Within the service industry, services are provided to organizations and final consumers. There are several service firms within the service industry that provide different kinds of services to satisfy several needs. Among such services includes computer services, restaurant services, laundry services, tourism and transport services etc. The name of our transport business is Safe
Passage Transport which is into providing transport services , where passengers would be provided with vehicles and drivers to convey them to their various destinations. Due to the hassle students in the various established public universities go through in terms of their movement in and out of their various campuses, we are concentrating on providing easy and hassle-free transport services to students during vacation.
To be able to provide the transport services to our potential customers, in this case students, we would develop a blueprint for the transport business. This blueprint will depict how our services will be delivered. Furthermore, we will identify possible challenges we would face and suggest how such challenges would be dealt with. The blueprint has been developed based on the following assumptions;
Our target market is students form the main public universities in Ghana i.e. UCC,
KNUST, LEGON, UDS AND UEW
We have business representatives in the various universities stated above.
Our main stations will be on the various campuses of the above institutions
We serve as middlemen who link customers to travel and tour companies in Ghana and end our transport services when each customer reaches their destination
We rent buses form the transport organization to be able to provide our transport services to our customers.
We charge our own fares
Service blueprint is a picture or map that accurately shows the service system so that different people involve in providing the service can understand and deal with it objectively regardless of their individual point of view. Can also be termed as A method used in service design to describe and analyse a proposed service. The service blueprint is basically a technique used for service design and innovation and could be applied in diagnosing with operational efficiencies
Customer action: This includes all the steps that customers take as part of the service delivery process. Customers actions are depicted chronologically across the top of the blueprint. Hence, for our transport service business, customers actions include; o booking of ticket o Arriving at main station o Receiving bag tags o Give back to caretaker o Verification o Waiting for departure o Enter bus o Take snacks whiles on board o Alight at destination and leave
Onstage/visible contact employee actions; This constitutes the next critical component separated from the customer by the line of interactions. Those actions of front-line contact employees that occur as part of a face to face encounter are depicted at this stage. By reference to our business, onstage/visible contact include; o Greeting and providing bag tags o Take bags o Verify Customer registration o Direct customers to waiting room o Provide passenger instructions o Serve snack
o Distribute luggage to customers upon arrival at destination
A line of interaction that links customer interaction to a contact employee, signifies a moment of truth.
Backstage/invisible contact employee actions. This is separated from the onstage actions by the very important line of visibility. Anything that appears above the line visibility is seen by the customer while everything that goes on below is invisible to the customer. This normally includes non-interaction with customers as well as other activities that contact employees do in order to prepare to serve customers. Hence, for our transport business, the following are the backstage/invisible contact employee actions. o Making reservation for customers (passenger) o Giving directions to customers via maps o Processing feedback o Loading of compartment
Support processes: This constitutes the fourth critical component of the blueprint which is separated from employees’ internal line of interactions. These are activities carried out by individuals and units within the business who are not contact employees but need to happen in order for the service to be delivered. Vertical line from the support area connecting with other areas of the blueprint shoes the inter-functional connections and support that are essential to delivering the service to the final consumer. The following are included in the support processes o Reservation system o Verification system o Ordering of snack o Distribution system
The diagram below depicts the service blueprint of Safe Passage transport Services
Evidence Ad/portal Main Station
Visible contact employee
Back stage/ invisible contact employee actions
Make reservation for customer
Arrive at station
Bag tags caretaker
Line of interaction
Greet and give bag tags Take bags
Line of visibility
Give directions to customers via map
Give bag to
Wait for departure
Show waiting room to customer
Give passenger instructions
Portal : A website where customers who want to do business with us have to book a ticket after which monies are paid electronically (mobile money, Vodafone cash, etc.). Customers then receive verification codes and time of departure made available at the site. The portal contains a map system that direct customers to the main station. Penalties in respect of late would be specified on the portal.
Bag tags : A number, letter or combination of both that identifies customer bags. It is received from the station management desk officer.
Verification : Involves the station officer checking or making sure that bag tags are actually attached to luggage.
Waiting room : This is where customers stay for a temporal period of time before departure.
Load compartment : this is where customers bags received would be kept.
Challenges anticipated and its suggestion solutions in the delivering of our service to our respective customers
Unexpected breakdown of vehicle: it is possible that while on the journey, the vehicle could breakdown which will delay the journey. In order to solve this problem, we would arrange for mechanic on board who will take of any breakdown of the vehicle. However, where the breakdown is beyond the repair of the mechanic, we would arrange for another bus to continue with the journey. As a first-hand measure, provisions would be made for the vehicle to be assessed or checked before it sets off from the main station.
Hacking of the portal system : it is very possible that the portal may be hacked and we might lose all our customers. As a result, we would keep manual records as well as electronic ones and also ensure high internet security system. We would also engage experts who will be monitoring the system in order to prevent it from being hacked.
Poor network system/ communication system : sometimes, poor network may prevent our customers from logging onto the site for booking their ticket. So manual tickets would be made available to supplement the online tickets. Therefore, customers who are unable to book their tickets online will have an alternative by coming to our main station for their tickets.
Late arrival of customers : this happens where customers arrive at the main station later than the specified time designated to them mostly after departure. Reminder messages would be sent to customers a day before the due date and one-hour prior notice on the day of departure.
However, if after all these notices, the customer still fails to report on time, a moderate fee would be charged against him/her as prescribed in the portal.
Security of passengers on board : Due to the rising level of robbery especially on roads, customers security becomes a challenge. In order to overcome this challenge, we would make sure that security men (at least two) are present on board.
To conclude, we being in a transport business does not justify our breakthrough or success even though it is one of the most profitable business in the service industry. But we knowing what our customers want and desire is a relevant factor which serve as the bloodstream of our transport service being the best among the rest in the industry in which we are operating.
Therefore, we as a team took into consideration, through a service blueprint, how our service would be delivered to meet the needs of our respective customers. Then, we anticipated some challenges that we will face in the course of the service being rendered and suggest possible solutions to them so as to help the smooth flow of service rendering without hindrances. Thus, ensuring effectiveness and efficiency in our delivery.
When all these were implemented, our business was profitable and as well met the needs of our customers.
Service blueprinting: A Practical Technique for Service Innovation. Retrieved November 1,
2018, from http://www.paullalen.ca
P.J. de Jong and P.A.M. Vermeulen, “Organizing Successful New Service Development,”
Management Decision, pp. 844-858.