Managing Service Quality essay

This situation can be attributed to the increased importance and significance eing witnessed in the service industry by both the developed and the developing economies of the world. In fact, growth in the service sector is often used as an indicator to measure a countryos economic growth. The service industry has since become the main stay of the economy of many nations. The sen. ‘ice industry offers services to customers. These customers often expect value for their money. Customer satisfaction is of equal importance in the service industry just like in the product related business.

Three forces dominate the prevailing marketing environment in the sen. ‘ice ector increasing competition from private players, changing and improving technologies and continuous shifts in the regulatory environment, which has led to the growing customer sophistication. Customers have become more and more aware of their requirements and demand higher standards of services. Their perceptions and expectations are continually evolving making it difficult for the service providers to measure and manage services effectively.

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The key lies in improving the service selectively, paying attention to more critical service attributes/dimensions as a part of customer service anagement. It is an imperative to understand how sensitive the customers are to various service attributes or dimensions. Allocating resources in the fashion that is consistent with customer priorities can enhance the effectiveness in the service operations. In addition, customer service attribute priorities need to be fully explored in service specific contexts.

This paper is an attempt to explore relative importance of service quality dimensions across a ?selectD service context. Keywords”customer Satisfaction, Economic Growth, Regulatory Environment, Service Industry, Service Marketing, Service Operation Abbreviations”catastrophe (CAT), Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) INTRODUCTION WO major factors that shape the practice of marketing in service organizations are (1) Environment, (2) How a particular business views and organizes its marketing efforts.

Both factors are equally important in creating and constraining managers? opportunities for effective action. For example, in the financial services industry the three major external forces that affect competition are: increasing internationalization of all financial products and players, the change in the egulatory environment (which is removing many barriers to open competition and to the types of companies allowed to compete), and the accelerating impact and pervasiveness of information technology [Taylor et al. 1993]. Which create long-lasting change, in such a scenario the companies that react more swiftly and that anticipate or even create the change that offer the opportunity are likely to be the winners. There are three major tasks that a market oriented manager in a financial service organization must accomplish in order to achieve success. The first of these is to ISSN: 2321 – 242X dentify the key strategic success factors operating in the specific industry and to build the companyDs unique strategy around these factors.

Secondly, the manager must be able to establish an organization and system capable of creating and implementing plans built around the companyL]s strategy. Thirdly, the manager must be able to free market its departmental base and infuse and defuse it throughout the organization. It must however be kept in mind that the second and third tasks can only be performed after the first one is accomplished [Moriarty et al. , 1990; Krohe Jr. , James, 2006]. Customer satisfaction is a feat that every business that intends to be deemed successful must strive to meet.

It is the measure of how services supplied to the customers meet or surpass their expectation [Bell, 1992]. Customer satisfaction is an important concept in service and is considered to be part of a balanced scorecard. Customer satisfaction informs the management that the line managers and the staff who are in direct contact with the customers are actually doing a good job. This report will seek to apply the various service marketing concepts and theories to an experience had with a ervice provider. 2013 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 88 The SJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), vol. 1, NO. 2, May-June 2013 LITERATURE REVIEW Service marketers have experienced it for past few years that competition can be well managed by differentiating through quality, and of course there are exceptions where quality traditionally been an internal affair, e. g. , health care. Importance of service lies in customer service management. Customer service is viewed as a part of marketing mix in services marketing.

It is also viewed as logistic function of being subsumed within the customer service activity and as timeliness and reliability of delivering services to customers in accordance with their expectations. Because of the inseparability and intangibility features of services, customer service in service businesses is usually more important than in manufacturing companies [Henkoff, 1994]. In recent years thrust on efficient customer service has increased manifold in the services sector because of increased competition from private players, improved technologies, and growing customer sophistication.

For example, in the insurance sector, the private players (Prudential & Standard Life of the 13K, Sun Life of Canada and AIG, Met Life and New York Life of the US) are making strides in raising awareness levels, introducing innovative products and increasing the penetration of the market. Some insurance such as ICICI Pru Life, have fulfilled their mission to be a scale player in the mass market by introducing a range Of thirteen products to meet the need of each customer in the effort to serve them better.

Many others have taken a more focused approach, introducing select products that they elieve hold potential and fill market gaps. And as technology has come to its aid, the reach and the ability to service each customer seamlessly has increased. Multiple touch points have emerged -contact centers, email, facsimile, websites and of course snail-mail- which enable the customer to get in touch with insurance companies quickly, easily and directly. As a result of which response time has come down dramatically and information availability has become immediate.

Thus, in the context of increasing access to information and tougher competition, the customer will be ore demanding for service. Technology will enable him to make comparisons quickly and accurately. High quality customer service will have to mean more than a customer accepted by all levels of management and staff [Berry & parasurarnan, 1991 Sharma Shikha, 2002]. Other services have also witnesses the same developments, e. g. , in the fast-food sector, there is stiff competition from private players.

With the entry of McDonald- the worldCs best quick service restaurant, Pizza Hut, Sub Way, etc. , customer expectations from Indian counterparts particularly Nirulas have increased. McDonald s constantly promoting its corporate mission of People Promise and people Vision. The people Promise is “how we remind our people what they can expect and how high our goal is: to be the best employer in each community around the world”. And the People Vision is “weare not just a hamburger co. serving people, weL]re a Co. erving hamburger’. It has the customer service department and web site to provide customer convenience, which most fast-foods in India donC]t have. Thus, competition and technological up gradation, etc. have resulted Thus, competition and technological up gradation, etc. have resulted sophisticated in their requirements and are increasingly demanding higher standards of service. To them service means customer satisfaction, customer delight, service delivery, customer relationship, etc.

Therefore interest in managing the services through customer service is considerably high. It requires setting customer service objective in terms of relative importance of customer service elements. In other words, while considering levels of performance in setting customer service objectives, service companies need to take into account the importance of service quality variables such as eliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles Customer service initiatives are, thus, closely related to quality improvement initiatives [Gr¶nroos, 1984].

It is the relationship marketing that brings quality, customer service, and marketing together. With this, the attainment of quality has become pivotal concern among the marketers. Considering the paramount importance of quality improvement and management in services, the present study has been undertaken with the objective of contributing a measure of clarity to the research on the issue of relative mportance of different dimensions of service quality in the service businesses. This would have implications for Customer service and resource management.

II. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY This paper aims to publish research in the field of service management that not only makes a theoretical contribution to the service literature, but also appeals to practitioners. Recognizing the importance of the service sector all over the globe. This paper outlines some of the most common impediments to service quality management and explores the steps service providers need to take to help improve service quality, increase ustomer satisfaction and gain a competitive advantage.

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