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Quality dimensions of services [Bergman]

In the previous post I write about quality dimensions of goods. Now it's time to say something about quality dimensions of service. It's important because nowadays companies increased their focus on services. According to Bergman [1] main differences between goods and services are:

  • Goods (articles) are quite easy to define and measure, but it's hard when we think about services. It can be difficult to set the proper way do measure, explain and specify the services.
  • the customer often plays an active role in creating the service [1]
  • customer use the service during creating phase, so we don't have to think about storage and transport in case of services (there are some exceptions like storage large amounts of data in information services)
  • customer who use the service is not the owner of the service
  • service consists of many sub-services, but it is transparent for a customer, who can use all elements in package.

Goods (articles) are the products that you can buy and from this moment you are the owner of these articles. Services are some constantly evolving staff that customer use but doesn't own this. Moreover customer plays a very important role in creating process in the service.

Bergman [1] presented eight quality dimensions of services based on RATHER model (Reliability, Access, Tangibles, Empathy, Responsiveness):

  • reliability - does service do what it is promised to do? Punctuality, percentage of failures, information about procedures
  • credibility - is supplier trusted?
  • access - how and when can I access to the service? Opening hours, contact with supplier, website, and other technical issues that refers to the access to service
  • communication - Is communication understandable to customer? How we communicate with customer? How customer can communicate with us?
  • responsiveness - Hi Customer! How can I help you? willigness to help the customer
  • courtesy - is supplier kind and nice? what is supplier behaviour?
  • empathy - what is customer's current situation? Does supplier understand the customer and how?
  • tangibles - the physical environment in which the service is executed[1]

To sup up many of quality dimensions presented above refers to problem how we gain customer's trust. We more care about how service is delivered and if actual content is the same as promised.

[1] Bo Bergman and Bengt Klefsjö, Quality: From Customer Needs to Customer Satisfaction. McGraw-Hill, 1994.