Services are ubiquitous. As consumers, we purchase services every day – be they retail banking, using a supermarket or restaurant, a holiday, medical services, transportation, visiting immigration consultants, travel agents or hairdressers (higher education is also a service!). Professional services (of a B2B or B2C nature) are equally prominent and include legal services, financial planning, accountancy, architects, management consultancy, financial services, information technology, market research, and engineering services. Experiential services (tourism, sport, theatre) are also growing. However, it is important to remember that many product-based organisations (e.g., IBM, Federal Express) have a strong service component.
This course was developed because for business, in any industry, service provision is a key differentiator. The implications of service provision, and how services are best managed and marketed, are steadily gaining importance. Therefore, students who plan to work in service industries, or the customer service division of manufacturing industries, must be prepared sufficiently to do so. This course aims to help students understand the practical implications of the unique characteristics of services and service provision and to help them cope with the challenges of marketing and managing a service. To achieve this aim, we build upon, and expand, marketing management concepts and models, demonstrating how they apply to the services sector. This course focuses on the distinctive characteristics and problems of marketing in service organizations and for any organization developing and marketing services as part of its business portfolio. It demonstrates why and how services require a distinctive approach to marketing strategy-both in its development and in its execution. This course examines cases from commercial and not-for-profit organizations including banking, transportation, hotels, tourism, hospitals, education and professional services such as accountancy, engineering, and management consultancy. Anyone working in a service industry or for an organization with a strong commitment to customer service will find this course relevant.
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