The paper 'Quality in Service Marketing" is a perfect example of marketing coursework. Costs associated with the inability of a product or a service to meet customers' specifications may be damaging to a business venture in many fronts, ranging from simple complaints, product returns, and repairs, warranty claims, recalls, to huge litigation costs resulting from product liability issues. Given the difficulty in gaining customer faith and loyalty, it is important that quality in service delivery be given the weight it deserves when marketing products especially in the services industry. Services are the key forces that propel economic growth in modern society.
However, the concept of quality must be engendered in every managerial aspect if tangible results are to be found in any organization. Three main forces shape the prevailing service-marketing environment: the ever-increasing competition by the private players themselves, technological advancements, and the continuous shifts in the rules and regulations controlling the service sector. Because of these forces, customers are more aware of their requirements, and consequently, demand higher standards of services. Their expectations are continually evolving, thereby making it more difficult for the service providers to quantify and manage services effectively.
The key lies in paying attention to the critical service attributes(elements) as part of customer service management, which includes satisfaction, delight, customer relationship, service delivery among other elements. It is thus very essential to understand the sensitivity of customers to various service attributes or dimensions to stay in touch with the demands in the service sector. In other words, managers should not only consider performance while setting customer service objectives, but they also include quality variables such as responsiveness, reliability empathy, assurance, and tangibles (Payne, 1995). Because features of services are generally intangible and inseparable, customer service in the business sector is usually ranked higher than those in the manufacturing industry.
Due to the difficulty of managing quality, customer service has become a part of both product and service marketing in order to maintain customer loyalty. With increased competition and improved technologies, customers have hiked their standard demands. For instance, in the insurance industry, the difficulty in coping with the customers’ demands has forced firms to generally raise awareness levels, introduce innovative products, and increase their market penetration rate.
In fact, some of these firms such as the ICICI PruLife are lucky to have successfully fulfilled customers’ requirements by introducing a range of thirteen new products to meet the customers’ satisfaction. Many other firms have also followed suit by taking a more focused approach, making fundamental changes in the types of products they offer in a bid to fill the gaps regarded as potentially destructive to business life (Sharma, 2002). Apparently, technology has aided the expansion of customers’ knowledge base, and as such the reach and the capacity to respond to each customer's needs have increased in leaps and bounds.
With multiple touchpoints, that include customer contact centers, websites, emails, snail-mail, and facsimile; customers are now able to reach these insurance firms more directly, easily, and fast to pour out their grievances, claims or even appreciations should need to arise. As a result, the response has drastically been revolutionized time responses thereby offering immediate feedback whether positive or negative according to Zeithaml and Bitner, (1996). In a way, the drastic changes in strategic communication have enabled the cultivation of customer loyalty through quality and standardized communication channels hitherto unavailable before.
Customers are now having more access to information relating to firms and as such are able to keenly choose accordingly on which firms’ services deserves him or her most. This raises the bar even higher for competitors and thus compelling them to up their game, always on top of customers’ specifications, to stay in business through cutting-edge reputation.
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