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Employee’s Role in Service

Employees’ Roles
in Service Delivery
• The Critical Importance of Service
• Boundary Spanning Roles
• Strategies for Closing Gap 3

Provider GAP 3


Service Delivery
Service Designs and

Part 4 Opener
Importance of service
• People – Frontline employees and those supporting
them from behind the scenes are critical to the
success of any service organizations
• They are the service. Ex : Doctors, trainers
• They are the organization in the customer’s eyes.
• They are the brand. Ex : Financial institutes
• They are marketers. They act as walking billboard
from promotional point of view. Ex : Bank tellers
cross sell bank products

Service Employees
• Their importance is evident in:
– The Services Marketing Mix (People)
– The Service-Profit Chain
– The Services Triangle
Boundary Spanning Roles
• Focus is on the frontline service employees
who interact directly with customers
• Boundary Spanners: Front line employees
are referred as Boundary spanners as they
operate in the boundary of the
• They perform functions in understanding,
filtering and interpreting information and
resources to and from the organization
Figure 11.4
Boundary Spanners Interact
with Both Internal and External
External Environment

Internal Environment
Boundary Spanning Roles
Emotional Labor

• All the boundary spanners are characterized by

Emotional Labor.
• Emotional Labor is the labor that Goes beyond
the physical or mental skills needed to deliver
quality service. Ex : Giving Smile, Having Eye
Contact, showing interest, friendly
• It often requires to suppress their true feelings
to deliver service

Figure 11.5
Sources of Conflict for
Boundary-Spanning Workers

•Pe rso n vs. R o le

•O rg a n iza tio n vs. C lie n t

•C lie n t vs. C lie n t

•Q u a lity vs. Pro d u ctivity
Sources of Conflict for
Boundary-Spanning Workers
 person/role conflict
• Boundary spanners feel conflicts between what they
are asked to do and their own personalities,
orientations or values are.
• Ex: wearing of dress as per the job requirement
 organization/client conflict
• Front line employees face the conflicts when te rules,
regulations of the organization are not customer
• They Get in conflict when customers have excessive
demands whether to obey customers or follow the
riles of organization
• Following the customer, might risk the job
Sources of Conflict for
Boundary-Spanning Workers
 Interclient conflict
• Conflict occurs for boundary spanners when
incompatible expectations and
requirements arise from two or more
• This occur when servicing customers in
turn(Doctor), or serving
• Time rendered for each customer, the
degree of interpersonal relationship
Sources of Conflict for
Boundary-Spanning Workers
 Quality/productivity conflict
• Front line workers are asked to be both effective and
• Frontline employees are asked to deliver courteous
service to employees and also reach their target
on time.
• This trade off between quality and quantity, and
effectiveness and efficiency put pressures on
service employees
• Internal support from understanding managers and
control over job task can help employees to handle
the quality/ productivity tradeoffs.
Figure 11.6
Human Resource Strategies for Closing
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rfo ice Right People

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Retain the Customer- Deliver



Oriented Service Delivery

Em th any

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am ot
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mp on



Se velo e
or rvic p s ur l
i a a
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Pr nter ted Provide In rvi ty
oc na
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Strategies for closing GAP 3
 Hire the right people
• Compete for the best people
• Hire for service competencies and Service
• Be the preferred employer
 Develop people to deliver Service
• Train for Technical and Interactive Skills
• Empower Employees
Strategies for closing GAP 3
Provide Needed Support Systems

• Measure Internal Service Quality

• Provide Supportive Technology and Equipment
• Develop Service – Oriented Internal processes
Retain the Best People

• Include Employees in the Company’s vision

• Treat Employees as customers
• Measure and Reward strong service performers

Customer’s Role in Service
How Customers Widen Gap
• Lack of understanding of their roles

• Not being willing or able to perform

their roles

• No rewards for “good performance”

• Interfering with other customers

• Incompatible, heterogeneous market

Importance of Customer in
Service Delivery
• Services are produced and consumed
• Customer play role in efficient service delivery.
• Customers influence the service delivery in two
• Customer receiving the service :
– Customers can influence the widening or
narrowing of the GAP3
– Depending on the Level of Customer
participation in service delivery influences the
Importance of Customers in
Service Delivery
Fellow Customers

• Other customers can detract from satisfaction:

– disruptive behaviors
– excessive crowding
– incompatible needs

• Other customers can enhance satisfaction:

– mere presence
– socialization/friendships
– roles: assistants, teachers, supporters
Figure 12.2
Customer Roles in Service
Productive Resources

Contributors to
Quality and

Customer’s role in Service
 Customers as Productive Resources

• “partial employees”
– contributing effort, time, or other resources to the
production process

– In B to B, the support of client ensures efficient service


• customer inputs can affect organization’s productivity

• Customers avoid in cocreation of service if they don’t

benefit from it

• key issue:
– should customers’ roles be expanded? reduced?
Customer’s role in Service
Customers as Contributors to Service Quality and


• Customers can contribute to

– their own satisfaction with the service
• by performing their role effectively. Ex: Health Care,
Fitness Programs

