Service Quality in Refurbishment: Craftsman-User Interaction
Many companies in various lines of business have long recognized service quality as a key to success and long-term survival. Nevertheless, it is only recently that service quality has come into focus in the construction industry. However, the services provided today appear to be directed mainly at the building owner, while the importance of building users as the ultimate customers tends to be underestimated. This thesis focuses on the impact of the intangible services delivered by the employees of construction and specialist contractors, primarily craftsmen, to users who occupy facilities while these are undergoing refurbishment. In addition to an analysis of building refurbishment as a special case of service management, three empirical surveys of refurbishment with users in occupancy have been carried out. Empirical data were collected by means of self-administered questionnaires to flat owners, tenants, office staff and craftsmen from seven building projects in various regions in Sweden. Findings from these investigations emphasize the role of craftsman-user interaction, where the quality of service provided by craftsmen to users, in particular meeting customer expectations and communicating well, influences user willingness to recommend contractors.