Service Blueprinting Assignment
- Pages: 9
- Word count: 2058
- Category: Service
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The service blueprint has been veritably described as a useful tool which can be used to adequately carry out the design and or re-engineering of a service system. Blueprints are advantageous because they help avoid the risk of oversimplification. As opposed to words alone, blueprints lead to completeness, are more objective and help eliminate bias. All these help in the adequate mapping of the services and processes that are on offer thereby enabling provision of good service.
Blueprints find wide utility in human resource management where they are used to characterize job descriptions, appraisal techniques as well as the methods used in employee selection. In service marketing, blueprints help to spawn rationality in regard to customers’ anticipations through creation of practical system designs. Additionally, blueprints are of essential help in operations management as they assist in administration of fail points, management of quality as well as in training. Moreover, blueprints also find utility in system technology. As such, blueprints are used to engender plans for service improvement, to create new services and to maintain a “zero defects” environment.
This paper describes a blueprint for the recently introduced Wii service at the Marriott and Renaissance Hotels. The first section sets the background of the project. Next, the various customer segments targeted are presented, reasons for the choice of the topic offered, and the flowchart given. Finally, an explanation of the illustrated flowchart is presented.
Setting and Background
Nintendo has joined forces with Renaissance and Marriott hotels to introduce a new service dubbed the total Wii experience. This service is available in specific lounges and rooms. As opposed to the traditional hotel gaming offerings, the Wii package offers higher entertainment value for visitors. Secondly, it is more convenient because it obviates the need for juggling of discs. A third advantage of the Wii service is that hotel visitors have access to a wide array of games from the library which number 20. All these games can be enjoyed without inserting discs (Kotaku, 2008; Fletcher, 2008; PR Newswire, 2008).
Marriott hotel’s gaming system is self-contained with a large variety of different games including Mario Kart™ Wii, Super Mario Galaxy™, Wii Sports™ and Wii Fit™. Other advantages of the Wii gaming system as initiated in the hotel are that games are easier to play because the Wii Remote Controller has controls which are highly sensitive to motion and are perceptive. Besides, the games can be played by solo players or by groups. Further to this, Wii games, specifically the Wii Fit™, help guests stay fit while in their rooms. Moreover, the games have an intuitive menu hence users simply point at their desired option and get started immediately (Kotaku, 2008; Fletcher, 2008; PR Newswire, 2008). .
This project was started on a pilot basis in New York Marriott Marqui, the Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square, the Boston Marriott Cambridge, the Bethesda (Md.) Marriott Suites, Annapolis (Md.) Marriott Waterfront and the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix. In the latter, the game is available in the lounge only, not the rooms (Kotaku, 2008; Fletcher, 2008; PR Newswire, 2008).
The Wii service that has been described is targeted at the upper class visitors who can pay the extra fees that are levied for the use of the service. The service targets all generations because it has been noted that the popularity of Wii games is not restricted to only a particular age set. Through the Wii Fit™, the health conscious customers who may need to burn the extra calories in privacy form another target group (Kotaku, 2008; Fletcher, 2008; PR Newswire, 2008). .
Reasons for choice of the Topic
I chose this topic because of a variety of reasons. First, this is a unique service that takes the whole idea of hotel entertainment to a higher level. It has not been replicated before by anyone, has been described in very general terms and no blueprint has been drawn up describing the service. Therefore, creation of a blueprint detailing the entire process of Wii service in a leading hotel would go a long way towards increasing the understanding of this value added hotel service.
Secondly, adoption of Wii is a recent occurrence well in line with advances in technology and process innovation. By choosing this topic, the importance of process innovations in the hospitality industry is underlined. Thirdly, it is an alluring topic especially for individuals with a personal love for games such as I and it is a topic which I am familiar with as a user of the service. It is hoped that a detailed description of the whole process will help other service establishments planning similar services to have some background information that would be critical in helping them put in place effective plans.
Wii Service Flowchart (Figure 1)
The Blue print Process
The process starts when the customer reserves or books a hotel room with the Wii service. This booking can be done online or through the phone. In the online booking, the customer first visits the hotel’s website (www.marriott.com) and selects the hotel to be visited. For users to access the service, they need to make online reservations. Once this is done, visitors need to key the code XYO or click on “Deals at this Hotel” for them to book the service which contains the Wii experience. At this stage there is no contact person and the website’s backend acts as the support process as it enables the customer order to be registered in the hotel’s database (Kotaku, 2008; Fletcher, 2008; PR Newswire, 2008). .
