Chapter 7: Managing the Customer Mix Because the customer participates in the delivery process, s/he can behave in ways that are appropriate or inappropriate, effective or ineffective, productive or unproductive.
Importance of Other (“Fellow”) Customers in Service Delivery Other customers can detract from satisfaction: disruptive behaviors; overly demanding behaviors; excessive crowding; incompatible needs Other customers can enhance satisfaction: mere presence; socialization/friendships; roles: assistants, teachers, supporters, mentors
Customer-to-Employee Interactions Friendly Interactions – the optimal interaction Unfriendly Interactions – can be highly disruptive and have negative effects on the service experience Too Friendly Interactions – may delay the service provided to subsequent customers
Customers’ Roles 1. Customers as productive resources If customers contribute effort, time, or other resources to the service production process, they should be considered as part of the organization - partial employees Ex:
Customers’ Roles Customers as contributors of quality and satisfaction Effective customer participation may increase the likelihood that needs are met and that the benefits the customer seeks are actually attained Providing a physician details about symptoms, family heath history, lifestyle, and health habits (diet, alcohol use, smoking, etc.)
Customers’ Roles How customers contribute to quality and satisfaction service they receive Ask questions Take responsibility for their own satisfaction Complain when there is service failure Perform their role effectively Work with the service provider
Customers’ Roles Customers as competitors Internal exchange: produce service for yourself External exchange: have someone elseproduce service internal exchange vs. external exchange based on: expertise, resources , time, economic rewards, psychic rewards, trust, control
Customer Training Tools Customer scripts, so customers can learn their role within the service function Recruit, educate, and reward customers - to minimize service customer problems Customer compatibility management, where an appropriate customer mix will encourage satisfying relationships in a diverse group
Enhancing Customer Participation – Customer Scripts: Define Their Role How do customers want to participate? What level of participation is desired? – personal training, personal health care Helping Oneself – self-service checkout Promote Company – credit card offers 10,000 free miles to those who can solicit a new credit card customer
Enhancing Customer Participation – Recruit Customers Recruit the right customers: communicate expected roles and responsibilities in advertising and other company messages Ex:child-care center requires parental participation
Enhancing Customer Participation – Educate Customers Educate and Train Customers to Perform Effectively: patient handbooks for hospitals; customer orientation programs; Place orientation: An airport with large, easily read signage and well-designed foot traffic patterns that allow travelers to perform their roles with ease Function orientation: A sign at the entrance to the children's hospital contained the hospital's mission statement and explained its vision.
Enhancing Customer Participation – Reward Customers Reward Customers for Their Contributions: make benefits apparent to customers - better health or quicker recovery from following patient handbook A service station offers customers lower gasoline prices at a self-service pump compared to the prices at a full service pump
Enhancing Customer Participation - Customer Compatibility Management Manage the Customer Mix: manage multiple segments simultaneously Compatible customers are grouped together