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Action plans--The specific plans that translate the service strategy into guides for employee activity over the coming period, usually a year.

Advanced information system--A system that, rather than simply providing information, is able to respond to information and choose between alternatives; see also decision system and expert system.

Arrival patterns--The patterns describing the number of customers arriving or entering a system in a given period of time.

Artificial intelligence--An advanced form of expert system.

Authority-acceptance theory--Chester Barnard's theory of what authority is and why people do or do not accept it.

Bad-mouthing--The spreading of negative comments and opinions about an organization by a dissatisfied customer.

Beliefs--A body of ideas or tenets believed to be or accepted as true.

Benchmark organizations--Organizations that meet and often exceed customer expectations regarding service quality and value and that have a high degree of excellence in their services, processes, and business support systems; these organizations also frequently have a world-class reputation.

Blueprinting--A flowchart diagram of the events and contingencies in the service process, on paper or on a computer screen, in blueprint format.

Brainstorming--As a qualitative forecasting tool, a method in which a group of people generate and share ideas in open discussion, often in a free-association way, about what the future may bring.

Brand image, Brand name--Image or name associated with a specific product, service, or organization, used to differentiate the organization's offerings so as to achieve market superiority over competitors.

Capacity day--The maximum number of guests allowed, by law or by the organization, in a service facility in a day or at one time, used like the design day to balance the costs to the organization of excess capacity and the costs to the guest (in terms of quality and value) of inadequate capacity.

Coproduction--The active producing or helping to produce and deliver the guest experience by guests themselves, ideally to the mutual benefit of guests and the organization.

Comment card--A method for obtaining guest feedback, often in the form of a postcard, enabling guests to rate the quality of the guest experience by responding to a few simple questions.

Core competency--A strength basic and perhaps unique to an organization.

Cost--The entire burden expended by a guest to receive a service, including tangible quantifiable costs (like price) and intangible nonquantifiable costs like opportunity costs of foregoing alternative opportunities, annoyance at receiving unsatisfactory service, and so forth.

Critical path--The sequence of activities from the start of a project to its completion having the greatest cumulative elapsed time, thereby determining how long the entire project will take.

Critical Path Method (CPM)--A project planning method based on the assumption that all activity times are known.

Cross-functional organization--A method of organizing people and groups so as to enable them to work temporarily across the boundaries or functional units in which organizations are traditionally structured; also, an overlaying of a group or project team upon the traditional functional organizational structure to work on a task for a limited time, which creates multiple lines of authority.

Cross-selling--Using an interaction with a guest who has come to the organization for one service as an opportunity to sell the guest another product or service. Culture See organizational culture.

Daily count--A prediction arrived at by an information system after a relatively short period of time (e.g., an hour), and based on a combination of actual count, an attendance database, and knowledge of arrival-rate distributions, of how many guests will come into the service location during the whole day.

Decision system--An information system that, in addition to providing information, has the capability of responding to information, choosing between alternatives, and either making or helping to make a decision.

Delphi technique--As a qualitative forecasting tool, a rather formal process involving surveying experts to get their individual forecasts, then combining or averaging those forecasts, often followed by another round of estimates based on a sharing of the individual and combined forecasts, the goal being to arrive at a final combined forecast.

Design day--The day of the year which the organization assumes when determining how much capacity to design for; used to balance the costs to the organization of excess capacity and the costs to the guest (in terms of quality and value) of inadequate capacity; see also capacity day.

Differentiation--A strategy designed to create in the guest's mind desirable differences, either real or driven by marketing and advertising, between the service or product offered by the organization and other competing services and products.

Disney "show"--Everyone and everything that interfaces or interacts with guests on a Disney property.

Distributive fairness--The fairness of outcomes, organizational distributions, or compensations to guests who believe they have experienced unsatisfactory service, as determined by the guest.

Eager factors--The factors or elements that make an employee's job fun, establish the fairness of how the rewards are distributed, and cause the job to be interesting for the employee.

