• Emphasize the importance of providing fast service as a competitive advantage to companies.
• Show the relationship between customer expectations customer perceptions and customer satisfaction as they pertain to waiting time.
• Identify the various factors that can affect customer satisfaction with waiting time and provide a framework for showing managers which of these factors are under their control.
• Demonstrate how service managers can design their operations and train their employees to provide faster service without incurring any additional costs.
• Illustrate how technology can assist companies in providing faster service to their customers.
You drive your car into the Hertz rental lot at the West Palm Beach Florida airport. As you begin to remove your luggage from the car a service attendant greets you and asks for a copy of your rental car contract. The attendant quickly enters the contract number into a hand-held terminal which prints a receipt before you have removed all of your luggage. Without further ado, you board the Hertz bus that takes you to your airline terminal. At the Marriott Hotel in Newton, Massachusetts, guests who have preregistered can go directly to a self-service key rack to pick up their room keys and then can proceed directly to their rooms without the aggravation of waiting in line at the check-in desk. Guests who want to avoid the hassle of waiting in line to check out at Bally's Hotel in las Vegas can take advantage of the express check-out feature available on the television in each room. A guest simply follows menu-driven options on the television screen. The final bill is then totaled and charged to the proper credit card. The guest simply deposits the room key in a box on the way out. These examples illustrate a growing trend among companies in general and service firms in particular to provide continually faster service and in some cases as noted above even totally eliminating customer waiting time.