Prof. M C. Rashid Khan, GSBA, Greater Noida, UP
ake a list of at least 1
services that you have used during the past month
Categorize them by type of process
In which instances could you have avoided visiting the service factory and instead obtained service at arms length? Comment
How did other customers affect your own service experiences²either positively or negatively?
Students should be able to come up with a reasonable number of services to analyze. Their lists arelikely to include a number of food, entertainment, and leisure services in addition to such activities asusing a telephone, mailing letters, riding public transportation, going to school, using library and athleticservices, visiting a bank or ATM, getting a haircut, taking clothes to the cleaners or to a self-servicelaundromat, and so forth. There may also be use of professional services (e.g., lawyer, doctor,counselor). Some students may be confused about the distinctions between the four processingcategories, so its worth spending some time reviewing their examples. The key, of course, is to focus onthe core service (Fig. 15). For instance, the core product of a movie theater is providing mentalstimulus even though the nature of this form of entertainment is that it requires customers to come tothe service factory in person for an experience that may also include eating popcorn, ice cream, orbeverages. Students may also identify several types of processes for the same servicevisiting a retailbank branch, using an ATM, making transactions by telephone, and doing home banking on the Internet.
isit the facilities of two competing service firms in the same industry (e
, two retailers,restaurants, or hotels) that you believe have different approaches to service
Compare and contrast, using one or more of the frameworks in this chapter
Among the differences that students are likely to identify are greater or lesser degrees of self-service,variations on any of the elements of the 7Ps, relative emphasis on tangibles versus intangible elements,and use of the Internet as a communications tool. The discussion of retailers may also include rental(non-ownership) vs. sale of certain items. Its possible that a few students may address the issue of corporate values and ethical treatment of customers.
hat actions could a bank take to encourage more customers to bank by phone, mail, Internet, or AT
s rather than visiting a branch?
Students may suggest additional fees or costs for visiting a teller in a branch. Alternatively, price andpromotional incentives could be provided to encourage customers to use more desirable servicedelivery options (at least from the companys viewpoint) like phone, mail, Internet or ATMs in non-branch locations. The banks management could also educate consumers about how to use thesealternatives and ensure that the service processes are both convenient and user-friendly. Managersshould also consider conducting research to find out why customers resist use of new deliverymethodsthere may be different reasons for different segments, requiring different responses. In classdiscussion, try to get students to talk about why they dont use certain delivery options and what wouldbe needed to make them change their behavior. For instance, the great majority of students willprobably be willing to use an ATM to withdraw money, but our experience suggests that only a smallminority will be willing to use an ATM to make deposits.