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Book Summary – Winning in Service Markets: Success through People, Technology and Strategy

Winning in Service Markets - Book summary

Services are an integral part of most businesses today. To effectively market services, you need a different approach from product marketing. In this book, Jochen Wirtz covers all key aspects of services marketing and management, combining detailed and up-to-date academic research, with practical tips for real-life application. It’s a useful services marketing handbook for corporate leaders and marketers, as well as anyone interested to learn the fundamentals of services marketing. Our free Winning in Service Markets summary briefly outlines the 5 essential parts of Services Marketing.

Winning in Service Markets: A 5-Part Framework

Services are a major part of the global economy, and most product firms also offer services as a source of revenue and differentiation. In fact, Rolls-Royce’s revenue from its aircraft servicing and spare parts sales is estimated to be 7 times that of its engine sales!

Winning in services markets require a different approach from traditional product marketing, including 5 key parts:

Winning in Service Markets_5-part overview

Here are some quick highlights of each of the 5 parts. You can get more details from our complete Winning in Service Markets summary.

Part 1: Understanding Service Markets

The book explains how services are different from products, the implications for marketing, as well as the key global trends affecting service markets. In particular, marketers should familiarize themselves with the 3 stages of service consumption – each phase comes with different opportunities to influence client perceptions, choices and repeat purchases. In a nutshell: Winning in Service Markets summary_3 stages of service consumptionThe author also explain how to use the “3Cs” (Customer, Competitor, Company) and “STP” (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning) analyses to systematically think about your positioning and differentiation.

Part 2: Applying the 4Ps of Marketing

Developing your services marketing plan requires all 4Ps to be addressed, and here’s an overview of some of the elements to be considered. You can get a detailed overview of these 4Ps from our 16-page Winning in Service Markets summary.Winning in Service Markets summary_4Ps of marketing

  • Product: In developing your service products & brands, you need to look at the core product (what the clients are really buying), as well as the supplementary services (the related activities that enhance the main product/service). The book explains the “flower of service” and how the core and supplementary services come together to make your flower look good, the various branding strategies and considerations for your corporate and specific product brands, as well as 7 categories of new service development and factors affecting service innovation success.
  • Place: Besides addressing the what”, “how”, “where” and “when” of your distribution strategy, the book also explains the use of intermediaries, and how to deliver your services globally and/or expand internationally.
  • Price: Your costs, competition and customer value determine the price you charge, which in turn affects your revenues, user base and positioning. The book explains how to use yield or revenue management (RM) to maximize your revenue per available capacity, and also introduces the concepts of price elasticity, rate fences and various pricing strategies.
  • Promotion: Your Marcom Strategy will involve the Who, What, How, Where, and When of your communication, with the goal to explain and promote the value of your offer. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) links the components above and your corporate design, to ensure consistency in style and message across channels.

Part 3: Managing the Customer Interface

Because services are more complex, and are highly people-dependent, there are several key components to be addressed in order to deliver consistent, quality services:

Winning in Service Markets summary_customer interface

  • Designing Service Processes. A well-designed process facilitates the delivery of your service promise, and the book explains how to use 2 essential tools (Flowcharts + Blueprints) to design & document your service processes, and fail-proof your critical processes.
  • Balancing Demand and Capacity. Cycles of excess demand/ capacity can hurt profitability, and the book highlights various methods to manage capacity and demand to minimize adverse cyclical effects.
  • Managing People for Service Advantage. Great service staff can create a positive impression, deliver superb customer experience, build loyalty, drive sales, and create a competitive advantage for the firm. Yet, frontline jobs are one of the most demanding.  The author highlights 3 key sources of role conflicts/ stress for frontline staff, and 3 HR management principles to create a cycle of success.
  • Crafting the Service Environment (Service-scape). What people perceive and interpret about their service environment affect their feelings, which affect their experience, perception and responses. A well-designed environment not only improves brand image and client satisfaction, but also increases client purchases and operational productivity. Use the 5 components of Bitner’s Servicescape Model to tailor the desired customer experience.

Part 4: Developing Customer Relationships

Loyal clients are usually more profitable, since they make repeat purchases, give a higher share-of-wallet, have a genuine liking for your firm and refer your services. The book addresses what it means to manage relationships and build loyalty, develop a real Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, and effectively handle complaints and service recovery. For example, the Wheel of Loyalty is a useful framework for strategizing your customer loyalty development efforts:

Our full Winning in Service Markets summary gives more details on these components.

Part 5: Striving for Service Excellence

Finally, the author explains various models, tools and measurements that you can use to measure and improve your service quality and productivity, as well as to analyze and address service quality problems. The book ends off by detailing what a world-class service organization would look like, with an assessment tool classified into 4 progressive performance levels: Service Losers, Service Non-entities, Service Professionals, and Service Leaders.

Getting the Most from Winning in Service Markets

This is an extremely detailed handbook, filled with definitions, frameworks, models, examples, tools and checklists for a thorough understanding and review of service marketing. For a one-glance overview of all the key components, check out our complete book summary bundle which includes an infographic, a 16-page text summary, and a 28-minute audio summary.Winning in Service Markets summary - book summary bundle

You can get the book here, or get short volumes from the series, each covering a specific theme of services marketing.

Want to learn more about services marketing? You may also enjoy the summaries for Selling the Invisible about selling services, and Crossing the Chasm for marketing high-tech solutions.

About the Author of Winning in Service Markets

Winning in Service Markets: Success through People, Technology and Strategy is written by Jochen Wirtza Professor of Marketing and Vice Dean, Graduate Studies, at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and an international fellow of the Service Research Center at Karlstad University, Sweden. Furthermore, he is the founding director of the dual degree UCLA-NUS Executive MBA Program (ranked globally #6 in the Financial Times 2016 EMBA rankings) and international fellow of the Service Research Center at Karlstad University, Sweden, and Academic Scholar at the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures (CIHF) at Cornell University, USA.

Dr. Wirtz holds a PhD in services marketing from the London Business School, has researched and written widely on service marketing, and received numerous awards. He serves on the editorial review boards of many service journals, and is also an active management consultant.

Winning in Service Markets Quotes

“Effective service marketers are good educators who can use a variety of communication media in cost-efficient ways.”

“The fastest way to kill a poor product is to advertise it heavily.”

“It is probably harder to duplicate high-performing human assets than any other corporate resource.”

“Loyalty management starts with segmenting the market to match customer needs and firm capabilities.”

“Marketing is about getting better business, not just more business.”

“The first unspoken law of service quality and productivity is: Do it right the first time.”

“Typically, the cost of service recovery is lower than the cost of an unhappy customer.”

“In increasingly competitive markets, the best competitive advantage for a firm is to learn and change faster than its competition.”

Click here to download Winning in Service Markets book summary and infographic

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