01/A (LO#01 – Define service and identify how service businesses differ from manufacturing businesses)
Service is an activity offered by an individual, group, company, or any other party to help with intangible activities and does not change ownership of anything. Service is generally production that can be associated with or not with physical production. Services are commercial activities that add quality and help consumers at particular moments and places as a result of bringing about the needed outcome in – or on behalf of – the beneficiary (Angelo, 2017). However, service businesses significantly differ from manufacturing businesses following some of the unique characteristics of services. There are major distinguishing characteristics of services that have a great impact when differentiating service businesses from manufacturing businesses. These characteristics include intangibility, variability, and lack of ownership, heterogeneity, inseparability, and perishability (Angelo, 2017). Service businesses are mostly associated with short periods being offered, for instance, in the tourism sector, where I had a good experience during my last vacation. I had a good service at Banff National Park, Canada, where my family visited the last vacation. Tourism is a major sector in hospitality that has matured as an industry and calls upon providing various services to different customers to their satisfaction. For instance, the implication is one key characteristic that distinguishes a service from manufactured goods. This is because during service production customer or the service recipient is engaged in the production and delivery of the service. During our vacation, when traveling across the park, we were involved in transportation to different places where we were guided to avoid an accident.
Variability is another service characteristic that distinguishes service from manufactured goods. This characteristic implies that the quality of the services may vary depending on who is offered the service to a customer. While with manufactured goods, anybody can provide the product and does not need a specialist like in service businesses where only a particular person can provide it, unlike the manufactured products. Perishability is another characteristic that differentiates the two. Services cannot be preserved for future sale or use (Angelo, 2017). This means that if a group is being prepared a dinner for a night, the service cannot be stored for later use; even if some people have not turned yet, the service will take place, and when the other people come, they will order for their services. Lack of ownership is a key differentiating factor between service and manufactured products (Angelo, 2017). This is because in the service industry service provided the customer does not completely own it but only has access to use it. For instance, in tourism, a customer has access to tourists’ cars but does not own them since they move you around the park and leave them within the premises when your time is over for being within the premises.
#01/B (LO#02 & #03 – Explain the importance of strategic planning, and identify the steps in the strategic planning process)
Strategy is having a plan of actions or steps purposely designed to attain a particular aim in an organization. Strategy planning is an important process in which organizations or business leaders/managers define the organization’s vision and future objectives and goals (Angelo, 2017). This process involves a major sequence of steps in which the set objectives and goals would be attained to attain its defined vision. Strategic planning is an important process that enables leaders of an organization to track their progress towards achieving its goals and objectives. Additionally, having a strategy is crucial since it involves SWOT analysis which is vital when setting goals and objectives. This is because through SWOT analysis leader of an organization can determine its strengths and weaknesses that can prevent the business from achieving its set goals. The strategic planning process involves major steps: performing a SWOT analysis, formulating strategies to use, implementing the strategies, and monitoring and evaluating results. Every organization’s strategic planning process must follow these steps to succeed. In the tourism sector, like in Banff National Park, when performing a SWOT analysis, I would figure out the park’s strengths in terms of the sites that are attacking more tourists across the globe and how it could use the potential strength to keep it at that level. To effectively know the weaknesses, I would provide some forms that tourists would fill in to give feedback regarding services provided to know where they can improve.
Secondly, when formulating strategies, for instance, developing a website where customers can book slots during their vacations and services they would like. The third step would be implementing the strategy involving a web designer who would develop a very good web for the park that all people can access using their different devices to book the slots regarding the number of people who will be visiting the park at different times. Lastly, it would be monitoring and evaluating the strategy implementation process over a certain period (Angelo, 2017). To implement this step, I would visit the visitor’s book for a particular period, like one to three months, and compare if there is an increased number of tourists compared to the number of visitors of a previous season before designing the web. Moreover, I would have interviews with different directors to survey to determine if designing the web in the tourism sector is effective.
#01/C (LO#04 – Recognize the basic components of a strategic service vision)
A strategic service vision comprises of identification of a particular target market segment, establishment of a service concept that is aimed at addressing particular and targeted consumer demands, codification of an operating technique to support the implemented service concept, and designing an effective service delivery system to support and the established operating technique (Angelo, 2017). The components mentioned above of the strategic service vision are crucial and basic because they greatly help any business like the tourism business where you have been a customer. For example, in the park, they have implemented these basic components of the strategic service vision because there have been established effective service delivery systems to customers to meet their needs when they visit the park. For instance, upon visiting the park, there are forms that tourists fill out upon arriving indicating their expectations that they anticipate fulfilling, and they are offered service in relation to their expectations. And surveys are conducted through questionnaires to ensure that their expectations are met to prevent customers from being disappointed and providing negative compliments about them.
#01/D (LO#05 – List the keys to delivering good service)
It is significant to various and crucial principles to deliver good services to customers and attain their satisfaction. This is because failure to adhere to those ways will lead to poor service provision to customers. These vital keys to delivering good services include: keeping in mind who you are as a service provider to customers and not forgetting (Angelo, 2017). In the tourism business at Banff National Park, employees who provide customer service have been trained to not interfere with tourists but keep work professional and stick to their roles, not misbehaving with the visitors. Secondly, each employee at the park acts like a manager such that not at any given point can an employee watch wrongdoing and keep a blind eye to the action; they address it effectively. A third key way to deliver good services integrated into tourism is correctly handling all moments of truth (Angelo, 2017). For example, if any visitors do a wrong that they were unaware of and openly revealed themselves, no penalty is imposed on them, but they are given a warning. Key ways of delivering good services have been implemented through the customer care desk since customer messages, calls, and inquiries are immediately attended to. This shows that responding promptly has been well initiated. Lastly, for efficient services, the business has hired very good employees who are patient with the customers and have been kept happy through the provision of allowances (Angelo, 2017).
Angelo, R. M. (2017). Hospitality today: An introduction. American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, Lansing, MI.
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