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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1988

Ivor P. Morgan

Close inspection of many services reveals them to be multiple services (multi‐services). Many others, such as ski resorts, entertainment centres, motorway service

Abstract

Close inspection of many services reveals them to be multiple services (multi‐services). Many others, such as ski resorts, entertainment centres, motorway service complexes and restaurant/hotel developments, are more obviously of a multi‐service type. The inter‐relationship of the component services of a multi‐service is often closely held by the entrepreneur during the early stages of the venture, and may still be the subject of experimentation. Moving from entrepreneurial to professional management requires definition of these service inter‐relationships. Division of the concept into its components to simplify control, and the use of separate performance maximising incentives are hazardous approaches. The first objective of new control systems should be to replicate the entrepreneurial multi‐concept service. Experimentation should be left until later.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2011

F. Ponsignon, P.A. Smart and R.S. Maull

The aim of this paper is to explore and empirically investigate the characteristics and contingencies of service delivery system design.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore and empirically investigate the characteristics and contingencies of service delivery system design.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by the service strategy triad, a single embedded case study was designed to explore empirical data on four target markets, four service concepts, and on the design characteristics of the corresponding four service delivery systems. Data were collected in a market‐leading organisation in the business‐to‐business sector within the power industry. The service delivery systems comprise processes that sell electricity contracts and processes that bill against those contracts.

Findings

First, the findings indicate what design characteristics are contingent upon the degree of customisation of the service concept. The authors show how this contingency has implications for the extents of employee skills, employee discretion, task routineness, automation, and for front office (FO)‐back office (BO) configurations. Second, the authors challenge the consensus that low customer‐contact processes are designed for the purpose of efficiency. Third, the findings contradict Metters and Vargas who state that it is not possible to have different FO‐BO configurations in a single organisation.

Research limitations/implications

While there are major interactions between the four service delivery systems supporting each individual service concept, this paper does not examine the trade‐offs between the various possible designs of these service delivery systems.

Practical implications

The paper emphasises the importance of considering the complexity of the service offering, the customer relationship strategy, and of taking a process‐orientation to address service delivery system design.

Originality/value

This paper extends current understanding of service delivery system design characteristics and contingencies. The authors show how design characteristics are contingent on the service concept. Research propositions are formulated to emphasise this contingency. Additionally, we report findings which challenge existing FO‐BO design theory.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Dominik Mahr, Susan Stead and Gaby Odekerken-Schröder

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the concepts and theories underlying customer service experience (CSE) and its underlying five dimensions (physical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the concepts and theories underlying customer service experience (CSE) and its underlying five dimensions (physical, social, cognitive, affective and sensorial). In this research, the contribution of the sensorial dimension to CSE research is emphasized. Senses are especially important in forming perceptions within servicescapes that are typically rich in sensory stimuli.

Design/methodology/approach

This study systematically identifies 258 articles published between 1994 and 2018 in services and marketing journals. The analysis uses a text mining approach with the Leximancer software to extract research concepts and their relationships.

Findings

The results demonstrate a shift from CSE research focused on brands and products toward value and interaction, around three focal areas: service system architecture, with its value creation processes; servicescape, with an increasingly digital interaction interface and outcome measures, with a stronger focus on emotional and relational metrics. In CSE research, the physical, social and cognitive dimensions are mostly researched in the focal areas of servicescape and outcome measures. Although important in practice, the sensorial dimension is the least investigated CSE dimension in service marketing research. Text mining insights demonstrate rich opportunities for sensorial research, particularly in studies on servicescape.

Practical implications

The synthesis will inform managers and service providers which elements of CSE are most relevant to customers when forming perceptions. These insights help service providers to control, manage and design (multi)-sensory stimuli that influence how customers will make sense of the servicescape.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first studies to examine the conceptual structure of CSE with a text mining approach that systematically analyzes a large set of articles, therein reducing the potential for researchers’ interpretative bias. The paper provides an assessment of the role of the largely neglected but crucial sensorial dimension, and offers future research suggestions into this emerging topic.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2019

Josephine Previte and Nichola Robertson

Transformative service research (TSR) and social marketing share a common goal, which is to institute social change that improves individual and societal well-being…

Abstract

Purpose

Transformative service research (TSR) and social marketing share a common goal, which is to institute social change that improves individual and societal well-being. However, the mechanism via which such improved well-being results or so-called “transformation” occurs, is not well understood. The purpose of this paper is to examine the claims made in the TSR literature to identity the themes and scholarly meaning of “transformative” service exchange; ascertain the mechanisms used in service contexts to realize transformation, including to motivate long-term, sustainable societal change; and develop a transformative service exchange continuum to guide research and managerial approaches that aim to create uplifting social change. The authors recommend their continuum as a framework to inform how social marketing and service scholars design service solutions to address wicked social problems.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a qualitative study where Leximancer, a text-mining tool, is used to visualize the structure of themes and concepts that define transformative service exchanges as explained and applied in the literature. Additionally, a profiling analysis of transformation as it is discussed in the TSR literature is used to identify the mechanisms that service marketers have developed to establish current theorization of service thinking for social change. These qualitative phases of analysis then inform the development of the transformative service exchange continuum.

