Many service sector organizations are currently developing and implementing a quality improvement programme and some have achieved considerable success as a result. Developing a vision and a strategy for managing service quality is vital for competitive advantage. An analysis of customers, competitors and the corporation is necessary in the process of strategy development. In particular, identifying service quality attributes and achieving a balance between these is important. As well as discussing the above, this paper describes how two service companies have successfully adopted the total quality management philosophy to achieve higher levels of customer service, greater employee involvement and greater reduction in costs.