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4's I's of Service

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With the 4's I's of service (intangibility, inconsistency, inseparability, and inventory) as a foundation, what are the special challenges of marketing a service rather than a product? How can one manage service quality in regards to the expectations of consumers? Does employee satisfaction play a large or small role in maintaining the quality of your service?

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A. Service Marketing Challenges

Service marketing is quite different and more challenging compared to marketing of tangible products. Some of the key challenges of service marketing are posed by the following factors:

1. Human Element
People deliver services. Most of these services involve an interaction between the customer and the service provider. Whether its banking, air travel, hotels, barbershops or healthcare they all require a human element to deliver the service. Thus the quality of service is very much dependent upon the performance of service provider which is very hard to standardize. It's a big challenge for companies to ensure a consistent service performance from all their employees even if they are well selected and well trained. Many businesses are trying to reduce the human element by the use of technology, but it has its own problems.

2. Service Attributes are Easy to Replicate
This factor poses serious competitive challenges for service companies. It is hard for companies to maintain the uniqueness of their service offering for a long period as others can easily copy them. We can see this in many industries; almost all airlines, hotels and banks provide similar service features. A new idea or innovation stays unique for a short while and then it is ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains how service marketing is different and more challenging as compared to tangible products. Unique characteristics of services, such as, intangibility, inconsistency, inseparability, and inventory require different marketing strategies to succeed in service businesses. 782 words.

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