Module Note | April 2008

Service Design in the Context of Customer-Operators

by Frances X. Frei

Abstract

Taught as the second module in a Harvard Business School course on Managing Service Operations: Understanding the Customer Operating Role (606-092). Addresses the design and management of service operations with significant customer operating roles. The focus is on service operations because services are a dominant part of most economies, because customer-operators are typically involved in service production, and because many firms struggle in their efforts to achieve service excellence. These struggles are often marked, paradoxically, by increased costs and declining satisfaction. The module argues that an insufficient understanding of customers in the operating environment is a primary culprit.

Keywords: Customer Satisfaction; Management; Design; Service Operations; Cost;

Citation:

Frei, Frances X. "Service Design in the Context of Customer-Operators." Harvard Business School Module Note 608-134, April 2008.