Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Increasing food supplies are necessary to sustain growing populations around the world and their appetites for great food, quality products, and continuous availability.

A great deal of expensive research is invested in developing technologies to deliver productive agriculture. Horticultural efforts to breed hybrid crops are seen as far back as history can observe, and there have been efforts to domesticate improved animals, as well. Gene splitting was a 1990s technology to improve the health and productivity of farm crops. With the 21st century have come genetically modified foods (GMF) through the use of nanotechnology to cause changes at the genetic and even molecular levels. These are very expensive technologies, and many new products have been patented and otherwise protected as proprietary products of intellectual property. Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Drive out to the country during growing season, and you will see signs identifying that the crop has been grown with a protected seed that cannot be used to produce retained seed for planting in the next growing season.

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In terms of this week’s TCOs, what ethical issues are raised by this legal process of patent protection, and how do we see the primary schools of ethics used in these proprietary measures? What, in this deontological week and in our learning to date, informs our understanding of this situation, and what should be done about it?Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

2

Kant’s famous First Formulation of the Categorical Imperative reads:

“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Kant taught morality as a matter of following maxims of living that reflect absolute laws. “Universal” is a term that allows for no exceptions, and what is universal applies always and everywhere. Lying, for any reason, is universally wrong.

Be sure to listen to Kant’s audio lecture before posting this week!

So, consider the famous case of the Crazed Murderer. In your town the Crazed Murderer comes to your door looking for your friend and wanting to kill him. You know that your friend went home to hide. What do you tell the murderer? When he leaves and runs up the street to your friend’s house, what do you do?

3

Using academic scholarly research, find an article that addresses an ethical dilemma from the past five years and annotate it thoroughly.  What are the key points to the article?  Summarize the dilemma.  What are the key terms of the article?  What conflicts or controversies does it raise?  Where can you offer analysis or an original point of view?  Once you have a handle on the article and your reaction to the issues it raises, use it as a foundation to

Create your own 2-4 paragraph “dilemma.”
Apply Kant’s Categorical Imperative to the problem you invent.
Apply any other method you have encountered in lecture material and the readings.
State which method you prefer and why.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Your paper should be 3 pages.  You MUST provide the source of the foundation dilemma, and thus this paper will require 1 reference using at least 1 correct in-text citation (indicating quoted or paraphrased material from the article and where to locate it).  Use APA format in citing the source.  Refer to course resources for details and help in achieving APA style.

You are required to create an oral presentation.  Consider creating a youtube video, MP3 podcast (if you have those skills) or a video presentation.

The Importance of Service Quality and the Evaluation of Meeting Customer Expectations.
INTRODUCTION

Customer research literature traditionally agrees that service quality is a measure of how well the service level delivered matches customer expectations. Delivering quality service means conforming to customer expectations on a consistent basis.

The delivery of high quality services is one of the most important and most difficult tasks that any service organisation faces. Because of their unique characteristics, services are very difficult to evaluate. Hence customers must look closely at service quality when comparing services.

Service quality can be defined as a customers’ perception of how well a service meets or exceeds their expectations. In most cases service quality is judged by customers, and not by organisations. This distinction is critical because it forces service marketers to examine their quality from the customers’ viewpoint. For example, a bank may view service quality as having friendly and knowledgeable employees. However, the customers of this bank may be more concerned with waiting time, ATM access and security, as well as statement accuracy. Thus it is important for service organisations to determine what customers expect and then develop service products that meet or exceed those expectations.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

The Importance of Service Quality

The biggest obstacle for customers in evaluating service quality is the intangible nature of the service. How can customers evaluate something that they cannot see, feel, taste, or hear? Most consumers lack the knowledge or the skills to evaluate the quality of many types of services. Consequently, they must place a great deal of faith in the integrity and competence of the service provider. Despite the difficulties in evaluating quality, service quality may be the only way customers can choose one service over another. For this reason, services marketers live or die by understanding how consumers judge service quality. The following table defines five dimensions that customers use when evaluating the importance of service quality. They are tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.

Dimensions of service quality
Dimension Evaluation Criteria Examples
Tangibles: Physical evidence of the service Appearance of physical facilitiesAppearance of service personnel

Tools or equipment used to provide the service

A clean and professional looking office.A clean and well dressed lecturer

The quality of food in a restaurant

The equipment used in a medical examination

Reliability: Consistency and dependability in performing the service Accuracy of billing or record keepingPerforming services when promised An accurate bank statementA confirmed hotel reservation

An airline flight departing and arriving on time

Responsiveness: Willingness or readiness of employees to provide the service Returning customer phone callsProviding prompt service

Handling urgent requests

A waiter re-filling a customer’s glass of wine without being askedAn ambulance arriving within three minutes
Assurance: Knowledge/competence of employees and ability to convey trust and confidence Knowledge and skills of employeesCompany name and reputation

Personal characteristics of employees

A highly trained financial adviserA known and respected service provider

A doctor’s bedside manner

Empathy: Caring and individual attention provided by employees Listening to customer needsCaring about the customer’s interests

Providing personalised attention

Also access with regard to approachability and ease of contact from the customer is of importance to issues that may be raised by the customer.

