Service marketing is based on very different paradigms. Since services are highly intangible, its benefits are felt over a period of time and not immediately. The task of the marketer becomes creating confidence in the customer’s mind that the delivered benefits, will at the minimum, be the same as that of the promised ones. There are two categories of products included in the range of services marketing. Hospitality sector in the service industry offers both tangible and intangible benefits to the customer. The tangible features are properly equipped rooms matching the lifestyle of the target customer, air conditioning, facilities like television, internet connectivity, facsimile machines, refrigerator, and other benefits like healthcare services, swimming pool, and so on. The intangible dimensions are the services provided by people in the housekeeping, room service, and or restaurant services. Today the service industry plays a significant role in both the global and domestic economies. The significance of the service industry will only increase over a period of time. Today, companies realize that they should not concentrate only on the manufacturing sector. By offering a range of services to the customer, in the real time on the internet, they can move up the value chain much faster than if they remain only in manufacturing. Further, with tremendous boost to trade and the market being flooded by a variety of products, the manufacturing sector has come to realize that the key differentiation comes from services rather than the physical product. Hence most companies here also use their services to attract and retain customers and sell or cross-sell other products to the customers.
A service is an act or performance offered by one party to another. Services are economic activities that create value and provide benefits for customers. Services are intangible activities that can be separately identified or tied to a physical product. However, the performance of a service is essentially intangible. It does not normally result in transfer of ownership as in case of products. Of late, business organisations have been making innovative efforts to market the various services offered by them. In services generating organizations, like banks, insurance companies, hotels, transport companies, etc., application to marketing principles have become imperative for their growth and success. Services marketing are primarily concerned with a scientific and planned management of services. It makes possible synchronization of the interests of the services providers as well as the users. Marketing a service, therefore, means marketing something intangible. Marketing services aims at profit making through user’s satisfaction. For example, Banks are available to the customers for savings investment and credit facilities. The transport companies offer to their customers safe and economic transport service. Likewise, tourist organizations, hotels and communication organizations offer services to their customers. By and large, all the services generating organizations practice marketing for accomplishing the organizational goals.
In service marketing today, service brand is built by taking the process of perspective. This means that unlike manufacturing, differentiation between operations and marketing is blurred in the services industry. Internal customer focus is as important as external customer orientation. Further, since customers are often involved in the production of services (for example, the customers in a food chain wherein he places the order, picks up the order himself and then after finishing clears the table) , marketers need to understand the nature of the service process and the stages in this process that are exposed to customers. The process is a special method of operation wherein several steps or activities are performed in a defined sequential manner.
It is obvious that people and objects are two major inputs processed in the service industry. In most cases, customers are important inputs in the service process, as reflected by restaurant, airline or beauty saloon businesses. In other cases, the key input is an object that needs to be either produced or repaired. For example, a burger is an object to be produced by Mc Donald in a defined manner and time so as to ensure consistent quality, production and delivery. In another case, like the computer hardware industry, a malfunctioning computer is an object that requires service support.
In the context of information processing services, the marketer has to understand that information is a most intangible form of service output and, in today’s context, most vital from the point of view of the customer’s own competitive advantage. In this era of information technology, customers shop for information in areas as diverse as accounting, legal research, medicine, insurance, and financial products. The customer’s involvements in these situations are very high which are categorized as high involvement purchase decisions. From the customer’s view point, these are high cost (financial and non- financial) and high risk service situations. Hence, the customer tries to avoid going into the service factory to shop for the service product. From a marketer’s perspective, this poses a challenge to bring the customer to the factory and motivate him to buy and consume the Services. The characteristics of service marketing are intangibility, perishability, heterogeneity, ownership, simultaneity, inseparability, quality measurement and nature of demand.
For citing this article use:
- P, V. K. (2017). A study on quality of hospital services and satisfaction of patients in corporate hospitals in Andhra pradesh.