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A project report on service marketing


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A project report on service marketing

A project report on service marketing

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  • @hemanthcrpatna
    Hello Sir, This is Nayab Siddiqui,
    I'm studying Service Marketing, and my teacher asked me for a 15 page hand written report on on of own service company.
    I'm not sure what actually my teacher required by me, and what i have to make for him.

    Kindly let me know as soon as possible I need to submit the report on Monday 18th August 2014.

    Waiting for your kind reply soon.

    Nayab Siddiqui
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  • Dear Friend If possible Could You Pls send this report to it will help me a lot .. T
    Thanking you in Advance
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  • @jassimehmi77 : Hi Please contact us through so that one of our team mate will get back to you at the earliest. Thank you!
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  • please mail this to me urgently require this. this is very useful for me
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  • Please contact us through so that one of our team mate will get back to you at the earliest.
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  • 1. TOPICS IN SERVICES MARKETING S. Section Pages No. 1 Service Marketing 2-8 2 GAPS Model 9-10 3 Decision making & Evaluation of 11-18 Services 4 Customers Expectation of Service 19-32 5 Building Customer Relationship 33-44 6 Service Blue Printing 45-47 7 Marketing Information System 48-49 8 Employees Role in Service Delivery 50-55 9 Customers Role in Service Delivery 55-60 10 Managing Demand and Supply 60-68 11 Yield Management 68-69 12 Pricing of Services 69-73 Services Marketing
  • 2. SERVICES MARKETINGServices are deeds, processes and performances.Services include all economic activities whose output is not a physical product or construction, isgenerally consumed at the time it is produced, and provides added value in forms (such as convenience,amusement, timeliness, comfort or health) that are essentially intangible concerns of its first purchaser.Ex.: Transportation, Communication, Educational services etc.Services Vs Customer ServiceCustomer service is the service provided in support of a company’s core products. This core productcould also be a service.Services tend to be more intangible than manufactured products and manufactured products tend to bemore tangible than services. 31% 24% 46%1970 36% 26% 38%19801995 41% 31% 31%2005 61% 19% 20% SERVICES NDUSTRY AGRICULTURE % AGE OF GDP IN INDIAThus we see in India over the years the services are contributing more towards the GDP as compared towhat it was couple of decades ago. Services Marketing
  • 3. Tangibility Spectrum Salt Soft drinks Detergents Automobiles Cosmetics Fast food outlets Intangible DominantTangible Dominant Fast food outlets Advertising Agencies Airlines Investment Management Consulting TeachingThe above diagram shows us that there are no pure products or pure services. Instead services tend to bemore intangible than manufactured products, and manufactured products tend to be more tangible thanservices. Services Marketing
  • 4. Differences between Goods and Services________________________________________________________________________________Goods Services Resulting Implication________________________________________________________________________________Tangible Intangible Services cannot be inventoried Cannot be readily displayed or communicated Pricing is difficultProduction separate Simultaneous Customers participate in and affect thefrom consumption transaction. Customers affect each other. Employees affect service outcome. Decentralization may be essential. Mass production is difficult.Standardized Variability/ Heterogeneous Service delivery and customer satisfaction depend on employees actions. Service quality depends on many uncontrollable factors. There is no sure knowledge that the planned and promoted.Non-perishable Perishable It is difficult to synchronize supply and demand with services. Services cannot be returned or resold. Services Marketing
  • 5. The Service Marketing Triangle“Building service relationships: It’s all about promises.” COMPANY Internal Marketing (Enabling promises) External Marketing (Making promises) PROVIDERS CUSTOMERS Interactive marketing (Keeping promises) The Services Triangle and Technology Company Technology Providers Customers Services Marketing
  • 6. “Understanding and leveraging the role of customer service in external, interactive and internalmarketing.” Expanded Marketing Mix for ServicesProduct PlacePhysical Good Features Channel TypeQuality Level ExposureAccessories IntermediariesPackaging Outlet LocationsWarranties TransportationProduct Lines StorageBranding Managing ChannelsPromotion PricePromotion Blend FlexibilitySales People: Price Level Number Terms Selection Differentiation Training Discounts Incentives AllowancesAdvertising Targets Media Types Types of Ads Copy thrust Sales Promotion PublicityPeople Physical Evidence ProcessEmployees Facility Design Flow of activities Recruitment Equipment Standardized Training Signage Customized Motivation Employee Dress No. of steps Rewards Other tangibles Simple Teamwork Reports ComplexCustomers Business cards Customer Involvement Education Statements Training Guarantees Services Marketing
  • 7. Expanded Mix for ServicesApart from Product, place, promotion and price, for Services we have People, Physical Evidence andProcess 1) People: All human actors who play part in service delivery and thus influence the buyers perceptions namely, the firms personnel, the customer and other customers in the service environment. 2) Physical evidence: The environment in which the service is delivered and where the firm and the customer interact, and any tangible component that facilitate performance or communication of the service. 3) Process: The actual procedures mechanisms, the flow of activities by which the service is delivered- the service delivery and operating system.Marketing of Services: Issues and Challenges 1. Performance itself is the product. 2. Services are produced after they are sold. 3. Core benefit in services is intangible. 4. Producers of service play the dual role of marketers. 5. Differentiating is difficult in services. 6. Service quality has many dimensions. 7. People factor is important. 8. Customer’s behavioral response affects service quality. Services Marketing
  • 10. THE CUSTOMER GAP EXPECTED SERVICE CUSTOMER GAP PERCEIVED SERVICEThe Provider GapsGap 1- Not knowing what customers expects.Gap 2 - Not selecting the right service designs & standardsGap 3 - Not delivering to service standardsGap 4 – not matches performance to promises Services Marketing
  • 12. SERVICES: CATEGORIES IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSFor Services the sequence of information search, Evaluation of alternatives, Purchase and consumption &Post purchase evaluation do not occur in a linear sequence the way they most often do in purchase ofgoods.INFORMATION SEARCH: - • Use of personal source For purchasing goods use of both personal and non-personal sources is done as both effectively convey information about search qualities. For services, consumers rely to a great extent on personal sources for several reasons. As mass media can convey about search qualities but can communicate little about experience qualities. • Perceived risk Compare to good more risk would be involved in purchase of services. - Intangible nature - Since services are non-standardized always more uncertainty would accompany about the outcome each time it is purchased. - Services not accompanied by any warranties.EVALUATION OF SERVICE ALTERNATIVESEVOKED SETThe evoked set of alternatives –that group of products a consumer considers acceptable options in a givenproduct category -is likely to be smaller with services than goods.Reasons 1. Difference in retailing between goods and services • Retail outlet would display competing brands in close proximity • To purchase services on other hand, the consumer visits an establishment (e.g. a bank, a drycleaner or a hair salon) that almost always offer only a single “brand” for sale Services Marketing
  • 13. 2. Consumers are unlikely to find more than one or two businesses providing the same services in a given geographic area, whereas they may find numerous retail outlets carrying the identical manufacture’s product. 3. Difficulty to obtain adequate prepurchase information about services. 4. Or non professional services sometimes the consumer may perform the services for himself e.g. cleaning homes themselves against hiring housekeepers, tax preparation etc. Hence customers’ evoked set frequently includes self provision of the service.SERVICE PURCHASE AND CONSUMPTIONEmotion and mood are feeling states that influence people’s (and therefore customers) perceptions andevaluations of their experiences.Moods are transient feeling states that occur at specific time and in specific situations.Emotions are more intense stable and pervasive.Any service characterized by human interaction is strongly dependent on the moods and emotions of theservice providers, the service customers and the other customers, and other customers receiving servicesat the same time.Ways in which mood can affect the behavior of service customer • Positive moods can make customers more obliging and willing to participate in behaviors that help service encounters succeed. • Moods and emotions influence service encounters is to bias the way they judge service encounters and providers. Evaluation of service is consistent with the polarity (positive or negative) mood or emotion. • Moods and emotion affect the way information about service is absorbed and retrieved.Service marketers need to be aware of the moods and emotions of customers and service employees andshould attempt to influence those moods and emotions in positive ways.SERVICE PROVISION AS DRAMABoth service provision and drama aim to create and maintain a desirable impression before an audience.The drama metaphor offers a useful way to conceive of service performances.Among the aspects of a service that can be considered in this way are: • Selection of personnel (auditioning the actors) • Training of the personnel (rehearsing) • Clearly defining the role (scripting the performance) Services Marketing
  • 14. • Creating the service environment (setting the stage) • Deciding which aspect of the service should be performed in the presence of customer (on stage) • Which should be performed in the backroom (back stage) Importance Of Service Actors Increases When: • Degree of personal contact increases (as in hospital, restaurant or resort) • Services involve repeat contact and service actors have the discretion in determining the nature of the service and how it is delivered ( as in education, medical services, legal services)SERVICES ROLES AND SCRIPTSRoles are defined as combinations of social clues that guide and direct behaviors in a given setting.The success of any service performance depends in part on how well the “role set” or players- bothservice employees and customers- act out their roles.Service employees need to perform their roles according to expectations of the customers. The customer’srole must also be performed well. If customers are informed and educated about the expectations andrequirements of the service.If customer cooperates with the service provider to deliver the best possible service, the serviceperformance is likely to be successful.One of the factors that most influences the effectiveness of role performance is a script.A script is a coherent sequence of events expected by the individual, involving her either as a participantsor as an observer.Conformance to scripts is satisfying to the customer while deviations leads to confusion anddissatisfaction.THE COMPATIBILITY OF SERVICE CUSTOMERSThe mere presence of customers in churches, restaurants, bars and spectacular sports is important.If no one else shows up, customers will not get to socialize with others, one of the primary expectations inthese types of services.However if number of customers becomes so dense that crowding occurs, customers may also bedissatisfied.Customers can be incompatible for many reasons – • Difference in beliefs • Values • Experience • Abilities to pay • Appearance • Age, health etc. Services Marketing
  • 15. The service marketer must anticipate, acknowledge and deal with heterogeneous customers who have thepotential to be incompatible.The service marketer can also bring homogeneous customers together and solidify relationships betweenthem.Customer compatibility is a factor that influences customer satisfaction, particularly in high contactservice.POST PURCHASE EVALUATION • Attribution Of DissatisfactionWhen a customer is dissatisfied with the services they purchased they may attribute their dissatisfaction toprovider and also to themselves (as they participate in the service process)e.g. disappointed from a haircut ,the customer may blame -The stylist (for lack of skill) - Or herself (choosing the wrong style or not communicating her own needs)The quality of many services depends on the information the customer brings to the service encounter.e.g. - Doctor’s diagnosis depends greatly on this - Dry cleaner’s success in removing a spot depends on the customer’s knowledge of its cause(Incase of products consumer’s main form of participation is the act of purchase. Consumer may attributefailure to receive satisfaction to her own decision-making error, but hold the producer responsible forproduct performance.)Hence consumers may complain less frequently about services than about goods.• Innovation DiffusionThe rate of diffusion of an Innovation depends on the Consumer’s Perceptions of the innovation withregard to Five Characteristics: • Relative Advantage • Compatibility • Communicability • Divisibility • Complexity Services Marketing
