Ans 1. Xpresso Lube’s Service Package
Charlie Green’s Xpresso Lube Company provided the basic services of oil-change to its customers. The company was started with an intention to provide a unique, pleasing and a good experience to the customers who came in for the oil change. Charlie also started the services of a coffee bar that had numerous facilities to entertain the customers. The coffee bar had different varieties of coffee to suit the taste of different customers. Charlie provided his customers to and fro transportation to their work to reduce any inconvenience that would cause when they drop their vehicles for oil-change. The customers were clearly explained about the problems in their car as the technicians would practically show them the cause of the problem by taking the customers under the car. One unique service in Xpresso Lube was the waiting room for the customers where they could read the latest magazines, and the car lifts that could not be found with other oil changing companies. During the initial phases of the business Charlie had also brought in a band of musicians to entertain the customers in evening.
Ans 2. Distinctive characteristics of a service operation illustrated by Xpresso Lube
The atmosphere of Xpresso Lube offered a gratifying experience to the customers. When the customers came for oil change, they were welcomed in the waiting area that had a number of amenities to keep them engaged. The comfortable chairs, the veranda area, a music system and the current reading materials are good examples of the distinctive characteristics displayed by Xpresso Lube.
As stated by (Kandampully 2007), a customer can say that a relationship with a single service provider removes the need to think about multiple alternatives, provides a sense of logical consistency in decision making, and reduces anxiety about risk-taking.
Charlie was a multi-talented person and he emphasized on providing better service and a satisfied customer. Along with the oil change business, Charlie also had a transportation business that was merged with oil business to provide shuttle services to his customers.
Ans 3. Characterizing Xpresso Lube
The nature of Xpresso Lube service was very friendly and customer centric. The business process that was undertaken by Charlie was targeted to a common goal of providing the best service in the oil-change business. Providing transportation to the customers was a part of service act as Charlie took care to avoid any inconvenience to his customers due to the unavailability of the cars during oil-change.
Charlie maintained a healthy and a formal relationship with his customers by taking good care of their cars, providing them with the best amenities at his workshop. His best customers were the women demographic and college students who were victims of untruthful repairmen. Xpresso Lube’s service made Charlie a trustworthy man.
Xpresso Lube provided a very high level of customization and judgment. Xpresso Lube provided the services that suited the requirements of the individual customers. When the services are consumed new services were created that provided an opportunity for the service provider to satisfy the needs of the customers. The varieties of service options provided by Xpresso lube were important for service delivery.
When the service capacity was consumed it created a challenge for the service companies to store the stock. The demand and supply in a service business like that of Xpresso lube varied consistently.
Xpresso lube followed two strategies of mode of service delivery wherein the customers came to the workshop for oil-change and some for the coffee bar, and by merging the logistics with the oil-change business the company also followed another strategy where transport facility was provided to the customer to be picked and drooped from work.
Ans 4. Example of Xpresso Lube in terms of other services, and location of business
Customer is always considered to be right and satisfying a customer is the key to the success of any business. Many businesses derive strategies and services to their existing customer satisfaction metrics to add value for the customers. Some services that can add value to the customer are to send an article on the product used by the customer via mail or email with a appreciation note for buying the product, provide free samples of other products in the same family, send the progress reports. Gift cards or prepaid cards can be given for the benefit of the customer. When the customer swipes the card, a few points could be added on the card and the customer can redeem these points to buy other products. A business can tie up with another business and offer discounts and a one-on-one free offer. This would benefit both, the business as well as the customer.
The location of Xpresso Lube in Austin, Texas was an advantage for the business due to the presence of University of Texas that had many college students, live music, and a high business society. These factors made Austin a business hub that had diverse population. The business was located on the main street near the university that resulted in attracting many customers. The many stores nearby Xpresso Lube oil-change center provided easy access to many stores like the bookstore, ice-cream shops, toy shops, and the food store. When the customer’s car was being serviced customers’ could just walk down these stores till the vehicle was ready. The advantage of having many commercial shops nearby proved to be an advantage to Xpresso lube as the customer who went shopping to these stores also could get their car serviced and this would add extra business to Xpresso Lube.
Kandampully, Jay A., (2007). Services Management: The New Paradigm in Hospitality. Pearson Education India