the tangible and intangible aspects of the service quality) observed during interactions with the service firm (Wakefield, 2001).
Tangible aspects of service quality include all that the client can see, touch, hear, and smell upon the delivery of the services, thus, it basically involves physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of employees (Wakefield, 2001; Duffy & Kenchand, 1998).
Meanwhile, the intangible aspects of service quality comprise the manner by which services are delivered (Wakefield, 2001). An example of an intangible aspect of service quality is the service performance, which describes all aspects of the delivery of services that include: reliability (i.e. the ability to perform the required service dependably, accurately, and consistently, e.g. solving customer's problems, accurate billing and record keeping); responsiveness (i.e. the willingness of staff to provide prompt and attentive service; accordingly, it is important to make customers feel the immediacy of the management or the service employee in responding to what the customers need to know); assurance (i.e. ensuring that clients feel secure and safe when they provide confidential and/or personal information and winning their trust); and, empathy (i.e., the management or the service employee must see things from the vantage point of the client, e.g. being available to the client when needed, providing convenient hours, understanding specific client needs, giving personal attention, and keeping the client's best interests at heart) (Wakefield, 2001).
According to Kotler and Armstrong (1998) service intangibility means that services cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard, or smelled before they are bought. Meanwhile, service variability is the quality of services depends on whom provides them as well as when, where, and how they are provided. Lastly, service perishability constitutes the services that cannot be stored for later sale or use. The perishability of services is not a problem when the demand is steady. However, when demand fluctuates, service firms often have difficult problems (Kotler & Armstrong, 1998).
Service quality tends to focus more on the intangible aspects, and because intangible aspects don't involve any product, the quality of services is measured through the way it is being delivered by the service employee, which may either create satisfaction or disappointment on the part of the customer.
Total Guest Satisfaction
In high-contact systems customers can influence the time of demand, the exact nature of the service, and the quality of service (Lovelock & Young, 1979). If consumers somehow become better customers -- that is, more knowledgeable, participative, or productive -- the quality of the service experience will likely be enhanced for the customer and the organization (Bowers, Martin & Luker, 1990). Organizations that capitalize on customers' active participation in organizational activities can gain competitive advantage through greater sales volume, enhanced operating efficiencies, positive word-of-mouth publicity, reduced marketing expenses, and enhanced customer loyalty (Lovelock & Young, 1979; Reichheld & Sasser, 1990). Customers who actively participate in organizational activities can directly increase their personal satisfaction and perceptions of service quality (Bowers,