Managing the physical environment in services organizations : a case study of the servicescape’s affect on relationships between customers and employees

As an individual in a modern society you are without a doubt an experienced service consumer. On a daily basis a number of services may be used, everything from getting a haircut, to using a credit card or talking on the phone. Many services are produced and consumed simultaneously at the service’s providers’ facility. Therefore, the physical environment becomes an important tool for communicating the quality of the service, setting customers expectations, influencing customer and employee productivity; and creating the service experience. The purpose of this study is to provide a better understanding of the importance of managing the physical environment, the so-called servicescape, in services settings, in order to create a relationship between customers and employees. Due to time limitations, the study will focus mainly on the servicescape as perceived from a management perspective. A literature review was conducted based on three research questions, which resulted in a conceptual framework that supported the data collection. A qualitative, single case study of Elite Hotels of Sweden in Luleå was carried out in obtaining primary data. The results of the study indicated that a carefully managed physical environment can attract potential, and maintain previous customers. Furthermore, the commitment and motivation of the employees can also be achieved and maintained. In order for the servicescape to create a correlation between clients and employees, both parties’ needs and requirements have to be met with and addressed.

Author: Berglund, Mika; Halvarsson, Ylva

Source: Luleå University of Technology

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