As someone who has devoted his entire career to investigating, writing about, and teaching services marketing, I am pleased for those of you holding this book in your hands and preparing to study services marketing yourself. You are in for an exciting journey, learning about the special challenges and opportunities of marketing a performance – the essence of a service.
Services permeate everyday existence. They are a big part of your life so it makes sense to learn more about them as a consumer and as a present or future manager. Within the last 24 hours, you may have listened to the radio, watched television, taken a train, bus, cab or subway, made or received a telephone call, consumed a restaurant meal, used the campus library or gym, observed a sporting event, made a banking transaction, been warmed (or cooled) by electric power, gone to class, or contacted an insurance agent. In each case, you were a services consumer.
Because services pervade our lives, I always remind my students that improving the quality of service in society is more than just a market share issue, more than just a profit and loss issue, more than just a business issue. Improving service quality also is a quality-of-life issue; the better the service quality of our doctors, grocers, bankers, restaurants, government agencies, department stores, transportation services and other providers, the better the quality of our daily living.
Everyone wins when service is excellent. The customers win (because the quality of daily life is better). The employees win (because striving for excellence at work is more fun than accepting mediocrity). The owners of the company win (because the business will be more successful). And the community and country win (because their businesses are competitively stronger and the quality of everyday living is better).
Enjoy this book and profit from the lessons. Unearth and tuck away the many lessons for marketing and managing the more or less invisible products we call “services”.
Leonard L. Berry
Author of Discovering the Soul of Service
and Distinguished Professor of Marketing
Texas A&M University, U.S.A.