Service Marketing case Study: Bulletin Place Bar
The economy is progressing everyday. With the growth of market competition and globalisation of business, consumers are becoming more aware of their surroundings and competitors are paying more attention to consumers needs than ever before (Das, 2019). That is why Service quality is one of the keys elements to success to any kind of business. From low contact services with little to no human communication, to high contact services with a lot of interactions with humans, all services impact human’s everyday lifestyle. From a consumer’s perspective, service is all about value when they purchase an item or service. That’s why it is important that different firms understand customers expectations, perceptions, as well as factors that affect their judgement of the service that is provided by the firm (Kang, James & Alexandris, 2019). The goal for formulating the following report is to evaluate the “Bulletin Place Bar” in a variety of service quality aspects. This is by the author playing a role as a mystery shopper hired by a market research company to have first hands experience within the bar as a consumer secretly evaluating the service of the bartenders and bar hostess. Then the author will evaluate keys Servqual factors, the characteristic of service, the flower of the service model and the value creation and co creation of the Bulletin Place Bar. Based om these evaluations, two recommendations will be suggested to the service providers in order to improve the quality of service and customer satisfaction. Compare the results of the 5-item scale from pre purchase to the post purchase of the high contact service.
According to Mir (2014), Pre-purchase search is information seeking and processing activities in which consumers engage to simplify their purchase decisions. pre purchase is the first part of the purchase process, where consumers identify the advantages and the risk before consuming the product or service. Tangible products tend to be easier to evaluate the final results as consumers have control of the physical object. Whereas The consumers pre purchase of a service can be a risk because customers tend to find it difficult to visualise and understand a service as it is intangible. That is why most people tend to research the service before actually visiting the service facility and experience it themselves.
The Bulletin Place Bar located in Circular quay has been chosen for the purpose of the following report. The author discovered the bulletin place bar through word of mouth from a work colleague. Word of mouth is a direct marketing tool which has been used in the past two decades. The colleague mentioned that the product the bar offers to exceptional cocktails. The author then visited the bars website. Firstly, the author was aroused visually by the Bulletin Place Bar immediately from the contemporary warm orange design with high quality photos of the bar itself and the cocktails they offer, in which the author thought was quite impressive. The first context consumers can read on the website is the story and the history of the Bulletin Place Bar. The key element on the website mentions is that the Bulletin Place Bar is one of Australia’s most awarded bars with its renowned seasonal cocktails (‘Bulletin Place • Cocktail & Wine Bar near Circular Quay • Sydney CBD’, 2019). The author expresses admiration for cocktails, as the author visits cocktails bars at least once a week. This also gave the author some guarantee that the quality of the product will meet expectations.
The Bulletin Place Bar location is very central to many public transportations, hotels, businesses and tourist hotspots such as Circular Quay and Wynyard. Location is convenient large market segments like leisure and business consumers.
All of these factors impacted the authors desire to visit the Bulletin Place Bar as a consumer.
The author had little doubts based on the websites youthful and contemporary design & logo, images of drinks as well as the artistic atmosphere, story and history of the bar’s humble beginnings, the central location, and the bars awards for crafting exceptional cocktails.
The only doubt the author had about the bar was that the bar was going to be too exquisite or extravagant for the authors liking, because of how famous and award winning the bar as and that the bar attendants would only focus on producing the product and less on the service quality.
The Servqual is a complex instrument which gives businesses the ability to assess its level of service quality on the basis on their individual consumers through examining their expectations. (Cengiz & Fidan, 2017). Servqual is divided in five different dimensions; Tangible, Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, and Empathy (Parasiraman, Zaithaml & Berry,1998).
All of the physical factors in the Bulletin place bar. Such as the furniture, equipment, interior design, service provider’s approach, and uniform of the service provider (Nagavi, 2014)
In general, all factors reached the same expectations during the authors pre purchase. Every single member of the team noticed my presence and immediately greeted me with a smile. Nonverbal cues for instance smiling this is important. The interior design had a casual ambience in which the author was not expecting, with the candle lit lighting and the warm and intimate setting itself was quite pleasing. The service provider’s uniform was casual and suited the design and the philosophy of the bar. In general, The author felt a personal connection with the vibe of the bar and dining experience on a tangibility point of view reached all expectations.
