Service and Customer
Management Introduction: Little Woods is one of the most popular restaurants on the Chamundi Hill road being visited by a number of people from Siddhartha Nagar and the nearby apartments. The various varieties of food items along with the lightning-fast service make it one of the most sought after restaurants in the vicinity.
Positioning Services: Competitive advantage through Market focus: Market focussed strategy is one of the strategies where an organisation provides a variety of services in a limited market.
When we put Little Woods on the positioning map, it comes around moderate service with moderate price. Developing an effective positioning strategy: Market Analysis: Location: The restaurant is strategically located on the main road which leads to the Chamundi Hills. It’s readily visible by anyone who travels on this road. The display boards on the roadside also attract a lot of people to take note of the location of the restaurant. Composition: Little Woods has had a strong competitor named Pate Bharlo (now Cafe Hotel) which used to offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Generally, it’s found that pure vegetarians do not prefer to eat in a restaurant which offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items. So, it can be said that the target audience of Pate Bharlo was non-vegetarian people. In spite of such a focussed target market, Pate Bharlo eventually had to wrap up its operations due to huge losses and lack of customer base. At the same time, Little Woods performed very well and its customer base kept on increasing. This shows that most of the people in the target market are vegetarians. The more a restaurant offers varieties, the more benefits a person derives. When someone sees another variety of an item in a particular category, he tends to order that item and thus derives more benefit. This happens in any category of food items. Hence, it ’s important to offer more and more variety of offerings in order to provide more benefits to the customers and retain them in the long run. One of the resource constraints of Little Woods is space constraint. Little Woods has limited space and hence it targets a limited segment on the basis of the geographic area in and around Siddhartha Nagar.
Competitor Analysis: The founders of Little Woods have a vast experience dealing with this business. They have a couple of more restaurants in Mysore and this has helped them to know the tastes of the people and create harmonious relations with the vegetable vendors. Little Woods is a pure vegetarian restaurant. Hence, it has created a very much focussed market for itself where most of the people who are pure vegetarians are its customers. The other set of customers are the ones who eat both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. Ps of Service marketing for Little Woods: Product? Core products of Little Woods are North-Indian food items, South-Indian food items, juices, ice-creams. Does little Woods product include vegetarian items? Do supplementary products include the parking facility, ambience, lighting, music etc which creates a wonderful and hassle-free experience for the customers? The quality level of the food is on par with many of the major restaurants? Does the product line include South Indian, North Indian, Beverages and snacks? Parcel facilities are available with home delivery services provided.
Price: They provide flexibility; certain dishes are available in North Indian and South Indian tastes? The price level of all the dishes are quite affordable? Do they provide certain allowances for regular customers as well as students of institutes nearby to attract them Place? It is on the way to Chamundi which is tourist destination thereby trying to attract devotees and other tourists? It is a single outlet restaurant? Since the restaurant is located on the main road it is easily accessible to the general public? It has a good parking space which makes the place suitable for travellers Promotion: Word of mouth publicity is one of the most effective methods of marketing and this is the reason why it is viewed positively by the people? The roadside boards on Chamundi Hill road and a big banner in the Siddhartha Nagar circle are the other promotional aspects used by Little Woods People? Little Woods provides on the job training to the new employees where they are taught the intricacies of the work to be done. Employees patiently hear any grievances by the people and get it rectified as soon as possible in order to give the best possible service to the customers.
They are fluent in Kannada and Hindi but they do not understand English Most of the Customers are those people who live nearby and devotees/ travellers to Chamundi Hill. The students from the nearby institute also go there Process? Level of customer involvement is very low as they do not provide adequate training to employees? The flow of activities include Home delivery service, parcel provisions, serving in the restaurant, also a provision to provide food in customer’s vehicles Physical Evidence? They have employee dress code but it is rarely followed? They have 2 floors with closet space and an open area They provide good ambience but they do not have a separate air-conditioned area? They play music in the restaurant which is melodious Managing relationship and building loyalty: Little Woods offers 10% discount on the final bill for the SDMIMD students. However, this is given only when the amount exceeds Rs 200. This is offered to the other regular customers too.
Consumer Behaviour: Pre-purchase stage: We have already visited Little Woods a number of times since the last one year and are familiar with the quality of the food served over there. Most of the Wednesdays when the mess remains off, we usually go there to have a sumptuous dinner. Even this time, expecting a very delicious food, we visited this restaurant which has become one of the most popular restaurants to visit among the student community in SDMIMD. The most important factors to visit it by us are the proximity to our college; and the appetizing taste as well as the wide variety of food available over there.
Service Encounter Stage: Customer
Form a group of 6 friends and arrive at the hotel.
See if there is a table for 6. If not, then we ourselves pull some chairs and tables to make sure that everyone can at together
The waiter comes with glasses of water and a menu card
We discuss the items to be ordered ourselves
We call the waiter to place an order
The waiter arrived and took the order in his notebook
The waiter goes to the kitchen and communicates the order to the chef
Waited for 10 minutes after which we call the waiter to ask him how much more time will it take.
He tells us 15 minutes more, hearing which we order cold drinks.
