Determining the customer's service expectations is key to designing a good customer service measurement program. On the surface, this might not appear to be a significant item. However, many employees think in terms of quality control, which is a decidedly different concept than quality service. An educational process within the company may be necessary to explain the differences.
The two basic aspects of quality control are whether the product conforms to specifications and its fitness for use. Quality service, on the other hand, does not have such concrete properties against which it can be measured. For instance, it is easy to assess the quality of a car door by determining if it closes properly, but it is not possible to measure the quality service associated with the car until it is bought and used, and a maintenance history is developed. Even then, the quality service is more a function of how the dealer takes care of the car's problem, services it, and treats the buyer than whether the car meets all its specifications. Again, the customer evaluates the process as well as the product.