The paper “ Influence of Servicescape on New and Repeat Customers' Behaviour” is a fascinating example research paper on marketing. When it comes to products, the consumption objectives and perceptions of the customers differ significantly from their consumption of services. When customers seek out services to consume as products, they look for the intrinsic service and value associated with it as well as the extrinsic factors of service quality and value-added proposition. The value-added proposition by service providers is largely based on the servicescape dimensions. Much research has been conducted on the aspect of servicescape and the impact it has on the formation of perceptions in the minds of the customer.
However the aspects of customer loyalty and differing dimension roles for new and repeat customers are aspects of research that need to be focused upon. The objective of this study is to determine firstly, how the servicescape affect customer behaviour in the services industry. Secondly, the paper seeks to provide basis for possibly differing effect of the servicescape on the new customers for a service provider when compared the same for the repeat customer.
A practical study of personal experience specific to Starbucks in outlets in China has been performed to further evaluate the importance of servicescape in this regard. The aspect of customer loyalty is taken into account and possible digression onto strategic management of services marketing is provided. Literature ReviewPsychology of Consumer BehaviourConsumer behaviour is a vast field of study pertaining to the internal and external influences of psychology and how they influence the behaviour of the consumer. Specifically applied to business and marketing, this field aids in providing the significant groundwork for the application of servicescape in the services marketing industry.
The consumer behaviour psychology is of significant importance when businesses seek to implement a relationship marketing strategy for targeting new customers and building relationships for long term business and equity from them as a result of managed lifetime relationships (Roberts, Varki and Brodie, 2003). Servicescapes Applied to Services MarketingThe concept of servicescape was introduced formally by Booms and Bitner (1981) in their compiled work that focused on the effect of intangible and tangible elements on the customer perception specific to services marketing among other factors.
The concept as depicted by Bitner and Boom provides that it is possible for the environment surrounding the provision and the consumption of service to significantly impact customer perceptions of image, perception and overall experience regarding the service. Since the formal theoretical framework has been laid out to support servicescape, businesses have increasingly paid attention to the manipulation of this attribute to their service in order to foster a proposed experience and perception on to the customers. Servicescape is of particular importance for businesses that provide services to customers or make use of services marketing.
Much research pertaining to aspects of servicescape and their application in different industries to influence customer behaviour has been performed. This is particularly true for the hospitality, retail and fast-food/restaurant industry. Specific to servicescape Turley and Milliman (2000) provide that atmospheric elements like scent and temperature can significantly influence the behaviour of the customer in the service setting. This influence can be of both, a positive or a negative nature depending on the service type and the type of atmospheric servicescape employed.
Specific to the retailing industry and services marketing employed in the industry, servicescape specific to the store environment has been employed to enhance the experience of shopping for the customer and provide stimuli to increase purchases (Matilla and Wirtz, 2001). These servicescapes can take the form of layout of counters and shelves in-store, the air conditioning employed, use of plants and natural elements as well as the use of scent and music as stimuli for purchase.