Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe
On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751
The PUK Rugby Institute (PRI) was founded in 2000 and earmarked to be of strategic importance in the marketing of the university as well as in the role sport plays in the tertiary environment. It is imperative that the NWU rugby team(s) do well as the image of tertiary rugby has been substantially lifted as a result of the extensive media, and especially television, coverage it receives in the Varsity-cup (and other clashes). As a result, the PRI identified a number of key performance areas to ensure success on and off the field. One of these key performance areas is intent on ensuring that a high quality of service is rendered to the customers of the PRI, namely the players (and their parents). Customer service is important because not only does it guarantee satisfied players, but it also results in high quality new players being recruited. The players have high expectations of the university and especially the PRI because it is seen as not only the agent of development on the rugby field, but also on academic terrain. However, no objective measure of customer service, or the measurement of satisfaction levels, exists at the PRI. The research dealt with in this article addresses the development of a research instrument and methodology to do just that. The theoretical research concentrates on the theory of customer satisfaction and then specifically on the measurement thereof. Two models of customer service were analysed to determine their applicability in the case of measuring the customer service levels of the PRI. They were the Kano model and the Servqual model. In addition, the concept of a tailor-made measuring instrument was also researched. The outcome of the theoretical research was that, due to the uniqueness of the PRI, a tailor-made instrument should be developed specifically for the needs of the PRI. Another advantage of the tailor-made instrument is that a more detailed analysis of customer satisfaction is possible. As such, a questionnaire was developed to measure the levels of customer satisfaction specifically at the PRI. A 5-point Likert scale was employed to record the service perceptions in a number of categories. These service quality categories that were identified are: Development of individual player skills, clothing, feedback on performance, rehabilitation of injuries, academic performance, the coach, discipline and the image of the PRI. The empirical research was then performed to actually evaluate the level of customer service satisfaction of customers (players). A distinction was made between Priority teams (PUK 1, 0/21A and 0/19A) on the one hand, and Non-priority teams (PUK 2, PUK 3 and the other under-aged teams) on the other Questionnaires were distributed amongst players with the request that they complete and return them. A response rate of 90,3% resulted due to the controlled environment of data collection. The data were subjected to the reliability and internal consistency test of Cronbach alpha, and showed a favourable coefficient of 0.96. Results consist of calculating the mean values of service satisfaction across all the categories identified, a comparative analysis of perceived differences and its practical significance, and a factor analysis. The calculated mean values show that the PRI generally performed well in the categories, but that the Priority team players are even more pleased with the service quality than the Non-priority teams. However, an analysis of the practical significance of the different service quality levels was performed by means of the effect size. The analysis showed no practical significant differences in the service quality. In addition, the analysis includes a principle factor analysis (Varimax rotation). Five factors were extracted, explaining a cumulative variance of 55%. Of these five factors, factor 1, Success of the coaching team, is the most important as it explains 31% of the variance. The other factors are: Skills of players, Corrective communication, Clothing and Additional player commitment.
Keywords : Customer service; service quality; rugby; factor analysis; PUK Rugby Institute; service gap; players; customer service index; sport.