Services Process Mapping

Typically services are characterized by the 7 Ps of services marketing namely Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence.

One of the crucial success factors for a service to gather acceptance amongst its target market is that of a proper mapping of one of the crucial dimensions of the 7 Ps, namely the Process.

Process mapping in services marketing is simply a sequential workflow diagram to display a clearer understanding of a series of sequential processes or series of parallel processes that takes place while a service gets delivered to the customer. Processes are important to deliver consistency in quality in a service. Services being intangible, processes become all the more crucial to ensure standards are met with.

Relative to a services marketing strategy, mapping of service processes ensures that a quantifiable way is used to determine where and in what amount current resources are being allocated. Once a service delivery manager knows exactly how the current resources are being used, he can optimally allocate resources in the future. It also helps to uncover inefficiencies and non-value added activities.

Service process mapping also helps move services process from a reactive to a proactive mode. Bottlenecks in service delivery may be identified and the exercise helps to ensure that quantifiable structured improvement in the service delivery may be achieved by the service provider.

The above framework gives a step my step description of how services should be mapped to ensure consistency in service quality delivery, which plays a key role in fulfilling customer expectations and thus ensure customer satisfaction.

The benefits of following a services mapping exercise are as follows:

  • Focuses the workforce on the customer’s perspective of the service process.
  • Ensures more reliable and consistent service delivery processes across all units.
  • Increases cross-functional communication.
  • Improves the start-to-finish project time.
  • Serves as an excellent training aid for new employees.
  • Uncovers inefficiencies and non-value added activities.
  • Identifies obstacles and bottlenecks that are hampering the service delivery.
  • Provides management with the scope to make structured improvements.

I hope the details provided in this article would be sufficient to chalk out a mapping for the processes of a service, prior to delivery. Do let us know if you have any query.

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Arpan Kar

Professor at Indian Institute of Management
Dr. Kar is a Professor in Information Systems Management in Indian Institute of Management (IIM), one of the top institutions in Business Management education globally. He has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research. He has over 35 high impact publications. Prior to joining academia, he has rich experience in Cognizant Business Consulting and IBM Research Laboratory. He is the Editor of Business Fundas.
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