Five Signs Quality is in Place

Some readers may be old enough to remember the three categories Sears used to promote their product quality — good, better and best. Those younger are familiar with Facebook likes. While both of these examples are attempts to communicate quality, neither provide an effective way to chart and navigate your way to a satisfied customer.

While Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are measurable values that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives, KPIs can’t measure the quality of services delivered. So how do you measure the quality of your services?

Delivering Quality Service by Valerie Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman and Leonard Berry (1990, The Free Press, New York) defines quality as “the ability to deliver what you promise.” How well do your services meet or exceed your customer’s expectations?

Creating Service Quality Indicators (SQIs), similar to KPIs, ensures you can measure your customer’s perceived expectations of services with the perceived performance. Begin by writing a list of what is important to your customers. Not sure what to write? Call customers and ask. They’ll be happy to hear from you.

Once you have a working list, put them in order of importance. Then review how you are performing in those areas and how you can improve. TIP: SQIs are not the same for everyone and may need adjustments over time, as customer requirements change.

Five Common Attributes

While SQIs are specific to a company, there are five attributes of quality services common to all businesses, initially identified by the authors of Delivering Quality Service, the source referred to by most subject matter experts.

Here is a summary:


Assurance gauges the employees’ or the business owners’ capacity to provide good services, an environment where customers feel safe. It builds trust and confidence among both parties. In addition to increasing satisfaction rates, it also encourages customers to continue their business relationship.


Who would want to invest in something that isn’t reliable? This attribute refers to the business’ capacity to deliver accurate and consistent services. If quality services can’t be repeated, then you are NOT reliable.


Observing your business from a customer’s perspective and adjusting services to provide better experiences is something that makes them feel well taken care of and valued. When there is no empathy on the other end of a service call, the customer feels abandoned and betrayed. Empathy ensures customers’ concerns are handled appropriately and that it matters to the company that their customers are satisfied.


We all see with our eyes long before we hear what is being said. Appearance can quickly undo in seconds what is spoken or written. Tangibles touch the physical part of the business. It includes the structure, interior, parking area, and etc. It solely targets the aesthetics of the office or place of business. Think of “tangibles” as the outward expression of your internal business goals and mission.


Responsiveness is the business’ capacity to respond to inquiries and concerns, as well as the speed by which resolution occurs. Response and resolution are inseparable. This is one of the best ways to exceed customer expectationss.

TIP: SCRIBD provides a working questionnaire targeting all five common attributes. Click Here to go to their website.


Providing excellent services is the only way to build a successful business. It generates positive feedback and recommendations. Slogans, artwork, and clever marketing can never replace a satisfied customer. Taking care of your clients’ needs and their concerns will keep your business flowing.

Call to Action — Case Study

Want to see how FedEx used SQIs to improve their business? Click now to Register for your Free Trial and go through our 3-minute “01 Service Quality Indicators” lesson. You can review this lesson before you finish your first cup of coffee.

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