Preachers of the service logic perspective often mean that everything is services. Kristensson (2014), for example, says that everything can be viewed as a service. The first foundational premise of service-dominant logic is that “service is the fundamental basis of exchange” (Vargo and Lusch, 2008, p. 7). Other foundational premises state that indirect exchange masks this fact, and that goods are a distribution mechanism for service provision. Some mean that the service perspective is simply a more evolved way of delivering something to a consumer, where delivering an “experience” is even more evolved (Pine and Gilmore, 1998). To avoid going into the discussion of how valid the theories of Pine and Gilmore are I would simply like to include the “experience” in “service” for now.
This means that the service logic perspective tries to understand and contribute to the development of all kinds of exchange between people. It includes working within all domains that exist, including, but not limited to:
- Restaurant services
- Hotel services
- Tourism services
- Medical services
- Consumer products
- Professional products
- Transportation, both as a service and a product
- Economic services
- Public services
- Non-profit services
The list can go on forever and ever…And within each domain it works with widely different activities, including, but not limited to:
- Analysing needs and wants
- Designing really good products and services
- Producing products
- Making web sites, apps, and other IT solutions
- Buying products
- Distributing products
- Delivering services
- Following and taking part in social media
- Hiring staff
- Managing staff
Also this list can go on for longer than I can imagine. And it applies to business-to-business exchange as well as business-to-consumer exchange. And it treats large global corporations as well as small business that is just one person. In plus, the holistic perspective means that it encompasses not only the parts of the experience that the service provider herself can control, but all of the experience that the end consumer has (Pareigis, 2014; Verhoef et al., 2009, p. 32).
My point is that while the service logic perspective sheds light on the fact that it is difficult to deliver really good products/services/experiences, it also raises the question how effective this concept can be? Introducing titles such as “service designer” and “experience designer” seems somewhat vague, considering the vast amount of compentence needed to perform the above mentioned activites whithin any domain. And using such terms indicates that the person can actually work with all of these activities in all of these domains. Given this, it is not hard to understand that there is a lot of skepsis towards this concept…
- Kristensson, P., 2014, “Service Logic“.
- Pareigis, J., 2014, “Three perspectives of customer experience“.
- Verhoef et al., 2009, “Customer experience creation: Determinants, dynamics and management strategies“