Final Writing Assignment

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Service Blueprint and Servicescape

 refer to attachments to assist you in the assignment and please reach out with all questions. 

**Absolutely No Plagiarism and Original

Work Only***

Evaluated largely according to how well you planned and organized your submission and applied relevant services marketing theories and methods in it. It will be very important that you present your work concisely. Please take careful note of and respect all page-length expectations, recognize that all assignments are to have a covering page, and use double-spaced typing, 1″ margins, and Times New Roman 12-point font or its equivalent. Please also note that page-length expectations exclude the covering page and, if applicable, references page(s) and all appendices.

Expected Length: 5 double-spaced pages, 12 pt. font. (plus interview questions/answers and service blueprint)

For this individual written assignment, you will be responsible for capturing, analyzing, and making recommendations concerning the service process for an actual service organization. For this individual written assignment, the service process for a service organization will be captured by a service blueprint,[1] defined as a “… picture or map that portrays the customer experience and the service system, so that the different people involved in providing the service can understand it objectively, regardless of their roles or their individual points of view” (Zeithaml, Bitner, and Gremler, 2013, p. 235). You will be responsible for accurately and exhaustively capturing, critically analyzing, and making recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s service process. In addition, you are to accurately and exhaustively capture, critically analyze, and make recommendations concerning the service organization’s servicescape,which can be considered the physical setting of a service organization that “wraps” the service, conveys to consumers an external image of what is “inside,” and that (drawing from the field of environmental psychology) may be designed to evoke a particular sensory or emotional reaction in customers, employees, or both groups, through the interaction of many complex stimuli. Although it is not required, you are encouraged to focus your research on a small or medium-sized service organization that has a lean interpersonal structure (see page 282 of your textbook). Alternatively, you may study a specific part of an elaborate interpersonal service organization. It is important that your service organization has a physical facility with interior and exterior attributes.

To complete this assignment, it will first be necessary for you to obtain the consent of the owner, franchisor(ee), or other responsible employee of an organization in the service sector to create a service blueprint and to record the servicescape of that organization. Please be sure not to discriminate in your selection of an organization owner, franchisor(ee), or other responsible employee, except that the individual must be an adult, able to converse in English, and not decisionally impaired. To create your report, it will be necessary that you visit and personally observe the service process and make detailed notes and take pictures of the operations of the organization. When you are taking photographs of the organization, please avoid taking direct pictures of the owner, franchisor(ee), or other responsible employee of the organization as well as other individuals (e.g., customers).

In your written report, please:

·      Identify the organization, service(s), and the organization’s location and industry

o   Identify the title and role of the individual from whom you have obtained consent (i.e., organization owner, franchisor(ee), or other responsible employee)

§  For privacy reasons, the name of the individual is not particularly relevant to this assignment

o   Discuss the needs, preferences, and behaviors of typical and non-typical customers of the service organization and be sure to differentiate between minimum service requirements (i.e., the “adequate service level”) and what the organization does to exceed those requirements and to differentiate itself from the competition

§  It would be helpful to comment on the level of reliability or consistency at which the organization is able to meet the needs of its customers

o   It would be helpful if you would please comment on the level of competition within the particular industry you have identified

·      Explain and discuss the service process, including before, during, and after a purchase is made and from both sides of the line of visibility (see page 235 of your textbook)

o   It would be helpful for you to explain and discuss the service process from the perspective of both the customer and employee(s) involved in the service delivery process

§  Identify the key actions that customers and employee(s) must take for a successful service experience

§  Identify and describe potential failpoints (points in the process where problems may occur) and/or bottlenecks (points in the process where backups or slow delivery may occur) and suggest possible solutions/alternatives to address these (potential) problem areas;

·      Explain and evaluate the use of physical evidence by the organization

·      Explain the thoughts, feelings, and physical experiences the service organization intends its customers to have and evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s efforts in this area

o   In an appendix, it may be helpful to show pictures of the interior and exterior of the physical premises

§  These pictures should be referred to in your report

·      Make three recommendations that the organization could implement to improve the effectiveness of its servicescape and service process in order to enhance the satisfaction of its customers

o   Recommendations should focus on the service process, servicescape, and use of physical evidence

To complement your analysis of the service process, please conduct an interview with the owner, franchisor(ee), or other responsible employee of the service organization and obtain responses to the following questions:

1.     What is the service (or, what are the services) that your service organization provides?

2.     What is the profile (in terms of needs, preferences, and behaviors) of your typical current customer? Apart from the typical customer, what other examples of customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors have you noticed?

3.     What are the basic needs or minimum service requirements of your customers? How reliably are you able to meet these basic needs or minimum service requirements? In what specific ways do you exceed the basic needs or minimum service requirements of your customers? In addition, in what specific ways do you differentiate your service(s) from those offered by your competitors?

4.     How does service delivery occur (including before and after a purchase is made)? What aspects of the service delivery process do your customers see/hear/otherwise experience? What aspects of the service delivery process do your customers NOT see/hear/otherwise experience?

5.     What are the tangible elements (i.e., physical evidence) of the service delivery process? (Note to student: If the participant asks, please define physical evidence as the environment in which the service is delivered and where the organization and customer interact, as well as any tangible components that facilitate performance or communication of the service.)

6.     When customers are exposed to the interior and exterior of your physical premises, what thoughts, feelings, and physical experiences would you like them to have? What steps have you taken to ensure that customers actually have these desired thoughts, feelings, and physical experiences?

It is expected that, in your written report, you will make clear references to the interview responses you receive.

Please your reading pleasure, I have placed three useful resources in Module 4 which may be beneficial to you are you prepare this assignment. The two articles are:

·      Bitner, M. 1992. Servicescapes: The impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees. Journal of Marketing, 56(2): 57-71.

·      Bitner, M., Ostrom, A., & Morgan, F. 2008. Service blueprinting: A practical technique for service innovation. California Management Review, 50(3): 66-94.

·      Designing customer-focused service processes by Dr. Nancy Stephens of Arizona State University.

Please keep in mind that this is a formal business report. A professional-looking title page is expected.

[1] Your service blueprint should be prepared using Microsoft PowerPoint and should be submitted separate from your written report. I will provide a template on Blackboard which you are free (but not required) to use.

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