Delivering Excellent Service:
Evaluation of Service Excellence Models
Matthias Gouthier1, Walter Ganz2, Andreas Giese3, Christopher Bartl4
134 EBS Business School,
2 Fraunhofer IAO
In today's competitive business environment, it is no longer sufficient to
merely satisfy customers. To remain or become quality leaders, service
companies have to delight customers instead. High quality services and
delight are the goals of service excellence.
This paper focuses on expanding and extending what companies can do
to achieve service excellence. The authors compare three of the most
commonly used excellence models in Europe, their applicability and their
perspective on service excellence. Since the models are both compatible
and complementary with each other, the analysis presented in the paper
provides an enhanced understanding of service excellence.
Due to the unceasing globalisation process of services, service industries and corporations
world-wide have an increased need to secure their competitive position and
establish long-term customer relationships (Thoumrungroje; Tansuhaj, 2007). Moreover,
as customer needs and expectations continue to expand and as service offerings
differ from each other only marginally, organisations must concentrate their efforts
on finding innovative solutions which enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty
(Chandrashekaran et al., 2007; Yieh et al., 2007).
Therefore, providing better core services or value-added services has emerged as a
critical success factor. The emotional impact of services can be significant, due to
their impact on customer repurchase intentions and satisfaction (Mittal; Kamakura,
2001). Consequently, both service companies and researchers have shifted their focus
towards finding ways how to transform service quality to the next higher level.
Stimulated by the discussion within both practice and service research, the concepts
of service excellence and customer delight have emerged as viable opportunities.
Service excellence occurs when customers perceive a service to have exceeded
their previous expectations of the respective service (Horwitz; Neville, 1996). Oliver,
Rust and Varki. (1997) elucidate that such a surprising experience initiates arousal,