1. Describe Village Volvo’s Service Package.
Supporting Facility: Village Volvo occupies a new Butler building that has four work bays in addition to an office, waiting, area, and storage room. Facilitating good: A television set, comfortable chairs, coffee, a soft-drink vending machine, magazines, and the local newspaper Information: The mechanic who will be working on the vehicle and the client discuss the problems the client has noticed. Another source of information for the mechanic is the Custom Care Vehicle Dossier. Village Volvo maintains a continuing file on each vehicle it services. The service manager gives the vehicle owner an estimate of the cost and the approximate time when the repair will be completed if no unexpected problems arise. Explicit services: To provide quality repair service, notify the customer when the vehicle is ready for pickup. Implicit services : Set specific time for people for tune-up and oil change,
2. How are the distinctive characteristics of a service firm illustrated by Village Volvo? A. Customer Participation:
Village Volvo has designed their waiting room–the area clients perceive and interact with the most during “drop-in” times—in a fashion that provides as much comfort as possible by including a television set, chairs, coffee, a soft-drinking vending machine, magazines, and the local newspapers. The firm acknowledges the customer participation component of the service, and has taken the task to accommodate the clients. Furthermore, also in regards to customer participation, customers play an active role in the service by interacting with the mechanic to discuss the problems they are having with their vehicle. Additionally, they have the option to take a short test drive with the mechanic to have said issues elucidated.
The act of auto repairing represents a service that is both “created” and “consumed” simultaneously, and cannot be stored. As such, customer waiting is inevitable for decoupling purposes.
Village Volvo does no repairs between 7 and 8 AM, and 5 and 6 PM because these are heavy customer contact hours. This is done to smooth consumer demand, as the firm knows this is the optimal time frame to discuss with the client the repairs that are going to be done, whereas “drop-in” times are carried out during other hours. Also, the owner-mechanic at Village Volvo notes any additional problems with the vehicles that may need attention in the future, and records them in their Custom Care Vehicle Dossier. The firm knows that its service is a perishable commodity, and thus it makes sure to manage its time properly to avoid cyclical shifts in demand, as well as create new opportunities to provide services for their clients later in time.
Services are generally intangible ideas and concepts, unlike products, which are things. Because of the nature of a service, customers can only rely on the firm’s reputation, as they cannot physically see, feel, or test the service like in the case of a product. In respect to Village Volvo, they provide a quality repair service, and have earned a “respected reputation and following of satisfied customers.”
Like with all service firms, there is clear variation of service from customer to customer in Village Volvo due to the customer-employee experience; clients are likely to perceive their interaction with the mechanic and service manager differently. Also, during the repair process, unexpected problems may arise that influence client perception of the firm. As a way to set a standard on quality, and make sure positive outlooks by clients outweigh any negative views, care is taken during the repair process to keep the cars clean, and the insides are vacuumed as courtesy.
3. Characterize Village Volvo in regard to the nature of the service act; the relationship with customers; customization and judgment; the nature of demand and supply; and the method of service delivery.
There are some characteristics of Village Volvo. First, for the nature of service act, Volvo provides the repaired service. Volvo chooses to use the differentiation and the cost leadership as it provides the unique services to their customers with reasonable price. For the relationship with customers, Volvo maintains the relationship with their customers through providing enough information and customizing services. For the nature of demand and supply, the demand is routine as such as oil changes and turn ups. For the supply, the supply is limited in the specific time period. Volvo tries to encourage the customers to make an appointment so as to smoothen the demand and maximum the profit. For the method of service delivery, the delivery service is lack of variance as Volvo does not provide other transportation to their customers. However, they also add the variance which set a drop in times and have routine jobs.
4. How could Village Volvo manage its back office (i.e, repair operations) like a factory?
Village Volvo’s back office can be operated like a factory by creating departments or work bays for specific mechanical works such as Engine, Transmission, Electronics and Routine Maintenance. Just like “The Line Flow Production” in most manufacturing factories, each professional mechanic works in work bays that they are specialized in and vehicles moves from one bay to another as needed. Work order or Job sheets should be provided by mechanics at the completion of each work then recorded in the CCVD. Village Volvo should also have a separate storage building or warehouse to keep required parts for services. An inventory specialist should manage the usage of each part in order to make “the Line Flow Production” like a factory runs flawless.
5. How could Village Volvo differentiate itself from Volvo dealers? Village Volvo already provides a quick routine service that is not available at local dealers. It also provides highly customized services to meet customer’s needs. However, Village Volvo doesn’t have any shuttle services yet. It can offer such as “Pick-up & Delivery service” to create memorable personal experience for customers. It also can create a Networking with other vendors and dealers to improve and widen its service by sharing standard procedures for common faults and issues provided by Volvo of America. In addition, by assigning a same service manager and a mechanic to the same customer each time, it can help to build a better and closer relationship with customers.
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