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Article

Raymond P. Fisk, Alison M. Dean, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Alison Joubert, Josephine Previte, Nichola Robertson and Mark Scott Rosenbaum

The purpose of this paper is to challenge service researchers to design for service inclusion, with an overall goal of achieving inclusion by 2050. The authors present…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge service researchers to design for service inclusion, with an overall goal of achieving inclusion by 2050. The authors present service inclusion as an egalitarian system that provides customers with fair access to a service, fair treatment during a service and fair opportunity to exit a service.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on transformative service research, a transformative, human-centered approach to service design is proposed to foster service inclusion and to provide a platform for managerial action. This conceptual study explores the history of service exclusion and examines contemporary demographic trends that suggest the possibility of worsening service exclusion for consumers worldwide.

Findings

Service inclusion represents a paradigm shift to higher levels of understanding of service systems and their fundamental role in human well-being. The authors argue that focused design for service inclusion is necessary to make service systems more egalitarian.

Research limitations/implications

The authors propose four pillars of service inclusion: enabling opportunity, offering choice, relieving suffering and fostering happiness.

Practical implications

Service organizations are encouraged to design their offerings in a manner that promotes inclusion and permits customers to realize value.

Originality/value

This comprehensive research agenda challenges service scholars to use design to create inclusive service systems worldwide by the year 2050. The authors establish the moral imperative of design for service inclusion.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article

Alison M. Dean

Studies on call centres suggest that there is a focus on efficiency at the expense of effectiveness, where effectiveness is indicated by characteristics such as customer…

Abstract

Studies on call centres suggest that there is a focus on efficiency at the expense of effectiveness, where effectiveness is indicated by characteristics such as customer orientation, service priorities and quality. It therefore appears that customers will expect and experience low levels of service quality from call centres, with possible implications for their loyalty to the providing organisation. These issues are the focus of this study. A mail survey was conducted of recent clients of two call centres in Australia. The respondents were individual consumers in an insurance company (n = 284, 14 per cent) or business customers of a bank (n = 325, 16 per cent). Key findings are similar for the two samples. Both perceptions of quality and customer orientation of the call centre were related to loyalty to the providing organisation, and perceptions of quality partially mediated the customer orientation to loyalty relationship. The discussion includes managerial implications and potential future research.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article

Alison M. Dean and Al Rainnie

This paper aims to report on a study that investigated employees' views on the organizational factors that affect their ability to deliver service quality to customers…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a study that investigated employees' views on the organizational factors that affect their ability to deliver service quality to customers. The study is important because call centers represent unique work environments and they have not been used in the development of service quality theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten focus groups of frontline employees who work in a telecommunications call center in Australia were conducted. Data were subjected to content analysis.

Findings

Nine major themes were identified. Some of these themes are evident in theory arising from service quality gaps, service climate, and service profit chain studies. Other themes include whether managers emphasize sales or efficiency, rather than service quality; approaches to performance monitoring and feedback, role and productivity demands, quality assurance regimes, and employees' experiences of service encounter stress.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that various factors from prior work need to be integrated and extended to enhance service quality in call centers. However, data were collected from only one call center.

Practical implications

The present study suggests that to deliver high levels of service quality, call center managers need to rethink their approaches to productivity and performance management, and hiring and supporting the “right” service staff.

Originality/value

This paper re‐examines service quality in the specific context of call centers. It provides an organizational focus and complements recent work that has tested the role of employee attitudes in service quality studies. The paper concludes with a model for testing.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article

Marie Mikic Little and Alison M. Dean

Studies have demonstrated that the service climate in an organisation, as perceived by employees, is positively related to service quality, as perceived by customers…

Abstract

Purpose

Studies have demonstrated that the service climate in an organisation, as perceived by employees, is positively related to service quality, as perceived by customers. However, no studies appear to have tested the link to service quality from an employee perspective. Hence, the major aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between service climate, employee commitment and employees' service quality capability (SQC).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by a cross‐sectional field study of frontline employees in a telecommunications call centre (n=167; 58 percent). A call centre was chosen because of the perceived poor service climate and the high levels of employee turnover.

Findings

Global service climate (GSC) in the call centre was found to be positively related to employees' SQC, with partial mediation by employee commitment. Regression analysis showed that three factors: managerial practices, customer feedback and human resource management contributed to GSC but, unexpectedly, customer orientation did not.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate that the service climate in a call centre affects employees, both in terms of their commitment, and their self‐reported feelings about the delivery of service quality to customers. Unexpected findings suggest that further work on service climate in call centres is warranted.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates the important effects of service climate in general, and HRM in particular, on frontline employees in call centres. Managers should benefit from noting the links and the likely service quality outcome for customers.

