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Assessing the Use of Tangibles to Add Value Feedback Sheet The purpose of this task was to assess how service sector businesses such as hotels, shops, cafes, banks etc use tangible factors to enhance or add value to the service experience they are selling and in so doing try to minimise some of the difficulties presented by the characteristics of service. In this example, we will use a visit to a large, hypothetical out of town shopping mall as our example. Use this sheet to stimulate your own thinking for your visit. The Exterior What did it tell you about what is inside? The outside suggested a modern environment which would be well kept and fit for its purpose. If appropriate, was there a car park? Yes, plenty of free parking (covered and open air – all well lit and clearly signposted) Was there litter? No – regular patrols by members of staff round the car parks and external areas contributed to the cleanliness and impression of good housekeeping standards. What was the décor like? Was the look of the exterior appropriate for the business and its customer? Themed to the shopping mall – a modern building much like others of its type. Certainly appropriate for the businesses, possibly a little over-styled! The Interior How were you greeted? Many retail outlets had staff greeting customers at the door and Mall staff were readily available and identifiable in uniforms to answer questions and give directions. Was the temperature comfortable? Yes, although there is no fresh air as such. Was the air quality good? Yes (this is often a greater concern in restaurants and bars where there may be limited ventilation) Were there any odours? The toilets would have benefited from improved ventilation, but otherwise the mall was free from unpleasant odours. (This is often a greater concern in restaurants and bars too where cooking smells may not be properly extracted.) Was the venue too noisy, too quiet or just right? Just right Was there any use of background music? Yes, it was inoffensive and at an appropriate volume. What was the décor like? Did it add value to the location? Modern, bright, walkways – high polish “gold/brassware”. Significant use of pictures, murals, plants, water features & fountains etc to give the impression of a high quality establishment. What about the furniture? Did it enhance the experience? There were plenty of seats and benches available to sit on in the Mall. This certainly enhanced the experience as the size of the place makes it quite tiring, especially for the elderly and children. Were there any added features (eg Wi-Fi zones, newspapers etc) which enhanced the visit? Wheelchairs and Fun-Cars for children were available to borrow from the centre. Also, there was themed entertainment throughout the Mall to create a good atmosphere and to add value to the visit. Was the flow of customers sensibly planned? Were there any points of congestion? Wide walkways reduced congestion. There were a few bottlenecks, especially around special features, seating areas and toilets, however general signage made for good flow of customers. Were there any gestures made ? Eg offering wrapped sweets or chocolates at the end of a meal, providing children’s toys or crayons etc in a waiting area Not applicable in this example What were the payment arrangements? Was it clear how you were to pay? Not applicable in this example Were the toilets clean and well maintained? Yes, they were in good condition, there were plenty of them, and there were special considerations given to small children, such as lower level WCs. Baby changing facilities were also available. Any other features you would like to note?
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