It serves over 10 million customers who have insurance coverage from National for a variety of needs (e. G. Home, health, auto, life). The company’s customer base, after growing steadily for a number of years, had started to erode during the past two years. Jack Driver, president of National, was concerned about this downturn. Suspecting that there might be some shortfalls in the service National was providing its customers, Jack had asked Tom to conduct a study to determine the “image” that customers had about Nationals service.
THE SURVEY In designing the content of the survey, Tom Curtis drew upon insights he gained by reading a number of recent articles emphasizing the importance of revive quality and suggesting approaches for measuring customers’ perception of a company’s service. In particular, one journal article that was based on extensive customer research suggested that there were five broad dimensions along which customers evaluated service quality. 1 . Tangibles: The appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communications materials. 2. Reliability: ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. . Responsiveness: willingness to help customers and provide prompt service. 4. Assurance: Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence. 5. Empathy: Caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers. The article also contained a number of illustrative questions pertaining to each of these dimensions and their relative importance. Tom Curtis and Jill Baxter discussed the contents of this article visit-;-visit their Survey objectives and concluded that the suggestions in the article could be adapted for their study.
Using the ideas in the article, they designed the questionnaire shown in Exhibit 1. The items in Section 1 of the questionnaire pertain to customers’ evaluation of Nationals service along five dimensions. Section 2 is designed to determine the relative importance of the five dimensions. This case was written by Professor A. Paranormal of the University of Miami. Used by permission Of the author. Section 3 contains several questions relating to customers’ overall experience with National. The final section focuses on respondents demographic characteristics.