Poka Yoke Journal

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Service Poka Yoke

In this paper, Poka yoke as one of the effective quality design techniques experienced in manufacturing has been suggested and developed for service fail safing. For this purpose, the subjects of service failure and service recovery have been introduced. Then, service Poka yoke has been demonstrated and its solutions have been classified. This paper also has proposed a framework, by which the common and uncommon elements of service Poka yoke and Service recovery solutions have been classified and addressed schematically. In the new methodology, service recovery and service Poka yoke are assumed as post and pre solutions on service failure, respectively. The proposed framework seems very helpful for managers as an effective toolbox if they are about to fix problems both at the design and at the delivery stages of the service processes. Finally, some barriers and critical success factors of the application of Poka yoke in serices have been discussed. Keywords: Service, Poka Yoke, Failure, Recovery solutions, Framework 1. Introduction

Service quality has become a key strategic variable in organizational efforts to both satisfy and retain present customers and also to attract new customers. However, some aspects of service, for example relating to employee actions and customer attitudes, are outside the control of managers. As a result, service failure is inevitable, sometimes mistakes will happen or things will go wrong, and so service recovery action is needed to deal with the mistake or problem and to restore customer satisfaction.(Lewis, 2001). Much research has focused on how to improve a service provider's service quality, and how to attract and maintain customers (particularly with the use of service recovery techniques). A major factor that affects a customer's perception of a service provider’s quality is the number, and extent, of the problems they encounter, and how these problems are handled by the provider. As services are inherently variable in how they are conducted, it is to be expected that problems will occur (Hart et al., 1990). A term that is used synonymously for a problem that a customer has with a service is "service failure''. Indeed, the importance of service recovery reinforces the need for organisations to find approaches that are effective in both identifying service failure and in developing strategies to recover successfully. Service recovery should be the cornerstone of a customer satisfaction strategy. (Bamford and Xystouri, 2005).

Customers react in two ways when they encounter a service failure. They either remain with the service provider or leave (i.e. exit). To expand this further, when customers encounter a service failure they can either not complain, or complain and give the service provider an opportunity to rectify the problem. If they choose not to complain, they may remain with the provider, despite their dissatisfaction, or exit. Alternatively, if they complain they may also choose to stay or they may exit (Colgate and Norris, 2001). In order to balance the need for defect-free service and the inevitability of failure, organizations must be pro-active in anticipating likely areas of failures/complaints as well as anticipating the appropriate needs for recovery. They must be swift in their response and must train and empower their employees to respond as well. While this is a large task, the opportunity cost is the risk of losing customers and generating negative word of mouth. (Mack et al., 2000). A Poka-yoke device is any mechanism that either prevents a mistake or defect occurring or makes any mistake or defect obvious at a glance. It is the concentration on removing the causes of defects that is important (Shingo, 186; 1987). Poka yoke is a way to help people do things right the first time. It does not violate or negate good www.ccsenet.org/ijms International Journal of Marketing Studies Vol. 2, No. 2; November 2010 Published by Canadian Center of...
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