Services are radically different from products and need to be marketed very differently. So the classical 4 P structure of the Marketing Mix needs to be modified suitably to incorporate the 8 Ps for services marketing, which was previously known as 7 Ps only.
Services can range from financial services provided by the banks to technology services provided by the IT Company or hospitality services provided by hotels and restaurants Services marketing are dominated by the 7 Ps of marketing namelyÂ Product, Price,Â Place, Promotion, People, ProcessÂ andÂ Physical evidence. All of these factors are necessary for optimum service delivery. While everyone knows about the 7 Ps of services marketing, theÂ 8th P of Services MarketingÂ has emerged in research very recently. The 8th P isÂ Productivity and Quality.
Physical evidence is the ability and environment in which the service is delivered.Â Both tangible goods that help to communicate and perform the service, and the intangible experience of the existing customers and the abilityÂ ofÂ theÂ businessÂ toÂ relayÂ thatÂ customerÂ satisfactionÂ toÂ potentialcustomers.PhysicalÂ evidenceÂ isÂ theÂ elementÂ ofÂ theÂ serviceÂ mixÂ whichÂ allowsÂ thecustomer again to make judgments on the organization. Consumers will make perceptions basedÂ on theirÂ sight of theÂ service provision which will have an impact on the organizations perceptual plan of the service. For e.g. If one moves into a restaurant his expectations are of a clean, friendly environment, besides high quality food which isÂ the coreÂ service ofÂ the restaurant. On an aircraft if he travels he expects enough room to be able to laydown.SomeÂ pointsÂ statingÂ theÂ importanceÂ ofÂ physicalÂ evidenceÂ inÂ service marketing are-
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âž¢Physical evidenceÂ is 'packaging' for services, therefore creation ofÂ service environment should not be left to chance.
âž¢CustomerÂ judgesÂ theÂ serviceÂ qualityÂ throughÂ theÂ processÂ ofÂ deduction.
âž¢Physical evidences both- dominant and peripheral should be
co-ordinated to achieve uniformity in its projected service image.
âž¢PeripheralÂ evidencesÂ areÂ smallÂ andÂ trivialÂ butÂ haveÂ impactÂ oncustomerÂ perceptionÂ aboutÂ servicesÂ andÂ areÂ realÂ sourceÂ ofÂ competitive differentiation.
âž¢It makes the intangible service apparent.
Physical Environment of Hotel:
Â -Â What kind of customers prefers a city centre?
-Â WhatÂ kindÂ ofÂ customersÂ prefersÂ aÂ hotelÂ at seaside?
âœ”Signs and logos
Many hotels belong to chains and their signs and logos are well known. Different chains help hotels to profitable business. Competition is very hard nowadays. Good reputation and recommendations help very much a hotel to get new customers and also make them to come again.
âœ”Style, furniture, colors, lighting
âœ”Clean air: some customers want luxury, and they are ready to pay for it. Other customers are satisfied with a little lower level.
What is good customer service at the reception?
âœ”Office, information, customer service
Is it easy to reserve a room? What is the easiest way to reserve a room today?
Good customer service is very important in the competitionÂ today.
âœ”A hotel room
What does a customer want from a good hotel room?
The room itself and the bath room must be clean and the bed must be comfortable. Something extraÂ providedÂ thatÂ aÂ customerÂ hasÂ notÂ expected gives a good feeling.
âœ”Restaurant- heart of the Hotel
The restaurant and its kitchen create the heart of a hotel. At a big hotel there can be many different types of restaurants.
A hotel receptionist's job is to make guests feel welcome, to check them in and out efficiently, and to deal professionally with enquiries, face to face and by phone, fax or email. When guests call at a hotel to make a booking, the receptionist is the first person they speak to and may also be the first person whom they meet at arrival. The receptionist in short represents the "entire hotel" in frontÂ of the customer.
âž¢The Hotel should provide a 24 hour reception service.
âž¢At the HotelÂ there shouldÂ anÂ arrayÂ ofÂ experiencedÂ andÂ qualified receptionist to handle the customers. They should work in a batch of three that is at any time there should be three receptionists in the front office forÂ the convenience of the customers.Â They should change the shifts to ensure the best service possible.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
âž¢TheÂ receptionists shouldÂ actÂ asÂ aÂ guide,Â aÂ friend,Â a counselor to theÂ customer.
âž¢They should use laptops and telephones to manage the accounts and to handle the queries or to provide service to the customer.
Â âž¢The front office plays the most important part in hospitality industry. Welcoming the customer with a smile, making them feel important is the valuable job of the receptionist.
âž¢Receptionists at Hotel should provide extra services such as calling the in house porter to carry the luggage, arranging for conveyance forÂ sightseeing or official visits, booking flight or rail tickets and arranging parties.
âž¢Receptionist should look after the customer's personal taste such as his menu, movies and music and proper functioning of equipments in his room.
âž¢TheÂ receptionist shouldÂ alsoÂ allottÂ timeÂ forÂ visitsÂ toÂ theÂ spaÂ andÂ fixeappointments with doctors.
This aspect of serviceÂ in aÂ HotelÂ accountsÂ forÂ theÂ highÂ satisfactionÂ amongÂ its customers.
Rooms at Hotel
Rooms should be spacious and attractively decorated. The rooms can be differentiated on two major criteria's.Â
SpaceÂ FacilitiesÂ provided.
The rooms can be categorized as follows: superior, deluxe, club, crescent, terrace, executive and presidential suite. However the superior, deluxe and clubÂ roomsÂ must beÂ the sameÂ inÂ area
The visitors ofÂ the presidential suite should beÂ provided withÂ superiorÂ servicesÂ andÂ theÂ mostÂ spaciousÂ rooms.
