The paper “ Unique Services of Southwest Airlines, Challenges of Each Service Characteristic in Developing Market Strategy" is a potent example of a case study on marketing. Marketing, in general, can be defined as the process of communicating to customers the value of a service. Making reference to this case study, Southwest Airlines is a local airline that has in the past operated three routes in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. It is an airline that was established about four decades ago and had in the past set records and maintained quality standards in customer service.
The airline is determined to improving service delivery and maximizing its profits overtime at pocket-friendly rates, has kept this spirit over time. With a vision of climbing (Gustofsson et al, 2003) to the top of the airline industry, Southwest Airlines has embraced several policies that ensure that its customers get the best of service. As other airlines kept adjusting their airfares based on market trend variations, the airline developed systems that ensured that turbulent seasons in the market do not impact negatively on the rates that their customers pay. Reasons for Calling Southwest Airlines a ServiceSouthwest Airlines has a business stock symbol LUV that is read as LOVE, summing up to improving the customer’ s attitude towards the airlines’ services.
Handling customers and utterly winning their loyalty goes a long way than just a strong customer relation. Southwest Airlines is one such (Swearingen, 2002) company in the flying industry that has been ready to go the extra mile to make customers happy and keep them for long term benefits. Based on the above sentiments, Southwest Airlines is referred to as a service because they offer a set of consumable and perishable benefits.
The benefits they offer are only valid when an order is made by a customer. (Pride et al, 2012) Instances and Application of the 4 Unique Characteristics of Services to AirlineThe four unique characteristics of services include Perishability, Intangibility, Inseparability, and Heterogeneity. Pointing out to Perishability and Intangibility, Perishability refers to the ability of a service to expire. The expiry of service can be looked at in two specific dimensions. First, resources relevant to a service, its processes and systems are many a time assigned to a specific service over a definite duration.
Relevant to Southwest Airlines, a customer’ s seat that remains empty in a plane over a flight can never be used and paid for after departure. Secondly, after a service is utterly rendered to a consumer, the exacting service irrevocably vanishes as it has been consumed by the service consumer. In Southwest Airlines, once a passenger has been transported to the end, he or she cannot be transported again to this location at this point.
Intangibility points out that services cannot be touched or handled thus need no transportation or storage. As per Southwest Airlines, the flight services offered are only done by them and not the service consumers. Therefore, once a customer requests a flight service the airline is obliged to offer the service. Their roles cannot be reversed at all. The inseparability of a service elaborates that once a service consumer, in this case, a passenger, requests for a flight and Southwest Airlines receives the service request and accepts to offer it, resources must be set aside to carry out the service delivery.
At this point in time, the pilot must be in the plane together with the flight passenger for the process to be complete. The passenger is inseparable from the service delivery because he is involved in it from requesting it up to consuming the rendered benefits (Wolak et al, n,d). The same applies to the pilot. Heterogeneity refers to the possibility of high inconsistency in the performance of services. The quality and importance of service can vary from provider to provider and customer to customer.
A flight passenger’ s behavior or handling of issues can change and as well the performance of the airlines’ employees varies on a daily basis. This brings inconsistency thus varying the mode of service delivery resulting in heterogeneity.