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What Is Service Quality?
Service quality is a notion which seems easy to define, however, when it comes to an action, it turns out that the service quality cannot be easily considered. According to Kotler, Armstrong, Wong, and Saunders, quality is defined as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs”.1
However, there are other approaches to this definition which consider the notion from different perspectives. Therefore, if to dwell upon service quality from philosophical approach, it turns out to be a “synonymous with innate excellence”.2
The service quality from the technological approach considers this notion as the ability to meet the technological standards.3 Finally, service quality from the user-based approach is the most spread one as it is based on the opinion of a customer about the service quality.
Therefore, several approaches to the service quality help consider it from different perspectives and highlight the advantages of the service quality. However, there are several barriers service providers meet when customers consider service from the user-based approach. Therefore, dwelling upon service quality and its application to the workplace, a number of positive and negative aspects may be considered.
Negative Aspect to Workplace
There are several aspects which negatively affect service quality, and sometimes these aspects do not have anything in common with philosophical and technological approaches. Sometimes, negative consideration of the service quality is based on the personal perspective of a customer, however, the objectivity of the negative effect cannot be measured.
Here is the example of the negative aspect of the service quality. It should be said that personal emotions prevent a customer from assessing the service quality objectively4 and the subjective opinion may also be wrong due to the lack of knowledge.
Working in the Thailand restaurant, there was a situation when a customer complained to the services there, however, the complaint was based on personal feelings about the food she knew nothing about.
Generally, the food was of the highest quality, however, the lack of knowledge about the traditional Thai cuisine made a customer doubt the quality of the restaurant that led to the conflict between the client and the manager.
Thai beef salad is a warm salad, and a customer was very disappointed about it. Therefore, a complaint was caused by the desire of the restaurant to serve the customers the quality food of the traditional Thai cuisine.
Positive Aspect to Workplace
Nevertheless, the negative effects of the service quality are not that numerous in comparison to the positive ones. Improving the service quality, many companies refer to the training programs.
Considering the barriers the Thai restaurant meets, it is important to dwell upon the product knowledge and customer service as the main topics for training. These aspects are going to affect the restaurant service quality in a positive way as the staff is not going to face the same problems in the future.
Starting with the product knowledge, it should be mentioned that in the current situation, those who have already experienced the Thai cuisine should not be informed about its advantages. The problem is about those who have never tasted this cuisine.
Being an exotic cuisine for most western customers, Thai restaurants should pay more attention to this problem. Thus, to improve the service by means of the product awareness, it is possible to explain the main idea of the menu items. In this case, the situations mentioned above will be absent.
Moreover, trying to increase the knowledge of the staff about the products, the restaurant increases the possibility of the clients to know more about the items noted in the menu. As a result, those who have never eaten Thai cuisine may select more items, as the description is going to increase their knowledge about the dishes.
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Coming across unknown titles in the menu, the customers should have an opportunity to understand what they are going to eat. The restaurant should teach the staff to work with the clients and to explain to them the items they are interested into. Moreover, the staff should have an opportunity to give a piece of advice to the customers to make sure that they have ordered what they wanted.
The clients should have an opportunity to compare and contrast the prices of the food in the traditional western restaurants to the similar items in Thai restaurant to make sure that the food is tasty there and the prices are lower.
The second aspect in training should be the restaurant service performance. Similarly to the product knowledge, staff service performance is going to increase the service quality. The staff in the restaurant should be perfectly trained. Clients may be unaware of the traditional cuisine of Thailand as well as of their customs and traditions.
The main task for the restaurant staff is to make sure that the clients feel good, that the food is served on time, the quality of the food corresponds to the restaurant norms and that the client is presented everything he/she needs. There are several ways and aspects according to which staff should be trained.
Each client should be individually treated, therefore personalization as one of the ways for increasing customers’ loyalty should be considered as the main direction in training. Customers should trust the staff, as only in this case they will be satisfied with the offered services. Personalization of the services increases the customers’ loyalty and this is the confirmed aspect.5
Conclusion and Recommendation
Therefore, it should be concluded that service quality depends on many aspects and product knowledge and the way the clients are served plays an important role. Thus, if the customer is aware of the items in the menu and knows how the food tastes, the staff actions are going to play the main role in assessing the service quality.
Dealing with the clients who have never tasted Thai cuisine, the staff should make all possible to inform a client about the specifics of the cuisine and to help him/her make a correct order which is going to satisfy his/her taste.
Ball, D, Coelho, PS & Vilares, MJ, ‘Service personalization and loyalty’, Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20, iss. 6, 2006, pp. 391 – 403.
‘Food and Beverage Service Sector Productivity Study’, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, January 2007. Web.
Kotler, P, Armstrong, G, Wong, V & Saunders, JA, Principles of Marketing, Pearson Education, Oxford, 2008.
Schneider, B & White, SS, Service Quality: Research Perspectives, SAGE, New York, 2003.
1 P Kotler, G Armstrong, V Wong, JA Saunders, Principles of Marketing, Pearson Education, Oxford, 2008, p. 382.
2 B Schneider & SS White, Service Quality: Research Perspectives, SAGE, New York, 2003, p. 10.
4 ‘Food and Beverage Service Sector Productivity Study’, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, January 2007.
5 D Ball, PS Coelho & MJ Vilares, ‘Service personalization and loyalty’, Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 iss. 6, 2006, p. 400.