Evaluating The Quality Of Service In Sport Central Literature Review Examples

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Services, Sports, Quality, Customers, Business, Management, Students, Education

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/20

Team Northumbria is the name representing sports performance at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. The team has been noted to excel and perform exceptionally in sports thanks to their world-class facilities present at Sport Central. Sport Central is a £30 million facility opened in September 2010 (Northumbria University Sport Central.). The complex, situated at the very center of the city campus, was opened with great approval from students, the university administration and the general public. Sport Central, equipped with genuine world-class equipment and sporting facilities, facilitate the exemplary performance of team Northumbria. Notably, service at the complex is deemed to be of a high standard and meets the sporting demands of the students. Therefore, this paper focuses on reviewing the level of service quality in Northumbria University’s Sport Central (Northumbria University Sport Central.). To facilitate this, analysis and discussion is done on aspects of service quality including total quality management, service quality, customer satisfaction and customer behavioral intentions and service quality dimensions. To arrive at conclusions case analysis and statistical analysis were carried out in relation to the topic of discussion (Taylor-Powell, 1989).

Total Quality Management

Quality management is not only defined by how well an individual leads but, how well the performance improves in his/her lead. At Sport Central the Head of Sport, Colin Stromsoy has so far been an outstanding figure at the facility. Leading the management team, he has been able to develop facilities that can accommodate staff, students and even the public at the same time. Through the management, athletes can now be able to book space in the complex facility for recreational purposes. Sue Vout, the Sport Development and Engagement Manager noted that; providing more quality services in the complex at the same time is the best way of meeting the high demand of sporting facilities and equipment. She noted that booking would allow a flexible flow of sports activities and would also help reduce jams and overcrowding in the complex. This implies that management is indeed playing its role effectively and taking favorable measures to counter the high demand for sport facilities. The management team has led to an expansion of the fitness center to 150 stations (Northumbria University Sport Central.). Colin Stromsoy points out that most individuals visit Sport Center for fitness purpose. As much as the complex facilitates the training of team Northumbria, it has had a lot more attendances for recreational and fitness purposes. The management is doing everything at its disposal to ensure that individuals have a chance to utilize the facilities present at the complex for all relevant purposes. Paul Young, the General Manager in charge of facilities notes that; in order to guarantee quality service to each and everyone, there is need o improve facilities and increase the number of sporting equipment (Northumbria University Sport Central.).
In general it can be seen that total quality management at Sport Central is of a first-class eminence and that the management team is at least doing its best to improve the complex’s stature. Jen Rudin, the External Sport Engagement Manager, notes that the complex has greatly transformed the lives of many athletes and students. She further notes that the staff at the complex has been exemplary in their duties ensuring that visitors at the complex receive the best services available (Northumbria University Sport Central.). The need to enhance service quality is defined by the ability and capacity of the management team to facilitate the same (Shahin, 2006). Quality management leads to improved performance. As Kate Hansbury, the Students and Staff Development Manager puts it, the excellent services being provided at Sport Central are attributed to the aptitude, skills and capability that the management team and the staff have put in place to ensure that Sport Central remains the most genuine and best sporting complex for each and everyone (Northumbria University Sport Central.).

