Satisfaction and Recommendation Levels: An Investigation of Visitor Service Quality at Four Australian Museums

By Emily Moskwa and Gary Crilley.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on a study at four Australian museums (the South Australian Museum, the Migration Museum, the National Motor Museum, and the South Australian Maritime Museum) to identify the underlying dimensions of service quality for adult visitors, and the relationship between visitor service quality and satisfaction, and recommendation or advocacy measures. The service quality model proposed by Howat, Murray and Crilley (1999) was adapted to measure both importance and performance ratings for key attributes of visitor service quality, as well as measures of visitor satisfaction and advocacy. The paper highlights dimensions of service quality that may assist visitor management and direct the use of resources to provide a stronger visitor service focus at museums, and concludes with a discussion on implications for management.
Despite the varied and important roles museums have, it is still necessary to consider the economic and political context in which they operate. As managers are often required to justify their public financial support based on their volume of visitation, increasing visitation becomes an important goal for management. Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman (1996) demonstrated the link between a perception of service quality and the likelihood that people will continue to visit or frequent a particular organisation, site or location. In a leisure context, Crilley (2008) proposed how the relationship between service quality and satisfaction in turn influenced willingness to recommend a site. It is therefore timely to measure visitor perceptions of service quality in museums, and the relationships between this and visit satisfaction, and word of mouth recommendations.

Keywords: Visitor Service Quality, Visitor Satisfaction, Advocacy

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.17-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.151MB).

Dr. Emily Moskwa

Senior Researcher, Centre for Tourism and Leisure Management, School of Management, Division of Business, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, South Australia, Australia

Emily joined the Centre for Tourism and Leisure Management after completing her PhD in 2008 at the University of Adelaide in the field of ecotourism. Her present research projects are based on visitor service quality in arts and cultural institutions and botanic gardens, with a focus on both visitor and volunteer engagement.

Dr. Gary Crilley

Director, Centre for Tourism and Leisure Management, School of Management, Division of Business, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, South Australia, Australia

Gary is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Management and Director of the Centre for Tourism & Leisure Management at the University of South Australia. He has published widely and presented at a range of conferences in the areas of service quality, management performance and in applications of visitor studies research to a range of leisure services and facilities.

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