MONITORING SYSTEMS Top firms, evaluate their own competitors service performance on a regular basis. They measure what satisfies or dissatisfies the customers. For example; the First Chicago Bank weekly measures customers inquiries. Whenever the performance falls below the minimum acceptable level the bank takes action. It also raises its performance goal over time. Mystery shopping is the use of undercover shoppers who are paid to report back to the company to pinpoint and fix customer service problems. The service elements are displayed in the following table to show the rate of their importance Marketing strategies for service firms Most important elements are: 1. Job done right the first time 2. Fast action on complaints 3. Low prices on service - Satisfying Customer Complaints Research has shown that only 5% of the dissatisfied customers complain out of 25%. The others feel they are wasting their time. Customers whose complaints are satisfactorily resolved often become more company loyal than customers who were never dissatisfied. Every complaint is considered a gift if handled well. They empower employees to remedy the situation on the spot. It has shown to achieve higher revenues and greater profits, than companies that don't have a systematic approach for addressing service failures. Example: PIZZA HUT prints its toll free number on all pizza boxes. When a customer complains, Pizza hut sends voice mail to the store manager, who must call the customer within 48 hours and resolve the complaint. - Satisfying Employees as well as customers Excellent service Companies say that positive employee attitudes will promote stronger customer loyalty. Many found a strong correlation between customer and employee satisfaction and store profitability. Based on this very important correlation service companies must attract the best employees they can find. They must train and support them and reward them for good performance. Checking if employee is satisfied must be done regularly. A company must be careful in training its employees, to be friendly. MANAGING SERVICE BRANDS Some of the world's strongest brands are services ex: HSBC, CITIBANK. In addition to that many hospitals have gained "Mega Brand" reputations for being the best in their field, Ex: Mayo Clinic". This hospital could open clinics in other cities and attract patients based on their strong brand reputation. DIFFERENTIATING SERVICES Service marketers frequently complain about the difficulty of differentiating their services. The deregulation of several major service industries ex: communications, banking, etc...has resulted in intense price competition. Services can be differentiated in many ways: - What customer expects is called the primary service. - The secondary service features for example in the airline industry have introduced such services such as movies telephone services, etc... - Other companies provide services on- line. There is a big competition between pharmacies that have low cost online mail - order, drugstores they have on- site health care professionals. DEVELOPING BRAND STRATEGIES FOR SERVICES Developing brand strategies requires very close attention. - Choosing brand elements ex: symbols, logos, slogans build the brand image ex: "The good hands" of... These elements are very important since there is no physical product. - Establishing image dimensions: People who make up the organization and its employees play an important role in branding. They act as brand associations because they effect evaluations of service quality. - Devising branding strategy A brand hierarchy is developed positioning and targeting of different market segments. Segments of services can be branded vertically based on price and quantity. These require sub-branding strategies where the corporate name is combined with an individual brand name or modifier. MANAGING PRODUCT SUPPORT SERVICES All product based industries have to provide product support services worldwide companies must provide good service have more advantages than those offering a good product at low services.