Secchi, Enrico

Assistant Professor


Department: Business

Research description:

- Service operations
- Design of service delivery systems
- Improvisation in the hospitality sector
- Supply of chain management and transparency
- Statistics and data analysis

Expertise Profile
Front line employees who work in contact with customers have traditionally followed a script.

Enrico Secchi, whose expertise is service operations management, suggests they shouldn't necessarily be tied down to one.

He studies the design of service delivery systems - the interaction between a set of procedures, the physical environment and employee behaviour. His work focuses on improvisation during service delivery, specifically in hotel settings.

Typically, managers have relied on scripts to standardize service delivery and to monitor the progress and flow of resources in their businesses. But Dr. Secchi says there's a gap between what managers think is happening on the front lines and the reality of working face-to-face with customers.

"Delivering service is like a performance," he says. "It's about accommodating guest needs in the moment."

Dr. Secchi adds that improvised performances create personalized connections, which highly engage the customer and sustains relationships.

He's devising empirical instruments for measuring improvisation, which can later be used to hire or train employees with these skills.

"Consumers should know that everything is service-driven and buying a product is also buying the skills teams put into creating the overall user experience," he says.

Dr. Secchi brings this awareness to his students in the Gustavson School of Business. Those pursuing a career in the hospitality sector can get a taste of what it's like to design their service operations and how that influences customer experience; those interested in becoming managers have the chance to analyse data from front line employees and make informed decisions on their service operations.

Related Links
Dr. Secchi's Faces of UVic Research video:

Dr. Secchi's departmental website:

International research:

Dr. Secchi is collaborating with researchers from several north American universities in a project that aims to understand and offer possible solutions to the problems stemming from the lack of transparency and traceability of food supply chains in North America and worldwide.



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