Category Archives: Quality Management

Expectations and Perceptions

Expectations and Perceptions

Another approach that is used to define quality in services is to measure how satisfied the customer is with the service received. Customers' satisfaction with service is related to both their prior expectations about the service and their perception of how well the service was provided. Customers develop a certain set of expectations based on a variety of inputs. They consider their previous experiences with services in general and with each specific kind of service they have encountered. For example customers might have specific expectations about service in a retail clothing store that provides a basis for what they should expect when they speak with an employee on the phone-as well as when they are served in another retail clothing store. Customers also develop expectations when they hear about sh vices from others. If you hear that your friend was delighted with her stay at a particular hotel, you're more likely to expect a similar level of rive if you ray there. Customers also form expectations based on a service provider's divert  and promotion. Promises of positive service bring in customers-but a in' enough. Cu toners will be satisfied only if the service meets or exceeds their expectations. And the e performance is colored by the customer's perceptions of the quality of service. 0 that the relationship between expectations, service performance, and the petitioner of that performances can be decried in the following equation .

Additional Views of Quality

Additional Views of Quality

Technical Quality versus Functional Quality In service operations. as in manufacturing operations, it is important to note the distinction between technical quality. which relates to the core element of the good or service, and functional quality, which relates to the customers' perception of how the good functions or the service is delivered. For example, the appropriateness of the medical treatment ordered by a physician for a patient's ailment.

Additional Views of Quality

Additional Views of Quality

is a measure of the technical quality of the care. The physician's "bedside manner' chow empathetic he or she is, how well he or she listens and explains. how much care he or she takes to make the patient comfortable both physically and psychologically-is a measure of the functional quality of the care. Customers can readily assess functional quality because it relates primarily to the interaction between the firm providing the good or service and its customers. Technical quality, however. may not be something that customers are able to assess because they do not have the technical knowledge required to do so. For example, unless they know a great deal about automobiles, customers may be uncertain about what the technical specifications of a new car mean or whether a mechanic has appropriately identified and solved their car problems. Similarly, most of us who are not trained in dentistry are unable to tell whether our dentists know a cavity in a tooth from a hole in the wall! To compensate for not having the knowledge required to assess technical quality. customers often will use some measures that they hope are objective to help them make those assessments. For example, when we evaluate the quality of physicians, we may consider where they trained, how much experience they have. and whether they are certified by a specialty board. When we evaluate an MBA program, we may look to see if the should is accredited and at the percentage of faculty with doctoral degrees as measures of technical quality. The inability of most customers to properly assess technical quality makes functional quality all the more important. Good managers care about both aspects of quality.

Understanding the Customer

Understanding the Customer

This dimension refers to how well the service worker makes the effort to understand the specific needs of each customer. Parasuraman, Berry. and Zeithaml used these definitions and key elements as a basis for identifying five principal service quality gaps. These gaps address the customer's perception of service performance rather than the managerial decisions around changing.

Communication

Communication

This is a very important dimension of quality in some services.When you are in an emergency room with a sick child, how well are you kept informed of the process of your child's care? How well do the nurses, doctors, and clerks listen to you.

Access

Access

Access relates to approachability and case of contact. How difficult is it to find a repair service for your computer? How many times are you transferred when you call your credit card company to resolve a billing problem.