In the period from February 24 to April 03, 2017, Heraklea, in collaboration with mystery shopping agencies in the region, conducted a survey for the ninth time in a row on the basic elements of service quality with the aim of finding the best in the region.In addition to Croatia, five other countries in the region participated in the survey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia. Mystery shoppers visited 800 different facilities, such as car dealerships, banks, gas stations, retail outlets, supermarkets, outlets of telecommunications companies, tourism and hospitality facilities and service industries.“We measured five basic elements of good, ie quality service, such as: greeting, determining the needs / wishes of customers, knowing the product, offering an additional product and thanking for the visit, according to the acronym of the English word GUEST (guest) for Greet, Understand, Explain, Suggest, Thank. Looking at the results by industry, we can conclude that the most prominent car dealerships with a result of 94,44%, recording an increase in service quality of 3,81 percentage points compared to last year. Supermarkets, as in previous years, stood out as the activity with the most areas for improvement with a result of 55,30%. ” points out Željka Bakmaz from the Herakle agency.The leading position in the quality of service in the region was again this year by Slovenia with a result of 79,03%, although it recorded a decrease of 2,42 percentage points compared to the previous year. According to this year’s results, Macedonia is in second place with a result of 77,01% and achieved a growth of 10,57 percentage points. Montenegro is in fourth place with a result of 73,47% and is better by 10,51 percentage points compared to the previous year. With a result of 73,40%, Serbia is very close to it, in fifth place, and achieved a growth of 5,27 percentage points compared to last year’s results. Bosnia and Herzegovina stood out with the highest area for improvement with a result of 59,06% and a decrease of 7,10 percentage points compared to last year, and it was the only one below the average for this year, which is 71,85%.Croatia took third placeCroatia ranked third in this year’s survey. In the category of greetings (92,91%) we achieved the best result, and the most areas for improvement in the category of offering additional products (42,18%). Looking at the results by activities, Croatia achieved a leading position in the category of car dealerships with a result of 100%, while in second place are service activities with 93,62%. These two categories are also the only ones that have achieved growth this year compared to the previous year. Motor shows grew by 5,56 percentage points, and service activities grew by 4,04 percentage points.The highest areas for improvement were recorded in supermarkets, which achieved a result of 59,81% and a decrease of 2,22 percentage points. Banks were in third place this year (80,95%) and recorded a decline of 1,40 percentage points compared to last year. Gas stations (79,22%) recorded the largest decline of as much as 12,78 percentage points, while tourism and catering (72,48%), retail (71,72%) and telecommunications (66,67%) recorded an average of 8 percentage points points fall in the quality of service compared to the previous year.Quality of service is one of the main competitive advantages and an important element of business improvement. Also, the quality of service affects the increase in sales, the image of the company, gaining new customers, reducing complaints and customer satisfaction that results in loyalty.“Quality is never a coincidence; it is the result of high goals, sincere endeavor, smart guidance and skillful implementation; it means a wise choice among many possibilities ”- William A. FosterIt is this thought that clearly shows that the improvement of the service is a continuous process in which we constantly need to invest in order for companies to achieve a competitive advantage, better results and satisfied and loyal customers. If we take into account that the basic elements of service quality have been measured, as well as personal and business etiquette, we can conclude that there is a lot of room for improvement, both in Croatia and in the countries of the region.Results of the Regional Services Survey – GUEST 2017 The product knowledge category achieved the best overall result of 92,26%, however, it recorded a decrease of 0,88 percentage points compared to the previous year. All countries achieved an equally good result above 90% in this category, except Bosnia and Herzegovina, which with a score of 87,07% recorded the highest areas for improvement.In the category of greetings, Macedonia is in first place with a score of 86,00%, while in last place is Bosnia and Herzegovina with a score of 59,00% and recorded a decrease of 14,24 percentage points compared to last year and the largest deviation from results of other countries in the region. The overall result in the greeting category is 79,29%, by which this category took a high second place. Since the greeting represents the first contact with the customer or guest, it is necessary to continuously improve the area, because there is still room for improvement.The category of gratitude for the visit with a total score of 75,28% recorded an increase of 6,53 percentage points compared to the previous year. For the fourth year in a row, Slovenia took the leading position in this category with a result of 94,95%. At the bottom of the scale is Macedonia with a score of 67,00%, although it recorded growth in this category of as much as 29,00 percentage points compared to the previous year. In Croatia, 74,00% of employees thanked for the visit.The category of determining the needs / wishes of customers achieved a result of 67,86% and here Montenegro stood out as the leading country with a result of 87,76%, while Bosnia and Herzegovina has the most areas for improvement here with a result of 58,39%.As in previous years, the worst ranked category is offering additional products with a score of 39,95%. In the first place in this category, Slovenia stood out with 52,53%. Bosnia and Herzegovina recorded the most areas for improvement, achieving a result of only 20,67%, which is a decrease of 1,4 percentage points compared to last year.First-ranked Slovenia achieved a leading position in the categories of offering an additional product and thanks for the visit / purchase, while second-ranked Macedonia is in first place in the category of greetings, but last in the category of thanks for buying. Montenegro, which is in fourth place, is the best in two categories, determining the wishes / needs of the customer and product knowledge. On the other hand, Bosnia and Herzegovina achieved the worst result in the categories of greeting, determining the wishes / needs of customers, knowing the product and offering an additional product.