Servuction Model

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CASE 1
TEACHING NOTES
EMMY'S AND MADDY'S FIRST SERVICE ENCOUNTER

QUESTIONS:

1. Develop a molecular model for this hospital.

In general, the core benefit the hospital offers is health care. The tangible and intangible components of the experience that spin-off from the center may include the various departments, various personnel, equipment and supplies, etc.

2. Using the Servuction model as a point of reference, categorize the factors that influenced this service encounter. (Typical responses should be similar to those provided in Exhibit I).

Emmy's and Maddy's first service experience highlights some of the basic differences between the production and delivery of goods versus that of services. In contrast to goods, services deliver a bundle of benefits to the consumer through the experience that is created for the consumer. Most consumers of goods never see the inside of the factory where their goods are produced. In contrast, consumers of health care services are physically present within the production factory. As a result, patients do interact with personnel who perform the service and are influenced by the physical aspects of the surrounding environment.

One simple but powerful model which illustrates factors which influence the service experience is The Servuction Model. The Servuction model is comprised of two parts: that which is visible to the patient and that which is not. The visible part of the Servuction model consists of three parts: the inanimate environment, the contact personnel/ service provider, and other patients. The invisible component of the model consists of the invisible organization and systems.

The Inanimate Environment

The inanimate environment consists of all the nonliving features that are present during the service encounter. Since health care services are intangible, they cannot be objectively evaluated like goods. Hence, in the absence of a tangible product, patients look for tangible clues that surround the service to base service performance evaluations. The physical appearance of the hospital, its' grounds, hallways, elevators, stairwells, patient rooms, public rest rooms, and food facilities enter into the patient's perception of the hospital's overall performance.

Contact Personnel/Service Providers

Unlike the consumption of goods, the consumption of services often takes place within the "service factory." The interaction between patients and staff can be termed "critical incidents" or "moments of truth" and represent the greatest opportunities for gains or losses in terms of influencing patient service quality perceptions. Due to the lack of separation between patients and providers, providers must possess interpersonal skills in addition to the technical skills. Unfortunately, due to the demands of the job, most employees receive the technical training, while training in patient relations is treated as secondary or as "fluff.".

Other Patients

The visible portion of The Servuction Model is completed with the introduction of "Patient A" and "Patient B." Patient A is the recipient of the bundle of benefits that is created through the service experience. Patient B refers to other patients who are part of Patient A's experience and who can dramatically impact Patient A's experience. Emergency Room waiting areas and semi-private rooms provide ample evidence of just how large an impact, both positive and negative, patients can have on one another.

Invisible Organization and Systems

The visible components of the Servuction Model are supported by the invisible organization and systems. The invisible organization and systems reflect the rules, regulations, and processes upon which the organization is based, therefore, the impact upon patients can be very profound. The invisible organization and systems determine factors such as: information forms needed to be completed by patients, the number of staff scheduled for...
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