Users of services judge the quality of services according to two criteria:
firstly whether services assist them to achieve the outcomes they aspire
to and secondly whether services are delivered in ways which empower
them. The argument is made that for services to meet the aspirations of customers,
customers themselves need to be involved in improving them.
Recognising the importance of customers’ judgements of service delivery has
been embraced by the Batho Pele principles of putting people first, consultation and
redress, as a culmination firstly of the desired effect of services on customers and
the manner in which services are provided, as well as describing what the inputprocess-
relationship should be between customer views and service quality. The
principle of quality is consequently examined as aspiring to meet what customers
expect, as opposed to merely meeting specifications.
If quality management is approached as cyclical in nature, public institutions
will realise that evaluation should be based on customer expectations, if they aim to
become institutions that are truly responsive to people’s needs. If public institutions
in this way allow customer expectations to inform standards, the principle will be
adhered to that quality is what the customer says it is.