Greece and Bulgaria are two countries with different economic, political and socio-cultural backgrounds, thus give the opportunity for cross – country research particularly in the area of service quality. Indeed, cross-country research in the service quality literature, would be of interest to academics, researchers and practitioners, since due to the historical emphasis that has been placed on domestic issues, it is not very tauter (Malaria et al. , 2005). Cross-country research between Greece and Bulgaria, particularly in the area of bank service quality would be of even greater interest.
Bulgaria is a future full member state of the EX. and a fast growing market that has attracted the interest of many foreign investors. That is particularly true for Greek investors who due to market proximity, the close economic relationships between the two countries and the intense activity in the internal banking market during the last few years, have seen Bulgaria as an opportunity for market development. The Bulgarian market has provided both them and other foreign banks with numerous development opportunities.
In addition, the increasing competition, as in the case of Greece and other countries in Europe and America, is expected to enhance emphasis on service quality in the Bulgarian banking sector. Based on the above it is quite obvious that, understanding customers perceptions of the level of bank service quality provided, as well as and nature (dimensionality) of service quality in the two impact of environmental diversity they would be able to successfully develop operational, marketing and Human Resource Management strategies and build sustainable competitive advantage through quality and improved customer relationship, in Greece and Bulgaria.
To the best of our knowledge no research comparing two Balkan countries or analyzing service quality in the Bulgarian bank context has been reported or published yet. The purpose of the present paper is twofold. First, to assess and compare the level of the bank service quality provided in Greece and Bulgaria based on the quality perceptions of retail bank customers. Second, to identify the dimensions of quality service in the two countries. The BBS instrument (Bank Service Quality scale, developed by Bah and Mantel in, 2000) was seed for measuring quality perceptions in the two Balkan countries.