Services Marketing: Concepts, Cases and Strategies Hoffman, Bateson, Wood & Kenyon ISBN: 9781844808137 SHORT-ANSWER ESSAYS Chapter 15: Defining and Measuring Service Quality 1. Explain how providing poor service can actually increase a country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). ANS: A typical example would be the situation where a mail order company sends a customer the wrong product. The dollars spent on correcting the mistake in the form of phone calls and return mailings would add to the gross domestic product. 2. Explain why the productivity of education and government services is notoriously difficult to measure. ANS: Increases in quality, such as improving the quality of education and training governmental employees to be more pleasant throughout their daily interactions with the public, do not show up in traditional productivity measures such as the number of graduates produced or the number of customers served. 3. Provide a brief description for each of the seven gaps within the Conceptual Model of Service quality. ANS: service gap: the distance between a customer's expectation of a service and perception of the service actually developed; knowledge gap: the difference between what customers expect of a service and what management perceives the customers to expect; standards gap: the difference betweeercn what management perceives customers to expect and the quality specifications set for service delivery; delivery gap: the difference between the quality standards set for service delivery and the actual quality of service delivery; communications gap: the difference between the actual quality of service delivered and the quality of service described in the firm's external communications, perceptions gap: actual and what was perceived, interpretation gap: promise in communication and that received. 4. List the seven dimensions of service quality. Which dimension is typically rated by customers as the most important? Which is typically rated as the least important? ANS: The seven dimensions of service quality include reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. Their ordering reflects their typical importance from most Services Marketing: Concepts, Cases and Strategies Hoffman, Bateson, Wood & Kenyon ISBN: 9781844808137 important to least important. 5. In general, service quality information systems focus on two types of research: customer research and noncustomer research. List the components of the service quality information system under the appropriate research heading. ANS: Customer research: solicitation of customer complaints, after-sale surveys, focus group interviews, and total market service quality surveys; Noncustomer research: employee surveys and mystery shopping.