Learning outcomes of the course unit
a. Knowledge and understanding
The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the key issues of service firm’s management according to a marketing perspective. What students will learn during the course could also be extended to other types of industries, such as manufacturing.
At the end of the course, the students will have acquired skills on the following topics:
- What is a service and how you can deliver service quality
- How customers behave in services
- Customer satisfaction and how it can be measured
- Managing customer relationships
- The service model and related standards
- How to deliver a service
- Managing the service level agreement
- Attracting and making customers loyal
- Measuring firm performance in services
b. Applying knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the students will be able to:
- Explain relevant service marketing theories and concepts;
- Describe the specific features of services and the differences existing when doing marketing for services or for goods;
- Discuss the issues underlying the evolution of the service firm’s environment and competitive landscape;
- Apply the gap analysis model for service quality;
- Discuss the role of service quality in creating customer relationships;
- Understand the impact of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty on the economic performance of the firm;
- Highlight the key course topics and grasp the relationship between the
different components of the course.
The students will be trained to develop teamwork skills, stress management skills, deadline orientation and commitment towards the required tasks.
c. Making judgements
On the basis of the conceptual and operational tools acquired during the
course the students will be able to:
- Develop an understanding of specific features of services
- Analyze the evolution of the environment and of the competitive scenario by adopting a services marketing perspective
- Identify the role of the customer in the value co-creation process
- Recall the frameworks that could be useful to drive customer satisfaction and customer loyalty by means of a given service
- Evaluate the performance of a service company
- Adapt analyses, strategies and marketing campaigns to the different service contexts.
Students will be encouraged to develop analytic skills and problem solving skills and their own independent judgment and critical thinking.
Knowledge of basic concepts related to economics and management.
Course contents summary
The course aims to illustrate in a systemic way and in an evolutionary perspective the key issues of service marketing and management.
Specifically, it is designed to provide the relevant models, methods and tools to develop and implement marketing strategies as far as services are concerned.
The course is divided into six sections:
- The basic concepts of services marketing: we will be focusing on the key concepts of service and service quality.
- Customers and services: customer expectations, perceptions, relationships and service recovery actions after a service failure.
- Planning a service: tools to develop and measure all the aspects related to a given service.
- Offering the service: staff, channels and how to handle consumers and firm capabilities to provide a given service.
- Managing the service level agreement and two key aspects of services: communication and pricing.
- Firm performance in services.
The main topics of course are as follows:
- Features of services and specific elements of services marketing
- Service Quality
- Customer expectations and perceptions as far services are concerned
- Customer satisfaction and related measurement
- Customer Relationship Management strategies
- Service recovery
- Developing new services
- Planning a service
- Key Standards in services
- Serviscape and the role of physical touchpoints in services
- The role of the staff in offering a service
- The role of customers
- Intermediaries and digital channels
- Managing constraints in firm capabalities and offering
- Integrated marketing communication
- Pricing for services
- Acquiring and retaining customers
- Measuring firm performance
Lovelock, C. Wirtz, J. (2007) Marketing dei servizi. Risorse umane, tecnologie, strategie, Pearson.
The course will be held online. Lectures will be offered in live streaming via Teams or Zoom or recorded and uploaded on the Elly platform. During streaming lectures students will have the chance to interact with the teacher, join open discussions on course topics and work in teams. Within the course students will have the chance to attend business seminars and to be engaged in case discussions and group works.
• Acquisition of knowledge: lectures and business seminars.
• Acquisition of the ability to apply the analysis methodologies: case
study discussions and project works.
• Autonomy of judgment acquisition: case study discussion and project works will
stimulate the capacity for critical evaluation of the managerial relevance of specific conceptual aspects.
• Acquisition of learning skills: case studies will present problematic situations and stimulate to focus on the critical issues and to
propose alternative solutions.
• Acquisition of technical language: the meaning of the terms commonly used in the service marketing context will be illustrated during the lectures.
The two teachers will alternate themselves in lecturing throughout the course.
The slides used to support lectures will be loaded weekly on the Elly platform. To download the slides, students need to enroll in the online course.
To achieve an effective preparation for the exam you can rely on your notes taken during streaming lectures, on recorded online lectures and slides.
Assessment methods and criteria
Winter exam session (December-February):
The learning outcomes will be assessed through an online oral exam (via Teams).
Depending on the number of students, the exam might last several days. Each student regularly enrolled in the exam will be notified by email via Esse3 on the date and time of his/her oral exam at least the day before the official date of the exam.
Students must respect the deadlines for registering for the exam, uploading their I.D. (up to 2 days before the date of the official exam) and connecting on the date and time communicated.
During the exam, the use of any type of notes, books, phones, media etc. is strictly forbidden, with the exception of the device used to connect.
During the exam, the followings are assessed: the achieved knowledge and understanding capabilities, ability to apply the acquired knowledge, autonomy of judgment, ability to learn and to communicate with an appropriate technical language.
Students who participated in the project work can replace an exam question with the project work grade, which will weigh 33% of the final grade. The project work grade can be used by the student only once (even if he/she retires, does not accept the exam grade or fails the exam) in one of the three exam sessions of December-February.
“30 cum laude” will be awarded to those particularly deserving students who, in
addition to having complied with the requirements necessary to obtain the full evaluation, during the exam have demonstrated an appreciable systematic knowledge of the topic, an excellent ability to apply the knowledge acquired to the specific problem, a considerable autonomy of judgment, as well as excellent communication skills.
Results will be published on the Esse3 platform when all students have taken the exam.
Summer (May-July) and recovery (September) exam sessions
The syllabus will be updated at the beginning of the second semester with information on the exam procedures for the summer and recovery exam sessions.
For further information please check the Elly page of the course.