The services provided inside the rooms can be as follows:
âž¢Coffee and tea maker to provide the ease of making it according to their own preference.
âž¢Iron and an ironing board.
âž¢TelevisionÂ facilityÂ with domesticÂ channelsÂ andÂ international channels.
Â âž¢DVDÂ playersÂ andÂ aÂ varietyÂ ofÂ videoÂ tapes
âž¢High speed internet facility.
âž¢TelephoneÂ with speakerÂ facility.
âž¢Newspapers and magazines.
âž¢Convenient and adequate plug points in the room.
âž¢Electronic safe and door locks for ensuring the safety of the visitor.
âž¢Bathrobes and slippers.
âž¢User friendly bathroom fittings.
Human aspect of a service sector industry sets it apart from the productionsector.Â TheÂ inherentÂ qualityÂ ofÂ aÂ productÂ andÂ alsoÂ itsÂ physicalÂ outlook attractsÂ theÂ customersÂ towardsÂ it.ButÂ whenÂ itÂ comesÂ toÂ serviceÂ theapproach is totally different. Through its service, i.e. the quality of service provided, an industry in the service sector, tends to retain as well as create a customer. The service has to be made tangible in this fashion.
âž¢TheÂ entranceÂ made should wear a majestic look. The warm welcome by the man at the gate should make the guests comfortable and wanted.
âž¢ The overall ambience should be mesmerizing.
âž¢The furniture laid around: The chairs and table should have wooden finish. The tables should be arranged to cater to the customers' needs i.e. buffet and sitting arrangement. The buffet should have tableÂ with expensive copper,Â steel andÂ glass cutlery. TheÂ sitting arrangements should beÂ planned judiciously keeping inÂ mind theÂ customers comfort as well as taking care of the economic aspect of spaceutilization.Â TheÂ furnitureÂ should beÂ elegantÂ andÂ highlyÂ comfortable.Â The chairs should have soft cushions.
âž¢TheÂ mostÂ attractiveÂ andÂ significantÂ partÂ should beÂ theÂ attitudeÂ and professionalism of the waiters. They should be in a proper dress code. The ratio of waiters and table should be 2:1, because of which customers can always be at ease and taken care of.
âž¢To satisfy a customerÂ in service sector especially in restaurants where the service delivered should provide the maximum satisfaction- which itself differs from one individual to another.
The physical environment at the gym should include the following:
âž¢Front door: ThereÂ should beÂ aÂ guardÂ atÂ theÂ entranceÂ whoÂ checkedÂ the membership cards of each customer.
âž¢SmoothieÂ barÂ Area- ThereÂ should beÂ aÂ barÂ areaÂ which shouldÂ include drinks such as: energy and fruit drinks besides providing normal water.
Â âž¢Membership Card- All the customers should be given membership cards for easy recognition and catching the defaulters.
âž¢Appearance of Employee- All the employees should have a dress code which should be similar to the other employees of the Hotel.
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âž¢Walls- The walls of the gymnasium should be with posters suggesting healthÂ and gymmingÂ tips and motivational phrases.
âž¢Lockers- LockerÂ facilityÂ for allÂ customersÂ toÂ keep theirÂ belongingsÂ safely.
âž¢Equipments-Â TheÂ gym shouldÂ haveÂ allÂ equipmentsÂ relatedÂ toÂ cardioÂ and weight training.
âž¢Light- The hall should be well illuminated with focused lights.
âž¢Appearance of staff- The trainers and the supervisors should be wearing branded sportswear.
âž¢Towels- The towels should be very clean andÂ dirt free.
âž¢Hair Dryer- Hair drying facility for customers.
âž¢Cleanliness- It should be well maintained to keep the entire area spic and span.
âž¢Therapist- There should be a therapist to look after any unexpected injury.
âž¢Temperature- The room should be conducive forÂ comfortable exercising.
âž¢Merchandise-IfÂ theÂ customersÂ intendÂ toÂ purchaseÂ anyÂ similarÂ health product, the same should be available.
âž¢Sauna and steam bath
âž¢Hotel should provide "valet parking" for itsÂ customers.
âž¢Valet parking is a service whereby a valet takes the car from the customer and parks it in the parking lot. The customer is hence spared of the hassles involved in car parking.
âž¢In most five starÂ hotels the parking lot becomes jammed during peak hours. Car parking by the valet proves beneficial for both customers as well as the hotel officials. On one hand the customer does not need to worry about the parking place; on the other hand the valet has the car atÂ his own disposal. This means that heÂ can park the carÂ wherever he feels it convenient to do so.
âž¢This leads to better service of the customers as they can enjoy the stay at the hotel without caring for maintenance of their vehicle.
âž¢Offering a valet to take care of the car adds luxury to the service
âž¢This can be further increased by the valet bringing the car up to the main entrance and holding the door opened to allow the customer to get in.
Â "It's not always words that impress"â€¦.Â Truly, physical evidence in hotels and restaurants speak louder than words. It is through these evidences that theÂ customerÂ attachesÂ himself.Â AÂ hotelÂ isÂ anÂ abodeÂ ofÂ customer delight. During this Endeavour we learnt the importance of physical evidence in a service industry like "the hotel industry". Physical evidence serves as an entire 'package' for a service industry. It holds the power to tangible the intangibles. In the end we can conclude that the physical evidence of the services provided at Hotel should be highly impressive and efficient. It should make sure that the customer makes repeated visits. For a hotel industry viral marketing is the strongest advertising tool, hence all efforts should be made to make the customer satisfied.