A shoe maker in Nigeria studies service management together with an HR manager in Australia
“On this course you’ll learn the latest thinking in Service Management, exploring a service-centric perspective to marketing and management. You’ll examine service as a business model, the value creation process, customer perceived quality and promise management”, state Professor Emeritus Christian Grönroos and Postdoctoral Researcher Gustav Medberg from CERS, the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management at Hanken, Helsinki, on the first page of their course. The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) opened last week to everyone who wants to learn more about service and marketing, globally.
“Already now, we have almost 1000 students from 118 countries around the world”, says Medberg who has carried the main responsibility of designing and building the course on the social learning platform by FutureLearn. “This is a great learning experience for me, and it is very exciting to facilitate the course, follow how the students’ progress and take part in their lively discussions”, he continues.
Understanding a service-based approach to marketing and management is valuable for every organization. Professor Grönroos who has owned his long career to service marketing and management, says that every customer-focused company should realize that its mission is to help its customers manage their processes in in a way that is valuable for them, that is, go beyond just delivering goods and services intended to meet customer needs. Needs are an abstract concept that both customers and companies find difficult to interpret correctly. “The intriguing thing here is that the purpose of service is to help customers' processes so that these customers find that this creates value for them”, he reasons. ”If firms manage to do this, the customers’ needs will be fulfilled”.
The students of the course come with a vast variety of backgrounds regarding geography, education, age, business field, and economy. The course is free and open to everyone, and it follows Hanken’s high-quality academic requirements which makes it an attractive way of learning to everyone who has an internet connection and sufficient English skills. “It is wonderful to think about the impact our work can have on a small-scale entrepreneur’s life on the other side of the world”, Medberg says.
Principles of Service Management is Hanken’s first MOOC course, and a huge amount of work has been done by a group of professionals, to get everything ready for the students. “What has surprised me the most is that in a way digital learning can be much more interactive than traditional classroom learning: Students write about their experiences and thoughts more openly online than what they speak in class, and we have great discussions in the course”, Medberg says. “A digital environment seems to encourage them to more vivid interaction.”
The course site: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/principles-of-service-management
Image 1. The course site
Image 2. Professor Emeritus Christian Grönroos
Image 3. Postdoctoral Researcher Gustav Medberg