CHAPTER 4SERVICE AND RELATIONSHIP QUALITY
“An acceptable outcome is a prerequisite for good perceived quality and a satisfied customer, but an excellent service process creates customer satisfaction and a distinct and sustainable competitive edge.”
Based on the discussion of the characteristics of service and service consumption, and on the customer management approach to marketing in the previous chapters, this chapter explains how the quality of service is perceived in service encounters as well as in ongoing relationships. The perceived service quality model is presented as a basic model of the perception of total service quality. The characteristics and determinants of good service quality, such as the seven criteria of good perceived service quality, are then discussed, followed by a description of instruments for measuring perceived service quality. Attribute-based approaches, such as the SERVQUAL instrument, are presented as well as the critical incident approach. In the latter part of the chapter, dynamic approaches to understanding service quality in a relationship context are described. After having read the chapter, the reader should understand the nature of perceived service quality and the determinants or criteria of service quality as well as know how to measure perceived service quality. The reader should also understand how perceived service quality develops into relationship quality in a long-term relationship context.