Service Trait Identification

Description1)Hartman, David E. and John H. Lindgren, Jr., “Consumer Evaluations of Goods and Services: Implications for Services Marketing,” Journal of Services Marketing 7, no. 2 (1993): 4-15. 4)Levitt T., “Marketing Intangible Products and Product Intangibles,” Harvard Business Review 22, no. 2 1981): 81, 94 – 102. 2)Murray, Kevin B. and John L. Schlacter, “The Impact of Services Versus Goods on Consumers’ Assessments of Risk and Variability,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 18, no. 1 (1990): 51-65. 3)Onkvisit Sak, and J.J. Shaw, “Is Services Marketing ‘Really’ Different?” Journal of Professional Services Marketing 7, no. 2 (1991): 3-17.

Service traits are the traits desired in service employees that are more closely identified with interpersonal communication. They can also be described as the specific behaviors and actions of an individual or group towards external customers.

The aim is to improve overall satisfaction with the service delivered and to the internal customers to achieve a common objective of group excellence. Use service traits to create job descriptions and as the basis for performance evaluations.

Application

  • The demonstration of specific response to the internal and external customer varies on individual acquired or learned skill, cultural background, education background, and professional training in terms of exposure.
  • The role of transactional employees suggests that the traits desirable for service employees can be identified as those that would address the service system and front line employees’ ability to achieve the following four goals:
    • Completion of the service exchange (resolution) on first contact whenever possible
    • Education of the customer to prevent future problems and complaint contacts
    • Creation of an emotional connection when appropriate and cost effective
    • Capture of information to support a voice of the customer (VOC) process
  • These service traits can be further divided into categories:
    • Influencing customer expectations to align with service offerings
    • Educating the customer on where to obtain each kind of service
    • Being accessible when the customer needs service, which is whenever the customer is using or considering buying the product
    • Providing a complete answer on first contact and anticipating the customer’s next question
    • Effectively deliver the requested service
    • Following through on outstanding issues and keeping promises
    • Identifying causes of unnecessary service and feeding back such information into the preventive analysis process in the service system
  • Alternatively, you can determine desired service traits for a particular position by gathering information from customers and by assessing competent and exceptional staff who currently perform the function. Identify those traits that positively contribute to the customer’s experience before, during, and after execution of the transaction.
  • After clearly identifying these traits, include them in the job description as a requirement and use this information when selecting new employees and as a basis for training.
  • Periodically assess the traits identified for relevancy, as markets and customers may change, as well as their needs. Depending on the level of service that exists when the analysis is first done, customer’s expectations may also change once their basic needs are met and other traits become more relevant to maintaining customer loyalty.

References   [ + ]

1. Hartman, David E. and John H. Lindgren, Jr., “Consumer Evaluations of Goods and Services: Implications for Services Marketing,” Journal of Services Marketing 7, no. 2 (1993): 4-15.
2. Murray, Kevin B. and John L. Schlacter, “The Impact of Services Versus Goods on Consumers’ Assessments of Risk and Variability,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 18, no. 1 (1990): 51-65.
3. Onkvisit Sak, and J.J. Shaw, “Is Services Marketing ‘Really’ Different?” Journal of Professional Services Marketing 7, no. 2 (1991): 3-17.
4. Levitt T., “Marketing Intangible Products and Product Intangibles,” Harvard Business Review 22, no. 2 1981): 81, 94 – 102.