Exceeded (WOW factor)

University of Alberta
School of Business
Department of Marketing, Business Economics and Law
MARK 466, X5 – Services Marketing
Winter Term 2003
MARK 301
Thursday 1830 - 2130
BUS 1-09
Brian Wrightson
HUB Mall - Sessional Offices – near north end cash machines
Office Hours:
Thursday 5:45-6:15, after class, or by appointment
[email protected] (best option to contact me)
Ensure you clearly identify yourself as from this class as I delete unknown
messages without opening (too many viruses out there)
Text (optional):
Zeithaml, V. & Bitner, M. J. (2002) Services Marketing. 3rd edition. McGrawHill Companies, New York.
Course Rationale and Philosophy:
This is a course that will be of interest to each person entering the service industries.
Statistics repeatedly claim more than 70% of Canadian GNP is service based and more
than 75% of Canadians are employed in the service sector. It is arguable that an even
higher percentage of graduates will work in a service-dominant sector. Unfortunately,
many marketing courses do not embed strategies to manage for the unique characteristics
of services (intangibility, perishability, variability, and simultaneous production and
This is not a customer service course. The focus is on managing your service delivery
mechanisms to ensure your customer will be come loyal to your firm.
Primary topics to be covered will include:
Introduction to services
Listening to customer requirements
Aligning strategy, service design, and standards
Delivering and performing service
Managing service promises
Regarding the study of services marketing, there is increasing evidence that employers
expect skills that are not readily available from a text and traditional lectures. The key
skills include:
Cross-functional Integration. Employees must be able to communicate across functional boundaries to
solve problems.
Teamwork. Employees need to work together to reach decisions by consensus, to
allocate tasks across a group, and to pool the talent of multiple diverse workers
Leadership. To become such leaders, employees must learn to articulate tasks
clearly, provide encouragement and support, and empower other employees to
decide what needs to be accomplished.
Answers to FAQ’s
Oral and Written Communication Skills. Two-thirds of all employers in a recent
AACSB survey claim that business education places too little emphasis on key
aspects of management, particularly communication skills (Porter and McKibbin
Listening Skills. Listening includes the ability to hear and comprehend disparate
views that arise out of diversity in the workplace, cross-functional integration,
globalization and other forces.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Employees must have the capability to
digest vast amounts of information, cull it for relevance to their job, and then
translate it into useful knowledge for themselves and others in the organization.
They especially need the skills to detect and articulate problems when they are
unstructured. Employees must also be able to assemble and synthesize
information from unrelated sources to solve problems
Papers double-spaced, typed, 12 point font
Stapled in the top left-hand corner – please, no covers
The standard measure will be “as your business client, would I be impressed?”
The majority of assignments are research based. References and works cited
must be acknowledged as it makes your work more credible. If you do not agree
with the thesis say so - and reason why – learn from those who are published.
Think critically.
You will be required to be an independent learner.
Length is not a gauge of a well-written document. Concise yet clear and
complete is what industry demands. Yes - a penalty may be assessed
I seldom read appendices.
Tables and charts must be discussed within your text
Organize and present your thesis. I appreciate organization including appropriate
headings to draw my attention to key topics and points
Use a single writer for group projects. This person holds a critical role, as you
must write in one “voice” while editing redundancies, inconsistencies, and gaps.
Late submissions must be pre-approved by the professor (penalty as high as
100% per day). Talk to me.
Think and plan strategically not tactically. Remember I know much of the
content in the course but I am not sure about you. Tell me you know – I cannot
assume you do until you give evidence. I want to be able to assess what you feel
to be important and relevant to the topic.
You may run a draft of any assignment past me IN ADVANCE (defined as more
than 72 hours before the due date). You must leave a contact phone number and
availability, as I will want to give you direct feedback.
It has been said, “Conventional wisdom saves one from the difficult task of thinking.”
Your challenge is to determine what is important. I will give you guidelines but I will not
give you a “cookie-cutter” template for assignments. Seldom is there a perfect answer
and often there are multiple approaches that will be equally successful.
