Service Quality in a Multinational Environment


Farley, John M.; Daniels, Carson F.; Pearl, Daniel H.   (1990, ASQC)   Corning Inc., Corning, NY

Annual Quality Congress, San Francisco, CA    Vol. 44    No. 0
QICID: 9434    May 1990    pp. 96-101
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Article Abstract

In mid 1988, Corning's Ceramic Products Business found itself in need of a better way to measure the quality of its service from multinational manufacturing locations to multinational customers. A common measuring system for all manufacturing plants was needed, one which was flexible enough to accommodate customer cross cultural differences and produce actionable data.

A technique called SERVQUAL, developed by a group of Texas A&M University professors, was used to gain an understanding of how Ceramic Products customers felt about the quality of Corning's service. This led to the development of focused plans to delight the customer.

This paper describes Corning's use of the SERVQUAL technique, a survey approach for defining customer perception of what constitutes a world class supplier and the comparison of Corning to that definition. In addition, it shows where SERVQUAL belongs within the benchmarking process. It discusses how Coming enhanced the original SERVQUAL technique, and how it fits a multinational customer - supplier base, as well as being a part of the Total Quality Process.

The methodology that was used to initiate the SERVQUAL technique is reviewed in detail, including the implementation strategy for a worldwide rollout. Results of the initial customer surveys are discussed, as well as corrective action strategies initiated. Finally, plans for additional implementation of the SERVQUAL technique in other divisions of Corning are reviewed, providing some insight into the adaptation of the technique into other product lines and businesses.


Case study,Chemical and process industries,Customer service,Metrics

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