Managing Customer Service

Topics: Service system, Customer service, Service Pages: 18 (3526 words) Published: January 9, 2014
Service Concept … as a strategic tool…
Defines & communicates the nature of the business / a service  Creates customer expectations & employee understanding
Provides a sense of purpose
Checks for marketing, operations and strategic alignment
Helps develop and drive strategic advantage -competitive edge to deliver public value  Different customer types?

E.g. HM Prison Service (public sector orgs → obvious separation of stakeholders) Paying customers (tax payers)
Beneficiaries (society in general –protection; prisoners themselves –rehabilitation, food) Participants (prisoners)

Requirements and perspectives may be different
Meet conflicting expectations of stakeholders; conflict of interests 

Service Concept & Strategy → Service Design → Service Delivery System -Measuring performance at each level

"A service concept describes the way in which an organization would like to have its services perceived by its customers, employees and its stakeholders"  -J. Heskett, Managing the Service Economy

A shared & articulated understanding of the nature of the service provided & received which encapsulates information about: 1 the organizing idea
Essence of the service bought or used by the customer
2 the customer experience
Customer's direct experience & personal interpretation of the service 3 the service outcome
The result for the customer in terms of benefits, emotions & value for money 

Service Concept developed jointly:
Corporate goals: growth; return; investment
Market analysis: customers, competitors
Management philosophy: degree of centralization; corporate values Other environmental factors: suppliers; economic/industry trends 

Service Concept vs. Mission Statement:
Mission statement -long term, future oriented 
Service Concept -about current status, what you intend to deliver right now 

Example: Alton Towers, UK
Key Points
Many services perceived to be under-performing
Poor services are hugely wasteful as well as uncompetitive
Service improvement is an almost universal objective:
especially if you compete on service!
Great service design starts with the service concept
Service concept marries market requirements and operational objectives The service concept needs to be a shared view
The service concept defines the essence of the service: the experience and outputs  Organisation
Alton Towers
Organising Idea
Magic for everyone, great day out for the whole family at a theme park Service Concept
A UK theme park which provides an inclusive package over 100 rides and attractions to suit all ages and tastes with thrills, fun, fantasy, food, hotel and magnificent gardens  Service Experience
Good signage to the park, Large car parks, Clear site maps, Different queuing systems, Attractions for all ages  Service Outcome
Benefits: full day, never a dull moment, lots of rides
Emotions: Fun, thrilling, exhausting, terrifying
Value: High all-inclusive price, Car parking is extra, Food reasonably priced, Good value for money

Example: MTR, HK
Organisation: MTR Corporation Limited (MTRC) to be the service provider. Organising idea:
Service concept: MTRC is one of famous public transportations since 1979 and has been providing safe, reliable, and efficient train services getting people around in Hong Kong. Its train service has covered 82 stations among Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories and Lantau Island to carry average 3.7 million people reach their destination every weekday. Experience

Evaluate Cathay Pacific Service Concept
Organisation: Cathay Pacific
Organising idea:
Service concept: Service straight from the heart – describes aspiriation to deliver an efficient, professional, friendly and caring service that comes with a personal touch. Aim to respond to needs of customers, going the extra mile & providing them with the highest quality service.

Evaluate Benihana's Service Concept
General perception & associations with Japanese...
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