Services Marketing: 3 Things You Must Know

The marketing of services follows different rules to the marketing of products.

Whilst traditional marketing has covered the four P’s of Price, Product, Promotion and Place, those marketing services have 7 ‘P’s to master. Here are a further three….

People Management

The customer experience is the vital ingredient in the success of service businesses.

With that customer experience being people based it is fundamental that a successful marketing strategy contains a directive on effective people management.

Recruitment, retention, training and employee satisfaction are all elements of people management which needs to be planned. But more than that, those organizations which really excel at excellent customer service go beyond having happy employees to nurturing them as “brand champions”.

Every interaction with an employee creates an impression with your customer – whether it is the CEO, a senior manager or the bell-boy. You are only as good as you weakest link and customers will judge you on their last interaction.

Processes

Successful processes help motivated employees to deliver the exceptional service customers seek.

The consistency of experience you receive in that favourite coffee chain only happens through well designed and implemented customer focused processes.

For example, Dominos employ a “Faultless Execution” manager charged with ensuring that pizza gets to you piping hot, to your satisfaction and on time.

Management of customer information is an important tool in marketing services efficiently. Computerization of well designed processes ensures that customers will receive information on relevant services at the right time. Received a large number of offers for credit cards when your balance is low? Blame the processes!

Successful processes ensure efficiency and effectiveness – the traits of a successful business.

Physical Evidence

Every aspect of the customer experience makes an imprint.

The location and appearance of your premises are a critical element of your services marketing mix.

That coffee shop with its laid back ‘Friends’ feel, that department store with its prime location and exclusive ‘feel’ to its building, the atmosphere of that favourite local restaurant, the cleanliness of your doctors surgery.

These are all deliberate attempts to provide you with an attraction, sense of security, feel-good factor, sense of being special and pretty much every other sensation and feeling which will remove any objections and add to the temptation to pay for that service.

Successful service marketers understand that the physical aspect of their service can make or break a customer experience.

Think about how you can deliver the experience your customer desires through your people, processes and physical evidence and start impacting on the success of your business.