Marketing Mix

 

 

Subject Code & Name

MKTG2509: Service and Relationship Marketing

Assignment Title

Worst Service Encounter

Student ID & Name

 

Lecturer’s Name

 

Submission Date

 

 

Table of Contents

1.1 Introduction. 3

1.2 Discussion of Worst Service Encounter. 3

1.2.1 Analysis. 4

1.2.1.1 Five Dimensions of Service Quality. 4

1.2.1.2 Consumer Behavior (Pre-Purchase Stage) 5

1.2.1.3 Service encounters (Level of Customer Contact) 5

1.2.1.4 Customer satisfaction and perceived service quality. 5

1.3 Recommendations. 6

1.4 Discussion of lessons learned. 6

1.5 Conclusion. 7

1.6 Appendix. 8

 

 

 

1.1 Introduction

The service sector is increasingly gaining popularity in the current decade. For instance, the service industries in the UK account for 70% of the GDP (Lovelock et al, 2017). Even though a business might be dealing with a physical product, it must use services to sell it. The concept of service marketing incorporates coordinated marketing, focus on customers and profitability. This concept also helps firms to build lifetime ties with their customers. In this context, this report will evaluate my worst service encounter which was at Petsland store in Port Mall Shopping Centre from the perspective of service marketing.

1.2 Discussion of Worst Service Encounter

Cats are my favorite pets, and I have always wanted to buy one. I visited the Petsland store in Port Mall Shopping Centre to shop for a pet. However, comparing this store with other pet stores I had visited, the appearance and the environment of the store were not very positive and welcoming. The store had two adorable little kittens, and I moved closer and asked the employees if I could interact with the Kittens and probably buy one. The cashier was rude and resistant about interacting with the Kitten and insisted that if I was allowed to play with them, I was supposed to buy one. I felt very unwelcomed, and the urge to see the cats and even buy one disappeared. They unwillingly allowed me in the store to interact with the Kittens. After a few minutes, I was asked how serious I was about purchasing the cats. The environment made Me feel unwelcomed and taken for granted. Furthermore, the store imposed many charges on purchasing the kittens that were justified by claims that were not true. For instance, they claimed that they did not spay their Kittens because they had not yet attained the age for spaying and neutering. In addition, they stated that cats in the humane society are not available for adoption since their hormones are not yet at acceptable levels for spaying and neutering. They further stated that a cat is ready for the process several months after birth. In reality, this information is not true. Moreover, several spayed and neutered cats six weeks and older are available for adoption at the humane society. These lies killed my confidence and trust in the store. Generally, the entire encounter was not welcoming and very poor.

1.2.1 Analysis

1.2.1.1 Five Dimensions of Service Quality

I will use the five service quality dimensions to diagnose what went wrong with this service encounter. The five dimensions of service quality are reliability, empathy, assurance, responsiveness and tangibles. Firstly, reliability and assurance were very poor at this pet store. It is justified by the lies of the employees about the age of spaying and neutering the kittens. In addition, their statements about the humane society were false. It implies that the store fools the customers into buying their cats, assuming that the customers have little or no awareness about the matter. Therefore, these lies kill the trust of the customers in the store, and it makes them feel unassured about its ethical operations hence rendering it not a reliable source for buying pets.

Secondly, the tangibles in the store were not of the highest quality to trigger confidence in the clients. The lights in the store were dim, and the theme was dusty-brown. All pet stores should have a positive environment, but this one had a poor environment. The old-like appearance of the store made it look unprofessional. In addition, the presentability of the employees was poor. They had unclean uniforms, which contributed to the unprofessionalism and unwelcoming feeling of the store.

Thirdly, the empathy of the workers towards the customers was poor. Their rudeness and arrogance create a hostile environment around the store. Despite subjecting the customers to such as environment, they do not care about their feelings. Their attitude reflects that the store’s management only cares about the sales and not the pets in the store and the customer experience. The attitude I was subjected to made Me doubt if the store treated the cats appropriately.

