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SERVICE QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Department of Mechanical Engineering Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar 11/22/2010
INTRODUCTION: Service Quality – Is it really essential? What is Service? What is meant by the term Quality? Why Service Quality 2. PERCEIVED SERVICE QUALITY 4. ANALYZING SERVICE QUALITY IMPROVEMENT – SERVICE GAP MODEL AND THE FOUR GAPS GAP 1: Difference between Consumer Expectations and Management and Management Perceptions of Consumer Expectations GAP2: Difference between Management Perceptions of Consumer Expectations and Service Standards GAP 3: Difference between Service Standards and Service Delivery GAP 4: Difference between Service Delivery and Consumer Perceptions 5. CONCLUSION . DIMENSIONS OF SERVICE QUALITY Reliability Responsiveness Assurance Empathy Tangibles 3.CONTENTS 1.
Thus the differences between the various aspects of the two are as follows:SR NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 Products Products Products Products Products Products PRODUCTS are tangible can be bought are non-perishable are non-ephemeral are countable can be owned SERVICES Services are intangible Services can be felt Services are perishable Services are ephemeral Services are not countable Service cannot be owned 2. rank. prominence. it is more important to understand its components service and quality. banking. worth Old fashioned eminence. attribute. distinction Grade. whereas a product may or may not be consumed at the point of sale. From established dictionaries quality is defined as: Property. Thus examples of services would be accounting. value. WHAT IS SERVICE? So. mark. status. excellence. . superiority. what does it imply to have a service offered by a company? It is a type of economic activity that is intangible. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM ‘QUALITY’? Quality is a word that enjoys widespread usage whilst failing to capture an agreed definition. As we are more conversant with products rather than services. is not stored and does not result in ownership unlike a product. 1. importance. So before we can understand the concept of service quality. Thus let us have a look at the individual components to give us a better idea of the terminology of service quality. technical know-how and other terms which do not have a physical significance and yet are equally important with respect to their physical counterparts. a comparative study of the two would give a better idea of the term ‘services’. characteristic.INTRODUCTION: Service Quality – Is it really essential? Service quality is a concept essentially made of two individual words service and quality. A service is consumed completely at the point of sale. caliber.
distinction. however. WHY SERVICE QUALITY? Quality customer service is a vital ingredient in a company's ability to maintain profitability and continued success in business. Based on the above statement. it becomes difficult to grasp and thus it becomes necessary to convert it to an absolute scale. or to put it more plainly in respect of services. Thus by defining it in a relative sense. quality can mean both ‘better’ and ‘cheaper’. supremacy General excellence of standard or level A distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something A level of superiority that is usually high Of superior grade Not all. again while defining the term quality with respect to services. Each individual might have his own perception of service quality. Put in a very simple manner. If each car conforms to its formally stated specifications and requirements both are regarded as quality cars. So again. Consider the example of two models of car: Mercedes and Renault Clio. 3. Not only does . Hence. Service quality encompasses the interactive relationship between a company and the customer whom it is supposed to serve. to add to the confusion. yet everyone has their own perception of quality in the products and services which are affordable to them. the definitions can be rejected or suitably modified by stating the following counter-example. one possible way of addressing this apparent conundrum is to regard quality as the difference between how things ought to be and how things are. we have to define it with respect to the person taken into consideration. Now we are in a position to define the term service quality based on the above study. both cars will in their own way meet and fulfill the needs of their respective markets. Although the Mercedes will perform at a higher level. each is regarded as a quality car. Therefore. Thus. can afford the excellence and luxury in terms of products and services.
