This service encounter report aims to compare and contrast my own real-world service experiences using services marketing theories. Firstly, it will compare my two satisfactory encounters Journals in East Coast Car Rentals and Ambient Hotel Cooling to get the most satisfactory one. Secondly, two dissatisfactory encounters in Ray White Elderly and Meyer will be compared to gain the least satisfactory one.
Finally, I will give 3 recommendations for the least satisfactory encounter. Theories of level of tangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, and permissibility; level of customer service; disinformation of expectations; processes or production steps and so on will be used in analyzing my encounter experiences. II. Most Satisfactory Encounter As an oversea student in Brisbane, I like traveling around Australia during the holiday. When deciding to travel to Melbourne, I planned to have a road trip. We were going to hire a 7-seat car because there were 6 people traveling together.
Prior to the trip, we had booked the car via East Coast’s homepage. Before picking for the ar, I felt satisfied with the service according to the theory of Flower of Service, like the information was detail including the exact time to pick up the car and the order- taking was easy. Therefore, I was looking forward to this trip because I thought it must be happy. Therefore, my expectation was quiet high. But, as mentioned in Appendix 1, Just 30 minutes before the picking time, I was informed that the car was unavailable. That was exactly the service failure.
According to the Cognitive Emotional Framework, when a customer experiences a dissatisfying experience, he or she will iris assess the significance of the situation to their own well-being (Write, Lovelace & Chew, 2012). Because of this service failure, what I wanted to achieve was affected. Our plan in the first day was needed to change due to the time limited. After the phone call, my expectation decreased. Honestly, I wanted to complain this late inform. However, I was satisfied with service recovery of East Coast for service failure.
The action, or series of actions, a service provider takes in response to service failure (Write, Lovelace & Chew, 2012). East Coast followed the 5 steps of service recovery (Kemp & chaff, 1989). First step was apology. The employee made apologize to us and explained the situation. Second one was urgent reinstatement. The employee offered us a solution about two 5-seat cars. Thirdly, the employee showed his empathy to us. He also understood us why we refused his offer and the importance of the 7-seat car for us.
Fourthly, he gave us a discount as symbolic atonement to helped us go through the renting formalities in advance and promised us once the car arrived, he would inform us as soon as possible. Even though there was service failure, recovering the failure in a reasonable way could change customers’ negative attitudes. Therefore, I was satisfied with this encounter. In contrast, another satisfactory encounter is reflected in the aspect of employees. As for a customer, encounters with service staff are the most important aspect of a service.
In addition, frontline is an important driver of customer loyalty because they build personalized relationships with customers (Write, Lovelace & Chew, 2012). As can be seen in Appendix 2, I felt satisfied with the frontline of Ambient Hotel Cooling in Munich. I felt a good relationship with the staff in frontline. The traveling information was beyond his basic service. According to the cycle of success in managing employee, the employees in this hotel was happier in their work and provided higher quality, customer-pleasing service.
For example, the employee in front desk was always with a smile and always willing to helping me even though it was not the hotel service. In addition, the hotel did a good Job in communication, adding value through communication content like the traveling information and overcoming the problems of intangibility by tangible cues which made me feel informed and useful. Overall, the most satisfactory encounter for me was the East Coast Car Rentals experience. In my opinion, as a hotel, out of hospitality, customers deserved the tangible services.
In contrast, the solutions of the heterogeneity impressed me most in East Coast. Such a good service recovery, I felt tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, competence and courtesy. I forgot the service failure because of this good service recovery. I was extremely likely to go back to this service firm and recommend to other friends. Ill. Least Satisfactory Encounter As for the dissatisfactory encounter, Ray White Elderly was disappointed (see Appendix 3). First of all, according to the Flower of Service, billing is common to almost all services.