Reliability is the ability for service providers to supply satisfactory service as well as being consistent with the initial quality assurance (Elkhouly & Eldayem, 2018). According to the servqual model, the reliability of the service provider has reached the authors expectations, reaching up to 4-5 points. Based on the authors experience, employees did what they delivered (creating alcoholic beverages) whilst reaching their standard of the product. Service providers were reliable in assuring the author was taken care, and the author did not have any complaint, however the author was searching for a certain variety of alcoholic spirit and the service provider created a personalised cocktail for the author.
The result of the service has shown that staff is dependable, deliver promised service and the employees are proactive and able to be accountable and handle guest complaints accordingly.
The third factor of perceived service quality to be discussed is responsiveness, which may have a significant impact on customer service quality perceptions (Charters and O’Neill, 2001). Responsiveness refers to a service employee’s willingness to help customers and provide prompt services, not only with regard to speed but also to the nature of the response (Haverila, Haverila & Arora, 2019).
The quality of reacting quickly and positively. The hostess immediately greeted the guest with a smile and asked for the authors name before the author entered the Bulletin Place Bar. Since the bar was not busy, the hostess immediately took the author to her seat along with presenting the menu and giving a brief introduction to the bar and their staff members. The hostess was pleased to assist each guest with any requests. The service provider was exceptionally responsive and proactive to guests needs.
Assurance is when service providers have the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence (Rimadhan, Tintasari, & Mardiyantoro, 2019). The bartenders and service providers were only able to inform the author very little of the content of the bar’s menu. The reason is because the bartenders 5 new cocktails as part of the bars daily cocktail menu. Bartenders may not be trained before shift in regard to what new cocktails are being made on the day. However, the bartenders were knowledgeable how to make basic beers, wines, spirit drinks. Bartender and hostess also gave suggestions on what drinks to order depending on the guest’s preferences.
Empathy describes the comprehension and being seriousness towards the needs of each customer; reliability is heavily related with the capability to provide the committed services in a perfect manner; and responsiveness indicates the bank employees’ compliance to assist customers, and render timely services (Ahmed, 2017). One on one connection making the author feel special. Offering water ensuring the guest is hydrated. Communication was clear and hostess seemed to genuinely care about guest needs and concerns. However, the hostess seemed to forget about the guest by the end of service. Service was engaging only from the start and not until the end of service. at some moments, service provider failed to show attention to the guest as by the end of the night it started to get busy.
Recommendations for Improvement
Perceived value and trust are two of the most important factors which full mediate the relationship the quality of service dimensions and customer satisfaction (Ahmed, Vveinhardt, Streimikiene, and Ashraf,2017) From the authors point of view, the value and trust were present. However, not through the whole drinking experience. The author only noticed the high quality of service only from the start of the experience and unfortunately did not succeed the authors expectations by the end of the experiment. By the end of the experiment the hostess and service providers lacked empathy and assurance to the author. The last two dimensions (empathy and assurance) contains items representing seven original dimensions; communication, credibility, security, competence, courtesy, understanding/ knowing customers, and access in which the bar did not lack, just did not reach the author’s high perception in some of its aspects such as communication, courtesy, and understanding of the Bulletin place bar and its expectations. Recommendations for improvement is to improve empathy and assurance key factors in service as well as ensure it is valid for the whole experience. Two-thirds of employees surveyed mentioned they believe it is difficult for most people at their company to consistently demonstrate empathy in the workplace (Klipfel, 2019). Empathy training is a crucial way to guide this challenge, and most of employees would be interested in volunteering in an empathy training course or workshop conducted by an outside specialist or even by higher management of the Bulletin Place Bar. Within a short period of time, applying these tactics will initiate a workplace culture that nurtures empathy that, in the end, will create a more engaged workforce and do wonders for the bulletin place bar and achieve its goal.