Session 7

The Measurement of Quality

What is quality?
• Traditionally viewed as “conformation to customers requirement” • Traditionally measured as the “gap” between expectations and performance. • Related to satisfaction and to price • A relationship approach to marketing suggests performance should exceed expectations – and be above the line of expectation on the price / quality matrix

Baker’s Box
• Baker’s Box (named after Professor Tony Baker) is an application of the perceptual mapping technique applied to the relationship between price and quality. • It is based on the principle that the public maintains strong perceptions as to this relationship, broadly along a “line of expectation” • Perceptions are not constant over time, Japanese products for example have moved from being perceived as “cheap and nasty” to “cheap and cheerful” • It can be used as a means of segmentation

Baker’s Box
High Quality
Line Of I Don’t

Credibility IT Value Added

The Golden Triangle


Avis Country IT’S A Rip Off



Cheap And Cheerful Cheap And Nasty


You Must Be Joking

Low Quality

Observations on Baker’s Box
• Do not intentionally cross the lines of credibility or gullibility • The most successful companies have products and services above the line of expectation • Success can be at any and all points along the line of expectation, using a variety of brands (Skoda, Seat, VW, Audi and Porsche)

Why is quality increasingly important?
• Increasingly high customer expectations • Decisions being made more on quality criteria • Service process rather than technically based • Decisions being made on intangible rather than tangible criteria • Customers developing more sophisticated ways of measuring quality.

Bases of Competition
• General change from tangible / technical to intangible / service process based.
Tangibility Tangible Technical Process Intangible

Service Elements

Some dimensions of product quality.
• • • • • • • Performance Durability Serviceability Features Reliability Design (Form not function as in fashion!) Congruity with specification (credibility)

Service Characteristics
• Intangibility • Inseperability of demand and production • Perishability • Heterogeneity

• Lack of ownership

Service quality measurement: SERVQUAL
• All services can be denominated along the same FIVE dimensions: • Responsiveness • Assurance • Tangibility • Empathy • Reliability

• The five RATER dimensions are measured as both “expectations” and “performance” along a 7 point Likert scale using a range of agreement phrases (23 in total, 4 or 5 per dimension). • Respondents are asked to weight the various dimensions in terms of importance relative to each other.

Expectations & Performance
• Service Quality is NOT the same as satisfaction • When P = E there is no gap – and a presumption of satisfaction • If P is less than E there is dissatisfaction • If P is greater than E there is delight

• Satisfaction = Service Quality + Price + Image

• Measure – either absolute or relative, of service performance • Measurement of service “gap” between expectations and performance • Understanding of which dimensions of service are important to consumers • Long term monitoring to introduce remedial strategies and re-assessment.

Critique of SERVQUAL
• Only measures “gap” – does not measure the reason for the gap! • Does not measure satisfaction – which is a function of service quality, price and image • Gives no indication as to how a defined gap is to closed, or whether by doing so a new “gap” will develop (health spending!) • If you are “delighting” on one or more dimensions, how can you reduce your offering / should you reduce your level of service.

• Only measures performance – no relation to expectations • Cheaper and easier to administer • As reliable as SERVQUAL • Easier to adapt • Used by many service providers for tracking and competitor studies

• Companies MUST monitor their service provision regularly • Competition is increasingly based not on technical aspects of service provision but on process aspects • Customer retention is closely related to superior service provision

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