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Module 1: Managing Customer Interface

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Crafting Service Environment - Part 2

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MODULE OVERVIEW

To understand the roles of spatial layout and functionality.
To understand the roles of signs, symbols, and artifacts.
To know how service employees and other customers are part of the servicescape.
To explain why designing an effective servicescape has to be done holistically and from the customer’s perspective.

INTRODUCTION

In addition to ambient conditions, spatial layout and functionality are other key dimensions of the service environment.
As a service environment generally has to fulfill specific purposes and customer needs, spatial layout and functionality are particularly important.

SPATIAL LAYOUT AND FUNCTIONALITY

Spatial layout refers to the floor plan, size and shape of furnishings, counters, and potential machinery and equipment, and the ways in which they are arranged.
Functionality refers to the ability of those items to facilitate the performance of service transactions.

DESIGN WITH A HOLISTIC VIEW

Whether a dark, glossy wooden floor is the perfect flooring depends on everything else in that service environment, including

the type, color scheme and materials of the furniture,
the lighting,
the promotional materials,
the overall brand perception, and
positioning of the firm.



DESIGN FROM A CUSTOMER’S PERSPECTIVE

To design servicescapes from the customer’s perspective, managers have to understand how their customers use it.
Servicescapes should be designed to support customers to attain their consumption goals by making the designs-

intuitive (i.e., easy to sense),
meaningful (i.e., easy to understand), and art
easy to use.



CONCLUSION

The service environment plays a major part in shaping customers’ perception of a firm’s image and positioning.
As service quality is often difficult to assess, customers frequently use the service environment as an important quality signal.
A well-designed service environment makes customers feel good and boosts their satisfaction and allows the firm to influence their behavior (e.g., adhering to the service script and impulse purchasing) while enhancing the productivity of the service operation.