SEMA 23.5.2011

Question1 Name and student number:

Question2 (Marks: 1)

Is the following argument true or false?

“Service blueprints can be divided into four interrelated components, namely (1) customer actions, (2) onstage contact employee actions, (3) backstage contact employee actions, and (4) support processes. The customer action component refers to everything that the customer does during the process of purchasing, consuming and evaluating the service. The onstage contact employee action component encompasses the activities of the service employee during the service encounter. The backstage contact employee actitivity component refers to the same service employee, yet addresses those activities the customer is not able to see, and thus is not (always) aware of. The final component, support processes, refers to any internal activity that is needed in order to deliver the service to the customer.” 1p

Question3 (Marks: 1)

Is the following argument true or false?

“Zone of tolerance is an abstract concept that refers to an area between desired service and adequate service. Using the zone of tolerance concept is especially useful for service firms because different customers, although being individual by definition, possess the same zone of tolerance when the same service is being examined. That is, the zone of tolerance for a dinner in a restaurant, for example, is the same for all the customers going to that particular restaurant.” 1p

Question4 (Marks: 1)

Is the following argument true or false?

“The customer pyramid shows how all customers aren’t profitable. Non-profitable customers are described as ‘lead customers’. It has been recommended that in order to improve the profitability of these customers, firms should reduce the costs of serving them. An alternative solution would be that all customers keep receiving same level of service, thus entailing that the costs stay at the same level across different profitability tiers. Such a solution (i.e. not reducing the costs) has been regarded as ‘strategic management trap’, indicating business practices focused on service quality alone, thus neglecting the importance of cost effectiveness.” 1p

Question5 (Marks: 1)

Which of the following statements regarding service failures is correct? 1p

  1. “Long-term customer relationships are often a disadvantage if a service failure occurs”
  2. “Blueprinting service recovery processes is often useless as many firms achieve zero-tolerance in service failure rates”
  3. “Only 20 percent of customers decide not to complain when a service failure occurs”
  4. “Fair treatment in service recovery can be divided into (1) absolute and (2) relational fairness”

Question6 (Marks: 1)

The traditional view of focusing solely on customer service recovery has been questionned by some academics. Instead, some argue that focusing on process recovery and ___________ could provide firms benefits that top the benefits gained from customer service recovery. 1p

  1. complaint data recovery
  2. employee recovery
  3. customer portfolio recovery
  4. market share recovery

Question7 (Marks: 1)

Which of the following arguments isn’t correct? 1p

  1. Front-line service employees represent boundary spanners
  2. Firms must compete for the best people (employees) in order to achieve high service quality
  3. A service-oriented organizational cultures serves as an ‘invisible’ hand guiding employees on how to behave
  4. According to the service profit chain, employee satisfaction is independent from revenue growth

Question8 (Marks: 1)

Which of the following arguments regarding customers’ roles in service delivery is correct? 1p

  1. “Customers role in service delivery is mainly passive as their contribution to service quality is rather minor”
  2. “Firms can’t take the initiative in getting customers to engage in positive word-of-mouth communications”
  3. “Other customers can either enhance or detract from perceptions of service quality”
  4. “The servicescape should not be used as a means to educate the customers on what to do during the service encounter”

Question9 (Marks: 1)

Tell briefly how integrated marketing communications (IMC), the service marketing triangle, and internal branding are related. Please note that no term definitions are needed, just prompt arguments that show how these three concepts relate to each other. 3p

Question10 (Marks: 1)

Essay 1/2:

The gaps model discussed in the online material is said to provide service firms a means to manage service quality. How services differ from products? What does the gaps model mean? Moreover, could this model be used in ‘traditional’ production firms that produce tangible products, not services?

Hence, you’re invited to write an essay in which you discuss the inherent characteristics of services, summarize the focal points of the gaps model, and analyze how production companies differ from service firms in terms of overall marketing management. Is managing service firms really that different from managing production firms? Build your analysis and conclusions around the gaps model: are the same ideas and practices applicable to both firm types? Why? What is the reason behind the disparity or congruence? 15p

Question11 (Marks: 1)

Essay 2/2:

In this essay, you’re invited to provide a hypothetical, yet a realistic example of the service buying process. Build your example around a set of determinants given below:

– Our customer is a young person in his twenties

– The service product is a flight from Helsinki to New York

– This is his first trip by a plane, thus he’s an unexperienced traveller

Start from the very beginning (i.e. need recognition) and end up with the service delivery (i.e. our customer finally arriving New York).

You must use at least the following keywords in your essay:

1) Word-of-mouth

2) Other customers

3) Perceived risk

4) Service recovery

5) Pricing tactics

6) Service guarantee

7) Servicescape

When using these terms, do address them from both the customer AND service firm point of view. For example, what word-of-mouth implies when evaluated from the customer’s point of view. On the other hand, why should service firms recognize the importance of word-of-mouth communications? 15p

English
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