He gets cold drinks in 5 minutes.
After 10 minutes, the chef hands over our order to the waiter in a tray.
The waiter gets the food for everyone to devour.
We find out that the waiter has actually brought Chilli Paneer Dry instead of Chilli Paneer Curry and Veg Hyderabadi instead of Paneer Hyderabadi.
We straightaway notify the waiter about the issue and ask him to take away the items which we didn’t order and ask him how much more time will it take to get the items which we had previously ordered. He tells us that we have to wait for 10 more minutes.
We start eating whatever items we have on the table and notice that we do not have onions, which are usually complimentary for SDM students. We call the waiter.
We ask for the onions, which he promptly arrives with within 2 minutes.
10 minutes had already passed and our 2 items had not yet arrived. We called the waiter again.
The waiter told us that we had to wait for 5 more minutes and apologised for the delay when he saw us getting irritated with the delay.
The items surprisingly arrived within the next 2 minutes and we ate the deliciously spicy food which we had been waiting for so long.
We ask the waiter for the bill.
The waiter goes to the cashier to get the bill.
We find out that the items which we had been mistakenly given previously had also been billed and the customary discount is given to the SDM students was also not included.
We ourselves go to the cashier and tell him the issues, which he addresses promptly.
We pay the bill and leave the restaurant. Post Purchase Stage: Three parts of this script that “went smoothly” and conformed to our expectations: Taste: The taste definitely conformed to our pre-purchase expectations. We had visited ‘Little Woods’ a number of times before and had already developed a taste for it.
The taste of the food items has always been up to great standards and we have never had any deviations in the taste every time. Ambience: The ambience of the restaurant is one of the best in this area. The colour scheme on the wall blends with the architecture very beautiful. Soft music is played in the background which gives us a very good feeling while eating the food. Manager/Cashier Behaviour: The manager was very kind and listened to our problems and straightaway corrected the bill without asking the waiter for any kind of confirmation. He trusted us and solved the issue in a jiffy. Three parts of this script that deviated from our expectations: Table and Chair Arrangements: We were highly disappointed that we ourselves had to arrange the tables and chairs so that all the 6 of us can sit together. Even the waiters did not help us. They were just carrying out their usual work without even asking us if we needed any kind of help. No timely Delivery: We were told initially that the food will arrive in 10 minutes. But in reality, it took almost 25 minutes for us to see the dishes on our tables.
Communication: We sincerely feel that there existed a big gap in communication between the different parties involved. The order which we had given was not communicated correctly with the chef by the waiter. The waiter also had not communicated well with the cashier, which is definitely the reason for the discrepancies in the bill. The Servicescapes Model- An Integrative Framework: We know that employees and customers in service firms respond to dimensions of their physical surroundings cognitively, emotionally and physiologically, and that those responses are what influence their behaviours in the environment.
Internal Responses: Cognitive – knowledge structure Affective – feelings & emotions Physiological- changes in Environment and Cognition: The perceived servicescape may elicit cognitive responses influencing people’s beliefs about a place and their beliefs about the people and products found in that place. Belief: In little woods, particular environment cues such as the type of furniture in the restaurant, ambience of the restaurant, lighting of the restaurant may influence customer belief’s about little woods and then customer tries to predict the quality and price of the food.
Categorize: Categorization is the process, by which we assign a label to an object; perceptions of the servicescape may simply help people to distinguish a firm by influencing a firm how it is categorized. In the restaurant industry, a particular configuration of environmental cues suggests that “fast food” where generally the self-service system is there whereas another configuration suggests “elegant sit-down restaurant” where you can order for the food. In little woods, we have the second type of configuration in which people come, sit and take food. Environment and Emotion: In addition to influencing cognitions, the perceived servicescape may elicit emotional responses that in turn influence behaviours. Emotion eliciting qualities of environments are captured by two dimensions: pleasure and displeasure and degree of arousal. For example, environments that elicit feelings of pleasure are likely to be ones where people want to spend money and time, whereas unpleasant environments are avoided.
In little woods, we have seen that people are ready to spend money and time for the service they have in the restaurant. Environment and psychology: The perceived servicescape may also affect people in purely physiological ways. In a particular restaurant noise that is too loud may cause physical discomfort, the temperature of a room may cause people to shiver or perspire, the air quality may make it difficult to breathe, and the glare of lighting may decrease the ability to see and cause physical pain. All of those physical responses may in turn directly influence whether or not people stay in and enjoy a particular environment. In little woods, we have seen that physical discomfort is not there. The relative comfort of sitting in a restaurant influences how long people stay. When they become uncomfortable sitting on a hard surface in a fast-food restaurant, most people leave within a predictable period of time. In little woods, we have seen that sitting arrangements are very good. The floor of the restaurant is also is very good. In addition to directly affecting behaviour, physiological responses may influence seemingly unrelated beliefs and feelings about the place and the people there.
Service Blueprint: Physical Evidence Arrive at the restaurant Parking area Enter the restaurant Go to the table Dining area Go through the menu Place the order Receive food Eat Receive and pay bill Leave the restaurant Customer Line of interaction.
Service Blueprint: is a technique used for service innovation.
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