A product is whatever that can be presented to the market. It aims to satisfy a need or a want. It can also be called merchandise. They can be bought as raw materials and traded as finished goods. On the other hand, a service is an intangible commodity. The provision of a service is usually an economic activity where the purchaser does not, only by an exclusive contract, get the exclusive possession of the object being purchased. The objective of this paper is to know the importance of a product or service in the industry. It also aims to identify the differences between a product and a service, the satisfaction they both give to the customers and their competitive strengths amongst each other.
The main difference between selling a service and selling a product is that potential buyers can touch, feel and see the products whereas services are not tangible. Organizations that sell services and products have to form distinct marketing plans for every segment. These plans have to concentrate on finding perfect target markets and also discovering the competitive advantages to escalate the sales and ensure that the organization is profitable in the two categories. Pricing services is mainly based on the total time it takes to finish a project. Pricing for products is usually based on the method that involves distributing the product and the cost of manufacturing the product. Businesses that deal with services are more flexible when setting their prices, the rate being frequently based on that project or at an hourly fee. Companies that handle products have to develop a pricing that is competitive with other businesses that are selling the same merchandise, not unless they are selling luxurious goods or do not have any competition.
Organizations that sell services have to form marketing strategies messages that focus on the advantages of their provisions. Most of their wisdom of what their customers require comes from engaging in extensive conversations with them mostly about their dislikes and likes, the kind of solutions they need to succeed and the challenges they encounter. Nevertheless, if one sells the products, they expect to provide a mix of product’s features and benefits to be very efficient. Product companies usually perform trials and surveys to determine what customers prefer the product. Ultimately, it makes changes when the market stresses it.
Companies dealing with services generally use marketing strategies that involve establishing personal relationships with the decision makers by sales calls and networking that entail them to listen to the problems of the customers and their concerns. This kind of marketing lets organizations tailor solutions carefully that meet the needs of the customers. Companies handling products typically rely on direct mail, advertising, and promotional campaigns to motivate individuals to offer they are giving a try. Products that are high-end can be customized up to a certain level. Though, smaller products are commonly formed to meet the highest amount of the needs of the customers having variations for features like sizes and colors.
When marketing a service it also means that one is selling their time. When selling a product, time is invested to acquire or form the product and then again it is sold without any more time wasted. By nature, services are time intensive undertakings. It is so since a service cannot be provided in any other way without proceeding to invest the time while performing that services. Time is very significant when marketing a service since if results are promised within a particular time frame, one has to be able to deliver it while you are still providing and managing services for others. One has to be able to manage effectively and estimate his time that is needed in providing the services to the respective clients.
If one is marketing a product, one gives customers delivery date which is an estimate if they are ordering them through email or by online, and they can leave with the product in their hand if they bought it at your mortar and brick store. Services have to be formed after they have been ordered. The delivery dates and times may differ. The biggest task for marketing services is the ability persuade customers that you can deliver good results given a particular period. Typically, service marketing materials usually have recommendations and case studies from the other clients who were satisfied. They work to show that you have the capability to convey the promises made in the marketing materials.
Several products can be marketed in manners that prompt impulse buying. When an individual spots a pair of shoes, she can unexpectedly decide to purchase them whether she needs them or not. She can validate her purchase by claiming that they needed the shoes for an exceptional event. Although, in reality she ended up giving into a want. Services are nor impulse purchases, although the materials for marketing can assist buyers to validate the need or want through describing the advantages the customer will get from purchasing the service. Another difference is when marketing a business that deals with services, and it relies on establishing a relationship than what the marketing of products does. Certain building of relationships is usually done with marketing a product, precisely on naming and branding. Although, it is not as significant as the entire process of marketing a business dealing with services only.
Services are fundamental instruments of growth, particularly in countries that are developing. Countries that are developing are very much aware that sufficient service industries that are supported by real local regulatory systems are essential parts for the growth of the economy. The service sectors make enormous contributions to the gross domestic product of several developing countries. Services trade like tourism, is a significant source of income for the economies of countries that are least developed. Countries that are developing have substantial expertise in plenty of areas like construction services and port shipping services. With their fewer labor costs, developing countries normally have a reasonable advantage in several of the very labor-intensive services.
Services are also significant in the product industry. Due to the escalating homogeneity of product offerings, the services provided by attendants are evolving to be a key differentiator in the consumer’s mind. For instance, in the case of two fast food chains offering the same product, like Dominos and Pizza Hut. Other than the product, it is the quality of their services that differentiates the two brands. Therefore, marketers can influence service offering to distinguish themselves from its competitors to get more customers. Relationships are main factors when it comes to service marketing. Since the service is not tangible, a great part of the decision of the client on buying the service will depend on the level of trust he has on the seller. Therefore, he needs to listen to what the customer wants and ensure that he fulfills them by offering the best service and establish a lasting relationship that can lead to positive word of mouth and repeat sales. Another way is through customer retention. Given the present highly competitive scenario where several providers are competing for a small pool of customers, the ability to retain the customers is more important than trying to attract new customers. Since services are typically produced and consumed in that same time, it involves the client in the service delivery process by considering his feedback and requirements. They offer an opportunity for customizing in accordance with the demands of the customer hence providing high satisfaction that leads to high retention of clients.
