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Service marketing can be categorized as one of the sub-fields of marketing. The service marketing can be split into two main areas that can include the marketing of the consumer goods that are fast moving. The service marketing can be from the business to the consumer or from the business to business. All types of services can be included in the service marketing that includes telecommunication services and financial services. The paper will analyze two service companies, the Cheesecake factory and the Applebee’s. Under this two there will be the analysis of the services that are done well by the service providers, then for each service provider the aspects which had a positive and negative influence on the service experience, the characteristics which influenced the customer experience, the physical evidence which were present and finally the recommendations which would be done for each to enhance the customer experience and satisfaction (Fishman, 1997).
The cheesecake factory offers many services that include the lodging services. The factory considers the lodging services as a home away from home for their customers. The factory considers lodging as a place where their customers can sleep, rest, take shelter from the cold temperatures and also a place where their customers can store luggage. For example, the lodging services are paid at a short-term basis. The services at cheesecake factory include providing a bed and storage for clothing. The factory also offers luxurious facilities such as the en-suite bathrooms. The hotel also offers some social function services such as the swimming pools and the conference facilities. For convenience and easy identification of the hotels and the rooms the hotel numbers its rooms in a sequential manner and this allows the guests to identify their rooms easily. The service charge for lodging at the hotel is inclusive of the meals, and the food and drinks are served at certain stated hours Cheesecake Factory (Cheesecake Recipe – Food.com, n.d.).
Applebee offers services that include the food services and the conference rooms services. The hotel offers the meeting facilities and meeting places that include the study rooms, the dining rooms, and the expandable conference rooms. The good thing about this service at Applebee is the manner in which the reservation requests are done. The requests are done by email, and the conference services are processed within three business days and the feedback is sent back to the customer of approval or not. The types of rooms and conferences are different and have different holding capacities. When making reservation, for example, then the hotel requires that the following information be included, the space being booked, the date of the even or meeting, the start time of the event and the projected stop time, the name or the type of the event, the number of people who are approximated to attend the event, whether the people will order for catering services whether there will be food ordered and finally whether the people will use the audio-visual equipment (Fishman, 1997).
For these service providers, there are some aspects that had a positive influence for the overall service experience. The Applebee, for example, have an organized online platform that gives an outline of the services which the company offers. For example, the website specifies the type of rooms which are available and the approximate capacity that each room can hold and the place where the room is situated. The times are also well elaborated. The rooms are available every day from 5 pm and on the weekends. The websites are well organized. There is, however, one notable aspect that had a negative influence on the services of the restaurant. The website is a little complicated, and it is not easy for any person to navigate and pay for rooms. However, after an understanding of the manner in which the website is structured the customers have an easy maneuver once they are booking rooms for a second time (Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake Recipe – Food.com, n.d.).
Cheesecake Factory offers a travel lodging buying guide that outlines the lodging services that are offered by the factory. The good thing about the guide is that it is well organized and outlines every facility with the beds well pictured. The lodging will often require some simple planning that the hotel provides for its clients. The hotel offers lodging types that satisfy each and every customer. There are great dealings that have quality hotels; there are also vacation rentals that have comforts of home that include kitchens and laundry facilities. The hotel has feedback facilities that compare the sellers, the hotel properties, bed and breakfast and more services. Another feature of the hotel is that it offers flexible prices that are affordable to all the people who visit the hotel. Despite the hotel offering the services at affordable prices the human resource of the hotel has been a negative impact to the services offered.
There are different characteristics that are notable and influence the customer experience in the chosen hotels. The cheesecake, for example, has its rooms well decorated, and the furnishing is superb. The rooms have the cool colors that include purple electric lighting. The experts have suggested that the royal shade that is present in the lodging rooms can promote better sleep to the individuals. The color therapy used in the coloring and shading of the hotel where there is the belief that the hues can change an individual for the better. The hotel has cashed in on this craze and has been using it to attract more and more clients.
The conference facilities for Applebee have a unique shape and coloring that makes the rooms multipurpose and can handle any event. One conference room is designed in such a way that it can be used for multiple uses. The rooms can be changed to formal settings for board meetings and can also be changed rooms where one can handle presentation for very important clients. The hotel rooms are also flexible in such a way that they can be used for the brainstorming sessions that are meetings that the team members can get together for the longer meetings that include the longer strategic planning process. The rooms can also be used for social functions where they can host events that include birthday parties and other events which are celebratory. The rooms can also be used for videoconferencing where they link the companies with the customers, their partners or even their employees. The flexible nature of the conference rooms which is brought by the different shapes the rooms can take makes the conference rooms of Applebee exceptional and influence the customer experience (Fishman, 1997).
It is evidence that both service industries have made sure that the customers are well satisfied by offering the best infrastructure. The royal shade is present in both industries. The furniture is made of top class materials that ensure the customers have the best experience once they are in the hotels. In both hotels, there is free internet for the customer that is another way of enhancing the customer service.
