a) Information: To obtain full value from any good or service, customers need relevant information. New customers and prospects are especially information hungry; they want to know what product will best meet their needs. Others concerns may include directions to the site where the product is sold (or details of how to order it), service directions to the site where the product is sold (or details of how to order it), service, hours, prices, and usage instructions. Finally, customers may want documentation of what has already taken place, such as confirmation of reservations, receipts and tickets and summaries of account activity.
• Directions to service site—conditions of sale/service.
• Schedules/service hours—Notification of changes.
• Instruction on using core product/supplementary services—confirmation of reservations.
• Reminders—summaries of account activity.
• Warnings—receipts and tickets.
b) Order taking: Once the customer are ready to buy, a key supplementary element should come into play; Accepting applications, orders and reservations. Unless the service organization (or its designated intermediaries) is easily accessible to customers; it may lose the business. Example of order taking.
• Membership in clubs or programs,
• subscription services (e.g. utilities),
• prerequisite-based services (e.g. credit, college enrollment),
• On-site fulfillment,
• mail/telephone order for subsequent fulfillment), and
• rooms rentals of vehicles or other equipment,
• professional appointments,
• admissions to restricted facilities (e.g. exhibitions)
c) Save keeping: While visiting a service site, customers often want assistance with their personal possessions. In fact, unless certain caretaking services are provided (notably parking for their cars), they may not come at all. The list professional safekeeping services when customers come to visit in a long one. It includes;
Caring for possessions customers bring with them:
• Child care.
• Pet care.
• Parking facilities for vehicles.
• Valet parking.
• Coat room.
• Baggage handling.
• Storage space.
• Safety deposit/security.
Caring for goods purchased (or rented) by customers:
• Inspection and diagnosis.
• Preventive maintenance.
• Repairs and renovation.
d) Billing: Billing is common to almost all services (unless the service is provided free of charge). Inaccurate, illegible or incomplete bills offer a splendid opportunity to disappoint customers who may up to that point, have been quite satisfied with their experience. For example,
• Periodic statements of account activity.
• Invoice for individual transactions.
• Verbal statements of amount due.
• Self-billing (computed by customer).
e) Consultation: Providing information suggests a simple response a customers’ questions (or pre-prepared information that anticipates their needs). Consultation by contrast, involves a dialogue to probe customer requirements and then develop a tailored solution. At its simplest, consultation consists of immediate advice from a knowledgeable service person in response to the request; “What do you suggest?” Effective consultation requires an understanding of each customer’s current situation, before suggesting a course of action. Examples of consultation elements:
Advice—Tutoring/training in product usage.
Auditing –Management or technical.
f) Hospitality: Certain services require customers to enter the service factory and stay there until service delivery is complete. Well-managed businesses try, at least in small ways to treat customers as guests—especially if they have to spend a long time on site. Hospitability is potentially a very pretty petal, reflecting pleasure at meeting new customers and greeting old ones when they return. Courtesy and consideration for customers’ needs apply to telephone interactions, too, but it is in face-to-face encounters that hospitality finds its full expression. Examples of hospitality are.
• Food and beverages.
• Toilets and washrooms.
• Bathroom kits.
• Waiting facilities and amenities.
Lounges, waiting areas, seating.
Magazines, entertainment, newspapers.
g) Exception: Exceptions involve a group of supplementary services that fall outside the routine of normal service delivery. However, astute managers anticipate exceptions and develop contingency plans guidelines in advance. There are several types of exceptions;
Special request: There are many circumstances when an individual or corporate customer may request some degree of customized treatment that requires a departure from normal operating procedure.
• Children’s needs.
• Dietary requirements.
• Medical or disability needs.
• Religious observance.
• Deviations from standard operating procedures.
Problem solving: Situations arise when normal service delivery (or product performance) fails to run smoothly as a result of accidents, delays, and equipment failures or customers experiences difficulty in using the product. For examples;
• Warranties and guarantees against product malfunction.
• Resolving difficulties that arise from using the product.
• Resolving difficulties caused by accidents, service failures, and problems with staff or other customers.
• Assisting customers who have suffered an accident or medical emergency.
Handling of complaints/ suggestions/compliments: This activity requires well-defined procedures. When you want to express dissatisfaction, offer suggestions for improvement or pass on compliments. It should be easy for you to do so, and the service provider should be able to make an appropriate response quickly.
Restitution: Customers expect to be compensated for serious performance failures. This compensation may take the form of repairs under warranty, legal settlements refunds, an offer of free service in the future, or other forms of payment in kind.
h) Payments: In most cases, a bill requires the customer to take action on payment (and such action may be very slow in coming!). One exception is bank statements which detail charges that have already been deducted from the customer’s account:
• How information technology exchange delivery of supplementary services.
• Opportunity to use information technology.
• Managerial implication.
• What are the elements of information service.
• Save keeping, looking after the customer possession.
• Exceptions: what are the supplementary services.