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The growth of the service industry in the global economy, create competitive challenges for the service organization. One of this challenges is the impact of the service quality on customer retention. To maintain customer relationship organization demand to measure their services and modify their process according to customer needs.
The theory of service quality has create significant arguments because of the complexity of measuring, unlike the manufacturing goods which has quality characteristics and specification ease the organization to assessed it. However there is a variety of tools enable us to secure the conformity of the service quality(Harvey, 1998) and measure it, such SERVQUAL model.
In this report I am going to assess the service quality of Opal Emirates LLC , applying the SERVQUAL model to identify the customer satisfaction and perception towards the company services and features.
SERVQUAL is a tool used to assess the service quality, first introduced in 1985 by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry. The theory of the measurement about the gap between the customer expectation from the whole service providers and their perception of the same service from the assessed organization.
The theory identified ten dimensions :
Understanding/knowing the customer.
In 1988, seven of the dimensions were merged in two , and the total dimensions reduced to five: reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, tangibles.
Their been criticism to this measurement methods, according to Francis Buttle the SERVQUAL dimensions are not applicable universally, not to mention the failure of the dimension to act in the established economic, statistical and psychological theory(1996). However the SERVQUAL measurement system suggest the correct belief of consumer perception due to the relation with frequent evaluation of customer satisfaction (Jiang; Klein; Crampton, 2000).
Each project have a purpose and objectives, her in this measurement the objectives are identified as the fallowing:
To assess the customer satisfaction level.
To identify the impact of customer satisfaction on the business.
To recognize the vital service quality dimensions for the business.
To compare the changing of the process before and after.
Any measurement required data, therefore the first step was allocate the information.
In this paper I obtain the information from interview with Opal Emirates LLC general manager, to find the importance features of the company. Another source of information was questioner to anticipate the customer expectation and perception.
The next step was applying the SERVQUAL model and calculate the survey findings to determine the expectation score, perception score, the gap, and the weighted average of SERVQUAL.
Opal Emirates LLC is small car repair company operate in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It have in total twenty nine employees, four of them are in administration while the remain are technicians in the operation fields. The core business is one day repair which include lube, tires repair, car electricity repair, and car AC repair.
Opal Emirates LLC General Manager Mohammed Rashid explain that the company focus in customer relation, however the customers not cooperate with company policy, because the lack of participation in feedback or even refusing to supply their contacts information for fallow up evaluations. Therefore only source of information is the complains and the volume of operation.
The most important features they insist to have in the company is the employees competence , because of that all the employees in the operation field have minimum 3years past experience in dealers work shop in united Arab Emirates and near region , beside their college degree.
The equipments been used in the company work centers are best of art, and the latest in the car repair industry. The company design a policy regarding to the equipments operating, the employees should fallow to insure maximum benefits and safety of both parts customers and employees.
According to Mr. Mohammed appearance is very essential , for that the company had made special uniform for all operation field workers with the company logo. "this will give the customers good impression" Mohammed said.
The company charge by the hour, therefore they inform the customer about the service time earlier, to estimate the working hour and fees. However due to the miss evaluation to the size degree of work the car need, it could took longer time. But as company policy they donââ‚¬â„¢t charge the customers any additions for the work they agreed before.
The employees are distributed in the company centers equally, because of the work line in the centers are the same, however the management notice during some periods especially in the weekends, there is much of activity in one center more than the others, which cause some delay in the work and create dissatisfaction among customers.
In figure 1 you find the score provided by Mr. Mohammed General Manager of Opal Emirates LLC ranking the importance of the company features.
The company appearance (tangible amenities, equipment, employees and substances).
The company perform the agreed service consistently and correctly
The company submission to help customers and offer rapid assistance.
The competence and attitude of the company employees.
The thoughtful for personal consideration the company present to customers.
Table 1 (Importance of Company Features)
The survey design in two parts. The first part require the customer to grade other companies in general regarding to their expectations of the services provided.
The other part asks the customer to grade Opal Emirates regarding to their experiences with the company services.
Both section have twenty two questions reflects the five dimensions of SERVQUAL (see Table 2).
The customer asked to score it of one to seven scale, where one indicate to strongly disagree, while seven means strongly agree.
1, 2, 3, and 4
5 ,6 , 7 , 8, and 9
10,11,12, and 13
14, 15, 16, and 17
18, 19, 20, 21, and 22
Table 2 (Reflection of The Dimension in Survey Question)
After gathering the information from the survey we can calculate the required score for the customer expectation and perception.
The calculation of the gap is by subtracts the perception from the expectation .
The weighted average score SERVQUAL can be obtain by multiplying the dimension gap by the weighted importance features of the company. Add all to gather to get the weighted SERVQUAL score.
In the Table 3 (The SERVQUAL Score) illustration of the SERVQUAL results related for Opal Emirates LLC . from this results I find the following:
From the average weighted score which is -1.83 I predicts that the customer satisfaction level is extremely low. There is indication of dissatisfaction in every dimensions except tangibility.
There is a mismatch gap between management vision and customer expectation. Where manger of Opal focus on the tangibility dimension more than its required, while the customers expect more attention in the empathy dimension which is neglected .
The service specifications design gap was founded, due the lack of communication between management and customer. The company failed to design the service according to the customer expectation.
Despite the fact that company policy insist of employees competence, the SERVQUAL score indicate to a great gap in service delivery, means there is a differences between what the customer need, and what he actually get. It can be seen clearly on the dimensions reliability, responsiveness, and assurance.
The customer expectation score were almost in all dimensions at the top of the scale. This could rise doubt about the measurement model , however it could possibly linked to the sample size used in the questioner.
There is no information about process changing in the company services, therefore I could not anticipate the impact of process changing or have a comparison about it before and after.
Company Weighted Importance Features
Weighted Average Score
Average Weighted score:
Table 3 (The SERVQUAL Score)
In the beginning of this paper I talked about the challenges faced service companies , and the importance of the satisfied customer that create a customer loyalty. The strategy used by Opal Emirates should be reviewed to maintain customer retention. In the fallowing points I suggest some recommendation to be used in Opal Emirates LLC to achieve the service quality:
The weighted features of the company should reevaluated, and based as the customer expectations, this should enable the match between management perception and customer expectation.
The management should maintain a level of communication with the customers. They can proceed to get customer requirements and perceptions throw market researches , customer interviews, focus group, and questioners.
The company policy towards the employees competence are not sufficient, therefore the policy should be developed to include internal training regarding to customers relation management. Other element an evaluation for employees performance should be maintain to record the improvements of workers skills and knowledge.
Creation of solid policy for The assessment of the service work for customers car, this should maintain accurate service time and save the company wasted revenues.
The company should pay attention to the quality problems, such as the volume of activities in operation centers, to identify the cause and eliminate it by applying a corrective action.