Services Marketing

Course Description: 

With a growing number of service industries, marketing practice in the service sector is evolving rapidly where, these industries compete in the local as well as international market. Consumers purchase services every day- going to a supermarket or restaurant, retail banking, medical services, transportation, or a holiday. Other professional services are also purchased by consumers like financial planning, accountancy, market research, engineering services and so on. The course thus, focuses on providing an insight on the unique challenges that are prominent in the service sector.

The central theme of Services Marketing course is to plan and implement the marketing strategies that align with the services provided by the service sectors. The course introduces the students to the distinct approach required by service providers and helps to develop and execute marketing management concepts and models in order to improve service quality, increase and maintain customer satisfaction levels, gain customer loyalty, and create a healthy service culture within the firm. Topics include basic concept of services marketing, knowledge on customers in services marketing, people providing services, managing demand and supply services, service technologies, and pricing and promotion strategies in services marketing. 

Course Objectives: 

On the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic marketing and marketing strategies that focus on specific problems related to the marketing of intangibles
  • Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills applicable to business and management practices in the service sector
  • Design service quality measurement tools to enhance customer loyalty and determine the effectiveness and efficiency of customer service offerings
  • Determine the influences of business ethics, social responsibilities, and multicultural marketplace on services marketing as a result of globalization
  • Carry out teamwork and collaborate responsibly to achieve outcomes that benefit the service firms in achieving their ultimate business goals
  • Explain the importance of service blueprint, integration of new technologies, and other key issues that need to be addressed in today’s service environment
  • Efficiently manage the resources in order to provide high quality service and retain customers in the long run


Course Syllabus: 

Introduction to Services Marketing

  • Importance of Services in Modern Economy
  • Distinctive Marketing challenges of Services
  • Important differences among Services
  • Integration of Marketing with other functions
  • Focus on both Customers and Competitive Markets.

Consumer Behavior in Service Encounters

  • Customers Interaction with Service Operations
  • Multiple steps in Purchase Process of Services
  • Customer Needs and Expectations
  • Difficulties in Evaluating Services
  • Service Business as Systems

Positioning Services in Competitive Markets

  • Search for Competitive Advantages
  • Market Segmentation as the basis for Focused Strategies
  • Positioning a Brand
  • Conducting Internal, Market and Competitor Analysis
  • Use of Positioning Maps to plot Competitive Strategy.

Creating the Service Product

  • Planning and Creating Services
  • Identifying and Classifying Supplementary Services
  • Planning and Branding Service Products
  • New Service Development

Designing the Communications Mix for Services

  • Key role of Communication in Marketing
  • Challenges and Opportunities in Communicating Services
  • Setting Objectives for Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Communication Mix
  • Branding of Services

Pricing and Revenue Management

  • Objectives and Foundations for Setting Prices
  • Cost-based Pricing
  • Value-based Pricing
  • Competition-based Pricing
  • Revenue Management
  • Ethical concerns and Perceived fairness of Pricing Policies
  • Putting Service Pricing into Practice

Distributing Services

  • Distribution in a Services Context
  • Type of Contact
    • Options for Service Delivery
    • Decisions about Place and Time
  • Delivery in Cyberspace
  • Role of Intermediaries
  • Internationally Distributed Services

Designing and Managing Service Processes

  • Blueprinting Services to create value Experiences and Productive Operations
  • Service Process Redesign
  • Customer as Co- producer
  • Problem of customer misbehavior

Balancing demand and capacity

  • Fluctuations in Demand and Service Productivity
  • Capacity-Constraints
  • Patterns and Determinants of Demand
  • Management of Demand Levels
  • Inventory Demand through Waiting Lines and Reservations
  • Minimizing Perceptions of Waiting Time
  • Creating an effective Reservations System

Planning the Service Environment

  • The purpose of Service Environments
  • Consumer responses to Service Environments
  • Dimensions of the Service Environment

Managing People for Service Advantage

  • Importance of Service Staff
  • Frontline Work
  • Cycles of Failure
  • Mediocrity and Success
  • Human Resources Management
  • Service Leadership and Culture

Managing Relationships and Building Loyalty

  • Search for Customer Loyalty
  • Understanding Customer/ Firm Relationship
  • Targeting the right customers
  • Analyzing and Managing the Customer Base
  • Building Customer Loyalty
  • Customer Relationship Management Systems