Services firm analysis and improvement plan
The assignment is based on the hospitality industry.
You are required to conduct a service quality audit and use the models provided in the course and assess the ability of the firm to meet the requirements of a services firm.
You must choose one area from Module 2 to focus on
Pricing, promotion and communication
And you must use a minimum of at least two tools to analyse the areas of your choice. As long as they add value more tools and analysis can also be offered.
Examples of tools
Blueprint and flowcharting
Service quality analysis such as SERVQUAL or gap analysis eg. Gap analysis example
Satisfaction analysis such as survey, complaints management
Employee retention and employment satisfaction*
Brand assessment, recall, awareness and loyalty
* Tobias Schlager, Mareike Bodderas, Peter Maas, Joël Luc Cachelin, (2011) “The influence of the employer brand on employee attitudes relevant for service branding: an empirical investigation”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 25 Iss: 7, pp.497 – 508
Services are intangible, perishable, have co-production and a mixed and heterogeneous customer base. These factors must be considered in the service firm audit and improvement plan. Models such as the gap model, the dis-confirmation satisfaction model and assessing the contact points, process, service-scape/physical evidence and people are all important aspects when undertaking an audit on the firm. Your improvements should include techniques offered in module 3 such as knowledge management, internal marketing, and project management and so on.
All of the theory related to this program can be found and supported in your modules and the selected readings folder you have received. This assignment draws on material presented in all modules however is most aligned to module 2 and 3.
Tasks for the assignment
You are required to write a service marketing analysis of your service firm and service improvement plan (2000 words maximum – excluding references) for one operational section identified below . You should try to have a good list of references showing where you have found your information. It is important to cite all work and websites you have visited. You must use journal references and practical references and websites that support you firm. Do not use textbook references. Website, magazines and other such periodicals must be referenced. You are expected to research and show initiative.
Report and improvement plan content
Analysis of firm environmental scan with particular focus on services theory in your chosen area.
The purpose of this section is to indicate how the organisation is currently performing. Using your knowledge of services marketing, critically analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of the current strategies being used by the organisation in your chosen area. Relevant marketing theories and concepts should be applied to assist with analysis and evaluation. You may need to comment on links and strategies in other sections of the firm but the main priority of your analysis and improvement plan should be in the area you nominate. 1. Servicescape, 2. People , 3. Pricing, promotion and communication, 4. Service delivery. You must apply the two practical and relevant tools and these will depend on what section you are analysing e.g. Service scape will require flowcharting and blueprinting
Information that will assist you to analyse your chosen services firm can be found on the internet, you can look to firms local to you, similar to your chosen firm and use them as a benchmark. You must use library and media searches. You should CHOOSE a firm that is related to your sector choice and you can show initiative and identify new tools of analysis.
Your report should comprise:
An executive summary and introduction outlining your firm and business description and the alignment to your sector choice in the previous assignment.
The introduction should provide an overview of what the firm is your choice of area of analysis and very clearly identify the business and market the firm operates in. The report should comprise of a logical, sequential and persuasive arguments, justified or supported by secondary sources and journal articles. The purpose of the report is not to simply reword or describe the firm or comments from the literature but to offer a thorough understanding of the marketing issues and capabilities facing the firm.
A body that includes all the analysis of business, current marketing and internal firm environments and customer analysis and your tools of analysis applied. You will need to briefly discuss the current level of customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction of the service offering, identify key factors that influence customer expectations, external environments, competitor analysis and a tows analysis related to your area of analysis. The audit will require you to utilize the library resources, search computer databases, retrieve journal articles (full text from computer or from journals on the shelf), read them and apply the information to answer the question.
You must clearly analyse the factors of this firm and specific analysis of your chosen area of your firm using services related theory. Further materials will be available to support these cases on the study desk. The modules 2-3 will support these activities. Once you have completed all of the analytical sections, you must develop a set of important services related issues/gaps in the way the firm is delivering the service and a set of recommendations for improvement. These should include a plan for implementation and action.
Conclusion. This includes the statement of issues you have found, the gaps in the internal capability and external market forces found and a brief summary of the main issues and gaps in the firm for meeting the competitive market place and the needs of the customers. These must be specific to services marketing.
List of references
In your report, you should use and cite all references or sources of information. A full list of references in alphabetical order MUST be included at the end of the report (before the appendices). You can also access electronic referencing guides from the library.
Please avoid Appendices and insert in text all important commentary.
You may include any additional supporting information in the appendices at the
Guidelines on writing reports are provided in the Communication skills handbook and the library website.
You will be assessed on your:
Ability to locate, assess and research material related to services firm current marketing planning process and environmental scanning. You will need to use logic and read widely to identify issues and leads to where you should research for this firm. These are important skills for a marketer to develop.
Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the service issues and current marketing requirements.
Ability to identify and assess relevant theoretical and management issues show analysis and justified recommendations
Presentation of logical arguments.
Ability to justify your position with the use of supporting references.
Communication style, including correct spelling, grammar and referencing.
Your report should be in Times New Roman 12 point with double line spacing, and you must include all relevant report requirements as a minimum foundation of the report.
Please download the marking criteria and grade your work. Please attach the graded marking criteria to your submission. You can download a PDF version of the marking criteria for reference as well to aid in drafting your submission.
Referencing and structure and research:
Use of journals, websites and relevant materials
Use of current materials and facts related to your business
Follow-up from issues assignment one
Identified leads, showed initiative
Harvard Reference format used correctly
Correct business report style
Section required completed and included
Services report demonstrates understanding of the services firm and its internal operations and external factors and interrelated these to services specific strategy and tactics of the firm section chosen:
Student has used own words – not just simple rewording of the literature
Services marketing practices, relevant issues and themes have been identified and applied to logical tactics and actions
Students has shown a good understanding of services modules of study theory and content.
Information contained is analysed and services themes have been identified and communicated. The report shows creativity and originality in the ideas and the application of service sector analysis and marketing theory and practice. Each section has been completed and shows a good understanding of the relevant background themes and theories.
Demonstrate an understanding of services marketing theories, concepts and practices and apply these to real-world services marketing organisations using 2 specific tools.
How well is the services marketing case argued?
A marketing view and clearly identified goals tactics and contingencies that flow and interlink. Justification and logical arguments are used to support the strategies tactics and actions selected for the firm.
All sections show logical decision marketing and applied problem solving
Improvement plan and recommendations are credible to services marketing and theory