Jochen Wirtz

    Victor Kondratyevhas quoted2 years ago
    Well done is better than well said.

    Benjamin Franklin
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    OTSU (opportunity to screw up)
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    stress the importance of thinking through all the things that might go wrong in the delivery of a particular service.4 It is only by identifying all the possible OTSUs associated with a particular process that service managers can put together a delivery system that is designed to avoid such problems.
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    One of the most useful Total Quality Management (TQM) methods in manufacturing is the application of poka-yokes or fail-safe methods to prevent errors in the manufacturing processes. The term poka-yoke is derived from the Japanese words poka (inadvertent errors) and yokeru (to prevent). Richard Chase and Douglas Steward introduced this concept to fail-safe service processes.6 Server poka-yokes ensure that service employees do things correctly, as asked, in the right order and at the right speed. Examples include surgeons whose surgical instrument trays have individual indentations for each instrument. For a given operation, all of the instruments are nested in the tray so that it is clear if the surgeon has not removed all the instruments from the patient before closing the incision (Figure 5).
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    Designing poka-yokes is part art and part science as most of the procedures seem trivial, but this is actually a key advantage of this method. A three-step approach for effectively using poka-yokes includes systematically collecting data on problem occurrence, analyzing the root causes, and establishing preventive solutions. This process is described in the context of preventing failures caused by customers in Service Insights 3 later in this volume.
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    “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you do, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
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    Managers in charge of service process redesign projects should look for opportunities to achieve a quantum leap in both productivity and service quality at the same time.1
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    Fail-safe methods (or poka-yokes) need to be designed not only for employees but also for customers, especially when customers participate actively in the creation and delivery processes. Customer poka-yokes focus on preparing the customer for the encounter (including getting them to bring the right materials for the transaction and to arrive on time, if applicable), understanding and anticipating their role in the service transaction, and selecting the correct service or transaction.
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    A good way is to use the following three-step approach to prevent customer-generated failures:
    (1)Systematically collect information on the most common failure points.
    (2)Identify their root causes. It is important to note that an employee’s explanation may not be the true cause. Instead, the cause must be investigated from the customer’s point of view. Human causes of customer failure include lack of needed skills, failure to understand their role, and insufficient preparation. Some processes are complex and unclear. Other causes may include weaknesses in the design of the servicescape or self-service technology (e.g., “unfriendly” user machines and websites).
    (3)Create strategies to prevent the failures that have been identified. The five strategies listed below may need to be combined for maximum effectiveness.
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    Thus, the challenge for the service firm is to design SSTs to be as “idiot-proof” as possible, mitigate common customer errors, use customer poka-yokes, and even design service recovery processes for customers so that they can help themselves should things go wrong.35
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