  • 16. Services as a group are less communicable, less divisible, more complex and probably less compatiblethan goods.Consumers adopt innovations in services more slowly than they adopt innovations of products.Marketers may need to concentrate on incentives to trial when introducing a new service.• Brand LoyaltyThe degree to which consumers are committed to particular brands of goods or services depends on anumber of factors: • Cost of changing brands (switching cost) • Availability of substitutes • Perceived risk associated with the purchase • Degree to which they obtained satisfaction in pastConsumers are more brand loyal with services than products.Brand loyalty has two sides.The fact that a service provider’s own customers are brand loyal is not a problem.The fact that customers of the provider’s competition are difficult to capture , however creates specialchallenges.Brand loyalty is described as a “ Means of economizing decision effort by substituting habit for repeated,deliberate decision.”This functions as a device for reducing the risk of consumer decision. The Role Of Culture In ServicesCulture is learned, shared, and transmitted from one generation to the next, and is multidimensional.Culture would include: 1. Language (both verbal and non verbal) 2. Values and attitudes 3. Manners and customs 4. Material culture 5. Aesthetics 6. Education and social institutions These cultural universals are manifestations of the “way of life” of any group of people. Service marketers must be particularly sensitive to culture because of customer contact and interaction with employees. Services Marketing
  • 17. Culture is important when we consider international services marketing – taking the service from one country and offering them in others; but it is also critical within countries. • VALUES AND ATTITUDES DIFFER ACROSS CULTURES Values and attitudes help to determine what member of a culture think is right, important, and / or desirable. Consumer behaviors flow from values and attitudes; service marketers who want their services adopted across cultures must understand these differences. E.g. US brands have ‘exotic’ appeal to other cultures, but USA cannot take it as a long-term strategy. As nationalism in some cultures could work against this. • MANNERS AND CUSTOMS Manners and customs represent a culture’s views of appropriate ways of behaving. It is important to monitor differences in manners and customs, because they can have direct affect on the service customer. E.g. Central and western European employees are perplexed by western expectations that unhappy workers put on a “happy face” when dealing with customers. • MATERIAL CULTURE Material culture consists of tangible products of culture. It is “the stuff we own” Why people own and how they use and display material possessions varies around the world. E.g. Zoos in Japan very cramped compared to USA Mortgages in Japan for houses 100yrs USA 30yrs India 20yrs • AESTHETICS Aesthetics refers to cultural idea about beauty and good taste. These are reflected in music, art, drama, and dance as well as appreciation of color and form. E.g. Earthy tones of Japanese restaurants as against glossy red evident in their Chinese competitor’s establishments. Services Marketing
  • 18. • EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS Both kinds of institutions are affected by and are transmission agents of culture. Education includes the process of transmitting skills and knowledge, and thus may take place in school and in less formal ‘training’ circumstances. The structure and functioning of each are heavily influenced by culture. Culture manifests itself most dramatically in the people contact or our social institutions E.g. Western way of imparting education in a session whenever you have a doubt you would ask from the instructor. But in traditional eastern set up the students would learn by being with the instructor and asking questions was not encouraged. Services Marketing
  • 19. CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS OF SERVICE Customer expectations are beliefs about service delivery that function as standards or reference point against which performance is judged. Knowing what customer expects is the first and possibly most critical step in delivering quality service.EXPECTED SERVICE: - two levels of expectations a. Desired service: - the service customer hopes to receive - the “wished for” level of performance. b. Adequate service: - the level of service the customer will accept. Desired Service Zone of Tolerance Adequate ServiceDual customer expectation levels & the zone of tolerance DESIRED SERVICE expectations seem to be the same for that defined by the customer E.g. Desired expectation of 1. Expensive restaurant a. Elegant surroundings b. Gracious employees c. Candle light d. And fine food 2. Fast food restaurant a. Quick b. Convenient c. Tasty food in clean setting The adequate service expectation level however is likely to vary for different firms within a category.E.g. Within fast food restaurant, a customer may hold higher expectations for Mac Donald’s than for Wimpy’s. Services Marketing
  • 20. ZONE OF TOLERANCEAs service are heterogeneous in that performance may vary across providers, across employees from thesame provider, and even within the same service employee.The extent to which customer recognizes and are willing to accept this variation is called the zone oftolerance.The zone of tolerance can be considered as the range or window in which customers do not particularlynotice service performance. When it falls outside the range (either very low or very high), the services getcustomer’s attention in either a positive or negative way.Note: Marketer must understand not just the size and boundary levels for the zone of tolerance but alsowhen and how the tolerance zone fluctuates within a give customer.DIFFERENT CUSTOMERS POSSESS DIFFERENT ZONES OF TOLEREANCEE.g.Busy customers who are pressed for the time and therefore desire short wait times in general would alsohold a constrained range for the length of acceptable wait times.An individual customer’s zone of tolerance increases or decreases depending on a number of factorsincluding company-controlled factors such as price.“Price increases don’t really drive up expectations. But tolerance level will become more stringent / lessflexible with the increase.”ZONES OF TOLERANCE VARY FOR SERVICE DIMENSIONCustomer’s tolerance zones also vary for different service attributes or dimensions. The more importantthe factor, the narrower the zone of tolerance is likely to be.In general customers are likely to be less tolerant about unreliable service (broken promises, serviceerrors) than other service deficiencies. Services Marketing
  • 21. Desired Service Desired Service Level of expectatio Zone of Tolerance Zone of Adequate Service Tolerance Adequate Service Most important factors Least important factors Zone of tolerance for different servicesZONE OF TOLERANCE VARY FOR FIRST-TIMEAND RECOVERY SERVICEFIRST-TIME SERVICE Outcome ProcessRECOVERY SERVICE Outcome Process Low High Expectations Services Marketing
  • 22. The fluctuation in the individual customer’s zone of tolerance is more a function of changes in adequateservice level which moves readily up and down due to situational circumstances than in desired servicelevel, which tends to move upward incrementally due to accumulated experiences. Services Marketing
  • 23. Nature & Determinants Of Customer Expectations Of Service sensitivity to service.Enduring Service Intensifiers Explicit Service PromisesDerived Expectations AdvertisingPersonal Service Philosophies Personal Selling Contacts Other CommunicationsPersonal needs Implicit Service Promises TangiblesTransitory Service Intensifiers PriceEmergenciesService Problems Word Of Mouth PersonalPerceived Service Alternatives Desired Service “Expert” (Consumer Report Publicity Consultants)Self Perceives Service Role Expected Service Zone of Tolerance Past ExperienceSituational FactorsBad Weather Adequate ServiceCatastrophe Predicted ServiceRandom Over Demand Gap 5 (Customer Gap) Perceived Service 23 Services Marketing
  • 24. FACTORS INFLUENCING DESIRED SERVICES ENDURING SERVICE INTENSIFIERS EXPECTED SERVICE DESIRED SERVICE PERSONAL NEEDS ZONE OF TOLERANCE ADEQUATE SERVICEPersonal Needs:- Those states or conditions essential to the physical or psychological well being ofthe customer, are pivotal factors that share the level of desired service Personal needs fall into Physical, social and psychological functional categories.Enduring Service Intensifiers:- Are individual stable factors that lead the customer to aheightened sensitivity to service Two factors under this are Derived Service Expectations Personal Service PhilosophyDerived Service Expectations:- When customer expectations are driven by another person orgroup of peoplePersonal Service Philosophy:- The customer’s underlying generic attitude about the meaning ofservices and the proper conduct of service providers Services Marketing
  • 25. e.g. Customers who have themselves been in service business would in general have strongservice philosophies.CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS OF SERVICEPerceptions are always considered relative to expectations.Customers perceive services in terms of the quality of the service and how satisfied they are overallwith their experiences.Satisfaction is generally viewed as a broader concept whileService quality assessment focuses on dimensions of service.Internal and External Customer Perceptionse.g. A telephone repair person depends on services provided by the dispatchers vehicle maintenance crew, the repair person is the Internal Customer for the dispatchers and the vehicle maintenance crew. Any customer who calls up for the repair of his equipment is the External Customer for the service repair person.RELIABILITY SITUATIONALRESPONSIVENESS FACTORS SERVICE QUALITYASSURANCE CUSTOMER PRODUCT SATISFACTION QUALITYEMPATHYTANGIBLES PRICE PERSONAL FACTORS Services Marketing
  • 26. CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS OF QUALITY AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CUSTOMER SATISFACTIONSatisfaction of the customer’s evaluation of a product or service in terms of wherher that product orservices has met their needs and expectations.Failure to meet needs and expectations is assumed to result in dissatisfaction with the product orservice.CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IS INFLUENCED BY:-1 PRODUCT AND SERVICE FEATURES:- Influence significantly customers satisfaction. 1.e.g. For service such as resort hotel, important features might include the pool area, restaurants, room comfort and privacy, helpfulness and courtesy of staff, room price and so forth Through focus, companies would determine what the feature and attributes are for their service and the measure perceptions of those features as well as overall satisfaction level. Customer would make trade offs among different service features (e.g. price level V/s. quality V/s. friendliness of personnel) depending on the type of service being evaluated and the criticality of the service.2 CONSUMER EMOTIONS:- Consumer’s emotions can also affect their perceptions of satisfaction with products and services. These emotions can be stable, pre-existing emotions mood state.e.g. When you are at a very happy stage in your life (such as when you are on vacation), and your good happy mood and positive frame of mind has influenced how you feel about the services you experience.3. ATTRIBUTIONS FOR SERVICE SUCCESS OR FAILURE:- Attributions – the perceived causes of events- influence perception of satisfaction as well.e.g. In a weight loss organization if a customer fails to lose weight as hoped for, she will likely search for the causes – was it something that she did, was the diet plan ineffective, or did circumstances simply not allow her to follow the diet regimen. Services Marketing
  • 27. For many services, customer’s atleast take partial responsibilities for how things turn out.4 PERCEPTIONS OF EQUITY OR FAIRNESS:- customer satisfaction is influenced by perception of equity and fairness.e.g. Have I been treated fairly compared with other customers?OUTCOMES OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTIONRELATION SHIP BETWEEN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND LOYALTY INCOMPETITIVE INDUSTRY 100 80 60 40 20 1 2 3 4 5 Very Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very Dissatisfied satisfied nor Satisfied dissatisfied Services Marketing
  • 28. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND LOYALTY INCOMPETITIVE INDUSTRYSERVICE QUALITYService quality is a focused evaluation that reflects the customer’s perception of specific dimensionsof services:- Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy, Tangibles.PROCESS VERSUS TECHNICAL OUTCOME QUALITYUltimately the consumers judge the quality of services on their perceptions of the technical outcomeprovided and on how that outcome was delivered.e.g. Restaurant customer will judge the service on her perceptions of the meal (technical outcome quality) and on how the meal was served and how the employees interacted wit her (process quality)When outcome is difficult to evaluate the customer will base their judgment of quality on processdimensionsIn most of the legal service or service where face to face interaction was their, courtesy was anextremely powerful signal and the level of courtesy accounted for at least 60% of the variation inhow happy or angry a respondent was with the attorney.SERVICE QUALITY DIMENSIONResearch suggests that customers do not perceive quality as a unidimensional concept. That is,customer’s assessment of quality include perception of multiple factors.Researchers have found that consumers consider five dimensions in their assessment of servicequality; • RELIABILITY:- Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. • RESPONSIVENESS:- Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service. • ASSURANCE:- Employee’s knowledge and courtesy and their ability to inspire trust and confidence • EMPATHY:- Caring, individualized attention given to customers • TANGIBLES:- Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and written material Services Marketing