Entertainment restaurant--A restaurant, often heavily themed, that somehow combines the provision of food and entertainment.

Econometric models--Elaborate mathematical descriptions of multiple and complex relationships, statistically assembled as systems of multiple regression equations; used in forecasting; see also regression analysis.

Economic ordering quantity (EOQ) formula--A formula for calculating the optimum reorder size (number of units) of an item once the reorder point is reached; designed to minimize annual order and holding costs.

Employee development--The use of methods designed to provide present employees with the KSAs they will need in future jobs and assignments.

Empowerment--Giving employees authority to make decisions and gain greater control over their work. Environment-See service environment.

Environmental assessment--A careful examination of the present opportunities and threats in the external business environment, and forecast of the future environment, within which the organization operates to determine the impact of external factors on the organization and to discover the key drivers that will satisfy present and future guests; carried out as part of long-term strategic planning and sometimes called the long look around.

Evangelist--Extremely satisfied, delighted guest who takes every available opportunity, and often creates opportunities, to praise the organization and recommend it to friends and acquaintances.

Expectations--Characteristics that a guest hopes and assumes will be associated with a service experience.

Expert system--A sophisticated information system designed to duplicate the decision process used by an expert who gathers, organizes, and interprets information, then uses a set of decision rules to make a decision.

External training--Training provided for organizational members by persons or institutions outside the organization.

Firing the guest--A relatively recent concept involving the refusal to serve certain guests who engage in unacceptable extreme behaviors; a philosophy contrary to "the guest is always right."

Fishbone analysis--An approach to problem solving that involves drawing a diagram, shaped like a fishbone, of the problem and its possible causes.

Fishbone diagram--A diagram, shaped like a fish skeleton, used in problem solving with the problem represented by the fish spine and the possible problem areas attached to the spine.

Focus group--As a qualitative forecasting tool, a group of people--frequently guests--discuss with a trained group discussion leader their future hopes and expectations of the organization; often used to sound out guests about planned organizational innovations.

Guest experience--Defined as consisting of the service product, setting, and delivery system, it is the sum total of the experience that the guest has with the service provider on a given occasion or set of occasions; often referred to as service experience in other service industries.

Guest comment card--See comment card.

Guest participation--See coproduction.

Guestologist--A specialist in identifying how hospitality organizations can best respond to the needs, wants, and expectations of their targeted guest markets

Guestology--The study of guests and their behavior their--wants, needs, and expectations--with the aim of aligning the organization's strategy, staff, and systems so as to provide outstanding service to guests.

Hospitality--An industry consisting basically of organizations that offer guests courteous, professional food, drink, and lodging services, alone or in combination, but in an expanded definition also including theme park, gaming, cruise ship, trade show, fair, meeting planning, and convention organizations.

Information overload--Literally, too much information; generally referring to a tendency of information systems and their users to generate and send too much information or nonuseful information to guests and employees.

Information system--A system, often computerized, designed to get the right information to the right person in the right format at the right time so that it adds value to that person's decisions.

Integrated information system--A system designed to bring together diverse sources of organizational information to enable managerial decisions.

Interactive fairness--Fairness, respectfulness, and courtesy of organizational treatment during interactions regarding a service failure, as determined by the guest.

Internal audit--A careful examination of the organization's present internal condition, its strengths--primarily its core competencies--and weaknesses; carried out as part of long-term strategic planning and sometimes called the searching look within.

Internal customer--Persons or units within the organization that depend on and serve each other.

Internal training--Training provided for organizational members by persons or groups within the organization itself.

Job content--The tasks and procedures necessary for doing a certain job.

Job context--That part of the organizational mission, goals, and objectives within which the individual job fits.

Juran's Trilogy--Joseph Juran's model of quality: planning, control, and improvement.

Key driver--A primary factor within a guest experience valued highly by the guest and leading to guest satisfaction, determined by surveying and studying guests.

KSAs--Short for knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do a job.

Lean environment--A service setting, environment, or servicescape requiring that guests process relatively little information; used when guests are generally unfamiliar with the environment; see also rich environment.

