Designing and Managing Services

The art of brand building is through creating strong brand image and brand awareness with customer. However, the brand building process continues even after the product is sold to the customer. Company can come out to be a winner by showcasing differentiation in services at the point of sell and after sell customer service. Furthermore, research has shown that average customers are not happy with after sell services in airlines, bank and hotel industry. It has been observed that companies with help of modern technology are maintaining a database of customer profile. Companies perform analysis on database and choose offer discounts, coupons and charge low services who give maximum business. Companies are not welcoming casual users. This sort of differential service creates a bad impression in mind of customer, resulting in abandoning and bad mouthing of the company. There are various ways to deliver superior quality to all customers, but is up-to the company, whether to service just profitable customer.

It is general trend in developed economies like USA that services sector is showing highest growth in job creation. Here services include any intangible act from one party to another without any underlying ownership transfer. Services are offered by the airlines, banks, technology firms, armed service, hospital, etc. Basically services can be divided into government backed services, business services, not for profit services and manufacturing services.

To design marketing strategies around services, it is essential to understand characteristics of services. Services are intangible, thereby creating uncertainty in consumer about the end product. For example, if the customer is looking for a hair-cut and visits a salon, there is going to be a considerable amount of doubt about her final look. Challenge is building confidence in customer through people, price, environment and right equipment. Unlike physical goods which are manufactured and supplied to customer through the distribution channel, services are consumed at same time it is produced. Services have element of inseparability and therefore, time allocated to customer is important. So if the customer has the service giver penchant than price could be increased or time allocated is reduced to take m customers. As the services have the human element involved, there is variability, not all hair cut specialists are patient in listening to what customer has to say. To overcome companies can implement stringent norms during hiring, push for standardization and constantly record customer satisfaction.

Traditional marketing was developed looking at physical goods, for service marketing focus is people, process and physical evidence. Customers generally tend to give preference price rather than quality of service. In that circumstance companies can create differentiation not through price war but focusing on providing a wider range of services. Companies are looking at internet to accomplish this task, but as with products, competition can easily copy and remove differentiation. However, the temporary differentiation will serve the company well.

Customer satisfaction is tested every time service is delivered, making it essential to manage service quality. Quality service management requires a strategic concept to the start with wherein companies need to make customer satisfaction their motto. Top management should show commitment towards this strategic concept and create an atmosphere to facilitate customer satisfaction. Companies need to implement best practices associated customer satisfaction. Companies can introduce technology where ever relevant to reduce human element, for example, kiosks and ATM. Companies need to develop a system where they can monitor as well as audit customer satisfaction system for its robustness and performance. Companies need to develop a habit in looking into customer grievance and resolve them at the earliest. Employees serve as internal customers, and it is very essential they are satisfied with the company. A satisfied and motivated employee is going to carry that attitude in dealing with customer and h in increasing productivity.

Customer is the king and service is the name of the game. It is essential for companies to incorporate services purchase or post purchase as an element of the marketing strategy. Today’s customer has more options available and will move on to another company for the sake of better service.


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