This assessment is designed to get you thinking about and applying theoretical constructs in your everyday activities. It is a two stage process. You are asked to record individual service encounters over a period of time as described below. You are then asked to produce a report analysing these encounters using a range of appropriate theoretical constructs.
Learning Outcomes to be met by the Assignment
B14. To demonstrate discernment in the application of theory to hypothetical and practical business situations.
B15. To integrate and evaluate complex information and data from a variety of sources.
C19. To demonstrate research skills and discrimination in the selection of sources, particularly with regard to academic journals and databases.
D13. To show evidence of learner autonomy, continuing professional development and commitment to lifelong learning in a self-reflective manner.
STAGE 1: JOURNAL ENTRIES
People have a number of service encounters each week, both at work and in their own time, with different service providers such as restaurants, banks, haircutters, utilities, government agencies, emergency services and so forth. You are required to record information service encounters, based on your own first-hand experience (ideally each week for five weeks) so 10 encounters in total. These encounters could be from any country, but most are likely to be UK based. Collect a variety of types of encounters (good and bad). Do not record personal or sensitive topics. The important thing is that you record details as soon as possible after the encounter using the blank Service Encounter Journal. Journal entries should be typed so that they can be submitted electronically.
STAGE 2: ANALYSING JOURNAL ENTRIES
Develop one electronic copy of a report in which the service encounter journal entries are analysed. Use relevant course concepts in discussing your encounters. The typed report should not exceed 2,000 double-spaced words, with the journal entries as appendices. Appendices, References and Executive summary do not count for word length (but the executive summary is to be no more than one and a half pages, and preferably less).
The focus of the main report is NOT about describing the encounters – the journal entries in the appendix do that. What you are trying to do is stand back from the detail of the particular entries to see what broad things you have found, in part by applying appropriate tools and techniques and then using selected examples from the encounters to flesh out the technique or point under discussion.
You are required to use at least THREE of the following constructs in your analysis
- 3 extra Ps of Service (People, Process, Physical Evidence)
- Zone of Tolerance
- Service Quality/Satisfaction vs Loyalty
- Service Blueprints
Assess the causes of performance problems in the services you encountered or delivered. What are the benefits to the organisation, customer/user and employee of correcting the performance problem? What are the costs of failing to take action? What are the alternative ways to improve service delivery? How difficult/costly would these changes be? What other information would be useful to assist in making improved decisions with regards to these service encounters?
You do NOT need to link ALL of your encounters to each of the techniques that you have identified, but you are illustrating how some of them link (and hence your basis for identifying it as an issue in the first place)
Whatever way you do it, you should identify some specific recommendations as to what particular service organisations, or service marketers in general, should do following your experiences