The Service Environment

Physical Evidence
Important for….
 Communicating service quality attributes
 Setting customer expectations
 Creating the service experience
Elements of Physical Evidence
Other tangibles
Facility exterior
Business cards
Billing statements
Employee dress
Internet/Web pages
Exterior design
Surrounding environment
Facility interior
Interior design
Air quality/temperature
Managing Physical Evidence
 According to Turley (1992), the different broad categories to
be considered while designing the physical evidence for a
service are the:
 Locational perspective
 Atmospheric and image perspective
 Operational perspective
 Consumer use perspective
 Contact personnel perspective
The 21,000 square foot Ananda Spa Resort offers an extensive menu
of over 79 body and beauty treatments, integrating the traditional
Indian systems of Ayurveda with the more contemporary Western
spa approach. The spa experience strives to achieve the ultimate
harmony between the physical and the mental realms of the
individual. With unique focuses on the traditional Indian sciences of
Yoga and Ayurveda, Ananda Spa creates the skillful synthesis between
age-old therapies and modern spa technology. The personalized
therapy and activities programs is designed to meet individual needs
and health goals – de-stress, detoxification and cleansing, deep
relaxation, anti-aging, weight and inch loss, while also offering
guidance in the areas of nutrition and exercise.
Develop a suitable physical evidence strategy for Ananda Spa Resorts.
Service Environment
 Includes the physical environment of a service facility,
including the location of the facility, its exterior and interior
appearance, the furniture, and the décor
 According to Zeithaml and Bitner (2003), physical evidence
is the ‘environment in which the service is delivered and
where the firm and customer interact, and any tangible
components that facilitate performance or communication of
the service’
 Bitner(1992) introduced the nomenclature of ‘servicescape’
to the physical facility where the services are delivered or
People are part of the
Service Environment
Distinctive Servicescapes Create Customer Expectations
Comparison of Hotel Lobbies
Each servicescape clearly communicates and reinforces its hotel’s respective positioning
and sets service expectations as guests arrive
Orbit Hotel and Hostel, Los Angeles
Four Seasons Hotel, New York
Managing the Servicescape
 It helps to package the service offering for the customers
 Servicescape can appeal to the emotions of a person and elicit a
favorable response from the customers
 It can act as a facilitator to shape customer behavior and enable
effective flow of activities
 It can act as a differentiator to distinguish a service provider from
its competitors
 It influences the customer’s subjective perception of waiting time
Locational perspective
 One of the most important physical evidence affecting
services is the location of the service provider (when there is
direct contact with the service provider) or the facility from
which the service is to be provided
Atmospheric and Image Perspective
 Layout/décor
 Includes the layout of the service delivery, the parking, the
waiting area etc.
 Signage
 Includes the signs, logos, style of décor, and personal artifacts
used by the service provider
 Ambience
 Both the internal (air quality, temperature, noise, music, odor
etc) and external ambience (landscaping, cleanliness, scenic
beauty) of the servicescape
Signs Teach and Reinforce Behavioral
Rules in Service Settings
Note: Fines are in Singapore dollars (equivalent to roughly US $300)
Impact of Ambient Conditions
 Ambient environment is composed of hundreds of design
elements and details that must work together to create desired
service environment
 Ambient conditions are perceived both separately and
holistically, and include:
 Lighting and color schemes
 Size and shape perceptions
 Sounds such as noise and music
 Temperature
 Scents
 Clever design of these conditions can elicit desired behavioral
responses among consumers
Impact of Music
 In service settings, music can have a powerful effect on perceptions and
behaviors, even if played at barely audible levels
 Structural characteristics of music―such as tempo, volume, and
harmony―are perceived holistically
 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
 Careful selection of music can deter wrong
type of
Impact of Scent
 An ambient smell is one that pervades an environment
 May or may not be consciously perceived by
 Not related to any particular product
 Scents have distinct characteristics and can be used to
solicit emotional, physiological, and behavioral
 In service settings, research has shown that scents can
have significant effect on customer perceptions,
attitudes, and behaviors
Impact of Color
 Colors can be stimulating, calming, expressive, disturbing,
impressional, cultural, exuberant, symbolic
 Color pervades every aspect of our lives, embellishes the ordinary,
gives beauty and drama to everyday objects
 Colors have a strong impact on people’s feelings
 Colors can be defined into three dimensions:
 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
Impact of Signs,
Symbols, and Artifacts
 Guide customers clearly through process of service delivery
 Customers will automatically try to draw meaning from the signs,
symbols, and artifacts
 Unclear signals from a servicescape can result in anxiety and uncertainty
about how to proceed and obtain the desired service
 For instance, signs can be used to reinforce behavioral rules (see picture
on next slide)
Operational Perspective
 Equipment
 Signs for use of technology
 Cleanliness
Consumer Use Perspective
 Billing statement
 Stationery
 Internet/web page
 Tickets
Contact Personnel Perspective
 The appearance of the contact personnel – their cleanliness,
dress code, demeanour, friendly and smiling countenance –
forms an initial and lasting impact on the customer’s
perception of the services