TheService Encounter Paper
Thebest Service Encounter (LUSH)
Iexperienced the best service encounter at LUSH, a business focused incosmetics and beauty products. As I passed by the shop, the sweetaromas emanating from the shop caught my attention and I wanted toknow more about the products. I would say my source of satisfactionwas the customer-oriented service offered. The shop attendant wasknowledgeable about their products and hence could answer anyquestions about the uses and qualities. The best thing is that theshop employees allowed customers to test the aroma using the sampleproducts, to enable customers select the product that meet theirexpectations and preferences. Apart from the customer-friendlyservices, the shop had a variety of quality products from which acustomer could choose. From the class textbook and discussion,customer satisfaction is derived from quality services and qualityproducts.
Whenevera customer enters a shop or a service-oriented business, they haveexpectations. Upon entering the beauty shop, I expected to meetfriendly employees and quality products. Customers have unansweredquestions about new products and they always expect to get answersfrom the providers. However, form class discussion, it is clear thatmany are the times customer expectations are not met because of poorcommunication. I had high expectations of getting a shop attendant,who would give me time and answer all my questions. The servicesoffered by the shop attendant did not only meet my expectations butalso opened my eyes on more facts about beauty products that I hadnot envisioned. According to the class textbook, it is important forbusiness people and providers to develop listening skills to enablethem in meeting their customers’ expectations.
Fromthe class discussion, there is a gap between expected service andperceived service. Issues such as not knowing what customers want,wrong service designs and standards are leading to poor customerservices and customer dissatisfactions. In many service-orientedproviders, excellent customer services have become an exception andnot the norm. Companies should implement marketing strategies thatfocus on enhancing customer experience to meet customer expectations. For instance, LUSH should train and educate all their employees onbasic communication skills. Communication skills such as listeningare important in business since they allow providers to know whatcustomers expect of them. LUSH should encourage customer research andupward communication to help in designing products and offeringservices that meet customer expectations. It is also important forthe provider to build good customer relationship to transform theircustomers from being just satisfied to being loyal.
Theworst Service Encounter (eBay)
Myworst service encounter was a time I needed a pair of shoes anddecided to place an order on eBay. Despite having received severalmessages that my pair of shoes would be delivered the following dayafter placing the order, one month later I had not yet gotten myparcel. My encounter with eBay can be categorized under the theme ofrecovery. This is because the cause of dissatisfaction emanated froma failure in service delivery. At eBay, a customer requires a tracknumber to track the delivery of the order parcel. However, deliverywithout a track number is cheaper hence, the employee tend to preferit. The inconvenience with this form of delivery is that it isdifficult for a customer to monitor the progress of the deliverywithout a track number. The mistake the company employee did thatreally agitated me is that he choose the cheaper delivery optionwithout a track number, without consulting me as a customer. Theworst thing, the company gave me promises via emails of receiving myparcel the next day which one month later, I had not yet received.
Iexpected quick and efficient delivery services from eBay since it isan online service-oriented business. The employee should haveexplained to me all their modes of deliver, their differences andcost incurred for each. From the information offered, I would thenchoose the delivery option that could best suit my needs. Using theGAPS model of service quality from class discussions, there are threegaps that led to service failure. The first gap is listening gap. Theemployee did not have listening skills hence rushed to choose for methe wrong delivery method. As a result, the delivery mode did notmeet my expectations of prompt and quick delivery.
Thesecond gap is service performance gap. It is clear from my encounterthat the company is lacking in terms of excellent service delivery.Their products might be of great quality, but their serviceperformance is far too low the expected standards. The other gap iscommunication gap. The company promised to deliver the parcel thefollowing day after placing my order, but one month later, it had notfulfilled its promise. This is a clear indication that the company’sperformance is poor to an extent that it cannot match its promises.From class discussion, poor service delivery is one of the factorsthat turn away customer from a business. From this encounter, I donot think I am going back to eBay for any goods or services in thenearest future.
Theservice encounter assignment has opened my eyes to crucial marketingissues needed in the current highly competitive global markets. Manypeople overlook the importance of good and open communication inbusinesses. For a business to know its customers’ expectationshence ensure satisfaction there is need for open and goodcommunication between the frontline employees and the customers. Itis crucial for business managers to encourage upward communication toenable the Management Team get hold of customer issues that requireattention. From the knowledge gained from class discussions, I havediscovered that an employee or a business manager can utilizecustomer complaints to enhance customer experience and meet theirexpectations. Excellent customer services are a key to goodperformance and any manager should strive to make all his or heremployees customer service champions.
Theassignment has enhanced my knowledge on how to obtain loyalty fromcustomers. A business manager should encourage customer research toknow more about their expectations. Customer research allowsbusinesses to design products and services in a manner that meetcustomer expectations. Managers should aim to build long-lastingrelationships with customers instead of focusing on attracting newones. A good relationship with customers is an effective strategy ofmaking them loyal. I have learnt that there is a major differencebetween customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. It is verydifficult for a loyal customer to opt to buy goods and services fromrival competitors. On the other hand, a satisfied customer can easilygo for the rival competitor to compare the quality of services andproducts. Therefore, to become and remain an efficient manager, Iwill focus on making customers not just satisfied but loyal.