Measuring and improving service quality on a regular basis will help improve your business in a lot of ways. Everyone wants to ensure that their customers get the quality service they deserve. However, there needs to be a definition associated with it. This definition needs to revolve around the needs and expectations of the customer. According to Indeed, “regardless of the industry, service quality can have a direct impact on a company’s ability to satisfy customer needs while remaining competitive.” Before providing “ground rules”, businesses need to have a clear and transparent idea of their values and how to measure them for good service quality. There is no hard and fast rule in terms of the “right way” to measure it. However, laying down the basic foundation of common needs and expectations of your customers will help you hit the ground running. This blog will talk about how businesses can measure the quality of service given to their customers and the importance of paying attention to their needs and expectations.
Dimensions of Service Quality, aka SERVQUAL
Service quality, or SERVQUAL, is a multi-dimensional research instrument designed to capture consumer expectations and perceptions of a service along five dimensions that are believed to represent service quality, that was invented by Professor Leonard Berry. According to Indeed, there are five dimensions related to the measurement of service quality – reliability, tangibility, empathy, responsiveness, and assurance. Let’s dig deeper.
Reliability refers to the accuracy and level of dependency of the service provided to the customer. Successfully overcoming this step of the process involves extensive customer interaction, including good service, swift problem-solving skills, and competitive pricing. When customers come across a brand and its products and services, they would expect that their needs and expectations have been met – good quality and worth the money spent. Should the product not meet the expectations of the customer, the business owner should take their feedback into account and figure out how to do better the next time.
According to Indeed, tangibility is “the ability to portray service quality to its customers.” This includes the facilities, equipment, and personnel performing the services. Let’s say a customer purchased a phone and, due to an unforeseen circumstance, the phone screen broke. Assuming the phone is still under warranty, the customer would expect their screen to be fixed free of charge. This is the concept of tangibility. The customer would interact with the employees during this service interaction, and their professional and interpersonal interactions add to their impression of the brand and its capabilities. They would expect the attending personnel to know what they’re doing and have the right equipment to perform the given task – in this case, to fix the broken screen.
Empathy is probably the most crucial element for a business to achieve a positive rating for service quality. According to LinkedIn, “empathy refers to the personal attention shown to customers.” Customers need to believe and trust that their needs and expectations are being looked after by the brand they associate themselves with. Businesses are bound to have both good and bad days. Customers need to feel understood by their words, actions, body language, and other cues depending on the situation at hand. If businesses make an effort to put themselves in the customer’s shoes, they will appreciate them more than they know. Bonus points for connecting on a personal level! They may just unknowingly surprise the customer.
Responsiveness refers to the promptness of the response for the customer. According to Indeed, this “implies receiving, assessing and swiftly replying to customer requests, feedback, questions and issues.” In other words, swift and prompt customer support, both online and offline. If a company truly wants to strive for high service quality, it will do its best to respond to customers on time and never keep them waiting. According to Indeed, this behavior “indicates the value a company places on customer satisfaction” and how dedicated a company is towards keeping their customers satisfied.
Medium describes assurance as “the level of confidence the customer has that the service will be performed adequately.” This element of service quality is particularly important for customers who think certain services are beyond their capabilities. A common example of this would be in the hospitality industry. When a customer chooses to stay in a hotel, the employees aim to make the customer’s stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. This means providing top-notch customer support via phone calls and face-to-face interactions. Every customer interaction is vital for them to ensure a stable reputation for good service quality.
How to Ensure Great Service Quality?
How to ensure great service differs with every business, however, the common element is the customer. The success of quality of service depends on how the customer is being treated. The bottom line, they always come first. It’s safe for business owners to assume that all eyes are on them both publicly and privately. Especially in the service industry, customers need to be treated with care and respect. Difficult customers are inevitable. However, it’s imperative for leaders to assume that all eyes are on them. According to Indeed, “giving relevant answers to customer questions can improve the company’s image and reputation of being an organization that offers good service quality.” Even when customers unreasonably vent out their frustrations and concerns, businesses should still treat them with kindness and regard and make them feel like their concerns are of the utmost importance.
Measuring Quality of Service with PxidaCX
In the end, the quality of service is measured by the feedback given by the customer. Some customers don’t like to give feedback face-to-face, which is why PxidaCX is a great tool for anonymity and data security. With our customer satisfaction surveys, businesses can receive honest and truthful feedback about their quality of customer service so that they figure out where they need to improve in the future. Sign up for a free trial today!