The task of managing the product in the marketing of services should always be customer-centered. This responsibility was traditionally upon the operations department of the organization, where the operational convenience was given more importance over the needs of the customers.
Also, the development of a new product requires contributions and assistance from various other departments.
For example, inputs from the operations department would be useful, especially when the delivery of the new product involves the use of the latest technology or the assistance of HR managers would come in handy in case of high contact services. The crucial steps in planning and developing services are outlined in the figure given below.
It also focuses on the importance of assigning the resources of the firm according to the market opportunities:
1) Statement of Objective: The first step in planning the service product is defining the objectives done by corporate management. Defining the statement of objectives would result in a comprehensive study of the market and competitors whereby the current, as well as the potential target markets of the firm are analyzed.
Alongside this, an analysis of the firm’s resources is also performed in which decisions regarding the proper allocation of resources and obtaining any additional resources are taken. This can be compared to SWOT analysis, where the firm evaluates itself with regard to both marketing and human resources. A marketing and operating assets statement is formulated after that.
2) Marketing and Operating Assets Statement: A statement of marketing assets of a firm provides information regarding its current customer base (i.e., its portfolio, size, and value), the product line that the firm deals in, competitors and market, marketing and positioning strategies along with the perception that consumers hold about the firm’s brand.
A positioning statement, on the other hand, describes how the firm’s services are different from the competitors. Every service offered by the firm could have a separate positioning statement.
3) Developing Service Marketing and Operations Concept: Converting an opportunity into actuality from a marketing point of view includes developing a services marketing concept. This describes the advantages that the service will provide in return for the price that the customers have to pay.
All the primary and auxiliary services are taken into account under the services marketing concept. It provides details regarding the level of performance and style of service and information relating to its accessibility. The overall price of the services includes the cost as well as the time and efforts that the customers have to put in obtaining it.
A service operations concept is also established alongside the service marketing concept. It describes the various processes and assets involved in carrying out the tasks and activities. Therefore, this entails detailing the information regarding the human resources required, layout, and design of the facility as well as scheduling of operations and geographic scope of services.
Any use of intermediaries (if necessary) to leverage the resources of the firm is also taken care of in the service operations concept. At last, it allocates the resources and activities to the front-end and the back-end processes.
Either both or any one of the above two concepts needs to be altered and modified so that they both are incoordination, which is necessary to carry on with the process of service. Therefore, formulating both concepts is considered as an interactive process. After that, the management proceeds to consider the available alternatives for arranging the delivery of the service.