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Marketing Services: Experience as Service Provider or Customer

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1.)"If a service is well designed, the employees cannot fail. If the service is poorly designed, the employees cannot succeed."

Have you ever experienced a service where policies, programs, design or any other factors made it impossible for employees to delight their customers (or fail to delight the customers)? Discuss with reference to the background material.

2.)The way you treat your employees is the way they'll treat your customer. Human resources cannot be separate from marketing in a service organization. The employees cannot be separated from production of the service. They are the service.

Using the readings as background:

~Choose 1 of these statements. Take a position: agree or disagree and explain why.

~ Drawing on your experience as a service provider or customer,
choose one example of a situation when you received and/or provided exceptionally good or exceptionally bad service. For example, as a service provider, were you motivated to go the extra mile? As a customer, did you have a bad experience and realize the employee was just doing his or her job?

Then discuss what insights you gained from the reading that gave you a new perspective. Analyze how you understand your experience more deeply. You might have a whole new interpretation of your experience. Spend much more time on analysis than on description.

3) Refer to the background readings.

One Background article notes that employees can experience
role conflict between marketing and providing service.
This conflict may occur in the medical field (advising versus
selling a patient on the need for expensive treatment), the
investment field (commission versus what's best for the client),
airlines (marketing versus safety) and others.


Pick one example of a service, preferably one where you have
worked. Analyze the challenges facing employees in
(a) training (e.g., trained to serve but expected to sell),
(b) motivation,
(c) customer expectations (think of what's expected of
flight attendants service and safety)

Then (very briefly) suggest ways employees and/or managers can deal
With these challenges.

Document will be evaluated on following assignment, analytical quality, clarity, use of background material, organization and understanding of concepts.

Here is the background readings for all 3 questions:

Background material ...

~Cutcher, L. 2008. Service sells: Exploring connections between customer service strategy and the psychological contract. Journal of Management and Organization. 14 (2) 116-126

~Schneider, Benamin (1994) Towards a customer-focused HRM. Inernational Journal of Service industry Management. 5 (1) 64-76.

~How El Al Airlines transformed its service strategy with employee participation
Ram Herstein, Yoram Mitki. Strategy & Leadership. Chicago: 2008. Vol. 36, Iss. 3; pg. 2 http://tinyurl.com/el-al-case.

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1. When companies decide to put forth efforts in areas like money management or security, they often lose the customer service aspect of the business because focus shifts to the alternative. There is also the possibility of losing good workers and managers when there are such shifts. Not only do the customers notice the differences and address them with workers and managers, but retraining may not be all that is needed by both.
In the case of a landscape company I hired, the lack of customer service and the emphasis on processing as many clients a day as possible created problems for not only myself, but other customers as well. The landscapers and gardeners were forced to work quickly and without much regard to individual needs and preferences. Nor were the workers able to address issues with specific plants or planting areas as efficiently as before. These new rules, setting time limits on the workers based on the square footage of the yards being worked with, forced some workers to abandon their jobs in hopes of finding work doing what they loved again. This in turn, meant even more issues for customers. Managers scrambled to keep customers happy while trying to hire and train people with at least some knowledge of landscaping.
An additional requirement was to try to sell the homeowner or business, expensive packages of plant upgrades. This was not a good idea since most of the landscapers preferred to work with the plants and the land and were not sales oriented. It created many difficult moments when customers, already feeling short changed in terms of plant upkeep and gardening, were now being asked to buy new products. This at a time when they felt they were not receiving good or needed current services at the level they expected or were paying for.
The company eventually sold to two former managers who returned the landscape artists to being landscapers, and moved customer service and excellent lawn and garden services to the forefront. They had to change the company name because of the poor reputation the old ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses marketing services that includes an experience as a service provide or customer