Delivering Quality Service

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9781439167281: Delivering Quality Service

Roger J. Dow Vice President, Sales and Marketing Services, Marriott Corporation Finally, a "real world" approach to improving service quality which provides a framework for action and a road map for success. "Delivering Quality Service" will be a landmark work as we tackle the biggest challenge of the 1990s.

George J. Stasick Manager of Customer Services & Customer Relations, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. In my opinion, "Delivering Quality Service" will be a best seller. It will certainly be 'must' reading for retailers in the 1990s.

David B. Luther Senior Vice President, Corporate Director -- Quality, Corning Incorporated In this pathbreaking book, the authors have taken the little-understood notion of service quality and broken it down into very well-defined, manageable increments that are tightly linked to customer perceptions. Everyone concerned with quality, in any form, needs to read and understand "Delivering Quality Service."

Christopher H. Lovelock Visiting Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management, MIT No one has done more than this energetic trio to insist that service quality must be defined from a customer-driven perspective. The research findings described in this book yield a practical, commonsense structure to help managers close the gaps that separate customers from the quality service experiences they seek.

Joel D. Raphael Director, AT&T Communications "Delivering Quality Service" should be required reading for anyone in a service business.

Thomas R. Elsman Strategic Planning Manager, Customer Service Division, E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company The beauty of "Delivering Quality Service" is that not only do the authors break new ground in service quality and improvement, but the cumulative benefits of their work will serve as a step-by-step handbook.

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Excellence in customer service is the hallmark of success in service industries and among manufacturers of products that require reliable service. But what exactly is excellent service? It is the ability to deliver what you promise, say the authors, but first you must determine what you can promise. Building on seven years of research on service quality, they construct a model that, by balancing a customer's perceptions of the value of a particular service with the customer's need for that service, provides brilliant theoretical insight into customer expectations and service delivery. For example, Florida Power & Light has developed a sophisticated, computer-based lightening tracking system to anticipate where weather-related service interruptions might occur and strategically position crews at these locations to quicken recovery response time. Offering a service that customers expect to be available at all times and that they will miss only when the lights go out, FPL focuses its energies on matching customer perceptions with potential need. Deluxe Corporation, America's highly successful check printer, regularly exceeds its customers' expectations by shipping nearly 95% of all orders by the day after the orders were received. Deluxe even put U.S. Postal Service stations inside its plants to speed up delivery time. Customer expectations change over time. To anticipate these changes, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company regularly monitors the expectations and perceptions of their customers, using focus group interviews and the authors' 22-item generic SERVQUAL questionnaire, which is customized by adding questions covering specific aspects of service they wish to track. The authors' groundbreaking model, which tracks the five attributes of quality service -- reliability, empathy, assurance, responsiveness, and tangibles -- goes right to the heart of the tendency to overpromise. By comparing customer perceptions with expectations, the model provides marketing managers with a two-part measure of perceived quality that, for the first time, enables them to segment a market into groups with different service expectations.

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