SERVQUAL is an assessment scale, developed in the 1980s, that attempts to measure a customer's perception of standards in the service and retail industries. SERVQUAL is not an acronym, but does include five constructs: reliability, responsiveness, tangibles, assurance and empathy.
Developed by authors Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry, this scale attempts to measure quality of service via it's constructs. Reliability refers to whether the service is dependable and accurate, while responsiveness measures the speed and willingness of an employee to address a customer's needs.
The tangibles within SERVQUAL's five constructs encompass the physical appearance of a business, in addition to the quality of the equipment and the appearance of the staff. Assurance attempts to measure an employee's trustworthiness and how much confidence is instilled within the customer. The empathy in SERVQUAL refers to individuality of service and whether specialized service is a part of the company culture.
SERQUAL also includes 10 determinants that influence the five constructs, in addition to gaps between employer expectations, employee expectations and customer expectations. These determinants include courtesy, competence, credibility and security. In addition, they also include access, communication, knowing the customer, reliability and responsiveness. The five constructs derived from these 10 determinants have become a permanent rating system of SERVQUAL, known as RATER.