Assessing the Use of Tangibles to Add Value
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.
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
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
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!
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
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?
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
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
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
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?