Chapter 3 - Characteristics of Services

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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.
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