Service Quality

According to Shahin, (2007), service quality can be measured in a number of ways. First one can evaluate the number of available sporting equipment and facilities at the complex. Secondly, one can assess the staff’s assistance and service provision at the complex. Further, one can still evaluate and assess the feasibility of the complex in terms of its facility and equipment viability (Shahin, 2006). Notably, Gronroos’ model of service quality supports Shahin’s views by noting that; experienced quality is a function of both technical quality and functional quality. Technical quality refers to the ‘what’ bit of service provision while functional quality refers to the ‘ho’ bit of service provision. Sport Central boasts a 25m swimming pool large enough to accommodate a large number of swimmers at the same time either for training or competition purposes (Northumbria University Sport Central.). In such a case, one can easily note that the facilities at the complex are quite up to standard and provide the necessary service to athletes. Further, other aspects such as the 12m climbing wall and the 150 fitness stations imply that the facility’s sporting equipment and amenities are fine-tuned to meet the demands of sports people. As noted earlier, service quality can be measured by the presence of adequate sporting facilities and equipment at the center (Rust, & Oliver, 1994). Notably, Sport Central has other facilities such as a golf simulator where individuals can practice playing golf for recreational purposes.
Remarkably, at the complex there is an extensive Group Exercise Program where members attend classes periodically depending on how instructors schedule them. The instructors are fully trained sportspeople who have been employed at the complex to teach interested individuals in various fields of sports training. These classes include but not limited to body combat, Bokwa, Les Mills and body bump (Northumbria University Sport Central). Such services offered by highly trained instructors imply that service provision at the complex is of high quality. The management is still considering an improvement to the Group Exercise Program by increasing the number of classes and the number of training fields. Another significant aspect is the provision of opportunities to book facilities and equipment at the facility for both training and recreational facilities. As Sue Vot puts it, Sport Central has attracted a large number of participants since its opening in September 2010 (Northumbria University Sport Central). As the number continues to grow, there is need to develop intervention measures to meet the high demand. She points out that; in order to reduce overcrowding and jam in the complex, individuals are given a chance to book the use of sporting facilities and equipment in advance. For instance, one can book to use the badminton court or the squash court for a particular day or time, making service provision at the facility more flexible and unproblematic. Being unproblematic and flexible makes the quality of the services being provided at Sport Central excellent and above the brim (Ghobadian, 2004).
At Sport Central, individuals are also allowed to purchase a membership allowing them to use the facilities at the complex inclusively and without the hustle of paying every time they use the facility. Apart from the coaching sessions, the world-class sporting opportunities provide by Sport Central are evidence to the high-quality services the complex boasts of. Notably, the complex does not only offer recreational services but also allows individuals to gain qualifications in different sporting fields linked to the national government bodies that offer employment opportunities. For instance, gaining qualifications in rugby and basketball can land an individual a place in the national rugby and basketball teams respectively. In addition, the complex has also recently started a Sports Academy thanks to the management efforts. Children between the age of 8 and 18 can be enrolled at the Academy and participate in sporting activities and other fun activities such as sport camps and birthday parties (Northumbria University Sport Central.). In essence, Sport Central offers high-quality services in the various mentioned aspects. Ranging from feasible equipment, highly trained instructors and a wide range of sporting equipment and facilities, services at the complex are considered of eminence.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction refers to contentment or fulfillment that one gets while receiving services (Suneeta & Koranne, 2014). Gronroos’ model of service quality notes that perceived quality service is a result of the assessment of how consumers compare expected quality to the experienced quality. If expected quality conforms to experienced quality, then it results in satisfaction. However, if the experienced quality does not conform to the perceived quality, then the consumer is dissatisfied. Notably, customer satisfaction is the basis of customer loyalty. Customer satisfaction comes when the services being provided at the center meet the demands of the consumers. Expected service quality by consumers is a combination of what the consumers need, the marketing communications of the complex, the external image of the complex in terms of customer review and the general perception about a service. At Sport Central, athletes are trained to achieve their highest levels when it comes to competition. The ever increasing number of participants at the complex implies that there is a craving to use the company’s world-class facilities. Further, it is an implication that those who are receiving services at the facility are having their demands and desires met. For instance, due to the increased number of individuals attending the fitness stations, there was need to increase the number of stations to 150 to meet this high demand. Notably, there is still more room for advancement especially with the increasing number of participants in the complex. As noted earlier, customer satisfaction is directly related to how well the customers’ demands are met (Dancun & Garry, 2002).
It is universal that all consumers are rational (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1988). Individuals will always go for the bigger basket no matter what. In relation to this, at Sport Central service provision has been noted to be of high quality, explaining the reason as to why demand continues to rise as the management struggles to improve the facilities and expand services to meet the rising demand. Quality service is a determinant of customer satisfaction. For instance, given the flexibility of the service being provided including highly qualified instructors, one could easily find his or her way back to the complex to receive the same service (Fisk, Brown & Bitner, 1993). Further, the Group Exercise Program so far characterized by increasing enrollment depicts how customers are being satisfied by the quality of services being offered at the complex. Despite the fact that quality service is a customer’s judgment depending on how their demands have been met, Sport Central is characterized by high customer satisfaction.
Notably, the complex has been the origin of significant athletes ranging from basketball players to rugby players. For instance, the Newcastle Eagles is a basketball team that has its home games played at Sport Central (Northumbria University Sport Central). With exemplary performance, individuals are attracted to the facilities services and always wish to watch the teams play. Everyone always wishes to be part of something that is good, appealing and famous. Considering this aspect and the high quality of services being provided at Sport Central, one can easily note that customer satisfaction is at its highest (Cronin & Taylor, 2012). These features have earned Northumbria University recognition as one of the best sports-oriented learning institutions in the UK (Kent, 2007). In essence, it defines the relationship that exists between service provision at Sport Central and the corresponding customer satisfaction.
With world-class facilities and services that are fit for the 21st Century generation, Sport Central does not only attract individuals but, also gives them a chance to improve their physical health. Fitness being the center of the facility’s services has led to an increased participation. The environment at Sport Central is supportive of all activities that qualify as sports (Northumbria University Sport Central). More significantly, the move to allow each and everyone including an Academy for children depicts a facility that is fitness-intensive. Students, staff, and the general public can enjoy the facilities without any restrictions within the standards that have been set by the management. In essence, one can note that exemplary service provision is the root of customer satisfaction. Participants are satisfied and fulfilled depending on the quality of services at the complex and how finer the facilities and equipment are. For instance, one would be fulfilled if, at the end of the training session, they have gained one, two or more skills in the training field. This implies that there exists a direct relationship between the quality of services being offered and customer satisfaction at Sport Central.

