Services Marketing & Management
Services Marketing & Management
One of the significant learning from the course is:
“How can the service providers influence an equal relationship with their customer and how the point of view conflicts (providers see the problem from his/her point of view while customers see it from their) can be resolved.”
I have worked in project management division of Reliance Industries Ltd, for approximately 4 years. Though my work experience is not related to the service side of the company we had IT help the department in our organization which was the service provider and I, as a project engineer, was their customer.
Earlier, I used to think that the relationship between a project person and an IT person can’t be good. Reasons for this belief were following:
- No priority to new/young/low-level employees.
- Issues were not resolved on time and that was the reason employees don’t use to trust IT team.
- A lot of time, the issue was not resolved and still, employees used to get the email from IT team that your issue has been resolved, therefore, we are closing the request raised by you.
- Lack of understanding, if somebody has an urgent requirement, they will the Get IT number but the person receiving the call will have a cliche answer “Sir, please register your complaint to Get IT portal, we will get back to you once you have registered it online”.
- Lack of ownership, once we used to raise a request, we would get an automatic reply that your request has been registered with our system, one of our executives will contact you shortly.
- Employees some time have to call the IT person twice/thrice to come to his place and resolve the issue. They were not proactive at all.
These were majorly the issue which created a conflict between the employees and IT department sometimes. After, doing this course in service management, if I get an opportunity to work as an IT manager in Reliance Industries Ltd. I would like to change the following things in IT services:
- Modify the existing portal such that you can track the status of your request.
- To build the trust among employees, in the portal, employees will be able to see the name and email id of the person to whom the request has been allocated.
- Till now the system provides only a single contact number for contact Get IT help desk. So, the employee doesn’t to which IT person they need to speak to resolve their issues. So, to improve on this communication gap, the new system will have the contact details, landline number/mobile number of the responsible person, so that employee can directly talk to the person. This will improve upon the communication part of the IT help services.
- Priority tab on the portal where an employee can mention whether the request is a high priority or not. (I know everyone will always put the highest priority to their requests but we can have a system where if the request really needs to be resolved on highest priority, then the employees must take the approval from their manager and then only they can enter the highest priority in the portal). This will build the mutual understanding among employees and IT people.
- Live status of the request can be tracked on the portal. Portal will have a progress bar with different levels of progress like request registered, IT employee allocated, the issue is resolved etc. This will help in building the trust about IT services among employees.
- No request will be resolved unless confirmed by the employee. There will be a “confirm request is resolved” button on the portal which will be accessible to the employees only. This will help in building the credibility about IT services.
- Once, the request has been resolved, IT person will call the employee to get his feedback about how was their service, was they prompt in resolving the issue, is the computer is working fine, how was the behaviour of the responsible IT person.
- The portal will have a feedback column which will be activated once the employee has confirmed the resolution. Based on the feedbacks, IT managers can look for further improvements and this mechanism will help them in improving the pro-activeness of their services.
All the above-mentioned suggestions will help in building the relationship between the customers and providers. All the above-mentioned suggestions are for service quality improvement and customer satisfaction. But we need to take care of the service providers also and should motivate them to improve upon their workings. Following are the ideas which can be adopted by the company to motivate their IT persons:
- IT employees should also have a feedback mechanism where they can mention about the behaviour of the employee to whom the IT person was helping. The feedback will majorly be about the behaviour of the employee, was he cooperative when the person was resolving the issue ( I have seen a lot of people shouting over IT employees because of some other work stresses, frustrations, and in a fast track project environment this happens a lot), availability of the employee when IT person visited him. IT managers shall keep checking this feedbacks and should back his employees in genuine cases. This will motivate them as it will create a feeling among IT employees that their voice is also being heard, they are not being harassed unnecessarily (master-slave feeling can be resolved with this feedback system).
- Recognition by the manager for IT person who has received continuously 5 stars in her/his service for last 10 complaint resolution.
- “IT person of the month” award for the person who has consistently received good feedback from his employees. As per VS Mahesh’s Hierarchy of needs, this will fall under the recognition by others stage.
- To improve upon the “Self-Actualization” one’s inner domain, IT manager shall have a chat with his peoples, how are they liking the work, what problems they are facing, ask for their suggestions to overcome these issues, asking them their achievements for the month, was these achievements are in line with their self-expectations, have they worked up to their own standards. This will motivate the employees to exceed their own expectations. Once they will start working in their inner domain, quality of performance will definitely increase.
I think this learning is not only applicable to this particular case but can be adopted by any other service industry. If a cab aggregator like Ola/Uber is trying to balance out the relationship between their customers and employees, they can also improve the communication, trust, credibility, pro-activeness of their services by looking into the problems being faced by customers presently through surveys, in-depth interviews etc. and can come up with a matrix of attributes to improve on these 4 dimensions of their service. Also, they can have both way feedback mechanism which will give them the real-time situation from the customer as well as providers point of view. I think this is a very robust learning from the course which with few modifications, as per the service requirements, can be adopted by most of the service providers. There are several moments of truth while booking a cab through a cab aggregator like Ola/Uber: