Svc Marketing Ch.10

Purpose of Service Environments
• Shape customers’ experience and their behavior
• For image, positioning and differentiation
• Part of the value proposition
• Facilitate service encounter and enhance productivity
• Shape customers’ experience and their behavior
– Message-creating medium: symbolic cues to communicate the
distinctive nature and quality of the service experience
– Attention-creating medium: make servicescape stand out from
competition and attract customers from target segments
– Effect-creating medium: use colors, textures, sounds, scents and
spatial design to enhance desired service experience
Servicescape as Part of Value Proposition
Physical surroundings help shape appropriate feelings and reactions
in customers and employees
• Servicescapes form a core part of the value proposition
• The power of servicescapes is being discovered
Mehrabian-Russell Stimulus-Response Model
Feelings Are a Key Driver
of Customer Responses to
Service Environments
Insights from Mehrabian-Russell StimulusResponse
The environment, its conscious and unconscious perceptions and
interpretation influence how people feel in that environment
• Feelings, rather than perceptions/thoughts drive behavior
• Typical outcome variable is ‘approach’ or ‘avoidance’ of an
environment, but other possible outcomes can be added to model
Emotional responses to environments can be described along two
main dimensions:
Pleasure: direct, subjective, depending on how much individual
likes or dislikes environment
– Arousal: how stimulated individual feels, depends largely on
information rate or load of an environment
Advantage of the Russel Model Affect
Simple, allows a direct assessment of how customers feel
Affected caused by
perceptions and cognitive process of any degree of complexity
More complex problem =
more powerful its potential impact on affect
Behavioral Consequence of Affect
Pleasant environments result in approach, whereas unpleasant ones
result in avoidance
• Arousal amplifies the basic effect of pleasure on behavior
Affect on arousal if environment is pleasant
excitement, leading to a stronger positive consumer response
Affect on arousal if environment is unpleasant
, increasing
arousal level will move customers
into the “distressed” region
Bitner’s servicescape model identifies the man dimensions in a servicescape
– Ambient conditions
– Space/functionality
– Signs, symbols and artifacts
What categories can internal customer and employee responses be categorized?
cognitive, emotional and physiological responses, which lead to
observable behavioral responses towards the environment
Ambient conditions are perceived both separately and holistically,
and include:
– Sounds such as noise and music
– Scents
– Lighting and color schemes
– Size and shapes
– Air quality and temperature
Structural characteristics of music
tempo, volume, and harmony
– Fast tempo music and high volume music increase arousal levels
– People tend to adjust their pace, either voluntarily or
involuntarily, to match tempo of music
may or may not be perceived by customers and not related to any particular product; can have emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses
Dimensions of color
– Hue is the pigment of the color
– Value is the degree of lightness or darkness of the color
– Chroma refers to hue-intensity, saturation or brilliance
People are drawn to what types of colors?
Warm colors; encourage fast decision making and good for low-involvement decisions
Spatial layout
floor plan; size and shape of furnishings, counters, machinery, equipment, and how they are arranged
ability of those items to make the performance of the service easier
Impact of Signs, Symbols, and Artifacts
• Communicates the firm’s image
• Help customers fine their way
• Let customers know the service script
• First time customers will automatically try to draw meaning from
the signs, symbols and artifacts
• Challenge is to design such that these guide customer through the
service delivery process
– Unclear signals from a servicescape can result in anxiety and
uncertainty about how to proceed and obtain the desired service
People part of service environment:
marketing communication may seek to attract those
who appreciate the service environment and are also able to
enhance it by their appearance and behavior; In hospitality and retail settings, newcomers often look at existing
customers before deciding whether to patronise the service firm
Servicescapes have to be seen
holistically: No dimension of
design can be optimized in isolation, because everything depends
on everything else
Tools to Guide Servicescape Design
-Keen observation of customers’ behavior and responses to the
service environment by management, supervisors, branch
managers, and frontline staff.
• Feedback and Ideas from frontline staff and customers, using a
broad array of research tools from suggestion boxes to focus groups
and surveys.
Tools to Guide Servicescape Design
• Photo audit – ask customers to take photographs of their experience
and these are used as basis for further interviews or included as
part of survey of experience.
• Field experiments can be used to manipulate specific dimensions in
an environment and the effects observed.
• Blueprinting – extended to include physical evidence in the

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