Customer Behavior Intentions and Service Quality Dimensions

Parasuraman’s SERVQUAL model of service quality dimensions is used to compare performance and consumer expectations. From an organizational point of view, service quality is the achievement of customer satisfaction through quality services. Carman, (1991) notes that; a customer’s intention is normally defined by the judgments they make from the services they get. One could either shy away from the service being provided in case it did not meet his/her needs or they could come for more of the service if it effectively met their needs (UK Essays, 2014). However, it is upon the management to fine-tune services and products to meet the demands of the consumers (Educational and Psychological Measurements). For instance, Sport Central has been flowing with more people visiting the fitness center. Due to the high demand, the management made a move to increase the number of stations to accommodate the large number fitness participants. Apart from increasing the number of stations, the equipments being used for the same were improved upon and correspondingly increased. In this respect, customers are inclined towards obtaining more of these services especially with the excellent facilities, expert coaches and integrated performance laboratories (Bitner, 1992). For a rational consumer, picking the best is usually one attribute. Thus, with increasing consumers, the management at Sport Central has more than one obligation to provide excellent services. Apart from the expert coaches, Sport Central has qualified support staff trained on how to assist in service provision at the complex. Services such as biomechanics and physiology require the assistance of the support staff.
According to the SERVQUAL model by Parasuraman, customers are contented when their goals and objectives of attending the programs at the complex have been met (UK Essays, 2014). Thus, the management is putting all the resources at its disposal to guarantee that the services provided at the complex are suited to meet the recreational purposes of customers, train them to the utmost levels and ensure that they have all it needs to win in a competitive context. With the 3000 seat arena, the complex is suited to accommodate the largest number of individuals possible. At the arena, most of the activities including international games are conducted there. The service quality dimensions at Sport Central for instance, are defined by the move to develop ‘Start, Develop and Advance’ programs in which a wider range of sporting activities will be integrated to bring a sense of exciting and broad sports. This is only but, one of the ways through which the management ensure that no opportunity is left to chance (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1985). Apart from improving customer satisfaction, this quality service dimensions are meant to improve customer experience and attain the wider goal of creating a physically fit society.


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