ASSIGNMENT 2 /
SERVICE ENCOUNTER DIARY
PART A / TWO SERVICE ENCOUNTERS
POSITIVE EXPERIENCE – Holey Moley Mini Golf
1. My partner and I recently had our 3-year anniversary. As part of our celebration, we decided to book a round of mini golf online at Holey Moley, as I had previously been to the one in Adelaide after positive mouth of word recommendations by friends and had a great experience.
2. The one venue had Holey Moley, escape rooms, and a bowling alley.
3. We booked online for a round of 18 holes they offered at 9:20 pm.
4. The venue wasn't too busy but there were a few groups of customers.
5. Arrived 5 minutes prior to the booking and the reception staff assured us we could begin straight away and didn't have to wait. Upon entering the venue, the staff was enthusiastic to greet us, and the atmosphere was live with upbeat music playing.
6. To our disappointment, they reviewed our booking and informed us they had a deal including the full 18 holes with a complimentary game of bowling for the same price if we had booked in person and not online.
7. They gave us the deal regardless of our prior booking online and informed us we just needed to come back to the reception once the first 9 holes had been completed to acquire another golf ball to complete the last 9.
8. Engaging and charming staff came around with a platter of shots, offering them at only $5 each claiming our “names are written on it”.
9. After the full 18 rounds, we returned to the reception to start the 1 complimentary round of bowling. When choosing names, I told them to surprise us, however, they said if we chose our own names they'd give us a second bowling game free.
10. Names were chosen, and we were given 2 complimentary bowling games.
11. Between the bowling, drinks were bought, however, my partner accidentally ordered a drink containing orange, causing migraines for him.
12. After the bowling, there was friendly conversation with the same staff at reception, and they offered us a 2 for 1 escape room experience if we paid for the first one. We kindly declined as it was getting late, and they gave us a “free for one person” voucher for escape room experiences to use next time, as well as 8 Holey Moley vouchers that entitled 18 holes for the price of 9 for us and our friends.
13. We left content with a fun night with an intent to return, especially due to the vouchers given. However, my partner left with a growing headache but at no fault but our own. The staff were welcoming, warm and gave us good value for our money.
Satisfaction Rating: 5/5
Value for Money Rating: 5/5
Would you recommend this service provider to others: Yes
NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE – Jetstar flight
1. My partner and I made an online booking for a return flight, from Coolangatta airport to Adelaide airport 2 months prior to the departure date, booking the second cheapest possible flights with Jetstar as we wanted a good deal, and had flown with Jetstar before with no issues. The process to book flights was simple and efficient.
2. On our way back to Adelaide, we were unable to check in online because of the booking even though we were able to do it on the way there, inconveniencing us and meaning we had to depart for the airport earlier than anticipated.
3. We arrived at Coolangatta airport 2 hours 50 minutes prior to departure, instead of 1 hour, due to not being able to check-in online.
4. As we arrived, we noticed the clean, white, open space of the terminal. We were then notified by one of the Jetstar staff we were not allowed to check-in until 2 hours before departure. This was not made clear to us when attempting to check-in online and being redirected to check-in at the airport as online check-in was not available for our flight, and hence arriving early at the airport.
5. We utilised this time to check baggage weight, realising we were 2kg over the threshold and risked an extra baggage fee. We enquired about it to a different staff from Jetstar, as they notified us they would dismiss this if we were only 1kg over and transfer the other kg to our hand luggage, even though they were already over the threshold too.
6. We boarded and sat on the plane for 30 minutes, with the captain announcing there was a small error with one of the computers, assuring us it would take only 10 minutes to fix.
7. Another 30 minutes passed, the captain announcing the reboot of computers not effective and they had to re-dock for the engineers to fix it and complete paperwork, stating it should take 20 minutes.
8. 1 hour later we are still sitting on the plane, we get up from our seats and go to talk to the air hostesses.
9. Midst our complaint of the delay, they stated they were unsure how much longer it will be, however, assured us this has never happened before in their career with Jetstar and is not a regular occurrence.
10. By 6:50 pm, the estimated arrival time in Adelaide, we were informed the plane is fit to fly and procedures had been followed, and we took off at 7:10 pm.
11. There was a brief, single apology from the captain.
12. Air hostesses came down the aisle and offered complimentary coffee and tea to everyone as compensation for the almost 3-hour delay, where all passengers were to stay in the cabin, however, it was 7:30pm and most people were reluctant to drink caffeine this late at night.
13. The flight home was unpleasant, at no fault of Jetstar's, but due to selfish people sitting behind us and kicking the back of our seats, however, happy to be home after a week away from family and friends.
