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Service Encounter

By Agenda
The Service Triad
Culture in Service Organizational Control

Dr. Nripendra Singh

Jaypee Business School, Noida

Service Profit Chain

Case Study: Amys Ice Cream

The Service Triangle

Service Organization
Control versus autonomy Efficiency versus satisfaction

Contact Personnel

Perceived control


Note: Perceived control determines if a relationship or encounter is established between contact personnel and customer.

The Service Encounter

is the moment of truth occurs any time the customer interacts with the firm can potentially be critical in determining customer satisfaction and loyalty types of encounters:
remote encounters, phone encounters, face-to-face encounters

is an opportunity to:
build trust reinforce quality build brand identity increase loyalty

Service Encounter Cascade for a Hotel Visit

Check-In Bellboy Takes to Room Restaurant Meal Request Wake-Up Call Checkout

A Service Encounter Cascade for an Industrial Purchase

Sales Call

Delivery and Installation

Servicing Ordering Supplies


Critical Service Encounters Research

GOAL - understanding actual events and behaviors that cause customer dis/satisfaction in service encounters METHOD - Critical Incident Technique DATA - stories from customers and employees OUTPUT - identification of themes underlying satisfaction and dissatisfaction with service encounters

Service Encounter Success Factors

Customer Service Provider Human Machine
Employee selection Interpersonal skills Support technology Engender trust Easy to access Fast response Verification Remote monitoring User friendly Verification Security Easy to access Compatibility Tracking Verification Security



Sample Questions for Critical Incidents Technique Study

Think of a time when, as a customer, you had a particularly satisfying (dissatisfying) interaction with a service employee. When did the incident happen? What specific circumstances led up to this situation? Exactly what was said and done? What resulted that made you feel the interaction was satisfying (dissatisfying)?

The Customer
Expectations and Attitudes Economizing customer Ethical customer Personalizing customer Convenience customer Customer as Coproducer


The Service Organization

Empowerment Invest in people Use IT to enable personnel Recruitment and training critical Pay for performance

Organizational Control
Control System Objective Employee Challenge Management Challenge Key Issues



Uncertainty about purpose

Pressure or temptation

Communicate core values and mission

Specify and enforce rules

Identify core values

Risks to be avoided



Lack of focus

Build and support clear targets

Open organizational dialogue to encourage learning

Critical performance variables

Strategic Uncertainties



Lack of opportunity or fear of risk taking


Contact Personnel
Selection 1. Abstract Questioning 2. Situational Vignette 3. Role Playing Training Unrealistic customer expectations Unexpected service failure


Difficult Interactions with Customers

Unrealistic customer expectations Unexpected service failure 1. Unreasonable demands 2. Demands against policies 3. Unacceptable treatment of employees 4. Drunkenness 5. Breaking of societal norms 6. Special-needs customers 1. Unavailable service 2. Slow performance 3. Unacceptable service

Use scripts to train for proper response


Examples of Unethical Behaviors

Misrepresenting the Nature of the Service Customer Manipulation General Honesty and Integrity

Promising a nonsmoking room when none is available Using bait-and-switch tactics Creating a false need for service Misrepresenting the credentials of the service provider Exaggerating the benefits of a specific service offering

Giving away a guaranteed reservation Performing unnecessary services Padding a bill with hidden charges Hiding damage to customer possessions Making it difficult to invoke a service guarantee

Treating customers unfairly or rudely Being unresponsive to customer requests Failing to follow stated company policies Stealing customer credit card information Sharing customer information with third parties


Service Profit Chain

Operating strategy and service delivery system Loyalty Service concept

Target market


Capability Service quality

Productivity & Output quality

Revenue growth

Service value



Customer orientation/quality emphasis Allow decision-making latitude Selection and development Rewards and recognition Information and communication Provide support systems Foster teamwork

Quality & productivity improvements yield higher service quality and lower cost

Attractive Value Service designed & delivered to meet targeted customers needs Solicit customer feedback

Lifetime value Retention Repeat Business Referrals


Common Themes in Critical Service Encounters Research

Employee Response to Service Delivery System Failure

Employee Response to Customer Needs and Requests

Employee Response to Problem Customers

Unprompted and Unsolicited Employee Actions and Attitudes

Amys Ice Cream

1. Describe the service organization culture at Amys Ice Cream. 2. What are the personality attribute of the employees who are sought by Amys Ice Cream? 3. Design a personnel selection procedure for Amys Ice Cream using abstract questioning, a situational vignette, and/or role playing.



What was your most rewarding past experience and why? What are you looking for in your next job? What have you done in the past to irritate a customer? What flavor of ice cream best describes your personality?


Amys Ice Cream Facility


AMYS ICE CREAM Situational Vignette

A particular customer has the irritating habit of always showing up about two minutes before closing and staying late. Often this occurs on the night when weekly store meeting are held after closing time. This delays starting the meeting and furthermore employees are on the clock waiting for the customer to leave. What would you do?

AMYS ICE CREAM Situational Vignette

As a new employee at a busy store, you have been routinely performing clean-up tasks (garbage removal and restroom cleaning). Company policy dictates that these are tasks to be shared. It has become clear that two employees consistently avoid these jobs in favor of more pleasant duties. How would you handle this situation?