services marketing

Distribution date to Students: Week 1 – 1st seminar
Date for Submission: Week 7 – Tuesday 1st November 2016

This assessment is designed to get you thinking about and applying theoretical constructs in your everyday activities. It is a two stage process. You are asked to record individual service encounters over a period of time as described below. You are then asked to produce a report analysing these encounters using a range of appropriate theoretical constructs. You are required to submit via Blackboard an electronic copy of the report and appendices by 23:59pm on Tuesday 1st November 2016

Rationale for Assignment
The goal of the service journal is to help you understand and evaluate the service encounter (i.e. the customer/client – service provider interaction; or, for example, the service interaction between two departments within an organisation). The journal is designed to help you record information about service encounters ranging from satisfactory to unsatisfactory.

Learning Outcomes to be met by the Assignment
A10, B10, C8, C10, D9

Knowledge and Skills to be assessed
Synthesis of theoretical constructs
Reflection on experiences

People have a number of service encounters each week, both at work and in their own time, with different service providers such as restaurants, banks, haircutters, utilities, government agencies, emergency services and so forth. You are required to record information service encounters, based on your own first-hand experience (ideally each week for five weeks) so 10 encounters in total. These encounters could be from any country, but most are likely to be UK based. The important thing is that you record details as soon as possible after the encounter.

Collect a variety of types of encounters (good and bad and for instance possibly try to include at least one not-for-profit organisation). Record only experiences that you are willing to share with the class. Do not record personal or sensitive topics. Record your information on the attached entry form. One blank copy is attached – make copies for yourself. Each entry will correspond to one service encounter in a given week. Journal entries should be typed so that they can be submitted electronically.

Record at least two encounters that were very satisfying and two encounters that were very dissatisfying. Be specific. (e.g., if the service encounter was by telephone, were you put on hold? How many times? For how long? What message/music was played? Etc.) The best way to complete a journal entry form is to fill it out immediately following a particular incident. If you try to do your entries from memory or do too many at one time, the quality of the entries is likely to suffer.

Develop one electronic copy of a report in which the service encounter journal entries are analysed. Use relevant course concepts in discussing your encounters. Be specific in your references to your service encounters (e.g. employee actions).

You are required to use THREE of the following constructs in your analysis
3 extra Ps of Service (People, Process, Physical Evidence)
Zone of Tolerance
Service Quality/Satisfaction vs Loyalty
Service Blueprints

In your report identify the sources and actions that seem to account for satisfaction (or effectiveness) or dissatisfaction with services.(e.g how would you describe yourself as a service customer/user?) Also, how would you describe yourself as a service provider? Refer to course concepts concerning the psychology of customer/user satisfaction. (e.g. what were your expectations regarding the different service encounters? What elements of the service seem to be most important for creating satisfaction? How do service operations and IT systems work together in these encounters?)

Assess the causes of performance problems in the services you encountered or delivered. What are the benefits to the organisation, customer/user and employee of correcting the performance problem? What are the costs of failing to take action? What are the alternative ways to improve service delivery? How difficult/costly would these changes be? What other information would be useful to assist in making improved decisions with regards to these service encounters?

Remember: We are looking for analysis of the encounters, with application of appropriate theoretical constructs. Students who spend most of their time and effort describing the encounters are missing the point, and will not score well.

The typed report should not exceed 2,000 double-spaced words, with the journal entries as appendices. Appendices and Bibliography and Executive summary do not count for word length (but the executive summary is to be no more than one and a half pages, and preferably less).

You do NOT need to link ALL of your encounters to each of the techniques that you have identified, but you are illustrating how some of them link (and hence your basis for identifying it as an issue in the first place)

Whatever way you do it, you should identify some recommendations as to what particular service organisations, or service marketers in general, should do following your experiences

You may have to read ahead in the book to use appropriate tools and techniques to cover your particular encounters (i.e. dont assume that the only tools and techniques that could be useful will have been covered in class prior to hand-in of the report)

The focus of the main report is NOT about describing the encounters the journal entries in the appendix do that. What you are trying to do is stand back from the detail of the particular entries to see what broad things you have found, in part by applying appropriate tools and techniques and then using selected examples from the encounters to flesh out the technique or point under discussion.

To encourage early participation, and to make sure that you are on track, all students should be prepared to give a progress check in class with examples of journals they have already captured during Week 4 seminar.

Suggested report format
Cover sheet
Executive Summary
Index page

1.0 Introduction
2.0 Methods/Procedures
3.0 Findings
3.1 Technique A (e.g. Zone of Tolerance)
3.2 Technique B
3.3 Technique C
4.0 Conclusions
5.0 Recommendations

Appendices (in this case the service journal entries themselves)

You will be assessed on the following

Use of course constructs
Explanation of main service issues
Communication as a business report
Marking Scheme Assessment 1 Service Encounter Journal

Mark range
Use of course
Appropriateness of recommendations
Communication as a business report
Excellent use of appropriate course constructs. Explains all of the main service issues very strongly supported by excellent analysis
Excellent recommendations, very strongly linked to preceding analysis
Excellent presentation, very well written. Excellent use of graphics to support the discussion
Excellent use of appropriate course constructs. Explains most of the main service issues supported by very good analysis
Very good recommendations, linked to preceding analysis
Very good presentation, very well written. Very good use of graphics to support the discussion
Good use of appropriate course constructs. Explains some of the main service issues supported by generally good analysis
Good recommendations, reasonably linked to preceding analysis
Good presentation, relatively well written. Reasonable use of graphics to support the discussion
Relatively poor use of some appropriate course constructs. Explains a few of the main service issues with variable linkage to analysis. Somewhat descriptive
Some recommendations, variable linkage to preceding analysis
Variable presentation, possibly slabs of text, poor flow. Variably written. Limited use of graphics
Poor use of few appropriate course constructs. Poor explanation of main service issues. Overly descriptive.
Poor recommendations, poorly linked to preceding analysis
Poor presentation, poorly written. Poor use of graphics
Below 30%
Very little/no use of course constructs. Little or no feel for service issues
Very poor/no recommendations, unsupported by analysis
Very poor presentation, very poorly written. Little or no use of graphics