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Marketing 101 - Service Marketing


Service-led organisations have different challenges than product led businesses, and this is because there are certain distinct characteristics of a service:


Intangible – they can’t be physically examined before they’re purchased, and that can make it hard for customers to make a choice. More and more, customers demand will search online for examples of previous customer experiences – sites like Feefo, Reevo and TripAdvisor have grown exponentially to cope with the demands that potential customers. Another way that customers have learned to research customers, is to search Twitter for examples of other customers either praising or complaining about the service received before committing to make a purchase.


Inseparable – that is they are used at the same time as they are being created; therefore both the environment at the time the service is being enjoyed, as well as the person representing the service becomes the face of the service. It’s therefore vital to have policies which control the enjoyment of the service. For example, as a customer of a beauty clinic you may expect your therapist to be well presented and in a uniform; or if you visited a restaurant you’d expect unruly behaviour you would expect the restaurant manager to step in.


Variable – the nature of a service means no two experiences may be exactly the same, and this means that in order to ensure customers receive an expected standard of service, then standards should be formally created.


Perishable – services can’t be stored to allow for any peaks and troughs in demand.  In most cases, the crucial factor is time - services need to be carefully planned, and appropriately priced.