Originality/value

This paper applies and extends theory developed in other contexts to call centres.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article

Alison M. Dean

Reported studies on call centers emphasize efficiency and control, with possible implications for service priorities, customer orientation and service quality. However…

Abstract

Reported studies on call centers emphasize efficiency and control, with possible implications for service priorities, customer orientation and service quality. However, there is little empirical research to test assumptions from the customer’s perspective. This study aimed to establish whether customers expected (predicted) low levels of service from a call center, how this level compared to the minimum level they considered adequate, and whether the perceived customer orientation of the call center was related to service quality expectations. Data were collected in Australia from two sources: end consumers (n = 289) of an insurance provider, and business customers (n = 325) of a bank. Key findings were similar for both samples. First, customers had very high levels of adequate (minimum) expectations, and adequate expectations behaved independently from predicted (forecast) expectations. Second, customer orientation was associated with predicted expectations but not adequate expectations. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research and managerial implications.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article

Amy Wong Ooi Mei, Alison M. Dean and Christopher J. White

Examines the dimensions of service quality in the hospitality industry by extending the SERVQUAL scale to include eight new items that specifically pertain to the…

Abstract

Examines the dimensions of service quality in the hospitality industry by extending the SERVQUAL scale to include eight new items that specifically pertain to the hospitality industry, subsequently referred to as HOLSERV. A total of 1,000 questionnaires were distributed at five mid‐luxury hotels in Australia during July to October 1998 and a response rate of 15.5 per cent achieved. Key findings of the study are that service quality is represented by three dimensions in the hospitality industry, relating to employees (behaviour and appearance), tangibles and reliability, and the best predictor of overall service quality is the dimensions referred to as “employees”. The findings also show that the one‐column format questionnaire provides a valid and reliable, but much shorter, survey. The major implication for managers is that improvements in the behaviour and appearance of their employees is most likely to enhance consumer perceptions of service quality.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article

Alison M. Dean

Studies in services management from the different perspectives of marketing, operations, human resources and psychology support the existence of a variety of links between…

Abstract

Studies in services management from the different perspectives of marketing, operations, human resources and psychology support the existence of a variety of links between organisations and their customers. The basic premise asserts that organisational characteristics and practices are linked to employee attitudes that are reflected in service quality outcomes, customer satisfaction and loyalty and, consequently, profit. Empirical studies support many of these associations and streams of research link them into linear sequences. However, the evidence is not unequivocal and this review challenges it by highlighting the complexity and non‐linearity of many of the proposed links, and the existence of reciprocity between certain variables. In synthesising the evidence in relation to the proposed links, the paper also identifies conceptual and methodological issues, unanswered questions and potential future research.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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Article

Alison M. Dean and Christopher Kiu

The increased use of contracting for service delivery involves new challenges in ensuring that quality is maintained. Performance monitoring involves both efficiency…

Abstract

The increased use of contracting for service delivery involves new challenges in ensuring that quality is maintained. Performance monitoring involves both efficiency (costs) and effectiveness (quality) measures; however, there is little guidance from the literature to indicate the best approaches in different contexts. This paper therefore reports on an exploratory study in which approaches to performance monitoring, and respondents’ views on best practice, were explored in contracted services. Key findings are that organisations rely on inspections by their own employees or contractor checklists, but that these practices are in conflict with their views on best practice. However, the respondents agreed that performance monitoring has a large effect on quality outcomes. Using both the literature and the study, a model has been developed that provides managers with a framework for improving their performance and quality monitoring practices, and highlights areas for future academic research.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article

Alison Dean and Ghada Talat Alhothali

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate service-for-service benefits emerging from co-creation in everyday banking. It does so by identifying factors that constitute the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate service-for-service benefits emerging from co-creation in everyday banking. It does so by identifying factors that constitute the joint provider/customer co-creation platform, distinguishing them from factors that facilitate customers’ independent value creation; and exploring benefits and potential opportunities for each party.

Design/methodology/approach

Insights were gained by using a qualitative approach involving 33 face-to-face interviews with bank managers (15) and their customers (18) in Saudi Arabia. Content analysis was performed on the data and the two sets of views integrated to compare the reality of service-for-service with theoretical assumptions.

Findings

The analysis identified 65 topics, clustered to 12 themes. Three themes represented joint, collaborative activity (problem solving, relationship building, and knowledge and learning) whilst other themes identified facilitation actions by banks. Key opportunities to increase mutual value (service-for-service) emerge from extending interaction via the co-creation platform but additional benefits from these opportunities are not currently realized by participants. The authors thereby note the potential of a service focus but suggest that the locus of value creation will not readily shift from the provider to a collaborative process of co-creation.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative nature of the study limits generalizability. However, the authors expect that the hierarchy of service-for-service will be meaningful in other contexts. Future research may use it as a starting point for identifying innovations from co-creation, how actors realize and measure service-for-service, and how different business models may strengthen value opportunities.

Practical implications

The findings provide managers with first, three areas of emphasis to gain and extend mutual service-for-service from direct interactions in everyday banking transactions. Second, the study emphasizes resource characteristics that will facilitate value enhancement for firms and customers by recognition of barriers to collaborative actions, and approaches for pursuit of service-for-service.

Originality/value

This study establishes the joint and essential firm/customer co-creation platform in retail banking and distinguishes the platform from other customer value-facilitation actions. The authors integrate the findings with previous literature and present a conceptual framework for levels of service-for-service in exchange. This framework shows a hierarchy of key benefits for providers and customers, and highlights increasing complexities that hinder the reality of achieving service-for-service opportunities arising from the joint co-creation platform.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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