Findings

A scoping review identified 51 articles across 12 journals, based on this study’s selection criteria for identifying transformative service exchanges. The Leximancer analysis systematically and efficiently guided the authors’ interpretation of the large data corpus and was used in the identification of service themes. The use of text-mining software afforded a detailed lens to enrich the authors’ interpretation and clarification of six high-level concepts for inclusion on a transformative service exchange continuum.

Originality/value

This paper aims to unpack the meaning of transformative service exchange by highlighting the mechanism(s) used by researchers when designing social change outcomes. It contributes to TSR via the development of the continuum across micro, meso and macro levels. The temporal nature of transformative service exchanges is also elucidated. This continuum integrates current TSR studies and can guide future service studies in the TSR and social marketing domains.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2010

Rajesh Karunamurthy, Ferhat Khendek and Roch H. Glitho

A web service is a software system designed to support interoperable machine‐to‐machine or application‐to‐application interactions over networks. Descriptions enable web…

Abstract

Purpose

A web service is a software system designed to support interoperable machine‐to‐machine or application‐to‐application interactions over networks. Descriptions enable web services to be discovered, used by other web services, and composed into new web services. Web service composition is a mechanism for creating new web services by reusing existing ones. In order to compose a web service, the right primitive services have to be discovered. A matchmaking technique enables discovering these services. Web services have functional, non‐functional, behavioral, and semantic characteristics. These four aspects of web services provide different key information about the service; therefore they have to be considered for description, matching, and composition. The purpose of this paper is to propose a formal description framework and a formal matchmaking technique that allows describing and discovering web services by considering their four characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the description framework combines two existing languages for functional, semantic, and behavioral description, along with a simple and new language for non‐functional description.

Findings

A case study is used to illustrate the description framework and the matchmaking technique. The implementation and performance evaluation of the matchmaking technique is presented. The framework formalizes and integrates the languages in a common semantic domain in order to match and manipulate the different aspects together and formally. Isabelle is used by the matchmaking technique for discovering the partially and fully matched services.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper lies in the new description framework and the new matchmaking technique.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

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Article
Publication date: 17 November 2014

Johan Anselmsson and Ulf Johansson

The overall purpose of this study is to enhance the understanding of customer perceived service quality within grocery retailing in a North European context. We do this by…

Abstract

Purpose

The overall purpose of this study is to enhance the understanding of customer perceived service quality within grocery retailing in a North European context. We do this by comparing customer perceived service quality evaluations of the traditional supermarket store with evaluations of the discount store.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on empirical data from four store cases (two traditional and two discount stores), including information gained from a total of 542 respondents. In the study, we have used and tested a model of grocery store service quality, presented in Vázquez et al. (2001), with structural equation modelling (LISREL) and traditional multivariate analysis (SPSS).

Findings

The ability of the Vázquez et al. (2001) model to capture customer perceived quality was below 40 per cent for both concepts which signals limited relevance and that important dimensions in the service evaluation could be missing for both of the two concepts, at least in a North European context. The results show that the traditional supermarket outperforms the discount stores on all service aspects but availability and reliability. When comparing the determinants of the service quality evaluation, the two concepts are very similar. Finally, the overall results regarding determinants of service quality show resemblance to retail studies in other countries and cultures.

Research limitations/implications

This study has been limited to investigate service quality in Sweden and from two out of at least five possible retail concepts. As the explanatory power of the model is limited, future studies should explore other possible determinants of service quality, e.g. the role of technological innovations.

Practical implications

Kotler and Keller (2012) proposes five generic differentiation strategies: product, service, people, channels and image. The results suggest that traditional grocery stores that choose to differentiate and position themselves by focusing on service rather than physical product differentiation should work with assortment issues as well. In order to decide which aspect of service to choose and promote, companies should emphasise differences that are considered important by customers, distinct from competitors and superior in terms of delivering the overall benefit – in this case – in terms of service quality. The results show that the policy dimension would satisfy all three criterions.

Social implications

The study enhances the understanding of customer perceived service quality within grocery retailing, specifically in comparison between the supermarket and the discount store concept.