There are other physical pieces of evidence that are present and make the lodging comfortable and a place one would want to be associated with. There is soft furnishing in all the rooms available which makes the tenants comfortable in the rooms. The apartments also have all the services that include front office housekeeping, and available parking which is safe and secure. The rooms have entertainment lounges. The rooms have free internet services. The rooms are designed with double features that have a view of the Courtyard and are equipped with luxurious beds that are made of imported linens of Italian origin. There is also elegant square-foot Lexington Premier King Features and a luxurious King bed that are topped with imported Italian linens (What is service marketing? definition and meaning, 2000).
At Applebee, the conference rooms have similar structures that are of high quality. The conference rooms have been designed with the best electronics that are available in the market today. The conference rooms provide the customers with an atmosphere that they can spend a lot of time and will not feel fatigued. The lighting in the rooms has been placed in strategic places that are easy on the eyes during the meetings. The audios are also audible to the people in different sitting situations either at a high or low volume. Their videos are crisped and properly sized for the different types of content which may be viewed in the conference rooms. The videos can include the video, graphics, and the spreadsheets. The rooms are well furnished for basic presentation and sophisticated telepresence (Applebee’s International, Inc, n.d.).
The Applebee used the physical evidence of the conference rooms to their advantage and increased the customer satisfaction. The well-furnished conference rooms ensured that the customers had the best stay while they are in the rooms holding their meetings. The well-furnished rooms were also used as advertising grounds for the other services the hotels offered which include the food and beverages. Applebee also advertised their services minutes before the meetings in the conference rooms started by displaying the services on the large screens surrounding the rooms. The hotel supervisors also ensured that the conferences are placed at the best price that is customer friendly. The good nature of the conference rooms was used as a means of advertisement that was the same for Cheesecake factory (Applebee’s International, Inc, n.d.).
Cheesecake lounges are among the best furnished. The factory uses the kind of lounge they have to their advantage. Cheesecake offers breakfast for its clients, and it is at this point that they advertise their other service that is the kind of food they offer. The hotel is also located in a convenient place in terms of travel. The hotel offers a clean environment too which ensures that they remain ahead of their competitors (Abolish restaurants a worker’s critique of the food service industry, 2010).
In both industries discussed above the rooms are well furnished and clean. The industries also offer top quality services to all its customers without discrimination of any kind. There is the advancement in technology for both hotels. In both hotels, the customers can order for food or any other drinks when they are either in the conference rooms or the lounges at the comfort of their beds.
The customer service experience is an important area of any business. Despite the physical characteristics like good furnishing and excellent decorations and lightings, it is important that the customer service skills be sharpened too. The customer service rep for both hotels should include the following skills, empathy, adaptability, clear communication, work ethics, and knowledge. The reps should possess the right customer service skills. The business owners should also look at every touch point in addition to making sure that the right skills are demonstrated.
Another step that both service industries should consider is to make sure that the customer service strategies are enhanced. There should be organizational strategies that should be employed to satisfy the customers. One of the strategies is to get personal. The customers should feel that they have access to real people. The two hotel industries must also make sure that their reps are available for their clients whether in the conference rooms or the lounges. There should be customer support at all times. The needs of the customers should also be well catered for by making sure that the customer needs are met. The two industries have to make sure that their reps are also well engaged. The improvement of the engagement of the employees is an excellent way of ensuring the customers will have a good experience when they stay in the conference rooms or the lounges (Abolish restaurants a worker’s critique of the food service industry, 2010).
The last way in which the industries can enhance the customer service experience is giving the employees a way of providing feedback that in my view has not been well emphasized in the two industries. The feedbacks will help improve on the places that the customers feel have not been catered for well (What is Services Marketing? (with picture), 2012).
In conclusion, there are four things that the service industry must offer to their clients. One of them is the offering. What the two industries are offering should effectively meet the desires of an attractive group of customers. With the excellent furniture and services offered by both industries then it will be important that they provide a good funding mechanism. The management should give a thought of how excellence will be paid for. They should charge the customers in a palatable manner. The industries should also have an employee management system that is well integrated. In the service industries, the employees are not the only people that affect the cost and the quality of the services that are delivered. The customers should be involved since they have profound implications in the management of organizations (Abolish restaurants a worker’s critique of the food service industry, 2010).
Abolish restaurants a worker’s critique of the food service industry. (2010). Oakland, Ca: PM Press.
Applebee’s International, Inc. (n.d.). Mergent’s Dividend Achievers, 17-17.
Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake Recipe – Food.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2015.
Fishman, W. (1997). ARA Services, Inc.: Developing a new industry : Service management. New York: Newcomen Society in North America.
What is Services Marketing? (with picture). (2012). Retrieved October 16, 2015.
What is service marketing? definition and meaning. (2000). Retrieved October 16, 2015.
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