The purpose of this study was to explore how service managers and their customers perceive the after-sale service quality provided by automobile service centers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with a goal to identify the existence of gaps, if any, between their perceptions and how they can impact customer satisfaction level. A qualitative phenomenological method was implemented to gather a description of the participants’ actual experiences, and data were collected using semi-structured interviews with seven service mangers and 20 customers. The structure of the managers’ interview questions was designed to go beyond identifying the most important factors that customers insist on having and focus on the methods that managers use to gather customer data, the obstacles that prevent meeting customers’ needs, frequent customer complaints, and the effectiveness of aligning managers’ and customers’ perceptions to increase customer satisfaction. The questions used to interview customers were also designed to collect in-depth feedback regarding how they evaluate service managers’ understanding of their needs and how that can have a crucial impact on their future transactions. Existing literature on the same topic did not fully address the issues of having different perceptions between service managers and customers. The findings of this study endorse the need for service managers to discover the hidden and underestimated customer requirements that prevent them from having aligned perceptions between both parties. This study makes an important contribution to the literature by expanding and enriching the existing knowledge of the after-sale service quality in the UAE automobile industry.

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Project

Student Type


Degree Name

Service Leadership and Innovation (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Service Systems (CAST)


Jennifer Matic


RIT Dubai