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[Excerpt] You've probably heard about or used some kind of quality assurance program in your operation, including total quality management, Six Sigma, lean, quality circle, or Kaizen. These techniques or approaches have been developed to help operators define, create, and execute organizational processes to build and maintain service quality. Regardless of the approach you use, service quality initiatives and processes are widely recognized as critical tools for ensuring guest satisfaction and developing a competitive advantage. Needless to say, creating and delivering a consistent, quality product and service is a key to long-term business success.

Hospitality service-quality initiatives require excellent service processes and consistently effective employees. As a manager, operator, or supervisor, most of your time will be spent working to understand, develop, and modify the behavior of your guests, employees, and owners. A total quality approach to management can help you gain better control over those important people. In this chapter, I present and discuss the foundations of service quality— in particular, what you can do to bring it into your organization.


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© Wiley. Final version published as: Susskind, A. M. (2011). How to build service quality into your operation. In M. C. Sturman, J. B. Corgel, & R. Verma (Eds.), The Cornell School of Hotel Administration on hospitality: Cutting edge thinking and practice (pp. 159-173). New York, NY: Wiley. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.