Services Marketing Chapter 14: Integrated Services Marketing Communications

Gap 4: The communication gap
Integrated Services Marketing Communications relates to
The communication gap
Gap 4
Gap 4
Difference between service delivery and the service provider’s external communications
Integrated Services Marketing Communications
A strategy that carefully integrates all external and internal communication channels to present a consistent message to customers
providers company customers
3 points on communications and the services marketing triangle
Interactive marketing (providers – customers)
personal selling
customer serivce center
service encounters
social media
Internal Marketing Communications
(providers – company)
vertical communications
horizontal communications
External marketing communication
(company – customers)
sales promotion
public relations
direct marketing
Addressing Service Intangibility

Managing Service Promises

Managing Customer Expectations

Managing Customer Education

Internal Mrktg Communication

Five major approaches to overcome service communication channels
Addressing Service Intangibility
Use narrative to demonstrate the service experience
Present vivid information
Use interactive imagery
Focus on the tangibles (wolf)
Use brand icons to make the service tangible (GEICO gecko)
Use association, physical representation, documentation, and visualization
Feature service employees in communication
Use buzz or viral marketing
Leverage social media
Aim messages to influencers
Create advertising that generates talk because it is humorous, compelling, or unique
Feature satisfied customers in the communication
Generate word-of-mouth through employee relationships
Managing Service Promises
Create a strong service brand
The primary brand for a service is the company itself

Coordinate external communication

Managing Customer Expectations
Make realistic promises

Offer service guarantees

Offer choices

Create tiered-value service offerings

Communicate the criteria and levels of service effectiveness (especially for services high in credence qualities)

Managing Customer Education
Prepare customers for the service process

Confirm performance to standards and expectations

Clarify expectations after the sale

Teach customers to avoid peak demand periods and to seek slow demand periods (more effective than apology/all visible employees serving in bank context)

Internal Mrktg Communication
Create effective vertical communications
Sell the brand inside the company
Create effective upward communication
Create effective horizontal communications (service promotions promise what people do)
Align back-office and support personnel with external customers through interaction or measurement
Create cross-functional teams of sales, service, and operations people when developing new services or engaging in service improvements
Maintain a customer focus throughout all functions

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