A store employee listening to and trying to understand a customer’s complaintA nurse counselling a heart patient
Source: Adapted from Leonard L. Berry and Parasuraman, Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality (New York: Free Press, 1991).

Of the five, reliability is the most important in determining customer evaluations of service quality. Services managers pay a great deal of attention to the tangibles dimension of service quality. Tangible attributes, or search qualities, such as the appearance of facilities and employees, are often the only aspects of a service that can be viewed before purchases and consumption. Therefore, service managers must ensure that these tangible elements are consistent with the overall image of the service product.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Except for the tangibles dimension, the criteria that customers use to judge service quality are intangible. For instance, how does a customer judge reliability? Since dimensions such as reliability cannot be examined with the sense, consumers must rely on other ways of judging service criteria. One of the most important factors in customer judgements of service quality is service expectations. These are influenced by past experiences with the service, word-of-mouth communication from other customers and the service company’s own advertising. For example, customers are usually eager to try a new restaurant, especially when friends recommend it. These same customers may have also seen advertisements placed by the restaurant. As a result, these customers have an idea of what to expect when they visit the restaurant for the first time. When they finally eat out at the restaurant, the quality they experience will change the expectations they have for their next visit and their own comments to friends and colleagues. This is the major reason why providing consistent high service quality is important. If the quality of a restaurant, or any services, begins to deteriorate, customers will alter their own expectations and word-of-mouth communication to others accordingly.

Delivering Exceptional Service Quality in Order to Meet Customer Expectations

If an organisation cannot at least meet its customers’ expectations it will struggle. Ideally, an organisation should exceed its customers’ expectations, thereby, maximising the satisfaction of its customers, and also the credibility of its goods and services in the eyes of its customers. Customers’ normally become delighted when a supplier under-promises and over-delivers. To over-promise and under-deliver is a recipe for customers to become dissatisfied.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Providing high quality service on a consistent basis is very difficult. All consumers have experienced examples of poor service: long checkout lines in a supermarket, late airline departures and arrivals, inattentive waiters in a restaurant, or rude bank employees. Obviously, it is impossible for a service organisation to ensure exceptional service quality 100 percent of the time. However, there are many steps that an organisation can take to increase the likelihood of providing high quality service. The four factors which a service company needs to understand in order to met customer expectations are: understanding customer expectations, service quality specifications, employee performance, and managing service expectations.

Understanding Customer Expectations:

Providers need to understand customer expectations when designing a service to meet or exceed those expectations. Only then can they deliver good service. Customers usually have two levels of expectations, which could be said to be desired and acceptable. The desired level of expectations is what the customer really wants. If this level of expectations is provided, the customer would be very satisfied. The acceptable level is viewed as a reasonable level of performance that the customer considers as being adequate. The difference between these two levels of expectations is called the customer’s zone of tolerance.

Service companies sometimes use marketing research, such as surveys and focus groups, as a means of discovering customer needs and expectations. Other service managers, especially restaurants, use comment cards, on which customers can complain or provide suggestions. Another approach is to ask employees. Because customer contact employees interact daily with customers, they are in a good position to know what customers want from the company. Service managers should regularly interact with their employees by asking their opinions on how to best serve customers.

Service Quality Specifications:

Once an organisation understands its customers’ needs, it must establish goals to help ensure good service delivery. These goals, or service specifications, are typically set in terms of employee or machine performance. For example, a bank may require its employees to conform to a dress code. Likewise, the bank may require that all incoming phone calls be answered by the third ring. Specifications like these can be very important in providing quality service as long as they are tied to the needs expressed by customers.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

The most critical aspect of service quality specifications is managers’ commitment to service quality. Service managers who are committed to quality become role models for all employees in the organisation. Such commitment motivates customer contact employees to comply with service specifications. It is also crucial that all managers within the organisation embrace this commitment, especially front line managers, who are much closer to customers than higher level managers.

Employee Performance:

Once an organisation sets service quality standards and managers are committed to them, the organisation must find ways to ensure that customer contact employees perform their jobs well. Contact employees in most service industries like bank tellers, flight cabin crew, waiters, sales assistants, are often the least trained and lowest paid members of the organisation. What service organisations must realise is that contact employees are the most important link to the customer, and thus their performance is critical to customer perceptions of service quality. The means to ensure that employees perform well is to recruit and train them well so that they understand how to do their jobs. Providing information about customers, service specifications and the organisation itself during the training promotes this understanding.