Customers are disappointed with the inaccurate, illegible, or incomplete bills. In addition, they do not waste time later with corrections and refunds. In this encounter, Ray White Elderly took me 3 days to solve an easy bill problem. Based on this situation, the service recovery was not efficient. I could not feel the urgent reinstatement from it. Instead of telling me that the system showed I owe the money in the second expansion, I preferred they understood the situation detail by communicating with the colleagues. There was another problem which made me feel dissatisfied.
Such a big rental agency, different organizations did not communicate with each other even though they got cooperation. But also employees lacked of communication within the same organization. Because of this situation, the delivery gap and the communications gap between customers and service encounter would be enlarged. The delivery gap means not delivering service designs and standards. In this encounter, human resource policies were deficient. Ray White agency cannot be solved for customers. As for the communications gap, it means not matching performance to promises.
I felt the problem was serious than before cause I was asked to pay the bill 3 times. Last but not least, according to the employee cycle of failure, the front desk employee emphasized on rules rather than service. She focused on the system, the rules of rent payment instead of knowing the situation. In addition, she lacked ability to respond to customer problems and was low service quality. She showed me impatient for solving my problem. That was the serious in the service encounter, as a customer, I was so dissatisfied with it that was not willing to continue this encounter because I felt she was damaging our relationships.
Compared with this encounter, the service encounter of purchasing a TV in Meyer was another dissatisfactory experience. I was dissatisfied with its service processes. Processes describe the steps of how service operating systems work and, specify how they link together to create the experience desired by customers (Write, Lovelace & Chew, 2012). As can be seen in Appendix 4, the process of buying a TV was such a badly designed process because of its slow. It took me more than an hour to wait for the product out of storage and pay for it. Furthermore, the human resources management in Meyer was a problem as well.
There was not enough staff to service the customers. Besides the numbers of staff, the employees should service the customers proactively. Overall, the least satisfactory encounter for me was the Ray White Elderly experience. In my opinion, bad designed processes are likely to annoy customers because they often result in slow, frustrating, and poor-quality service delivery. The encounter in Meyer was slow, which could be improved by developing a blueprint. In contrast, the Ray White Elderly was more serious. There was not a service recovery in the service failure.
What is worse, the gap between me and Ray White was enlarged. It was such an easy question about the rent between two agencies; lack of communication, Ray White Elderly took me 3 days to solve it and gave me the dishonor letter without knowing the situation. Therefore, communicating is not only useful for firms to customers, but also within firms. The staff could influence my decision making, without patient, which made me feel disappointed. IV. Recommendations and conclusions Recommendation 1 for Ray White Elderly: better service recovery There are some tactics for service recovery.
Firstly, Ray White Elderly should act fast to find out the problem. Finding out the problem should be comprehensive, cannot Just focus on the system data. Based on finding out problem, the employee should gather facts to reach a mutually acceptable solution instead of arguing with customers. Ray White could say they should prove it furthermore about the account statement and invite us to analyze the bill together to figure out what is wrong. Then, clarifying the steps needed to solve the problem is significant.
Instead of asking me to pay for the bill, as a customer I should be informed of progress and know what is the next steps and important. 1. Customers involved will remain loyal. 2. Improve the overall quality of service delivery as the service occurs 3. Increase customer satisfaction and positive WOMB behaviors 4. Improve service quality in the long term 5. Informs service process and design Therefore, better service recovery is significant for Ray White Elderly to solve the problems caused by intangibility, permissibility, simultaneity/inseparability and the heterogeneity.
Recommendation 2 for Ray White Elderly: better employees’ management Frontline is an important driver of customer loyalty because it can anticipate customer needs, customize service delivery and build personalized relationships. Therefore, frontline tuff is expected to be cheerful, friendly, compassionate, sincere, or even humble (Write, Lovelace & Chew, 2012). But frontline work is difficult and stressful in some special situations. For example, the misunderstanding in this encounter between customers and even in the company itself was embarrassing for frontline employee.
