Contact Centers Should Take a Lesson from Local Business
What lessons are there from these two examples for contact (call) center managers?
Services are different from manufacturing, with the key service difference being the interaction of the customer in the delivery process. Service design is no longer considered to be an art form as logical approaches to better design and management of service systems are emerging. In a facilities-based service, the customer must go to the service facility. In contrast, in a field-based service, the production and consumption of the service takes place in the customer's environment. Internal services refer to services required to support the activities of the larger organization. There is a blurring of manufacturing and service firms since the manufacturer product always has a certain percentage of service content. Services are also seen as the next source of competitive advantage for firms. In services we also consider the amount of customer contact or the physical presence of the customer in the system. Service systems range from those with a high degree of customer contact to those with a low degree of customer contact. Service encounters can be configured in a number of different ways. The service-system design matrix includes six common alternatives. Flowcharting, like in manufacturing process design, is the standard tool for service process design. The flowchart, or service blueprint, emphasizes the importance of design. Poka-yoke systems applied to services prevent mistakes from becoming service defects. Approaches to services include the production line approach, the self-service approach, and the personal attention approach. Service guarantees are not only a marketing tool for services but, from an operations perspective, these guarantees can be used as an improvement incentive and can focus the firm's delivery system on things it must do well to satisfy the customer
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