Social media to enhance e-service quality

Maria Louise Johanna Wesselman

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This paper seeks to investigate whether and how social media has an influence on the electronic service quality provided by online travel agencies as perceived by the consumer. Previous studies have already established several dimensions of e-service quality. A very small part of the existing research on e-service quality, acknowledges the impact that social media can have on e-service quality. In the past, website technology did not allow for interaction between contact personnel and customers or between customers. Therefore, it is understandable why interactions between consumers have not been included in the majority of the e-service quality frameworks. However, social media features have increasingly been allowing consumers to connect with organizations as well as other consumers. Using previously identified e-service quality dimensions and literature on social media as a starting point, dimensions were identified that were expected to explain how online travel reviews influence e-service quality. Data was collected through an online self-administered questionnaire, where the respondents were asked to think back to a purchase made on the website of an online travel agency. The results of a principal component analysis showed that three dimensions could be formed. These were: ease of use, content quality and trustworthiness. According to the quality-value-loyalty chain, service quality enhances perceived value, which, in turn, contributes to customer loyalty (Parasuraman & Grewal, 2000). Therefore, in this research e-service quality dimensions were applied to examine the effect of online travel reviews on perceived value and loyalty intentions. Through a multiple regression analysis it was found that the trustworthiness of online travel reviews is the only dimension that has a significant influence on perceived value and loyalty intentions. It is suggested that, the trustworthiness of online travel reviews is indeed a driver of e-service quality. This means that by increasing the level of trustworthiness of online travel reviews, an online travel agency can improve the e-service quality they deliver. Keywords: e-Service Quality, Social Media, Online Travel Agency

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages73