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