D Class MK-3162-A1 Date 23-11-10 Professor Despina Gavrili – Alexandris Written by George Giapitzoglou Xristos Andreopoulos A. Library Findings One of the most common services, one can encounter of the today’s life is car washing services. All services has to follow a certain process (or else “script”) in order to deliver the service to the customer either he or she is a participant or an observant. Script is the sequential steps that a service takes, by combining human resources and equipment in order to deliver the service to the customer in an expected way (pg. 62 McGraw-Hill). Therefore Mr.
Allen Hansen of the Spotfree Car Wash LLC indicates from personal experience as an owner of a car wash survey that in order for a service script to be successful, it is the combined result contributed of how much the “roles” and “survey appearance” co-exists with the script (pg. 28 The good, the bad, the ugly). “Roles are the combinations of social cues that guide and direct behavior in a given setting” (pg. 62 McGraw-Hill) and all physical aspects of the survey (building condition and equipment), should reflect the same level of quality in order to create a harmonized image of the survey.
By doing so the survey answers simultaneously at the customers’ expectations, shape consumer’s perception, and form customer’s relationship. Customers expectations varies from service to service pending on its type, external or internal factors that may influence customer’s expectations, and issues that directly affects customer service expectations. What majorly effects customer’s expectations depends on the customer’s needs and the variety of options that fits the customer’s desires are provided. Factors such as price of the service, word-of-mouth, recommendations, location of business operation formulates a status level of he business and create a bias expectation about the services process and outcome. For example, if the price is high, the specific car survey has build good reputation, and it takes place in a healthy (and wealthy) environment, one would expect to receive top notch receives throughout the process of receiving the service. In correspond to these factors the lower the price or quality, the less the expectations become. An important determinant of the customer expectations is the producers efforts to educate the customer to what to expect of the service.
For example, Allen Hansen as an operator tries to be flexible with the advertisement and marketing by engaging in conversations with customers and ask them what they like or not about his facilities. Then based on customers likes or dislikes Hansen tries to elaborate advertisements that will appear appealing not only to his customers, but with the aim of attracting new too (pg. 44 American Clean Car). Unlike customer expectations are formed through experience from other services and general information, consumers perception starts to take shape the moment the customer arrives at the place of delivery.
Whether a customer seeks for full car washing services, either automatic or self-service wash, the first sight upon the facilities appearance are taken subconsciously from the customer and form what kind of treatment he is about to receive. The more appealing and well-maintained the facility appears, our consumer is more likely to develop faith in the quality of service. (pg. 28, The good, the bad, the ugly). There is a number of factors that take place in consumers perception. First, physical evidence and assurance are the first key elements the consumer perceives when entering the survey. Landscaping, lawn care, building appearance, general cleanliness and lighting quality, quality of the vacuums, employees attires, and generally the washing equipment appearance, indicates whether the facility is well managed or not” (pg. 28, The good, the bad, the ugly). Second, empathy and responsiveness. An employ should develop a type of comfort towards his customer and take private satisfaction of delivering successfully the service. For example, if the car wash doesn’t create satisfaction to the customer, there is a possibility to allure him quality work or the speed of the service (pg. 8, The good, the bad, the ugly). Last factors that take place to consumers perception is reliability. For example, Allen Hansen implements the 10-feet rule where employees should not be further than 10 feet a far from any customer so the consumer will notice the fact that someone is there to help him with any possible questions or requests he or she may have. It mandatory for the employees to confront their customers with a smile and a willingly attitude to support them (pg. 44, American Clean Car).
The best way for one to maintain his customers is to develop and reinforce customer relationships. There is a variety of factors that take place in for a customer relationship to hold and varies from customer to customer. The most important of all is attitude. When customers calls to book an appointment at Park Road Car Wash the employee greets the customer with one of their trademark “It’s a beautiful day in at Park Road Car Wash” wearing a smile on their faces. (pg. 18, Unconventional operator finds success in car wash business).
The biggest threat in every business is the failure of the delivery of the product or service, or the dissatisfaction of the customer after the delivery. Because services produce intangible output they always strive to be the best in order to minimize the occurrence of failure. Of course since we deal with humans there is always possibilities for mistakes, that’s why in order to prevent of losing a customer after a failure the best thing to do is to smile and take care of it (pg. 18, Unconventional operator finds success in car wash business). B. Consumer Behavior in Services
The script of a car wash survey consists of the welcoming of the customer, the request of car washing (inside or/and outside), take the car to the washing-machine (drying is included in the process) by either an employ or ourselves, hand-dry cleaning, soaping the wheels, employee asks if the costumer wishes to apply wax on the car, and last pay the service. A script such as this may appear simple and awfully ordinary, however all these steps are taken place in a very short period of time without notice most of the times or rather without noticing the importance of their existence and the overall impact they have at the total image.
First one have to understand that mistakes, failures, even miscalculation may occur anytime in anyplace. They can happen during the simplest task or the toughest. That is why employees should be dedicate in their job, concentrated, and in alert for anything. Considering the script of the car wash survey, the most likely part that will go smoothly is welcoming the customer to the service, because positive attitude creates a welcoming atmosphere which eases the customer; in addition it is fundamental in business ethics. Welcoming and customers request are simultaneous thus it will run equally as smoothly.
As the entrance to the washing machine is automated there is no room for human error, unless a mechanical malfunction occurs, however since these machines are built for simple use and the technology is quite advanced the chances of this happening is very slim. Since the whole washing process is performed my machines, therefore, taking into account that all machines work correctly, the probability for any form of malfunction is void, but, considering that machinery does malfunction, they do not directly cause damage to the car, rather the quality of the service itself.
