Monday, March 3, 2014
All Companies Provide Services
Inseparability of the provider from the service itself challenges clients to make objective buying decisions because experience can only be judged during and after service delivery.
Services buyers are influenced by past experiences and referrals. They lessen risk by observing early adopters, opinion leaders and trusted mavens. They listen when raving fans tell stories that help them to visualize how the benefits would apply to them.
Attract prospects with high quality content when they discover you through your self-service channels. Provide photos of radiant facilities, hygienic equipment and well-groomed personnel along with other physical proof such as location, reputation for consistent quality and performance, certifications and efficient, courteous service.
Frequent internal marketing must motivate employees and partners to develop customer-centricity and to have the attitude and skills that ensure sustained customer loyalty. Standardization and training will create advantages through consistent, high satisfaction touch points and rituals.
Services buyers expect empathy and assurance, so allow them to participate in buying decisions. Then, watch and listen for personalization needs so that you can tailor some aspect of your service for them.
Services can't be inventoried like products, so when capacity isn't used, you'll incur idle time due to demand that fluctuates according to day of week, time of day or season. Adjust pricing and bundle or unbundle features to optimize capacity when demand is low. Use idle time for training.
Even companies that consider themselves only as purveyors of tangible products can differentiate themselves through pre-sale consultative services and post-sale support.
By John Bernardi