Explanation of service quality
For the purpose of analysis, the issue selected is “service quality” and the selected article focuses on “service quality in a higher education context”. The article explores and gives detailed explanations of the antecedents and consequences of service quality particularly in a higher education context. The fuss and focus on service quality particularly in the marketing domain in the recent decades are not surprising. Service quality is dominant in every sector and context including industries, cultures, and firms. According to the article, service quality is the totality of features and characteristics exhibited by a particular product or service, and the totality bears on the products or service’s ability to achieve the satisfaction of already stated or expected needs (Suuroja, 2003). Service quality can be perceived, and this is dependent on an individual’s experience and it also results in the attitude that a person develops towards a product or service (Suuroja, 2003). For example, if a student were to pursue a degree course in a certain university, the high quality of service delivered by the university would result in the student developing a positive attitude towards the institution. Moreover, from the article, it is agreeable that service quality plays an integral role when it comes to the determination of competitiveness in whatever context or sector.
Primarily, high service quality in organizations enhances financial as well as marketing performance, and these aspects in the end, act as sources of lasting competitive advantage for organizations (Wang, 2012). In the context of higher education, which is the focus of the selected article, service quality gives reference to attributes that aid in the provision of key academic values that include course development, ability and quality of teaching, and enhanced and desirable teacher-student relationships. Characteristics of high service quality in the context of higher education as stipulated by the article include good delivery of lectures by instructors, high intellectual capacity coupled with research expertise of the lecturers, how entertaining the lecturers are, and the after lecture availability.
The article also highlights service quality in higher education contexts linking them to those that aid in the provision of support services that promote smooth functioning of academic activities. Apparently, there are antecedents of service quality, and these are some of the factors that push organizations to deliver service quality to customers. The article states that an irrefutable antecedent is information. It should be noted that information informs customers about the key attributes of an organization. If the information provided to customers states that an organization delivers service quality, then it has no otherwise. Other antecedents of service quality in organizations are past experience and promise (Gupta et al., 2005). As for past experience, if a customer benefited from an organization’s services in the past and found them to be of quality, then such an organization has no otherwise but to deliver the same to the customer in future. Besides, if an organization promises service quality to customers, then it has no otherwise but to provide the same. All in all, service quality remains a key component of organizations despite the contexts.
Consequences of service quality
As stated in the article, is essential for any organization to have a favorable perception of service quality as this not only reflects efficiencies and effectiveness but also plays a key role in the retention and attraction of customers. That is to say, there are various consequences of service quality to organizations. Drawing information from the article, one of the consequences of service quality is satisfaction (Gorla et al., 2010). It is believed that the concept of satisfaction occupies a central position in marketing thought as well as practice. Satisfaction revolves around how consumers perceive the attributes of an organization’s product or service. There is a close relationship between service quality and satisfaction, and this is owed to the fact that good or high service quality results in satisfaction. For example, the selected article opines that if a university provides attributes such as access to the necessary resources, the students will be satisfied.
The article also mentions that service quality results in trust and loyalty (Gorla et al., 2010). In the context of higher education, with service quality, students are often optimistic that similar services will be provided to them in future. This implies that implies that learners develop trust and become loyal to institutions that provide attributes of service quality. It should be noted that trust plays a significant role in any organization, as customers and stakeholders build cumulative effects of trust over the years with one another, and the overall organizations. The article states that trust and service quality are viewed as the center of relationship marketing in organizations. However, they are different in that one is an experiential norm while the other is an emotional norm. The underlining factor is that the perception that an individual has on service quality provides a deep credence about the outcome of an organization’s future service encounter.
Subsequently, as seen in the article, the brand performance of organizations is a consequence of service quality (Gorla et al., 2010). Brand performance is an evaluation platform of how successful a brand is in a particular market. Its measurement is done on the basis of market share, the percentage of buying, purchases per buyer annually, and annual switching. The aforementioned aspects are often higher if organizations provide attributes aimed at achieving service quality.
How different organizations are dealing with the issue of service quality
The article notes that service quality is one of the key factors behind the profitability and competitiveness of organizations, and thus, there are efforts in place to uphold the same. First, the article is of the opinion that different organizations use marketing communication channels that include word-of-mouth to enhance customers’ knowledge about service quality (Gupta et al., 2005). The article gives an example of higher education institutions that focus on the enhancement of the knowledge that prospective students have of service quality through the use of marketing communication channels.
In addition, the article states that different organizations have stepped up efforts of enhancing the experience of customers in a bid to make them aware of service quality attributes (Gupta et al., 2005). For instance, the article mentions that institutions of higher learning have considered open days, visits by students, careers fair, interactive activities, as well as electronic communication, as ways of dealing with the issue of service quality. Arguably, the mentioned interventions and activities could give learners the opportunity of learning more about their prospective institutions of higher learning, and the attributes they have put in place in a bid to achieve service quality. As suggested by the article, another way through which different organizations deal with the issue of service quality is the regular monitoring of service performance, customer and stakeholder satisfaction, and behavioral intentions.
Gorla, N., Somers, T. M., & Wong, B. (2010). Organizational impact of system quality, information quality, and service quality. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 19(3), 207-228.
Gupta, A., McDaniel, J. C., & Kanthi Herath, S. (2005). Quality management in service firms: sustaining structures of total quality service. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 15(4), 389-402.
Suuroja, M. (2003). Service quality: Main conceptualizations and critique. Tartu: Tartu Univ. Press.
Wang, G. L. (2012). The influence of internal service quality on employee job satisfaction at Taiwan listed international tourist hotels: using organisational culture as the moderator. World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education, 10(3), 174-183.