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Chapter: Business Science : Services Marketing : Service Marketing Opportunities

Service Encounters

The importance of encounters: Types of service encounters: Sources of pleasurable and displeasure in service encounter:



When the customer interacts with the service firm, it is called moments of truth. Every service encounter is an opportunity to build satisfaction.


The importance of encounters:


a. If a customer is interacting with a firm for the first time, the initial encounter will create a first impression of the organization.


b.Even when the customer has had multiple interactions with a firm, each individual encounter is important in creating a image of high quality.


c. A combination of positive and negative interactions will leave the customer confused towards the firms quality.


d.Not all encounters are important. There are certain key areas where it is important to concentrate. Ex: In hotel-early encounter to visitors.


In hospitals encounters with nurse is important.


Types of service encounters:


1.Remote counter:


It can happen without any direct human contact. Ex: ATM, Internet website, Billing statement.


Although there is no direct human contact, each represents an opportunity for the firm to reinforce/establish quality perceptions in the customer. Here, tangible evidence, quality of technical processes will determine the quality.


2.Phone encounter:


This will occur between and customer and the firm. Organisations such as insurance, telecom department will use this.


Ex: Enquiry


Here tone of voice, employee knowledge, effectiveness/efficiency in handling customer will judge the quality.




Determining and understanding service quality issues in face-face to contexts is most complex of all verbal and nonverbal behaviours are important determinants of quality.


EX: In a b2b setting direct encounter between the business customer and sales people will determine the




Sources of pleasurable and displeasure in service encounter:


1.Recovery employee response to service delivery system failure:

There has been a failure in service delivery system and an employee is required to handle customer


complaints/ disappointments.


2.Adaptability- Employee  response to customer needs and requests:


Here how the service firm is able to adapt its delivery system when the needs are not met. Here the customers judge service


3.Spontaneity –unprompted and unsolicited employee action:


Employee spontaneity in delivering memorably good or poor service is the remembered by the customers.


Ex: Being treated like royalty.; Rudeness, Stealing, discrimination, ignoring the customers. 4.Coping- Employee response to problem customers:


In some cases, customers were basically uncooperative provider. In such cases how the service provider copes with the situation is a challenging.


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