Defining Services Management Trinity
Whilst the power of conceptualizing the management functions as a Service Management Trinity should be evident, achieving this integration in practice may still be problematic.
Unlike manufacturing in which each management function can be considered as interlocking yet separate, a service organization can be thought of as a ‘factory in the field’. Each management function is interlocking and interdependent. The customer is the focus of everything. This is an important conceptual shift for management used to perhaps working in departmental isolation.
By examining each function in turn, we can see how the interrelationships arise. Furthermore, it becomes clear that considering these management functions as a linked Services Management Trinity is a powerful conceptual tool to improving the customer service function. In manufacturing firms, marketers take over responsibility once the product leaves the factory.
Selecting Key Performance Indicators
Once can see that the inseparability of a service from production means that this traditional view of marketing cannot be sustained. Marketing must be involved in such matters as selecting KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that relate to service as well as the more usual issues such as researching customer needs and preferences.
Indeed, operational and human resource functions become part of the concern of the marketer. Scheduling of staff to meet customer demand, and the personality characteristics of those staff can be thought of as the corollary of product specifications in manufacturing.
Analyzing Implementation Results
Finally, if marketing promotes a friendly, efficient and courteous service within certain operational parameters, then it is not too difficult to see that in the instant of production, the service may succeed or fail on the implementation of the human resource function.
Selection and recruitment, performance appraisal, training and reward systems all have an impact. A service culture derives from the human resource function and this service culture impacts directly on the service the customer receives. Avis is a notable example of this with its Raving Fans concept.
Services Management Trinity Example
The Sheraton Heatwave team example also illustrates how empowered staff can make operational changes to the system to maximize customer satisfaction. Empowerment is a direct result of human resources strategy and industrial relations policy.
The rapid growth of services and the use of outdated models of manufacturing management may still see managers trying to ‘hold on to’ their own functional areas.