Measuring the quality of services

Measuring Service Quality

Services constitute a large part of the business, as there are many service activities such as hotels, retailers, restaurants, hospitals, sports centers, consulting, and others. And services form part of the manufacturing establishments – that is, those that produce products – in any establishment there are service departments. An institution is not devoid of departments that provide services to employees or other departments. Services can either be the primary activity or be an internal activity of a non-service institution. However, services suffer from a major shortcoming in many of our institutions.

Difficulty measuring service quality:

When you sell a product and then find another product of higher quality, it may be easy to realize that and then start improving your product. The matter here is tangible and tangible. As for services, you as a service provider may not be able to easily access the features of another company that provides the same service. The matter here includes psychological aspects and things that may seem unimportant to you. Therefore, determining the factors that satisfy customers is more difficult than determining them in the case of manufacturing companies.

There are many problems with service management. For example, there is a perception among some managers that he knows exactly what the customer wants. This is a big problem, because he does not know and does not know that he does not know. This results in making efforts and investments in things that may not be in accordance with what the customer wishes. For example, the service provider may think that the customer prefers a variety of goods offered in the commercial market, and perhaps the customer’s problem is the long queue or mistreatment.

In our institutions, you sometimes notice that the employee providing the service is very interested in delivering a message to you stating, “I am not less than you,” and this is surprising. Sometimes you find that the service provider is condescending to the customers, as if they are obligated to satisfy this employee in order to succeed in the tests measuring the employee’s satisfaction with the customer. The process here is upside down and confused.

One of the things that surprises you in developed countries is that the employee who provides you with the service may have an unacceptable appearance and his behavior in his private life may be unacceptable, but at work he provides you with the service at the same level that you find from another employee. The reason for this is that there is a measure of the level of service and that an employee who does not perform the service in a manner that satisfies customers may suffer punishment and possibly dismissal from work.

The same applies to the internal services, sometimes even more bitterly. You will find that the employee who provides service to his colleagues deals with them with condescension and pride. And you find the service timeless, that is, it may be completed in minutes – if you are a friend of the service provider – and it may be completed in several weeks. And you find an order that is signed once and needs five signatures again. And you do not find anyone thinking about measuring the speed of service or the quality of service.

Negligence in measuring the quality of services:

With the large number of advertising methods that service providers resort to, it is rare that you will receive a questionnaire asking you about your opinion of the service, and it is even less rare that someone will stop you in order to conduct an interview with you to ask about your opinion of the service. I do not imagine that anyone would invite me to give my opinion on the service he is considering providing in the future. Do all these institutions know the unseen? Aren’t the client’s requirements obscure to her? In fact, sometimes the customer himself is unable to describe what he likes about this and what he does not like about that, so how does the service provider know that?

Moreover, the process of measuring any indicators of quality of service is considered unimportant by many of these institutions. Do you imagine that the doctor in whose clinic you sit for three hours to wait for your turn – do you imagine – that he measures the waiting time? Have you seen anyone follow the length of the line at the mall, bank or post office? How many companies rate the employee’s good treatment of the customer? How many companies measure the quality of an employee’s response to customers by phone or email?

Not measuring service quality and not knowing customer requirements leads to many problems.

First: This makes each employee act according to his nature. You find the respected employee treated with respect and the disrespected employee treated in an inappropriate manner.

Second: The service is not being improved because we did not know that the problems existed in the first place. Third: Failure to improve service leads to customers going to another competitor. The problem here is that some people think that the situation will remain as it is and that no better competitor will appear, and this is almost impossible. It is the nature of life for competitors to evolve and for new ones to emerge. Therefore, unless we develop ourselves, we will end up out of competition.

You may think that sales volume or revenue is a measure of quality of service and this is not true. Revenues may decrease due to external conditions such as financial crises that affect the income of individuals. Revenue may increase due to an increase in prices. Revenues may remain high for years with poor service due to the lack of a better competitor. However, measuring service quality means measuring service time, measuring the number of complaints, measuring the length of queues, measuring the variation in service speed, measuring the change in the level of materials provided (food, products, medicines, ..), measuring customer satisfaction in general and specifically about the transaction, about The speed of response, comfort in the waiting area, services and comfort in the place where the service is provided.

Using surveys to collect customer feedback:

Some managers do not accept the idea of questionnaires and say to you: How do you know that customers will answer and what do you know that they will answer seriously and what do you know that they are telling the truth, that they will mention trivial matters. All of this is meaningless talk. It is only natural that some of them will answer and some of them will not, and we must be able to obtain the percentage of participation that we want. Unfortunately, some managers do not understand the idea of samples and that they can reflect all customers. As for the seriousness of the answer, it is easy to identify it by placing one or two repeated questions in the same questionnaire, but in a different manner. Naturally, customers will tell the truth, as there is no reason for them to lie. And if the client mentioned something that seems trivial, this may help us develop ourselves in loyalty

In the end, it is possible to neglect any words that have no weight.

