NARRATOR:Listen to a conversation between a student and a business professor.
MALE STUDENT:Thanks for seeing me, Professor Jackson.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Sure, Tom. What can I do for you?
MALE STUDENT:I'm gonna do my term project on service design, uh, what you see as a customer… the physical layout of the building, the parking lot.And I thought I'd focus on various kinds of eateries… restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, so I'd also analyze where you order your food, where you eat, and so on.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:[confused] Wait, I thought you were going to come up with a hypothetical business plan for an amusement park? Isn't that what you e-mailed me last week?
MALE STUDENT:[no] Mmm...
FEMALE PROFESSOR:I could've sworn.... [light dawns on her] Oh! I'm thinking of a Tom from another class. Tom Benson. [quickly] Sorry, sorry.
MALE STUDENT:[smiling] No problem. I did e-mail you my idea too, though.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Oh, that's right. I remember now. Restaurants,yeah.
MALE STUDENT:So, here's my question. I read something about service standard that kinda confused me.What's the difference between service design and service standard?
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Service standard refers to what a company...employees are ideally supposed to do in order for everything to operate smoothly.The protocols to be followed.
MALE STUDENT:Oh, OK.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Um, so backing up, Service design is...uh, think of the cafeteria here on campus.There are several food counters, right?All with big, clear signs to help you find what you're looking for:soups, salads, dessertsso you know exactly where to go to get what you need.And when you're finished picking up your food, where do you go?
MALE STUDENT:To the cash registers.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:And where are they?
MALE STUDENT:Um, right before you get to the seating area.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Exactly. A place that you would logically move to next.
MALE STUDENT:[thoughtful] You know, not every place is like that.This past weekend was my friend's birthday, and I went to a bakery in town, to pick up a cake for her party.And the layout of the place was weird: People were all in each other's way, standing in the wrong lines to pay, to place orders .Oh! And another thing? I heard this bakery makes really good apple pie, so I wanted to buy a slice of it, too.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:OK. [= go on]
MALE STUDENT:There was a little label that said"apple pie", where it's supposed to be, but there wasn't any left.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:And that's what's called a service gap.Maybe there wasn't enough training for the employees, or maybe they just ran out of pie that day.But something's wrong with the process, and the service standard wasn't being met.
MALE STUDENT:OK, I think I get it.Anyway, since part of the requirements for the term project is to visit an actual place of business, do you think I could use our cafeteria?They seem to have a lot of the things I'm looking for.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:[no] Well, campus businesses like the cafeteria or bookstore don't quite follow the kinds of service models we're studying in class.You should go to some other, local establishment, I'd say.
MALE STUDENT:I see.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:But just call the manager ahead of time so they aren't surprised.