What Good Service Quality Looks Like
While we can physically assess and come to a judgement around the practical and tangible qualities of products it is often very hard to make quality judgements around services as this involves a number of intangibles that are determined by our own perceptions and views.
The main intangibles of service delivery that managers need to consider are:
- Responsiveness: the willingness to help the customer and to provide a prompt service. This is especially important where there is less structure to the service and where the skills of the staff member to meet what might be a non-standard request is likely. A high-quality restaurant will be able to be very flexible in terms of meal choices and options compared to the standard service offer from a fast-food retailer.
- Assurance: the ability of the operation to inspire confidence. In healthcare the environment is of critical importance as is the case in hotels where service and environment are closely linked. Also the skill and expertise of the staff add huge weight to the assurance customers feel about the service on offer.
- Empathy: the level of understanding and attentiveness shown to customers. The focus here falls mainly onto staff skills, their awareness of the needs of others and their ability to communicate effectively.
Getting the above issues right and doing so continually is a basic set of tools to deliver good service quality: the trick is to consider each of the points above as a baseline with regular attempts to improve and further develop the interface with the customer.
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