Harry Beckwith mentioned service as “Selling the invisible”.(Barlett, 2001). Service encounter is a dealing in which one person supply a good or a service to another person. (for example selling a product, selling a service an appointment with a doctor etc..). There are different types of service encounters. Service may be direct contact services( like service in an hospital) or indirect contact services( like service produced in a call center).
1. Majority of the direct contact services will be an eye-eye contact services where the face to face interaction with the customer happens to deliver the service. As the example when a customer goes to an O2 mobile store to buy a product and he doesn’t know anything about it. So the service here which is produced by the O2 people will be in explaining what the product actually is and different types of schemes he can take with the product(pay as you go or pay monthly schemes etc.).
2. Most of the indirect contact services will happen over the phone or by mail or by post. There won’t be a face to face interaction with the customer but they will call the customer and explain about the service which they want to sell. As the example i have a Barclays bank account and as i am working as part time the company is paying me the money directly to the bank. After a month i got a letter for Barclays bank stating that i have been pre selected for a credit card. Here they want to sell a credit card. I have filled all the details and i sent them through post. In a week time i got my credit card with a reasonable amount of credit. Here in the entire process no personnel of Barclays bank had a direct conversation with me but i have been delivered the service and i’m happy for it. This is how an indirect service encounter happens.
A MOMENT OF TRUTH:
Moment of truth is an instance where the customer and the firm confronts each other. The firm tries to build up the impression of their firm in front of the customer. These impressions may improve by the products of the firm or the services they offer. As we know in this competitive world it is very difficult to get a new customer than to retain an existing customer. The moment of truth can be positive as well as negative. When the moment of truth is positive we call it Moment of Magic and when it is negative we call it Moment of Misery.
1. When a customer feels he has been delivered a better service than what he actually expected it is called as moment of magic. I would like to give a recent example of my friend who travelled to India. He booked an economy class air ticket and he has been upgraded to first class. Now he feels that the firm which gave him the service is the best in the world even if he is not experienced any other firm’s services in that particular sector.
2. When a customer expects a better service and if he is not been delivered what he has expected it leads to moment of misery. Once it happened i went to a restaurant to have my lunch. As my friends said it is one of the best restaurants in liverpool i wanted to have my lunch there. It took more than 45 minutes for me to get a table in the restaurant though the restaurant was not full. I was said that they do not had enough waiters to serve me and i waited for long. This experience made me feel that the restaurant is not providing a good service though the taste of the food was good enough. This is call moment of misery.
Critical incidents are specific encounters between customers and service employees. They can either be satisfying or dissatisfying. By analysing the critical incidents we can realise where the firm is doing wrong in satisfying the customers. There is also a technique to analyse the critical incidents known as Critical Incident Technique.
This happened to me when i went to a bank to ask for a overdraft account. I had to wait for a long time...
References: Bartlett, P. (2001). Book review: Selling the invisible. A field guide to modern marketing. Journal of Database Marketing, 9(1), 90-91. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/233315308?accountid=14620
Gronroos, C. (2007). SERVICE MANAGEMENT and MARKETING. Chichester, United Kingdom. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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