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Airline Service Quality
The Airline Industry, just like any other service provider, has had to confront issues associated with service quality. Service quality involves understanding customers’ expectations in comparison to company’s performance. Quality of the service determines customer’s satisfaction which is essential in a competitive market. Customer’s satisfaction highly depends on the dimensions of service quality referred as SERVQUALwhich includes various considerations like reliability, tangibles, assurance, empathy, and responsiveness. SERVQUAL guarantees not only customers’ satisfaction but also loyalty, retention, and company’s performance superiority (Parasuraman, 1988). This shows that quality in a service industry is vital in its marketing strategy.
In the airline industry, service quality has become a key consideration in marketing strategy since the beginning of airline deregulation. Competition in the airline industry has led to improvements in the services offered in this industry. To meet the standards required, and to be ever improving, companies have to deal with issues associated with service quality (Keith, 1961). These issues involve customers’ satisfaction, expectations, service performance, and changes in services.
A competitive airline company has to first and foremost address complaints emanating from unsatisfied customers. This helps in knowing what they lack in order to determine what needs to be improved in the company. For instance, time in air travel is one of the major factors that contribute to airline satisfaction. Customers gauge an airline company using its on-time performance. Delaying of taking off or landing times are things that should be avoided if an airline company has to survive in the industry. Identifying dissatisfied customers involves research which helps in understanding the areas that need improvements. Every company faces a hard task in implementation of changes geared towards improvements since its different customers have different opinions about the services offered. In trying to satisfy all customers a company has to increase its expenditures in offering of first, economy or tourist classes in order to accommodate all types of clients. This fact has seen many airline companies that emerged after deregulation in the United States exiting the market for failing to meet the customers’ needs (Dawna & Dawna, 1998).
Discovering customers’ requirements and expectations is also an important aspect in researching for improvements in service quality in the airline industry. The comfort of aircrafts seats is a requirement that customers use in selecting an airline company to travel in. An airline company has to discover what customers require in their seats such as adjustments, texture, and proximity to the window among others. Providing all seats adjacent to the windows is uneconomical since it will mean reducing the number of seats. Each row usually has two or at at least three seats and removing the seats not adjacent to the windows however reduces the number of passengers boarding the aircraft which in turn reduces the income earned by the airline company. This issue can be tackled by offering different classes that suit customers’ needs in regard to what they can pay (Caves, 1962).
An airline company has to forecast future expectations. T.............
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