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A visit to a funeral agency

Due to a recent personal loss, last week I visited a funeral agency. Since this visit for obvious reasons is very much on top of my mind, I will take this opportunity to reflect upon the physical space and servicescape of the funeral office. This being my first visit to a funeral office, I did not know what to expect, more than what I had seen on tv, or a different kind of agency (general script).
Physical space: The office entrance was discrete with a small waiting room. The office space had a clean scandinavian design. There were two private offices. An agent geeted us by the door, and was kind to squeeze us in on a short notice. The office room was small and overfurnished, filld with piles of paper. But there was a shelf of miniatures of coffins, which made it easier for us to pick the right model, according to our budget.
Digital space: The agent used their web page as a reference, a lot of information and their enlisted products and services where easily accessed. For instance,…
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Resource integration and servicescapes

Resource integration gives a new perspective to how the customer's are affected and co-create value to the product or service. In her tutorial video, assistant professor Maria Åkesson decribes resource integration as how the customers interact with each other in the servicescape. Very little of this process can be influenced by the firm (open part), most of the resource integration happens without the firm's inclunece, only on the customer's terms (closed part).

Customer for instance uses resources before and after a direct contact with the firm, such as finding information online, or asking friends for advice. Here the firm's assignment is to make the resources as user-friendly as possible. In a restaurant this could be easy-to-find-menus and other information on web-sites and the social media. The word of mouth becomes a useful tool, when the restuarants reputation is on the top. Other customers recommend the place to their friends, and talk about in positive terms o…

Customer's experience rooms

The surroundings in which the customer experiences the purchase of the product or a service is important for all the good reasons: it reflects to the products quality, price, user-friendliness and style. In this on-going module of the course Understanding Customer Experience, I'm looking forward to learning theories about the experience rooms, such as servicescape.

In this course I've used the family restaurant as my study case to analyze and learn about the different theories on understanding customer experience. I hope to get some useful ideas and tools on how we can use the exterior, interior, decorations, graphic design and perhaps even our website or facebook-site to gain a competitive advantage

co-creation and co-destruction of value in customer interaction

Interactive value formation stipulates that value is co-created during the interaction between the provider and the customer. Non interactive value formation means that the value is created in the product or service in manufacturing(Ercheverri & Skålen, 2011). I believe that in hospitality most of the value of both the product (food and drink) and service is created very much interactively, how the guest and the waiter interact. Most of the value of the visit to a restaurant comes from the sense of total experience, not only food, service or visual environment or ambience. That is why the co-creation the value becomes so important.
If value in service is co-created, how much difference does it make if the customer is happy, in a good mood, hungry, angry, sad, late etc? If the value is co-destructed, what is a waiter to do to co-restore the value? Compensation, listening to the customer making a wrong right are some of the ways to ce-restore destructed value. Misunderstandings, kit…

Non verbal communication

In this blog I am to reflect the tutorial videos on the course website. In one of the videos, Per Erchevelli talks about the non-verbal communication in service encounters. Non-verbal interaction is a major part of communication. According to researcher Albert Mehrabian, only 7 % of our communication is the actual words we speak. 38% is the tone of our voice, and 55% is body language. (åk)
Erchevelli describes using non verbal communication as tools in our toolbox, some small, some bigger. He mentions gestures, posture, touching behaviour, facial expressions, eye behaviour and vocal behaviour. These tools of non verbal communication have 3 functions, according to Erchevelli: it adds information to what is already expressed, it gives a new direction to the conversation, and it reinforces a specific communicative content. In my personal opinion, non verbal communication is a powerful tool and therefore so often misunderstood. The interpretation of t…

Moduel 4 about customer interractions

In the coming blogs and in the course we will dive into the exciting world of customer interactions. This I believe really is the core of any business: the customer and the service provider interracting with each other. I’m looking forward to learn about the theories connected into customer interraction.  Having worked in customer service my whole life (since I was 14, and still going strong!) I have decades of emiprical experience on the subject. I absolutely love meeting and talking to my customers. My style of service is personal, engaging and preferably humoristic, when applicable.  Although I consider myself being a person who gets along with everyone, I still meet an angry or dissatisfied customer every now and then. The challenge is to try to change their perspective, and make things right. 99 times out of 100 it works out well. I’m looking forward to read about the academics point of view when it comes to good practises in customer interraction, and what to do when things go sou…

influencing the restaurant customer

Here is a couple of ways we could use the principles of persuasion to improve customer experience in our restaurant:

Authority: the chef could present the menu, preferably in person by the table in and tell something about for instance how the food is prepared. Or if the chef is not available in person e could write a description or a story about the menu composition in the menu for the customer to read about. Our sommelier can organize wine/beer/spirit tasting and tell about the products qualities. This engages the customer and at the same time educates/gives new information about the product while offering a pleasant customer experience.

Scarcity: We can offer menus or drinks for limited time only. For instance special menu for Easter, Mother´s day, midsummer or Christmas. Also in the bar we can offer beer of the month, cocktail of the month or other special limited time offers. Food or drinks can also be offered on season, for instance fresh berries during the summer or mushrooms in…