Chapter 12 - The Marketing of Services
the service (e.g., some restaurants, airline baggage).
Inseparability: An important characteristic of services, the impossibility of separating a service from
the person of the seller. In other words, services must often be produced and consumed simultaneously.
Intangibility: An important difference between goods and services is the intangibility of services which
means that most services cannot appeal to a buyer’s sense of touch, taste, smell, sight or hearing before
purchase, intangibility places a burden on the marketing organization.
Internal marketing: The continual process by which managers actively encourage, stimulate, and
support employee commitment to the organization and its customers.
Off-peak pricing: The different prices service marketers charge during different times or days in order
to stimulate demand during slow periods and hopefully, smooth out demand for the service.
Perishability and fluctuating demand: Services are perishable which means that unused capacity
represents business that is lost forever. The demand for many services also fluctuates by season, day of
the week, or time of the day.
Quality service: Customers’ perception of quality as a function of (1) tangibles which include physical
evidence of the service; (2) reliability which involves the consistency and dependability of the service
performance; (3) responsiveness which is the willingness or readiness of employees or professionals to
provide service; (4) assurance which refers to the knowledge and competence of service providers and
the ability to convey trust and confidence; and (5) empathy which is the service provider's efforts to
understand the customer's needs.
Services: Activities performed by sellers and others that accompany the sale of a product and that aid in
its exchange or its utilization (e.g. financing, an 800 number).
Service products: Products that are intangible, or at least substantially so. If totally intangible, they are
exchanged directly from producer to user (e.g. hair cut, medical service), cannot be transported or
stored, and are almost instantly perishable. Service products are often difficult to identify since they
come into existence at the same time they are bought and consumed.
Uniformity: An important characteristic of services is that their quality can vary more than the quality
of goods. Because they are often human performances and often customized to the needs of the buyer,
(e.g. haircut), uniformity is difficult to achieve and quality can vary.
Berry, Leonard L. Discovering the Soul of Service. New York: Free Press, 2000.
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