Servuction is a word coined by Eigler and Langeard aimed to highlight the biggest difference between products and service management. The customer is an input in the process of servuction (the other inputs are the staff in contact and the physical support) while that input it doesn’t exist in production.
This fact has big implications in service management. To me the two most important effects are:
1) You have to be ready to manage service recovery. In production you can implement a quality system that prevents to create wrong products. Even if this happen you can review the product before delivering it and avoid the problem. But in services it is a dream to get 0% defects because the customer participates in the process and as he is not your worker sometimes he will do things in a wrong way or just in his way. On the other hand, if a problem appears you don’t have time to amend it. So, you will have bad quality service from time to time and then you have to practice... service recovery!
2) Subjectivity appears when an employee is attending a guest request. When you are talking about human interaction, quality passes from the objective point of view to subjective.
In servuction we have to create a framework to provide a good service and then we have to select, train and empower our employees and even our customers in order to avoid pitfalls.
When you have employees and customers from different countries and cultures you can multiply these two effects by 10… or maybe 1000! Welcome to multiculturality problems in services!
Empowerment? Subjectivity? Multiculturality? Phew!!! You really need an expert in service management… By the way, have I never mentioned before the necessity of TOURISTOLOGIST?!?!?!
Let’s see this picture to have a visual approach to the important issue of service management.
Get curious? Check this post out