Chapter 11 – Physical Evidence and the Servicescape
What is Physical Evidence?
Customers often rely on tangible cues/physical evidence to evaluate services before purchase and
to assess their satisfaction during and after. Effective design of physical evidence assists in closing Gap 2.
Physical evidence includes tangible aspects of communication (Signage, landscape, websites, etc).
How Does Physical Evidence Affect the Customer Experience?
Clue management – The process of clearly identifying and managing all the clues customers use
to form impressions and feelings about the company.
Types of Servicescapes
Organizations differ in terms of whom the servicescape will actually affect. One extreme is the
self-service environment; the organization can plan to focus exclusively on marketing goals as attracting
the right customers, and creating the right experience (ATM). The other extreme is remote service, with
little/no customer involvement (Mail-order services). In remote services, the facility may even be located
in another country. Facilities may be set up to motivate employees and facilitate productivity without any
consideration of the customer because they will never see the servicescape. Interpersonal services are
services in which both employees and customers are present in the servicescape.
Some service environments are simple, with few elements, spaces, and equipment. These
environments are termed “lean.” Complicated servicescapes are termed “elaborate.”
Strategic Roles of the Servicescape
Servicescape plays many strategic roles simultaneously and is one of the most important elements used in
positioning a service organization.
Servicescape and other elements of physical evidence “wrap” the service and provide an external
image of what’s inside. Setting of a service evicts emotions and portrays a particular image. As the
servicescape is the outward appearance of the organizations, it’s critical in forming initial impressions. This
packaging role extends to the appearance of contact personnel through their uniforms or dress and other
The facilitator can also aid in the performances of persons in the environment. A well-designed,
functional facility can make the service a pleasure to experience to both employees and customers. Poor
design may frustrate both the employees and customers.
Servicescape aids socialization of employees and customers in the sense that it conveys expected
roles, behaviors and relationships. The facility design can suggest to customer what their role is in
comparison to the employees.
Design of the facility differentiates a firm from its competitors and signals the market segments
the service is intended for. This includes music and colors.
Framework for Under