Service experience is the end-to-end set of customer experiences that add value to a service. This is typically viewed from the customer perspective as a journey whereby a customer discovers, purchases, experiences and participates in a service. The following are the basic elements of service experience.
Branding is the process of establishing an identity for a service in the minds of customers. Service experience is heavily influenced by customer perceptions. For example, an airline brand that is perceived as safe may influence the experience of a flight. Branding has three essential elements: recognition, awareness and image. Recognition is the ability to recognize your service from its brand symbols and brand name. Awareness is knowledge of attributes related to a service such as knowing that a particular brand of hotel is a luxury chain. Image is a set of customer opinions about the brand in areas such as reputation and quality.
The design of a service including user interfaces, processes, practices, environments and tangibles such as the food on a flight. For example, the design of a hotel lobby is an element of the service experience of a hotel. The day-to-day process of delivering a service. For example, the process of ordering food for hotel restaurants such that fresh ingredients arrive just in time. These are operations processes that may have few customer touchpoints but impact the service experience nonetheless.
Customer service is any interaction between your employees and customers. This is considered a critical aspect of service experience as a single poor customer service interaction may cause a customer to turn against your brand. As such, firms may establish customer service principles such as customer is always right and invest in training and customer service talent.
The process of monitoring service quality and continually improving things. This involves obtaining regular feedback from customers to immediately address customer concerns and learn from failures. For example, if a hotel guest finds that their room isn't clean, cleaning processes and quality inspections may be changed to prevent this problem in the future.
The process of engaging the customer to understand how they experience the service to identify things that are working and shortfalls where you can improve. This is a deeper type of analysis than service quality, which is more focused on consistency of services and resolving situations that lead to complaints. Customer journey may look at the details of customer interactions and perceptions. For example, ten things that customers notice when they first walk into the lobby of a hotel.
Brand culture are the ways that customers interact and participate in your service. This may be beyond your control. For example, a particular hotel may become popular with a subculture such as cosplayers such that they lobby is often filled with people in costumes taking photos that get posted to social media. Many firms encourage and shape brand culture by offering ways for customers to participate such as a video game that allows customers to produce their own mods.
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