A classification comparison
The customer contact model developed by Chase Richard implies that a service is efficient depending on the level of interaction it has with the customers. He states that control over production is harder to achieve in high customer contact environments, due to the uncertainty of the behaviour of individuals. I have chosen the following three services restaurants, sport clubs and retail banking to compare from a customer contact point of view with reference to Chase’s model and also I will talk about differences and possible similarities in the encounter triad.
The retail banking system has low customer contact due to the fact that their services are more standardized than customized. Retail banking refers to transactional accounts, savings, mortgages, personal loans and debit or credit cards. Most of these services can be accessed through the internet, as transactions can be made through internet bankingand you can even apply for a new bank account, verify if you can apply for a loan online, deposit money through the cash machine make transactions by phone, all of which lead to a minimal costumer contact with bank employees. According to Chase retail banking passes as a mix service, involving face-to-face contact but also back office work, which involves low customer contact. Low contact systems involve programmed decisions which make things easier and more efficient. We can refer here to the norms and procedures that represent the guide for the services delivered by bankslike taking decisions, for example rejecting an application for a personal loan because it doesn’t comply with the minimal normative conditions required for that product, and hence limit the bank’srisk of not recuperating the funds. In the restaurant services customers can use traditional (restaurant venues), automated (self-service), or electronic (internet, phone) delivery processes for a single outcome. As a result the nature of customer inputs varies, depending on the channel they chose to interact with the service, and therefore will reveal different aspects of the service design used by restaurants. Restaurants are classified as pure services because their production is fully based on the presence of customers, who ultimately decide if the service will be successful or not. Restaurants besides representing a place where people enjoy their meals or a drink also represent a statement for customers’ social status and their life quality. The service involves high customer contact, due to the fact the during their stay at a restaurant customers constantly interact with staff members for either ordering, enquiring about their offers, making requests involving music or to take home the leftovers, paying the bill in other words there in continuous interaction between the customer and staff members during the service experience. There is also the McDonalds example, where even though you do not have a designated waiter as in restaurants, there is still a high customer contact, productions relies on the consumers, only in this situation the customer has to go to the counter for service rather than staff members coming to serve, of course there are differences in standards and food variety, but all that depends on what individuals choose. Due to the fact that customers dictate the productivity level in high contact systems and that their outputs cannot be preserved for a long period of time, it is imperative to have created the proper environment to attract the necessary demand required for using their resources otherwise outputs go to waste.
Sport clubs are low customer contact services, involving customers interacting with other customers rather than with staff members. Except for personal training for which a client can opt and would involve a higher contact with staff members, usually the interaction consists solely at the entrance of the facility where the customer is greeted and had to prove his membership by showing his...
References: CHASE RICHARD B, AND DAVID A, TANSIK (1983), The customer contact model for organization design, Management Science U.S.A.
Lori S.Cook, David E. Bowen, Richard B.Chase , Sririam Dasu, Doug M.Stewart (2002), Human issues in service design, Journal of Operations Management.
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