Lastly, the responsiveness in the store is poor. The employees show minimal willingness to help the customers. They seem to be more concerned about their own time. Generally, the above factors made my service encounter horrible. Such an environment kills the consumers’ confidence.

1.2.1.2 Consumer Behavior (Pre-Purchase Stage)

According to Hartline et al (2020), the pre-purchase stage begins with the awareness of the needs, and it continues through the search for information and weighing of alternatives to determine whether or not to purchase a particular product or service. In my case, the need awareness was the desire to buy a pet. At this stage, searching for information is also a need. Before entering the store, I had acquired some information about it online from its website. However, according to Sivadas et al (2020), finding information about the firm easily does not imply that its services will be satisfactory.

1.2.1.3 Service encounters (Level of Customer Contact)

The service encounters can range from low to high contact. When there is direct contact between the clients and the store before, during and after services, the firm has high contact services (Olorunniwo et al, 2016). On the other hand, low-contact services imply that there is minimal physical contact between the providers of the service and the customers (Johnston & Lyth, 2021). In my case, the pet store offered high contact services. It is justified by my face-to-face encounter with the employees and our conversation. However, in the service process, it was I who showed a lot of interest in the pets, but the workers did not show the willingness to respond to my questions. Even though the store offered a high contact service, the services were not satisfactory.

1.2.1.4 Customer satisfaction and perceived service quality

In the service industry, the quality of the service is a vital factor in influencing customer satisfaction. According to Peter & Olson (2020), the higher the level of service quality, the more the satisfaction of the customers. According to Heskett (2020), the expectations of the customers and their perception of the service quality determines customer satisfaction. In my case, I was not satisfied with the store’s service quality. The workers were not fully performing their responsibilities of assisting customers and were disrespectful to me as a customer. The store’s poor customer care and the employees’ communication made me feel uncomfortable and unwanted.

1.3 Recommendations

Petsland can implement several measures to improve its customer service. These recommendations will be based on the three Ps in service marketing: people, process and physical evidence. The first recommendation is that the store should provide more customer care training to its workers. These workers did not portray the image of the store positively. According to Hole et al (2018), customers should never be subjected to rude language. In addition, the employees should portray body language that reflects their willingness to help the customers. The second recommendation is that the store needs to improve its service process. Unlike other pet stores, Petsland does not encourage customers to interact with the pets. Interacting with pets is a vital part of the purchase decision regarding pets (Rust et al, 2014). The last recommendation is that the store needs to improve its physical evidence. The store’s environment was unwelcoming and things looked boring. A boring environment kills the confidence of the customers. The store should invest in modern display racks and install soft upbeat music to enhance its atmosphere and experience.

1.4 Discussion of lessons learned

In evaluating the service encounters, I have learned the importance of considering the five dimensions of service quality in any business. The first lesson is that reliability and assurance are very important to improve customers’ loyalty and trust. According to Kauppinen-Räisänen & Grönroos (2015), a business should deliver the services it offers accurately to get the clients’ trust. It is key to improving the lifetime value of the customers. In addition, assuring your customers inspires confidence in your services. Perception of your services as reliable increases the purchasing power of the customers, and assurance makes them feel safe about their decision to purchase from the firm (Mahmood & Khan, 2014). The second lesson is that tangibles are important in improving customer experience. The difference between the environment created by Petsland and Toronto Dominion Bank of Australia was very different regarding the level of professionalism and confidence it inspired in consumers. It reflects the importance of the tangibles and how they influence customer perceptions. The third lesson is that empathy is important in any business. My treatment at Petsland and Toronto Dominion Bank of Australia was different, making empathy a critical aspect of any business. As a business, it is important to understand the customers’ needs and deliver them in a manner that will increase their purchasing power and make them long-term clients (Rust & Huang, 2014). Being empathetic makes your clients comfortable, and it increases their lifetime value. Lastly, responsiveness is key for any business. According to Hole et al (2018), the more a business responds to customers, the more satisfied they are. Therefore, for any business to succeed, it needs to prioritize the five dimensions of service quality.

