Chapter 10 The Intangible Product
Service Marketing Differs from Product Marketing
Intangible: a characteristic of a service; it cannot be touched, tasted, or seen
like a pure product can.
Difficult to market because:
o Difficult to convey the benefits and services
o Difficult to promote because it can’t be shown directly
The images marketers use reinforce the benefit or value that a service
Inseparable Production and Consumption
Inseparable: a characteristic of a service; it is produced and consumed at the
same time – that is, service and consumption are inseparable.
Because the service is inseparable from its consumption, customers rarely
have the opportunity to try the service before they purchase it.
Inconsistent: a characteristic of a service; its quality may vary because it is
provided by humans.
Some marketers of service strive to reduce service inconsistency through
training and standardization.
A micromarketing segmentation strategy can customize a service to meet
customers’ needs exactly.
Inventory: a characteristic of a service; it is perishable and cannot be stored
for future use.
Excess demand results in having to turn customers away in peak periods,
while excess capacity may mean less desirable expense to revenue ratios.
Providing Great Service: The Gaps Model Service Gap: Results when a service fails to meet the expectations that
customers have about how it should be delivered.
The four service gaps:
o Knowledge gap: reflects the difference between customers’
expectations and the firm’s perception of those expectations.
o Standards gap: pertains to the difference between the firm’s
perceptions of customers’ expectations and the service standards it
o Delivery gap: the difference between the firm’s service standards and
the actual service it provides to customers.
o Communication gap: refers to the difference between the actual
service provided to customers and the service that the firm’s
promotion program promises.
The Knowledge Gap: Knowing What Customers Want
Understanding Customer Expectations
Customers’ expectations are based on their knowledge and experiences.
Expectations vary depending on
o The type of service
o Depending on the situation
Evaluating Service Quality by Using Well-Established Marketing Metrics
Service quality: customers’ perceptions of how well a service meets or
exceeds their expectations.
Customers generally use five distinct service dimensions to determine over-
all service quality:
o Reliability o Empathy
o Responsiveness o Tangibles
Marketing research provides a means to better understand expectations
Voice-of-customer (VOC) progra