Chapter Six Managing Service Quality

B. R. Lewis, I. Reid and D. Bamford


Managing service quality is concerned with understanding what is meant by service quality, what its determinants are and how they may be measured, and identifying the potential shortfalls in service quality and how they can be recovered. Responsibility for quality service lies with operations, marketing, human resources and other management – working together within an organization.

For more than two decades, service quality issues have been of academic and practitioner interest, and to marketers in particular, as organizations are increasingly sourcing services that become part of their value proposition to their (business) customers from external providers (van Iwaarden and van der Valk 2013). This results from the increasing importance of the services sector in both developed and developing economies – to embrace both public and private, profit and not-for-profit organizations. It includes industries such as financial services, health care, tourism, professional services, government, transport and communications and sports – where the focus of business activity is on ‘services’ rather than ‘products’ (Bamford et al. 2015). Services are characterized as being different from products along a number of dimensions that have implications for the quality of service provided to customers.

  • They are typically intangible: there is usually little or no tangible evidence to show once a service (e.g. ...

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