1.5 Conclusion

This report provides findings from the analysis of my worst service encounter which was at the Petsland store at Port Mall Shopping Centre. From this report, it can be concluded that customer satisfaction relies on service quality. Sometimes a firm can have a high-quality product, but customer satisfaction will be low when the service quality is low. The loyalty and trust of the customers depend on their shopping experience at the firm.

 

 

1.6 Appendix

 

Name:   Tutorial: 
Name of Firm:  Home Depot
Type of Service (industry):  Construction goods and services
Date of Encounter: 15/7/2022 Time Encounter Occurred:   10 AM 

 

Journal Entry # 1

 

  1. What specific circumstances led to this encounter?

I was looking for a screw to fix my door lock

 

  1. Exactly what did the firm/employee say or do?

I approached the nearest employee for directions and details about the screw I was looking for. He responded to my questions and directed me to the screw section where I got the specific one I was looking for.

 

  1. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? (Circle the most appropriate number.)

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely dissatisfied           Extremely
satisfied

 

  1. What exactly made you feel that way?

There was a lot the firm could do to make my experience better.

 

  1. What could the employee/firm have done to make you happier with the encounter?

The employee could have walked me to the screw section and help me choose the best rather than just provide directions and let me do it on my own.

 

  1. How likely is it that you will go back to this service firm?

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely unlikely           Extremely
likely

 

 

  1. Why?

It is the nearest spare parts shop near my residence

 

 

  1. Please provide evidence of the service encounter (pictures of your experience/ servicescape/ store)

 

 

Name:   Tutorial: 
Name of Firm:  Petsland
Type of Service (industry):  Sale of Pets and Pet’s care Products
Date of Encounter: 1/8/2022 Time Encounter Occurred:   3 PM

 

Journal Entry # 2-Worst

 

  1. What specific circumstances led to this encounter?

I wanted to buy a Cat.

 

  1. Exactly what did the firm/employee say or do?

While in the store, I asked the cashier if I could play with the Kittens that were available. She rudely responded to me that if I played with the cats then I had to buy one.

 

  1. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? (Circle the most appropriate number.)

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely dissatisfied           Extremely
satisfied

 

 

 

 

  1. What exactly made you feel that way?

The employees were unwelcoming and the environment was boring

 

  1. What could the employee/firm have done to make you happier with the encounter?

The employees could have listened to me and willingly respond to my questions. It could have made me purchase the Cat and be a future customer. In addition, in purchasing of pets, it is important to interact with them first. Therefore, the employees could have allowed me to play with the pet first before making a decision of purchasing.

  1. How likely is it that you will go back to this service firm?

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely unlikely           Extremely
likely

 

 

  1. Why?

I was not satisfied with their customer service

 

 

  1. Please provide evidence of the service encounter (pictures of your experience/ servicescape/ store)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name:   Tutorial: 
Name of Firm:  Toronto Dominion Bank of Australia
Type of Service (industry):  Banking
Date of Encounter: 10/8/2022 Time Encounter Occurred:   4 PM 

 

Journal Entry # 3-Best

 

  1. What specific circumstances led to this encounter?

I wanted to withdraw tuition fee.

 

  1. Exactly what did the firm/employee say or do?

At the bank, the employees were dressed professionally and talked to me politely. One of the employees reached out and asked if she could help me with the process of fee payment. She guided me on how to make direct payments to the school account rather than carrying cash to the school.

  1. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? (Circle the most appropriate number.)

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely dissatisfied           Extremely
satisfied

 

  1. What exactly made you feel that way?

The employees respected the customers and made them number one priority.

 

  1. What could the employee/firm have done to make you happier with the encounter?

The encounter was the best and I couldn’t ask for more.

  1. How likely is it that you will go back to this service firm?

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely unlikely           Extremely
likely

 

 

  1. Why?

They have good quality services.