  • 29. EXAMPLES OF HOW CUSTOMERS JUDGE THE FIVE DIMENSIONS OF SERVICEQUALITY CAR REPAIR INFORMATION (COMSUMER) PROCESSING(INTERNAL)Reliability Problem fixed the first time Provides needed information and ready when promised when requestedResponsiveness Accessible; no waiting; Prompt response to requests; responds to requests not “Bureaucratic”, deals with problems promptlyAssurance Knowledge mechanics Knowledge staff: well trained; credentialsEmpathy Acknowledges customers by Knows internal customers as name; remembers previous individuals; understands problems and preferences individual and departmental needsTangibles Repair facility; waiting area; Internal reports; office area; uniforms; equipment dress of employeesBUILDING BLOCKS OF SATISFACTION AND SERVICE QUALITYThe service encounter or the moment of truth.Interactive marketingThis is where the promises are kept or broken. Real time marketingIt is from these service encounters that customers build their perceptions.SERVICE ENCOUNTER OR “MOMENTS OF TRUTH”From a customer’s point of view, the most vivid impression of service occurs in the serviceencounter, or the “moment of truth”. Services Marketing
  • 30. e.g. For a hotel customer service encounters are checking into the hotel, being taken into the roomby a bell boy, eating a restaurant meal, requesting a wake up call, checking out.From the organizations point of view, each encounter thus presents an opportunity to prove itspotential as a quality service provider and to increase customer loyalty.For Disney Amusement park – 74 customer encountersFor Mariott Hotel - 4 of the top 5 factors come into play in the first 10 minutes of the guest stay.THE IMPORTANCE OF ENCOUNTERS CHECK IN BELL PERSON TAKES TO ROOM RESTAURANT MEAL WAKE UP CALL CHECK OUTA SERVICE ENCOUNTER CASCADE FOR A HOTEL VISITTYPES OF SERVICE ENCOUNTERSA service encounter occurs every time a customer interact with the service organization:There are three types of service encounters:- 1) REMOTE ENCOUNTER 2) PHONE 3) FACE-TO-FACE1) REMOTE ENCOUNTER:- Encounters which occur without any direct human contacts (e.g. ATM, Co having sent a bill). In this encounters the tangible evidence of the service and the technical process and systems become primary basis for judging. Services Marketing
  • 31. 2) PHONE ENCOUNTERS:- There is a greater potential variability in the interaction compared to remote encounter Tone of voice, employee knowledge, and effectiveness / efficiency in handling customer issues become important criteria for judging quality in these encounters.3) FACE-TO-FACE ENCOUNTERS:- this is direct contact between an employee and a customer. Determining and understanding service quality issues in face-to-face counters is the most complex of all. Both verbal and non verbal behaviors are important determinants of quality, as are tangible cues such as employees dress etc.SOURCE OF PLEASURE AND DISPLEASURE IN SERVICE ENCOUNTERSCritical incidence technique is used to get customers and employees to provide verbatim storiesabout satisfying and dissatisfying service encounters they have experienced.With this technique, customers (either internal or external) are asked the following questions:  Think of a time when, as a customer you had a particularly satisfying (or dissatisfying) interaction with –  When did the incidence happen?  What specific circumstances led up this situation?  Exactly what did the employee (firm) say or do?  What resulted that made you feel the interaction was satisfying (or dissatisfying)?  What could or should have been done differently?On this basis of thousands on service encounter stories, four common themes- 1) RECOVERY (after failure) 2) ADAPTABILITY 3) SPONTANIETY 4) COPINGHave been identified as the sources of customer satisfaction / dissatisfaction in memorable serviceencounter. 1) RECOVERY : Employee response to service delivery system pailures 2) ADAPTABILITY: Employee response to customer needs and requests Services Marketing
  • 32. 3) SPONTANEITY: Unprompted and unsolicited employee action 4) COPING: Employee response to problem customersGENERAL SERVICE BEHAVIORS – DO’S AND DON’TTHEME DO DON’TRecovery Acknowledge problem Ignore customer blame explain causes apologize customer leave customer to “fend for him/herself” Compensate / upgrade Downgrade layout options Act as if nothing Take responsibility “Pass the buck”Adaptability Recognize the seriousness Ignore of the need acknowledge Promise, but fail to follow Anticipate through show unwillingness to try Attempt to accommodate Embarrass the customer Adjust the system laugh at the customer avoid responsibility “pass Explain rules / policies the buck” take responsibilitySpontaneity Take time be attentive Exhibit impatience ignore anticipate needs listen yell / laugh / swear steal provide information show from customer empathy discriminateCoping Listen Take customer’s dissatisfaction personally Try to accommodate Let customer’s dissatisfaction affect others Explain let go of the customer Services Marketing
  • 33. BUILDING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPRELATIONSHIP MARKETINGThere has been a shift from a transactions to a relationship focus in marketing.Customers become partners and the firm must make long-term commitments to maintaining thoserelationships with quality, service and innovation.Relationship marketing essentially represents a paradigm shift within marketing-Away from an acquisitions / transactions focus toward a retention / relationship focus.Relationship marketing (or relationship management) is a philosophy of doing business, a strategicorientation, that focuses on keeping and improving current customers, rather than acquiring newcustomers.Historically, marketers have been more concerned with acquisition of customers, so a shift to arelationship strategy often represents :• Change in mind set• Organizational culture• And employee reward systems.GOALS OF RELATIONSHIP MARKETINGThe primary goal of relationship marketing is to build and maintain a base of committed customerswho are profitable for the organization.To achieve this goal, the firm will focus on the attraction, retention and enhancement of customerrelationships. ENHANSING RETAINING SATISFYING ACQUIRING Services Marketing
  • 34. CUSTOMER GOALS OF RELATIONSHIP MARKETINGLoyal customers not only provide a solid base for the organization, they may represent growthpotentials.BENEFITS OF CUSTOMER / FIRM RELATIONSHIPSBoth parties benefit i.e., customer / firm from customer retention. It is not only in the best interest ofthe organization to build and maintain a loyal customer base, but customers themselves also benefitfrom long-term associations.BENEFITS FOR CUSTOMERSCustomers will remain loyal to a firm when they receive greater value relative to what they expectfrom competing firmsValue represents a trade-off for the consumer between the “given” and the “get” components.Consumers are more likely to stay in a relationship when the gets (quality, satisfaction, specificbenefits) exceed the gives (monetary and non monetary costs)Beyond the specific inherent benefits of receiving service value, customers also benefit in otherways from long term associations with firm.Research has uncovered specific types of relational benefits, these are:- • CONFIDENCE BENEFITS • SOCIAL BENEFITS • SPECIAL TREATMENT BENEFITSCONFIDENCE BENEFITSThese benefits comprise feelings of trust or confidence in the providers, alongwith a sense of areduced anxiety and comfort in knowing what to expect.Across all of the services studied in the research just cited, confidence benefits were the mostimportant to customers.e.g. Child Care ProviderOnce the child care has been identified and established a satisfying relationship with a goodcaregiver family stress is reduced and the quality of life improved.SOCIAL BENEFITSOvertime, customers develop a sense of familiarity and even a social relationship with their serviceproviders. Services Marketing
  • 35. In some long-term customer / firm relationship a service provider may actually become part of thecustomer’s social support system.A quote from the research where a customer describes her hair stylist: “I like him….. he’s reallyfunny and always has lots of good jokes. He’s kind of like a friends now…’s you’re used to. Youenjoy doing business with them”.SPECIAL TREAMTEMT BENEFITSSpecial treatment includes such things as getting the benefit of doubt, being given a special deal orprice, getting preferential treatment.e.g. Doctor asking you to come is minutes before starting his consultation with the customers.BENEFITS FOR THE ORGANISATIONSThe benefits to an organization of maintaining and developing a loyal customer base are numerous.They can be linked directly to the firm’s bottom line. • INCREASING PURCHASES • LOWER COSTS • FREE ADVERTISING THROUGH WORD OF MOUTH • EMPLOYEE RETENTIONLIFE TIME VALUE OF A CUSTOMERLife time value of a customer is a concept or calculation that looks at customer from the point ofview of their lifetime revenue and profitability contributions to a company.ESTIMATING LIFETIME VALUEIf companies knew how much it really costs to lose a customer, they would be able to makeaccurate evaluations of investments designed to retain customers.e.g. Tom Peters calculated lifetime value of his small firm (20 person office) as a customer ofFederal Express as followsBusiness from Tom Peters office per month $ 1500Assuming a 10-year average lifetime for a customer in the express mail industry, the value $ 1500 /month x 12 month / year x 10 years = $180000Going further, a happy customer will create at least one new customer via word of mouth$ 180,000 x 2 (New customers) = $ 360,000 Services Marketing
  • 36. Thus the value of his company’s business for Federal Express was about $ 360,000It is estimated that the average fed ex delivery person stops at 40 business the size of Peter’sbusiness each day $ 360,000 / company x 40 companies $ 14,000,000Thus the average employee of Federal Express is managing a $ 14,000,000 portfolio of lifetimebusiness for the company.THE CUSTOMER ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHTTHE WRONG SEGMENT: A company cannot target its services to all customers; some segmentswill be more appropriate than the others. It would not be beneficial to either the company or thecustomer to establish a relationship with the customer whose needs the company can’t meet.e.g; a resort company which gets the old people and young crowd together at the same time at theresort.NOT PROFITABLE IN THE LONG TERM : some segments of the customers will not beprofitable for the company even if their needs can be met by the services offered.e.g; a credit card company will not like deal with the customer who doesn’t pay the bills on time orsomeone who doesn’t uses it to an extent the company expect.DIFFICULT CUSTOMER: some customers put huge demands on the company and as suchcompany would not be Interested in such customer.Eg. Some ad agencies say that some clients would make them do lot many presentations and finallyat times award the contracts to someoneelse who is known to them. Services Marketing
  • 37. SERVICE RECOVERYService Recovery refers to the action taken by an organization response to a service failure.Failure occurs for all kinds of reasons- The service may be unavailable when promised- It may be delivered late or too slowly- The outcome may be incorrect or poorly executed- Employees may be rude or uncaringAll of these types of failures bring about negative feelings and responses for the customers.Left Unfixed- They can result in customers leaving- Telling other customers about their negative experiences- Even challenging the organization through customers rights organizations or legal channelsResearch has shown that resolving customer problems effectively has a strong impact on- Customer satisfaction- Loyalty- Bottom line performanceIt has been observed that customers who experience service failures, but are ultimately satisfiedbased on recovery efforts by the firm, will be more loyal than those whose problems are notresolved.Those who complain and their problems resolved quickly are much more likely to repurchase thanare those whose complaints were not resolved.Those who never complain are likely least likely to repurchase Services Marketing
  • 38. Unhappy Customers 9%who donotcomplain 37%Unhappy customerswho do complain 19%Complaints notresolved 46% 54%Complaints 70%resolvedComplaints resolved 82%quickly 95% Percentage of Customers who will buy again Services Marketing
