Chapter 3 Characteristics of Services Chapter 3 slides for Marketing for Pharmacists, 2nd Edition TIP Pharmacists provide services - not drugs. Learning Objectives Define the following terms: services, valueadded services, pure services. Identify four characteristics of services that differentiate them from products. Discuss how the characteristics of services make them difficult to market. Describe service categorization methods that can be used to develop strategic insights into the provision of pharmaceutical services. Apply marketing strategies for dealing with the unique characteristics of services. Defining Services Services are performances or processes that benefit others. They can accompany tangible product or be of value by themselves. Services that accompany a tangible product often called value-added services. Pure services do not accompany a tangible product. Pharmacy is a service profession. Services often revolve around the provision of a tangible product. Pharmacist services Pharmacist value-added services enhance value of tangible products. The level of service or product orientation of a pharmacy depends on the intangibility of the offering. Characteristics Unique to Services Intangible Actions or events Can’t be seen, held, or touched Heterogeneous No two service experiences alike Service quality depends on uncontrollable factors Actual service often not what was planned Characteristics Unique to Services Production and consumption inseparable Services can’t be saved, returned, or resold Once services are delivered, they are lost Difficult to synchronize supply and demand Customers participate and influence service Customers influence each other’s experiences Challenges in Marketing Services It is difficult to promote their value Challenging to get customers to notice and desire a product when it cannot be seen or touched Customers have difficulty evaluating services Intangibility and variability makes them difficult to assess Often invisible Difficult to synchronize supply and demand Classifying Pharmacist Services Classifying helps identify new strategies for serving patients and competing. Avoids inbreeding. TIP To market services, we must understand them. FIGURE 3-1 Pharmacist services on a continuum of product to service orientation OTCs/ Home Testing Durable Medical Low Service High Service Drug Herbals Equipment Equipment Dispensing Dispensing Information Tangible/ Product Oriented Mix Intangible/ Service Oriented Mix Professional or nonprofessional Professionals Considered to have unique skills, expertise, and training Have distinct group identity and are largely self-regulatory Are experts in specialized fields and use their expertise to advise and assist customers Are less subject to price sensitivity and promoted more through word of mouth Strategies for Marketing Services Use tangible clues to the quality of your services Lighting, cleanliness, neatness Dress, appearance, and body language of the pharmacist Organization of merchandise on shelves Provide something tangible with your services Strategies for Marketing Services Take advantage of word-of-mouth promotional communications. Ask customers to recommend the pharmacy to others. Identify and cultivate opinion leaders. Emphasize the professional nature of pharmacist services. Use good judgment and show professionalism. Emphasize expertise, competence, and training. Marketing insurance http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5675094 Can marketing work with pharmacist services? Strategies for Marketing Services Establish and maintain a strong image in the mind of customers Through all elements of marketing mix. Practice relationship marketing. Develop formal and informal relationships. Take a long-term view of transactions. Strategies for Marketing Services Expand services to more than one site. Store services if possible. Manage supply and demand. ATM-style dispensing machines In physicians’ offices In pharmacies For refills or new prescriptions Self-diagnostic tests Pharmacists conduct diagnostic testing and provide information and assistance on OTC diagnostic products: Pregnancy Cholesterol Blood glucose Blood pressure AIDS Narcotics use Point-of-purchase Touchscreen information Self checkout and payment Conclusion The pharmacy profession needs to look beyond current ways of practice and explore how other businesses serve customers. Pharmacists can learn by emulating the best practices of businesses outside pharmacy e.g., hospitality, retailing, and food service industries.