Low-price provider--An organization that tries to compete within its market primarily by maximizing operational or production efficiencies and minimizing organizational costs so as to offer the same service as competitors at a lower price.

Managing information--Using information systems to get the right information to the right person in the right format at the right time.

Managing the wait--The organization's use of queuing theory and psychological techniques to minimize the negative impact on guests of inevitable waits.

Market niche--A gap in a market that an organization seeks out, focuses on, and attempts to fill to attract customers and compete successfully.

MBWA--Stands for management by walking around; managers walk around observing the operation firsthand, looking for problems or inefficiencies, talking to guests and employees, and offering suggestions; sometimes referred to as walking the front.

Mission statement--An articulation of the organization's purpose, the reason for which it was founded and for which it continues to exist; see also vision statement.

Moment of truth--A term coined by Jan Carlzon to refer to any key or crucial moment or period during a service encounter, a make-or-break moment; subsequently expanded by others to include any significant or memorable interaction point between organization and guest.

Motivation--The drive or compelling force that energizes people to do what they do in a given situation.

Multichannel waiting line--A waiting line with more than one server.

Mystery shopper--Hired or in-house person who poses as a guest, methodically sample the service and its delivery, observe the overall guest service operation, and then submit a report to management.

Norms--Standards of behavior--spoken and unspoken, obvious and subtle-that define how members (and sometimes guests) are expected to act while part of the organization.

Organization as an information system--The idea that the organization itself should be considered as and structured as an integrated information network or system.

Organizational culture--The totality of the organization's socially transmitted beliefs, values, norms, and behavior patterns.

Organizational mission--See mission statement.

Organizational vision--See vision statement.

Pareto analysis--A problem-solving technique based on arranging the potential causes of an organizational problem in their order of importance, from highest to lowest.

PERT/CPM--PERT stands for Program Evaluation Review Technique, and CPM stand for Critical Path Method.

PERT/CPM Chart--A diagram, usually used in the planning of major projects, consisting of circles representing completed events, arrows representing the activities that must be done before an event can be considered completed, and often including a critical path indicating the sequence of events that must occur on time if the project is to be completed on time.

Poisson probability distribution--A probability distribution used to describe the random arrival pattern for some waiting lines.

Poka-yoke--A device or procedure designed to prevent the recurrence of a defect; "mistake-proofing" in Japanese.

Positive reinforcement--Providing rewards to employees for organizationally approved behaviors--namely, those associated with high levels of guest satisfaction--to encourage repetition of those behaviors.

Procedural fairness--The fairness and straightforwardness of company procedures for handling service failure, as determined by the guest.

Qualitative forecasting tools--Forecasting tools that use nonquantitative, subjective information to make projections.

Quality--Special meaning in the hospitality field: The difference between what the guest expects and what the guest gets.

Quantitative forecasting tools--Forecasting tools that use quantitative, nonsubjective information or data to make projections.

Queue--A waiting line.

Queue discipline--In hospitality settings, the organization's pattern or plan for how arriving guests are served; usually first-come, first-served.

Queuing theory--The theory of how waiting lines behave; same as waiting-line theory.

Recruitment--The process of finding candidates with the KSAs necessary to fill organizational positions.

Regression analysis--Study of the statistical relationship or degree of association between two or more variables to predict a dependent variable of interest; used in forecasting.

Rich environment--A service setting, environment, or servicescape in which much information is available for processing by guests; used when guests are generally familiar with the environment; see also lean environment.

Ritual--A symbolic act performed to gain and maintain membership or identity within an organization.

Role theory--The theory of how other people or groups influence us to behave or function in particular settings or situations.

Scenario building--As a qualitative forecasting tool, a group of people-frequently organizational employees--assume a certain future situation or set of circumstances, then try to assess its implications for the organization; sometimes called war gaming.

Selection--The process of selecting employees to fill organizational positions from the candidates with the necessary KSAs.

Service--An action or performed task that takes place by direct contact between the customer or guest and representatives of the service organization.