  • 39. An effective Service Recovery strategy can- Increase customer Satisfaction and Loyalty- Generate positive Word of MouthA well designed, well documented services strategy also provides information that can be used toimprove service as part of a continuous improvement effortIneffective Service Recovery Strategies can lead to customers who are so dissatisfied they become“Terrorist”, actively pursuing opportunities to openly criticize the company.Repeated Service Failures without an effective Recovery Strategy in place can aggravate even thebest employees.The costs in Employee Morale and even lost employee can be huge.THE RECOVERY PARADOXIt is suggested that customers who are dissatisfied, but experience a high level of excellent servicerecovery, may ultimately be even more satisfied and more likely to repurchase than are those whowere satisfied I the first place.The logical but not very rational conclusion is that companies should plan to disappoint customersso that they can recover and gain even greater loyalty from them as a result.This idea has become known as the RECOVERY PAPADOX.Recovery Paradox is more complex than it may seem on the surface.1 It is expensive to fix mistakes.2 Empirical Research suggests that only under the very highest levels of customers’ Service Recovery ratings will we observe increased satisfaction and loyalty.It is safe to say that “ Doing it right the first time “ is still the best and safest strategy.However, when a failure does occur, then every effort at a superior Recovery should be made tomitigate its negative effects.In cases where the failure can be fully overcome, the failure is less critical, or the Recovery Effort isclearly superlative, it may be possible to observe evidence of the Recovery Paradox. Services Marketing
  • 40. How Customers Respond To Service Failures Service Failure Dissatisfaction/ Negative Emotions Complaint Action No Complaint ActionComplain to Negative word Third Party Provider of mouth Action Exit/Switch Stay Exit/Switch Stay 40 Services Marketing
  • 41. Customer Complaint Action Following Service FailureVariety of negative emotions can occur following a service failure, including such feelings as anger,discontent, disappointment, self pity and anxiety.These initial negative responses will affect how customers evaluate the Service Recovery effort andpresumably their ultimate decision to return to the service provider or not.Many customers are very passive about their dissatisfaction, simply saying or doing nothing.It is known that those who donot complain are least likely to return.For companies, customer passivity in the face of dissatisfaction is threat to future success.TYPES OF CUSTOMER COMPLAINT ACTIONSIf customers initiate actions following service failure , the action can be of various types as shownin the Fig.From company’s point of view any customer who complains on the spot is the best case scenario.Company has the chance to respond immediately.If they don’t complain immediately, customers may choose to complain later to the provider byphone or in writing, or even write or call the corporate offices of the company.In all the above cases, the company has a chance to recover.These Proactive types of complaining behavior is preferred as voice responses or Seeking Redress.TYPES OF COMPLAINERSFour categories on how the customers respond to failures have been identifies.These categories are:(1) Passives (2) Voicers (3) Irate (4)Activist(1) Passives: This group of customers is least likely to take any action .- They are unlikely to say anything to the provider- Less likely than others to spread negative Word of Mouth, unlikely to complain to third party.- They often doubt the effectiveness of complaining, thinking the consequences will not merit the time and the effort they will expend. Services Marketing
  • 42. (2) Voicers: These customers actively complain to the service provider- Less likely to spread the negative word of mouth, to switch patronage, or to go to third parties with their complaints.- These customers to be viewed as the service providers friend.- Actively complain and give company a second chance.- They believe complaining has social benefits and therefore don’t hesitate to voice their opinion.(3) Irates: These customers are more likely to engage in negative word of mouth to friends and relatives and to switch providers than are others.- They feel alienated from the market place.- They are angry with the service provider although they do believe that complaining to the service provider can have a social benefits.- They are less likely to give the service provide a second chance.(4) Activists: These consumers are characterized by above average propensity to complain on all dimensions.- They will complain to the provider, they will tell others, and they are more likely than any other group to complain to third parties.- They have a very optimistic sense of the potential positive consequences of all types of complaining.WHY DO ( AND DON’T) PEOPLE COMPLAIN?The categories just described suggest that some customers are more likely to complain than others.As individuals, these customers believe that positive consequences may occur and that there aresocial benefits of complaining, and their personal norms support their complaining behavior.They believe they will and should be provided compensation for the service failure in some form.They believe that fair treatment and an good service are their due, and that in case of service failure,someone should make good.In some cases they feel a social obligation to complain – to help others avoid similar situations or topunish the service provider.A very small number of consumers have “ complaining” personalities – they just like to complain orcause trouble.Those who are unlikely to take any action hold the opposite beliefs. Services Marketing
  • 43. They often see complaining as a waste of their effort .WHEN THEY COMPLAIN, WHAT DO CUSTOMERS EXPECTCustomers want justice and fairness in handling their complaintsCustomers are looking for: OUTCAME FAIRNESS PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS INTERACTIONAL FAIRNESS1. Outcome Fairness: They expect equity in the exchange- i.e. they want to feel that the company has “Paid” for its mistakes in a manner at least equal to what the customer has suffered. The company’s “ punishment should fit the crime”. They also appreciate it when a company gives them choices in terms of compensation. E.g. A hotel guest should be offered the choice of a refund or free upgrade to a better room in compensation for a room not being available on arrival. On the other hand, customers can be comfortable if they are overly compensated. E.g. Domino’s Pizza offered not to charge if the driver arrived after 30 minutes guarantee delivery time. Many customers were not comfortable asking for this level of compensation, especially if the driver was only few minutes late.2. Procedural Fairness: In addition to fair compensation, customers expect fairness in terms of policies, rule and timeliness of the complaint process. They want easy access to the complaint process and they want things handled quickly, preferably by the first person they contact. Fair procedures are characterized by clarity, speed and absence of hassles. Unfair procedures are those that customers perceive as slow, prolonged and inconvenient. Customers also feel it is unfair if they have to prove their case- when the assumption seems to be they are wrong or lying until they can prove otherwise.3. Interactive Fairness: Customers expect to be treated politely, with care and honesty. This form of fairness can dominate the others if customers feel the company and its employees have uncaring attitudes and have done little to try to resolve the problem. Often rude and uncaring behavior of employees is due to lack of training and empowerment- a frustrated, frontline employee who has no authority to compensate the customer may Services Marketing
  • 44. easily respond in an aloof and uncaring manner, especially if the customer is angry and/or rude. SWITCHING VERSUS STAYING FOLLOWING SERVICE RECOVERY Ultimately, how a Service Recovery failure is handled and the customer’s reaction to recovery effort can influence future decisions to remain loyal to the service provider or to switch to another provider. The more serious the failure, the more likely the customer to switch no matter what the recovery effort. The nature of the Customer’s Relationship with the firm may also influence whether the customer stays or switches providers. There are three types of relationships viz. -“True Relationships” where the customer has had repeated contact overtime with the same service provider. These customers are more forgiving of poorly handled service failures and are less likely to switch than others. - “First Time Encounter” Relationship is where the customer has had only one contact, on a transaction basis, with the provider. These customers are more likely to change. - “Pseudo Relationship” is one where the customer has interacted many times with the same company, but with different service provider (people) each time. Individual customer’s attitude towards switching will strongly influence whether he or she ultimately stays with the provider. Thus certain customers will have greater propensity to switch service providers no matter how their Service Failure situations are handled. Finally, the decision to switch to a different service provider may not occur immediately following service failure or poor service recovery, but may follow an accumulation of events. The service switching can be viewed as a process resulting from a series of decisions and critical service encounters overtime, rather than one specific moment in time when a decision is made. Services Marketing
  • 45. This process orientation suggests that companies could potentially track customer interactions and predict the likelihood of defection based on a series of events. By intervening earlier in the process companies can prevent at time customer’s decision to switch. SERVICE BLUEPRINTING Services commonly lack concrete specifications. Products on the other hand are produced with concrete and detailed plans, written specifications and engineering drawings. A Service ,even a complex one, might be introduced without any formal, objective depiction of process. A Service Blueprint is a picture or map that accurately portrays the service system. This is to assume that the different people involved in providing it can understand and deal with it objectively regardless of their individual points of view. Blueprints are particularly useful at the design and redesign stage of development. A Service Blueprint visually displays the service by simultaneously depicting the process of service delivery, the points of customer contact, the roles of customers and employees, and the visible elements of the service. Process Service Points of Contacts Blueprint Evidence Service BlueprintingBlueprint ComponentsThe key components of Service Blueprints are shown in the fig.They are Customers actions, “ On Stage” Contact Employee Actions, “BackStage” ContactEmployee Action and Support processes. Services Marketing
  • 46. Physical EvidenceCustomer ActionsLine of InteractionOn Stage ContactEmployees ActionsLine Of VisibilityBack Stage ContactEmployee ActionsLine of Internal InteractionSupport Processes SERVICE BLUEPRINT COMPONENTS The customer actions area encompasses the steps, choices, activities and interactions that the customer performs in the process of purchasing, consuming and evaluating the service. E.g. Ina legal services the customer actions might include a decision to contact an attorney, phone calls to the attorney, face to face meetings, receipt of documents and receipt of bill. Onstage Employee actions are the steps and activities that the contact employee performs that are visible to the customer. Backstage employee actions are the steps and actions that occur behind the scenes to support the on stage activities. Services Marketing
  • 47. The support processes cover the internal services, steps and interactions that take place to support the contact employees in delivering the service. Line of Interaction represents the direct interactions between the customer and the organization. Anytime a vertical line crosses the horizontal line of interaction, a direct contact between the customer and the organization or a service encounter has occurred. Line of Visibility separates all service activities that are visible to the customer from those that are not visible. Line of Internal Interaction separates contact employee activities from those of other service support activities and people. Vertical Lines cutting across the line of Internal Interaction represent internal service encounters. Services Marketing
  • 48. MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEMMarketing Information System is defined as an assembly of inter-related information subsystems:receiving, processing and disseminating information on a continued basis to help make marketingdecision.Type of Research Primary Research ObjectivesComplaint solicitation To identify/attend to dissatisfied customers To identify common service failure pointsCritical incident studies To identify “best practices” at transaction level To identify customers requirements as input for qualitative studies To identify common service failure points To identify systemic strengths and weaknesses in customer-contact servicesRequirements To identify customer requirements as input forresearch qualitative researchTrailer calls To obtain immediate feedback on performance of service transactions To measure effectiveness of changes in service delivery To assess service performance of individuals and teams To use as input for process improvements To identify common service failure pointsService expectation meetings and reviews To create dialogue with important customers To identify what individual large customers expect and then to assure that it is delivered To close the loop with important customersProcess checkpoint evaluations To determine customer perceptions of long term professional services during service provision To identify service problems and solve them early in the service relationshipMarket –oriented ethnography To research customers in natural settings To study customers from cultures other than your home country Services Marketing
