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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PowerPoint Presentation On SERVICE QUALITY


SERVICE QUALITY Presentation Transcript:
The subject of service quality has aroused considerable recent interest among business people and academics. Of course buyers have always been concerned with quality but the increasingly competitive market for many services has led consumers to become more selective in the services they choose. Conceptualizing quality for services is more complex than for goods and this chapter will review conceptual frameworks for evaluating service quality. Because of the absence of tangible manifestations , measuring service quality can be difficult . Understanding just what dimensions of quality are important to customers in their evaluation process can be more difficult than is usually the case with goods- services can be mentally as well as physically intangible , making it more difficult for companies to understand the expectations against which consumers evaluate a service. A further problem in defining service quality lies in the importance that customers often attach to the quality of the service provider as distinct from its service offers- the two cannot be separated as easily as in the case of goods

Quality is an extremely difficult concept to define in a few words . In fact the term has only become widely used in a business context in the last 50 years or so. Discussion of quality was influenced by a philosophy of ‘ confirming to requirements’ . This implies that organizations must establish requirements and specifications and once these have been established , the quality goal of the various functions of an organization is to comply strictly with these specifications . However the question remains: whose requirements and whose specifications? A second series of definitions therefore state that quality is all about fitness for use, a definition based primarily on satisfying customers’ needs. These two definitions can be united in the concept of customer perceived quality – quality can only be defined by customers and occurs where an organization supplies gods or services to a specification that satisfies their needs.

Many analyses of service quality have attempted to distinguish between objective measures of quality ( often derived from manufacturing sector approaches) and measures that are based on the more subjective perceptions of customers( a significant contribution of the services quality literature). Two important dimensions of services quality are identified: ‘instrumental’ quality describes the physical aspects of the service, while the ‘expressive’ dimension related to the intangible psychological aspects.

Technical quality refers to the relatively quantifiable aspects of a service that consumers receive in their interactions with a service firm . Because it can easily be measured by both customer and supplier , it forms an important basis for judging service quality. Examples of technical quality include the waiting time at a supermarket checkout and the reliability of train services . This however is not the only element that makes up perceived service quality . Because services involve direct consumer producer interaction consumers are also influenced by how the technical quality is delivered to them. Here comes the functional quality and cannot be measured as objectively as the elements of technical quality . In the case of the queue at a supermarket checkout , functional quality is influenced by such factors as the environment in which queuing takes place and consumers’ perceptions of the manner in which queues are handled by the supermarket’s staff.

5. Consumer’s perception of technical and functional quality as applied to an optician’s practice
If quality is defined as extent to which a service meets customers’ requirements , the problem remains of identifying just what those requirements are. The general absence of easily understood criteria for assessing quality makes articulation of customers’ requirements and the communication of the quality level on offer much more difficult than is the case for goods. Service quality is a highly abstract construct , in contrast to goods where technical aspects of quality predominate. Many conceptualizations of service quality therefore begin by addressing the abstract expectations that consumers hold in respect of quality. Consumers subsequently judge service quality as the extent to which perceived service delivery matches up to these initial expectations. In this way a service that is perceived as being of mediocre standard may be considered for high quality when compared against low expectations , but of low quality when assessed against high expectations. Analysis of service quality is complicated by the fact that production and consumption of a service generally occur simultaneously with the process of service production often being just as important as the service outcomes. Buyers of manufactured goods only encounters the traditional marketing mix variables of manufacturer ie. The product, its price , its distribution and how these are communicated to him or her. Usually production processes are unseen by the consumers and therefore cannot be used as a basis for quality assessment. By contrast, service inseparability results in production process being an important basis for assessing quality. A further problem in understanding and managing service quality flows from the intangibility , variability and inseparability of most services , which results in a series of unique buyer seller exchanges with no two services being provided in exactly the same way. It has been noted that intangibility and perceived risk affects expectations and in one study of a long distance phone service , a bookstore and a pizza shop service , it was concluded that intangibility had some role in service quality expectations. Managing customer expectations can be facilitated by means of managing the risks a consumer perceives when buying a particular service.

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