Classification of Services

Topics: Customer, Customer service, Supply and demand Pages: 11 (1759 words) Published: May 21, 2013

Problem: narrow exposure of managers to the variety of service industries; managers perceive their service as unique; management personnel is usually inbred; as a result, marketing thought in the field of services is underdeveloped. E.g., hoteliers often spend their whole life in the industry or even one company, most airline managers have grown up in the commercial aviation industry, bankers and hospital administrators usually work within the confines of banking and health care, respectively. Managers from manufacturing sector find themselves unprepared to deal with servicing problems.

Services are neither a homogeneous group, nor different in-between according to industry classification. Services can be segmented into clusters that share certain marketing-relevant characteristics.

Import from tangible products domain:
- Copeland’s convenience, shopping, specialty goods. (Retail service institutions can also use this approach; e.g., from financial services providers to restaurants). - Durability. (For services: durability of benefits is relevant to repurchase frequency). - Consumer/industrial. (Different evaluation of competing alternatives, purchasing procedures and usage behavior is also transferable to services).

Operations approach to classification: every service is different (insisting that airlines’ marketing has nothing to do with banks, insurance, motels, etc.). However, marketing views demonstrate a lot of similarities in sharply different services; valid classification highlights implications for managers – concepts and strategies can be shared between industries.

Classification will have managerial value if it offers strategic insight – i.e. implications for managers. This includes both the core and supplementary services.


Different types of processes result in different levels of customer involvement. If services are “deeds, acts, or performances”, two questions arise: - at whom (or what) is the activity directed;

- is the activity tangible or intangible.

|What is the nature of the service |Who or what is the direct recipient of the service? | |act? | | | |People |Possessions | |Tangible actions |I. Service directed at people’s bodies: |II. Services directed at physical possessions: | | |passenger transportation; |freight transportation; | | |health care; |repair and maintenance; | | |lodging; |warehousing/storage; | | |beauty saloons; |janitorial services; | | |physical therapy; |retail distribution; | | |fitness centers; |laundry and dry cleaning; | | |restaurants; |refueling; | | |haircutting; |landscaping/lawncare; | |...
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