  • 49. Type of Research Primary Research ObjectivesMystery To measure individual employee performanceshopping for evaluation , recognition and rewards To identify systemic strengths and weaknesses in customer-contact servicesCustomer To monitor changing customer expectationspanels To provide a forum for customers to suggest and evaluate new service ideasLost customer research To identify reasons for customer defectionDatabase marketing research To identify the individual requirements of customers using information technology and database informationFuture expectations To forecast future expectations of customersresearch To develop and test new service ideas Services Marketing
  • 50. EMPLOYEES’ ROLE IN SERVICE DELIVERY CUSTOMER Service Delivery COMPANY Service Performance Gap Customer-Driven Service Designs and StandardsThe Critical Importance of Service EmployeesIt is very important to focus on employees because : • They are the service • They are the organization in the customer’s eyes • They are the brands • They are the marketers Services Marketing
  • 51. In many cases , the contact employee is the service – there is nothing else. E.g. in most personal andprofessional services (like haircutting, physical trainers, child care , cleaning /maintenance etc.) thecontact employees provide s the entire service single handedly. The offering is the employee. Thusinvesting in the employee to improve the service parallels making a direct investment in theimprovement of a manufactured product.Because contact employees represent the organization and can directly influence customersatisfaction, they perform the role of marketers. They physically embody the product and are thewalking billboards from the promotional point of view.Whether acknowledged or not , actively selling or not, service employees perform marketingfunctions. They can perform these functions well, to the organization’s advantage, or poorly to theorganization’s detriment.Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction and ProfitsThere is a concrete evidence that satisfied employees make for satisfied customers (satisfiedcustomers can, in turn, reinforce employees’ sense of satisfaction in their jobs). Some have gone sofar as to suggest that unless service employees are happy in their jobs, customer satisfaction will bedifficult to achieve.Research has shown that both a climate for service and a climate for employee well-being arehighly correlated with overall customer perceptions of service quality. The Service Profit ChainBOUNDARY-SPANNING ROLESThe front-line service employees are referred to as boundary spanners because they operate at theorganization’s boundary. They provide link between the external customer and environment and Services Marketing
  • 52. internal operations of the organization. They serve the critical function in understanding , filteringand interpreting information and resources to and from the organization and external constituencies.Who are these boundary spanners? What type of people and positions comprise critical boundary-spanning roles? Their skills and experience cover the full spectrum of jobs and careers.In industries such as fast food, hotels, telecommunication, and retail, the boundary spanners are theleast skilled, lowest paid employees in the organization. They are order takers, front deskemployees, telephone operators, store clerks, truck drivers, and delivery people.In other Industries, boundary spanners are well paid, highly educated professionals – for example,doctors, lawyers, accountants, consultants, architects, and teachers.No matter what the level of skill or pay, boundary-spanning positions are often high-stress jobs.These positions require: • Mental Labor • Physical Labor • Emotional LaborEmotional LaborThis refers to the labor that goes beyond the physical or mental skills needed to deliver qualityservice. It means delivering smiles, making eye contact, showing sincere interest, and engaging infriendly conversation with people who are essentially strangers and who may or may not ever seeagain.Friendliness, courtesy, empathy, and responsiveness directed towards customers all require hugeamount of emotional labor from the front-line employees who shoulder the responsibility for theorganization.Emotional Labor draws on people’s feeling (often requiring them to suppress their true feelings) tobe effective in their jobs. A front-line service employee who is having a bad day or isn’t feeling justright is still expected to put on the face of the organization when dealing with customers.The organizations need to carefully selecting the people who can handle emotional stress, trainingthem in needed skills (like listening and problem solving), and teaching or giving them copingabilities and strategies (via job rotation, scheduled breaks, teamwork or other techniques).SOURCES OF CONFLICTFront-line employees often face interpersonal and interorganizational conflicts on the job. Theirfrustration and confusion can, if left unattended, lead to stress, job dissatisfaction, a diminishedability to serve customers, and burnout. Services Marketing
  • 53. As these employees represent the customer to the organization and often need to manage a numberof customers simultaneously, front liners inevitably have to deal with conflicts, includingperson/role conflicts, organization/client conflict, and inter-client conflicts.1. Person/Role Conflicts : In some situations the front-line employees feel conflict between whatthey are asked to do and their own personalities, orientations, or values.Person/role conflict also arises when employees are required to wear specific clothing or changesome aspect of their appearance to confirm to the job requirements. E.g A young lawyer, just out ofcollege may feel an internal conflict with his new role when his employer requires him to cut hislong hair and trade his casual clothes for three piece suit.2. Organization/Client Conflict : A more common type of conflict for front-line serviceemployees is the conflict between their two bosses, the organization and the individual customer.Service employees are typically rewarded for following certain standards , rules, and procedures.Ideally these rules and standards are customer based. When they are not, or when a customersmakes excessive demand, the employee has to choose whether to follow the rules or satisfy thedemands.So an employee has two bosses one customer and one in the organization to whom he is reporting.These conflicts are especially severe when service employees depend directly on the customer forincome. E.g. employees who depend on tips or commissions are likely to face greater levels oforganization/client conflict because they have even greater incentives to identify with the customer.3. Interclient Conflict : Sometimes conflict occurs for boundary spanners when there areincompatible expectations and requirements from two or more customers. This occurs most oftenwhen the service provider is serving the customers in turn (a bank teller, a ticketing agent, a doctor)or is serving many customers simultaneously (teachers, entertainers).In case of serving customers in turn , the service provider may satisfy one customer by spendingadditional time, customizing the service , and being very flexible in meeting the customer’s needs>Meanwhile, waiting customers are becoming dissatisfied because their needs are not being met in atimely manner.Beyond the timing issue, different clients may prefer different modes of service delivery. Having toserve one client who prefers personal recognition and a degree of familiarity in the presence ofanother client who is all business and would prefer little interpersonal interaction can also createconflict for the employee.In the case of serving many customers at the same time, it is often difficult or impossible to servethe full range of needs of a group of heterogeneous customers simultaneously. This type of conflictis readily apparent in any college classroom where the instructor must meet a multitude ofexpectations and different preferences for formats and style. Services Marketing
  • 54. Strategies for Closing GAP 3A complex combination of strategies is needed to ensure that service employees are willing and ableto deliver quality services and that they stay motivated to perform in customer-oriented, serviceminded ways. These strategies for enabling service promises are often referred to as internalmarketing .Even during slow economic times, the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining goodpeople in knowledge and service based industries cannot be overemphasized.By approaching human resource decisions and strategies from the point of view that the primarygoal is to motivate and enable employees to deliver customer-oriented promises successfully, anorganization will move towards closing gap3.To build a customer-oriented ,service-minded workforce, an organization must : • Hire the right people • Develop people to deliver service quality • Provide the needed support systems • Retain the best people Services Marketing
  • 55. HUMAN RESOURCE STRATEGIES FOR CLOSING GAP3 Hire for service competencies Compete and service Be the for the inclination preferred best employer people Measure and Train for reward strong Hire the right technical and service people interactive skills Develop Treat Retain the Customer- people to employees best Oriented deliver Empower as people Service service employees customers Delivery quality Provide needed Include Promote support employees systems teamwork in the company’s vision Develop service- Provide Measure internal oriented supportive service quality internal technology processes and equipment CUSTOMER’S ROLES IN SERVICE DELIVERYService customers are often present in the “factory” (the place the service is produced and/orconsumed), interacting with employees and with other customers.E.g In a classroom or training situation, students (customers) are sitting in the factory interactingwith the instructor and other students as they consume the educational services.Since these customers are present during service production, customers can contribute to or detractfrom the successful delivery of the service and to their own satisfaction.The Importance of Customers in Service DeliveryCustomer participation at some level is inevitable in service delivery. Services are actions orperformances, typically produced and consumed simultaneously. In many situations employees,customers and even others in the service environment interact to produce the ultimate serviceoutcome. Services Marketing
  • 56. Because the customers receiving the service participates in the delivery process, he or she cancontribute to gap 3 through appropriate or inappropriate, effective or ineffective , productive orunproductive behaviors.Customers who are unprepared in terms of what they want to order can soak up the customerservice representative’s time as they seek advice. Similarly, shoppers who are not prepared withtheir credit cards can “put the representative on hold” while they search for their credit cards or goto another room or even out of their cars to get them. Meanwhile, other customers and calls are leftunattended, causing longer wait times and potential dissatisfaction.The level of participation – low, medium, high – varies across services. In some cases, all that isrequired is the customers physical presence (low level of participation), with the employees of thefirm doing all of the service production work, as in case of a ghazal concert. The listeners must bepresent to receive the entertainment service.In other cases, consumer inputs are required to aid the service organization in creating the service(moderate level of participation). Inputs can include information, effort or physical possessions.All three of these are required in case for a CA to prepare a client’s income tax return effectively.Information in the form of tax history, marital status, and number of dependents. Effort in puttingthe information together in a useful fashion. Physical Possessions such as receipts and past taxreturns.Incase of long term consulting engagements involvement of the customers high as they co create theservice. Services Marketing
  • 57. LEVELS OF CUSTOMER PARTICIPATION ACROSS DIFFERENT SERVICESLow: Consumer Presence Moderate : Consumer High : Customer Concretes theRequired during Service Inputs Required during Service Productdelivery Service CreationProducts are standardized . Client inputs customize a Active client participation standard service. guides the customized service.Service is provided regardless Provision for service requires Service cannot be created apartof any individual purchase. customer purchase. from the customer’s purchase and active participationPayment may be the only Customer inputs Customer inputs are mandatoryrequired customer input. (information, materials) are and concrete the outcome. necessary for an adequate outcome, but the service firm provides the serviceEnd Consumer ExamplesAirline travel Haircut Marriage counselingMotel stay Annual physical test Personal trainingFast-food restaurant Full-service restaurant Weight reduction program Major illness or surgeryBusiness-to-BusinessCustomers examplesUniform cleaning service Agency-created advertising Management consultingPest Control campaign Executive management seminarInterior greenery maintenance Payroll service Installation of computerservice Freight transportation networkOTHER CUSTOMERSIn many service contexts customers receive the service simultaneously with other customers or mustwait their turn while other customers are being served. In both cases, “other customers” are presentin the service environment and can effect the nature of the service outcome or process. Othercustomers can either enhance or detract from customer satisfaction and the perception of quality. Services Marketing
