Best practices in exemplary service delivery: A multiple case study of service quality

Karen Kelly Wollard, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to explain how exemplary service providers in luxury hotels provide consistently excellent service. Using a case study framework, the study investigated the service provider's strategies and concepts of service delivery, the importance and implementation of organizational and individual controls, and the role of training and learning. The study identified barriers to service provision and characteristics of the exemplary individuals that affect their ability to deliver luxury service. This study sought to better understand how exemplary service providers learn, think about, and do their work. The sample population of three Five-Diamond-Award winning resorts was selected for their potential for learning about the phenomenon of interest. ^ The results demonstrate that exemplary service providers possess individual characteristics that are enhanced by the organizations for which they work. Exemplary service providers are often exemplary communicators who are emotionally generous and genuinely enjoy helping and serving others. Exemplary service organizations treat their employees as they treat their customers, as suggested by the Service-Profit Chain (Heskett, Sasser & Schlesinger, 1997). Further, they have systems and standards to guarantee satisfactory service experiences for every guest. They also encourage their service providers to personalize their service delivery and to seek opportunities to delight their guests, using a combination of controls, traditions and cultural values. Several customer service theories are discussed in relationship to whether they were or were not supported by the data.^ The study concluded that the delivery of exemplary service is a complex phenomenon that requires successful interactions between guests, service providers and the organization. A Model of Exemplary Service Delivery is presented and discussed that demonstrates the components of service quality as shown in the data. The model can be used by practitioners seeking to create, enhance, or evaluate their service quality, and by researchers seeking insights into the complex concepts in service quality research. Implications for future research are discussed.^

Subject Area

Business Administration, General|Education, Adult and Continuing

Recommended Citation

Wollard, Karen Kelly, "Best practices in exemplary service delivery: A multiple case study of service quality" (2006). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3249724.