Unlike the manufacturing sector, the service industry does not have physical goods to be manufactured for the customer. Hence, the MIS typically found in manufacturing and selling organization will not be suitable in the service sector. The data processing applications like Payroll, Accounting and Inventory are required in the service industry too, but they may not be all critical to the services sector. The mission in a service area is of providing the most pleasant service to the customer, while in a manufacturing industry; it could differ from industry to industry and from organization to organization.
There are certain mission critical applications in the services sector, which need to be managed best. These applications make a service organization efficient and effective in providing the best service to the customer. In a competitive situation, this industry requires service distinction to create an identity, a position, and growth, to remain ahead of the competition. In a service industry, therefore, a sensitive market and consumer research are necessary to identify the segment to be served and to study its service requirements, expectations and perceptions. Since the service demands are more dynamic than that of a product, a continuous search for the requirements, expectations, and perceptions is to be conducted to upgrade and enhance the service facilities.
Most of the service industries have front-end facilities to serve the customer to explain their immediate needs and make them comfortable for the rest of service demands. Any human interaction is knowledge based, hence, information based. All the systems, which make human interaction practical and comfortable are mission critical applications, and a service industry has to provide these to offer the most pleasant service. The mission critical applications are built around the business strategy. The policy formulation and implementation depend a lot on the information on the socio-economic changes, the new demands arising out of these changes and the technology to meet the changing needs effectively. The service organizations undergo changes more rapidly than the manufacturing sector. The returns in the service industry are immediate compared to the manufacturing sector. The entire managerial effort in a service sector is to create a distinctive service to remain competitive.
Creating an Outstanding Service Creating a unique service is a willful, conscious and deliberate management endeavor. The administration of a service business calls for such a willful, conscious and deliberate act to create a distinctive service and hence, to remain in the firm. To manage a service effectively, it is necessary to understand the unique characters between the product and the service, the customer expectation and perception.
Service Vs Product
The product is tangible, but a service is not. A product consumes a shelf space, has a shelf life and has a physical unit of measure such as kgs, so. Meter, etc. services are offered on demand, while The product can be delivered on payment. The quality control of the product is possible concerning the determined standards, while the quality control of a service is difficult due to its reference to the customer’s expectation, which ‘s hard to judge and control. The product can be demonstrated before the actual sale, while the service cannot be described. The product can be produced, sold and consumed in stages while the service has to be produced, sold and consumed simultaneously. The receiver and provider of the service are very close to each other.
The quality of service results in the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the customer. The satisfaction is related to the client’s expectations and perceptions of the service and its outcome, which is integral to his needs, could be specific or vague. The customer is dissatisfied if the service received is below his expectations and not as perceived by him. The satisfaction is also based on the manner in which the service is being offered or understood. If the service process is not enjoyable though it gives what is asked for, then the results would indicate dissatisfaction. The service expectations are dynamic and not static. The expectations are about the service process and the outcome, and satisfaction relates to both. Hence, to create a distinctive service, the management of a service business must understand the customer expectations, and if the client expectations and perceptions are not rational and are generated out of knowledge, then customer awareness and education are necessary. The service function essentially is a human interaction between the service receiver and the provider. The service-focused organization manages this human interaction at its best through a well-defined customer-oriented strategy designed for an excellent, distinctive service.