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Service Marketing Report - 12 and 13 of the Text Book, "services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm"

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Essay Preview: Service Marketing Report - 12 and 13 of the Text Book, "services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm"

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Services Marketing Report

Service Delivery

Tutor: Drs. L. Ploeg

Team 2

Anna-Lena Janzen, i390534

Marie Trbovic, i626015

15 May, 2009

Contents

1. Introduction...........................................................3

2. Employees' Roles in Service Delivery...................................3

3. Customers' Roles in Service Delivery....................................4

4. Research Experiment.........................................................5

5. Results...............................................................

6. Conclusion.............................................................................6

7. Appendices: ......................................................................8

8. References.......................................................... 9

1. Introduction

The report is based on chapters 12 and 13 of the text book, "Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm" by Valarie A. Zeithaml, Mary Jo Bitner, and Dwayne D. Gremler (Irwin McGraw Hill 2006, 4th ed, p.3491- 414) and the academic article "Four Seasons Goes to Paris" by Roger Hallowell, David Boen and Carin-Isabel Knoop (Academy of Management Executive, 2002, Vol. 16, No. 4, p.7-24). A short summary of the textbook chapters explains how both employees and customers have individual roles in service delivery. Chapter 12 discusses the importance of creating a service culture, an element of organizational culture, where providing excellent service to customers is essential. The chapter also illustrates the importance of service employees and especially font-line employees, also known as boundary spanners because of the emotional labor they are required to display and the different types of conflict they face as a result of their positions. Chapter 13 highlights the importance of customers in successful service delivery and mentions the different roles customers play in service delivery. The academic article supports the textbook, namely chapter 12, by further discussing the linkage between service culture and competitive advantage and how service culture is one of management's most effective tools in managing employee behavior. The article also details the four components of corporate culture and their affects. It is from this article that the research experiment was conducted. The purpose of the research is to examine if corporate cultures of a similar industry are similar around the world and if corporate culture is a determinant of employee satisfaction and production. The research experiment utilizes Hallowell et al's four elements of corporate culture to examine similarities of corporate cultures in the hospitality industry. After a discussion of the results of the research experiment some concluding remarks will be made.

2. Employees' Roles in Service Delivery - Chapter 12

Zeithmal et al (2006) explain the importance of creating a service culture in which providing excellent service to both internal and external customers is a way of life. In this instance service culture is an element of corporate culture, "the pattern of shared values and beliefs that give the members of an organization meaning and provide them with the rules for behavior in the organization". In many service settings the firm must rely on its service culture to influence employee thoughts, feelings and behaviors during a service delivery. A strong service culture is said to begin with leaders in the organization who demonstrate a passion for service excellence and employees are more likely to embrace a service culture when they see management living out the values themselves. Developing a service culture is a long process and transporting service cultures internationally isn't easy. However if global firms have a mixture of standardized and adapted corporate values this can be a source of competitive advantage for the firm. Frontline employees, also known as boundary spanners are critical to the success of any service organization. Boundary spanning positions are often high-stress jobs which involve a fair degree of emotional labor. Managers have to carefully select people who can handle emotional stress and who can also handle the interpersonal and inter-organizational conflicts that can occur in a service organization. Customer contract service employees have special importance to an organization as they are a representation of the organization through customer's eyes and more importantly at times deliver the service themselves. It is therefore vital for customer contact employees to be satisfied at work and this can be managed by corporate culture. The chapter describes how there is a high correlation between satisfied employees and satisfied customers. When employees are content at work, their productivity is usually higher which results in delivering the service better increasing customer satisfaction. Therefore the importance of creating a positive corporate culture and service cultures where employees are satisfied at work and the aim of the organization is to deliver the utmost best service experience to customers is vital to employee performance and customer satisfaction.

The academic article "Four Seasons Goes to Paris" (Hallowell et al, 2002) supports and extends Zeithmal et al and stresses the importance of corporate culture in an organization. The authors describe that when built and maintained organizational cultures are focused on delivering high customer value, the culture will influence the way employees behave which in turn will shape the service experience the customer receives. The article poses that there are four individual components of corporate culture which are "managements most effective...tools to influence employee thoughts, feelings and behavior". These four components are: (1) Underlying assumptions - the basic assumptions regarding the workplace, (2) Values - the things that are seen as most important in an organizational setting, (3) Employee perceptions of management

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