• by working with the service provider

– the quality of the service they receive

• by asking questions

• by taking responsibility for their own satisfaction

• IKEA wants its customers to understand that their role

is not to consume value but to create it.
Customer’s role in Service
Customers as Competitors

• customers may “compete” with the service provider

• “internal exchange”(produce the service themselves) vs. “external
exchange”(someone else provide service for them)
• internal/external decision often based on:
– Expertise capacity

– Resources capacity

– Time capacity

– economic rewards

– psychic rewards

– trust

– control
Figure 12.4
Strategies for Enhancing
Customer Participation

Recruit, Educate,
Define Customer Customer and Reward
Participation Customers

Manage the
Strategies for Enhancing
Customer Participation
Define customers’ jobs

The level of Customer participation depends on the

nature of the service.

• helping himself Ex: Land Records Kiosk

• helping others

• promoting the company. Ex: word of mouth

• Individual differences:
– not everyone wants to participate

– Few have the need for human interaction and so

avoid self services.
Strategies for Enhancing
Customer Participation
 Strategies for Recruiting, Educating, and Rewarding
• Recruit the right customers

– Attracting the right customers through advertising or personal


– To this customer can “self select” into or out of service.

• Educate and train customers to perform effectively

– Need to educate skill and knowledge to interact with employees

and other customers

– Orientation programs are Given for certain Services

– Orientations can be Place orientation or Function Orientation.

Signage can help educating customers.
Strategies for Enhancing
Customer Participation
• Reward customers for their contribution
– Rewards can be monetary savings,
psychological and physical benefits,
control over delivery process and time

– Not all customers are motivated by same

type of rewards

• Avoid negative outcomes of inappropriate

customer participation
Strategies for Enhancing
Customer Participation
 Manage the Customer Mix

• Customers frequently interact with each other in the

process of service delivery

• It is necessary to handle the mix of customers who can be


• The process of managing multiple and sometimes

conflicting segments is known as Compatibility

• Need to attract homogeneous customers

• Attract heterogeneous customers differently or at different

Delivering Service through
Intermediaries and Electronic
Service Provider Participants
• service principal (originator)
– creates the service concept
• (like a manufacturer)

• service deliverer (intermediary)
– entity that interacts with the
customer in the execution of the
• (like a distributor/wholesaler)
Services Intermediaries

– e.g., Jiffy Lube, H&R Block, McDonald’s

Agents and Brokers

• Agent is an service intermediary who acts on behalf of a service principal

• Agents can be selling agents and purchase agents

– e.g., travel agents, independent insurance agents

• Principal pays in the form of commission and not as salaries

• Broker is an intermediary who brings buyers and sellers together while assisting in

Electronic channels

– e.g., ATMs, university video courses, TaxCut software

Table 13.1
Benefits and Challenges for
Franchisers of Service
Benefits Challenges
Leveraged business •D ifficu lty in m a in ta in in g
format for greater a n d m o tiva tin g
expansion and fra n ch ise e s
revenues •H ig h ly p u b licize d
Consistency in
d isp u te s a n d co n flict
outlets •In co n siste n t q u a lity
Knowledge of local
•C o n tro lo f cu sto m e r
markets re la tio n sh ip b y
Shared financial risk
in te rm e d ia ry
and more working
Table 13.1 (Continued)

Benefits and Challenges for

Franchisees of Service
Benefits Challenges
An established •E n cro a ch m e n t
business format •D isa p p o in tin g p ro fits
National or regional a n d re ve n u e s
brand marketing •La ck o f p e rce ive d
Minimized risk of co n tro lo ve r o p e ra tio n s
starting a business •H ig h fe e s
Benefits and Challenges in
Distributing Services through
Agents and Brokers
Benefits Challenges
Reduced selling and •Lo ss o f co n tro lo ve r
distribution costs p ricin g a n d o th e r
Intermediary’s a sp e cts o f
possession of m a rke tin g
special skills and •R e p re se n ta tio n o f
knowledge m u ltip le se rvice
Wide representation p rin cip a ls
Knowledge of local

Customer choice
Table 13.3
Benefits and Challenges in
Electronic Distribution of
Benefits Challenges
Consistent delivery for
 •Customers are active, not passive
standardized services •Lack of control of electronic environment
•Price competition
Low cost

•Inability to customize with highly standardized
Customer convenience

•Lack of consistency with customer involvement
Wide distribution

•Requires changes in consumer behavior
•Security concerns
Customer choice and

•Competition from widening geographies
ability to customize •Computer literacy is essential
Quick customer

Strategies for Effective Service
Delivery through
Control Strategies Empowerment Strategies
• Measurement : •Help the
Appropriate rewards intermediary develop
are Given for top customer-oriented
performers service processes
• Review : Terminations, •Provide needed
non renewals, quotas support systems
are done. Expansion •Develop
Partnering Strategies
and encroachment are intermediaries to
used to control deliver service
•Alignment of goals quality
•Consultation and •Change to a
cooperation cooperative
management structure