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Service Marketing

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SERVICES MARKETING Assignment 1. What are the different scales used to measure service quality? Distinguish between SERVQUAL Scale and SERVPERF Scale? Which one is still dominating in services?

Ans. SERVQUAL or RATER is a service quality framework. SERVQUAL was developed in the mid-1980s by Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry. SERVQUAL means to measure the scale of Quality in the service sectors. The service quality model or the ‘GAP model’ developed by a group of authors- Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry at Texas and North Carolina in 1985 , highlights the main requirements for delivering high service quality. It identifies five ‘gaps’ that cause unsuccessful delivery. SERVQUAL was originally measured on 10 aspects of service quality: It measures the gap between customer expectations and experience. The basic assumption of the measurement was that customers can evaluate a firm's service quality by comparing their perceptions with their expectations. SERVQUAL has its detractors and is considered overly complex, subjective and statistically unreliable. Customers generally have a tendency to compare the service they 'experience' with the service they 'expect' .
Although a great number of research studies for service quality take place in the context of developed countries, the similar studies in the context of a rapidly developing country like inIndia are limited. This descriptive study focuses on the issue of measuring of service quality in banking sector in a developing country like India. In line with the above stated purpose, this paper attempts to examine the applicability of two popular measures of service quality in the banking sector in Indian context. The two popular multi-item scales of measuring servicequality are SERVQUAL ( developed and modified by Parasuraman et al.1985, 1988, 1991,1994)and SERVPERF ( a performance only measure of servicequality suggested by Cronin andTaylor, 1992,1994 ). While measuring service quality through these scales, the dimensionality,reliability and validity of the said scales are checked in Indian context. Also, the correlations of service quality with customer satisfaction, positive word-of-mouth and loyalty are examined.From a diagnostic standpoint, SERVPERF shows empathy dimension needs more resources as itis having lowest performance score (P). However, SERVQUAL shows the greatest gap occurs inreliability dimension, which requires more resources.

2. Think about a service you received in the recent past. Is there a gap between your expectations and perceptions of that service? What do you expect that you do not receive?

Ans. The Service-Expectation Gap
The Gap Between What You Deliver and What Your Members Expect, and What You Can Do About It
I asked the E.D. of a small association if providing excellent service to her members was important. She gave me one of those duh – how can you ask such a stupid question looks and then replied “of course it is”. I then asked if she was meeting her members’ expectations. She became more thoughtful and started in on what was obviously going to be a long explanation when she stopped herself and said “Only by the lack of complaints and my gut feel”.
Part of the problem that associations manager have is that services are often measured more for how they “feel” to their recipients than to what they actually do. At a most basic level when buying a product or service, a person is looking for a solution to a problem. They measure their satisfaction with their purchase buy seeing how their problem was solved and by how they felt through the process. Associations essentially sell services, products that are “Invisible” and as there is little to touch or hold, how people feel about the service often determines their satisfaction. In fact when it comes to services, the tangibles – what you can touch and feel is only one of five attributes[i] that are used by people to determine their satisfaction. They are: • Reliability – the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately, • Assurance – Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence, • Tangibles – Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials, • Empathy – Caring, individualized attention the organization provides its members, • Responsiveness – Willingness to help members and provide prompt service.
I refer to these attributes as ‘RATER'.
The rest of the problem is that member’s expectations are based on more than what you tell them to expect. They base their expectations about your service on four things: 1. What they have experienced in the past, 2. What they have been told about your service by others, 3. Their personal needs (the “problem” we talked about above), 4. And what you have communicated to them.
The rubber hits the road when a member brings their expectations to your door and you deliver the requested service. It is at this point where any perceived gaps between what the member expects and what you deliver occurs. I emphasize perceived: when dealing with intangibles, it’s the perception that is important.
A while ago I had an issue with my car. The problem was fixed but because of a warranty issue, I ended up paying for part of the repair. I related this to friend who replied “Write to the president of the company – I had a similar problem with my car and wrote the president. He sent a nice letter and a cheque covering my costs”. So I wrote to the president requesting a refund. After a period I got a cheque in the mail for the full amount I had requested. So why didn’t I feel good about it? All I got was a cheque. My minimum expectation was a letter of apology and a cheque.
For associations, the problem is far more complex that the delivery of simple services. What are your members’ expectations about your role in influencing government? What educational opportunities do they want? I won’t go done the list of all of the things associations do – you get the picture.

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