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Source: OG The fact that superior service can generate a

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Intern
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Source: OG The fact that superior service can generate a [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 22:56
Source: OG

The fact that superior service can generate a competitive
advantage for a company does not mean that every attempt
at improving service will create such an advantage. Investments
in service, like those in production and distribution,
must be balanced against other types of investments on the
basis of direct, tangible benefits such as cost reduction and
increased revenues. If a company is already effectively on a
par with its competitors because it provides service that
avoids a damaging reputation and keeps customers from
leaving at an unacceptable rate, then investment in higher
service levels may be wasted, since service is a deciding
factor for customers only in extreme situations.

This truth was not apparent to managers of one regional
bank, which failed to improve its competitive position
despite its investment in reducing the time a customer had
to wait for a teller. The bank managers did not recognize
the level of customer inertia in the consumer banking
industry that arises from the inconvenience of switching
banks. Nor did they analyze their service improvement to
determine whether it would attract new customers by producing
a new standard of service that would excite customers
or by proving difficult for competitors to copy. The
only merit of the improvement was that it could easily be
described to customers.

Can we discuss what does 'only merit' means here. I will post the questions afterwards. Lets just share our views.

thanks
Patanjali
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Re: The fact that superior service can generate a competitive [#permalink] New post 05 May 2011, 00:01
patanjali wrote:
Source: OG

The fact that superior service can generate a competitive
advantage for a company does not mean that every attempt
at improving service will create such an advantage. Investments
in service, like those in production and distribution,
must be balanced against other types of investments on the
basis of direct, tangible benefits such as cost reduction and
increased revenues. If a company is already effectively on a
par with its competitors because it provides service that
avoids a damaging reputation and keeps customers from
leaving at an unacceptable rate, then investment in higher
service levels may be wasted, since service is a deciding
factor for customers only in extreme situations.

This truth was not apparent to managers of one regional
bank, which failed to improve its competitive position
despite its investment in reducing the time a customer had
to wait for a teller. The bank managers did not recognize
the level of customer inertia in the consumer banking
industry that arises from the inconvenience of switching
banks. Nor did they analyze their service improvement to
determine whether it would attract new customers by producing
a new standard of service that would excite customers
or by proving difficult for competitors to copy. The
only merit of the improvement was that it could easily be
described to customers.

Can we discuss what does 'only merit' means here. I will post the questions afterwards. Lets just share our views.

thanks
Patanjali


"Only merit" is the "only advantage" or "sole plus point" that came out of the improvement in standard of service by reducing the amount of time a customer has to wait for the teller.

Merit: The customers could be explained easily that they wouldn't have to wait long anymore to see the teller.
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Re: The fact that superior service can generate a competitive [#permalink] New post 07 May 2011, 13:14
fluke wrote:
patanjali wrote:
Source: OG

The fact that superior service can generate a competitive
advantage for a company does not mean that every attempt
at improving service will create such an advantage. Investments
in service, like those in production and distribution,
must be balanced against other types of investments on the
basis of direct, tangible benefits such as cost reduction and
increased revenues. If a company is already effectively on a
par with its competitors because it provides service that
avoids a damaging reputation and keeps customers from
leaving at an unacceptable rate, then investment in higher
service levels may be wasted, since service is a deciding
factor for customers only in extreme situations.

This truth was not apparent to managers of one regional
bank, which failed to improve its competitive position
despite its investment in reducing the time a customer had
to wait for a teller. The bank managers did not recognize
the level of customer inertia in the consumer banking
industry that arises from the inconvenience of switching
banks. Nor did they analyze their service improvement to
determine whether it would attract new customers by producing
a new standard of service that would excite customers
or by proving difficult for competitors to copy. The
only merit of the improvement was that it could easily be
described to customers.

Can we discuss what does 'only merit' means here. I will post the questions afterwards. Lets just share our views.

thanks
Patanjali


"Only merit" is the "only advantage" or "sole plus point" that came out of the improvement in standard of service by reducing the amount of time a customer has to wait for the teller.

Merit: The customers could be explained easily that they wouldn't have to wait long anymore to see the teller.


Lets try this:

The author uses the word “only” in line 23 most likely in order to
(A) highlight the oddity of the service improvement
(B) emphasize the relatively low value of the investment in service improvement
(C) distinguish the primary attribute of the service improvement from secondary attributes
(D) single out a certain merit of the service improvement from other merits
(E) point out the limited duration of the actual service improvement

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA - B
- Pls explain how does the OA fit in our interpretation of 'only' that you suggested before reading the question/option.
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Re: The fact that superior service can generate a competitive [#permalink] New post 07 May 2011, 14:16
patanjali wrote:
Lets try this:

The author uses the word “only” in line 23 most likely in order to
(A) highlight the oddity of the service improvement
(B) emphasize the relatively low value of the investment in service improvement
(C) distinguish the primary attribute of the service improvement from secondary attributes
(D) single out a certain merit of the service improvement from other merits
(E) point out the limited duration of the actual service improvement

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA - B
- Pls explain how does the OA fit in our interpretation of 'only' that you suggested before reading the question/option.


I don't understand what you are trying to convey. OA is making perfect sense. My answer before was just to convey literal meaning of the word "only". I didn't answer the question from the perspective of author's tone while using the word "only". Furthermore, rest all of the options are not correct.
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Re: The fact that superior service can generate a competitive [#permalink] New post 14 May 2011, 02:19
actually this can be interpreted in 2 ways.

1. the value of investment was low i.e. the resources allocated(input) for the investment were less.

2. the output generated by the investment was low, which is stated in B
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Re: The fact that superior service can generate a competitive [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 07:45
I got B as the best answer. I first got confued with D, which is single out the certain merit, but then i read the entire line corretly and noticed that i not singling out the merits from other merits of customer improvement as there are no other merits mention in the passage.
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Re: The fact that superior service can generate a competitive [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 20:28
The author uses the word “only” in line 23 most likely in order to
(A) highlight the oddity of the service improvement
(B) emphasize the relatively low value of the investment in service improvement
(C) distinguish the primary attribute of the service improvement from secondary attributes
(D) single out a certain merit of the service improvement from other merits
(E) point out the limited duration of the actual service improvement

First of, you will notice that when the author mentioned the ONLY MERIT comment, he/she was explaining why the approach failed and that the author should have considered factors such as: (1) Will it attract new customers? and (2) Will it be easily imitated by competitors? Then sarcastically goes to say its only merit. To me, it conveyed a meaning that the author finds little value to the approach sought by the failed bank approach.

A. It's not odd.
B. This is the answer:
C. There are not primary/ secondary attributes discussed.
D. This is a trap. It did mention that but its for the purpose that when linked to the previous sentences show how little the approach has accomplished. B is better.
E. No such duration mentioned.

Answer: B

By tone and by structure, the author is pointing out how little helpful the approach was.
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Re: The fact that superior service can generate a competitive   [#permalink] 12 Feb 2013, 20:28
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Source: OG The fact that superior service can generate a

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