Customers expectation and perception of the level of service provided by Autolab.
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Autolab is a department of the South African Sugar Association, which develops and provides support services for computerised systems installed in the local sugar industry as well as one sugar mill in Zimbabwe. Autolab’s customers in South Africa were surveyed to measure their present levels of satisfaction towards the service provided by Autolab and to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. The data collected for this formal study was through a quantitative survey research instrument called SERVQUAL. The survey was limited to Autolab’s Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) users who are in contact with the Autolab staff and who will be able to rate their quality of service. These users are mainly the senior employees of the departments that are using the Autolab’s LIMS systems. They represent the population of this study, which are 79 users. A very good response rate of 91 % percent was achieved with 72 questionnaires being completed and returned by the respondents. The results of the survey show that the respondents’ expectations exceeded their perceptions for all the service quality dimensions. However, the difference between expectations and perceptions was significant for all the service quality dimensions except the empathy dimension. This implies that Autolabs’ customers have some level of dissatisfaction with the quality of service they provide. It is hoped that the shortcomings identified in this study will help Autolab to improve the quality of service they provide.