Effective human resource management is vital in service organisations. The inseparability of production and consumption for many services means that customers are actively involved in the service delivery system and frequently exposed to the actions and attitudes of service employees. As we noted in Chapter 4, each interaction between customer and employee or ‘moment of truth’ can potentially influence that customer’s satisfaction with the service experience and ultimately the profitability of the service organisation. In a manufacturing situation, although a dissatisfied employee may have the opportunity deliberately to produce a faulty product, normal methods of supervision and quality control would ensure that the fault is corrected before it reaches the final consumer. In a service context the damage caused by a dissatisfied employee could be potentially much more serious. A one minute telephone conversation with a disgruntled service operator could easily lead a customer, thinking of purchasing a skiing holiday, to switch to a competitor organisation.
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