The evaluation and remuneration system used by the organisation also plays a part in employee performance. Many service employees are evaluated and rewarded on the basis of output measures such as sales volume (car salespeople) or the lack of errors during work (bank tellers). But systems using output measures over look other major aspects of job performance: friendliness, teamwork, effort and customer satisfaction. Thus customer oriented measures of performance may be a better basis of evaluation and reward. For example, MFI UK has a tied commission to customer satisfaction surveys rather than sales volume. This type of system stimulates employees to take care of customer needs rather than focus solely on sales or profits.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Managing Service Expectations:

Because expectations are so significant in customer evaluations of service quality, service companies recognise that they must set realistic expectations about the service they can provide. They can set these expectations through advertising and good internal communication. In their advertisements, service companies make promises about the kind of service they will deliver. Infact, a company that provides a service is forced to make promises since the intangibility of services prevents it from showing them in the advertisement. However, the advertiser should not promise more than it can deliver; doing otherwise may mean disappointed customers.

To deliver on promises made, a company needs to have good internal communication among its departments, especially management, advertising, and operations. Assume, for example, that a restaurant’s radio advertisements guaranteed services within five minutes or the meal would be free. If top management or the advertising department failed to inform operations about the five minute guarantee, the restaurant very likely would not meet its customers’ service expectations. Even though customers might appreciate a free meal, the restaurant would lose some credibility and revenue.

Word-of-mouth communication from other customers also shapes customer expectations. However, a company that delivers a service cannot manage this advertising directly. The best way to ensure positive word-of-mouth communication is to provide exceptional service quality. It has been estimated that customers tell four times as many people about bad service as they do about good service. Consequently, services providers must provide four good service experiences for every bad experience just to break even.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

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Moments of Truth

These are encounters with customers which cause them to form a view of the organisation based on how they are engaged, particularly compared to their expectations. Expectations can be met, exceeded or disappointed. Moments of truth can therefore be positive, in the case of meeting and exceeding expectations, or negative, in the case of disappointment. Monitoring the moments of truth allows management within an organisation to focus on improving areas responsible for negative customer experiences. Remedial action to prevent repetition is crucial. If managers within firms put things right, customers will see that they are important to them. Putting things right gives the firm an image of an organisation which knows how to manage quality.

Organisations that fail to put things right that go wrong, might as well say to customers, ‘you are not important to us’. Failing to put things right and to prevent reoccurrence says of the organisation, ‘we are not capable of managing quality service’. Approaches to managing moments of truth involve ‘continuous improvement’. This entails processes that continually monitor, check and resolve negative moments of truth by ensuring alterations happen to the customer process, and integrating these changes into business as usual, are key to a successful evaluation of customer expectations.

The Kano Model

Dr. Noriaki Kano, a recognised Japanese quality engineer and customer satisfaction expert, spent several years studying customer needs and expectations. His ideas regarding attribute importance of services are embodied in the Kano Model which is well known in a wide range of different sectors.

The Kano Model classifies product attributes and their importance based on how they are perceived by customers and their effect on customer satisfaction.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

The model measures the level of satisfaction with a product against consumer perceptions of attribute performance. Kano argues that the attributes can be classified into three categories:

Threshold characteristics provide diminishing returns in terms of customer satisfaction. These are essential or must attributes or performance and do not offer any real opportunity for product differentiation. Providing threshold attributes and meeting customer expectations for them will do little to enhance overall customer satisfaction, but removing or performing poorly on them will hurt customer satisfaction, lead to customer complaints, and may result in customer defections. Examples of threshold characteristics include timely delivery of a magazine subscription, the ever-present telephone dial tone, and availability of an automatic teller machine at a bank branch.

Performance characteristics exhibit a linear relationship between perceptions of attribute performance and customer satisfaction. Strong performance on these need attributes enhances, while weak performance reduces, satisfaction with the product or service. Adding more attribute of this type to a product will also raise customer satisfaction. Examples of performance characteristics include the duration of rechargeable battery life of a cellular telephone and automobile fuel economy.

Excitement characteristics are unexpected attributes that, when provided, generate disproportionately high levels of customer enthusiasm and satisfaction. When these nice to have attributes are not available in a product, it does not lead to customer dissatisfaction. Examples of excitement characteristics include receiving for the standard rate a hotel room upgrade with free breakfast or a CD player included as standard equipment on an economy car.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Kano’s model affirms the role attribute importance plays in understanding how satisfaction evaluations are formed. And making the model operational can draw neatly from existing approaches to attribute importance measurement.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

This paper has looked at the importance of service quality with regard to tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. It also describes and evaluates the delivery of exceptional service quality in order to meet customer expectations. This is in relation to understanding customer expectations; service quality specifications; employee performance; managing service expectations; moments of truth and the Kano model, which relates to threshold characteristics, performance characteristics and excitement characteristics.

