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Quality marketing in service-based industries

Please respond with at least 1 paragraph to the 2 following.

Cofrin
1. Marketing and healthcare. In the past, the two have never seemed to intersect. People got sick or injured, saw a physician, got better (or not) and moved on. There were no real choices of who to see or what services were provided. You simply followed the crowd, and most importantly, you never questioned the physician, the facility or the results. Times have changed and so has the landscape in healthcare. New facilities are opening daily, challenging the major institutions for their business. Physician owned ambulatory surgical centers, walk in urgent care facilities, and concierge physician practices are all marketing themselves directly to the consumer. Marketing has never been more important in healthcare. Service Marketing, in particular, needs to be understood and developed alongside the organizations goals and objectives. Healthcare provides services, many intangible, to patients who are more skeptical than ever.

Some services, such as knee replacement, offer a good- the new knee, something tangible. Along with that good, comes the patient care, daily interactions with staff, therapy and other services to make up the total experience. All employees need to be trained in caring for the patient along with the organizational goals to provide a service that result in customer satisfaction. With training, employees who are happy and satisfied in their position will provide better service. Nothing is worse than being sick in a bed and hearing grumbling from staff near your bedside. All staff needs to be trained in customer satisfaction. Repeat business is necessary and good results mean word of mouth referrals for others to come to the facility.

Healthcare facilities and providers are paying more attention to details of services capes and how they are presenting themselves to the public. Aesthetics, professional offices, noise reduction, lighting and even the color of the walls all present a picture to the patients and families of how we conduct business. Customer satisfaction research is assisting professionals with the expectations of the consumer. Understanding what the consumer wants in a big step to providing satisfactory services. Feedback is crucial.

Ribelin

2. I have taken many, many marketing courses over the years, both in my undergraduate marketing program, and now in my graduate program. However, this is the first class I have taken directly related to services marketing and the only one that has been so customer-focused and applicable to my current career. So, a lot of the material was quite new to me and I feel like the information I received in this class will allow me to make significant improvements in the way we offer services to our customers at work.

Given that most of my marketing classes were product-based, it was interesting to learn how service-based marketing was different due to the intangibility, inseparability, heterogeneity, and perishability of the services provided. It was also interesting to learn the various strategies in which service-based firms could utilize to overcome the challenges associated with those four unique characteristics.

It was especially insightful learning about all of the elements of the servicescape, various sensory cues, and the internal response moderators that result (ie. pleasure-displeasure, arousal-nonarousal, dominance-submissiveness). Furthermore, it was beneficial to learn the various cognitive, emotional, and physiological responses that individuals may have towards certain servicescapes and how they affect behavioral responses (ie. approach, avoidance). Overall, I learned that the servicescape is a powerful entity that "plays a critical role in shaping customer expectations, differentiating service firms, facilitating customer and employee goals, and influencing the nature of customer experiences" (Bitner, 2000).

Another important thing I learned is the ways in which firms can create a strong climate for service by ensuring that there is a strong foundation that provides employees with the necessary equipment, processes, and information technology to deliver good customer service - known as work facilitation. Furthermore, it is necessary that the firm has interdepartmental support, as no department operates in a vacuum. And finally, once this basic foundation is in place, "the climate can be built in the form of service-oriented HR policies and practices designed to fit the service strategy" (Hoffman & Bateson, 2011). The four main strategies needed to create a successful climate include (1) recruitment strategy, (2) training and development strategy, (3) control, reward, and evaluation strategy, and (4) retention strategy are especially important for my place of employment. I realized that many of these things are already being done, but we still have a ways to go.

And finally, the topic I found the most interesting was that of customer satisfaction and service quality and the overall benefits that result. It was valuable learning about the different surveys that can be utilized to determine a firm's service rating and how a combined approach may provide the best insights. A better approach to the customer performance and service rating survey is to use a combined approach that includes not only quantitative information gained through the very dissatisfied/very satisfied approach, but also qualitative information gained by "prompting customers to suggest how the firm could perform better" (Hoffman & Bateson, 2011). This allows the firm to classify specific areas that may need improvement.

Overall, I learned a plethora of information from this course that can be put into effect at my current place of employment. It was interesting to see the disconnect between how things should be done in a successful service firm, and how things are actually done at my job. This class has shown me that we have a lot of work to do in order to provide excellent service to our customers.

Bitner, M. (2000). The Servicescape. Handbook of Services Marketing & Management. Sage Publications. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1xqrkpv

Hoffman, D. and Bateson, J. (2011). Service Marketing: Concepts, Strategies, & Cases. South-Western, Cengage.

Solution Preview

1. Marketing and healthcare. In the past, the two have never seemed to intersect. People got sick or injured, saw a physician, got better (or not) and moved on. There were no real choices of who to see or what services were provided. You simply followed the crowd, and most importantly, you never questioned the physician, the facility or the results. Times have changed and so has the landscape in healthcare. New facilities are opening daily, challenging the major institutions for their business. Physician owned ambulatory surgical centers, walk in urgent care facilities, and concierge physician practices are all marketing themselves directly to the consumer. Marketing has never been more important in healthcare. Service Marketing, in particular, needs to be understood and developed alongside the organizations goals and objectives. Healthcare provides services, many intangible, to patients who are more skeptical than ever.

Some services, such as knee replacement, offer a good- the new knee, something tangible. Along with that good, comes the patient care, daily interactions with staff, therapy and other services to make up the total experience. All employees need to be trained in caring for the patient along with the organizational goals to provide a service that result in customer satisfaction. With training, employees who are happy and satisfied in their position will provide better service. Nothing is worse than being sick in a bed and hearing grumbling from staff near your bedside. All staff needs to be trained in customer satisfaction. Repeat business is necessary and good results mean word of mouth referrals for others to come to the facility.

Healthcare facilities and providers are paying more attention to details of servicescapes and how they are presenting themselves to the public. Aesthetics, professional offices, noise reduction, lighting and even ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses quality marketing in service-based industries.

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