Understanding customer expectations is essential to achieving better quality services. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of eduacational program offered by pre-marital counseling centers from expextant coupls’ perspective.
This cross-sectional study was carried out in pre-marital counseling centers of Alborz province in summer 2018. In all 679 expextant couples were randomly selected. Their expectations and perceptions of counseling services were measured before and after classes by the SERVQUAL questionnaire in five dimensions of assurance, empathy, accountability, reliability, and tangibility. Data were analyzed using Wilcoxon, ANOVA, T- test and correlation tests.
A negative quality gap (0.12) was identified between expectations and perceptions (P<0.001). In four out of five dimensions, negative quality gaps were existed. The highest negative quallity gap was related to empathy (0.22) and the lowest negative quality gap was related to reliability (0.05). The differences observed in three dimensions of empathy, tangibility and assurance were significant. Age and education were significantly associated with negative quality gaps.
This study showed that policymakers should intervene to enhance the quality of pre-marriage counseling classes, especially in the areas of empathy, tangibility and assurance and, consequently, take effective steps to reduce divorce and increase marital satisfaction in Alborz province.
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