Marketing: Customer Service

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REVIEW QUESTIONS
(after chapter 1 lectures)

1. What is so distinctive about services marketing that it requires a special approach, set of concepts, and body of knowledge?

Services are defined in as “deeds, processes and performances”. None of these physical objects are physical objects in which a customer can take ownership of, because it is so different from products, service marketing requires a special approach, set of concepts and body of knowledge.

2. What do you mean by variability of inputs and outputs in services? Give two examples.

The presence of personnel and other customers in the operational system makes it difficult to standardize and control variability in both service inputs and outputs. Manufactured goods can be produced at a distant factory, under controlled conditions. For services, however, Inputs and outputs tend to vary widely and make customer service process management a challenging task. When services are consumed as they are produced, final "assembly" must take place under real-time conditions, which may vary from customer to customer and even from one time of the day to another. As a result, mistakes and shortcomings are both more likely and harder to conceal. These factors make it difficult for service organizations to improve productivity, control quality, and offer a consistent product. Nevertheless the best service firms have made significant progress is reducing variability. Eg: Hotel room service and Beauty parlours – Customers will be less sure about it than buying a product, they would be unsure if the service they provide would be good enough for the money they are paying.

3. Why is time so important in services?

Many services are delivered in real time. Customers have to be physically present to receive service from organizations such as airlines, hospitals, haircutters, and restaurants. There are limits as to how long customers are willing to be kept waiting and service must be delivered fast...
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