Application: Service Design
Services, unlike products, contain a process through which a customer must move and that process should be designed or “blueprinted”. Process is central to the success of the service and the nature of the experience that the customers receive. When people use a service they must submit themselves to the service provider’s process. So, one of the major differences between the purchase of a product and the experience of a service is the process through which the buyer moves (see services marketing).
Marketers must plan the service process in detail and educate their customers in the parts of the service they will experience. Potential customers must know how to access the supplier’s service system, which has to be designed to encourage use. The firm needs to use clear signage and communicate its meaning to all potential buyers. Educating them to access and use the supplier’s process is, therefore, an important aspect of services marketing. This ranges from the deployment of branded consumer signage, like McDonald’s, to the use of customized web sites as extranets for customers in business-to-business markets.
Once “in the premises”, though, the buyer needs direction (even in a virtual environment). If it is not immediately apparent how to use the system (the equivalent of standing helplessly in a foreign shop) the buyer becomes embarrassed ...