Therefore, Ray White Elderly should be aware of ongoing emotional stress among their employees and make sure that their employees are trained to deal with emotional stress and cope with pressure from customers. Facing with the questioned by customers, employee could not show impatient for customers. To solve it, a good training is significant. Service employees need to learn organization culture, purpose and strategy, interpersonal and technical skills and service knowledge. In this encounter, the employee in Ray White Elderly should know the knowledge for best solutions to the rent problem.
According this encounter, the services marketing triangle of the company and employees, with an internal marketing is beneficial to deal with such problem. Besides the system data, once there was a confused raised by customers, the staff should get more information from different staff to solve the confused for customers. The role of marketing communications is vital. 1. Position and differentiate service 2. Promote contribution of personnel and backstage operations 3. Add value through communication content 4. Facilitate customer involvement in production 5.
Stimulate or dampen demand to match capacity With a good communication between customers and within company and a better training of employee is not likely to cause such a serious Recommendation 3 for Ray White Elderly: better service quality Based on the characteristics of services, quality and productivity need to be considered Jointly in Ray White Elderly services. GAP model is a tool to diagnose problems in service design and delivery. Firstly, shortening the gaps between customers and company is important to good quality, especially the perception gap.
For example, Ray White Elderly should make service quality tangible and communicate the service quality delivered and provide physical evidence especially the billing problem. In order to let the tenant who owed the rent to pay, a detail bill is necessary to prove to customers, instead of Just informing. Ray White Elderly should let customers feel the reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy Write, J. Lovelace, C. H. , & Chew, P. (2012). Essentials of services marketing. Singapore: Prentice Hall. Kemp, R. & Chaff, D. (1989). The Service Edge: 101 Companies that Profit through Customer Care, New American Library, New York, NY.
Appendix 1: Service Encounter Journal Entry 1 Name of Firm East Coast Date of Encounter 2nd October, 2014 Service Industry Car Rentals Time of Encounter 11:30 a. M. What specific circumstances led to this encounter? During the midterm break, 6 of us including me planned to have a 5-day road trip in Melbourne. Therefore, before going to Melbourne, we have booked the desired car. But Just 30 minutes before the picking time, at 1 1 a. M. , we received a phone call that informed the car was unavailable until one and a half hour later. It means we would get the car at least at 1 p. . Based on this situation, after the phone call, we went to where we should pick up the car to know what is going on and tried to find a solution because we have planned where we should travel today and time was limited. Describe the service encounter (e. G. What did the firm/employee say or do? ) After arriving at East Coast, the employee in the front desk tried was enthusiastic, with mile facing to every customer walking in. After knowing our situation, he tried to explain the situation and made apologize to us. He said it was because of the traffic jam and hoped us forgive.
In addition, he offered an alternative approach to us as well. Instead of hiring a 7-seat car, he sought our opinion that whether can replace by two 5-seat cars, which can pick it up immediately. I could feel the apology they showed by his tone and the solution dealing with the problem. But considering it may be less happy in different cars, we refused this offer. We decided to wait for the ar. In order to show his apology, he gave us a discount for renting the car. Furthermore, we could go through the renting formalities in advance, which means once we got the car we could directly to go.
During the process of formalities, he asked us where were going to go and gave some tips about what we should visit and how to get there faster by using a map. After all of this, there was still an hour. He recommended us to go shopping around it and promised once the car was arrived, whether to left luggage there that was convenient for us to shopping. How would you ate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? Extremely dissatisfied 6 Extremely satisfied 2 3 4 5 7 What exactly made you feel this way? Honestly, at first, I was dissatisfied with the late inform.
But after this service encounter, I got little complaint about this. Even though we got the car 1. 5 hours later, I still felt this was excusable situation because I was satisfied with the remediation. Overall, I was satisfied with this encounter. What would you recommend the employee/flam could have done to make you more satisfied with the encounter? If there is anything change or delay, I prefer knowing it earlier. I recommend the firm should let me know at least one or two hours earlier than the pick-up time, which could give me enough time to replant my traveling schedule.