As a whole it will be worthwhile to conclude that customers do business on the basis of emotional desire, i.e. they want what they want when they want it. Customers tend to gravitate towards a person or a group of people or firms they like. This is where service quality plays a crucial factor not only to meet customer expectations, but also for the firm to be able to retain already existing customers. The various factors mentioned in the latter do have their limitations, i.e. as human beings we are constantly evolving, our tastes and approaches are constantly changing, as this takes place new scenarios and factors will arise in which a different solution would be required to deal with these new issues raised. Therefore nothing is for certain in relation to the various methods and techniques mentioned in the latter.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Churchill, G.A., and Suprenant, C., (1982), An investigation into the determinants of customer satisfaction, Journal of Marketing Research, 19, 491 – 504.

Dutka, A., (1994), AMA, Handbook for customer satisfaction, Lincolnwood, ILL: NTC Business Books.

Hunt, H.K., (Ed.), (1977), Conceptualization and measurement of consumer satisfaction and dissatisfaction (Report no. 77 – 103), Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.

King, B., (1994), Techniques for understanding the customer, Quality management in Health Care, 2, 61 – 68.

Swan, J.E., (1988), Consumer satisfaction related to the disconfirmation of expectations and product performance, Journal of consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction, and Complaining Behaviour, 1, 40 – 47.

Berry, L., (1995), On Great Service, (New York: The Free Press)

Edvardsson, B., Thomasson, B., and Ovretveit, J., (1994), Quality of Service, Making It Really Work, London: McGraw Hill.

Glynn, W.J., and Barnes, J.G., (1995), Understanding Services Management, Integrating Marketing, Organisational Behaviour, Operations and Human Resource Management, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Gronroos, C., (1990), Service Management and Marketing, Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books.

Dibb, S, Sinkim, L., Pride, W.M., and Ferrell, O.C., (2001), Marketing, Concepts and Strategies, Fourth European Edition, Houghton Mifflin.

Zeithaml, V. A., Parasuraman, A., and Berry, L., L., (1990), Delivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations, New York: Free Press.

Good customer care is about understanding and meeting customers’ needs and expectations.  The objective should be to win and keep customers.

Customers can be classed as internal or external. External customers include consumers or businesses who buy goods and services as well as suppliers to the firm such as agencies and lenders. Internal customers include colleagues, shareholders and other stakeholders.

Why is good customer service important?

Good customer service is important as it’s easier and cheaper to keep existing customers happy than to keep finding new ones. Word of mouth is a powerful method of marketing and a happy customer will most likely refer their friends and relatives to a company that they have had a good experience with. They will probably also be loyal and keep coming back. Conversely research shows that an unhappy customer will tell a minimum of nine other people about the problems they’ve encountered. Spreading bad news in this way undermines a business and damages its reputation.

Most companies have a customer services team who will be responsible for dealing with customer complaints and queries. However every member of staff needs to take ownership of customer care and be proactive when dealing with customers so that problems do not arise.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

Under-promising and over-delivering is an often cited way to manage expectations and can be applied when dealing with internal colleagues as well as external customers. When working with or serving others we should put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and think ‘how would I like to be treated in this situation?’ and then deliver that. It’s also good to remember the classic Bananarama song title ‘It ain’t what you do; it’s the way that you do it.’

It’s not just about day-to-day activities however. The customer should come first in everything that an organisation does and this starts with business plans and policies that are customer centric. For example, companies should be asking themselves: are we selling products that customers want to buy? Are our systems and processes built around our needs or the customers?

Customers must also be considered when setting internal targets and key performance indicators (KPIs). A call centre may want to reduce its call waiting times and so target employees to keep calls short and answer the next call as quickly as possible. However this can have the knock-on effect of call handlers rushing calls and processing people rather than serving them. This means that they may miss opportunities and not provide extra information that could help the customer. A fast service can be at the expense of a quality service so things like this need careful consideration.

Training is also very important. Every employee must be aware of their company’s customer care values and be empowered with the knowledge, resources and skills to provide excellent customer care. There are many customer services courses available to help businesses train their staff. This can help give employees listening skills to understand what the customer wants as well as how to manage expectations and say ‘no’ when necessary.Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

At the end of the day the customer is the only person that can tell you what they want and how well you are doing at providing that. This makes research perhaps the most fundamental thing in providing good customer care.

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Focus groups, surveys and testing panels are good ways to get to understand the customer and what it is that they need and expect. On-going research into satisfaction levels is also vital to give a company a feel for how it is doing. Mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys after the completion of a service or sale are useful tools, that once completed can be updated and used to set targets and measure performance against. Large-scale surveys in particular are great to identify areas of weakness that need to be addressed. Appetites for Great Food and Quality Products Essay Paper

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