Quality control of services

There are a number of approaches for measuring the quality of a service, which can be differentiated according to whether they make an assessment on the basis of specific characteristics or on the basis of events. While in the case of feature-oriented approaches an overall assessment of the quality of the service is formed on the basis of a combination of individual quality attributes, it is characteristic of event-oriented approaches that the focus is on experiences that the customer has perceived as particularly positive or negative.
In this way, the event-oriented approach is linked directly to the contact points between the customer and the service provider in the context of the provision of services. At the same time, this procedure is based on a performance-oriented view of the provision of services. However, both approaches are not mutually exclusive, but rather are suitable for simultaneous application.

In methodological terms, the event-oriented approach can be assigned to the complaint analysis, the critical incident technique and the sequential event method. While in the complaint analysis the initiative to describe negative experiences comes from the customer without being asked to do so by the provider of the service, the consumer of a service is explicitly requested by the service company in the Critical Incident Technique to report critical events that he or she has encountered within the framework of the Has experienced contact with the service company.

Bei der sequenziellen Ereignismethode wird diese Vorgehensweise um ein Blueprinting ergänzt, d.h. der Leistungsnehmer schildert seine Erlebnisse und erhält als Hilfestellung eine visualisierte Darstellung aller Interaktionen bei der Leistungserstellung, so dass er diese „vor seinem geistigen Auge“ nochmals gedanklich nachvollziehen kann.

Since the quality of a service is to be classified as an essential purchase determinant, quality management can be understood as a central task of service management. In particular, the fact must be taken into account that it is necessary to integrate an external production factor in the course of creating services.

On the one hand, this has the consequence that the customer, unlike in the case of material goods, is given a much more sensitive quality perception, since he not only has the result of the service for quality assessment in mind, but also through his direct insight into the Service creation process opens up the possibility of additional conclusions about the quality. On the other hand, this problem is exacerbated by the need to integrate the customer into the service creation process, since partial activities have to be transferred to the customer as a result.
At a minimum, this can relate to the mere informational involvement of the customer (the importance of which is by no means to be underestimated, as the example of advice on financial services makes immediately clear), but it can also extend to the transfer of central activities in the provision of services. In this way, quality fluctuations arise that can influence the performance of the provider, with demand-induced negative effects on the performance of the provider not being blamed on himself by the customer, but in turn on the provider as unsatisfactory quality.

Für die Spezifikation der Aufgabe des Qualitätscontrolling für Dienstleistungen ist zwischen den durch den Anbieter erbrachten Tätigkeiten und den auf den Nachfrager übertragenen Tätigkeiten zu differenzieren. Während die Controllingaufgabe für die vom Anbieter erbrachten Tätigkeiten sich von den im Rahmen eines Qualitätscontrolling industrieller Leistungen wahrzunehmenden Aufgaben allenfalls marginal unterscheidet (Service controlling), liegt die Besonderheit eines Qualitätscontrolling für Dienstleistungen darin, die durch den Nachfrager erbrachten Teilaktivitäten in das Controlling zu integrieren. Bei der Prozessgestaltung ist folglich sicherzustellen, dass die Teilaktivitäten, die dem Nachfrager übertragen werden, von diesem auch in einer solchen Qualität erbracht werden können, dass der Anbieter im Anschluss daran nahtlos mit seinen eigenen Aktivitäten anknüpfen kann.

Blueprinting can be used here, through which critical sub-activities of the provision of services can be identified and, if necessary, modified or withdrawn from the range of activities to be performed by the provider, if the permanent guarantee of a qualitatively adequate execution of these sub-processes cannot be guaranteed.

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