If an organization fails to provide quality customer service. The perception of having received quality in customer service is important in the decision-making process. A customer shops at the locations where he or she feels comfortable and where the service provided is of the highest. Consumers want to have a memorable shopping experience and the most important aspect of a consumer's shopping experience is her perception of service. The single most important aspect of a consumer's decision on where to shop is going to be her perception concerning the quality of customer service she receives is congruent with the level of respect and courtesy required to earn and retain her loyalty as a contentious consumer. DIMENSIONS OF SERVICE QUALITY The dimensions of service quality can be broken down into its following dimensions: Figure 1: Dimensions of Service Quality SERVICE QUALITY RELIABILITY RESPONSIVENESS ASSURANCE EMPATHY TANGIBLES .quality customer service build loyalty for both company and product above all other forms of marketing. the likelihood of that customer's continuing as a patron of the organization is highly doubtful. it almost guarantees a company's viability in today's diverse and competitive market.
Eg: Receiving a notification mail each day at the same time RESPONSIVENESS This deals with the response of the service provider to the customers in need of services. Eg: A virtue of a service provider would be to be a good listener which will help him understand the problems faced by the customer. It depicts his virtue of understanding the problems of a customer and then solving them efficiently.SERVICE QUALITY RELIABILITY RESPONSIVENESS ASSURANCE EMPATHY TANGIBLES RELIABILITY This dimension deals with providing services which are guaranteed by the company. Eg: Avoid keeping customers waiting for no apparent reason maybe on account of laziness ASSURANCE It is the ability of the service provider to convey trust and confidence while supplying his service. It means performing promised services dependably and accurately. Thus reliability is a measure of the satisfaction of the customer in terms of the services which he expects and the one which he receives. He should be able to assure the customers of quality which he proposes to provide. . It depicts the promptness or eagerness of the service provider to help the customer in getting what he desires. Eg: Being polite and confident while communicating with customer EMPATHY It is the ability of the provider to be approachable to the problems of the customer.
a service provider must ensure that all the above dimensions are provided by him to ensure customer satisfaction. A new or an existing customer before he can avail the services has a rough idea of the service which he might be offered. etc) or his personal needs or by his past experience if he is an already existing customer. It assures that the ambience in the place where the customer would enter to avail the services of the provider should be welcoming. This may be through various means such as by word of mouth (by the prior experiences of his acquaintance. colleague. he must follow certain guidelines which are discussed in this report. Eg: The cleanliness of the place of the provision Thus. PERCEIVED SERVICE QUALITY Figure 2: Quality Assessment Diagrams This quality evaluation is from the standpoint of the customer. This comprises the Expected Service which he assumes that will be offered when he . In order to achieve this aim. TANGIBLES It refers to all the physical things which are provided by the service provider apart from the services which are given.
The gaps indicate the quality which has not been delivered as per the satisfactory or expected quality which is to be maintained. Your performance levels as perceived by customers. This can be considered as indirect marketing strategy whose output will depend upon the customer satisfaction at each point of time. equals or is less than the perceived service he gets a quality surprise. Hence this is a key point which every company strives to perfect. The actual experience which he gains from the experience of the service being actually provided becomes a critical factor of customer satisfaction which is termed as Perceived Service. Customer comments and suggestions. a quality satisfaction or unacceptability in quality. It provides detailed information about: Customer perceptions of service (a benchmark established by your own customers). The dimensions of service quality offered are the most important factors which affect the service quality assessment of the customer. If the expected service surpasses. ANALYZING SERVICE QUALITY IMPROVEMENT – SERVICE GAP MODEL AND THE FOUR GAPS The expectations of the customers and the actual experience which they receive can be actually modeled to form a service gap model. Impressions from employees with respect to customer expectations and satisfaction.approaches the service provider. The block diagram can be depicted as follows:- . The reaction of the customer is extremely valuable as it creates a chain reaction in terms of creating the new threshold of expected services of the service provider.
