Service Encounter Report
The purpose of this report is to critically evaluate the services encounter using service marketing perspective. In order to do this report, I had experience few service industries around Kota Kinabalu area. I had took six encounters service as my journal entries and two of the journal entries will use to develop this report which is the most and least satisfactory service encounter. The encounters that I had chosen will reflect different type of satisfaction and service industries. The extremely satisfied service will be encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co and the extremely dissatisfied service was the Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo. 2.1 Consumer Behavior (Pre-purchase stage)
Lovelock et al. (2012) declare that pre-purchase stage start with need awareness and continue though information search and evaluation of alternatives to deciding whether or not to buy a particular product or service. For extremely satisfied service (Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co), my need awareness was I need to service my printer in order to have good printing work. In the other hand, for extremely dissatisfied service (Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo), my need awareness would be I need to accompany my brother went to this firm to buy a mobile phone. Information search will be also need at the pre-purchase stage, for extremely satisfied service (Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co), the information search was before the service was occur. Before I bring the printer for service in this firm, I had evaluated several firms and compare the price and the attitude of the employee.
Meanwhile, for extremely dissatisfied service (Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo), I had searched the information form online sources which was the firm website. Before went to this firm, I had evaluated several similar firm for the price though online. For encounter 1, there was easier to get information though online, but encounter 4 will consumers time to find information. However, easier to get information does not mean the real service receive will satisfy customer. I think easier to get information is just the extra service provided by the firm. 2.2 The service encounters (Level of customer contact)
The service encounter range can be from high contact to low contact. High contact services mean that there is a direct contact between customers and the firm before, during and after the service. Meanwhile, low contact services will involve little physical contact between customers and service providers (Lovelock et al. 2012). In my case, both extremely satisfied and extremely dissatisfied were high contact services. This is because both services have to meet face to face and having conservation between me and the employee.
For extremely satisfied service (Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co), the employee has a good communication with me. The employee answering my question very well and I felt I would like to ask the employee because the employee was showing his friendly and kindness. In the other hand, for extremely dissatisfied service (Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo) the employee was not answering my question very well and in the service process just me has the willingness to ask the question but employee do not has the willingness to answer my question. This service should be a high contact services but in my case I feel that this service was in this range. 2.3 Critical incidents in service encounters
The critical incident in my service encounter is the service by the employee. The employee plays an important role in a particular firm. Normally, the employee will represent the entire of the firm. In many industries that customer satisfaction is dependent on customers’ perceptions of the performance quality of service employees (Hartline et al., 2000). In my case, for extremely satisfied service (Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co), the employee has a giving me a very good service and this can make me feel happy and I may has repurchase intention. On the other hand, for extremely dissatisfied service (Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo), the employee was not giving a good service and this can make me anger and may not visit this firm anymore. Moreover, the environment also a critical incident in my service encounters. The environment will influence the purchasing behavior. For example, if the place where the service will occur is dirty, then the customer may want to consider first before the customer will purchase the service.
In my case, for extremely satisfied service (Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co), the environment was not so comfortable. This is because the firm did not provide enough space for a customer. But the environment was not dirty and not noisy, so I still can say I am satisfied with the environment. On the other hand, for extremely dissatisfied service (Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo), the environment was not good. There were too many people in the firm and the surrounding was very noisy, this make me feel very uncomfortable. The surrounding area can also be say as a reason why I extremely dissatisfied to the firm. 2.4 Customer satisfaction and perceived service quality
Service quality as an important factor to influences the customer satisfaction on the service industries (Eugene and Jamie, 2000 ; Festus et al., 2006). The higher the level of service quality, the more satisfied the customers. Therefore, customer satisfaction is based on customer expectations and perception of service quality (Johnston and Lyth, 1991). Disconfirmation has been given attention where disconfirmation refers to the gap between pre purchase expectations and perceptions of post purchase (Peter and Olson, 1990). As mentioned before, the extremely satisfied service will be Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co and the extremely dissatisfied service was the Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo. For extremely satisfied service (Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co), I am very satisfy to the service quality because the employee did a very good job in explaining and giving me suggestion regard to my question. The employee explained in detail what is wrong with the printer and ask question that related to the printer to know more about the printer and given me suggestion and solution. The employee was very patient in explaining the problem and solution for me.
This makes me feel that the employee have a lot of experience in this service and the employee is professional in that particular service. Meanwhile, for extremely dissatisfied service (Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo), I am not satisfy to the service quality because the employee was not doing his job in assisting customer. The employee of this company was not showing their respect to me as a customer. The ways the employee communicates is really worst and this make me feel really uncomfortable. The employee did not communicate in a proper manner. The employee speaking tone is high and seem like do not want to answer my question. When I was asking a question, the others employee sit beside that particular employee answer my question. 3.0 Recommendation
For extremely satisfied service (Encounter 4: LHS Quality Software Co), my recommendation will be provided more place and seat to customer because customer may feel uncomfortable with limit space and do not have a seat while in the process of waiting. Lesson other service organisation can learn from this service encounter is the behavior of the employee. The employee is very friendly and willing to help. In the other hand, for extremely dissatisfied service (Encounter 1: Digi center @1borneo), my recommendation will be the employee should be retrain or the firm should make the employee satisfaction increase so that the employee can serve the customer the best. This is because the customer satisfaction as being rooted in employee satisfaction (Heskett, 1990). 4.0 Conclusion
From the overall of my report, I think that service quality is very important in determine the customer satisfaction. Sometime even though the product quality is high but the service quality is low, this can influence the customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction will influence the loyalty and repurchase intention.
1. Lovelock, Christopher. H., Paul G. Patterson and Jochen Wirtz (2012), Essentials of Services Marketing, 2nd edition, Pearson Education South East Asia Pte. Ltd. 2. Hartline, M.D., Maxham, J.G. and McKee Daryl, O. (2000), “Corridors of influence in the dissemination of customer-oriented strategy to customer contact service employees”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 64, pp. 35-50. 3. Eugene Sivadas, Jamie L. Baker-Prewitt, (2000) “An examination of the relationship between service quality, customer satisfaction, and store loyalty”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 28 Iss: 2, pp.73 – 82. 4. Festus Olorunniwo, Maxwell K. Hsu, Godwin J. Udo, (2006) “Service quality, customer satisfaction, and behavioral intentions in the service factory”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 20 Iss: 1, pp.59 – 72 5. Johnston, R. and Lyth, D. (1991), “Implementing the integration of customer expectations and operational capabilities”, in Brown, S., Gummesson, E., Edvardsson, B. and Gustavsson, B. (Eds), Service Quality: Multidisciplinary and Multinational Perspectives, Lexington Books, Lanham,
MD, pp. 179-90. 6. Peter, J.P. and Olson, J.C. (1990), Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy, Irwin, Homewood, IL. 7. Heskett, J. (1990), Service Breakthrough, The Free Press, New York, NY.
Service Encounter Report