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Customer relationship. LEARNING OBJECTIVES. Identify the distinguishing characteristics of services. Discuss the characteristics of good customer service. Describe the standard for the evaluation of services. Describe service

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learning objectives
  • Identify the distinguishing characteristics of services.
  • Discuss the characteristics of good customer service.
  • Describe the standard for the evaluation of services.
  • Describe service
  • Describe strategies for dealing with service failures and medication errors.

economy is composed of three principal sectors:

  • Extractive (i.e., mining and farming)
  • Manufacturing
  • Service
  • The services sector can be divided into five subgroups:
  • Business services—consulting, finance, banking
  • Trade services—retailing, maintenance and repair
  • Infrastructure services—communications, transportation
  • Social/personal services—restaurants, health care
  • Public administration—education, government
characteristics of services
  • Services are distinguished by the following features:
  • The Services are produced and consumed simultaneously
  • Services are perishable
  • Service site location is dictated by the consumer
  • customer is a participant in the service process
  • Standardization of services is difficult
customer influence on services
Customer influence on services

(1) Arrival variability—customers do not want service at times convenient for the company or in a steady, predictable pattern.

(2) request variability—customers’ desires are not standard

(3) capability variability—customers’ own abilities to contribute to the service process vary (e.g., a visually impaired patient who requires training on the use of a nebulizer)

(4) effort variability—how much energy will the customer expend to facilitate the service encounter (e.g., will the customer call the doctor ahead of time and provide updated insurance information),

(5) subjective variability—customers vary in their opinion as to what it means to be treated well

what exactly is good customer service
What exactly is good customer service?
  • Delivering good customer service requires the following:
  • Solving customer problems with no hassle
  • Solving customer problems promptly
  • Providing people who know what they are doing
  • Providing people empowered to solve customer problems
  • Treating people with dignity and empathy
  • Correcting mistakes when they are made

The critical point in services is the service encounter

  • The rise and fall of huge corporations, as well as individual employees’ bonuses, can hinge on management of this brief interaction

Empowering employees to deliver superior service employees requires :

(1) Rewards based on the organization’s performance,

(2) Information and Knowledge that allows employees to understand and contribute to organizational performance

(3) Power to make decisions that influence organizational direction and performance


The benefits of an empowered employee are :

  • Quicker responses to customer needs during the service encounter
  • Quicker responses to dissatisfied consumers during service recovery
  • Employees feeling better about their jobs and themselves
  • Employees interacting with consumers with more warmth and enthusiasm
  • Empowered employees as a source for innovation and improvement
  • Service industry: employees who receive fair treatment from their employers are more likely to treat customers fairly in return
standards for evaluating services
  • Reliability—the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately
  • Responsiveness—the willingness to help customers and provide prompt service
  • Assurance—the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence
  • Empathy—the caring, individualized attention provided to customers
  • Tangibles—the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials
  • Reliability is most highly valued by consumers.

services are evaluated by the customer on the difference in expectations for the service versus the perception of that service

  • Customer expectations for service arise from the customer’s own experiences with that service, other services like it, and the experiences of other customer
  • Customer expectations for service operate at two levels—desired and adequate
  • quality is defined by the gap between the expectation for the service and the perception of how it was delivered
service recovery
service recovery
  • Service recovery is a process, a sequence of events beginning with the recognition of a service failure or mistake, followed by a series of interactions between the consumer and the service provider
  • Dealing with and correcting errors and service failures
  • when things go wrong In the pharmacy
  • catastrophic prescription errors are considered
  • none catastrophic prescription errors and service failures
catastrophic prescription errors
Catastrophic Prescription Errors
  • Even if the patient suffers no permanent harm, a service failure or mistake in a pharmacy is a significant event
  • The consequences of a service failure or mistake in a pharmacy include :
  • Deterioration of trust in the pharmacist and the system,
  • The spread of negative word-of-mouth advertising,
  • The possibility of legal action,
  • Possible board of pharmacy involvement,
  • The erosion of customer patronage,
  • Diminished level of profit

Catastrophic errors are defined as causing severe damage to a patient that is not easily reversed

  • recommendations for responding to the victim and the victim’s family following the occurrence of a serious error
  • First, the victim and family want the truth about what happened
  • compensation for the emotional, psychological, and financial costs of the catastrophic medication error. Emotional costs are ameliorated through an apology, the psychological costs through assurances that the system will be fixed, and the patient costs in time, money, and inconvenience through financial settlements.
noncatastrophic prescription errors and service failures
Noncatastrophic Prescription Errors and Service Failures
  • Elements for service recovery:
  • Provision of information about the problem and what is being done
  • Action in response to the customer preferably without needing to be asked,
  • the appearance of putting themselves out by the staff, and involvement by the customer in the decision making.
  • In a retail setting, the recommendations for service recovery include discount, correction, manager/employee intervention, correction plus replacement, apology, refund, and store credit

Describe an incident where you experienced service that was particularly good. What made it so?

  • Describe an incident where you experienced service that was particularly bad. What made it so?
  • What do you believe a typical pharmacy customer values most in a service encounter?
  • How does the treatment of employees relate to their effectiveness in providing services


  • good customer service requires Solving customer problems with hassle T/F
  • Catastrophic errors are defined as causing severe damage to a patient that is not easily reversed T/F
  • Reliability& Assurance& empathy are standards for evaluating service T/F