Purpose – Service-oriented quality (i.e., how a service is enacted by a worker toward a customer) is a strong predictor of satisfaction in a wide range of customer services. The present research aimed at describing the organization and impact of various levels of the service organization on customer satisfaction.
Design –In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of how and why perceived quality in terms of service-orientation varies, we conducted interviews with care workers and care unit managers in the context of elderly care.
Results – A new model for understanding the impact of various levels of the organization on customer satisfaction, the Quality Agents Model, is proposed. Perceived reasons for quality variation suggest that service evaluations may be explained from at multiple levels (e.g., older person, care worker-, unit-, department-, and municipality-level; see Figure 1). The Quality Agents Model suggests that the closer the agent is to the center (i.e., the customer), the larger the impact on satisfaction evaluations.
Discussion – The proposed model may be useful for describing customer-related service quality. The strength of the model is that it acknowledges the many contextual inputs involved in forming an opinion about service quality, and thus might be a useful tool for most service-organizations.
Empirical testing – We subsequently were able to test the model empirically with 95,000 respondents from national care service surveys, statistically showing that the level (agent) closest to the customer has the most influence on service-satisfaction (50%), while the surrounding organization only 5% (See Figure 1).
ViLär 8-9 december 2016 - en nationell konferens inom verksamhetsintegrerat lärande 2016, Vänersborg, Sweden