• MANAGING CUSTOMER PARTICIPATION
As customer participation increases, the efficiency of the operation decreases.
Co-produce: service produced via a cooperative effort between customers and service providers.
Increasing customer participation has advantages and disadvantages.
• The first advantage is that costumers can customize their own service and produce it faster andless expensively than if the firm had produced it.
• On the other hand, increased levels of customer participation are also associated with the firm’s losing control of quality; increased waste, which increases operating costs; and customer perceptions that the firm may be attempting to distance itself from its costumers.
Develop customer trust.
The firm needs to provide information to thecostumer that explains why self-service opportunities are being provided and the potential customer benefits; if not costumers will flock to full-service competitors.
Promote the benefits and stimulate trial
Typical benefits associated with self-service are:
• Cost savings to the customer.
To promote new self-service options, customers may need an incentive tostimulate trial.
Understand customer habits.
Part of the problem when transferring from full-service to self-services that we tend to forget why customers might prefer using full-service options in the first place.
Pretest new procedures.
All new self-service options should be thoroughly pretested, not only by the firm’s employees but particularly by customers who do not have the advantage of fullinformation,
Pretesting helps in identifying and correcting potential problems before new procedures are fully introduced.
Understand the determinants of consumer behavior.
When considering customer benefits of self-service alternatives, firms should understand the determination of consumer behavior. The consumer benefits promoted by the firm should be defined by the customer.
Teach consumershow to use service innovations.
“On your own” approach doesn’t encourage customers to try new self-service methods. For costumers to be taught, employees must first know how to use the technology themselves.
Monitor and evaluate performance.
A self-service option should be continuously monitored and evaluated throughout the year. Customer surveys and focus groups will not only definesatisfaction with today’s services but also provide insight pertaining to the needs of tomorrow.
• MANAGING CUSTOMER WAITS.
Demand often outpaces supply and queues develop that must be effectively managed to minimize customer dissatisfaction. The only cases in which the supply of available service and customer demand balance exactly –is by accident.
Effectively managing consumer waits is particularlycrucial due to the importance of first impressions on consumer perceptions of the service experience.
Eight principles of waiting to help service firms effectively manage consumer waits:
#1 unoccupied waits feel longer than occupied waits
#2 preprocess waits feel longer than in-process waits-post process waits feel longest of all.
#3 anxiety makes the wait seem longer.
Anxiety expands consumerperceptions of time. Effective service firms manage the anxiety levels of their customers by attempting to identify and then removing anxiety-producing components of the service encounter. Information is one of the most effective tools in relieving consumer anxiety.
#4 uncertain waits are longer than known, finite waits.
#5 unexplained waits are longer than explained waits.
#6 unfair waits arelonger than equitable waits.
If customers feel they have been passed over by other customer who entered the service experience at a later time under the same set of circumstances.
#7 the more valuable the service the longer the customer will wait.
When the service is considered valuable and few competitive alternatives exist, customers will be willing to wait much longer than if the reverse...