The course aims to provide to students the main theoretical and conceptual knowledge and appropriate skills to design, implement and manage the services. Services have taken on a new central role in value creation processes, becoming a critical success factor for all companies, including industrial and commercial firms.
Students will be introduced to the principles of marketing management and, during the course, the fundamentals of the service marketing strategy will be deepened. The centrality of the emotional aspects and the involvement of the senses, the aestheticisation of everyday life, the recovery of the past and the demand for authenticity, the search for new forms of aggregation and sharing of experiences are some of the distinctive features of services marketing, whose purpose is the creation of value and the construction of long-term relationships with the customer.
At the end of the course, the student will be able to understand the distinctive features of the services and the main challenges for the design, implementation and management of services with a view to creating customer value.
Essentials of general management.
The following topics will be studied in depth:
a) The principles of marketing services and the model of service quality gaps
b) Consumer behavior in services
c) Customer expectations in services
d) The customer's perceptions about the service
e) Listen to customer requests
f) Building customer relationships
g) Recovery of the service
h) Development and service design
i) Physical support and servicescape
j) Deliver and perform the service
k) Manage service promises
l) Service and profitability
In addition, specific business cases will be analyzed. The professor will simulate, with the participation of the students, a "focus-group", (as a qualitative tool widely used in market research for the evaluation and improvement of service satisfaction) and will designed implement a student satisfaction survey.
The course illustrates the main theoretical, conceptual and operational aspects of service marketing and explores the main challenges for the design, implementation and management of services, which are essential for achieving log-term customer relationship.
The course will be organised in frontal lessons, discussions of case studies, in-class reading of papers and group project works (focus-group and survey on student satisfaction).
Zeithaml V.A., Bitner M.J., Gremler D.D., Bonetti E., 2012, Services Marketing, McGraw-Hill
Further study material will be suggested during the course.
The exam will be supported through a written and oral examination. The written test (2 open-ended questions and 21 multiple choice questions), which lasts 60 minutes, will be taken on a computer using the exam platform and control tools (Respondus). The evaluation is considered positive if the student scores not less than 17/30. The verification will be completed by an oral examination aimed at verifying the achievement of the training objectives indicated above.
Based on one question focused on the principles and models addressed during the lesson, the exam intends to ascertain the level of knowledge and understanding of the student, the ability to apply theoretical models and understand marketing management practices in real or hypothetical organizational contexts, as well as communication skills. The valuation is positive only if the student is able to correctly answer the questions.
For students who have attended the course, the project work will contribute to the overall assessment. It will be organized in small groups and aimed at verifying the learning ability and application of customer satisfaction models as well as the team working ability and exhibition skills. The evaluation of the project work is out of thirty and will contribute 40% to the student's overall evaluation. This assignment will involve teams of three or four students and will be carried out over the course. The purpose of the project is to provide you with an opportunity to understand in detail the customer satisfaction and the approach to service provision of the university. The final report on this project will be no more than 20 pages in length (double-spaced) and is to be submitted in class on the end of the course. Additional information on this project is provided during the course.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding:
Students will demonstrate to know and to understand the distinctive characteristics of the services and the main theoretical models, useful for the design, implementation and management of services in companies in each sector.
Applying Knowledge and understanding:
Students will demonstrate to know how to apply the theoretical models and/or managerial practices learned within a real-world organizational context.
Students will demonstrate the ability to choose between different theoretical models and/or managerial practices the ones most appropriate in the context proposed by the professor.
Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate the notions learned in a clear and appropriate way in specific professional contexts.
Lifelong learning skills:
Students must demonstrate a good capacity of learning and application of the notions, models and concepts learned during the course.