Jochen Wirtz

Designing Customer Service Processes

From a customer's perspective, services are experiences. From the organization's perspective, services are processes that have to be designed and managed to create the desired customer experience. This makes processes the architecture of services. Designing Customer Service Processes will discuss how service processes can be designed and improved to deliver the promised value proposition. This book is the sixth volume in the Winning in Service Markets Series by services marketing expert Jochen Wirtz. Scientifically grounded, accessible and practical, the Winning in Service Markets Series bridges the gap between cutting-edge academic research and industry practitioners, and features best practices and latest trends on services marketing and management from around the world.

Readership: Business and Marketing students at MBA and eMBA level; marketing professionals and practitioners.
Services Marketing;Marketing;Consumer Behavior;Positioning Services;Service Process;Service Environment;Service Advantage;Customer Relationships;Managing Relationship and Building Loyalty;Complaint Handling;Service Recovery;Service Excellence;Service Quality and Productivity; Service LeadershipKey Features:There are many books on service management in the market, but most are narrowly focused and/or based on anecdotal evidence. This new book is the first to rigorously cover key aspects of services marketing and management, and that is routed in sound academic research. This book bridges the gap between cutting-edge academic research and practitionersThe book makes extant academic knowledge easily accessible. For example, each chapter features an organizational framework that provides an overview of core concepts at a glance, and it ends with a succinct chapter summary in bullet pointsThe book features global best practices and latest trends; it takes on a global perspective with about 40% of all examples originating from the Americas, 30% from Europe and 30% from Asia
82 printed pages
Original publication
2017

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    11.Self-Service Technologies (SSTs)
    The ultimate form of customer involvement is self-service. Most people welcome self-service technologies (SSTs) that offer more convenience (i.e., time savings, faster service, 24/7 availability, and more locations), cost savings, and better control, information, and customization. However, poorly designed technology and inadequate education in how to use SSTs can cause customers to reject SSTs.
    Three basic questions can be used to assess the potential for success of an SST and to improve it:
    •Does the SST work reliably?
    •Is the SST better for customers compared to other service delivery alternatives?
    •If the SST fails, are there systems in place to recover the service?
    12.Changing Customer Behavior
    Increasing the customers’ participation level in a service process or shifting the process entirely to self-service requires the firm to change customer behavior. There are six steps to guide this process and reduce customer reluctance to change:
    •Develop customer trust.
    •Understand customers’ habits and expectations.
    •Pretest new procedures and equipment.
    •Publicize the benefits of changes.
    •Teach customers to use innovations and promote trial.
    •Monitor performance and continue to seek improvements.
    b0799771759has quotedlast year
    9.Levels of Customer Participation
    Understand the levels of customer participation in service processes, which can range from low, to moderate and high.
    10.Customers as “Service Co-Creators”
    Customers are often involved in service processes as co-producers and can therefore be thought of as “service co-creators”. Their performance affects the quality and productivity of output. Therefore, service firms need to educate and train customers so that they have the skills and motivation needed to perform their tasks well.
    b0799771759has quotedlast year
    5.Service Blueprints
    Service blueprints help to set service standards that should be high enough to satisfy customers. As standards need to be measurable, important but subjective or intangible service attributes need to be operationalized. This can often be achieved through service process indicators that capture the essence or at least approximate these attributes. Once standards are decided, performance targets can be set.
    6.Design Service Processes with Emotional Intelligence
    Service processes need to be designed with emotional intelligence. Below are the key principles about sequencing service:
    •Start strong. The opening scenes of a service drama are particularly important, because customers’ first impressions can affect their evaluations of quality during later stages of service delivery.
    •Build an improving trend. All things being equal, it is better to start a little lower and build a little higher than to start a little higher and fall off a little at the end.
    •Create a peak. Customers tend to remember the peak!
    •Get bad experiences over with earlier on so that negative aspects of the experience are less likely to dominate the memory of the entire service encounter.
    •Segment pleasure but combine pain. Service processes should extend the feeling of pleasurable experiences by dividing them up throughout the experience, and combining unpleasant experiences into a single event.
    •Finish strong. Ending on a high note is an important aspect of every service encounter, even if it is just a cheerful and affirmative “Have a nice day”.
    A tool that helps to manage customer emotions is emotionprints, which documents likely customer emotions at each stage of the service process. The objective is to manage the customer experience well.
    7.Customer Service Processes
    Changes in technology, customer needs, and service offerings require customer service processes to be redesigned periodically. Symptoms indicating that a process is not working well include:
    •A lot of information exchange is required; the data available is not useful.
    •A high ratio of checking or control activities to value-adding activities.
    •Increased processing of exceptions.
    •Growing numbers of customer complaints about inconvenient and unnecessary procedures.
    8.Objectives of Service Process Redesign Efforts
    •Reduce number of service failures
    •Reduce cycle time
    •Improve productivity
    •Increase customer satisfaction
    Service process redesign includes reconstruction, rearrangement, or substitution of service processes. These efforts typically include:
    •Examining the service blueprint with key stakeholders — customers, frontline employees, support staff and IT teams are invited to review the blueprint and to brainstorm for ideas on how to improve the process.
    •Elimination of non-value adding steps.
    •Reducing bottlenecks and balancing process capacity.
    •Shifting to self-service.

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