The paper 'Service Management Issues" is an outstanding example of management coursework. Service management is taking an increasingly prominent role in today’ s business environment. According to Grö nroos (1994, p. 6), service management can be defined as the total organizational approach that ensures that the quality of service, as perceived by the customer, is the key driving force of the operations of the organisation. The importance of service management is seen in its contribution to the global economy. For example, 2015 estimates show that the service sector accounted for 70% of Australia’ s GDP, and it employs 75% of the workforce (CIA World Factbook).
It is worth noting that the hospitality industry is a major player in the service industry, with the sector catering to a global clientele. This report focuses on the issue of customer perception of quality in the hospitality industry setting where firms offer services to individuals from diverse cultures. The report argues that the differences in culture will affect expectations, and thus, the perception of service quality in the hospitality industry. Therefore, firms in the sector should be aware of cultural difference and develop appropriate ways to address them and create value-laden relationships with clients. Background The topic of customer perception of service quality has attracted considerable debate from both managers and practitioners.
This considerable research can be attributed to the realisation that service quality has a direct relation to profitability, customer loyalty, business performance, cost reduction, and customer satisfaction (Carter-Steel 2008, p. 393). To understand customer perception of service quality, it is essential to understand the meaning of service quality. Carter-Steel (2008, p. 393) defines quality as the degree to which a service provider can provide customer-oriented service at a performance level that corresponds with the expectation of the customer.
It is evident that customer satisfaction can only occur when the perceived quality surpasses the expected level of quality. Over the years, scholars have developed several models in a bid to assist in the management of service quality. One such model is Grö nroos’ model, which is based on the definition of service quality as the difference between customer expectations and what they experience from a service (Carter-Steel 2008, p.
395). Grö nroos’ model identified three dimensions of quality that included technical quality, functional quality, and image. According to Carter-Steel (2008, p. 395), the technical quality refers to a component that is easy to measure as it is what is actually received from a service provider. The functional quality focuses on the manner in which the customer gets the outcome of service meaning that the evaluation of the functional quality is subjective. Thirdly, the image of a service provider plays a mediating role in how the functional and technical qualities will be judged (Carter-Steel 2008, p.
395). Figure 1. Grö nroos model (Carter-Steel 2008) In addition to identifying the three dimensions, Grö nroos proposed seven criteria that can be used to evaluate each of the three dimensions (Prideaux, Moscardo, & Laws 2006, p. 122). First, the technical dimension can be examined by looking at the professionalism and skills of the service provider, the operations, and the employees. When it comes to the functional dimension, it can be evaluated by examining the service provider’ s attitudes and behaviour, reliability and trustworthiness, service recovery, serviscape, and accessibility and flexibility (Prideaux, Moscardo, & Laws 2006, p.
122). Finally, the image-related dimension can be judged by looking at the reputation and credibility of the service provider (Prideaux, Moscardo, & Laws 2006, p. 122).