Term of Award

Spring 1995

Degree Name

Master of Health Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

James Allen Streater

Committee Member 1

Robert Lefavi

Committee Member 2

Sara Plaspohl

Abstract

Businesses in the United States are finally beginning to understand that it is less expensive to retain existing customers than it is to obtain new ones. Some studies indicate as much as a 10 to 1 ratio, meaning for every one dollar spent on customer retention, a business must spend ten dollars on new sales promotions to replace lost customers (Babish, 1995). In a competitive marketplace, many companies have taken an active role in learning more about satisfying their customers. By staying close to the customer, learning their preferences, and catering to them, a business can improve its market position. To do this, many businesses have designed satisfaction surveys. These surveys can also identify opportunities for product and/or service innovation and can serve as a basis for performance appraisal. Most importantly, a survey of customer satisfaction can ensure that quality improvement attempts are properly focused on the customer's primary concerns (Futrell, 1994).

To facilitate an approach that is more customer focused, many businesses have embraced W. Edward Demming's philosophy of total quality management (TQM) or continuous quality improvement (CQI). The TQM/CQI process involves teaching employees problem-solving and processimprovement tools and techniques. Teaching employees these tools is the easy part; the difficult part is getting the employees to implement these tools and techniques. Employees must also understand and believe their underlying philosophy (Merron, 1994). This study is designed to determine the effects of TQM/CQI educational inservices on customer satisfaction in a hospital-owned wellness center.

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