The possibility for the machinery of such a survey to malfunction is very slim, since the actual service is performed by machinery, therefore, a lot of focus and effort is placed on the maintenance in order to work properly. The hand-drying of the exterior of the car. The employ has only to wipe down the water with a cloth. Is it perfectly safe for both the human and the car. The possibility for the employee inflicting damage to the car with a piece of cloth is zero and the car literally can cause no threat to the employee since it is turned off.
However whilst cleaning the interior, there is a moderate chance for deviance as the work is done repeatedly by the employees, thus they are subjected to fatigue which ultimately results in lesser quality work done. Soaping the wheels follows the same thought process as hand-drying the exterior thus it runs just as smoothly. The application of wax is identical to hand-drying the exterior of the car, so the smoothness is the same. The only other deviance that could appear is if the customer is not satisfied with the service provided they might refuse to pay for the job done.
Therefore, the greeting of the customer, the request of car washing (outside), the taking of the car to the washing-machine (drying is included in the process) by either an employ or ourselves, hand-dry cleaning, soaping the wheels and the waxing of the car are the parts of the script that are most likely to run smoothly. Interior cleaning and payment are the only parts that deviance might occur in. From a managerial point of view there is nothing that can be done to prevent any deviance to the service, because the majority and the core service process it performed by machines.
Machines cannot be taught to perform better nor is there a need to supervise them. Machines are used to maximize output by using time efficiently and to complete the service accurately. The only counter measure that can be taken to avoid any deviance in the service is the placement of an overall supervisor among the employees and public relations manager. The supervisor will make sure that fundamentals are practiced and that customers are treated properly, whilst they can keep the customer company in the waiting room until their car is washed.
Conversations that are most likely to take liking for the customers are those that compliments their hard work. People who tend to use car wash services are really active in the business sector and that kind of service earns the most precious thing for them, which is time. D. Our service experience will be assessed and analyzed by using the SERVQUAL model identified through Parsu Parasuraman,Valarie Zeithaml and Leonard Berry. The drivers (dimensions of the service) that we are going to include in our context, are in ascending order, by having relative importance (through our perception) as a criterion.
R E L I A B L E Two very important points constitute Wash&Go a Reliable car washing service provider: * The process is automated with top notch washing equipment, making it instantenously extremely reliable and accurate to the eyes of the consumer. Also the expected and desired service gap is greatly narrowed due to the automated washing feauture, in other words the mean (? ) of customer satisfaction due to reliability does not deviate in large increments. * R E S P O N S I V E An equally important point is pricing strategy.
It’s worth mentioning that Wash&Go was one of the first companies which took drastic measures due to the economic crisis, by lowering its prices substantially (around 10%) , for the sake of their customers. Great care is also provided to different users (professional owner, private owner), by providing a flexible pricing program which covers all possible needs,wallets and users. Wash&Go’s Responsiveness is reflected from its staff throughout all stages of the service delivery.
From the front men that clean and get your car together for a wash, up to the till and the manager who will face your every inquiry with a great deal of interest and concern. Also queue time is handled with a specially designed waiting room including a Tv area accompanied with some periodicals and newspapers. We were also informed from properly placed signage that an estimated car wash is 2 minutes therefore we realized that its rather unlikely to wait for a very long time to have our car washed.
Finally we also found out that the place is open on Sundays too until 5 a clock. Tangibles T A N G I B L E S Wash&Go is located on Alimou street in Alimos within an area of approximately 500 square meters, making it easily accessible and convenient. The first thing that we view upon entering is huge transparent walls that clearly show the service that is given. After the delivery of the car, when the customer enters the building he comes up with the cashier’s desk. The cashiers desk is elegant, modern, clean and tidy reflecting the company’s overall culture.
After the desk we have the waiting room that was described on the responsiveness tab and finally between the cashier and the comfortable waiting room there is a small hall with some toilet rooms. There were some other tangible artifacts worth mentioning such as wall small wall photos that showed the owner taking contest in some sort of amateur rally competitions. We believe there is a purpose behind that such as sending an unconscious message to the customers that their car is loved and will be treated with great care.
A S S U R A N C E Wash&Go’s Assurance driver is pretty straightforward since the service itself , is highly standardized therefore reducing the: * Error size * Perceived risk The tasks that the front men do are repeated over and over again, and are so simple in nature that very marginal errors can be made. As far as the service itself, machines take over and there is a negligible chance that something might happen to our automobile during the washing process.
Furthermore there is some sort of supervisor (usually the guy who hands out the paper with our request prior heading to the cashier) that makes sure that everything runs smoothly. We also noticed that he may also help to solve problems on the spot. E M P A T H Y Empathy Wash&Go only operates one store therefore the service is more empathetic by its nature meaning that over time personalization will increase. Also the employees are very friendly and more close relationships tend to occur. E. The CRM strategy used by Wash&Go is pretty straightforward and only involves Level 1 and 2 Bonds.
Financial Bonds * The company tries to show a great deal of respect to its customers by lowering its prices by 10% due to the economic crisis. There is a sign near the cashier that describes the Wash&Go’s financial action. * Price incentives are used as on 10 washes 1 is given for free. (Holds true only for 10 Interior-Exterior Washes and above) Price standardization strategy There is some sort of flexibility involved on its pricing policy, in order to satisfy different needs and different types of consumers by using standardized pricing patterns.
Below a chart shows the use and price policy accordingly: Exterior Wash| 6 Euro| Interior-Exterior Wash| 10 Euro| Interior-Exterior Wash plus waxing| 12. 5 Euro| Wash for professional drivers (taxi drivers, limo drivers et cetera)| 5 Euro| Social Bonds All the employees seem very friendly, and this service encourages close social relationships when taken on a frequent basis, supported by the fact that there is only one store it is certain that loyal customers experience a friendly environment. Service Recovery No sort of guarantee is provided