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Passage Reading and English Comprehension

Seeking a competitive advantage, some professional service firms (for example, firms providing advertising, accounting, or health care services) have considered offering unconditional guarantees of satisfaction. Such guarantees specify what clients can expect and what the firm will do if it fails to fulfill these expectations. Particularly with first-time clients, an unconditional guarantee can be an effective marketing tool if the client is very cautious, the firmís fees are high, the negative consequences of bad service are grave, or business is difficult to obtain through referrals and word-of-mouth.

However, an unconditional guarantee can sometimes hinder marketing efforts. With its implication that failure is possible, the guarantee may, paradoxically, cause clients to doubt the service firmís ability to deliver the promised level of service. It may conflict with a firmís desire to appear sophisticated, or may even suggest that a firm is begging for business.

In legal and health care services, it may mislead clients by suggesting that lawsuits or medical procedures will have guaranteed outcomes. Indeed, professional service firms with outstanding reputations and performance to match have little to gain from offering unconditional guarantees. And any firm that implements an unconditional guarantee without undertaking a commensurate commitment to quality of service is merely employing a potentially costly marketing gimmick.

1015. The primary function of the passage as a whole is to

(a) account for the popularity of a practice
(b) evaluate the utility of a practice
(c) demonstrate how to institute a practice
(d) weigh the ethics of using a strategy

1016. All of the following are mentioned in the passage as circumstances in which professional service firms can benefit from offering an unconditional guarantee EXCEPT

(a) The firm is having difficulty retaining its clients of long standing
(b) The firm is having difficulty getting business through client recommendations
(c) The firm charges substantial fees for its services
(d) The adverse effects of poor performance by the firm are significant for the client.

1017. Which of the following is cited in the passage as a goal of some professional service firms in offering unconditional guarantees of satisfaction?

(a) A limit on the firmís liability
(b) Successful competition against other firms
(c) Ability to justify fee increases
(d) Attainment of an outstanding reputation in a field

1018. The passageís description of the issue raised by unconditional guarantees for health care or legal services most clearly implies that which of the following is true?

(a) The legal and medical professions have standards of practice that would be violated by attempts to fulfill such unconditional guarantees
(b) The result of a lawsuit of medical procedure cannot necessarily be determined in advance by the professionals handling a clientís case
(c) The dignity of the legal and medical professions is undermined by any attempts at marketing of professional services, including unconditional guarantees
(d) Clients whose lawsuits or medical procedures have unsatisfactory outcomes cannot be adequately compensated by financial settlements alone.

1019. Which of the following hypothetical situations best exemplifies the potential problem noted in the second sentence of the second paragraph?

(a) A physicianís unconditional guarantee of satisfaction encourages patients to sue for malpractice if they are unhappy with the treatment they receive
(b) A lawyerís unconditional guarantee of satisfaction makes clients suspect that the lawyer needs to find new clients quickly to increase the firmís income
(c) A business consultantís unconditional guarantee of satisfaction is undermined when the consultant fails to provide all of the services that are promised
(d) An architectís unconditional guarantee of satisfaction makes clients wonder how often the architectís buildings fail to please clients

1020. The passage most clearly implies which of the following about the professional service firms mentioned?

(a) They are unlikely to have offered unconditional guarantees of satisfaction in the past
(b) They are usually profitable enough to be able to compensate clients according to the terms of an unconditional guarantee
(c) They usually practice in fields in which the outcomes are predictable
(d) Their fees are usually more affordable than those charged by other professional service firms

TOTAL

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1. Passage Reading 2. Verbal Logic 3. Non Verbal Logic 4. Numerical Logic

5. Data Interpretation 6. Reasoning 7. Analytical Ability 8. Basic Numeracy

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