After exhausting all the possible thresholds of the product manufacturing industry the marketers and the organizations are showing a clear tilt towards the services sector. The service industry refers to the companies that are involved in the rendering intangible services for the benefit of the customers. Irrespective of the fact that the service industry deals with intangibles but yet the services sector operates fully to accommodate the basic principles of business and marketing in the competitive environment. The customers and profitable customer relationship management are equally important for the organizations concerned with the tangibles as well as intangibles.
Services encompass all the activities of an organization that are mainly focused on ensuring that the requirements, desires and needs of the customers are appropriately catered via intangibles. It is hereby required by a service organization to satisfy the needs and wants of the customers. The organizations tend to keep the fact in consideration that product and service are most of the time inseparable. This inseparability of the products and services is common in the organizations that deal in the production of technology. Once a technological gadget has been sold to the potential customer the company offers various complementary services like technology upgrading and making a customer learn how to use a particular device effectively (Lehndorff, 2005). The basic purpose of augmenting the product and services is focused to retain and maintain the customer and to induce a sense of goodwill and loyalty in them. Other examples of the augmentation of product and services is the home delivery facility provided by the restaurants and the food chains; under this situation the food article is the product whereas the delivery is a service.
Services are regarded as the toolkit for enhancing the sales and profitability of a firm. It is for this reason that organizations work in a very systematic and organized manner to design the services it should offer along with the product or without a tangible existence. Services account for all the crucial elements that may have a direct impact on the production and consumption pattern of a product. Organizations dealing with this type of augmented services with products pay a special attention to each component of the service they offer with its relevance to the product.
Besides offering the product and services together, the contemporary marketplace has also proved conducive in promoting the services industry; which encompasses the organizations that render the services only. This independent rendering of intangible services has opened a new fence for the organizations to compete for profitability and maintain their sustenance. This also implies that the companies functioning in the service sector also have to go for marketing surveys to identify the needs and wants of the target population to effectively cater their demands and in turn satisfying the customers and generating loyalty among the satisfied customers. This indicates that like products the services also need to be marketed for generating the required response in the target audience.
The organizations dealing in the services industry needs to design the working and appropriate marketing campaigns or their companies. But yet the fact must be kept in consideration that the marketing for services needs a lot more working as compared to that of products. There are a number of factors that enhances the needs of specialized marketing efforts by the firms to increases there ratio of profits in the service sector. A few factors that differs the services from the products are the inseparability, intangibility, perishable nature, variability and the ownership of the service.
A service is inseparable in the sense that it cannot be isolated from the source, if a consumer wishes to avail a particular service than he has to consume in with the service providers. This implies that the service is provided by the organization is particular setting and these services cannot be availed in isolation from a particular setting. For example the organization that provides the service to facilitate the potential consumers with the skydive experience. The setting of the provision of this service is carried out in a specified setting and cannot be separated from those settings. Similarly services lack physical existence and are intangible.
Besides being intangible and inseparable the perishable nature of the services is also a unique feature of the service. This implies that the quality of service provided to a consumer may not be the same each time a consumer avails the service, this highlights a very significant aspect of the services sector because the consumers expect the same quality of service each time they avail the facilities of a service provider but as a matter of fact the nature of services once provided are hard to replicate. For example a person who visits a coffee shop for the first time was catered by a very professional and experienced waiter, the customer in this condition will feel privileged and will be highly satisfied by the service of the cafe. On the next visit to the cafe the customer will be expecting the similar professional reception by the waiters but this time waiter could be a less experienced one, although the nature of service would be same but quality of the service would greatly vary this gives an insight that services have a perishable nature. In the similar context the nature of services is also variable as for the process of providing a service human involvement is inevitable.
The most critical aspect of the service is the ownership of the service. The right of the ownership of the service is reserved with the service provider. The consumer can consume the service but cannot own the service as the service provider is a specialized and trained individuals who renders his skills to the organization and in turn to the customers of the organization.
The mainstream of the services marketing is the reputation of the organization and their commitment with the consumers; hence it is based on relationship and value delivery to the consumers by the organization. Additionally the organizations depending on the nature of service they render analyze the ways by which they can successfully utilize the various attributes of the services to attract the potential consumes.
Differences between Service and Product Marketing
The cumulative difference that distinguishes a product from a service is the tangibility factor. Product and service are the two parallels of the business market as well as the consumer market. It is for this reason that the marketing of the products and services varies in one way or the other. The major differences between the selling and marketing of product and service is initially the nature of good, for the marketing of a product the tangible features of the product are highlighted whereas in the case of a service marketing the organization needs to establish customer relationship in order to ensure the delivery of value for the consumers purchase of an intangible product. Similarly the services can be acquired from an organization just on the basis of the reputation of the organization at large and in some cases even on the basis of the reputation of one single organizational member, whereas the product marketing has to have the element of a good brand name backed by the reputation of the entire organization rather than one person.
The complication with the services marketing is the variability in the service quality. Each unit of the same product will have the similar attributes with no variations whereas the services once rendered may not be an exact replica of the similar service rendered previously. And finally a customer cannot claim to return a service for the price he has paid because the services lack physical existence for fulfilling the needs and wants of the potential customers so it is not possible to return the service and claim the price like that of products. The salability of the products can be enhanced if the marketers emphasize on the valid importance of the four Ps and additional three Ps. But services marketing may require more extensive market surveys and a more in depth analysis of consumer preferences and needs.
Environmental Forces Impacting the Services Industry
The environmental forces are likely to impact and the service industry in many ways. Keeping in view the tangible nature of the services one among the most significant environmental change that can highly influence the service industry is the taste and preferences of the target audience and the induction of technology in rendering services.
First considering the taste, preferences and the paradigms of the target market, as a matter of fact the fads and trends of the target market are subjected to changes it is for this reason that the service industry that renders the required services has to alter with the changing preferences of the market place. The second reason is rather more crucial for the service industry to handle because with the ever advancing technology the consumers preferences are shifting from the manual…