Service Delivery Review Questions and Answers

What marketing and management challenges are raised using intermediaries in a service setting?

Challenges arise from multi-site service delivery involving representatives who may not be employed directly by the originating service provider.  When the provision of services is delegated or sub-contracted to external agents or representatives, maintaining control over what is provided and how can sometimes prove difficult.

This can be so even with formal contractual arrangements and franchise agreements.  Consequently, the originating service provider must invest time and effort in ensuring that all aspects of the delegated service performance are in accord with designated policies and standards.

Regular communication and monitoring are essential in this regard.  In this way inconsistencies may be kept to a minimum and a constant service image and standard maintained across multiple sites involving multiple service providers.

In what ways might Risk Theory inform the design of a service organization’s physical evidence?

Risk Theory illumines understanding of the sense of apprehension or anxiety that customers may feel on approaching a service provider for the first time, and the extent to which they may feel that some possession or they themselves may be put in jeopardy.

Furthermore, customers without enough information and/or prior experience may be concerned about what a service might be likely to cost.  A service organization’s physical evidence can help to reduce a customer’s sense of risk, apprehension or anxiety by;

  • making them feel comfortable
  • reflecting the values of customers
Discuss HRM implications arising from service delivery situations that involve a high degree of personal contact between service provider and customer?

A:  Important issues that warrant discussion here include:

HRM implications arising from service delivery situations

  • Requisite personality attributes, interpersonal skills, maturity and experience
  • Personal appearance, grooming and hygiene
  • Appropriate policies, procedures and systems
  • The internal culture and how this is maintained
  • Appropriate supervision, performance monitoring and mentoring
  • Reward and recognition
In what ways do customers and employees benefit from productivity enhancement and improvement in a service setting?

Customers benefit from                                                     Employees benefit from

*faster and more efficient service                                                     *professional development

*multi-skilling that enables service personnel to deal                  * the confidence that derives from effectively with diverse customer enquiries and requests improved levels of customer service

*reduced waiting time and satisfaction

*reduced prices derivative of reduced labor costs                      *financial gains

 *the ability to handle more with less strain

How might productivity be improved in each of the following service settings:
  1. a florist
  2. the classified advertising department of a newspaper
  3. a dental clinic

In order to answer this question in a sufficiently specific and prescriptive way, students would be well advised to base their thoughts and recommendations on results of their own exploratory research.  Productivity issues that might reasonably be expected to be defined include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • the process by which incoming customer enquiries are handled
  • customer queuing and waiting time
  • customer processing time
  • what is entailed in explaining the service ‘script’ to customers
  • service delivery procedures and time
  • billing and payment procedures

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