Customers Waiting in Lines - Service Operations - Yolanda Williams


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The Service Operations of Waiting Lines attempts to remind us that customer needs should be met while they are waiting to be serviced. Also, there is a tremendous reduction in profit by requiring a customer to wait too long. When is too long? That is in the mind of the customer.

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Customers Waiting in Lines - Service Operations - Yolanda Williams

  1. 1. Service Operations and Waiting LinesYolanda WilliamsOperations Mgmt
  2. 2.  An Overview of Service Operations Service Response Logistics Waiting… Discuss the psychology of waiting. Laws of Service. Describe how queues are managed. Describe the essential features of a queuing system.Purpose and Objectives
  3. 3. 3What are services? Many services are pure services, offering few or no tangibleproducts to customers. Others may have end products with a larger tangible component(e.g., restaurants & repair facilities). Customers are often involved in the production of the service. Services may provide state utility - they do something to thingsowned by the customer (e.g., store supplies & repair machines).
  4. 4. 4More on Services Services cannot be inventoried. Services have high levels of customer interactions. Services are decentralized due to inability toinventory & transport services
  5. 5. 5Service DeliveryService delivery systems (a continuum) with mass produced, low-customer contact systems at one end and highly customized,high-customer-contact systems at the other.Front of the House Back of the House
  6. 6. 6An Overview of Service Operations- Cont.Service Strategy Development:1. Cost LeadershipStrategy-The Low CostProvider – May require large capitalinvestment in automated, state-of-the artequipment and significant efforts in the areasof controlling and reducing costs.2. DifferentiationStrategy- Service that isconsidered unique. Differentiation is createdas companies listen to customers.3. Focus Strategy- Serve a narrow niche betterthan other firms
  7. 7. 7Service Response LogisticsService Response Logistics (SRL)The management and coordination of the organization’s activities while a serviceis being performed for customers.1. Service capacity The number of customers per day the firm’s service system isdesigned to serve.2. Distribution channels Distribution channels involve traditional methods & new channels thatincorporate new Internet technologies3. Service quality Customer satisfaction--depends on ability to deliver what customerswant, meet customers’ perceptions and satisfying customers varyingexpectations.4. Waiting times
  8. 8. Psychology of Waiting That Old Empty Feeling: Unoccupied time goes slowly A Foot in the Door: Pre-service waits seem longer that in-service waits The Light at the End of theTunnel: Reduce anxiety with attention Excuse Me, But I Was First: Social justice with First Come First Serve queue discipline They Also Serve,Who Sit and Wait: Avoids idle service capacity
  9. 9. Cultural Attitudes “Americans hate to wait. So business is trying a trick ortwo to make lines seem shorter…” The NewYorkTimes Standing in line – at the bank, the market, the movies –is the time-waster everyone loves to hate. Stand in justone 15-minute line a day, every day, and kiss goodbye toalmost four days of idle time by year’s end.—Kathleen Doheny
  10. 10. 0123456Stoplights JunkMail MissingObjectsHousework WaitinginLineIn a life time, the averageAmericanwill spend--YearsWe are waiting…
  11. 11. Approaches to Controlling Customer Waiting Animate: Disneyland distractions, elevatormirror, recorded music Discriminate: Avis frequent renter treatment(out of sight) Automate: Use computer scripts/ voice promptsto address 75% of questions Obfuscate: Amusement park/ Airport stagedwaits
  12. 12. Waiting… Waiting in lines does not add enjoyment Waiting in lines does not generate revenueWaiting lines are non-value added occurrences
  13. 13.  Cost to provide waiting space Loss of business Customers leaving Customers refusing to wait Loss of goodwill Reduction in customer satisfaction Congestion may disrupt other businessoperationsImplications of Waiting Lines
  14. 14. 14What is a Queue? A queue is a waiting line. A queuing system involves customers arriving forservice who sometimes have to wait. Queuing analysis provides: Summary measures for assessing a queuing systemin terms of customers and time. A way to balance the costs of providing service andcosts of congestion.
