Difference Between Service Quality And Customer Satisfaction

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Service quality represents a fundamental aspect of delivery, which strongly influences consumer satisfaction and, as a result, loyalty. In today’s global market a customer’s service expectation has to be met and exceeded eventually in order to retain customers as well as achieve success. Perceived quality of a product or a service is becoming one of the major competitive factors in the business world and has led to the innovation of the ‘Quality Era’ (Peeler, 1996). In simple words, the comparison of customer expectations with service performance is service quality. On the other hand, customer satisfaction is defined as a pleasurable fulfilment response toward a good, service, benefit, or reward (Oliver, 1997). Both of these
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Sureshchandra, Rajendran and Anantharaman (2002) identified five critical aspects of service quality from the customers point of view namely core service/service product, human element of service delivery, systematisation of service delivery, tangibles of service and lastly social responsibility in order to conceptualise service quality. Table 1 will further provide an explanation to the five critical aspects of service quality as outlined by Sureshchandra et al (2002).
Table 1:
SI.no. Critical Factors Explanation of the critical factors
1. Core service or Service product Basically means the “content” of a service.
2. Human element of service delivery Refers to all aspects that fall under the domain of human element in the service delivery namely reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, moments of truth, critical incident and recovery.
3. Systematisation of service delivery: non-human element The procedures, processes, systems & technology that would make a service a flawless one.
4. Tangibles of service - servicescapes The manmade physical environment (servicescapes) or the tangible facets of the service facility (equipment, machinery, signage, employee appearance etc.)
5. Social Responsibility Every organisation has an obligation to act to benefit the society at large in an ethical framework. This helps in maintaining and developing the organisations image and consequently influences the customers’ overall evaluation
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