The 4Ps’s of marketing plus People, Process and Physical Evidence- these all relate to the marketing mix of a service.
If you are offering a service, you need the appropriate staff to deliver it. Customers are not just buying a product, they are buying into an experience. Proper recruitment, proper training, and imbuing the staff with a customer service ethos are essential if you want a competitive advantage. Customers make judgements on the service based on the people they interact with. Good products can be assumed to be bad if the customer service is bad. Treat people as you would want to be treated. Walk the customer journey (see Process below as well), to ensure that your customers get the right impression right through the service cycle.
The systems and processes that deliver the service. If you go into MacDonald’s and get your meal in 2 minutes, someone has designed exactly how that has to happen – every time. Someone has thought out what the customers’ experience should be from entering the premises to leaving them – every step, every possible interaction. Work out what enables you to deliver your service effectively every time, so your customer is delighted. Walk the customer journey! Write it down – teach your people, so that they (and new employees) do it the right way every time. That way it gets to develop your brand.
What is the service being delivered? This element enables the customer to make judgements about your business. Do you expect a restaurant to have a clean, welcoming, friendly environment? Do you know the old Coffee Stain Survey results? On an airline’s drop down tables, if there was a coffee stain, travellers assumed that if the airline couldn’t clean the tables, they wouldn’t take care of the engines! Make sure that whatever your customers take away reminds them favourably about your service.
And download my e-book Customer Service – Why Bother? Free at www.hixsons.co.uk