Quality Means Meeting Customers ( Agreed ) Requirements, Formal And Informal, At Lowest Cost

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1.0 Background 1.1 Introduction “Quality means meeting customers’ (agreed) requirements, formal and informal, at lowest cost, first time every time.” Flood, 1993 In his definition of quality Flood with “customers” means both – internal and external customers of a company. Meant are all customers and employees to whom a company supplies products, services and information (Flood 1993). Especially in the services sector the flawless internal and external delivery of services has become very important in a more and more competitive and customer driven market place. According to Dale, Cooper and Wilkinson (1997) a change of the organisational culture is often crucial for the implementation of total quality ideas. For companies in the services sector this means that a service culture has to be developed internally to ensure the perfect external delivery of services. The perception of quality is subjective. Nevertheless it can be assumed that regarding services, quality has been achieved, when the customer is satisfied, the contact employee is satisfied and the boss is satisfied (Edvardsson, Thomasson and Ovretveit 1994). Improving the quality of services helps to achieve service excellence: “With service excellence, everyone wins. Customers win. Employees win. Management wins. Stockholders win. Communities win. The country wins.” Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry, 1990 The role of frontline employees for service excellence is crucial. Especially in the services sector contact

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