers’ satisfaction may help the service providers to spread positive word-of-mouth and maintaining current customers can help the firms to be more profitable. Service quality is an approach to manage business processes in order to ensure full satisfaction of the customers which will help to increase competitiveness and effectiveness of the industry. Quality in service is very important especially for the growth and development of service sector business enterprises (Powell, 1995).
We know that customers’ satisfaction with individual service encounters affect the customers’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the overall service experience (Johnston 1995). So, it is important to know whether the client’s expectation regarding the service really matches the perceived service in all dimensions of service quality.
1.1Rationale of the Study
The beauty care service industry in Myanmar is growing day by day and it is contributing in the economy both in terms of revenue and employment generation. Along with the local firms, many foreign firms and franchise companies are trying to enter in the industry with professional set up and huge investment. Therefore this is the high time to explore and understand the service gap scenario of the beauty care industry. Previously, researchers had conducted several studies on service quality in different service sectors like hospitality, educational institute, financial institute, airlines, advertising agency and tourism.
In today competitive environment, majority of the businesses face with intense competition. They need not only to retain their existing customers but also to attract new customers. Among the businesses, services sector becomes important because it can create job opportunity and provide customer satisfaction. At present, in service sector, beauty care services are growing faster and booming because it can provide self-confidence, personal grooming and anti-aging in society. In the highly competitive beauty-care service industry, service quality becomes one of the most important elements for gaining a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.
To satisfy and retain customers of beauty-care service industry faces challenges. Important benefits of visiting beauty shops that people get ensure of their best looks at all the times. After a stressful day, people wish to relax and to take action, so they visit a spa and salon, where they like complete relaxation with a pampering touch. It is obvious that everyone wants to look beautiful and healthy as well as this is the requirement of today’s busy lives.
Among various categories of beauty-care service businesses, G-six Hair and Beauty Salon, a well-established beauty-care service salon since 2002, is serving with a wide menu of beauty service which includes Make-up and Hair dos’, Hair Braiding, Hair Extension and Weaving, Hair Perm, Hair Color and Hair Straighten with various techniques and Facial treatment to its customers in the competitive market of Myanmar. Therefore, there is a requirement to analyze the service quality leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty of G-six Hair and Beauty salon. Many of these studies have shown different patterns of service gap on the five dimensions of service quality.
But being a personalized service, beauty care contains different intrinsic and extrinsic cues of quality which are different from the other industries. And so far, no significant research was done on service quality of G-six Hair and Beauty Salon in Myanmar.
So, it is expected that the current study would help the industry experts and management of beauty care service providers to improvise their services. And understanding the significance and the implications of each service criteria would help them to prioritize their area of improvement, which would be especially helpful for a growing industry like this. Thus the main objective of this study is to find out the service gap, i.e. the gap between the expectations and perceptions of the customers about the service of G-six Hair and Beauty Salon.
1.2Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are:
To explore the services provided by G-six Hair and Beauty Salon To measure service quality of G-six Hair and Beauty Salon
To examine the customer satisfaction on services provided by G-six Hair and Beauty Salon
1.3 Methods of the Study
This study is descriptive research type. To implement these three major objectives, both primary and secondary data have been used. Primary data acquired from G-six Beauty Salon and 60 regular customers 30% of total 200 regular customers who visited to G-six Hair and Beauty Salon will be selected by using random sampling method with structured questionnaires of SERVQUAL Model GAP 5. The secondary data are obtained from profile and record of G-six events, previous research papers, relevant text books and internet websites.
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study will emphasis on services quality of G-six Hair and Beauty Salon which is located at No.6, G-floor, Pearl Condo, corner of Kabaraye Pagoda road and Sayarsan road, Bahan Township, Yangon. The study will focus on customer satisfaction towards services provided by G-six Hair and Beauty Salon.
1.5 Literature Review
In the field of services marketing, service quality grabbed the most attention from the researchers (Wang, Lo & Hui 2003). To define service quality Zeithaml and Bitner (2003) emphasized on the superiority of a service. According to these scholars, perception of service quality arises from the judgment of customers, who define the service as superior.
The classic researchers has defined the term ‘service quality’ as the difference between customer expectations of the service to be received and perceptions of the service actually received (Grönroos 1984; Parasuraman, Zeithaml& Berry 1988). Perception was defined as consumer’s beliefs relating to the received service (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry 1985). Brown and Swartz (1989) defined perceived service as “experienced service”. On the other hand, expectation was defined as the desire or want of the consumer about the service (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry 1985).
In most of the cases, service quality expectations involve norms and these norms are developed on the basis of previous experiences of the consumers (Carman 1990). Parasuraman and colleagues’ (1985) definition was based on the concept of “disconfirmation”, which was defined as the difference between perception and expectation.
This disconfirmation in terms of service quality leaded to a service gap. Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1988) considered that a customer’s assessment of overall service quality depends on this service gap. Khin Kay Khine, A study on Service quality of Able Winners Catering Company, January 2013 found that how customers perceive the service quality and being able to measure service quality can benefit as professional. Wutt Yi Soe, Customer Satisfaction on Service provided by Pin Lon Hospital, January 2013 found out that strongly positive relationship between patient satisfaction and service quality. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_service
1.6 Organization of the Paper
This Thesis paper is organized into five chapters. In the first chapter, it contains Introduction, Rationale of the study, Objectives of the study, Method of the study, Scope and limitation of the study, Literature review and organization of the research paper. In chapter 2, theoractical background of service quality and competitiveness are discussed. Chapter 3 presents the background of business and profile of G-six Hair and Beauty Salon. In Chapter 4, dimensions of service quality of G-six Hair and Beauty Salon are analyzed by using SERVQUAL Model. Conclusion and recommandations
for findings in the study and the requirements of future research on the topic are suggested in Chapter 5.
2.1The Nature and Role of Services
Service industries are playing an increasingly important role in the overall economies of the countries of developed and developing countries. The 21st century is considered to be as the service industry. Researchers have tried to define service and to explain what service constitutes.
There are many definitions regarding the concepts of service. Services are deeds, processes, and performances (Parasuraman et al. 1985). Gronroos (1983) defined service as: “An activity or series of activities of more or less intangibles nature that normally, but not necessarily, take place in interactions between the customer and service employees and/or physical resources or goods and I or systems of service provider, which are provided as solutions to customer problems”. Sasser et. al.,(1978) defined another meaning for service:
“A service is a package of explicit and implicit benefits performed with a supporting facility and using facilitating goods”. Service is: “Any primary or complementary activity that does not directly. Produce a physical product – that is, the non-goods part of the transaction between customer and provider” (Payne, 1993). Whereas Kotler et. al.(1999) defined service as any activity or benefit that one party offers to another which is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything, and it may or may not be tied to a physical product. Services include all economic activities which are intangible, not physically apparent like products, which provide value to the customer.
Service has become very crucial in all business industries due to globalization and the IT developments. Services are now seen almost to every part of our life, starting from the most essential demands, like eating to other entertainment activities, such as: sport, travelling, etc. Service is not bound to only service based businesses, like: banks, telecommunications, hotels, restaurants, and beauty salons, but it is found on all companies strategic tools for gaining a competitive advantage. Nowadays products heavily rely on its services to acquire competitive advantage, and to satisfy customers’ needs. 2.2Nature of Service Quality