The Indian economy is progressively moving from the product dominated economy of pre-1990, to a services focused economy. The share of the services to the gross domestic product has been consistently growing in last seven years and its contribution has eventually moved upto 58 percent of the total GDP, while manufacturing has contributed a mere 26 percentage points of the GDP. The services, therefore, are a very important contributor to the gross national product for any nations’ economy. In India, till early 1990, services were often associated with the satisfaction delivered by the tangible product, in the protected economy. The intangibility of the services and the satisfaction associated with their delivery was often not given the much needed importance by producers and manufacturers of products. However, the process of globalization and the opening of the economy brought into focus the role played by the core and augmented services such as healthcare, tourism, hospitality and transportation, recreation and entertainment, engineering and consultancy, telecommunication and related services, education and career development, banking, fi nancial and insurance services. The demand for and expansion of services such as Information Technology (IT), and other IT enabled services and their potential to earn foreign exchange for the country have emphasized upon the need to develop marketing strategies for understanding customer expectations as well as matching production and delivery services qualitatively. Service producers have become aware of the additional three Ps of the services marketing mix that differentiate the marketing of services from the marketing of goods and products. These Ps are ‘people’, ‘process’ and ‘physical evidence’, which are obviously complementary to the traditional sphere of the earlier established four Ps i.e., ‘product’, ‘price’, ‘place’ and ‘promotion’. People are important in services because services cannot be delivered merely by machines. Hence, the need to market services internally is to ensure that the services personnel, whether in direct contact with the customer or in the back offi ces, have a thorough understanding of the customers needs and expectations from the services. This internal marketing makes sure that the gaps between customer expectations and the actual delivery of services is reduced to the minimum. The services customers have become an integral and active part of the process of providing services because of the inseparability of services from their customers. In such a situation, physical evidence plays a very decisive role in differentiating the services delivered by one company from that of the competitor. Physical evidence establishes a favourable perception in the mind of the customer regarding the service producing firm.
In this book, we not only deal with the intangibility, perishability, and inseparability of the services, but
we also delineate and discuss the other important features such as the quality aspects of services marketing,
gap theory of services marketing, demand and capacity alignment of services marketing, services pricing,
and services promotion with the major emphasis on the management of the human aspects of services
The first part of the book helps the students and practitioners of services marketing in understanding its
theoretical concepts with the help of opening vignettes and case studies from real life situations. The second part of the book deals with a number of services such as fi nancial services, retail services, banking services, insurance services, education services, tourism and travel services, health and hospital services, hospitality services, IT and IT enabled services, telecommunication services and so on. The operational aspects of services have been explained with the help of case studies at the end of each chapter. The value adding features, such as, application exercises, key to application exercises and activities will make the book very interactive and useful to students, professors and service practitioners. Additionally, chapter-wise Power Point slides have also been uploaded for user’s reference at www.mhhe.com/servmktg.
We acknowledge with sincere thanks the valuable contributions made by the publishing team of Tata McGraw-Hill to the book.