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Chapter12: Services: The Intangible Product Chapter Opener p. 358 p. 359 LEARNING OBJECTIVES Describe how the marketing of services differs from the marketing of products. Discuss the four gaps in the Service Gaps Model. Examine the five service quality dimensions. Explain the zone of tolerance concept. Identify three service recovery strategies. R ecall from Chapter 11 that the life cycle for some products and services is relatively steep. In that chapter, we talked about how much faster DVDs diffused compared with VCRs. In a similar sense, televisions diffused somewhat slowly, until they eventually reached the maturity stage. Personal computers have moved along this life cycle much more quickly and now appear in approximately as many homes as do televisions. But what do these product life cycles have to do with this chapter on services? Plenty, if you are involved in the manufacture or sale of those personal computers. As anyone who has ever confronted the blue screen of death or an incomprehensible error message usually on the last page of the paper you were writingcan attest, technical difficulties are terribly frustrating. Perhaps even more frustrating are the hours invested on the telephone, trying to reach a customer service representative, who may or may not be able to help. Even in this challenging situation, 90 percent of Apple customers report they are very satisfied with its customer service. Part of the reason for this high satisfaction may stem from the product itself; because Apple is less subject to viruses than PCs, consumers may not need customer service as often. More likely though, it results from Apple's efforts to assist Mac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone owners. On purchasing a new Apple, customers may also sign up for One-to-One service for $99. In return, they may make appointments for individual assistance with an Apple representative, as many times as they wish, over the course of the following year. Even without buying this upgrade, Apple owners can visit the Apple site and make an appointment with a technician or Genius in a local Apple store. If an Apple fan has no store nearby, he or she can look for help online, whether through Apple's own problem solutions or on discussion groups that cover a range of potential problems. Despite its customer service success, Apple still disappoints about 10 percent of its customers. Its research shows that most customer service failures occur because of confusion about product warranties. In the fine print, customers can discover that water damage or abuse voids any product warranty. Not a lot of water, and not an absurd amount of abuse, but any of either. An iPod might stop working because just a drop of water, falling from the headphones, travels down the cord and enters into the jack. This situation infuriates customers, many of whom treat their Apple products with great care. And it is damaging to a company's reputation to sell a product that is considered among the best but not support it ... View Full Document

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