In the modern society, we come across many types of services sold to the consumer. Some of the most important services are:
1. Food Services: Restaurants, cafeterias and hotels are offering food services to numerous individuals and families who have firmly developed the habit of eating out. These eating places are ever-growing as the service they sell is definitely wanted by the public. Small eating places offer simple and cheaper meals. Five Star hotels offer elegant and costly food but with superb services and royal comforts. Increasing tourism has also boosted the development of hotel industry. Then we have also caterers who specialize in supplying food and service for dinners and parties at our residences on ceremonial occasions.
McDonald’s (Nationwide chain of Hamburger Stands selling food article in the U.S.A.) is a supreme example of application of manufacturing and managerial approaches to solve the problems of customer services in food industry. Modern scientific methods of production and marketing are applied in supplying food products to millions of people. The customer services are planned, controlled, automated, audited for quality control and regularly reviewed for performance improvement and customer reaction. McDonald service organizations are the best examples of scientific commercialization of marketing of customer services.
2. Hotels and Motels: Lakhs of people every day use lodging and boarding services all over the country. Tourism is growing and hotels and motels are growing in numbers every year. Modern hotels provide luxurious life to travelers and tourist population. Tourism is now considered as a source of foreign exchange in all countries. Modern hotels provide numerous amenities, comforts and refined services.
A Five Star hotel is fully air-conditioned. It has air-conditioned rooms with four channel music, complimentary cold drink, a fridge, TV set, a telephone in the bath-room, wall-to-wall carpet, luxurious beds, a 24 hour room service, a 24 hour coffee shop, a swimming pool, health club, comfortable shopping arcade, beauty parlor, and so on. For such luxury and life style of a king/ queen, you pay anything from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 6,000 a day. ‘Image’ and ‘Atmosphere’ two magic words mean a great deal in a super-deluxe hotel where the difference between appearance and reality is less than paper thin. Much money and manpower may have been involved to create the image of service (Right Sir, I am at your service, Sir) with a sweet smile, image of quality and an atmosphere of delicious wealth.
A customer is willing to pay Rs. 15 for a soft drink and Rs. 5 for a papad, because he knows that he is paying for the extraordinary services associated with products. Hotel industry is thriving only on the customer services and satisfaction. Each customer is regarded as a VIP and there is a firm belief that the guest is always right. Customer delight is given a top priority.
3. Personal Care Services: Rising standards of living brought about development in the personal care services (helping a customer to be well groomed). These services are offered by health and fitness centers, beauty parlors, barber shops, laundries, dry cleaners, garment repair shops, shoe-repair shops, and so on. Health and fitness organizations are growing in importance and popularity in all countries due to ever-increasing demand for improving individual personality and efficiency. In the anti-fat modern culture and lifestyle, figure consciousness and weight reduction (due to fatness) have assumed unique importance. People have money and are prepared to spend money on them-selves.
4. Car Service Firms (Garages): Lakhs of car owners are dependent on car service organizations. Petrol pumps sell both goods and services. They are now called service stations for mechanical road transport. There are also numerous garages and repair shops specializing in repairs and maintenance for cars, trucks, motor cycles and scooters.
5. Entertainment Services: Rising purchasing power and more leisure time are responsible for the steady growth of entertainment services. Movies, sports, amusement parks, circuses, car racing, cricket, billiards, music, dancing and drama are such popular forms of organized entertainment today.
6. Transport Services: Railways, buses, ships, and aeroplanes provide transport services for moving people and goods. Fastest growth has taken place in air transport. A person can have round-the-world trip just in one fortnight. Air transport has become very popular in international tourism.
7. Communication Services: We have now at our disposal latest means of communication such as telephone, telegraph, telex and postal services. Now we have radio, television and also satellite communications all over the world. Within a few minutes we can talk on phone with any person in Europe and America through satellite communication system.
8. Insurance Services: Insurance gives protection against risk, e.g., accident, fire, death, theft, sickness, unemployment and so on. People can save for their children’s education, daughters’ marriage, or for their retirement. Security of life and property provided by insurance gives us freedom from anxiety, and peace of mind.
9. Financial Services: Many consumers require the services of banks for financing their purchases of durable goods usually through installment sales. In foreign countries they have even easy house financing through bank loans. Home owning is made easy with the help of mortgage loans. Modern high standard of living has become a reality for masses due to customer-oriented marketing approach adopted by banks particularly after 1950.
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