The growth of service markets in many countries has been phenomenal in recent years.
Service industries of course include a myriad of different types of markets ranging from, for example, financial services such as banks, building societies, insurance companies, and so on through to holidays, fast good, management consultancy, cleaning services, etc. It is now recognized that service products have compared to their physical product counterparts, a number of characteristics which are different.
For example, services marketing differs because service products are largely intangible compared to physical products.
This, in turn, has implications for how they are promoted by the marketer.
As regards the marketing concept in a service organization it is important to consider the characteristics of services as intangible, inseparable, perishable.
In the service organization in particular, regular customer audits will need to identify the consumers’ expectations of the service quality and delivery. This means that the service quality must be managed well, and includes the tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy of the organization.
Developing a marketing oriented service organization has implications for the management style used, the structure of the organization, and its marketing strategy. Information systems, staff attitudes and skills and shared values in the organization may all need to be considered to ensure a marketing oriented service organization.
Doyle (1998) claims that services are not easy to define or classify. The essential characteristic of services is their Intangibility. A service is an act or benefit that does not result in the customer owing anything. A key phrase that encapsulates the essence of a service is that a service does not result in the ownership of anything.
You will receive a certificate of motor insurance, which is tangible, but you have bought intangible protection. You have been made to feel really good by the chef but you don’t own the Ingredients he bought at the same market you visited that morning. The nurse dresses your wound but any ownership of the bandages is only loosely peripheral to the service provided.
In our next post, we would be discussing the characteristics of services. Thank you for reading.