Improving Quality in Services Marketing

In recent years we have seen a radical shift in management thinking. Interest in service quality improvement, which had some early and superficial expression as customer care, is now being refuelled by a number of problem solving techniques (with origins in Total Quality Management) and broad based staff involvement with those techniques (with origins in Participative Management). These practices are not new but they are now often fused together in one integrated service quality programme. Furthermore, the marketing environment is changing radically. Every industry is now potentially a 'service' industry. Every company has the opportunity to design and market its own unique set of quality solutions to meet customer problems. This also requires service quality support of various kinds, including information and advice giving on an on-going relationship marketing basis (Berry 1983, Christopher et al 1991). This article, in essence, brings to the fore and examines the linkages between services marketing and quality management - linkages which are often ignored within service organisations.