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All General Studies Topics about civil services are here

Services are variable (or heterogeneous) :-


While the primary characteristic of mass-produced goods, especially those manufactured within
factory systems or on production lines, lies in their standardization and conformity to rigidly
prescribed specifications (homogeneity), about civil services are inherently more diverse and
customized (heterogeneous). Chase and Schemer have developed a Customer Contact Approach
which classifies all services into either pure services, mixed services or quasi-
manufacturing services, depending on the degree of customer or client contact involved in
the service experience, and accordingly involving either more or less customization and
differentiation of the services provided. Their framework is similar to the goods
services continuum discussed earlier in this chapter. In their model, pure service providers include
entertainment centres, health agencies, hotels, public transport, restaurants and schools;
mixed services include banks and post offices; while fast-food outlets and supermarkets are
regarded as quasi-manufacturing
Services managers need to clearly identify the nature of their services and their specific customer
markets along this high contactlow contact continuum. This has critical implications for the
design and maintenance of appropriate service delivery systems; for hiring and developing suitably
skilled direct and indirect service providers; and for ensuring that marketing, financial, operations,
and HR management systems effectively support the desired levels of customization in
the services offered. . The purer the service provider, the more individualized and variable are
its services, and the more complex its management challenge.
Services are perishable :-
The final characteristic of services that distinguishes them from primary and secondary sectors is in
the perish ability of their outcomes. While tangible goods such as food, clothing, refrigerators,
furniture, books and plants can, to varying degrees, be stored, warehoused, shipped or transported
to different locations, the intangibility, inseparability and variability of services, together with the
about IAS exam centrality of customer perceptions in the service delivery process, prevents either
their storage or their reuse. As experiences or encounters, dreams, services merely occur as actions
or events, and cannot be easily replicated. While it is true that efficient high-contact and low-
contact services may be repeated daily, their heterogeneity ensures that each such experience will
be, at least marginally, different.
In addition, unused airline seats, cancelled restaurant bookings, and patients failure to attend a
medical appointment or the choice of another supplier due to prior bad experiences have direct and
often adverse effects on service organisations, sometimes in both the short term and long term.
Some of these adverse effects can be redressed through: targeted marketing campaigns;
improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, including booking and reservations
systems and customer follow-up strategies; better recruitment, training and performance
management programs for employees; and enhanced financial management techniques.
The distinguishing features of services have usually been viewed from a marketing perspective,
which focuses on customer perceptions, rather than on management decisions about their
specification. While this is valuable, the strategic management of services requires organizational
managers to clearly delineate the nature of the services they provide through the development of
measurable criteria and associated service operations, and by means of financial and HR
management systems which ensure consistency and cost-effectiveness. This is the primary theme
of this text.