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Chapter: Business Science : Services Marketing : Introduction

Challenges and Issues in Service Marketing

(a). Tangibility (b). Relationship and Value (c). One Versus Many (d). Comparing Quality (e). Return Factor



(a).         Tangibility


A product is tangible, which means the customer can touch and see the product before deciding to make a purchase. Items such as packaging and presentation may compel a customer to purchase a product. Services, on the other hand, are not tangible, which can make them more difficult to promote and sell than a product.



(b).         Relationship and Value


Products tend to fill a customer's need or want, so companies can use this to sell a product. A service is more about selling a relationship and the value of the relationship between the buyer and seller of the service. For example, a car is something a buyer can touch and see as well as use. A service, such as lifestyle coaching, for example, is not tangible. A lifestyle coach may be able to assist clients in creating a life plan and implementing steps to transform his life into one that the client wants to live, but it is not something tangible that the client can place in his home and look at every day. Therefore, the client needs to perceive the value of the service, which can be harder to get across.

(c).         One Versus Many

Marketing products tends to involve multiple products that make up the line. For example, cleaning product manufacturers tend to market not just one cleaning product. Instead, they have a line of cleaning products to serve the various needs of their customers. Services, on the other hand, typically have a single option. It can be harder to promote and sell the reputation of one single service over the benefits of many different products.


(d).         Comparing Quality

Measuring the quality of a product is easier than measuring that of a service. If a customer buys a cleaning product to clean the kitchen sink and it doesn‟t do product is zero. On the other hand, it is harder to measure the quality of a service.


(e).         Return Factor

If a customer purchases a product,thecustomerandcan returnit thedoes product for her money back or at least to receive a store credit. A service is consumed as it is offered, so it lacks the return factor that a product has. Some service providers overcome this by offering money-back guarantees.


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