Exploring Basic Services Concepts
February 13
Choice for second assignment of:
Interactive Electronic Services Project
Servicescape as a Competitive Advantage
March 20
Final examination
April 3 (in class)
Evaluation Criteria:
Exploring Basic Services Concepts
The exercise will take place in the fifth week. Virtually all students have experience with
Doctors, and it is a service that can be delivered in significantly different ways. Although
the description of this activity is based on health care, many other services would work
equally well (e.g., banks, colleges, automobile dealerships, and so on).
You will be asked in week two to select five or six industries (I may reserve veto power
to ensure that we get a representative selection) and to select one industry for yourself
(you should work in pairs). A further division of participants will take place within each
industry into teams of somewhat equal size. Within each industry, there are competitors
who approach the market differently. For instance doctors practice differently; traditional
doctors (with regular office practices) with traditional patients; medi-centre doctors
(affectionately known as “doc in the boxes”); and doctors by phone or Web.
For each of the teams the task is the same:
Each industry (say for doctors the teams are the traditional, immediate care, and
phone/Web segments) must meet and determine the core benefit model for their
service sector. (In-class week two)
Each team will then be responsible for evaluating their specific industry sector
based on fundamental concepts of services marketing such as:
Tangibility spectrum
Customer’s evaluation of services
Zone of tolerance
Just ensure that each industry chooses the same criteria
A paper (60%) will be submitted by each team/subset of each industry for
grading that documents. This paper will provide their analysis of their industry
approach from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The paper will be 3
to 4 pages.
The teams within each industry will gather in week six to present (40%) to the
class their findings. Be sure to apply theoretical concepts when analyzing service
providers in their everyday environment. Your industry sector teams need not
work together as long as you are using the same fundamental concepts although
you may want representatives to gather to discuss you final presentations. The
presentations should be about twenty to twenty-five minutes. Please ensure that
you involve the class in your presentation.
Questions might be directed to the whole class by a group studying the medical industry
might include:
What do you think of the doctors by phone/Web service?
Would you use this service? If so, under what circumstances?
What might the differences be in the training and skills for example, that the
doctors by phone/Web might need versus traditional doctors?
I would challenge you to be creative with your presentation as part of your mark will be
dependent of how you deliver the concepts/comparisons/contrast to the rest
Interactive Electronic Services Project
Choose ONE internet service provider such as an auction house or airline, a financial or
tourism based business, a library or medical information source, or a more conventional
product purveyor. Describe the service in detail and compare the electronic service to
the brick and mortar or face-to-face equivalent. Using conventional service principals as
a base point, critique whether this site translates best practice to the technological
interface. Focus not just on the text, video, audio, and graphics (although we cannot
totally ignore their contribution to the experience) but also on the service delivered.
Integrate course concepts whenever possible. The inclusion of outside references is
Part two of this discussion must outline improvements that could be integrated into this
site to improve their service to the customer. In essence, provide a “how-to” manual
outlining how brick and mortar companies can take their distinctive experience to the
To assist you in starting on this assignment the following site references may serve and a
springboard to this project. For instance, Rayport and Jaworski in Introduction to Ecommerce (2001) recommend Seven C’s (Content, Context, Community, Customization,
Communication, Connection, and Commerce) as a basis for a well designed website. The
following search criteria may serve as a springboard to reference materials when
searching the WWW:
e-Business · Electronic Commerce · Electronic Markets Customer Relationship
Management · Supply Chain Management · Web Marketing
You might also visit: http://www.unisys.com/execmag/framesets/e-commerce-ts.htm
This paper should be no more than eight pages.
Servicescape as a Competitive Advantage
The objective of this exercise is to compare and contrast two local service providers to
demonstrate the differences in competitive formulas of two service firms who are
providing the same core benefit. (U of A Library and Edmonton Public Library, Earls
and Tim Hortons, Super 8 and Jasper Park Lodge, Greyhound and Red Arrow, and so
on). You should consider the following questions.
