This report is requested by Geraldine McKay for the benefit of Harvester Restaurants. This report will highlights two failings in the service experience at Harvester Restaurants and will outline how Harvester can improve on these failings and make the overall experience at their establishment a better one.
As stated by John E.G. Bateson & K. Douglas Hoffman “services deliver a bundle of benefits to the consumer through the experience, the benefits can come from a variety of sources at once”. This is called the servuction model shown in Appendix 2.
The servuction model consist of four elements, one being the service-scape which is the use of physical evidence in the case of Harvester this was done to an adequate standard there was nothing outstanding over the layout off the restaurant.
Two being contact with personnel which is employees other than the primary service provider who briefly interact with the customer with the main primary provider in this case is the waitress which Harvester failed miserably at the initial first encounter with service provider was pleasant but long waits and failure to deal with complaints lead the the service to go tumbling down a step hill at tremendous pace.
The third element is other customers, other customers can create lively and joyful atmosphere or an overbearing and loud atmosphere in the case of Harvester they didn\'t play a part in the service experience.
The forth element is Organisations and systems which is the invisible structure in the restaurant such as cleaners, and also reflects how the organisation is ran in the case of Harvester the restaurant was adequate yet again with slow table cleaning and at certain empty tables food lying on the ground.
In order for Harvester to combat customers being frustrated or walking out during the waiting process Harvester needs to understand the psychology of the waiting customer and provide a good enough service for the customer not to start getting frustrated or agitated.
Zhao, Lau, and Lam (2002) “found that waiting time at the food-order taking stage has a more significant impact on customer satisfaction” based on this customers should be seated quickly as possible and begin the service process in taking customers drink and food orders while providing a high standard of customer service while customers do also often get frustrated and bored while waiting for their dinner to come, Harvester can use their unlimited salad bar to keep customer occupied during the waiting process and pointing it out after taking the food order.
Choongbeom Choi & Atul Sheel(2012) states “Restaurants often end up losing customers when they face a large number of waiting customers to be served. This can be in the form of a decreased number of re visits, a decreased number of publicity from word of mouth of customers, and even bad publicity of the restaurants” it is extremely important the restaurant deals with the waiting customer and gives them undivided attention where possible engage with the consumer.
Based on the statements of Choongbeom Choi & Atul Sheel(2012), Zhao, Lau, and Lam (2002) all identify long waiting times as a major source of customer dissatisfaction this is something Harvester needs to work on training staff to quickly process customers throughout the course of the meal not only will this decrease the waiting time but this will in return increase customer satisfaction.
(Kim&Chen,2010) states “Customer complaint behaviour is considered the responses of frustrated consumers to a dissatisfactory experience.”
Efficiently dealing with complaints to retain customers or to change the customers experience, their is numerous ways to deal with complaints in an efficient way to over turn the customers bad experience in your establishment. Companies need to train their staff to efficiently deal with a customer and change the consumers service experience.
(Johnson,1996,Wytle et al.,1998) States “ Rewards & recognition is defined as rewarding, recognising & celebrating employees service excellence”. Harvester could reward their staff for delivering high standard of customer service this reward could be an increase in salary, or an extra days holiday this will motivate staff to provide a higher standard of service which will keep customers complaints to a minimal.
Training of members of staff to deal with complaints is a factor Andreassen (2001),Tax and Brown (1998) indicates that the majority of complaining customers are dissatisfied with the company's complaint handling efforts. If the front-line employees are efficiently trained in resolving complaints at first instance Bates&Hoffman(199) states “ if the complaint is handled promptly, the company will retain 95 percent of its unhappy customers. In contrast, it the complaint is not resolved at all, the firm retains just 64 percent of its customers.”
(Dhar and Glazer, 2003) states “Importantly repeat purchases by established customers usually require up to 90% less marketing expenditure than do purchases by first time buyers” by efficiently training front-line employees in dealing with complaints and maintaining repeat customers it could in the long run save the company money.
Harvester needs to efficiently train their staff to a higher standard in both of the service failures experienced by Harvester poor handling of the situation by the member of staff was the problem.
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