Best Practices in Services Marketing
Prof. S. Dwarakanath | October 10,2014 12:16 pm IST
Best practices are playing a significant role in the success of an organisation. Best practice is about doing things in the most effective manner.
The focus is on specific operation such as distribution management or inventory management.
Many firms in all types of industries realized the importance of best practices to win the customers and competition. Best practice is being followed as a philosophy by most of the companies to become world class firms.
Services marketing organizations now a days emphasizing heavily on best practices. These firms are redesigning their strategies to consolidate their positions in the market. Services are intangible by nature, the customers expect more tangible benefits by the services.
Many services companies are redefining their business processes, also giving a long term stay experience to their customers. These firms also focusing much on imparting the skills in their employees. The customer loyalty programs are being implemented to enhance customer loyalty and customer equity.
Best practice is about doing things in the most effective manner. The focus is on specific operation such as distribution management or inventory management.
An essential first step is to identify strategic or operating congruence between two companies. The firms must compare with their competitors in search of best practice activities with in a realistic context. It should be recognized that the achievement of best practice is with in the context of a specific set of circumstances, relevant and appropriate to the company's situation.
Best practice is identifies by searching for companies who, in similar product - market situation, excel and then analyzing the reasons for that success in terms of process and functions conducted with in the business. Some form of measurement criteria needs to be applied in order to assess best practice.
A company will perceive best practice as a philosophy with one overall view to become a world class organization and gain international reputation.
Some of the characteristics which distinguish world class companies are customer focus, flexibility, continuous improvement and the effective use of information technology.
Customer focus is usually achieved by maintaining relatively flat organization structure, in this way everyone is kept close to the customer base. Apart from the service aspect there is the additional benefit of information from customers concerning current and future needs. These organizations typically crate new demands for products and services, aside from offering rapid response to current demand.
For long term success, continuous improvement is the key to differentiate and, therefore, to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Successful organizations do so by responding faster, more effectively and efficiently than competitors. Continuous learning can be achieved through process re-engineering.
Best Practices in Services Marketing
The following practices are followed by many service marketing companies in order to stay in the business for a long time.
Services are Intangible
Though customers may not be able to judge the core offering itself, they judge the quality of the offering by analyzing the tangible or the evidence associated with it. Ritz Carlton communicates outstanding personal services. Employees at all levels take note of customer preferences and are empowered to solve problems on this part, continually tailoring the experiencing to each person.
Services will have to be designed in a manner that account for aberrations in customer behavior.
Competitiveness in Service Sector can be Enhanced by Redefining Business Process:
The service provider construct a supply chain for the new offering. Mechanization will ensure consistency and standardization and also will reduce cost. Firms not to provide differential stay experience and thus enhance brand image.
Satisfied service personnel can serve customer better. Exemplary service is part of the heritage and culture of some companies. Such companies must select the right employees and ingrain these values in employees for attaining service excellence.
Ritz Carlton has an elaborate system for assessing in job candidates the qualities the company believes are crucial to its success.
Creating client loyalty involves thinking for the welfare of the client and convincing him about this concern. Self managed service teams can be effective in delivering high quality services. Goods can be distributed in a digital form.
Customers will grow in confidence as they spend more time in the service facility. A company should tailor its supplementary services instead of providing standard services to all customers.
Managerial intervention is needed to improve productivity. A strong corporate brand is essential for services. The brand name should be distinctive, relevant, memorable and flexible.
Customer defections should focus a service provider on those aspects of the service which are important to the customer. A service brand should be built around the unique characteristics of services. The addition of fun to the customer's purchase experience can be strong differentiator for service provider.
Outsourcing creates opportunities for emergence of new types of service companies which provides services to other companies rather than to final consumers. Senior management should communicate clearly its vision of quality services so that each front-line employee is not left to interpret the requirements of the service by himself.Senior management should communicate clearly its vision of quality services so that each front-line employee is not left to interpret the requirements of the service by himself.
To cope up the intense competition it is inevitable for the service marketing firms to follow the most effective best practices. Many services firms redefined their business processes.