  • 58. Some of the ways other customers can negatively affect the service experience are by exhibitingdisruptive behaviors, causing delays, overusing, excessively crowding, and manifestingincompatible needs.Sometimes mere presence of other customers enhances the experience. This is true in sportingevents, in movie theatres, and in other entertainment venues. The presence of other patrons isessential for true enjoyment of the experience. In other cases the customers provide a positive socialdimension to the service experience.CUSTOMERS’ ROLES1. Customers as Productive ProcessService customers are referred to as “partial employees” of the organization – human resources whocontribute to the organization’s productive capacity. In other words, if customers contribute effort,time or other resources to the service production process, they should be considered as part of theorganization.Customers inputs can affect the organization’s productivity through both quality of what theycontribute and the resulting quality and quantity of output generated. E.g. research suggest that in anIT consulting context, clients who clearly articulate the solution they desire , provide neededinformation in a timely manner , communicate openly, gain the commitment of key internalstakeholders, and raise the issues during the process before it is too late will get better service.2. Customers as Contributors to Service Quality and SatisfactionAnother role customers can play in services delivery is that of contributor to their own satisfactionand the ultimate quality of the services they receive.Customers may care little that they have increased the productivity of the organization through theirparticipation, but they likely care a great deal about whether their needs are fulfilled.Effective customer participation can increase the likelihood that needs are met and that the benefitsthe customer seeks are actually attained.Think about service s such as health care, education, personal fitness, and weight loss, where theservice outcome is highly dependent on the customers participation. In these cases, unless thecustomers perform their roles effectively, the desired service outcomes are not possible.Research has shown that in education , active participation by students – as opposed to passivelistening – increases learning a9the desired service output) significantly. Services Marketing
  • 59. WHICH CUSTOMER (A OR B) WILL BE MOST SATISFIED?For each scenario, ask “Which customer (A or B) will be most satisfied and receive the greatestquality and value, and why?”Scenario 1: A Major International Hotel : Guest A called the desk right after check-in to reportthat his TV was not working and that the light over the bed was burned out; both problems werefixed immediately. The hotel staff exchanged his TV for one that worked and fixed the light bulb.Later they brought him a fruit plate to make up for the inconvenience. Guest B did not communicateto management until checkout time that his TV did not work he could not read in his bed. Hiscomplaints were over- heard by guests checking in, who wondered whether they had chosen theright place to stay.Scenario 2: Office of a Professional Tax Preparer : Client A has organized into categories theinformation necessary to do her taxes and has provided all documents requested by the accountant.Client B has a box full of papers and receipts, many of which are not relevant to her taxes butwhich she brought along “just in case.”Scenario 3: An Airline Right from London to New York : Passenger A arrives for the flight witha portable tape player and reading material and wearing warm clothes; passenger A also calledahead to order a special meal. Passenger B who arrives empty-handed, becomes annoyed when thecrew runs out of blankets, complains about the magazine selection and the meal, and startsfidgeting after the movie.Scenario 4: Architectural Consultation for Remodeling an Office Building : Client A has invitedthe architects to meet with its remodeling and design committee made up of managers, staff, andcustomers in order to lay the ground- work for a major remodeling job that will affect everyonewho works in the building as well as customers. The committee has already formulated initial ideasand surveyed staff and customers for input. Client B has invited architects in following a decisionthe week previously to remodel the building; the design committee is two managers who arepreoccupied with other more immediate tasks and have little idea what they need or what customersand staff would prefer in terms of a redesign of the office space.3. Customers as CompetitorsA final role played by service customers is that of potential competitor. If self-service customerscan be viewed as resources of the firm, or as “partial employees,” self-service customers could insome cases partially perform the service or perform the entire service for themselves and not needthe provider at all.Customers thus in that sense are competitors of the companies that supply the service. Whether toproduce a service for themselves (internal exchange) - for example, child care, home maintenance – Services Marketing
  • 60. or have someone else provide the service for them (external exchange) is a common dilemma forconsumers.Similar internal versus external exchange decisions are made by organizations.Firms frequently choose to outsource service activities such as payroll, data processing, research,accounting, maintenance, and facilities management. They find that it is advantageous to focus ontheir core businesses and leave these essential support services to others with greater expertise.Alternatively, a firm may decide to stop purchasing services externally and bring the serviceproduction process in-house. MANAGING DEMAND AND CAPACITYThe fundamental issue underlying supply and demand management in services is the lack ofinventory capability. Unlike manufacturing firms, service firms cannot build up inventories duringpeak periods of slow demand to use later when demand increases.This lack of inventory capability is due to the perishability of services and their simultaneousproduction and consumption.An airline seat that is not sold on a given flight cannot be resold the following day : the productivecapacity of the seat has perished.The lack of inventory capability combined with the fluctuating demand leads to variety of potentialoutcomes. Services Marketing
  • 61. Variations in Demand Relative to Capacity Demand exceeds capacity VOLUME DEMANDED (business is lost) CAPACITY UTILIZED Maximum Available Demand exceeds Capacity optimum capacity (quality declines) Optimum Capacity (Demand and Supply Well Balanced (wasted resources) Excess Low Utilization capacity (May Send Bad Signals) TIME CYCLE 1 TIME CYCLE 2As shown above in the diagram there are four basic scenarios that can result from differentcombinations of capacity and demand :1. Excess Demand : The level of demand exceeds maximum capacity. In this situation somecustomers will be turned away, resulting in lost business opportunities.For the customers who do not receive the service, its quality may not match what was promisedbecause of crowding or overtaxing of staff and facilities.2. Demand exceeds optimum capacity : No one is being turned away, but the quality of servicemay still suffer because of overuse, crowding, or staff being pushed beyond their abilities to deliverconsistent quality.3. Demand and supply are balanced at the level of optimum capacity : Staff and facilities areoccupied at an ideal level . No one is overworked, facilities can be maintained , and customers arereceiving quality service without undesirable delays.4. Excess Capacity : Demand is below optimum capacity. Productive resources in the form oflabor, equipment, and facilities are underutilized, resulting in lost productivity and lower profits. Services Marketing
  • 62. Customers may receive excellent service on an individual level because they have the full use of thefacilities, no waiting , and complete attention from the staff. If, however service quality depends onthe presence of other customers, customers may be disappointed or may worry that they havechosen an inferior service provider.UNDERSTANDING DEMAND PATTERNSTo manage fluctuating demand in a service business, it is likely to have a clear understanding ofdemand patterns, why they wary, and the market segments that comprise demand at different pointsin time.1. Charting Demand Patterns : First, the organization needs to chart the level of demand overrelevant time periods. Organizations that have good computerized customer information systemscan do this very accurately.The others may need to chart demand patterns more informally.2. Predictable Cycles : In looking at the graphic representation of demand levels, is there apredictable cycle daily (variations occur by hours), weekly (variations occur by day), monthly(variations occur by the month), and/or yearly (variations occur according to months or seasons)?If there is a predictable cycle , what are the underlying causes? This can help a service provider indealing with the customers in a much better way.3. Random Demand Fluctuations : Sometimes the patterns of demand appear to be random—there is no apparent predictable cycle. Yet even in this case, causes can often be identified.For example. day to-day changes in the weather may affect use of recreational, shopping, orentertainment facilities. Although the weather cannot be predicted far in advance, it may be possibleto anticipate demand a day or two ahead. Health-related events also cannot be predicted. Accidents,heart attacks, and births all increase demand for hospital services, but the level of demand cannotgenerally be determined in advance. Natural disasters such as floods, fires, and hurricanes candramatically increase the need for such services as insurance, telecommunications, and health care.Acts of war and terrorism such as that experienced in the United States on September 11, 2001,general instantaneous need for services that can’t be predicted.AT&T was faced with a sudden increase in demand for services to the mi1i during the Gulf War.During this period, 500,000 U.S. troops were deployed to the Middle East, many without advancewarning. Before their deployment these men and women had little time to attend to personalbusiness, and all of them left behind concerned family and friends. With mail delivery between theUnited States and the Middle East taking more than six weeks, troops needed a quick way tocommunicate with their families and to handle personal business. Communications with home weredetermined by the military to be essential to troop morale. AT&T’s ingenuity. responsiveness, andcapacities were challenged to meet this unanticipated communication need. During and after theGulf War crisis more than 2.5 million calls were placed over temporary public phone installations,and AT&T sent more than 1.2 million free to family and friends of service men and women. Services Marketing
  • 63. 4. Demand Patterns by Market Segment :If an organization has detailed records on customertransactions, it may be able to disaggregate demand by market segment, revealing patterns withinpatterns. Or the analysis may reveal that demand from one segment is predictable while demandfrom another segment is relatively random.For example, for a bank, the visits from its commercial accounts may occur daily at a predictabletime, whereas personal account holders may visit the bank at seemingly random intervals. Healthclinics often notice that walk-in or “care needed today” patients tend to concentrate their arrivals onMon day, with fewer numbers needing immediate attention on other days of the week. Knowingthat this pattern exists, some clinics schedule more future appointments (which they can control) forlater days of the week, leaving more of Monday available for same-day appointments and walk-ins.STRATEGIES FOR MATCHING CAPACITY AND DEMANDWhen an organization has a clear grasp of its capacity constraints and an understanding of demandpatterns, it is in a good position to develop strategies for matching supply and demand.There are two general approaches for accomplishing this match. • The first is to smooth the demand fluctuations themselves by shifting demand to match existing supply. • The second general strategy is to adjust capacity to match fluctuations in demand.Each of these two basic strategies is described next with specific examples.A. Shifting Demand to Match Capacity :With this strategy an organization seeks to shift customers away from periods in which demandexceeds capacity, perhaps by convincing them to use the service during periods of slow demand.This may be possible for some customers but not for others. For example, many business travelers are not able to shift their needs for airline, car rental, andhotel services; pleasure travelers, on the other hand, can often shift the timing of their trips. Thosewho can’t shift and can’t be accommodated will represent lost business for the firm.1. Vary the Service Offering :One approach is to change the nature of the service offering, depending on the season of the year,day of the week, or time of day.For example, Whistler Mountain, a ski re sort in Vancouver, Canada, offers its facilities forexecutive development and training programs during the summer when snow skiing is not possible.A hospital in the Los Angeles area rents use of its facilities to film production crews who needrealistic hospital settings for movies or TV shows. Services Marketing
