Today, service companies account for more than 75% of the gross national product in developed countries, employing more than 80% of the labor force. With a rapid development of technology, these numbers will further increase in the near future, making the world the service economy. Even goods manufacturing companies increasingly augment their products with services and move into service business. In a competitive environment dominated by service companies in stagnated markets and an increasing focus on customer service, knowledge about service marketing and management becomes a vital prerequisite of success in both the private and public sectors. This means that today's managers need to have in-depth knowledge about the unique characteristics of services and the challenges these characteristics pose on marketing and management of customer services and service companies. Those challenges are exacerbated through the increased use of social media and internet services which introduce new opportunities and challenges for building relationships between service providers and their customers.
This course focuses on practical examples and implementation of service marketing concepts and tools for improving managerial performance of service companies.
Throughout the course, students will gain understanding of different aspects of service marketing and requirements for successful management of service businesses. We start with understanding the main concepts of services and build up strategies looking at the most important elements for running a successful service business.
Specifically we address the following topics:
- Main foundations of service business and service marketing
- Understanding customer expectations and perceptions
- Service quality evaluation and management
- How to design a successful service
- The role of employees, customers and management in service delivery
- Service failures and service recovery strategies
- Impact of technology and social media
Learning outcome knowledge
In this course students should acquire knowledge about fundamental theories, methods and concepts within the area of services marketing such as:
- Understanding of what challenges one faces when marketing and managing services and the consequences of these challenges for the employees, the customers and the management
- Knowledge about core models and tools that can be applied to handle these challenges when the overall goal is to create a loyal and profitable customer base
This course aims at teaching students to recognize burning strategic issues in a practical example and to apply the acquired knowledge to improve the business performance.
- Class participation: 20%
- Written assignment: 20%
- Written assignment: 60%