  15. 15. Queue Theory Queuing theory: Mathematical approach to the analysis ofwaiting lines. Importance of Queuing Analysis: Servicing customers can be costly. Retail environments are plagued with customer congestion.Managing that has benefits. Goal of queuing analysis is to minimize the sum of two costs Customer waiting costs Service capacity costs
  16. 16. Components of the Queuing SystemCustomerArrivalsServersWaiting LineServicing SystemExitQueue or
  17. 17. The Queuing SystemQueue DisciplineLengthNumber of Lines &Line StructuresService TimeDistributionQueuingSystem
  18. 18. Essential Features of Queuing SystemsDepartureQueuedisciplineArrivalprocessQueueconfigurationServiceprocessRenegeBalkCallingpopulationNo futureneed forservice
  19. 19. Queue ConfigurationsMultiple Queue Single queueTake a NumberEnter3 4826 101211579
  20. 20. 20More Queuing systems
  21. 21. Examples of Line StructuresSingle ChannelMultichannelSinglePhaseMultiphaseOne-personbarber shopCar washHospitaladmissionsBank tellers’windows
  22. 22. Waiting Realities Inevitability of Waiting: Waiting results fromvariations in arrival rates and service rates
  23. 23. Customer Service Arrival PatternArrival PatternConstant VariableExample: A partfrom anautomatedmachine arrivesevery 30 seconds.Example:Customersarriving in abank.
  24. 24. Service PatternServicePatternConstant VariableExample: Eachpart takesexactly 30seconds tomake.Example: Peoplespending timeshopping.
  25. 25. Waiting Realities Economics of Waiting: High utilizationpurchased at the price of customer waiting.Make waiting productive (salad bar) orprofitable (drinking bar).
  26. 26. Queuing AnalysisOptimumCost ofservicecapacityCost ofcustomerswaitingTotal costCostService capacityTotalcostCustomerwaiting costCapacitycost= +
  27. 27. Assume a drive-up window at a fast food restaurant.Customers arrive at the rate of 25 per hour.The employee can serve one customer every two minutes.Assume constant arrival and service rates.Determine:A) What is the average utilization of the employee?Queue Analysis Example
  28. 28. = 25 cust / hr=1 customer2 mins (1hr / 60 mins)= 30 cust / hr= =25 cust / hr30 cust / hr= .8333A) What is the average utilization of theemployee?
  29. 29. 29Managing Wait Times - QuantityConsists of the management of actual waiting time & perceivedwaiting time.Need to know: Average arrival rate of the customers Order in which customers will be serviced Average service rate of providers How long will customers wait Ways to make customers wait even longer withoutlowering their perceptions of service quality
  30. 30. Laws of Service – Perception Maister’s First Law:Customers compare expectations with perceptions. Maister’s Second Law:Is hard to play catch-up ball. Skinner’s Law:The other line always moves faster. Jenkin’s Corollary:However, when you switch to another other line, theline you left moves faster.
  31. 31. 31Managing Wait Times - QualityManaging Perceived Waiting TimesOften, demand exceeds expectations & capacity. Keep Customers Occupied Start the Service Quickly Relieve Customer Anxiety Keep Customers Informed Group Customers Together Design a Fair Waiting System “Underpromise & Overdeliver”
  32. 32. Other Quality Approaches Reduce perceived waiting time Magazines in waiting rooms Radio/television In-flight movies Filling out forms Derive benefits from waiting Place impulse items near checkout Advertise other goods/services
  33. 33. Remember Me I am the person who goes into a restaurant, sits down, and patientlywaits while the wait-staff does everything but take my order. I am the person that waits in line for the clerk to finish chatting withhis buddy. I am the one who never comes back and it amuses me to see moneyspent to get me back. I was there in the first place, all you had to do was show me somecourtesy and service.The Customer
  34. 34. Topics for Discussion Suggest diversions that could make waiting lesspainful. Give a bad and good waiting experience, andcontrast the situations with respect to the aestheticsof the surroundings, diversions, people waiting, andattitude of servers. Suggest ways that management can influence thearrival times of customers. What are the benefits of a fast-food employee takingyour order while waiting in line? Are there any benefits to making the customer wait?