Stakeholder involvement in the new service design process: FOCUS OF DESIGN

Much of the earlier services marketing literature focuses on differentiating goods from services. Thus services are often described as intangible, heterogeneous, inseparable and perishable. The complex and diverse nature of the services sector is, however, also recognised, for example, by attempts to classify and categorise different types of services. Since services are often described as performances, this has tended to direct much of the focus in designing and evaluating the quality of services to the process of delivery and the human interaction element. Service quality measures based on a dramatalurgical metaphor or on expectations of the process elements emphasise this and can often neglect the outcome. Thus the term ‘service product’ may be a source of confusion between academics and practitioners.

It was clear from the interviews that the product/service development/design process was focused on the final ‘products’ that consumers would purchase and not on delivery or service processes. Indeed, the nature of the product development section reflected this, that is product managers and teams are allocated to the design and development of individual products, for example mortgages or savings accounts. One interviewee stated:

‘. . . linked to those products is the service dimension. Now depending on the channel of distribution, service will play a greater or lesser part but it’s the product that wins at the end of the day . . . you cannot bring a customer in with service alone if the product doesn’t stand up. If we’re not competitive in the mortgage market American style service will not win us customers by itself . . . it’s a service to the product. The product has to be there.’

The approach to conceptualisation of services as process was also suggested by the following perspective on the industry as a whole:

‘. . . I don’t think we see ourselves as a service industry anymore, or a service sector . . . Financial services is a retail sector. . .. That’s why you get such a different slant on the way things are done now than the way they were done five years ago. .. . Emphasis on the product and not on the service itself. . . . we still try and sell a lot of our products by the service and the fact that we have so many branches throughout the country . . . we will always be seen as performing a service for people . . .’

The intangibility of the ‘product’ was, however, recognised as an issue:

‘It’s very difficult actually … Savings products, banking products in general, one of the big problems is there is nothing really tangible there . . . the main tangibility or the main tangible aspects are either that the customer gets a statement or they have a pass book. . . . I would have liked not to have had . . . a pass book because it’s costly from the bank’s perspective. However, because of the target audience it was felt the pass book was essential.

Such views suggest interesting issues for the development of ‘service design’ models and for more general discussion of service characteristics, as noted later. The next section identifies a number of stakeholder groups who have an impact on the service design process.

Representative APR 391%

Let's say you want to borrow $100 for two week. Lender can charge you $15 for borrowing $100 for two weeks. You will need to return $115 to the lender at the end of 2 weeks. The cost of the $100 loan is a $15 finance charge and an annual percentage rate of 391 percent. If you decide to roll over the loan for another two weeks, lender can charge you another $15. If you roll-over the loan three times, the finance charge would climb to $60 to borrow the $100.

Implications of Non-payment: Some lenders in our network may automatically roll over your existing loan for another two weeks if you don't pay back the loan on time. Fees for renewing the loan range from lender to lender. Most of the time these fees equal the fees you paid to get the initial payday loan. We ask lenders in our network to follow legal and ethical collection practices set by industry associations and government agencies. Non-payment of a payday loan might negatively effect your credit history.

Calculate APR