Satisfaction Rating: 1/5
Value for Money Rating: 3/5
Would you recommend this service provider to others: No
PART B / ANALYSIS
This report provides an analysis evaluating two services of choice, a positive and negative, Jetstar airline and Holey Moley Gold Club. Both Holey Moley and Jetstar had customer satisfaction that differed, due to many aspects including the process, people, and physical characteristics of these services. Holey Moley demonstrated a positive encounter, resulting in satisfaction from consumers from factors such as expectations, customer service personnel, and level of service recovery offered by the businesses influencing the perceived performance to be greater than expectations. Jetstar resulted in dissatisfaction due to perceived performance, being subpar in relation to the expectation created from past experiences and word of mouth from factors such as power distance between service personnel and lack of service recovery. Both being high contact services, the physical characteristics, process, and people were crucial in shaping customer's perceptions and putting their minds at ease. It is advised as future recommendations for Holey Moley, that although the overwhelming amount of complimentary increase satisfaction drastically, it may set an unrealistic standard by word of mouth for future consumers. As for Jetstar, they should attempt a more consistent level of service, to attain a larger zone of indifference and a lower rate of customer dissatisfaction.
A customer's decision process consists of 3 stages, as seen in figure 1.1, this includes pre-purchase, service encounter, and post-purchase, resulting in either satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The pre-purchase stage for both services were adequately simple and efficient, with the inclusion of internal information search, recalling information stored in memory actively required from past searches and personal experience. (H. Beales et al, 1981).
Consumer's attributions are an influence on customer's satisfaction evaluations during the service encounter stage. Both encounters included a causal attribute, questioning the liability of who was at fault (Hoffmann. A, 2018), in which both situations a consumer was at fault rather than the firms. Jetstar featured a person kicking the seat at no fault but the stranger's and a considerable departure delay, and Holey Moley supplied a drink unknowingly to my partner with an ingredient causing a migraine. Although both unpleasant characteristics of the encounter, the dissatisfaction caused is lesser depending on the control and stability attributions, questioning whether the dissatisfactory incident was in control of the firms and whether it is likely to reoccur. The dissatisfaction is lesser in Holey Moley's case as the incident was not in the firm's control and is unlikely to happen again. However, in Jetstar's case, the delay incident was in the firm's control, and both dissatisfactory incidents are likely to reoccur.
Figure 1.1 Customer's decision process model (Lovelock et al, 2015)
Figure 1.2 Factors influencing customer desired and adequate expectations of service (Zeithaml. V et al, 1993)
Due to the intangible nature of services, the physical characteristics when the service is being provided impact consumers' satisfaction. These services fall under the medium to high contact levels of customer contact, due to the customers visiting the facility in person, and is in contact with service personnel during the delivery of the service (Hoffmann. A, 2018). For this level, physical surroundings are crucial in shaping the customer's perceptions and putting customers at ease (Hoffmann. A, 2018). Upon entering Holey Moley venue, the upbeat music and enthusiastic staff immediately reinforced the existing positive mood state established due to the occasion. Similarly, when entering the terminal for Jetstar, entering with a positive mood state driven by the excitement to reunite with family and friends, being reinforced by the welcoming space of the terminal. The general rule is to “underpromise and over deliver” (Hoffmann. A, 2018), delivering more than what is promised to result in the guaranteed customer satisfaction (Hoffmann. A, 2018). Expectations from both services developed through past experience and word of mouth from reputable friends. Psychologist E. L. Thorndike states “when an individual is found to possess one desirable trait, that individual is assumed to have many other desirable traits too” (Hoffmann. A, 2018). This enforces the word of mouth recommendations received and therefore building the customer expectations existing from past experiences. As seen in figure 1.2, these expectations combined with the perceived performance determines the level of satisfaction. Merely expecting a game of mini golf, not the complimentary bowling games and coupons, Holey Moley exceeded expectations, whereas Jetstar's perceived performance did not exceed expectations, therefore resulting in dissatisfaction.