This gap can be represented by the analysis of the other 4 gaps and thus the analysis of this gap is not considered separately.Figure 3: Service Gap Model Gap 1: Difference between Consumer Expectations and Management and Management Perceptions of Consumer Expectations. The four gaps mentioned above can be analysed as follows: Gap 1: Difference between Consumer Expectations and Management and Management Perceptions of Consumer Expectations . Gap 2: Difference between Management Perceptions of Consumer Expectations and Service Standards Gap 3: Difference between Service Standards and Service Delivery Gap 4: Difference between Service Delivery and Consumer Perceptions The fifth gap denotes the difference between the customer perceptions and customer expectations.
and what levels of performance on those features that are necessary to deliver high quality service. the gap between what consumers expect and the services provided are completely different. Marketing research is very important as it gives a feedback from the consumer perspective. . If marketing research is used in this case. this problem would be solved easily from the feedback received. LEVELS OF MANAGEMENT The number of levels of managerial postions between the manager and the contact person is very important. it takes a larger time for an improvement to come into effect if needed. As the level of managerial positions goes on increasing. the size of the communnication gap between the manager and his subordinates goes on increasing. what attributes a service must mave in order to meet consumer needs. However the complete authority of changing any existent structure of work is in the hands of the topmost manager. Because of the various reasons by which marketing research is important. UPWARD COMMUNICATION The top managers may not have a complete idea as to what a consumer expects but the contact person who is in direct communication with the customer has a fairly good idea as to what the customer expects. This gap can be analysed by the help of the following theoretical constructs: MARKETING RESEARCH ORIENTATION It has been observed that the service firms are less likely to market their services than the goods oriented companies. For example suppose a bank closes down at a particular time which might be most suited for the consumers. So. The service firms are of the opinion that the services they provide will in turn act as a marketing strategy in itself. it is one of the major factors influencing the size of the gap 1. Hence. it is very important that the communication gap between the manager and his subordinates is as low as possible. they are creating a depriciation in the consumer satisfaction.Service managers may not always understand the various features which are connoted to the high quality too the consumers. Hence if something is not up to the mark in the quality which is expected by a consumer and what he receives is not in harmony. the top managers are rarely aware of the reasons. Because there are few clearly defined cues for services.
the company tends to be more inclined to a productbased approach rather than a user-based one thus making them a deemphasized from satisfying the consumer. and tends to be a little aloof from the point of view of service quality. market conditions. management indifference which may account for the discrepancy between managers’ perceptions of consumer expectations and the actual specifications as established by the company. The factors which are associated with this gap are as follows: MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT TO SERVICE QUALITY The management which is a part of the firm is actually more interested in factors such as short-term goals and cost reduction. The goals are generally set with respect to service quality and are mesaured in terms of human and machine performance. Hence the gap between the consumer expectations and the service standards widens. the existence of an internal quality program. and the extent to which managers believe their attempts to improve service quality will be recognized and rewarded. Most of the cases. TASK STANDARDIZATION Task standardization is an important perspective which should be analysed by every organization. This exercise helps the company in being more focused and the tasks are more effectively executed. GOAL SETTING It has been observed that if the goals of the organization are clearly defined it improves the overall performance and also the individual achievement but also increases the control of the organization. This is extremely essential as the effort of the people is more focused toward attaining a formal objective. The effective translation of managerial perceptions into specific service .Gap 2: Difference between Management Perceptions of Consumer Expectations and Service Standards Managers of most service firms often experience difficulty in attemptiing to match or exceed customet expectations due to a variety of factors such as resource constraints. short-termprofut orientation. The specific variables which are related to service quality include the proportion of resources commited to service quality rather than to other goals.
