Al Jawal is one of the service providers in Saudi Arabia that has integrated the concept of gaps model of service quality into its business operations.
Customer expectations and needs are the focus of the company in its pursuit of its business goals and objectives. Al Jawal is a case study that affords a detailed analysis of the gaps model in the pursuit of its business goals as discussed below. In addition to that, a detailed analysis of a case with a customer who had applied for installation of telecommunications equipment illustrates the service gap still further.
Based on the case study, the management and sales executives act in a timely manner to handle customer complaints. Professional service providers are characterised by good and active listening abilities coupled with good communication skills (Lovelock, 1991).
According to the case study, the sales agents and representatives make follow ups and update customers on the turn of events, making customers feel valued. According to the case study, the company executives place true promises on what they cannot deliver to the customer as that could have detrimental effects and lead to loss of customer confidence, and provide customers with alternative services tailored to meet customer needs and expectation leading to customer satisfaction.
A case in point is when a customer entered into correspondence with sales and marketing representatives at Al Jawal Telecommunications Company. These included a letter that were sent by the customer to the customer relations department, Customer Solutions Manager and Al Jawal’s team leader, representatives of the company’s mobile service provider to attract their attention to the matter at hand, with immediate attention to the satisfaction of the customer.
Lovelock (1991) argues that justice, and fairplay are fundamental elements to consider in service provision activities, with compensation plans integrated into the system in the event of failure to deliver products according to customer needs and expectations. Therefore, distributive justice formed an important asset in the administration of justice (Lovelock, 1991).
Performance enhancement plans are laid down by the company’s management which outline standards and expectations from employees in service provision, focused at customer satisfaction and expectations. The company incorporates employee education on the need for quality service provisions while closely monitoring their productivity in the service industry.
With performance standards and expectations incorporated in their work, efficient and effective utilization of resources are continuously realised. In addition, internal communication is vital to avert bureaucratic scenarios and negative employee attitudes. Management effectively integrate upward and downward communication to ensure regular reports and feedbacks are made available by organizational employees.
Of importance is the need for the company staff to communicate appropriately. With appropriate communication skills, customer communication could have elicited an immediate response from the support staff.
To further avoid scenarios where a system is installed and but remains non- functional, the technical team are trained on all aspects of software installations and trouble shooting techniques. Highly trained and skilled personnel are assigned duties that require skilled manpower. These include employees like Rafi who is skilled in the provision of services like broadband and other communication technologies.
Interdepartmental communication is further enhanced with an information system is installed that links all business departments within the company.
Customers remain a key asset in any business organization. It’s through customizers that an organization generates profits and sustains itself. Therefore, the company enhances its service deliveries by integrating customer friendly service deliveries such as talking with customers and providing incentives.
In addition to that, the company provides factual information on what they offer and how they offer what they have. These inspire customer confidence and maintain customer loyalty. Lovelock (1991) notes that the company executives are well trained on appropriate marketing, management, and leadership skills.
Based on the Gaps model, a close study and analysis of the case study indicates that the company has not integrated good communication plans between the internal market planning and service production in the context of external service production. Services production remains fundamental parts of a service provider.
The model indicates the existence of a gap between what the customer expected and perceived services. According to the case study, all the departments ought to identify the gaps that exist between them and close them in relation to the customer and the consumer. A good communication link should exist between the customer driven service designs and standards and company perceptions and consumer expectations (Burnett, 1996).
Al Jawal does not fit into the model at certain points as discussed below. Company employees are not active listeners and do not give individual attention to customers thus lacking empathy coupled with a lack of confidence in company transactions therefore lacking in assurance.
According to Burnett (1996) Al Jawal offers services which are not physically tangible coupled with a high degree of unreliability where it continually fails to provide the customer with the desirable product on time. Another disqualifying factor is the failure of the company to act responsively in the provision of services in a prompt manner.
If the company integrates these elements in the provision of services as outlined in both models, there will be a turn around in service provision that could be of good quality leading to customer satisfaction and retention. These could in turn lead the company to improve its image leading to high profit generation and a sustainable business.
According to the case study, the service quality model the company tailors its services after is characterised by reliability, assurance, reliability, tangibles, empathy, and responsiveness. Service delivery should be reliable to avoid a scenario of a customer making after sales requests for a service that should have been provided at the point of sale.
In addition, customers should be assured of product and service delivery to inspire confidence in them, tangibles should be appropriately delivered by the sales representatives at the appropriate time, empathy should be the cornerstone in the business transactions of the organization, and responsiveness should be firmly integrated in day to day business transactions of the Company.
To remain in the market and gain a strong market position, the management should respond to customer needs in a timely manner. Service provision employees should be active listeners, and the organization should provide genuine services. Justice and fairplay should be the foundation in dealing with customer complaints.
Management should analyse the gap between services provided and customer needs and put measures to bridge them. In addition, the company should integrate vertical and horizontal communication to enhance understanding and facilitate service delivery. The company should tailor its services for reliability, assurance, reliability, tangibles, empathy, and responsiveness.
The interview was conducted with the company chief executive.
How does Al Jawal handle customer complaints?
Based on the concept of gaps analysis in service provision, the company undertakes to identify the gap between customers’ expectations and perceived services and undertakes to bridge the gap by between customer expectations and current organizational services.
How does the company ensure similar complaints dint surface again?
The company undertakes to bridge the gap by conducting sufficient market research on customer needs and expectations, and creating a framework to address these issues. The management, integrates other service quality management approaches particularly total quality management into the gaps service model in continuously identifying gaps and continuously improving on gaps between service provided and customer expectations
Does the gap model fit into your company, if so, how?
Thought there are serious shortfalls in the integration of the model, the company has identified weak points and endeavours to integrate the whole concept to meet customer expectations.
What service model does the company use?
The company’s service model is characterised by empathy, reliability, effectiveness, and responsibility.
What are the important areas to address in the service model within the company?
These include communication links with the external environment and communication within the company and employee responsibilities.
That is all the time I have for the interview. With that, the interview ended, the show closed down.
Burnett, J. J. (1996). Journal of Service Marketing. What services marketers need to know about the mobility- disabled consumer. Volume 10. MCPUP Ltd.
Lovelock, C. H. (1991). Services marketing / Christopher H. Lovelock. (2nd ed).Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice Hall