Service Quality Measurement Essay

1152 words - 5 pages

Date: 080

Service Quality Measurement

Service Quality as against product quality

Unlike products, service is created and consumed at the same time. In other words, service is a "co-creation product", where the provider and receiver are joint producers. Consequently, no quality assessment is comprehensive and complete unless it takes into account customer types, their idiosyncrasies and moods besides service providers' response.

Conceptual Frame work for measurement

The second essential ingredient of a Quality Assessment process is comprehensive definition of service quality. The universally accepted definition of service quality is the SERVQUAL Model developed by Prof. Parsuraman and his colleagues from University of Miami. This model defines service quality as consisting of the following five dimensions.

Tangibles

Reliability

Responsiveness

Assurance

Empathy

Mystery customer methodology: The following are the three most important methodological considerations for developing a robust mystery customer audit design:

Customer profiling:

It is essential that we conduct an exhaustive research of daily operations and develop typical customer profiles encountered by the service providers. In absence of this research input, the field investigator acting as mystery customer is unable to act out as genuine customer in a convincing manner and conduct comprehensive assessment. Besides, in absence of any specific agenda / role to act out, he is often "lead" by the service provider which frustrates the objective of audit process.

Dimensionalising the attributes:

The field investigator deputed to act as a mystery customer is a good observer but not a researcher. It is essential that he is provided with specific observable and measurable attributes for any dimension.

Typically if we take an example of evaluating a sales person and consider Appearance as sub attribute, then rather than expecting the field officer to comment / evaluate generally his appearance in qualitative terms, it is better to split it as follows into sub attributes ( only illustrative and not exhaustive ) and expect him to rate on a numerical scale :

Appearance

Dress

Personal Hygiene

Expressions

Voice and modulation

Clarity of communication

Command over language

In practice, we further divided each of the above attribute to make the assessment hard , observable and comparable. This makes our report and feed back meaningful and actionable.

Standardization:

In case of multiple audits it is not possible to depend on a small set of (2 or 3) field investigator. Some times a team of 5 to 10 investigators conducts evaluation at different times, in different outlets. In order that all these evaluations are least influenced by subjective factors, rigorous team training using Delphi methodology is desirable. A rigorous...

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