Service Encounter Essay

Service Encounter: A service encounter is defined as the period of time that a customer interacts with a service (Shostack, 1985). The definition of a service encounter is broad and includes a customer’s interaction with customer-contact employees, machines, automated systems, physical facilities, and any other service provider visible elements. It involves all the activities required to perform a service. Transactions: 1. Info 2. Parking 3. Booking 4. Entry 5. Waiting 6. Finding Seat 7. Movie Starts 8. Intermission 9. Buying Snacks 0. Wash rooms 11. Back to seats 12. End & Exit Service Encounter Triad: Encounter Dominated by the Service Organization The revenue model of multiplexes is based on the concept of Economies of scale & cost control. To be efficient and to control costs, multiplexes standardize service delivery by imposing strict operating procedures. This severely limits the discretion of the contact personnel. Customers are pre¬sented with a few standard service options from which to choose, and person¬alized service is not available.

Much of their success has re¬sulted from teaching customers what not to expect from their service; however, much of the frustration that customers experience, labeled as “bureaucracies,” is the result of contact personnel having no au¬tonomy to deal with individual customer’s needs. Contact personnel in such organizations may sympathize with the customer but are forced to go “by the book”. In multiplexes, employees mostly follow a script. Script is concerned with the use of key words and phrases which both participants recognise, and in effect can be used by employees to guide the customer through a transaction.

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They have scripts for every transaction that guides the basic conversation. Multiplexes also prepare scripts for emergency situations such as bomb threats, fire alarm and handling customer complaints because during service interruptions, panic or stress can interfere with the ability of an employee to think clearly, also a written script creates uniformity and avoids confusion. The script then becomes a device for coping with problems. Below are some examples of simple script for telephone use in the company: 1. The telephone is to be answered within three rings by the nearest person.

But do not leave a customer you are attending in order to answer the phone 2. Company phones are not to be used for personal business. Incoming calls for employees will not be permitted except in emergencies 3. Employees answering the telephone should say ‘Good (morning/afternoon/ evening) (name of organisation) (your location) (your name) speaking, how may I help you? ‘ 4. Always thank the caller. Say ‘Thank you for calling’ before hanging up. Service Failure: Service failure is defined as the failure to deliver the promised service.

Service Failures bring about negative feelings and responses from customers. Left unfixed, service failures can result in customers leaving, telling other customers about their negative experiences, and challenging the organization through consumer rights organizations or legal channels. Classification: Unrealistic Customer Expectation: 1. Unreasonable demands: I want to take my luggage inside 2. Demands against policies: I want to smoke 3. Unacceptable treatment ofemployees 4. Drunkenness 5. Breaking of societal norms: Unacceptable behavior, Abusing 6.

Special-needs customers: Physically Challenged, Need Baby chairs Unexpected Service Failure: 1. Unavailable service 2. Slow performance 3. Unacceptable service Service Recovery refers to the actions taken by an organization in response to a service failure. Bitner(1990)-ModelofServiceEncounterEvaluationwhichassessestheeffectsofph ysicalsurroundingsandemployeeresponsesonattributionsandsatis factionnaservicefailurecontext. ?Providing customers with logical explanations for service failures and compensating them in some way can mitigate dissatisfaction. Customer attributions influence levels of satisfaction. When a service experience is notwhat a customer expects, there may be an opportunity to turn the encounter into a more satisfying one through understanding the customer’s attribution processes. ?Nonverbal cues such as the firm’s physical appearance can influence customer attributions and satisfaction in a service failure context. Therefore, attention to the symbolic meaning of nonverbal messages may also be a key to enhancing service encounter evaluations. (http://www. jstor. rg/stable/1251871? seq=3) Customerevaluationsofservicefailure/recoveryencountersareinfluencedbytwofactors: 1)Servicefailurecontext(typeandmagnitudeoffailure) 2)Servicerecoveryattributes(compensation,responsespeed,apology,recoveryinitiation) ?Inordertounderstandcustomersatisfaction,businessesmustsurveycustomersaboutbot hdisconfirmationofexpec tationsandperceptionsofjustice. Service Recovery Strategies: 1) Do it right the first time 2) Encourage and Track Complaints 3) Act Quickly 4) Adequate Explanations 5) Treat Customers Fairly ) Relationships with Customers 7) Learn from Recovery Experiences 8) Learn from Lost Customers Fairness themes in service recovery: Outcome fairness, Procedural fairness, and Interactional fairness. ?Dimensions customers use to judge e-recovery: Responsiveness, Compensation, Contact ?Service Guarantees: services are harder to put a guarantee on because you cannot undo the work that has already been done. However, more and more companies are putting guarantees on their services. When guarantees are invoked, there is an instant opportunity to recover.


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