In this chapter, we explore services. One of the first concepts is that services are intangible, meaning that they cannot be felt, tasted, heard, or smelled before purchase. Customer satisfaction is dependent upon many factors, the first one being the communication of what can be expected by the customer and the actual customer experience. It can be considered a communication gap when customer expectations and experiences do not match. This gap is the first point in the Gap Model of Service Quality. The second point is based on the perception of service received versus customer expectations. Other issues covered in this model are service quality, knowledge, and policies.
Service goes a long way in building customer satisfaction and loyalty; without returning customers, a business is doomed to struggle and fail.
Employees are responsible for a sizable amount of what goes into satisfaction at the customer level. One of the key points is employee satisfaction and retention. A more engaged, happier employee delivers a higher level of customer service. This is an additional point that employers are measuring. The act of internal service marketing is a concept that many have not experienced. This covers the activities that the company engages in to keep employees involved with delivering the desired level of service.
External service marketing is the act of promoting or selling services to the customer. This is a well-known concept both inside and outside the company.
Services can be further examined with the understanding of the following concepts: Services are inseparable; they are produced and consumed at the same time. They are intangible, which means that they cannot be touched, felt, heard, tasted, or smelled before purchase. They are perishable, so they cannot be stored in inventory for future use or sale. They are variable, meaning that the service depends on who provides them, as well as when, where, and how. These concepts help to explain the complexities of marketing services and satisfying the consumer.