Statistical process control application on service quality using SERVQUAL and QFD with a case study in trains' services

Hadi Akbarzadeh Khorshidi, Sanaz Nikfalazar, Indra Gunawan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to implement statistical process control (SPC) in service quality using three-level SERVQUAL, quality function deployment (QFD) and internal measure. Design/methodology/approach - The SERVQUAL questionnaire is developed according to internal services of train. Also, it is verified by reliability scale and factor analysis. QFD method is employed for translating SERVQUAL dimensions' importance weights which are derived from Analytic Hierarchy Process into internal measures. Furthermore, the limits of the Zone of Tolerance are used to determine service quality specification limits based on normal distribution characteristics. Control charts and process capability indices are used to control service processes. Findings - SPC is used for service quality through a structured framework. Also, an adapted SERVQUAL questionnaire is created for measuring quality of train's internal services. In the case study, it is shown that reliability is the most important dimension in internal services of train for the passengers. Also, the service process is not capable to perform in acceptable level. Research limitations/implications - The proposed algorithm is practically applied to control the quality of a train's services. Internal measure is improved for continuous data collection and process monitoring. Also, it provides an opportunity to apply SPC on intangible attributes of the services. In the other word, SPC is used to control the qualitative specifications of the service processes which have been measured by SERVQUAL. Originality/value - Since SPC is usually used for manufacturing processes, this paper develops a model to use SPC in services in presence of qualitative criteria. To reach this goal, this model combines SERVQUAL, QFD, normal probability distribution, control charts, and process capability. In addition, it is a novel research on internal services of train with regard to service quality evaluation and process control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-215
Number of pages21
JournalThe TQM Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Quality function deployment
  • Service quality
  • Statistical process control

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