This study hopes to achieve an in-depth analysis of the level of service quality, in a high profile supermarket branch for Big Dave's Super Mart. By using the ten determinants of quality service model developed by Parasuraman et al. (1985), this report will zoom into each of the ten determinants namely: Reliability, Responsiveness, Competence, Access, Courtesy, Communication, Credibility, Security, Understanding and knowing the customer and Tangibles. This report will analyze each determinant in areas relevant to a supermarket scenario, and makes recommendations on strategic decisions that can be made to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and excellence of the branch.
Objective of the study
Some of the total quality management (TQM) system is being brought into the scenario to affect the logistical part of a supermarket's operations. However, it is ultimately the employee's competency, courtesy and responsiveness that impact the customer's shopping experience in the largest way. Thus the operations with employee's involvement are found to be the most useful yet unable to quantify. The report also questions the quest for productivity in a service industry and what is perceivable in numbers increase (increase in productivity) may not equate to dollars increase (increase in customer service leading to more sales.
Challenges of service quality in Supermarket
Though one of the largest service industries, the supermarkets differentiate themselves by service quality factors for a competitive edge, as the prices and products are very similar amongst competitors. Supermarket provides very low-contact; retail services, its employees has little chance to vary in their styles of delivering services, as they are trained in communicating in a fairly standardized scripted way with customers (Vella and Gountas 2009).
Productivity improvement in services industry are typically lower (than manufacturing), is because the design and delivery of service products include customer interaction (Heizer and Render 2009, pp. 157).
Dimensions of Service Quality
Parasuraman et al. (1985) suggested that consumers use ten criteria in evaluating service quality, namely: reliability, responsiveness, competence, access, courtesy, communication, credibility, security, understanding/knowing the customer and tangibles. These are known as the ten determinants of service quality.
He later developed SERVQUAL, modifying the ten determinants to 22 items/five dimensions in 1988: Tangibles (physical facilities, equipment and appearance of personnel), reliability (ability to perform the promised task dependably and accurately), responsiveness (willingness to help customers and provide prompt service), assurance (knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence), and empathy (caring, individualized attention the firm ...