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THE INFLUENCE OF SERVICE QUALITY ON CONSUMER PREFERENCE IN PETROLEUM RETAILING IN THIKA DISTRICT

Augustus P. Malonza
Department of Commerce Economic Studies, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya


Dr. Patrick Karanja Ngugi
Department of Entrepreneurship and Procurement, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

 

ABSTRACT

Service quality is a viable strategy for marketers aiming to differentiate their service offerings, establishing customer value and ultimately satisfying consumer needs. Service quality has been used increasingly by marketers to leverage customer loyalty to confront the challenges of competition and ultimately deliver on organization profitability. From the investigations by the study, there is evidence that no study had so far been done to investigate the influence of service quality on consumer preference in petroleum retailing. The aim of this study was to determine the indicators of service quality to consumers in petroleum retail outlets, to establish the extent to which service quality influenced consumer preference in petroleum retail outlets and finally to identify any other factor that may also play a role in influencing consumer choice. The study used a conceptual model drawn using the service quality dimension attributes of Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance and Tangibles. The nature of this research is a descriptive research. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The survey instrument was subjected to overall reliability and validity tests using Cronbach alpha. Data analysis was done using SPSS Version 21 to generate quantitative reports which were presented in the form of tabulations, percentages, mean and standard deviation. ANOVA data analysis method was applied to analyze the data that was obtained from open ended questions. The study concludes that reliability affected the choice of consumer choice of petroleum retailing and that reliability was a component of trust in automated systems and that reliability was an important component of technology expectations, performance, and disconfirmation. The study recommends that the personnel in the retailing department should attend various training sessions to be competent enough to handle the present challenges like in the business world; this needs a lot of improvement in order to increase service delivery in petroleum industries.


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