1. What is Services Marketing?Answer:
Services marketing is marketing of services.
It refers to the promotion of economic activities offered by a business to its clients who may be individuals or corporates. Some of the examples of the services could be telecommunication services, financial services, professional services, entertainment services, health care services, etc.
Service Marketing is one of the specialized branches of marketing.
2. Name the types of Services.Answer:
The services are majorly classified into two type:
i. Core Services:
A service that is the outcome of the primary transaction.
A service of the teacher or service of a hair stylist.
ii. Supplementary Services:
An additional service given on purchase of a tangible product.
Home delivery service offered by restaurants on minimum order bill.
3. What are the challenges faced by the service industry?Answer:
Every industry faces some kind of challenges which are unique. Following are some difficulties faced by the service industry:
i. Difficulty in setting price -
Before deciding the price of the service, you need to understand your cost for the services provided, which is difficult. So, setting the prices becomes very difficult task for this industry.
ii. Lack of passion among the staff -
In order to generate more revenue, you need to keep your staff passionate about the services they provide. Lack of passion leads to failure.
iii. Testing new service -
As services are intangible, testing the new services and improving quality is a major challenge. Also, letting the people know about these new services at times becomes difficult.
iv. Standardization is difficult -
The service provided by the same person may not be the same always. So it becomes very difficult to standardize the service with the involvement of human beings.
v. Uncertainty -
The buyers are uncertain about the quality of service as services are intangible. They can't experience a service before buying it.
vi. Demand and supply -
As demand increases, the supply of products can also be increased. But this cannot be done in the service industry as you cannot store services in anticipation of an increase in demand.
vii. Patent rights -
In order to protect your product from being used by your competitor you get them legal protection. This is not possible for services.
viii. Trust factor -
Trust and faith play a major role in the service industry. At times it becomes difficult to build trust with the clients.
4. What are the 7P's of Services marketing mix?Answer:
The services marketing mix comprises of the 7P's which are also known as extended marketing mix. They are as follows:
In service marketing mix the product cannot be seen, felt or owned. It is intangible in nature.
The place where the service product is going to be located determines the place in the service industry.
A lot of companies provide the same kind of services. Hence, promotion is necessary to survive and it helps to face tough competition.
In the service industry, pricing is a bit difficult. You have to take care of the labor cost, the raw material, overhead cost and your profit while pricing your services.
Staff of a service provider defines its service. It can make the organization or break the organization. So, organizations pay special attention to get their staff trained well.
The steps taken by the company to provide the service to the customer is known as the process. Most of the companies have a set process before the services reach the customer.
vii. Physical evidence:
A restaurant has decent seating arrangement and good food and another restaurant has good seating arrangement along with good lighting and some soulful music and offering good food with the staff being very prompt and friendly. Which one would you choose? That is physical evidence.
Physical evidence also acts as a differentiator. It also helps customers to make an opinion about the services by the sight of the place. This is the last element of the service marketing mix.
5. What are the characteristic features of services?Answer:
Services have unique characteristics which make the marketing of goods different from marketing of services. The characteristic features of service marketing are as follows:
i. Intangible Nature:
Service can be provided but you cannot see, touch and feel it. You cannot tell the customer what they will be receiving unlike a physical product which is visible. Hence, services are intangible. They cannot be displayed or patented.
ii. Cannot be owned:
Service does not last forever, it is for a limited period of time. You can experience a service but you cannot own it.
A service cannot be separated from the service provider. The time of the consumption of service is the same when it is produced. This feature makes mass production of service difficult.
A product which the customer buys can be stored and used again later. This is not possible with service. A service is an activity which is performed and consumed simultaneously hence they perish if they are not used.
v. Fluctuating and Seasonal Demand:
The demand for the services is not same every time. For example: Public transport during the morning hours have more demand and in the afternoon it's less. Hence, the demand is fluctuating. Similarly, demand for tourism is seasonal.
The service provided by the same person can differ. Although, the staff is mostly trained to keep the service same; however there will be a few differences. This feature is also known as variability. The service industry faces a lot of difficulty in keeping the services standardized.
6. How can you differentiate between a product and a service?Answer:
A product is something you can see, touch and feel which makes it tangible and non-perishable. It remains same for different people, it's standardized. In a product, the production and consumption are done at a different time.
A service is intangible, heterogeneous and perishable. The production and consumption of a service occur at the same time.