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IMPACT OF SERVICE QUALITY ON SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES INTENTION TO PURCHASE INSURANCE IN KADUNA STATE
The important roles that SMEs and insurance are playing towards achieving economic growth had been widely acknowledged. Between the duo, a symbiotic relationship exist. The entrance of so many players into the insurance industry should be a source of joy to SMEs in Nigeria as they are exposed to a myriad of risks. In order to achieve the mutual benefits that exist between them, insurance firms as a matter of fact, should pro vide quality service. For over two decades, it has been acknowledged that service quality has become a great differentiator as well as the most powerful competitive weapon which many firms in the service arena possess. This study therefore investigated the impact of insurance firms‟ service quality on SMEs‟ intention to purchase insurance in Kaduna state. Survey research design was employed in the study which is cross sectional in nature. Primary data was collected through self administered questionnaire issued to the respondents using stratified sampling technique. The data was collected from a sample of 174 out of a total population of 201 SMEs operators in Kaduna state. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data collected for the study with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20. Gap and multiple regression analyses were used for the hypotheses formulated for the study. The findings revealed that SMEs are willing to purchase insurance but the level of the quality of service provided by the insurers in the state is discouraging. The study recommended that drastic efforts should be made by the insurers to improve their services in terms of reliability, assurance, empathy and responsiveness that will meet the expectations of SMEs in the state.