The role of service marketing has become highly important in any businesses. Quality service helps the organization to gain competitive advantage and differentiate their offerings with the competitors (Lovelock, 2011). This report analyzes the services that I have encountered in one of the leading coffee shops, Starbucks. The report explains my personal experience of visiting the coffee shop and uses the three stage model of service consumption to analyze the quality of service. The report also presents the perceived risks that have been involved while consuming the service and how I managed these risks.
three-stage model of service consumption
There are three stages in the service consumption model:
- Pre-purchase stage
- Service encourage stage
- Post purchase stage
The first stage is the pre-purchase stage. This is the stage where the consumers search for the information and evaluate different companies or service providers and then make the decision to purchase the service. With regards to my service experience at Starbucks, I analyzed different companies that offer high quality coffee. During this stage, I identified companies such as McDonalds, Caffè Nero, Dunkin Dounut, Monmouth Coffee, The Espresso Room, Starbucks and others. However among all these coffee providers, I selected Starbucks because of several reasons. Some of the important reasons why I purchased coffee from Starbucks include; the quality of coffee, friendly staff, environment, brand name, price, and convenience of the location of coffee outlet. So by analyzing these factors I selected Starbucks. To collect information, I visited websites of different companies along with their social media websites to check the locations, prices, deals offered, and then took the decision to go for Starbucks.
The second stage of encountering the service started when I selected the coffee provider. I visited the coffee outlet of Starbucks near my home on last Saturday 30th March, 2013 in the evening time at half past 5. The level of customer contact can be considered as relatively high in a coffee shop as the customer has to communicate with the representatives of the company several times. When I entered the coffee shop, I was greeted by the staff courteously. Then the staff of the company helped me while placing the order. I was explained about different products when I asked for and thus it helped me to select the kind of coffee I was looking for. Not only this, the staff served me the coffee in an impressive manner. This did not end my overall experience of the outlet; the staff greeted me at the time when I was going out from the retail outlet. Thus the overall experience of the service was pleasant and very friendly at Starbucks.
The third stage of the three stage model of service consumption is the post purchase stage. In order to analyze the overall satisfaction level of the service, the performance expectations and the perceived performance has been analyzed. By analyzing these two, I have been highly satisfied with the outcome of the service quality and therefore I would rate the service as satisfied.
I expected quality coffee along with quick service and at the end of the day; I received quality coffee very quickly along with courteous staff and a friendly service from the staff of Starbucks. So I received a lot more than what I expected.
Research shows that there are three components that make the customer delighted with the service; unexpectedly high level of performance, excitement or surprise, and positive impact of the service like pleasure or happiness. So as I received all these three components in the service I availed at Starbucks, thus making my service experience delightful.
Perceived risks involved in service consumption
Before making the purchase decision, consumers have perceived risk and these perceived risk can be categorized as financial, functional, temporal, physical, psychological, and social.
Financial risk while making the purchase is the loss of money. However I return quality service for the price I paid.
Functional risk is about the unsatisfactory performance or outcome. However I was highly satisfied with the service I received.
The waste of time causes temporal risk. However the service was very swift at Starbucks and I enjoyed my experience at Starbucks.
Personal injury is the main risk included as the physical risk.
Fears along with negative emotions are the psychological risks. But during the service I was pleased with the quality of service.
Starbucks is a brand name and others would have perceived positively and thus social risk was reduced as well.
Collecting information can reduce the risk of the consumers (Christopher, Payne, & Ballantyne, 2012). In order to minimize these risks, I used internet to gain information. I collected information regarding the quality of service, the quality of products available, accessibility to the locations of the store, reputation of the company and brand image. Moreover I used social media websites to analyze how people rate the services and give their feedback regarding different products and services.
The report presented my overall service experience at Starbucks. The report has used three stage model of service consumption along with the identifying the perceived risks and how I managed to reduce these risks. The service of Starbucks is of high quality as they offer a lot more than the customer expects and thus it has certainly helped them to gain a large number of customers across the world.
Christopher, M., Payne, A., & Ballantyne, D. (2012). Relationship marketing. London: Routledge.
Lovelock, C. (2011). Services Marketing, 7/e. New Dehli: Pearson Education.