Regarding the link between service quality and customer’s satisfaction, service quality is the forerunner to customer satisfaction. It is regardless of whether the constructs are transaction-specific or cumulative. Individual analysts found empirical backings for the points cited above where the satisfaction of the customer results from of the quality of the service. In relation to service quality and customer satisfaction, analysts are more exact about the measurements and meanings of service and satisfaction quality. Service quality and satisfaction have some things that are similar although, satisfaction is usually a broad perception, while quality of the service focuses particularly on the service dimensions. Though it is identified that the other factors like product and price can affect the satisfaction of the customer, perceived quality of a service is a constituent of satisfaction to the client. This theory conforms to the notion that has been established by the client definitions as presented by other analysts. It is proven that from previous analyzes of customer satisfaction and service quality that they are both linked from their meanings to their relationships were other aspects of business are considered. Some researchers have agreed that the quality of a service determines the satisfaction of the customer. If a service is of a good quality, it tends to bring a high satisfaction to the client. Other researchers understood and acknowledged the concept that the satisfaction of the client is based on the level of the quality of the service that is provided by the providers of the service.
Satisfaction of the customer is the degree of how products are supplied by a particular company and meet, or they exceed the expectation of the client. It is determined by the product quality, meeting the expectations of the deliveries and friendly-user practices of the business. These factors lead to the satisfaction of the customer and hence, companies should aim to make an order to charging unified process. Inside companies, satisfaction of customer’s ratings normally has very powerful outcomes. They frequently focus the workers on the significance of fulfilling the expectations of the client. Moreover, when the rating drop, they usually caution of the problems that might affect the profitability and sales of the company. It is important to companies to manage the satisfaction of the customers efficiently.
Customer relationship management is a system of managing the interactions of a company with future and current customers. It normally involves the use of technology to automate, organize and synchronize marketing, technical support, sales, and customer service. It has importance in the product and service industry. It consists of a historical analysis and view of the acquired or those to be acquired customers. It helps in decreasing correlating and searching clients and to predict the needs of the customers efficiently and increase the business. It contains every single bit of information on the client. Due to this, it becomes easy to track a customer as a result and also use it to identify which client can bring profits to the company and which one cannot.
In the client relationship management system, customers are frequently grouped in accordance with the kind of business they perform and in accordance with the locality. In addition, they are assigned to distinct managers of customers frequently known as account managers. It assists in concentrating and focusing on every customer individually. It is not only used to handle the existing customers, but it is helpful in getting new ones. The process begins by identifying the customers and ensuring you maintain the resultant details in the client relationship management system. The field and sales representatives then attempt to get the business out of those customers through exclusively succeeding with them and transforming them into a deal that is winning. Entire process is efficiently and easily performed by a combined customer relationship management system. The strongest feature of the client relationship management is its cost effectiveness. The benefit of a correctly executed customer relation management system is that it needs less paper and less manual work. It requires fewer employees to control and few resources to handle. The technology that is used in executing a customer relationship management system is smooth and cheap compared to the old-fashioned way of doing business.
The entire information of a customer relationship management system is kept consolidated which is accessible anytime. It increases productivity and reduces the time process. It deals efficiently with clients and provides for them what they require. It increases the satisfaction of the customers. It also escalates the possibilities of acquiring more business that lead to increased profit and turnover. If the client is satisfied, they will be loyal to your company and stick to it forever which results in a firm customer base and increasing the net growth of the company in the long run.
The competitive strengths of the products and services are production and service differentiation. Product differentiation is accomplished by presenting a valued distinction of the physical product. The capability to distinguish a product differs a lot along range depending on the particular product. There are certain products that do not offer themselves to a lot of differentiation like a notebook paper, lumber, and beef. Certain products can be significantly differentiated. Things like automobiles, restaurants, batteries and appliances can be highly differentiated and customized in order to satisfy the various needs of customers. Writers like Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong have noted that differentiation is bound to occur by changing several characteristics, performance, features, reparability, reliability, durability design, and consistency. Differentiation lets companies target particular populations. It is very easy to assume that companies generally use these characteristics to uphold their products. Many chain bistros often differentiate themselves through style and consistency. Suppose a consumer has his best dish at his local restaurant, say Applebee, he can be well assured that it taste and look the same as any other Applebee restaurant in the world. The flair of theme restaurants is outstanding to individual establishments.
Companies may also differentiate services that come with a physical product. Two businesses can provide for the same product, but the company that provides extra services can charge the product a premium. Mary-Kay cosmetics offers glamor and skin-care cosmetics that are the same to the ones offered by other several cosmetic companies. Nevertheless these products are typically accompanied by an instructional and informational training session that is provided by a consultant. This extra service lets Mary Kay charge more of if they sold the product via other traditional channels. In the computer business, gateway and dell claim to have provided brilliant technical support services to deal with any malfunctions that may occur when a consumer has bought their product. It is a twenty-four hour a day tech support that provides a very significant advantage over other personal computer makers, which may be alleged to be less dependable when a customer requires quick help with the problem.
In conclusion, we can now differentiate between a product and a service. The main difference being that the product is a tangible commodity while a service is an intangible commodity. A product and service can be sold in different ways depending on their prices, marketing strategies and ways of delivering them. A product and a service can also be marketed differently. For instance, it can be sold separately because of time and the ability to give some an impulse of buying a product. The customer relationship management of product and services does not vary so long as the client is satisfied.
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