How likely is it that you will go back to this service firm? Extremely unlikely Extremely likely Appendix 2: Service Encounter Journal Entry 2 Ambient Hotel Cooling 26th July, 2014 Hotel 5. 00 p. M. After the exchange program in Austria, I went to Munich to travel. Therefore, I had booked a hotel online; this encounter was in this hotel. Describe the service encounter (e. G. What did the firm/employee say or do? ) It was the iris time for me to travel in Munich. I was not familiar with the transportation system, which led to get to the hotel quiet late.
After arriving at the hotel, the staff in the front desk seemed to know my dilemma. He found a map for me and showed me the fastest way to the transport station proactively. Actually, I had not asked anything about this. Then, after the hotel check-in process, he recommended me numerous tourist attractions and planned a route for me. He said because my time in Munich was not very long, therefore, the plan should race against time by saving time in the transportation. The route of plan was according to the experiences of living here, which aimed to travel the famous attractions as many as possible in limited time.
Then, the next day, when I went out, he reminded me numerous significant advises again to make sure I got a nice trip. After I went back to the hotel, he asked me how the trip was and had a nice chat about the trip. He shared me some interesting things about the particular culture as well. All of his service, he was with smile. That was exciting to live in this hotel. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? Extremely dissatisfied I felt satisfied with this service encounter. Not only the basic hotel service like the room condition, but most importantly also the staff service impressed me.
I felt a good relationship with the staff, like friends instead of the customer and the employee. In addition, I felt this was significant for me because it was useful for a stranger who first traveled in a new place. I got something interesting which could not get from the website. The trip was more like an in-depth tour. I really enjoyed this trip and living in this hotel. Satisfied with the encounter? Overall, the service for this hotel was quiet satisfied me lot, especially the staff. Appendix 3: Service Encounter Journal Entry 3 Ray White Elderly 10th -13th September, 2014 1. 0 p. M. Having no idea about why our real estate agency was switching from Ray White Towing to Ray White Elderly, the account we used to pay rent changed as well. The problem was as tenants we had not been informed that the agency had changed which led to we still paid the rent to the account before. After we informed this situation, we need to sign some documents from the new agent including the future payment method. On the other hand, as for the money we paid wrong, we chose the ay that Ray White Towing would return the money directly to Ray White Elderly.
One month after we were informed the agency had changed, we received a letter about dishonor for the rent. The money we owed was nearly a two-month rent. After receiving the letter, we went to Ray White Elderly to ask for it. Describe the service encounter (e. G. What did the firm/employee say or do? ) The employee in the front desk understood our situation, she checked for her computer, and said as can be seen in the system we did actually owe the money. We tried to explain everything again. Due to the language gap, there were still some misunderstands about how to deal with it.
She Just said that we did owe for the rent in the system. Finally, a consultant who was responsible for process of agency switching came out and explained the situation that they were working to solve it. One day later, we were asked to Ray White Towing again to pay the remaining money even if they received the money from Towing. We asked numerous questions out of curiosity but the employee in the front desk felt a little bit impatient and said they had checked very carefully that there was little mistake any more.
We ere asked to there the third time, this time was about our rent was paying to the middle of the week, but they had already set the day of automatically payment for the future on the end of the week before the entire above situation been solved. Therefore, they were asked us to pay the rent for the rest of the week in order to catch up with the automatically payment date. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? Extremely dissatisfied In my opinion, that was a very easy problem in the whole situation, but they made me feel complicated. Lack of communication between two Ray White and even within Ray
White Elderly, which made me feel dissatisfied. It took me 3 days to deal with such an easy question. I thought it was time wasting. In addition, I was dissatisfied with the employee in the front desk without patient to customers. Satisfied with the encounter? Two agencies should have a good communication, and within one agency it must have as well. Not Just focus on the system; employee should know the situation in various ways. With patient to customers is necessary in service encounter.