Figure 2.1 The disconfirmation of expectations model (Paul G. Patterson, 1993)
ROLES OF PEOPLE:
Aforementioned, physical surroundings are crucial in shaping the customer's perceptions and putting customers at ease, however, customer service personnel are also important (Hoffmann. A, 2018). Australia, a western country, is categorised as an individualistic society with low power distance. Consumers with low power distance are found to have high expectations of reliability in services (Satyabhusan Dash et al, 2018). Furthermore, individualistic consumers have lower expectations of service provider's empathy and assurance (Satyabhusan Dash et al, 2018). Holey Moley displayed low power distance between staff and customers, due to an approachable and welcoming ambiance from casual uniform. Likewise, Jetstar staff, although dressed in a more professional manner had low power distance and were welcoming and helpful with the weight threshold of baggage. Due to the individualistic culture, thus low empathy expectations, customer satisfaction was increased in both encounters when complimentary services were offered at Holey Moley, and extra baggage weight was essentially offered at no cost with Jetstar. However, Jetstar's inconsistency within staff caused dissatisfaction, due to the high power distance evident in the demeaning encounter with a different staff member. This “moment of truth” (Hoffmann. A, 2018) is a critical incident within service encounters, in which the customer and service personnel meet and influence satisfaction or dissatisfaction (Hoffmann. A, 2018).
At the moment customer expectations are not met, service recovery begins (Baird Group, 2018). As seen in figure 3.1, customer satisfaction and loyalty stem from successful delivery of the service the first time, and an effective complaint handling. Jetstar did not adhere to either of these characteristics, as they were delayed once, then further delayed the departure time of the flight due to technical errors. Regardless, there was an absence of a system to attend to customer complaints. Consequences of dissatisfaction are shown in figure 3.2, as depending on the customer, there may be dire or small consequences.
Figure 3.1 Customer Satisfaction formula (Lovelock et al, 2015)
Figure 3.2 How customers handle dissatisfaction (Philip Kotler, 2000)
Nevertheless, Holey Moley demonstrated an excellent, efficient delivery of their service from the moment they allowed us to start the game regardless of being early, to exceeding expectations and giving complimentary services due to a complaint of the offer not being offered online but merely if booked in person.
The zone of indifference, the zone between a “consumer's desired and just adequate expectations” (Hoffmann. A, 2018) is crucial in determining their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Factors such as the importance of the occasion and the frequency of use all affect this zone (Hoffmann. A, 2018). Having used both services of Jetstar and Holey Moley many times prior, zones of indifference were reduced to the good quality standard set by previous experiences as seen in figure 3.3, a first-time service has a much larger zone. The importance of the occasion was a large factor affecting the Holey Moley service encounter, as an anniversary is deemed special, therefore increasing expectations and reducing the zone of indifference further.
Figure 3.3 Zones of indifference for first-time and service recovery situations (Hoffmann. A, 2018)
It is recommended:
• Holey Moley to be wary of building expectations to a consistently unattainable level, ensuring any deal offered are promoted on all platforms to avoid customer dissatisfaction and decreasing the zone of indifference.
• Service organisations should adhere to the same standard of service recovery as Holey Moley, as any incidents did not cause a decrease in satisfaction due to their prompt and efficient compensation and customer complaint handling.
• Similarly, for Jetstar to ensure a more consistent standard of service, and to avoid overwhelming customers, to redirect them back to the gate rather than in the cabin.
• As a weak point for Jetstar, service recovery should be ameliorated and should clarify procedures to solve the problem and inform customers, act fast, apologise without defensiveness, and to offer a more substantial compensation for the inconvenience, rather than just coffee or tea, potentially an item off the menu.
• Jetstar could also improve customer satisfaction rates by conducting an analysis of customer complaints, surveys from employees and focus groups to improve their service recovery, hence increasing the level of customer satisfaction.
REFERENCE LIST (A-Z)
• Baird Group (2018). Service Recovery: 5 steps for making things right. [ONLINE] Available at: http://baird-group.com/articles/service-recovery-5-steps-for-making-things-right. [Accessed 18 August 2018].
• Beales. H (1981). ‘Consumer Search and Public Policy'. Journal of consumer research.
• Lovelock. C, Patterso. P and Wirtz J (2015). Services Marketing: An Asia-Pacific and Australian Perspective. 6th ed. Australia: Pearson.
• Hoffmann. A (2018). ‘Introduction and Marketing in the Service Economy. University of Adelaide lecture slides.
• Hoffmann. A (2018). ‘Customer Behaviour'. University of Adelaide lecture slides.
• Hoffmann. A (2018). ‘Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality'. University of Adelaide lecture slides.
• Hoffmann. A (2018). ‘Managing People for Service Advantage'. University of Adelaide lecture slides.
• Kotler. P, (2000). Marketing Management: Millennial edition. 10th ed. NJ. Pearson Patterson. P (1993). Expectations and product performance as determinants of satisfaction for high-involvement purchase, Psychology and Marketing, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
• Satyabhusan Dash et al (2018). EmeraldInsight. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/02652320910979870. [Accessed 10 August 2018].
PART A WC: 996
PART B WC: 1095
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