Service process refers to how a service is provided or delivered to a customer. Delivery system is a creative process. Service process begins with a service concept and strategy to provide a service. In order to achieve these objectives various alternatives must be analyzed and identified before a decision is made. Designing a service process involves issues such as location facility, design and layout for effective design layout and workflow, procedure and job definitions for service quality, equipment selection and adequate service capacity
According to Clovelock there are some operational issues which have to be considered while designing the service process.
- In order to achieve economics of scale and perform consistently the operation people would prefer to cater to individuals so that the customer feels as being treated specially.
- The decisions on design and facility layout should satisfy the objectives on both.
- Operational people are interested to improve the productivity as the cost of production per unit will reduce.
- Manage the queues in such a way that it is possible to use the available space.
- Operational employees feel that the job design should shrink error and standardise tasks, making efficient use of approach.
Designing Service Process
The following factors are to be considered in the service process design and implementation.
- The service itself: It is necessary to understand whether the service itself is process dependent. Most of the equipment based services like laundry and lawn care as well as services with highly intangible attributes like insurance and banking are process dependent.
- Customer participation: In case of most service system the customer is present when the service is being performed. The customer can be made a productive labour Instead of being a passive bystander. Productivity can be increased by shifting some the service activities On to the customer. A spectrum of service delivery system is possible depending on the degree of customer involvement from self service to complete dependence on a service provider.
- Degree of customer contact: It refers to the physical presence of the customer in the system. The degree of customer contact can be measured by the amount time the customer is present in the system in relation to the total service time. In case of low contact system consumer have a direct influence on the production process because they are not present.
- Degree if divergence: A standardized service with low divergence is designed for high volumes with a narrowly defined and focused service. Since the tasks are routine it require a workforce with relatively low levels of technical skills. For customized services more flexibility and judgement are required to perform the service tasks. In addition to this more information is exchanged between the customer and the social worker. In order to achieve customer satisfaction, decision making is delegated to service workers.
- Location of service delivery: The service delivery process should be located either at the service provider’s premises or carried out at the customer place. In case of the services like painting carpet cleaning etc. The service has to be delivered at home. Many services are being delivered without the customer and the supplier meeting their destiny.
- Complexity of service: Complexity of services reflects the number of steps that are involved in delivering the services. By looking at the blueprint it can easily determine whether the services are high or low in complexity and its divergence can be determined by having a look at its blueprint.