Service Encounters

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Published on 17 May 2011
Ryerson University
Retail Management
RMG 303
of 1
Characteristics of Service Encounters
Search attributes Tangible characteristics that allow customers to evaluate a
product before purchase
Experience attributes Characteristics that can be experienced when actually
using the service
Credence attributes Characteristics that are difficult to evaluate confidently
even after consumption
Goods tend to be higher in search attributes, services tend to be higher in experience
and credence attributes
Credence attributes force customers to trust that desired benefits have been
Simons Levers of Control
Core Values (Belief Systems) Obtaining commitment to the grand purpose
(Rewards Systems)
Risks to be Avoided (Boundary Systems) Staking out the Territory (Returns Policy)
Critical Performance Variables (Diagnostic Control Systems) Getting the job Done
Strategic Uncertainties (Interactive Control Systems) Positioning for Tomorrow
Managing Service Encounters
Service encounter A period of time during which customers interact directly with a
Moments of truth Defining points in service delivery where customers interact
with employees or equipment
Critical incidents Specific encounters that result in especially
satisfying/dissatisfying outcomes for either customers or service employees
Service success often rests on performance of junior contact personnel
Must train, coach, role model desired behaviour
Thoughtless or badly behaved customers can cause problem for service personnel
Must educate customers, clarify what is expected, manage behaviour
Service Employees
Who: Boundary spanners, provide a link between external customers and internal
operations of the organization
Sources of Potential Conflict: Person/role, Organization/client, Interclient