  • 64. Accounting firms focus on tax preparation late in the year and until April 15, when federal taxes aredue in the United States.During other times of the year they can focus on audits and general consulting activities.Air lines even change the configuration of their plane seating to match the demand from differentmarket segments. In some planes there may be no first-class section at all. On routes with a largedemand for first-class seating, a significant proportion of seats may be placed in first class..Care should be exercised in implementing strategies to change the service offering, because suchchanges may easily imply and require alterations in other marketing mix variables—such aspromotion, pricing, and staffing—to match the new offering.Unless these additional mix variables are altered effectively to support the offering, the strategymay not work. Even when done well, the downside of such changes can be a confusion in theorganization’s image from the customers’ perspective, or a loss of strategic focus for theorganization and its employees.2 Communicate with Customers:Another approach for shifting demand is to communicate with customers, letting them know thetimes of peak demand so they can choose to use the service at alternative times and avoid crowdingor delays.E.g Signs in banks and post offices that let customers know their busiest hours and busiest days ofthe week can serve as a warning, al lowing customers to shift their demand to another time ifpossible. Forewarning customers about busy times and possible waits can have added benefits. Manycustomer service phone lines provide a similar warning by informing waiting customers ofapproximately how long it will be until they are served. Those who don’t want to wait may chooseto call back later when the lines are less busy.Research in a bank context found that customers who were forewarned about the bank’s busiesthours were more satisfied even when they had to wait than were customers who were notforewarned.In addition to signage communicating peak demand times to customers, advertising and other formsof promotion can emphasize different service benefits during peak and slow periods. Advertisingand sales messages can also remind customers about peak demand times.3 Modify Timing and Location of Service Delivery :Some firms adjust their hours and days of service delivery to more directly reflect customerdemand.Historically, U.S. banks were open only during “bankers’ hours” from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. everyweekday. Obviously these hours did not match the times when most people preferred to do theirpersonal banking. Now U.S. banks open early, stay open until 6 P.M. many days, and are open onSaturdays, better reflecting customer demand patterns. Services Marketing
  • 65. Theaters also accommodate customer schedules by offering matinees on weekends and holidayswhen people are free during the day for entertainment. Movie theaters are sometimes rented duringweekdays by business groups—an example of varying the service offering during a period of lowdemand.4. Differentiate on Price :A common response during slow demand is to discount the price of the service. This strategy relieson basic economics of supply and demand. To be effective, however, a price differentiation strategydepends on solid understanding of customer price sensitivity and demand curves.For example, business travelers are far less price sensitive than are families traveling for pleasure. FFor any hotel, airline, restaurant, or other service establishment, all of the capacity could be filledwith customers if the price were low enough. But the goal is always to ensure the highest level ofcapacity utilization without sacrificing profits.Heavy use of price differentiation to smooth demand can be a risky strategy. Over reliance on pricecan result in price wars in an industry where eventually all competitors suffer. Price wars are wellknown in the airline industry, where total industry profits suffered as a result of airlinessimultaneously trying to attract customers through price discounting.Another risk of relying oh price is that customers grow accustomed to the lower price and expect toget the same deal the next time they use the service. if communications with customers are unclear,customers may not understand the reasons for the discounts and will expect to pay the same duringpeak demand periods.Overuse or exclusive use of price as a strategy for smoothing demand is also risky due to thepotential impact on the organization’s image and the possibility of attracting un desired marketsegments.B. Flexing Capacity to Meet Demand :A second strategic approach to matching supply and demand focuses on adjusting or flexingcapacity. The fundamental idea here is to adjust, stretch, and align capacity to match customerdemand (rather than working on shifting demand to match capacity as just described).During periods of peak demand the organization seeks to stretch or expand its capacity as much aspossible.During periods of slow demand it tries to shrink capacity so as not to waste resources.1 Stretch Existing Capacity :The existing capacity of service resources can often be expanded temporarily to match demand. Insuch cases no new resources are added; rather people, facilities, and equipment are asked to workharder and longer to meet demand.a. Stretch Time: Services Marketing
  • 66. It may be possible to extend the hours of service temporarily to accommodate demand. A healthclinic might stay open longer during flu season, retailers are open longer hours during the Christmasshopping season, and accountants have extended appointment hours (evenings and Saturdays)before tax deadlines.b. Stretch Labor :In many service organizations, employees are asked to work longer and harder during periods ofpeak demand. For example, consulting organizations face extensive peaks and valleys with respectto demand for their services.During peak demand, associates are asked to take on additional projects and work longer hours.And front-line service personnel in banks, tourist attractions, restaurants, and telecommunicationscompanies are asked to serve more customers per hour during busy times than during hours or dayswhen demand is low.c. Stretch Facilities :Theaters, restaurants, meeting facilities, and classrooms can sometimes be expanded temporarily bythe addition of tables, chairs, or other equipment needed by customers. Or, as in the case of acommuter train, a car can hold a number of people seated comfortably or can “expand” byaccommodating standing passengers.d. Stretch Equipment :Computers, telephone lines, and maintenance equipment can often be stretched beyond what wouldbe considered the maximum capacity for short periods to accommodate peak demand.In using these types of “stretch” strategies, the organization needs to recognize the wear and tear onresources and the potential for inferior quality of service that may go with the use.These strategies should thus be used for relatively short periods in order to allow for latermaintenance of the facilities and equipment and refreshment of the people who are asked to exceedtheir usual capacity.As noted earlier, sometimes it is difficult to know in advance, particularly in the case of humanresources, when capacity has been stretched too far.2. Align Capacity with Demand Fluctuations :This basic strategy is sometimes known as a “chase demand” strategy. By adjusting serviceresources creatively, organizations can in effect chase the demand curves to match capacity withcustomer demand patterns. Time, labor, facilities, and equipment are again the focus, this time withan eye toward adjusting the basic mix and use of these resources.Specific actions might include the following.a. Use Part-Time Employees : In this case the organization’s labor resource is being aligned with demand. Retailers hire part-timeemployees during the holiday rush, tax accountants engage temporary help during tax season,tourist resorts bring in extra workers during peak season.Restaurants often ask employees to work split shifts (work the lunch shift, leave for a few hours,and come back for the dinner rush) during peak mealtime hours. Services Marketing
  • 67. b. Outsourcing :Firms that find they have a temporary peak in demand for a service that they cannot performthemselves may choose to outsource the entire service.For example, in recent years, many firms have found they don’t have the capacity to fulfill theirown needs for technology support, Web design, and software-related services. Rather than try tohire and train additional employees, these companies look to firms that specialize in outsourcingthese types of functions as a temporary (or sometimes long-term) solution.c. Rent or Share Facilities or Equipment :For some organizations it is best to rent additional equipment or facilities during periods of peakdemand.For example, ex press mail delivery services rent or lease trucks during the peak holiday deliverysea son. It would not make sense to buy trucks that would sit idle during the rest of the year.Sometimes organizations with complementary demand patterns can share facilities.An example is a church that shares its facilities during the week with a Montes son preschool. Theschool needs the facilities Monday through Friday during the day; the church needs the facilitiesevenings and on the weekend.d. Schedule Downtime during Periods of Low Demand ;If people, equipment, and facilities are being used at maximum capacity during peak periods, then itis imperative to schedule repair, maintenance, and renovations during off-peak periods. This ensuresthat the resources are in top condition when they are most needed.With regard to employees, this means that vacations and training are also scheduled during slowdemand periods.e. Cross-Train Employees : If employees are cross-trained, they can shift among tasks, filling in where they are most needed.This increases the efficiency of the whole system and avoids underutilizing employees in someareas while others are being over taxed.Many airlines cross-train their employees to move from ticketing to working the gate counters toassisting with baggage if needed. In some fast-food restaurants, employees specialize in one task(like making french fries) during busy hours, and the team of specialists may number 10 people.During slow hours the team may shrink to three, with each person performing a variety of functions.Grocery stores also use this strategy, with most employees able to move as needed from cashieringto stocking shelves to bagging groceries.f. Modify or Move Facilities and Equipment :Sometimes it is possible to adjust, move, or creatively modify existing capacity to meet demandfluctuations. Hotels accomplish this by reconfiguring rooms—two rooms with a locked doorbetween can be rented to two different parties in high demand times or turned into a suite duringslow demand. The airline industry offers dramatic examples of this type of strategy. Using anapproach known as “demand-driven dispatch,” airlines have begun to experiment with methods thatassign airplanes to flight schedules on the basis of fluctuating market needs.’ The method depends Services Marketing
  • 68. on accurate knowledge of demand and the ability to quickly move airplanes with different seatingcapacities to flight assignments that match their capacity The Boeing 777 aircraft is so flexible thatit can be reconfigured within hours to vary the number of seats allocated to one, two, or threeclasses.’ The plane can thus be quickly modified to match demand from different market segments,essentially molding capacity to fit demand.Another strategy may involve moving the service to a new location to meet customer demand oreven bringing the service to customers. Mobile training facilities, libraries, and blood donationfacilities are examples of services that physically follow customers. YIELD MANAGEMENT: BALANCING CAPACITY UTILIZATION, PRICING, MARKET SEGMENTATION, AND FINANCIAL RETURNYield management is a term that has become attached to a variety of methods, some verysophisticated, matching demand and supply in capacity-constrained services. Using yieldmanagement models, organizations find the best balance at a particular point in time among theprices charged, the segments sold to, and the capacity used.The goal of yield management is to produce the best possible financial return from a limitedavailable capacity. Specifically, yield management has been defined as “the process of allocatingthe right type of capacity to the right kind of customer at the right price so as to maximize revenueor yield.”Although the implementation of yield management can involve complex mathematical models andcomputer programs, the underlying effectiveness measure is the ratio of actual revenue to potentialrevenue for a particular measurement period:Yield = Actual revenue Potential revenuewhereActual revenue = actual capacity used X average actual pricePotential revenue = total capacity X maximum priceThe equations indicate that yield is a function of price and capacity used. Recall that capacityconstraints can be in the form of time, labor, equipment, or facilities. Yield is essentially a measureof the extent to which an organization’s resources (or capacities) are achieving their full revenue-generating potential. Assuming that total capacity and maximum price cannot be changed, yieldapproaches 1 as actual capacity utilization increases or when a higher actual price can be chargedfor a given capacity used. For example, in an airline context, a manager could focus on increasingyield by finding ways to bring in more passengers to fill the capacity, or by finding higher-payingpassengers to fill a more limited capacity. In reality, expert yield managers will work on capacityand pricing issues simultaneously to maximize revenue across different customer segments. Services Marketing
