Essay: Measuring Service Quality

Sample Essay

Measuring quality of service determines customer satisfaction since the perception of service quality reflects the extent of satisfaction of customers. Because the nature of customer satisfaction is a subjective psychological and behavioural state (Brown et al., 1991), much care is required in measuring this quantitatively and in the processing of data. The variability of customer satisfaction also suggests care in considering the period of measuring satisfaction and the manner of interpreting results (Hillabrant 2003).

There is common agreement that measuring service quality has a positive impact on the efforts of firms to achieve and enhance customer satisfaction. Much research on customer satisfaction in service industries done in the past years identified various positive effects of measuring service quality (Heskett 1990). Of these studies, the common direction is towards providing guidance on how managers can identify, align, measure, and manage well their goals and strategic plans in meeting customer needs to achieve customer satisfaction.

Measuring customer satisfaction quantitatively yields a number of benefits. Using service quality measures can provide firms with an understanding of customer expectations and perceptions given particular service contexts to support improvements in service quality (Parasuraman et al. 1988). Another benefit is knowledge on how to develop and maintain good relations with customers to improve sales and increase profitability (Reicheld and Sasser 1990; Rust et al., 2000; Rust and Chung 2005). When service delivery consistently happens according to the direction of consumers (Claycomb et al. 2001) sustained customer satisfaction could lead to repeat purchases and even to buyer loyalty (Cacioppo 2000) when the firm decreases customer turnover to have a customer base that supports sustainability (Sriram et al. 1992).

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