Customer perceptions of service quality at a Durban based spirit merchant
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The South Africa alcohol industry is one of the most challenging and competitive sectors of the FMCG. With the strong presence of international brands, the local spirits environment is seemingly becoming tough and uncertain, due to products and prices reaching parity. Organisations within this monopolized industry are faced with intense competition and are seeking ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. One of the differentiating factors being considered by the organisation under study is improving its service delivery. The aim of this study is to evaluate customer expectations and perceptions of service quality at Edward Snell & Co Ltd. within the greater Durban area. This report has reviewed current literature and opinions about customer service, and has also reviewed factors such as customer service, service characteristics and its measurement. The report also covers data analysis, data collection, and questionnaire design in the research methodology chapter. The analysis of the results reveals important gap findings amongst the tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy dimensions of service quality. Finally, in order to improve the levels of customer service at Edward Snell & Co Ltd., recommendations such as regular service quality measurements, education of the organisation’s workforce and other general recommendations are included in the study.