Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Characteristics of Service Quality

Service Quality has certain characteristics. Please chose four (4) characteristics and briefly discuss each of them.

Service quality is to meet and exceed customer’s needs and requirement in term of the quality in the actual service delivered to the expected service performance.

Four characteristics of service quality are:

1.       Typically intangible: Once the service has been provided, there is no evidence to show the ‘service’. For example, a door man opens doors for hotel guest, there is no evidence of proof for his service, or to say his service is intangible. Contrary to this, a flower girl sells Roses to the hotel guest, the flower is the evidence of proof (a good), which is tangible. Thus, it is hard to evaluate the service after purchasing.

2.       Unable to store: Service is not like goods; service cannot be stored to meet up to the changes in customer’s demand, while goods like cars, can be stored to meet customer demand in future. For instance, a teacher’s advice to his students, the advice and the teacher’s time for giving advice cannot be stored like goods.

3.       Heterogeneity: Or in other word – variation. Service is not a good made by machine, which will result in almost zero defects or nil variability. Service is highly flexible and variable. Different labour input, or simply says, different employee performs differently from the other. For example, setting is a restaurant: Employee A may be prefer to seat his customer and provide a glass of cold water before hands on the menu for his customer to place order, but Employee B may thought he himself given the best service when he can seat his customer and taking order directly and serving his customer with cold drink afterwards. Either way, they both think they give their best service, and the manager also agreed with them both. This scenario implies that it is hard to be measure service quality through conventional quality standard.

4.       Perishability: It refers to the duration of the service provided to the customer, which the duration is vanish-able and have a definite period. For example, the cold drink served to customer A, once served and drank by the customer, the drink vanished once the customer drank it,  that particular drink from that same glass cannot be serve to the other customer again at the same time.  Service also have definite period, if one customer did not request and consume the service at the time given, it will not be performed. 

"Customer Care," a 20x30-inch inspirational color poster photograph of two hands cradling a rose, created by the 31st Communications Squadron (CS), Visual Information, Aviano Air Base (AB), Italy. Subtitle:"Customer care must be nurtured from beginning to end." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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