A service blueprint is a picture or map that accurately portrays the service system so that the different people involved in providing it can understand and deal with it objectively regardless of their roles or their individual points of view . On 16 th January 2008, the share market in India witnessed a dramatic fall, which a leading national daily termed as “blood on Dalal Street”.
According to the customers which were contacted, the next day many of their friends trading with other broking houses simply could not trade as their terminals were closed on that day; but these customers were able to save themselves as IL&FS did not close its terminals. Clearly, such incident create not only positive image of the company but also form an emotional bond with the customers.
The blueprint will have 5 components:
• Physical Evidence
• Customer Actions
• Onstage/ Visible Contact Employee Actions
• Backstage Employee Actions and
• Support Processes
Physical evidence refers to those elements of a service which provide certain degree of tangibility to it like pamphlets, websites etc. customer actions include all of the steps that customers take as part of the service delivery process. The actions of frontline contact actions that occur as part of face-to-face encounter as termed as onstage contact employee actions. This component of the blueprint is separated from the customers by the line of visibility. Everything below the line of visibility is not visible to the customers. Backstage contact employees fall below this line. Backstage contact employees fall below this line. Telephone calls made to the customers is one example of the backstage contact employee action. Service blueprints provide the employees with an overview so that they can have understanding of their work. It reinforces the customer focused approach. The line of interaction between external customer and employees illuminates the customer's role. The line of visibility drawn promotes a conscious decision on what customers should see and which employees will be in contact with the customers, thus facilitating relational service design
Objective to the Study
The major objectives of the project can be stated as follows:
• To analyze the existing service blueprint of IL&FS Investsmart Securities Limited.
• To assess the service encounters with the customers.
• To find out the service encounters which are most satisfying for the customers and which are most dissatisfying for the customers.
• To find out the customer gaps in the process
• To suggest strategies for the improvement of the service delivery process of the company and as such delete those service encounters which cause dissatisfaction and encourage those encounters which satisfy the customers most.
Scope of the study
The study has been conducted on the IL&FS Investsmart’s Bangalore operations. It has taken into consideration the functioning of the online trading and broking arm of IL&FS Investsmart. For this purpose both internal and external customers of the company were surveyed. The report assumes importance because of the recessionary trend that the economy had been witnessing since last 1 and half years and because of the negative market sentiments generated in the wake of incidents related to Lehmann brothers and Satyam. How the company is still able to entice customers into investing and how that can be made more effective is one question of special interest.
We have seen earlier, service sector is playing a major role in the Indian economy. It is in this light that Mary Jo Bitner puts forward the argument that firms can no longer compete solely on providing superior value through their core products, but rather they must move into the realm of customer experience management, creating long-term, emotional bonds with their customers through the co-creation of memorable experiences potentially involving a constellation of goods and services. It is here that service blueprinting assumes an important role as a tool of service innovation and service improvement. Service blueprints are customer-focused, allowing firms to visualize the service processes, points of customer contact, and physical evidence associated with their services from customers' perspective. Blueprints also illuminate and connect the underlying support processes throughout the organization that drive and support customer-focused service execution.
This paper aims to create the service blueprint of the company with the help of its customers, both, internal as well as external. The focus, however, would be on the internal customers to find out whether they understand the service process and their satisfaction with the support processes. Besides, the paper will also seek customers' experience with the onstage contact employees, that is, the role of service encounters. As such, the paper needs to consider customer satisfaction and customer gap also. Service Encounters
Service encounters or the "moments of truth" create the most vivid impressions of the service when the customer interacts with the service firm (Zeithaml, 2000) . Through these encounters the customers receive a snapshot of the organization's service quality, and each encounter contributes to the customer's overall satisfaction level and willingness to do business with the organization. Errors committed at early stage are very critical and they do have a cascading effect, because a failure at one point results in higher dissatisfaction at each subsequent level. First interaction is especially critical for the image of the organization, however, that does not mean that other interactions are not important. Every encounter is important as it helps in forming a composite image of the organization. The difference lies in the magnitude of importance.
This project was an opportunity for the application of concepts of marketing in the real-time. As such, the research was conducted to apply the concepts learned before the beginning of this internship. These concepts were not limited to domain area, rather the research required application of several disciplines like marketing research, quantitative techniques, information systems, finance and above all marketing of services. The fieldwork undertaken was challenging and one could easily observe the group dynamics at work.
Marketing of services assumes special importance in the current economic scenario not only because of the share of services in Indian GDP but also because of the fact that as an economy develops its share in GDP increases, and as such this is applicable across the world.
The research was an opportunity to understand the service delivery process of a major financial institution of the country. Then the concept of service blueprint was used to understand customer needs and as a tool of service improvement. Through the service blueprint, all the service encounters were analyzed and classified as most satisfying and dissatisfying service encounters. Questionnaire designing was an important issue because through it not only customer gap had to be understood but also, the service encounters which could be satisfying or dissatisfying to the customers had to be understood
Zeithaml, B. (2000). Services Marketing. New York: Tata McGraw - Hill.