For each provider, what is done well in this servicescape? Elaborate and point
out specific examples.
For each provider, what aspects of this servicescape have a positive influence on
customer perceptions of the overall service experience? Similarly, what aspects
of this servicescape do not necessarily have a positive influence on customer
perceptions of the overall service experience? Explain.
Which of the following characteristics (color, lighting, shapes, sound, smell) in
each servicescape influences the customer’s experience? Explain.
What other aspects (besides the servicescape) of physical evidence are present?
How does each provider (fast food and full-service) use the servicescape as a
differentiator? in their positioning strategy? to appeal to their target segment(s)?
to facilitate service delivery?
How does each provider (fast food and full-service) use physical evidence (other
than the servicescape) as a differentiator? to enhance the customer’s experience?
To facilitate service delivery?
What suggestions would you make to improve the servicescape and other
physical evidence for each provider (fast food and full-service)?
This paper should be no more than eight pages
Final examination
April 11, 2003
Final Examination – Based on all lecture and course materials.
This examination may include multiple choice, short answer, and/or essay questions. The
format will be determined and announced closer to examination day.
To adapt the Zone of Tolerance Model from Services Marketing, my enduring
intensifiers or derived service intensifiers are the content as discussed in class and from
your various readings. An 8 indicates that you have covered the topic leaving no
question that you are familiar with the material. Those who wish to exceed that level will
add “that something extra” and they will be rewarded with a 9 or 10
Content and expectations
Exceeded (WOW factor)
Desired level
Zone of tolerance
Adequate level
Below expectations
Marks allotted
9 or 10
6 or 7
0 to 4
A top mark in both assignments and examinations will be reserved for those who
demonstrate their ability to integrate theory with the practical. One should demonstrate
an understanding of the theoretical base then demonstrate whether/how the theory fits
with reality. This demonstrates a higher level of learning and industry demands
thinking and problem solving skills.
Grade Disputes:
I will always be available to discuss with students your concerns about grading and
marketing but I will not entertain such discussions on the day of an exam or paper is
returned. I will be pleased to do so during office hours or at a time that is mutually
agreeable. In case of dispute, please initiate discussions with me. Your recourse is then the
Department Chair. Should you still be unsatisfied, the matter may be taken to the Assistant
Dean, Undergraduate.
Academic Integrity:
I will be giving two evaluations – one in services marketing and the other in honesty. I hope
you will pass them both. But if you must fail one, then fail services marketing. There are
many good people in the world that cannot pass services marketing but there are no good
people in the world that cannot pass the test of honesty.
Students who commit any act of plagiarism, cheating, or misrepresentation in this course
will be penalized in accordance with the University Regulations Section 26.
Plagiarism and cheating can include:
Any use of the words and ideas of any other person in an academic assignment or
project without adequate acknowledgement constitutes plagiarism.
Any misrepresentation of any fact to gain academic advantage is an offence
under the Code of Student Behaviour.
Any submission of the work of another person represented to be your work is an
Any unauthorized collaboration in an examination, assignment, paper, or
project. Students should collaborate in the preparation of course work but it is required
that your work on exams must be unique and individual and of your own doing.
Project work is, of course, highly collaborative.
Penalties can range as high as expulsion from the University. The full text of the Code
of Student Behaviour can be found in the University of Alberta Calendar, Section 26
January 9
Chapter 1
Chapter 18
Introduction to services
The Integrated Gaps Model
January 16
Chapter 2
Consumer behaviour
January 23
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Customer expectations of service
Customer perceptions of service
January 30
Chapter 5
Understanding customer expectations
February 6
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Building customer relationships
Service recovery
February 13
Basic concepts presentations
February 27
Chapter 17
(no text)
The financial and economic effect of services
March 6
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Service development and design
Customer-defined service standards
March 13
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Physical evidence and servicescapes
Employees’ roles in service delivery
March 20
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Customers’ roles in service delivery
Delivering services
Managing supply and demand
March 27
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Integrating services marketing communications
Pricing of services
April 3
Final Examination
All Chapters