by: Leonard Berry, A. Parasuraman, and Valarie Zeithaml
Excellent service is a profit strategy because it results in more new customers, more business with existing customers, fewer lost customers, more insulation from price competition, and fewer mistakes requiring the reperformance of services. Excellent service can also be energizing because it requires the building of an organizational culture in which people are challenged to perform to their potential and are recognized and rewarded when they do. Service is a key component of value that drives any company’s success. To the customer, value is the benefits received for the burdens endured—such as price, an inconvenient location, unfriendly employees, or an unattractive service
facility. Quality service helps a company maximize benefits and minimize non-price burdens for its customers. Over the last ten years, we have been studying service quality in America,’ focusing primarily on these questions:
- What is service quality?
- How can service quality best be measured?
- What is the nature of customer expectations for service and what are the sources of these expectations?
- What are the principal causes of service-quality deficiencies?
- What can organizations do to improve service quality?
In this article, we focus on the last question, presenting lessons learned that we believe are essential for improving service quality.
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