In the contemporary world, the need for quality services to the customers increases every day. The industries that offer services to the customers range from transport industry to hotel industry among others. There is ideas, models, and techniques that help in understanding the customers to facilitate delivering quality services that guarantee customers satisfaction. Also, the gap model of customers' expectation and perceptions facilitates to the success of organizations that offers customer service. In this paper I will conduct a critique on the purpose, application and limitation of service context, understanding customers type and the gaps model-customer expectation and perceptions and how they may contribute to the success of service organization.
Purpose of service context
Service concept has been defined in various ways over the years. It is defined as how organization or company likes it services perceived by their shareholders, customers, lenders, and employees. Service concept helps an organization or a company to avail a concept for its customers and employees with what they sell and buy. It ought to give the staff and the managers a focus on the kind of services they have been providing to the customer. By defining the service concept, high levels of services are realized by the companies among the customers. Furthermore, the service concept is important in the development of business. It is an important strategy as well between the strategy of the business and service product delivery. It is critical to know that service concept helps to show customers the importance or benefit of the service to them that is both intangible and the tangible. This intern can show the value of the service which has been provided to them. The service concept in general aids the organization to put emphasizes on the values it can provide to customers.
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Application of service context
Service concept can be categorized into three main stages. First organizing ideas this provides the importance of service used or bought by the customers. Secondly, the service experience which is a direct experience of the service process to the customer to which is of concern to the way the service provider handles his or her customer. Metso is an example of a successful business in terms of theories, techniques, ideas, and concepts. They supply technology and services to customers. Metso service concept comprises of performance services which improve the performance of the environment, increases the efficiency of the products, and optimizes quality. Availability of services maximizes the availability of assets. Finally, engineering services help in the completion of projects on time and within the planned budget. It also helps in maintaining and developing personal competence.
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Limitations of service context
One problem experienced when applying service concept in business is that different departments or sectors of the business will have conflicting and different views most likely on how to make an improvement. For example, McDonalds financial executive may come up with a suggestion of cutting down the cost by minimizing the staff. However, the managers may fail to emblaze the suggestion by arguing that the less stuff might make the services to the customer suffer. Different departments belonging to the same business are concerned about different issues. Therefore, it is not possible to apply service concept that everyone will be happy with.
Another problem of the theory of service concept is that strategy issues are also included, for example placing of the business in the same position with its competitors in the market. This may cause or have big effects on the strategic decisions made by the business hence cannot always be applied to all businesses.
Furthermore, the service concept theory is profit based of which it is not always the case with all businesses. For example, the sales sector in a car hire company is based on the profit and revenue made whereas the repair sector is based on cost and it cannot be measured on the amount of profit made. According to grove not all businesses are profit making so it can be difficult to determine the level of success in situations where measures are based on profit.
Theory of understanding customers
According to chang the most common theory of understanding customers is the client perception theory. Consumer perception theory attempts to explain the behavior of a customer by analyzing the motivations that lead to buying or not buying particular services or products. The theory encompasses price perception, self-perception as well as benefit perception. The price opinion is shaped by the perceived quality of services offered and comparison of the cost with other entities providing similar services. Price perception has an influence on whether the customers get satisfaction with the purchase and whether they would come back in the future. On the other hand, self-perception helps in developing an understanding that motivates the one's behavior. It relates the value and motivations that influence the behavior of buying.
The key to offering good and quality services to customers is to understand them. Knowing your customer's wells such that you can anticipate what they need and exceed their expectations ensures great customer care services. This requires that you are attentive to them anytime you encounter them. There are three principle ideas to understand the customers better. One is putting oneself in the shoes of the customers and trying to look at the organization from the customers point of view. It is imperative to take a proper review at the locations in which the customers have contact with your business. The points may range from phone calls, visits and meetings to deliveries and correspondence. You should deliver what promised to the customers and ensure that it exceeds their expectations. Evaluating the service in the organizations from the customers point of view facilitates the enhancement of the services offered.
The other way to understand the customers is by using data. Relevant information regarding the customers is held in the Customer Relationship Management System. Reviewing the information will help in understanding what the customers require. The data helps in analyzing the rate of delivering services to the customers and the performance of the organization. The information can help in retaining the customers and enhancing their satisfaction. However, this idea of understanding the customers may be hindered by the inconsistent of the data.
The last way of understanding the customer is by asking them what they think. This is done by conducting a survey regarding the client satisfaction. The study makes the customers feel that they are valued, and the organization gains valuable insights from them. The survey may expose thing that the management is not aware of because not all customers complain when not satisfied with the services offered. Instead, they talk about that with their friends and opt taking their business somewhere else. Additionally, it is important to establish a customer contact platform that will ensure you are in touch with the clients consistently. The survey facilitates the initiation of programs directed to enhance customer services. However, it is good not to enquire for customers feedback when not ready to enact changes. In addition, when changes are implemented as a result of the customers feedback, it is good to ensure that they know about the changes.
The gaps model-customer expectation and perceptions
The customer gap refers to the difference between the expectations of customers and their perceptions. The expectation of a Customer is what the customer anticipates in accordance to existing resources. The expectation is influenced by factors such as lifestyle of a family, cultural background of the client, demographics, and the advertisements regarding the services of products. Additionally, the experience of the customer with similar products and services, personality, as well as the information available on all platforms associated with the services or product in question. On the other hand, the perception of a Customer is entirely independent and is based on the interaction of the client with the services or products provided by an organization. The Perception is derived from the satisfaction of the customer from a particular product or service and the quality at which the service is delivered. The consumer gap is an essential gap, and in an ideal world, the expectations of customers would be almost indistinguishable to their perceptions. In a strategy that is oriented towards customers, delivering a quality service for a particular product is facilitated by having a strong understanding of the targeted market. Understanding of the needs associated with the customers, and knowing their expectations is the best way to close the gap.
The model is applied especially when an organization offering services to their clients intends to introduce new services in their system. The company should conduct an adequate market research to find out whether the services would be demanded and the features are that need incorporation. The gap existing between the prospects and insights of the customers is reduced significantly when the research process is comprehensive. Additionally, it is important to gauge the satisfaction of the consumer immediately after delivering the services. Further, the model ensures that channels of communication between the top management and the personnel in contact with the customers are enhanced. There must be few levels in the line of communication to increase the chances of incorporating customers preferences in the decision-making.
Limitations of the model
Despite the fact that the model is widely used in the organizations that provide services to the customers, it has some limitations. The most common limitation of the client expectation and perception gap model is that the model is only applicable in businesses that offer services but not those which provide tangible goods. The another limitation is that the model does not recognize the technical features of the services provided as important part of the process. The design aims primarily at measuring the functional aspects related to the process of providing the services. Additionally, in the case of businesses such as restaurant, the implementation of the model is challenging because the expectation and perception of the customer can only be compared after the client finishes the meal. There are potential issues that might occur since the expectations are formed before the meal is offered. In such a situation, the measurement of the quality of service appears inapplicable. Customer expectations are only created about the previous experiences of services offered. On the other hand, previous experiences have insignificant influence to the customer perception because it can change towards same service offer since a new expectation regarding the same service can be created making the validity of the model measurement reduce with time.
These techniques, factors and theories altogether are a part of crucial elements of reaching the right necessary objectives and aims set, which assist in building , developing and improving a service organization that do exist. Over 50 percent of organizations do not survive in their first years and thus it is substantial that service organisations flourish and grow as well as deliver services of high quality. Service context for example is a service that all organisation wish to create in order to be successful.
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