Recently, I prepared a questionnaire to measure the performance of a service department from the perspective of its customers (another department within the same organization). Before starting to distribute the questionnaire, the director of the service department showed his fear that the customers (employees of the other department) would be prejudiced against them and might write what he would be ashamed of and put him in embarrassment. Therefore, the questionnaire was not distributed. These fears are unfounded. If an employee imposes and writes a personal or inappropriate attack, his answer will be ignored. The feeling that people are neglected, that people are traitors, and that people are aggressive are outdated ideas that do not enable a society to progress.

Customer reviews are valuable wealth:

I wonder when I volunteer to give my opinion on the service, but I find that the service provider convinces me that my point of view is wrong or that I do not understand the subject. The natural thing is that we insist on customers, encourage them, and ask them very kindly to give us their opinions, as their opinions are wealth. Yes, precious wealth. Have you tried buying a gift for your son or wife and then they don’t like it? Wasn’t it valuable to know what they preferred? Then let me ask you how did this happen when you are the head of the family and you know everything about them? After all, you did not know what gift they wish for now.

So are customers. You want to impress them with services they need and are happy with and you don’t know what they want right now. Why do we say “now”? Because the game your son loves today is not the game he will like in six months. Customers may like a style of service today and become tired of it a year later.

Successful companies seek customer opinions and are very interested in complaints because they convey some customer problems. There is a statistic that says that only 4% of customers who are not satisfied with the service convey their distress to the service provider. This means that 96% of unsatisfied customers will not tell you this and will have problems that may not make them come to you again. The statistic also says that every dissatisfied customer will tell 10 to 20 people. Can you imagine the extent of the damage?

How will you know what bothers 96% of unhappy customers? How do you make them come to you again? How do you make them not convey a bad image of your organization? Unless you actively strive to get the dissatisfied customer to tell you his problem, the customer will leave you and damage the reputation of your organization. Rather, the problem will continue and you will annoy other customers and then they will leave you. All this while you have no doubt that you know what customers want.

Therefore, I do not see it enough to leave a complaint box or leave a short questionnaire at the place of service. But I see the intense pursuit of the customer to give us his opinion. For example, you can talk to him face to face after the end of the service and ask about any things he did not like. You can contact the customer by phone to ask him about the level of service.

You can open channels for complaints that are better than the suggestion box. There is an e-mail, there are telephones, there is customer service, and so on. Show the customer that you want them to complain if they don’t like something.

Show him that you are very serious and very keen to get his opinion of the service. Do not sit in your office and say that customers did not show their complaints about the miserable service that you provide, but be present in the place where the service is provided to hear their comments and to ask them for their opinion. It is your responsibility to obtain customer reviews, not the customer’s.

Measuring the quality of internal services:

And if you are a manager of a manufacturing (productive) institution, how will you know that the service department such as information systems, employment, or personnel affairs performs the service for other employees in a way that satisfies you? One of the employees will come to you to complain, and the director of that service department will reply to him, and you cannot know the truth. At best, that manager will tell you that he will solve that employee’s problem.

But the problem may be greater than that, as the service may be really bad. And if that statistic says that 4% of customers who are dissatisfied with the service complain, then the matter in the case of internal customers may be less because the complaint here will be for their senior manager, and therefore you find that few employees reach their complaint to that manager. Measuring internal service quality is important.

If you survey the employees’ opinion about the services provided by the different departments, you will discover weaknesses and then be able to improve them. And if you measure the quality of service with some quantitative measures such as service time, accuracy and number of errors, you will know which departments perform a good service.

Does measuring the performance of internal services have an impact on the productive organization? You may think that these services are not the core of our work and we have to focus on the manufacturing process, but are these services effective in the manufacturing process or not?

If the process of dispensing materials and spare parts from the organization’s warehouse is very slow, does this not affect the manufacturing process? If the information systems service was good and fast, wouldn’t that help the use of information systems and computers and thus help the workflow and transfer of information? If the employee who performs administrative services for the workers treats them with contempt, does this not affect the motivation of the workers and thus lead to problems at work? It is an integrated system and each part affects the other parts.

Measuring the quality of raw materials is neither arithmetic nor an empirical test but it is more difficult. But it is a very important and possible process, and it is the way to improve the services that are either the basic activity of the institution or its internal activity


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