As stated before, bookings can also be carried out through the phone. Here, there is wide divergence or latitude available for the customer and regarding the reservation method that can be used. This is epitomized by the choice of internet and telephone booking as well as booking on a walk-in basis. Another point of divergence is the fee levied. Charges for guests booking rooms with Wii services are set at a higher fee than the standard hotel packages.
Once the booking is done, the customer will next go to the hotel. The customer’s arrival is signalled by the presence of physical evidence which includes the hotel’s parking. Thereafter, the visitor will have his or her bags picked by the porters. The contact persons present in the onstage will greet the visitor and take the bags. The backstage happenings by the contact persons at this stage will include the transport of the customer’s bags to the room in which he or she has been booked in. Physical evidence in this stage includes the trolleys which are used by the porter when picking up the customer’s bags.
Once the bags are picked by the porter, the next step for the customer is the checking in stage. In this stage, the customer interacts with the receptionists who are the contact persons. Onstage activities include the registration of the customer. Physical evidence at this point includes the counter, the foyer and the key, as well, as the papers and other documents that are used in the registration process. During the registration process, support activities which primarily include the hotel database containing the details of the bookings earlier made by the customer are made use of.
Once the customer has been checked in, the subsequent steps will see him or her move into the room in which he or she was booked into. Here, there is little divergence or latitude for the customer since the Wii service is not available in all the hotel rooms. In some hotels such as the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, the service is only available at the lounge thus the customer in need of the gaming experience is constrained to using the lounge only. Lifts, passages and the room that the customer is supposed to reside in are the physical evidence characterizing this stage. The customer’s bags will subsequently be delivered to his room and the next stage therefore consists of the customer receiving the delivered bags. The transport of the bags into the customer’s room takes place in the backstage and delivery of the bags to the customer is made by the contact person. Physical evidence at this stage, as can be surmised, is the trolley that is used by the contact person to deliver the customer’s bags.
Once in the room and settled, the customer will select the Wii game that is of interest to him or her. In selecting the game, the customer has the choice of 20 different games which include the Mario Kart™ Wii, Super Mario Galaxy™, Wii Sports™ and Wii Fit™. This selection is made possible as the hotel provides a self-contained system with all the twenty games available. Here, the various options which the customer has to choose the desired game well constitute the divergence or latitude given to the customer at this stage. As can be seen, the customer has a wide degree of latitude in this stage. Physical evidence here includes the game console as well as the monitor and remote controller which are all used during the gaming process.
The final step involves the actual playing of the game by the customer. Each game will have its own set of rules and requirements which will accordingly demand the participation of the visitor as is needed. The kind and level of energy and interaction needed for say Wii Fit™ will differ significantly from that required for other games. As opposed to earlier versions of games that have been widely used in other hotels hitherto, Wii does not require the juggling of discs during playing.
Further, all these games can be enjoyed without inserting discs and the Wii gaming system as initiated in the hotel are that games are easier to play because the Wii Remote Controller has controls which are highly sensitive to motion and are perceptive. Besides, the games can be played by solo players or by groups. Further to this, Wii games, specifically the Wii Fit™, help guests stay fit while in their rooms. Moreover, the games have an intuitive menu hence users simply point at their desired option and get started immediately. This menu allows consumers a wide variety of options that can be resorted to and constitutes the divergence or latitude that is allowed the hotel customers at this stage.
In this last stage of playing the Wii games, there is no contact person as the visitor interacts purely with the machines of interest. Physical; evidence of service in this stage include the remote controller, monitors used as well as game console.
The blueprint is an important tool that can be used in the service industry to help initiate and sustain the provision of good services. In this paper, we described a blueprint for the Wii service offered by the Marriott and Renaissance hotels in partnership with Nintendo. Since this is a new service that is being offered for the first time, the blueprint described in the paper can be used to further develop the concept of the service as well as for market testing. Additionally, it is important because it will help cultivate and maintain the desired “zero defects” culture besides assisting in effecting appropriate improvements in the delivery of the service.
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