  • 69. Yield Management ExampleTake, for example, a hotel that has 200 rooms that it can rent at a rate of $100 per night (potentialrevenue of $20,000). One night it rents all of the rooms at a reduced rate of $50 per night, yielding arevenue of $10,000. Although capacity was used to the maximum level that night, yield was only 50percent ($l0,000/$20,000). If, on the other hand, the hotel had charged its full rate it might have soldonly 40 percent of its rooms because of customer price sensitivity. The yield under thesecircumstances would have been 40 percent ($8,000/$20,000). At the $100 rate the hotel may thus bemaximizing the per-room price but not the potential yield—or revenue generation—for the entirehotel. Perhaps a combination of the two room rates would be the best solution. If the hotel could fill40 percent of the rooms at $100 per night and the other 60 percent at $50, the revenue would be$14,000, resulting in a yield of 70 percent ($14,000/$20,000), clearly better than the other twoalternatives. PRICING OF SERVICESThree Key Ways Service Prices Are Different For ConsumersWhat role does price play in consumer decisions about services? How important is price to potentialbuyers compared with other factors and service features? Service companies must understand howpricing works, but first they must understand how customers perceive prices and price changes. Thethree sections that follow describe what we know about the ways customers perceive services, andeach is central to effective pricing.A. CUSTOMER KNOWLEDGE OF SERVICE PRICESTo what extent do customers use price as a criterion in selecting services? How much do consumersknow about the costs of services?If you are like many consumers, you feel quite uncertain about your knowledge of the prices ofservices, and the reference prices you hold in memory for services are not as accurate as those youhold for goods.There are many reasons for this difference.1. Service heterogeneity limits knowledge:As services are intangible and are not created on a factory assembly line, service firms have greatflexibility in the con figurations of services they offer. Firms can conceivably offer an infinitevariety of combinations and permutations, leading to complex and complicated pricing structures.As an example, consider how difficult it is to get comparable price quotes when buying lifeinsurance. With the multitude of types (such as whole life versus term), features (differentdeductibles), variations associated with customers (age, health risk, smoking or nonsmoking), fewinsurance companies offer exactly the same features and the same prices. Only an expert customer, Services Marketing
  • 70. one who knows enough about insurance to completely specify the options across providers, is likelyto find prices that are directly comparable.2. Providers are unwilling to estimate prices :Another reason customers lack accurate reference prices for services is that many providers areunable or unwilling to estimate price in advance. Consider most medical or legal services. Rarelyare legal or medical service providers willing—or even able—to estimate a price in advance. Thefundamental reason in many cases is that they do not know themselves what the ser vices willinvolve until they have fully examined the patient or the client’s situation or until the process ofservice delivery (such as an operation in a hospital or a trial) un folds. In a business-to-businesscontext, companies will obtain bids or estimates for complex services such as consulting orconstruction, but this type of price estimation is typically not undertaken with end consumers;therefore, they often buy without advance knowledge about the final price of the service.3. Individual customer needs vary :Another factor that results in the inaccuracy of reference prices is that individual customer needsvary. Some hairstylists’ service prices vary across customers on the basis of length of hair, type ofhaircut, and whether a conditioning treatment and style are included. Therefore, if you were to ask afriend what a cut costs from a particular stylist, chances are that your cut from the same stylist maybe a different price.In a similar vein, a service as simple as a hote1 room have prices that vary greatly: by size of room,time of year, type of room availability, and individual versus group rate.These two examples are for very simple services.Now consider a service purchase as idiosyncratic as braces from a dentist or help from a lawyer. Inthese and many other services, customer differences in need will play a strong role in the price ofthe service.4. Price information is overwhelming in services :Still another reason customers lack accurate reference prices for services is that customers feeloverwhelmed with the information they need to gather.With most goods, retail stores display the products by category to allow customers to compare andcontrast the prices of different brands and sizes.Rarely is there a similar display of services in a single outlet. If customers want to compare prices(such as for dry cleaning), they must drive to or call individual outlets.5. Prices are not visible:One requirement for the existence of customer reference prices is price visibility - the price cannotbe hidden or implicit.In many services, particularly financial services, most customers know about only the rate of returnand not the costs they pay in the form of fund and insurance fees.IDS Financial Services recently discovered how little customers know about prices of thecompany’s services. After being told by the independent agents who sell their services to customersthat IDS was priced too high, the company did research to find out how much customers know Services Marketing
  • 71. about what they pay for financial services and how much price factors into customer valueassessments.The study surprised the company by revealing that customers knew even less than expected: notonly did they not understand what they were paying for many of their services, very few consumersunderstood how they pay for financial services in general.Only for financial products where price was visible - such as with securities and term life insurance—were customers aware of fees.When price was invisible, such as in certificates, whole-life insurance, and annuities (which haverear-load charges), customers didn’t know how they were charged and what they paid. Further,when customers were asked to indicate how important 10 factors (including price) were, priceranked seventh. Finally, the company found that shopping behavior in the category of financialservices was extremely limited.Of course in situations of urgency, such as in accident or illness, customers must make the decisionto purchase without respect to cost at all. And if cost is not known to the customer before purchase,it cannot be used as a key criterion for purchase as it often is for goods.Price is likely to be an important criterion in repurchase, however. Furthermore, in repurchasemonetary price may be an even more important criterion than in initial purchaseB. THE ROLE OF NONMONETARY COSTSIn recent years economists have recognized that monetary price is not the only sacrifice consumersmake to obtain products and services. Demand, therefore, is not just a function of monetary pricebut is influenced by other costs as well. Nonmonetary costs represent other sources of sacrificeperceived by consumers when buying and using a service. Time costs, search costs, andpsychological costs often enter into the evaluation of whether to buy or rebuy a service, and may attimes be more important concerns than monetary price. Customers will trade money for these othercosts as mentioned below:1. Time costs:Most services require direct participation of the consumer and thus consume real time: time waitingas well as time when the customer interacts with the service provider.Consider the investment you make to exercise, see a physician, or get through the crowds to watch aconcert or baseball game. Not only are you paying money to receive these services; you’re alsoexpending time. Time becomes a sacrifice made to receive service in multiple ways. First, becauseservice providers cannot completely control the number of customers or the length of time it willtake for each customer to be served, customers are likely to expend time waiting to receive theservice.Waiting time for a service is virtually always longer and less predictable than waiting time to buygoods.2. Search costs.: Services Marketing
  • 72. Search costs—the effort invested to identify and select among ser vices you desire—are also higherfor services than for physical goods. Prices for services are rarely displayed on shelves of serviceestablishments for customers to examine as they shop, so these prices are often known only when acustomer has decided to experience the service.Another factor that increases search costs is that each ser vice establishment typically offers onlyone “brand” of a service (with the exception of brokers in insurance or financial services), so acustomer must initiate contact with several different companies to get information across sellers.3. Convenience costs :There are also convenience (or perhaps more accurately inconvenience) costs of services. Ifcustomers have to travel to a service, they incur a cost, and the cost becomes greater when travel isdifficult, as it is for elderly persons.Further, if service hours do not coincide with the customers’ available time, they must arrange theirschedules to correspond to the company’s schedule. And if consumers have to expend effort andtime to prepare to receive a service (such as removing all food from kitchen cabinets in preparationfor an exterminator’s spraying), they make additional sacrifices.4. Psychological costs:Often the most painful nonmonetary costs are the psychological costs incurred in receiving someservices.Fear of not understanding (insurance), fear of rejection (bank loans), fear of uncertainty (includingfear of high cost)— all of these, constitute psychological costs that customers experience assacrifices when purchasing and using services.All change, even positive change, brings about psychological costs that consumers factor into thepurchase of services.When banks first introduced ATMs, customer resistance was significant, particularly to the idea ofput ting money into a machine: customers felt uncomfortable with the idea of letting go of theirchecks and bank cards. Direct deposit, a clear improvement in banking service for the elderly withlimited mobility, was looked on with suspicion until the level of comfort improved.REDUCING NONMONETARY COSTSThe managerial implications of these other sources of sacrifice are compelling. First, a service firmmay be able to increase monetary price by reducing time and other costs.E.g. a services marketer can reduce the perceptions of time and convenience costs when use of theservice is embedded in other activities (such as when a convenience store cashes checks, sellsstamps, and serves coffee along with selling products).Second, customers may be willing to pay to avoid the other costs. Many customers willingly payextra to have items delivered to their home—including restaurant meals—rather than transportingthe services and products themselves. Services Marketing
  • 73. For reduced waiting time in a professional’s office (as in so-called executive appointments where,for a premium price, a busy executive comes early in the morning and does not have to wait).Many other services save time, thus actually allowing the customer to “buy” time. Householdcleaning services, lawn care, babysitting, interactive cable shopping, personal shopper service,home banking, home delivery of groceries, painting, and car pet c1eaning— of these represent netgains in the discretionary time of consumers and could effectively be marketed that a that allow thecustomer to buy time are likely to have monetary value for busy consumers.C. PRICE AS AN INDICATOR OF SERVICE QUALITYOne of the intriguing aspects of pricing is that buyers are likely to use price as an indicator of bothservice costs and service quality—price is at once an attraction variable and a repellent. Customers’use of price as an indicator of quality depends on several factors, one of which is the otherinformation available to them.When service cues to quality are readily accessible, when brand names provide evidence of acompany’s reputation, or when level of advertising communicates the company’s belief in thebrand, customers may prefer to use those cues instead of price.In other situations, however, such as when quality is hard to detect or when quality or price varies agreat deal within a class of services, consumers may believe that price is the best indicator ofquality.Many of these conditions typify situations that face consumers when purchasing services. Anotherfactor that increases the dependence on price as a quality indicator is the risk associated with theservice purchase. In high-risk situations, many of which involve credence services such as medicaltreatment or management consulting, the customer will look to price as a surrogate for quality.Because customers depend on price as a cue to quality and because price sets expectations ofquality, service prices must be determined carefully. In addition to chosen to cover costs or matchcompetitors, prices must be chosen to convey appropriate quality signal.Pricing too low can lead to inaccurate inferences about the quality of the service. Pricing too highcan set expectations that may be difficult to match in service delivery.Because goods are dominated by search properties, price is not used to judge quality as often as it isin services, where experience and credence properties dominate. Any services marketer must beaware of the signals that price conveys about its offerings. ******************* Services Marketing