 

 

  1. Please provide evidence of the service encounter (pictures of your experience/ servicescape/ store)

 

 

 

Name:   Tutorial: 
Name of Firm:  KFC
Type of Service (industry):  Fast Food Restaurant
Date of Encounter: 15/8/2022 Time Encounter Occurred:   1 PM 

 

Journal Entry # 4

 

  1. What specific circumstances led to this encounter?

I was hungry and needed food.

 

  1. Exactly what did the firm/employee say or do?

The employee stared at me for a few minutes and only attended to me when I asked for the menu.

  1. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? (Circle the most appropriate number.)

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely dissatisfied           Extremely
satisfied

 

  1. What exactly made you feel that way?

The employees at such an international restaurant should be at the service of the customers immediately they enter the restaurant rather waiting for the customers to make the first move.

 

 

 

 

  1. What could the employee/firm have done to make you happier with the encounter?

The employee could have brought me the menu rather waiting for me to ask for it

  1. How likely is it that you will go back to this service firm?

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely unlikely           Extremely
likely

 

 

  • Why?

They have delicious meals.

 

 

  1. Please provide evidence of the service encounter (pictures of your experience/ servicescape/ store)

 

 

Name:   Tutorial: 
Name of Firm:  Kmart
Type of Service (industry):  Retail Company
Date of Encounter: 20/8/2022 Time Encounter Occurred:   2 PM 

 

Journal Entry # 5

 

  1. What specific circumstances led to this encounter?

I needed a new phone.

 

  1. Exactly what did the firm/employee say or do?

I asked the employee for the phone’s section and he directed me. He also answered my questions quickly so as to attend to other customers.

 

 

 

 

  1. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with this encounter? (Circle the most appropriate number.)

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely dissatisfied           Extremely
satisfied

 

  1. What exactly made you feel that way?

The employee did not give me the attention I needed.

 

  1. What could the employee/firm have done to make you happier with the encounter?

I am equally important like any other customer and he could have listened to all my questions and respond to them in detail.

  • How likely is it that you will go back to this service firm?

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Extremely unlikely           Extremely
likely

 

 

  1. Why?

Their products are quite affordable.

 

 

  1. Please provide evidence of the service encounter (pictures of your experience/ servicescape/ store)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Hartline, M.D., Maxham, J.G. & McKee Daryl, O. (2020), “Corridors of influence in the dissemination of customer-oriented strategy to customer contact service employees”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 64, pp. 35-50.

Heskett, J. (2020), Service Breakthrough, The Free Press, New York, NY.

Hole, Y., Pawar, S., & Bhaskar, M. P. (2018). Service marketing and quality strategies. Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences (PEN)6(1), 182-196.

Johnston, R. & Lyth, D. (2021), “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.

Kauppinen-Räisänen, H., & Grönroos, C. (2015). Are service marketing models really used in modern practice?. Journal of Service Management.

Lovelock, Christopher. H., Paul G. Patterson & Jochen Wirtz (2017), Essentials of Services Marketing, 2nd edition, Pearson Education South East Asia Pte. Ltd.

Mahmood, R., & Khan, S. M. (2014). Impact of service marketing mixes on customer perception: a study on Eastern Bank Limited, Bangladesh. European Journal of Business and Management6(34), 164-167.

Olorunniwo, F., Maxwell K. Hsu, & Godwin J. Udo, (2016) “Service quality, customer satisfaction, and behavioral intentions in the service factory”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 20 Iss: 1, pp.59 – 72

Peter, J.P. & Olson, J.C. (2020), Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy, Irwin, Homewood, IL.

Rust, R. T., & Huang, M. H. (2014). The service revolution and the transformation of marketing science. Marketing Science33(2), 206-221.

Rust, R. T., & Huang, M. H. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of service marketing research. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Sivada, E., Jamie L. & Baker P. (2020) “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.

 

What do you think?

Related Post