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The measurement of customer service quality as a competitive strategy in an industrial environment

M.Tech. / This study deals with the measurement of customer service quality in an industrial environment. The concept was to measure service quality and then develop a competitive strategy based on this. The mechanism used is the SERVQUAL model. Subsequently reengineering aspects of customer service based on the findings is proposed as a competitive advantage. The study is diagnostic in nature offering insights on the application of a well researched service quality model in an industrial environment. The study was undertaken due to the necessity and position that the research organisation found itself in. Critical factors, that shaped the business environment contributed to the choice of the research. These being : Change Customers Competitors Michael E. Porter shows, in his book Competitive Advantag, creating and sustaining superior performance, that two competitive advantages can be accessed by most organisations, these being cost leadership and differentiation. Adding to this three generic strategies enable competitive advantage(s) through : Cost leadership (low cost production) Differentiation Focus. Based on the above the first and the last strategy, cost leadership and focus respectively, was not feasible for the organisation. The first strategy failed the sustainability hurdle while the last strategy was not entirely applicable. The answer emanated in differentiating from competitors. It was decided to differentiate on customer service. Research was conducted through questionnaires derived from the SERVQUAL model. The original customer questionnaire was modified to suit the research context, an industrial environment. Primary data was gathered via face to face interviews from a sample of 70 customers and 30 employees inclusive of management. Subsequently data was analysed by the SPSS statistical package. Findings are discussed, supported by tables and figures. The conclusions of this study shows that : o The SERVQUAL model is valid and reliable in an industrial environment. o The customer service as it exists is deficient substantiated by negative SERVQUAL gaps. A reengineering intervention can be applied to specific areas based on the findings. The competitive advantage aspect of reengineering customer service in future using the present gaps asbenchmarks
Date27 August 2012
CreatorsHickers, Melvin
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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