We would like to thank a great many people for helping us to complete this text and providing so many ideas.
First of all, our families. Our wives and kids encouraged us to finish the journey we were on. They accepted that we had to invest time into this book that could not be devoted to them. Now that the project is over, we will serve them more and better. That is why this book is dedicated to them.
In completing the text, our secretary Mieke Donders did an excellent job. With an everlasting energy, great competence and enthusiasm she always managed to meet our wishes and whims with great creativity, reliability and responsiveness. A warm “Mieke thank you” is here in the right place: the flowers are on their way!
At an art exhibition in one of the Maastricht art galleries, we were impressed by a wonderful etching Ineke Brummer had made. We are very pleased that this etching could be used on our front cover. It very much adds to the international dimensions of our book.
It was a wonderful service experience, writing about the intangibility of services and putting it into a tangible form (this book). Class discussion, management development programs, attending conferences on services marketing or quality in services, doing consultancy and actually working in the service arena, provided us with many theoretical and practical insights on services marketing management which we would like to share with many others.
Many of our students have contributed to this book by doing internships or writing master theses. Their work has proven to be very valuable to us. We would like to mention especially here (in alphabetical order) Miranda van Golde, Coos Groot, Robin Hattink, Hans Hijlkema, Judith van Hulst, Sander Jansen, Ringo Janssen, Alain Loosveld, Anjo Meurs, Monique Peters, Jean Pierre Schreurs, Jur Smit, Jolande Soons, Rob Thomas, Victor Tija, Rene Toet, Karin Verschuren, Rob Westgeest, Karin Zinken and Tatiana Zinken. Some of our students helped in translating text from our Dutch textbook on services marketing: Anita Nijssen, Mireille Paasen, Pascal Peeters, Hanneke Reys, Nancy Scheijven, Wink Versteegh, and Ellen Wen helped us greatly in speeding up the process of making this book come true. Danielle Francken helped in updating some tables with actual figures about the world wide service industries.
Moreover, what we learned in cooperating with our colleagues who were writing their PhD in the domain of services marketing and/or relationship marketing, was indispensable to our own understanding of service quality and long term relationships. We especially thank Marcel van Birgelen, Gaby Odekerken-Schröder, Jos Schijns, Mireille Suchanek, Karin Venetis and Martin Wetzels for the opportunity of sharing ideas. Moreover, the close cooperation with the other colleagues in marketing departments led to many stimulating ideas; many thanks to Gary