Service delivery system--The human components and the physical production processes, plus the organizational and information systems, involved in delivering the service to the customer.

Service encounter--The actual person-to-person interaction or series of interactions between the customer and the persons delivering the service.

Service environment--The physical location and its characteristics within which the organization provides service to guests; same as service setting and servicescape.

Service experience--Same as guest experience but sometimes used in service industries that do not typically refer to their customers as guests.

Service failure--The organization's failure to deliver the promised service according to its own standards or the guest's expectations.

Service guarantee--An organization's written promise either to satisfy guests or to compensate them for any failure to satisfy them regarding the overall service or particular aspects of it.

Service package--See service product.

Service product--The entire bundle of tangibles and intangibles provided by a hospitality organization to guests during a service experience; same as service package.

Service quality--Special meaning in the services field: The difference between the service that the customer expects to get and the service that the customer actually receives.

Service recovery--The organization's attempt to make right or compensate for a service failure.

Service setting--The physical location and its characteristics within which the organization provides service to guests; same as service environment and servicescape.

Service value--The relationship of the quality of the service to its cost, or service quality divided by cost of service.

Servicescape--The physical location and its characteristics within which the organization provides service to guests, especially the physical aspects of the setting that contribute to the guest's overall physical "feel" of the experience; same as service environment and service setting.

SERVQUAL--Standing for "service quality," SERVQUAL is the best-known survey instrument within the services field; measures customer perceptions of service quality along five dimensions: reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles.

Setting--See service setting.

Simulation--An imitation of a real or potential problem or organizational situation.

Single-channel waiting line--A waiting line with only one server.

Strategic premises--Assumptions about the future, based on the results of forecasting, on which the organization's strategic plan is based or premised.

Strategic plan--The specific steps that detail how the organization intends to get from where it is to where it wishes to be in order to achieve its mission and vision.

Structured interview: guest--An interview conducted according to a set pattern, usually involving a standard set of professionally developed, validated questions designed to gather guest perceptions of service quality.

Structured interview: job candidate--A job interview conducted according to a set pattern, usually involving a standard set of questions designed to gather relevant personal and job-related data, and intended to ensure that all candidates are assessed consistently according to the same criteria.

Symbol--A physical object that has organizational significance or communicates an unspoken message (e.g., Mickey's ears).

Terrorist--Extremely dissatisfied guest who takes every available opportunity, and often creates opportunities, to bad-mouth the organization, or worse.

Theming--The organization and presentation of the guest experience around a unifying idea or theme, often a fantasy theme, to give guests the illusion of being in a place and time other than "the here and now"; most often used in connection with theme parks and theme restaurants.

Time series and trend analysis--Statistical methods for projecting past information or trends into the future; used in forecasting.

Training methods--Methods used to provide employees with necessary or helpful KSAs, the standard methods being classroom presentations, video, one-on-one supervised experiences, home study, and computerized presentations.

Universal Service Map--An elaborate and detailed blueprint that can be generally applied to a variety of service situations.

Value--Quality related to cost, or quality divided by cost.

Values--Preferences for certain ideas, behaviors, and outcomes over others, used and promulgated within organizations to define for members (and sometimes guests) what is right and wrong, preferred and not preferred.

Vision statement--An articulation of what the organization hopes to look like and be like in the future; see also mission statement.

Waiting-line theory--The theory of how waiting lines behave; same as queuing theory.

Work group, work team--A small employee group (typically under fifteen) with complementary skills committed to the achievement of a common purpose and set of specific performance goals, the members holding each other fully and jointly accountable for the team's results.

Work team characteristics--A set of KSAs that seem to characterize successful work teams; see Table 7-1.

Yield management--A technique for managing the sale of an organization's units of capacity, using forecasts based on past results, to maximize the profitability of that capacity; in other words, selling the right capacity to the right customer at the right time.
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Publication:Managing the Guest Experience in Hospitality
Article Type:Glossary
Date:Jan 1, 2000
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