Marketing of service is a form of marketing that focuses on selling services. Some businesses offer both products and services and must use a mix of styles; For example, a store selling mobile phones also helps people select mobile phones and provide mobile repair. Such stores should market both their products and ancillary services offered to customers.
When people market services, the goal is not to get more customers to buy the product, but to get more people to do business with a particular company, often in a specific location. For example, a restaurant provides a service: it provides food to customers, in both cases and in-go forms in many cases. When the restaurant itself comes to the market, it should convince people that it is better for other restaurants and its convenience is worth visiting.
Services marketing is an organizational function and a set of benefits for the organization and stakeholders in a way to identify or create customers, communicate and deliver value and manage the customer relationship.
Definition by James Fitzsimmons
A service is a time-perishable, intangible experience performed for one customer acting in the role of co-producer.
Characteristics of services:
Intangibility: Services are intangible and have no physical existence. Therefore services cannot be touched, held, tasted, or melted. It is the most defining feature of a service and what primarily distinguishes it from a product. Furthermore, it is a unique challenge for those engaged in marketing service because they are required to engage tangible features otherwise intangible.
Perishability: Services cannot be stored, saved, returned or resold once used. Once the service provided to one customer is completely consumed and cannot be passed on to another customer. For example, a customer dissatisfied with a barber’s services cannot return the haircut service that was provided to him.
Heterogeneous: Given the nature of the services, each service offering is unique and even the same service provider cannot do exactly that again. While products can be produced on a large scale and the same is not true of services. Ex: At McDonalds, all burgers of a certain flavor are almost identical. However, the same is not true for services that are consistently served by two customers.
Inseparability: Inseparability refers to the fact that services are generated and consumed within the same time frame. For example, a haircut is given by a customer simultaneously, on the contrary, a takeaway burger, which the customer can consume even hours after purchase. Furthermore, it is very difficult to separate the service from the service provider such as a barber is necessarily a part of the haircut services he is offering to his client.
Advantages of Service Marketing:
Service marketing has grown exponentially over the past decade because of the variety of benefits it offers companies. Some of the benefits of service marketing include:
Continuous Sales: When service marketing focuses on meeting the needs of customers, it causes repeat sales. Happy customers come back for another purchase. For example, a customer who has a saving account with Citibank and is happy with services such as online banking. Phone banking etc will go to Citibank to apply for the loan. Thus, Citibank’s service marketing efforts translate into higher sales.
Reviews and Verbal: A happy customer is likely to spread the word about his or her experience to many. Today, in the era of the Internet and rapid communications, reviews play an important role in deciding whether or not to buy a product. Negative reviews about product service are rapidly spreading. With the appropriate in-service marketing strategy, companies can ensure that customers are satisfied with their positive experiences.
Contributing to Economic Growth: Service marketing is particularly beneficial to developing countries. It provides an opportunity to showcase their skills and commitment to quality when it comes to services. By applying proper service marketing strategies, companies can gain customers ’trust. Nationally, this leads to an increase in employment levels, an increase in foreign exchange reserves, an increase in exports and GDP.
Challenges of Service Marketing:
Growing and profiting with product and service businesses can be challenging tasks. But the challenges here are different from one to the other. Listed below are some of the most common and difficult challenges, such as developing and managing consulting, professional or technical service businesses that are not relevant to product businesses. And price-fixing.
Services are often produced and consumed simultaneously: Services are often produced and consumed simultaneously this creates special challenges in service quality management that even product companies do not consider it. The products will be tested before they go out the door. If a product has quality problems in the product, the company can fix them and none of the customers are smart. Service production occurs by creating the most diverse and challenging volatility the customer currently has.
Trust is essential: Some level of trust must be established in the service organization and its people before customers can engage in services. This is very important. Sometimes service offerings and their value are more important than the proposal.
Clients cannot see or touch services before buying them: this makes services difficult to conceptualize and evaluate from the client’s perspective, creating greater uncertainty and risk perception. From the company’s perspective, the intangibility of the service can make services difficult to promote the quality of control and set a price.
Brand marketing extends beyond: Brand in service businesses is about who you are as you say it. Like external communications, internal brand management and communications are equally important to marketing success.
Creating active leadership generation difficulty: Many service companies have tried and failed to use lead generation strategies that work wonders for product companies. If it is implemented correctly, the traditional production techniques such as direct marketing and sales can work for services, but the spatial dynamics of how customers buy services should be carefully tied into your strategy.
Service providers often make sales: No product companies have dedicated sales force. In terms of services, sales are often split between sales marketing, professional and administrative staff.
Marketing and sales lose momentum: Most product companies are dedicated to marketers and sellers. They continuously market and sell regardless of the amount of revenue they generate. Multiple services manage and deliver marketers and sellers in companies. This often leads to a widespread switching between service revenue roller coaster revenues and job overflows and earnings and job drought.
Interest is still elusive: Your employees bring more passion, spirit, buzz, and desire to the company every day, and you get more revenue and success. The relationship between employee interest and financial success is direct and measurable.
Also read: Services, Concept of Production Management, Importance of Production management, Qualities of Production Manager, Concept of Entrepreneurship, Types of Entrepreneur, Process of Entrepreneurship, Need of Entrepreneurs, Barriers to Entrepreneurship