This represents the bonds which each of the co-workers have with respect to each other. the larger the gap 2 will be. The extent to which contact personnel feel they are co-operating (rather) than competing with others in the organization. Tasks have thus to be standardized in terms of hard technology and in terms of soft technology. The following factors determine the difference between service standards and service delivery: TEAMWORK This represents the extent to which employees view other employees as customers. Because customer-contact jobs tend to be situated at lower levels of company organization charts.quality standardsdepends on the degree to which tasks to be performed can br standardized or routinized. Gap 3: Difference between Service Standards and Service Delivery Gap 3 is the discrepancy between the specifications for the service and the actual delivery of the service. PERCEPTIONS OF FEASIBILITY Research has revealed that the size of the gap 2 to be affected by the extent to which managers perceive that meeting customer requirements is feasible. the extent to which service prviders do not perform at the level expected by management. The service performance gap occurs when employees are unable and unwilling to perform the services at the desired level. Variables related to this construct include the organizational capabilities and systems for meeting specifications and the degree ro which managers believe expectstionas can be met economically. EMPLOYEE-JOB FIT Studies have indicated that service quality problems often occur because contact personnel are not well suited to their positions. Hence this is a very important factor which reduces the difference between service standards and service delivery. Efforts to conceptualize and measure the standardiztion of the tasks in organizational research have focused on the construct of technology. personnel holding these jobsare . It can be referred to as the “service performance gap” that is. Therefore the greater the management filled.
Gap 4: Difference between Service Delivery and Consumer Perceptions Media advertizing and other communications by a firm can affect consumer expectations. Discrepancies between service delivery and external communications in the form of exaggerated promises and the absence of information about the service delivery asspects intended to serve consumers well can affect consumer perceptions of service quality. consumers are led to expect what contact personnel can deliver. One essential form of horizontal communication in service organizations involves the advertizing department and contact personnel. If high service quality is to be perceived by the consumer. Technology and diagnostic equipment can enhance the service employee’s performance. These factors grossly affect the predicatbility of demand.frequently among the least educated and lowest paid employees in their companies. Hence horizontal communication is an important means to keep the service quality at high from the consumer perspective as . The basic purpose of the horizontal communcation is to co-ordinate people and departments so that the overall goals of the organization are achieved. Appropriate and reliable technology must be provided for high quality service delivery. they may lack language interpersonal or other skillsto serve customers and hence the jobs should be given appropriate to the qualifications of the employee. TECHNOLOGY-FIT JOB Provision of high quality also depends on the appropriateness of the tools or technology the employee uses to perform the job. When the communication occurs between contact personnel and the advertizing personnel. Thus the factors detemining this service gap is as follows: HORIZONTAL COMMUNICATION Horizontal communcations are the lateral information flows that occur both within and between departments of an organization. horizontal communication among the departments is necessary. the extent to which customer-contact personnel feel they have flexibility in dealing with customers and the predicability. PERCEIVED CONTROL In includes the extent to which employees percieve they are in control of their jobs. As a resulr.
the greater is the firm’s propensity to overcompromise. Thus the final model of the filled gaps of the entire SERVQUAL model can be represented by the following diagram: . the greater the extent to which a service frim feels pressured to generate new customers and perceives that the industry norm is to overcompromise. an intuitive explanation for gap 4 is that many service firms fwwl pressured to acquire new business and to meet or beat competition. and therefore tend to overcompromise. Specifically. PROPENSITY TO OVERCOME Because of the increasing deregulation and intensifying competition in the services sector.they would receive they are expecting to receive.
“Service quality. From the study. relationship satisfaction. S. These gaps are the difference between what the consumer expects and what he receives. “Service Quality: From the Customer’s Perspective:An Empirical Investigation” . A. Saravanan and K. “Communication and Control processes in the Delivery of Service Quality” 2. trust. Parsuraman. Berry. Zeithaml. Ruben Chumpitaz Caceres and Nicholas G. we have restructured the SERVQUAL model and formed a comprehensive completed gap model to conclude our study. By the analysis. we have structured a quality enhancement model and analyzed the gaps within it. commitment and business-to-business loyalty” 3. Valarie A. P. Leonard L. Rao. R. REFERENCES 1.Figure 4: Completed Gap model CONCLUSION The intent of this study thus explains the management of service quality and its importance in enhancing the customer satisfaction. Paparoidamis.
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