Originality/value

This study is the first to focus on whether there is a divergence in service quality and service quality measuring between the traditional supermarket concept and the growing discount concept, and if so to what extent. Furthermore, it is a test of a model that has gained acceptance in Latin and South European countries, but in the context of Northern Europe.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Ahmad Beltagui, Kjartan Sigurdsson, Marina Candi and Johann C.K.H. Riedel

The purpose of this paper is to propose a solution to the challenges of professional service firms (PSF), which are referred to as cat herding, opaque quality and lack of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a solution to the challenges of professional service firms (PSF), which are referred to as cat herding, opaque quality and lack of process standardization. These result from misalignment in the mental pictures that managers, employees and customers have of the service. The study demonstrates how the process of articulating a shared service concept reduces these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative methodology is used to analyze the perspectives of old management, new management and employees during organizational change in a PSF – a website design company growing to offer full-service branding. Group narratives are constructed using longitudinal data gathered through interviews and fieldwork, in order to compare the misaligned mental pictures and show the benefits of articulating the service concept.

Findings

Professional employees view growth and change as threats to their culture and practice, particularly when new management seeks to standardize processes. These threats are revealed to stem from misinterpretations caused by miscommunication of intentions and lack of participation in decision making. Articulating a shared service concept helps to align understanding and return the firm to equilibrium.

Research limitations/implications

The narrative methodology helps unpack conflicting perspectives, but is open to claims of subjectivity and misrepresentation. To ensure fairness and trustworthiness, informants were invited to review and approve the narratives.

Originality/value

The study contributes propositions related to the value of articulating a shared service concept as a means of minimizing the challenges of PSFs.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Jakob Trischler, Simon J. Pervan and Donald Robert Scott

Many firms use customer co-creation practices with the aim of benefiting from their customers’ knowledge, skills and resources. This paper aims to explore co-creation…

Abstract

Purpose

Many firms use customer co-creation practices with the aim of benefiting from their customers’ knowledge, skills and resources. This paper aims to explore co-creation processes which involve users with different background characteristics and motivational drivers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study builds on an analysis of data from six teams in which users collaborated with in-house professionals for the development of new service concepts. Observations and open-ended questionnaires provided insights into the teams’ development processes. Independent experts rated the generated concepts. The data were analysed using cross-comparison matrices.

Findings

The findings suggest that the co-creation process and outcomes can be influenced by numerous intra-team factors, including relationship and task conflicts, participation style, team bonding, team identity and cohesiveness and intra-team collaboration. Their occurrence and influence seem to be linked with a specific team composition. A conceptual co-creation process model and six propositions are used to describe the complex relationships between team composition, intra-team factors and key innovation outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

Research that investigates user involvement in teams needs to consider the complexity of intra-team factors affecting the development process and outcomes. The findings are limited to a specific setting, design task and user sample. Future research should replicate this study in different sectors.

Practical implications

Key to customer co-creation is the systematic recruitment of users based on their background characteristics and motivational drivers. For instance, the involvement of users with very specific innovation-related benefit expectations can cause conflict, leading to narrowly focused outcomes. This, however, can be mitigated by the form of facilitation and roles adopted by in-house professionals. Understanding intra-team dynamics can allow the firm to assemble and facilitate customer co-creation so that generated outcomes can align with set innovation targets.

Originality/value

This paper provides original insights into the “black box” of the customer co-creation process and the complex relationship between team composition, intra-team factors and key innovation outcomes.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Fariborz Y. Partovi

This article presents an analytical method for quantifying Heskett’s “Strategic service vision”. The model, which is based on quality function deployment (QFD), and…

Abstract

This article presents an analytical method for quantifying Heskett’s “Strategic service vision”. The model, which is based on quality function deployment (QFD), and benchmarking, starts with two matrices in series to relate market segments, service concepts, and various processes, as rows and columns of interconnected QFD matrices. In addition, analytic hierarchy process (AHP), a decision‐making tool, is used to determine the intensity of the relationship between the row and column variables of each matrix, while analytic network process (ANP), an extension of AHP, is used to determine the intensity of synergy effects among column variables. Finally, benchmarking is used to suggest potential breakthroughs in service delivery. Ultimately, the goal of these matrices and benchmarking is to add fine‐tuning and precision to an otherwise qualitative strategic decision making process. To demonstrate the applicability of our proposed model to service organizations we develop its basic concepts within the framework of a specific example serving as a background.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

Mikko Punakivi and Juha Saranen

Efforts in the electronic grocery shopping, i.e. e‐grocery business, focus especially on the physical distribution of the goods. For example, in the USA there are several…

Abstract

Efforts in the electronic grocery shopping, i.e. e‐grocery business, focus especially on the physical distribution of the goods. For example, in the USA there are several e‐grocery service providers with various operating concepts and offering various service levels. The home delivery concept of Streamline is based on a reception box at the customer’s garage or home yard enabling unmanned reception. In contrast, WebVan has launched a home delivery concept where the customer can select a convenient half an hour delivery time window. Various service concepts have been implemented and offered, but has anyone really analysed the differences in cost structures of these two and of other concepts in between the two extremes? Investigates existing home delivery service concepts from different angles and presents concrete simulation results of various parameters representing several home delivery service levels. Eventually, identifying the parameters will give guidelines for the future development of the e‐grocery home delivery services.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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