Defining “quality” can be confusing. There are numerous possible interpretations, especially in the service sector. Despite this, quality is seen as a major factor in customer acquisition and retention. Describes a model of service quality based around operational issues, directly relevant to issues of staff skills and training; and based on three dimensions of outcome/process, hard/soft and objective/subjective, giving a total of eight service types. Developed from survey data and in‐depth interviews with staff and customers carried out within retail banking, it is suggested that the operations orientation makes it universally acceptable. Concludes that the benefits to the organization from a correct match between staff skills and customer expectations include a higher and more consistent perceived quality by customers, and, very probably, a greater level of job satisfaction among staff.
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